West Seattle, Washington
After another Sunday without a King County update, we start tonight with two days’ worth of numbers:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: We asked Seattle-King County Public Health if update-less Sundays were the new norm; they said no, just happened to happen two weekends in a row – this time the problem was a staffing emergency. So remember the daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health, represents the changes since Saturday:
*85.629 people have tested positive, 346 more than Saturday’s total
*1,452 people have died, unchanged from Saturday’s total
*5,220 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than Saturday’s total
*949,161 people have been tested, 6,660 more than Saturday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 84,303/1,437/5,180/933,980.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 123.6 million cases, 2,722,000 deaths – 542,000 in the U.S. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.
PHASE 3: Reminder – the entire state is now in Phase 3 of reopening, which means 50 percent capacity for many types of businesses. But not all are choosing to reopen that fully, so be mindful of what your favorite businesses decide to do.
TEST SITE CLOSING: Announced tonight – the city-run West Seattle testing/vaccination site will be vaccination-only as of March 31st.
IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE AND LOOKING FOR AN APPOINTMENT … here are the links we’ve amassed:
*Check for West Seattle city-run site appointments here; sign up for the city’s notification list for all three of its sites here.
*Health-care providers (particularly bigger ones like UW Medicine, CHI Franciscan, Swedish, Kaiser Permanente, etc.)
*covidwa.com (volunteer-run aggregator)\
*The state says it’s improved its own lookup tool
*Here’s another search to try
*Pharmacies big and small – Safeway, Rite Aid, QFC, Pharmaca, Costco
*Sea Mar clinics
LEFTOVERS? Here’s what commenter SD said happened late today at the West Seattle site.
SCHOOL SURVEY: Seattle Public Schools is reminding elementary families to answer the latest reopening-related survey by Wednesday.
NEED FOOD? This week’s nearest Food Lifeline distribution is 2-5 pm Friday (March 26th) at 815 S. 96th.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
The photo and report were sent tonight by Tina – a stolen motorcycle to watch for:
I’m an apartment manager in the Alki neighborhood. A recently deceased tenant’s Harley-Davidson Electra Glide (photo attached) was stolen at 6:20 this morning. It was stolen from a parking space next to the alley on the 3000 block of 60th Ave SW.
After seven months, the city will soon stop offering COVID-19 testing in the Southwest Athletic Complex parking lot. Tonight’s Seattle-King County Public Health pandemic-news update says it’ll become a vaccinations-only site at the end of the month, just as eligibility expands again. The last day of testing there will be March 30th, says Public Health. If you need a test after that in West Seattle, in addition to health-care providers, the self-testing Curative kiosk at Don Armeni Boat Ramp (1222 Harbor SW) will continue to be available.
Now that Seattle Public Schools has a plan for meeting the governor’s order to offer some in-person learning to elementary students by early April, it’s surveying families to find out how many intend to accept that offer. The district sent this reminder tonight for families to return those surveys:
Seattle Public Schools sent an important survey last week to families with students in kindergarten through fifth grade in order to determine how many students from those groups will be returning to in-person learning in SPS schools next month. Survey responses are due by midnight Wednesday, March 24.
The survey, which was sent to families on Friday, March 19, 2021, is the primary way for the district to ascertain the instructional model choice of families:
• A hybrid instructional model of in-person part-time and remote part-time —
* M-T-Th-F half-day in-person, half-day remote
* W full-day remote for all students
• A full remote instruction model.
• March 29 – All preschool students and students enrolled in elementary special education Intensive Services Pathways;
• April 5 – All other kindergarten to 5th grade students;
• April 5 – Students enrolled in middle and high school special education intensive pathways.
Preschool and elementary students enrolled in a K-8 school will follow the start dates outlined above.
The announcement includes a reminder of the schedule changes announced over the weekend. Meantime, the return to schools isn’t finalized yet – the Seattle Education Association is voting this week on whether to accept the agreement.
For the past two months, the City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee, chaired by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold, has been considering a proposal to cut $5.4 million from the Seattle Police Department budget. Despite representing a relatively small part of the SPD budget, it’s loomed large in symbolism even more than effects. Today, on the eve of a possible committee vote, a new proposal – but first some backstory:
The $5.4 million was actually added to the SPD budget last December – as explained in the original council memo, $1.9 million in federal pandemic reimbursement, $1.9 million to cover spending on paid parental leave, and $1.6 million to cover increased separation-pay costs that accompany increased departures from the department. But, sponsoring councilmembers including Herbold originally argued, that money shouldn’t be needed because, said the memo:
• SPD would have had sufficient appropriation authority to cover the $5.4 million had it not overspent its overtime budget, due largely to over-deployment of officers during the largely peaceful demonstrations in the summer of 2020, including a deployment of officers that exceeded $10 million in overtime costs in less than 60 days; and
• That there would be salary savings in SPD’s budget achieved in 2021 due to higher than anticipated attrition that has already occurred in October 2020 and may continue to occur during November 2020 and December 2020.
So they instead sought to move the $5.4 million to the “participatory budgeting” process which has been under way, focused on the development of alternative public-safety responses.
At the committee’s last meeting March 9th, SPD and mayor’s office reps made their case for keeping the money in the budget. Deputy mayor Mike Fong declared flatly that SPD “is in a staffing crisis.” He and others recapped that the department lost 200 officers last year. We have reported, following Southwest Precinct leaders’ appearances at local community meetings, that the precinct serving West Seattle/South Park has lost a third of its staff. The precinct-by-precinct staffing reports in the March 9th agenda packet showed that SW Precinct patrol staffing dropped from 79 to 66 just in the last quarter of last year.
This is not because the staffing budget has been cut – but a variety of factors, including the perceived lack of City Council support, has led to departures, SPD says. And if this cut is made, the committee was told, the department could be in a staffing shortage “beyond mitigation.”
Already, the committee was told, the department has “minimum staffing days” more frequently citywide, as well as an increase in times when it’s on “priority call” status – times when they can only dispatch officers to the highest-priority calls, such as violent crimes. Response times are higher, with averages no longer meeting the 7-minute target. And with the redeployment of officers to the patrol ranks, they’ve lost “problem-solving teams,” like the Community Police Teams. But the SPD presentation didn’t just focus on what’s wrong currently – it also focused on how it’s not too late for a positive turning point, with the department still experiencing a record number of applicants for the openings it has – while warning that more officers “will leave if they see these continued cuts.” SPD also spelled out what it would do with the $5.4 million if it’s not cut, including technical support for the increase in online reporting.
At tomorrow’s committee meeting, a vote is possible – which would then send the measure to full council. But at this morning’s weekly council briefing meeting (one hour and 45 minutes into this video), when each councilmember provides a preview of the week ahead, Herbold announced she had come up with a new version of the bill to present tomorrow. We requested and just received a copy – see it here. It cuts less, moving $2 million to “participatory budgeting” instead of the original $5.4 million, and specifies other spending such as 5 mental-health responders to join SPD crisis responses, and also funds the civilian positions, technology improvements, and separation pay funding that SPD had requested, Herbold said..
In addition to announcing the new proposal, Herbold said that even if it – or another version – passes out of committee tomorrow, a final full council vote is likely to be delayed because those overseeing the consent decree have questions before final action. Tomorrow’s meeting is at 9:30 am; the agenda explains how to view it as well as how to sign up to comment.
SPD and SFD are arriving at what’s described as a 3-vehicle crash in the 6500 block of West Marginal Way. Southbound traffic is blocked, according to dispatch, and at least one person is reported injured.
Another chance to give, if you can: A student-organized food/supply drive at West Seattle High School, with four upcoming dropoff dates:
The West Seattle High School ASB is putting on a targeted Food/ Supply Drive. The dates to drop off Food/ Supplies are every Wednesday – ending on April 7th, from 12-2 in the historical entrance of West Seattle High School, with another drop-off day on Saturday, April 3rd from 9-12 at the same location. The list of requested food/ supplies was acquired from a survey filled out by West Seattle High School families stating what items best fit their needs. You are welcome to bring any non-perishable goods or supplies that are not on the list, these are the specific items that were requested. All food/supplies donated will be given to West Seattle High School families in need, and any leftover items will be donated to the West Seattle food bank.
Any other non-perishable goods or supplies you would like to donate
The school is at 3000 California SW; the “historical entrance” is on the north side.
Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor – Mitch Moore with Inspired Home. New sponsors get the chance to explain what they do – here’s what Mitch would like you to know:
I have been an established General Contractor in West Seattle for over 20 years.
Although I have worked throughout Seattle and Bellevue, West Seattle is my home, where I have raised my family and been an integral part of the community and where I focus my work efforts.
My work has been featured in Seattle Met Magazine, Upscale Living Magazine, and I have been awarded accolades by Curbed Seattle, and HGTV.
I personally manage each project and am on-site throughout the day. Your home is my office.
I take great pride that my reputation has been built on being on-time and on-budget.
I enjoy the creative design process, creating new spaces that fit your needs aesthetically and within your budget parameters.
Whether you want your dream kitchen or a simple kitchen change-out, you are ready to finish your basement, finally add a Master Suite or want to remove walls to create an open concept living space, I am happy to help conceptualize and deliver a quality project.
I very much look forward to assisting you with the transformation of your space.
Mitch Moore, Inspired Home
We thank Inspired Home for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Just in from King County Water Taxi management:
For approximately the next two weeks, the 33-passenger MV Spirit of Kingston will replace the 86-passenger MV Doc Maynard on the West Seattle route, while the Doc is in the shipyard for scheduled annual maintenance. West Seattle riders should plan accordingly given the reduced passenger capacity, especially on the 4:45 and 5:25 evening sailings. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The water taxi continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through regular cleaning and disinfecting between sailings. Masks are required for both passengers and crew.
And a reminder that this year, as announced earlier this month, the Water Taxi does plan a 7-days-a-week, all-day spring/summer schedule, starting April 19th.
For a second year, WestSide Baby has to skip its big in-person spring gathering, so it’s inviting you to show support for local kids and their families at an online event. “Beyond the Basics” is happening Thursday night (March 25) at 5:30 pm. We’re co-sponsoring the event, and sharing the announcement:
Meeting the basic needs of children is more than just the diaper or car seat that we distribute. These items represent dignity, freedom, and joy for the child, and their entire family. For 20 years, you have come alongside WestSide Baby to work collectively in support of the belief that every child deserves to have their most basic needs met.
And yet, we know we are only meeting a fraction of the growing need. In order to achieve our bold vision where each child is a happy, healthy, and resilient member of our community, we must go Beyond the Basics. Will you be part of this journey with us?
Our program will include a conversation with Mia Birdsong, a pathfinder, community curator, and storyteller who steadily engages the leadership and wisdom of people experiencing injustice to chart new visions of American life.
At the event, we will talk about her book, her podcast, and shifting the narrative on how we address poverty, specifically in relation to the importance of WestSide Baby’s vision to ensure every child has their basic needs met.
You can register to attend the event – free (donations are optional) – by going here.
(New in the area? WestSide Baby is West Seattle-founded and White Center-headquartered, assisting thousands of local families every year – partly via addressing diaper need, which WS Baby says is higher than ever before.)
Youth sports are resuming this spring, and we continue to spotlight registration announcements. This one is from the West Seattle Reign:
REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW THROUGH APRIL 2nd.
We are offering clinics for youth aged 10-18, currently enrolled in Elementary thru 12th grade.
Due to Covid-19 and the lack of rental gym space in and near West Seattle, all clinics are on outdoor courts for spring break. All clinics consist of warm up, skills drills and cool down. Each clinic will consist of different drills and games throughout the week. Clinics are 2 hours and are co-ed.
All details for our clinics can be accessed through the links below.
Basketball – go.teamsnap.com/forms/262309
Volleyball – go.teamsnap.com/forms/262421
These links can also be accessed thru our website by selecting clinics & camps under the sport of your choice. Clinics vary in drills day by day and you are welcome to take more than one.
7:47 AM: Thanks for the tip, For the second time in three days, more than 100 customers in The Arroyos have lost power. This one, like the previous one, is affecting 109 customers, according to the City Light map.
3:07 PM: We asked SCL spokesperson Julie Moore about the outages. Her reply:
The cause of these outages is equipment failure, a fault in the underground direct buried cable, though not in the same locations. As you know, with direct buried cable, it can take longer to locate the issue than with overhead, which prolongs the outage. With the current outage, crews have located the fault and are working on repairs. …
This is the system in the Arroyo neighborhood where we have an ongoing project to replace the aging direct buried cable with an underground conduit system, which will improve reliability. Once conduit installation is complete, estimated in the second quarter of 2021, electrical crews will install the new underground cables. This work will take up to six months to complete and may require planned outages; City Light will notify customers in advance.
Given these recent outages, we’re planning to send a message to those who’ve signed up to receive project updates by email this afternoon.
That’s just been sent. And Moore also noted that, as happened in the previous outage, almost half the customers have their power back.
ADDED: In comments, Stacy says power was restored around 5:30 pm.
6:03 AM: Good morning! Cloudy, showery, breezy forecast on spring’s first weekday.
ROAD WORK .
Delridge project – Here are the closures and work spots planned this week.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
364th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: Eleventh week for automated enforcement cameras; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily. Here’s a bridge view:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
And the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.