West Seattle, Washington
Vaccination news tops tonight’s roundup:
VACCINE SUPPLY: In two state briefings today, it was mentioned that the state is expecting more than 400,000 doses of vaccine next week, the most ever – just in time for 2 million more people to become eligible as of next Wednesday. So far, more than 1 million people are fully vaccinated. Next week’s allocation, the state says, will include the first significant allocation of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, about 42,000 doses.
BUT OTHERWISE … acting state health officer Dr. Scott Lindquist warned in the morning briefing that in the realm of “cautious optimism,” he’s “more cautious than optimistic” because of cases rising in some counties. Not all, though – 23 counties have fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people. Here’s the newest statewide situation report.
SPEAKING OF NUMBERS … here are the newest King County numbers, from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard – today’s cumulative totals:
*86.373 people have tested positive, 336 more than yesterday’s total
*1,458 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*5,251 people have been hospitalized, 10 more than yesterday’s total
*956,675 people have been tested, 3,203 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 84,859/1,444/5,199/940,597.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 125.4 million cases worldwide, 30 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
IN-PERSON GRADUATIONS? Seattle Public Schools tells WSB it’s a possibility.
FREE FOOD ON FRIDAY: Food Lifeline distributes free food boxes 2-5 tomorrow at its South Park HQ (815 S. 96th).
NO FOOD DISTRIBUTION TOMORROW … at Highland Park Improvement Club, which tells us their distribution team is dealing with a positive test.
LOOKING FOR VACCINE? here are links to try:
*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 multi-provider search to try
*Pharmacies big and small – Safeway, Rite Aid, QFC, Pharmaca, Costco
*Sea Mar clinics
GOT INFO/PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
— Chris (@bensoncSEA) March 26, 2021
9:19 PM: Did you see that too? Chris tweeted the video, and we’ve had multiple messages from people who saw those lights in the sky looking southward around 9 pm. We’re looking into it …
(Added – video from Matt Bridge)
9:26 PM: Thanks to a caller who mentioned this – here’s the explanation, via astronomer Jonathan McDowell on Twitter: “The Falcon 9 second stage from the Mar 4 Starlink launch failed to make a deorbit burn and is now reentering after 22 days in orbit. Its reentry was observed from the Seattle area at about 0400 UTC Mar 26.” Here’s more on the Falcon 9. (added) And here’s more on Starlink.
10:03 PM: Added more of the visuals we’ve received from readers (thanks!).
(Video from Rudy Willingham)
Here’s coverage of the March 4th launch from which this originated.
(Video from Jessica Tulloch)
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: In case you wondered too:
It looks like the burn up would have started at around 140km (~85± miles) above us. (Data from https://t.co/SBWuRQA2Xl and https://t.co/8bWHxBSSQz.)
For reference, cruising altitude for airliners is ~5 miles. The International Space Station is ~250 miles up. @WestSeaWx
— Alice's AstroInfo (@AlicesAstroInfo) March 26, 2021
That’s an early-design concept for 1123 Harbor SW, the site from which the historic “Stone Cottage“ will soon be moved. The project is expected to have six stories, 18 residential units, and 27 off-street parking spaces. The project’s land-use application is now filed, opening a two-week comment period, through April 7th – the notice explains how to comment. As announced last weekend, the “Stone Cottage” move is expected to happen soon, probably next month.
Virtual Soul Line Dance
Not just country! Line dance to an assortment of music genres, including soul, rhythm and blues and country. Work out your mind and body. Learn new dance patterns to all kinds of great music. 5 classes. Instructor: S Simmons – #41374 – Apr 1- Apr 29 – 9:30-10:30 am Thursdays. Register HERE!
Virtual Aerobic Dance
If you love listening and dancing to a variety of music, then you will love this class. Instructor leads routines that are fun and easy to learn, yet challenging enough to give you a sense of accomplishment. Class includes a warm-up to music, cardio (aerobic dancing) and a cool down with some stretching and conditioning. 5 classes. Instructor: S Simmons – #41368 – Apr 1- Apr 29 – 11 am-noon Thursdays. Register HERE!
This is part of Lifelong Recreation.
In July, the city will add another $20 to the vehicle-license fee. Before that money starts rolling in, they’re working on the plan for what to do with the $7 million a year that it’s expected to generate. This SDOT Blog post has an overview of what they’ve come up with so far.
Now they’re asking what you think. Read the proposal and answer the survey by next Tuesday morning (March 30th).
As Seattle Public Schools prepares to offer some in-person learning to students after a year away from classrooms, one local school’s staff has concerns beyond safety. Genesee Hill Elementary is the most populous elementary in West Seattle. Its staff has taken an action that they and the Genesee Hill PTA want you to know about. PTA co-presidents Michelle Comazzetto and Scot Duffield sent us a letter that they explain “was written by the Genesee Hill staff to officially notify the Seattle School District that they reject the proposed 2021-2022 budget.” This is the budget that was specifically proposed for their school for next year. The PTA co-presidents asked us to publish it, adding, “The Genesee Hill PTA would like to bring more awareness around school funding, and the difficult choices that school leadership has to make because schools are still not properly funded . As part of our PTA mission, we need to advocate for our school’s staff and teachers and help them amplify their voices.” Here’s the letter in its entirety:
Dear President Hampson and Superintendent Juneau,
The Genesee Hill staff, with consideration for the fiscal challenges faced by the District in the coming 2021-2022 school year and with respect to our leadership team for their efforts to stretch the inadequate funding they were handed, have decided not to approve this year’s proposed budget for the following reasons: it does not support students’ physical safety; it does not provide the social and emotional supports needed by a potentially fragile student body; and it does not equitably address the wide disparity in learning that our students have experienced during remote instruction. We are hopeful that an amended budget can be implemented that returns funding to a level that supports these essential functions.
After a full year of remote learning, students and staff are understandably excited to return to the classroom, but we must not let our enthusiasm obscure a mandate that is even more critical now in the COVID age: the physical safety of our students. Protocols have yet to be fully established, but it’s clear that reducing the already inadequate allocation of .6 FTE for our school nurse down to .4 FTE does not support the increased focus on safety required during a pandemic. Couple this with the loss of half of our office support staff (Elementary School Assistant position reduced from 2.0 FTE to 1.0 FTE), who monitor our nurse’s office when the nurse is off-campus and who tend to students with serious conditions like diabetes as well as the common illnesses and injuries concomitant with a school of around 600 K-5 children, and you have a dangerous situation. With the increased need to train staff and students, along with monitoring for COVID compliance and treating existing and emergent conditions, cutting these critical positions is flirting with negligence.
Ensuring the physical well-being of our students is paramount, but the need to prioritize their emotional well-being in the coming school year cannot be overstated. With currently no funding in the budget at all for a school counselor, we are faced with the uncomfortable choice of either ignoring those emotional needs or “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” funding a counselor by shifting resources away from critical academic supports as we return to in-person learning. We certainly anticipate growing pains as kids readjust to (or experience for the first time, in the case of our Kindergarteners!) peer interactions and the emotional intensity of learning outside the home. In fact, never in recent memory have we had a more dire need for SEL support than we will in the coming year, and yet the current budget ignores this reality.
Not only does this budget erode safety protocols and social/emotional supports for this vulnerable cohort of young learners, but it also cuts deeply into our core academic programs. We are projected to lose 3.0 FTE for classroom teachers; our PCP staff stands to lose .5 FTE; our library position is being reduced from 1.0 to .5 FTE (making it unfeasible to both maintain the library and teach lessons, putting even more pressure on our overworked PCP teachers); and finally, this budget cuts 2.2 FTE (down from 3.4 to 1.2 FTE) from our academic interventionists, who should play a pivotal role in ensuring that this year’s “learning gaps” are bridged, particularly amongst our students who are furthest from educational justice and who may have a hard path back to grade level performance without targeted interventions.
Given the financial hardships that many of our families are facing, not to mention the difficulties of raising money in the current social and economic climate, this isn’t the year to bridge the shortfall with private funds. However, this also isn’t the year to strip the budget in March only to return staffing and funding over the summer, undermining public confidence in the District’s ability to transition back to the classroom without compromising students’ physical and emotional well-being, not to mention their continuity of learning. Whether or not this year’s lower enrollment projections are a reflection of community mistrust, there is no doubt that the past year has been one of uncertainty for all, and downright instability for many. Our schools can and should be part of the recovery. And while we all anticipate “tightening our belts” a bit, it cannot be at the expense of our students’ physical and emotional safety, nor can it ignore learning gaps that will persist into high school and beyond if inadequately addressed. We do not oppose this budget lightly, as we know that these are hard times and that the District has been hamstrung by a very difficult school funding model, but we cannot endorse a budget that puts our students further at risk, and we hope that decisions can be made that restore and even augment the core supports that are so needed at this time.
Genesee Hill Elementary School Staff
Most other local schools are facing cuts for next year, according to the Genesee Hill PTA leaders, but no other school is facing as many cuts as theirs.
So what does the staff rejection of next year’s budget proposal mean? It’s supposed to trigger a process in which a representative of the district and one from the Seattle Education Association union meet with the staff to try to work out the issues. The PTA leaders say that while the budget-rejection letter was sent last Friday, no mediation meeting has yet been scheduled.
Last month, we reported on the Admiral Neighborhood Association getting a preview of planned additions to Nantes Park (5062 SW Admiral Way). Today, the date was announced for a “community review” of the plans, in the context of an anniversary for the sister-city relationship the park honors. From the city’s announcement:
Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mayor Johanna Rolland of Nantes, France signed a joint proclamation committing to a continued partnership between Seattle and Nantes and celebrating 40 years of the Sister-City relationship: “Our cities are places of experimentation and knowledge, incubators of creativity. They can be a source of proposals in many areas. We, the Mayors of Nantes and Seattle, are committed to sharing our experiences, fostering constructive dialogue, working together within the framework of our public policies, by 2030, and developing partnerships between Nantes and Seattle in all areas that can contribute to the well-being of our communities, and respect and protection of the fundamental values of freedom and equality that inspire us.”
The City of Seattle, through Seattle Parks and Recreation and the community, reaffirms its Sister-City relationship with Nantes, France with the launch of the Nantes Park Beautification Project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Sister-City relationship.
Nantes Park, located at 5062 SW Admiral Way in West Seattle, will get a facelift that includes a paved loop walkway with embedded French art, temporary French art installations and student-submitted art tiles along the seat wall. The project, led by the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association (SNSCA) in partnership with the Admiral Neighborhood Association and funded by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the City of Nantes, the West Seattle Garden Tour and volunteers, will transform the park into a fun, family-friendly, and accessible communal area reflective of the sister-city relationship.
The SNSCA is collaborating with Claude Ponti, beloved and prolific French children’s author and illustrator, on art for the park. Ponti’s experience with the Jardin des Plantes and the Parc de la Beaujoire in Nantes will highlight French-influenced art in the Seattle’s Nantes Park, symbolizing the intersection of the two cultures through the Sister-City relationship. Nantes Park will also represent Ponti’s first art installation to be showcased in the United States.
“We are thrilled to work with Monsieur Ponti. He has created more than a dozen whimsical, interactive works of art in the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes that capture the attention of children and adults alike. Interacting with his fantastical creatures sparks imagination and creative play,” explains Susan Kegel, President of the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association.
The park will also feature art-tiles lining the seat wall. The art tiles will showcase art submitted by students in Seattle and Nantes who participate in the Passe Partout high school exchange program between the two cities.
A community review is scheduled for Tuesday, March 30th at 7 pm. This is an opportunity for SNSCA to gather feedback on designs and for the community to provide input on the final art installations that will be featured in the park. Please visit the SNSCA website for more information on participating in the community review. …
The Nantes Park project is part of a year-long celebration on both sides of the Atlantic recognizing the 40th anniversary of Seattle’s sister-city relationship with Nantes. This spring, look for the release of a special Seattle-Nantes Sister City beer created in an international colla-beer-ation between Seattle’s Lantern Brewing and Nantes’ Bubar. This celebratory beverage, brewed and bottled in each city from a common recipe, will be a gose-style beer featuring Washington State cranberries and Guérande salt from the Nantes region. To capstone the year-long program, Seattle will welcome the delegation from Nantes in fall 2021 to celebrate the grand re-opening of Nantes Park and discuss ideas for future partnerships.
The Nantes community will be celebrating with a “Seattle Orchard” in the Jardin du Grand Blottereau, a sound installation at le Muséum by La Maison des Etats Unis, film screenings, lectures and much more. …
The link and phone number for participating in next Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.
Last month, we reported on local students’ online petition asking Seattle Public Schools to allow in-person high-school graduations, instead of a second year of virtual ceremonies. Since then, the governor has ordered schools to offer some in-person learning to all students, so it’s likely the Class of 2021 will be back on campus to finish out the year. Especially in light of that, is the district reconsidering the graduation plan? After readers emailed us, asking for an update, we took the question to district spokesperson Tim Robinson. He says there’s no final decision yet, but he quotes “one of the key members of the group that is meeting about graduation” as saying: “We are working to adjust to the information that the governor and OSPI sent late last week. We are working to try and get to an in-person graduation with limited numbers of guests. We hope to have an update for school leaders late Friday or early next week.” (Here’s the latest state guidance for outdoor events.)
Two and a half years after the untimely death of Southwest Athletic Complex grounds/event manager Nino Cantu, a long-sought tribute is close to reality. At last night’s Seattle School Board meeting, a proposal to rename SWAC in his honor was formally introduced. The board heard from Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark and Mr. Cantu’s longtime friend, Denny/Sealth kitchen and loading-dock manager Doree Fazio-Young (the video below should start at the beginning of the meeting presentation, but if not, it’s 4 hours, 21 minutes, 32 seconds in):
As she had during a tribute to Mr. Cantu shortly after his death in October 2018, Fazio-Young spoke of not only his achievements but also his warmth – “he was everybody’s best friend.” Here’s the agenda document with background on the proposal, which was circulated among the Denny IMS and Chief Sealth IHS communities last fall:
After last night’s introduction, the next step is for formal School Board approval April 7th. Then, a sign for the Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex will be created and installed, and a community celebration will be planned for halftime at a Chief Sealth football game in the fall.
From SDOT, heads up on two areas of southeast West Seattle planned for repaving:
On Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, crews will be repaving 1st Ave S between S Cloverdale and SW Kenyon St from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM each day.
During this work, this section of 1st Ave S will be closed to through traffic. Detour signage will be available to help drivers navigate this closure. People driving should follow the detour signs and use Highway 509 to travel north and south around the area.
Local access to businesses will be maintained, and 1st Ave S will fully reopen after 3:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Also| Paving at the intersection of SW Henderson St and 9th Ave SW:
On Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, crews will be replacing three concrete panels at the intersection of SW Henderson St and 9th Ave SW. Some parking will be restricted nearby to allow two lanes of traffic to flow normally past the work zone.
Traffic control and parking restrictions will remain in place until early on Monday, March 29, to allow the concrete time to fully harden.
This work is weather-permitting, and we will share updates if the schedule changes. If possible, we ask you to please plan your weekend travels accordingly to detour around this work and avoid the work areas.
SDOT says both are part of the Reconnect West Seattle detour-route work.
Many ways to connect with your community this afternoon/evening:
STUDENT HEALTH EVENT: The Teen Health Center at West Seattle High School welcomes all SPS students to an event today focusing on meningococcal vaccination – our preview includes info on calling, texting, or emailing for an appointment.
SOUND TRANSIT BOARD: 1:30 pm monthly meeting, with an update on realignment toward the end of the agenda, which includes information on viewing/commenting.
(added) GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING: Not announced until after we’d published this list – Gov. Inslee is having a pandemic briefing at 3:15 pm. Watch here.
DEMONSTRATION: Organizer Scott welcomes you at 16th/Holden, 4 pm-6 pm, to wave signs and support Black lives. If you don’t have a sign, one will be available there.
WESTSIDE BABY ‘BEYOND THE BASICS’: Support the local nonprofit that supports thousands of local children and their families. 5:30 pm event with storytelling, inspiration, and a chance to donate, but registering to attend is free.
WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: 6:30 pm online, with discussion of the Equal Rights Amendment and redistricting. Register by 11 am to get the link; our calendar listing explains how.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm online – here’s the agenda:
Participate via videoconferencing by going here, or by phone via 253-215-8782. In both cases, Meeting ID 831 2486 9091 and Passcode 521762.
MAYORAL CANDIDATE TOWN HALL: Colleen Echohawk is having “town halls” live online for neighborhoods around the city, and 7 pm tonight is her next one, geared toward High Point, Highland Park, Westwood, and Roxhill.
ADDED 10:46 AM: Police are responding to a report of a crash at West Marginal/Highland Park Way, blocking part of the intersection, involving a semi-truck and a Prius. No major injuries reported so far.
6:07 AM: Good morning! More rain likely today.
ROAD WORK .
Delridge project – Here’s this week’s plan.
Speed humps – Work could start as soon as today on SW Henderson between 10th and 12th.
Metro is on its changed-for-spring regular schedule
The West Seattle Water Taxi is using the smaller Spirit of Kingston, likely through next week
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
367th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 11th 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.