West Seattle, Washington
Midway through March’s final weekend, here’s the latest pandemic news:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard – note that tonight includes one “data correction”:
*87,112 people have tested positive, 576 more than yesterday’s total
*1,461 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*5,256 people have been hospitalized, 5 fewer than yesterday’s total*
*959,118 people have been tested, 935 more than yesterday’s total
ONE WEEK AGO: Last Saturday, those numbers were 85,283/1,452/5,203/942,501.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 126.7 million people have tested positive, and more than 2,777,000 people have died; U.S. deaths exceed 548,000. Most cases: U.S., Brazil, India, France, Russia (France jumped past Russia and the UK to get into the top 5). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.
LOOKING FOR VACCINE? Eligibility expands Wednesday – but if you’re eligible now, 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, 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 SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
…several people have asked, so here’s what was happening: According to radio communication, a driver hit a house in the 2700 block of 49th SW, then got argumentative with the house’s residents. Somebody involved was reported to have mentioned a gun. Things seemed to be escalating and police briefly needed extra backup. It’s all being sorted out now; no injuries reported.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The driver, a 26-year-old woman, was booked into jail for investigation of DUI.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two high-profile topics filled the agenda as HPAC – the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – met online this past week: Public safety and public art.
To talk about public safety, HPAC invited a neighbor, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who chairs the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, which was back in the spotlight again this week for a proposed cut in the police budget. (We explained her compromise proposal here; the committee agreed the next day to substitute it for the previous version.) “We wanted to hear your thinking” on the big picture, explained HPAC co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick. “How can we make meaningful change, while staying safe?”
A week and a half after her post-rehab release in North Admiral, the Bald Eagle nicknamed “Bey” is still in our area. We received photos of two sightings in the past day-plus – Mike Russell spotted her atop a tree by the Admiral Way Bridge over Fairmount Ravine this morning and watched for about 20 minutes until she flew away – the photos above and below are his.
On Friday afternoon, Frank Smith was driving through the ravine when he happened onto “Bey” and prey:
In both cases, the birdwatchers saw the green band verifying her identity, placed while PAWS Wildlife Center was caring for her after her rescue from Don Armeni Boat Ramp a month ago and subsequent internal-bleeding diagnosis.
Today we checked in with Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch, the local advocate/steward who was involved in the rescue. She is continuing to track “Bey” and reports that the eagle did eventually reunite with her mate “Jay.” If you see her you can contact Kersti at email@example.com. But whatever you do, don’t approach “Bey” (or any other wildlife). Kersti adds, “I would absolutely advise giving her a wide berth. As with any wild animal, but especially her right now. She just recovered from an infection that almost killed her. And the infection was from an environmental exposure, perhaps something she ate. She’s better but is just a week and a half out of rehab.” Kersti also notes that “when birds on the ground are startled, they flush and fly straight up quickly, often right into the grill of a car.” So help save wildlife by keeping your distance.
It’s charge-everything time – the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory alert for our area (the taupe area on the map above), expecting strong wind noon-6 pm Sunday: The prediction is for “southwest winds 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph.” Rain is forecast for much of the day, and believe it or not, some snow might be mixed in tomorrow night!
Also from the “you asked, so we checked” file — we have a status report on the Lincoln Park restroom renovations toward the south end of the beach. Janet emailed this week, wondering how much longer before the comfort station reopened. The work started more than six months ago. We asked Seattle Parks project manager Kelly Goold for an update – here’s his reply:
We are using an epoxy floor for Lincoln Park Comfort Station – similar to what is used in commercial kitchens and many other Parks Comfort Station buildings. The flooring requires that the existing concrete slab meet moisture level requirements before we can install. That is proving to be a challenge given the existing building is built into a hill near water. The contractor thinks with recent good weather we will be able to meet moisture level requirements by next week. Approximately 3 weeks left to install flooring, partitions, and accessories and have final inspection with our maintenance staff. Roughly that would be the week of April 19th when the building could potentially reopen.
JEM Contractors is handling this project and the 57th SW restroom rebuild on Alki Beach.
SIDE NOTE: When we last mentioned this project in September, we also noted the long-awaited South Play Area project was supposed to get going this winter. Checking that project website – now construction isn’t expected before fall.
(Pine siskin, 2017 photograph by Mark Wangerin)
Back in January, we reported on a warning about bird feeders, and a recommendation that you remove yours to keep a deadly outbreak of salmonellosis from spreading among birds, particularly Pine Siskins, which have been gathering in larger-than-usual numbers. This week, a reader emailed to ask if it’s safe to put the feeders back up again. We contacted state Department of Fish and Wildlife‘s Chris Anderson – who gave this presentation a few weeks after the original warning – and he pointed to a recent update of their original post:
UPDATE: A drop in the number of reports of sick or dead birds across Washington and other northwest states means backyard bird feeders can be put up again around April 1, but with caution.
An outbreak of salmonellosis in pine siskins and other songbirds had WDFW staff asking people with bird feeders and baths to put them away for a few months earlier this winter to discourage wild birds from congregating and potentially passing salmonella bacteria to each other. When birds flock together in large numbers at feeders, they can transmit the disease through droppings and saliva.
Since WDFW first put out word of the outbreak in early January, reports of sick or dead birds have decreased substantially, but they are still coming in.
“The disease is still circulating, and we could see the numbers jump back up if we ease precautions too quickly,” said WDFW veterinarian Dr. Kristin Mansfield. “If you usually feed birds at multiple feeders, consider putting up only one or two – widely spaced on your property – to start.”
You may also wish to use feeders that accommodate fewer birds (such as tubes rather than platforms) and continue to keep the ground below bird feeders clean by raking or shoveling up feces and seed casings that could spread salmonella. Provide only enough feed to last a day or two — in support of regular cleaning efforts within that same span; and to help keep wastage underneath the feeders down and manageable for cleaning under feeders. These measures assist in spreading birds out and keeping seed fresh and feeders clean. There is a possibility that handling infected contaminated bird feeders can spread the salmonella bacteria to humans. When filling or cleaning feeders, be sure to wear disposable gloves and wash hands thoroughly afterward.
The state still wants to hear from you if you see a sick or dead bird – you can report it here.
In our coverage of this month’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, we mentioned the group planned a community egg hunt – board members would hide non-perishable eggs around the area. This morning, we got word it’s happening this weekend: “FCA has hidden hundreds of wooden and plastic eggs full of surprises around the Fauntleroy business triangle [Brace Point/Wildwood/45th], Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and surrounding neighborhoods.” If you find one, you’re invited to post a photo on social media and tag it #FCAEggHunt. FCA’s announcement adds, “Any plastic eggs you can’t reuse may be dropped off in bins located at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, located at 9131 California Ave SW, or 8801 Fauntleroy Way SW
Busy Saturday in West Seattle and beyond – starting with two traffic alerts:
REPAVING: SDOT crews will be working 8 am-3:30 pm on 1st Ave. S. between Cloverdale and Kenyon and at 9th SW and SW Henderson – maps and details here.
CRANE REMOVAL: Avoid Fauntleroy Way between Alaska and Edmunds – the tower crane for the big project on the east side of the street is coming down today, as previewed here. (11:07 AM UPDATE: Traffic is alternating directions on that block of Fauntleroy – it’s not completely closed.)
And from the calendar:
KIDS’ MUSIC CONCERT: 10 am, Bruce & Bonnie perform as the South Seattle College Co-op Preschools’ benefit series continues. Ticket info is in our calendar listing.
SAILBOAT RACE: You may see yachts off West Seattle during the Three Tree Point race, going from Shilshole to TTP and back, 10 am start.
(added) #STOPASIANHATE PUBLIC MEMORIAL: Thanks to the reader who sent this – noon today through 5 pm Sunday on the steps of the Asian Art Museum on Capitol Hill (1400 E. Prospect).
#STOPASIANHATE SOLIDARITY WALK: 6 pm around Green Lake – details in our preview, thanks to an invitation extended by one of your West Seattle neighbors.
Are we missing anything for today/tonight? Please text our hotline, 206-293-6302 – thank you!
1:09 AM: Seattle Fire has a “scenes of violence” response going to 29th SW/SW Cambridge (by Roxhill Park). Police are there too. Updates to come.
1:13 AM: They’re reporting that a male victim has “what looks like a minor gunshot wound to the arm.’ A suspect is being sought.
1:18 AM: The alert just broadcast over police radio says this was a drive-by shooting, describing the vehicle as possibly a black 2000 Ford Taurus, last seen eastbound on SW Barton.
10:03 AM: We’ve obtained more details from police. They say it was more a drive-up shooting than a drive-by shooting. The victim was “in front of his truck next to (Roxhill P)ark” when a vehicle pulled up and two people got out, demanding the victim hand over his key fob so they could take his vehicle. He said no and ran; one of them shot at him, hitting him in the upper right arm. They drove away; 911 was called and the victim was taken to Harborview.