West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s pandemic toplines:
ELIGIBILITY EVE: At midnight, 2 million more people in our state become eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Some providers were allowing the almost-eligible to book in advance; others weren’t. To recap, here’s who’s eligible starting Wednesday, in addition to everyone else already eligible:
*Anyone with two or more comorbidities
*Anyone between the ages of 60 and 64
*Anyone living in congregate settings (correctional facilities, group homes for those with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, etc.)
*Additional workers in congregate settings (restaurants, manufacturing, construction)
If you’re still not eligible, you have one month at most to wait, as the state has said it will comply with the federal decree to make everyone eligible by May 1st. How long it’ll take after that to get enough vaccine for everyone who wants it – too soon to tell. Later in this roundup, you’ll find our nightly list of links for seeking vaccination appointments. But first:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Checking today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – here are the cumulative totals:
*87,726 people have tested positive, 159 more than yesterday’s total
*1,462 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total
*5,333 people have been hospitalized, 30 more than yesterday’s total
*969,362 people have been tested, 4,553 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 85,733/1,455/5,232/950,579.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 128.2 million cases worldwide, 30.3 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
‘BREAKTHROUGH’ CASES: The state confirms that about 100 people out of the 1 million-plus who are fully vaccinated have gotten the virus anyway.
NEED FOOD? Here’s another place to get it free this Friday.
NO GARAGE SALE DAY: Canceled by the pandemic again this year.
LOOKING FOR A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT? Here’s our ongoing list:
*Check for West Seattle city-run site appointments here; sign up for the city’s notification list for all three of its sites here (that form was down for a while earlier today but appears to be working now).
*Health-care providers (particularly bigger ones like UW Medicine, Franciscan, Swedish, Kaiser Permanente, etc.)
*covidwa.com (volunteer-run aggregator) – you can also follow its tweets for instant notifications
*The state’s Vaccine Locator (as mentioned above)
*The CDC’s Vaccine Finder
*Pharmacies big and small – Safeway, Rite Aid, QFC, Pharmaca, Costco
*Sea Mar clinics
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
10:25 PM: Traffic is alternating on the low bridge right now because of a crash on the westbound side. If you have to cross the river, you might consider waiting a while or using one of the other two main bridges. No SFD dispatch, so apparently no serious injuries.
11 PM: All clear, says SDOT.
Much of the city’s remaining forested areas are here in West Seattle, so it’s no surprise that many people on the peninsula feel fiercely protective of trees. We often get email from readers concerned about development projects that take out trees; most of the time, our subsequent research reveals the removal was allowed. So, what if anything is the city doing to try to keep the Emerald City from turning something closer to topaz? A couple of hints came during the most-recent meeting of the City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee, 39 and a half minutes in:
The committee got its “quarterly tree report” – mandated since fall 2019 – from reps of the city Department of Construction and Inspections and Office of Sustainability and the Environment. See the summary here. This didn’t includes basics such as “X trees cut,” however – they’re still working on compiling that kind of data. But they discussed both progress toward the city’s revised Urban Forest Management Plan – three years in the making – and what’s being done under existing rules.
Sandra Pinto Urrutia from OSE talked about the former, explaining that they’ve continued to collect public input about what the new plan should cover; prevailing themes so far, she said, included requests to focus city resources on tree care and to examine economic effects of tree loss. A draft of the updated plan should be ready for council review later this spring.
Chanda Emery of SDCI said the department has been enforcing violations, even fining one developer $99,000 in a “triple penalty” for illegally removing an exceptional tree. She elaborated that despite extensive back-and-forth with SDCI, the tree eventually was cut to make way for a two-car garage. Councilmember Alex Pedersen interjected that this wasn’t a situation city reps discovered, but rather something that community members had uncovered.
One point of progress mentioned by Emery: A draft “director’s rule” requiring tree services operating within the Seattle city limits to acknowledge that they have read and are aware of city rules. She also said the city plans a federally funded survey using LIDAR data to determine how the city’s tree canopy has changed, starting within a few weeks. Councilmembers were told that past canopy assessments weren’t of much comparative use because the technologies kept changing, but this time “we have everything we need in place.”
For more on what the city is and isn’t doing about trees, you can go here.
Thanks to Jim Borrow for two memorable views of clouds from Alki – above, early this morning, and below, last night.
Meantime, the other weather note of the night – it’ll be colder than normal again, with more frosted windshields expected tomorrow morning (the Sea-Tac low was 34, seven degrees below normal for this date)
Again this year, the West Seattle Junction Association is offering you the opportunity to adopt a rainbow flag – they’ll be flying in The Junction during the weekend of June 26th-27th. Here’s the announcement:
We need love and support more than ever. Show your pride and love for all by adopting a beautiful 3′ x 5′ rainbow flag to fly the weekend of June 26th and 27th. Even though Pride is still up in the air due to the pandemic, we can still show our support for all humankind.
This project was started in 2019, and due to the outpouring of love, the Junction has now adopted this programming into part of the yearly events. In 2021, you’ll be proudly flying your 60 rainbow flags all along California Ave!
It’s an exciting and supportive project and we want you to be a part of the party. The rainbow flag program is a fundraiser for the West Seattle Junction, a nonprofit serving your community.
You can also volunteer to place and remove the rainbow flags in the Junction. You’ll receive a special 6″ x 8″ flag you’ll be placing on the Junction flag that is placed at the (Walk All Ways intersection).
This is the third year for the flag-adoption program. The adoption form includes info on the adoptions/messages sent in so far (including ours).
If only the decline in COVID-19 cases a few months ago had continued, we might have been able to consider bringing back West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day this year. When people have called or emailed to ask about it, we promised to decide in March. We’ve waited out March as long as we could, but time’s running out, and it’s just not going to be safe this spring. WSCGSD – founded in 2005 and presented by WSB on the second Saturday in May since 2008, until the pandemic – depends on thousands of shoppers thronging hundreds of sales, and it’s going to take a higher level of vaccination and lower number of cases before that’s safe again. The West Seattle Bridge’s ongoing closure doesn’t help matters – since WSCGSD draws shoppers from around the region and as far away as Eastern Washington – but the virus is the main argument against it. Individual garage sales throughout the spring and summer might be OK, so if you choose to have one, remember you can list it for free in the Freebies/Deals/Sales section of the WSB Community Forums. And let’s all hope this is behind us by spring 2022, when West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day would be on May 14th.
Another business is on its way to the unoccupied section of the ex-Keller Williams building in the West Seattle Junction – Doll Parts Collective. Since last fall, Doll Parts has been at 6016 California SW, but that building has a long-planned redevelopment project still in the works, so tenants have been clearing out. You’ll see signs of activity at their new space as soon as next week, but owners Alyssa and Becky explain, “We’ll stay open at our current location for the month of April as we ready the new storefront – we’re hoping to be up and running by May.” If you haven’t been to Doll Parts Collective, they offer “vintage clothing and housewares, handmade goods, and other sustainably sourced products.” (They’ll be neighbors with Homebridge, which recently moved to 4452 California SW from the Clearview building in Sunrise heights; the Junction building also has a redevelopment project in its future, but projects of that size usually take years to get close to construction.)
For a year and a half, the King County Conservation Corps has brightened the streets of urban unincorporated areas including White Center, while providing work for people who need it. Today King County Executive Dow Constantine joined KCCC members in a street cleanup to showcase part of his newly announced $600 million pandemic-relief budget addition – a $40 million program to create hundreds more jobs. Full coverage is on our partner site White Center Now.
Hunger-fighting help continues to be available from various sources. At Highland Park Elementary, family-support worker Dominique Pie is organizing another drive-up/walk-up/ride-up food-box distribution event. It’ll be outside the school at 1012 SW Trenton this Friday (April 2nd), 2 pm-5 pm. All welcome, first-come, first-served – don’t forget your mask! This event is co-sponsored by Together Washington.
10:43 AM: Another “you asked, so we checked” followup: A reader emailed photos from the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall project site, noting:
For several months, this site has featured an increasingly sagging wood fence (plus a short stretch of chain link fence) blocking access to the apparent gravel base for a paved walk, a few scattered construction materials, and an upended wheelbarrow. There is a small section of cement walkway in the center.
Nothing seems to be being done to complete the walkway and return this public space to the public. Or, at a minimum, whatever is being done is happening at a snail’s pace.
Our last update was in January, when the project appeared close to completion, and at the time on schedule.
Though the waterfront site at 4503 Beach Drive SW belongs to Seattle Parks, the project has been led by the US Army Corps of Engineers, so we asked spokesperson Andrew Muñoz about the situation. His reply:
The US Army Corps of Engineers expects work on the unfinished walkway to begin the week of April 5. Final grading should happen shortly thereafter. Once USACE has completed the seawall project, Seattle Parks and Recreation will work on restoring the park area at the top of the seawall to make park improvements (irrigation, grass, and plantings).
We anticipate this will be complete by early summer.
What his reply didn’t say was – why the long pause in the project? We’re still pursuing that answer. The main part of the work involved building a new section of seawall to replace the old, failing one and protect a major sewer main that runs next to it.
3:09 PM: Here’s Muñoz’s reply to our followup: “In our walkthroughs of the site, we discovered the walkway had slopes steeper than our design called for. As a result it was not fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Correcting the issue has taken a little longer than we would have liked, however; that’s caused the delay.”
Happening in the hours ahead:
NORTHWEST SEAPORT ALLIANCE STATUS REPORT: 10-10:30 am online, hear how things are going for the joint venture of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma:
This virtual address will feature NWSA CEO John Wolfe, NWSA Managing Member Co-Chairs for years 2020 and 2021, and other NWSA team members sharing key insights about the recent and upcoming work of NWSA.
Also, NWSA will announce the North Star Award recipients who are making notable contributions to our region’s economic and environmental vitality. The program will recognize the Environmental Stewardship Award and Cargo Anchor Award winners.
RSVP here to get the link.
DEMONSTRATION: The weekly announcement from Scott:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, March 30, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, April 1, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come build awareness that acts to tear down the systems that have oppressed Black lives for over 400 years on this continent. Hold signs, meet neighbors, and stand for racial justice. Scott at Puget Ridge Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
NANTES PARK IMPROVEMENTS: You’re invited to an online “community review” at 7 pm, looking at proposed improvements for the west Admiral park. Our preview includes attendance info.
TONIGHT’S SUNSET: 7:37 pm.
Are we missing anything today/tonight? Text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
6:07 AM: Good morning! Sunshine’s ahead, after a chilly morning.
ROAD WORK .
Delridge project – This week’s work plan includes closing the east end of Sylvan Way as soon as tomorrow.
Metro is on its changed-for-spring regular schedule
The West Seattle Water Taxi is using the smaller Spirit of Kingston again this week
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
372nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 12th 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.