West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s pandemic headlines:
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY: The city-run vaccination site in West Seattle is now taking walk-ups of any vaccine-eligible age (though appointments are still recommended to guarantee time slots). The hub will try out evening hours next Wednesday, too.
COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER’S BRIEFING: Even while acknowledging that King County is looking likely to roll back to Phase 2 in a week, Dr. Jeff Duchin says he sees reasons for optimism. Overall – hospitalizations are up, deaths are down. Watch his briefing here.
KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now, the daily stats from the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:
*98,095 people have tested positive, 475 more than yesterday’s total
*1,525 people have died, 11 more than yesterday’s total
*5,827 people have been hospitalized, 43 more than yesterday’s total
*1,038,291 people have been tested, 2,219 more than yesterday’s total
On to our weekly check of key numbers on the COVID Vaccination Among King County Residents dashboard:
*1,190,224 people have received one dose
*783,936 people have received both doses
*1,691,845 doses have been allocated to King County (not counting pharmacy programs)
One week ago, the first four totals were 95,470/1,502/5,645/1,023,092, and the vaccination totals were 1,076,724/681,274/1,511,775.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 151.3 million cases, 3,176,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
CHANGES FOR LONG-TERM-CARE FACILITIES: The state is aligning its guidance with recent federal changes:
The changes will allow residents who are fully vaccinated to choose to have close contact with other fully vaccinated individuals and to not wear source control during the activity. This change reflects the continuing progression towards returning long term care facilities to a more normal state by allowing residents to have greater contact with their fellow residents, reducing the stark social isolation many have faced during the past year.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Thanks to the texter who pointed this out: Tonight millions of migrating birds are expected to fly over our state – thousands over Seattle – and you can help them by turning off your outdoor lights. This Audubon webpage explains:
Every year, billions of birds migrate north in the spring and south in the fall, the majority of them flying at night, navigating with the night sky. However, as they pass over big cities on their way, they can become disoriented by bright artificial lights and skyglow, often causing them to collide with buildings or windows. While lights can throw birds off their migration paths, bird fatalities are more directly caused by the amount of energy the birds waste flying around and calling out in confusion. The exhaustion can then leave them vulnerable to other urban threats.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Another twist in the ongoing saga of the West Seattle Junction’s public parking lots.
A nonprofit housing developer has made an offer to buy the land for future development, according to documents we’ve obtained.
The West Seattle Junction Association has long leased the lots, operating them as parking for customers of local businesses. Its lease requires WSJA to cover the costs of the property taxes for the lots, which finally led, earlier this year, to the lots’ conversion from free parking to paid parking. For years before that, as reported here, WSJA had been trying to strategize how to deal with the six-digit tax bill, which is approaching $200,000 a year. While the parking fees are now covering some of it, they won’t cover all. And, as pointed out in that 2018 WSB story, the lots’ long-term future as developable land has always been kept in mind – it’s a major reason why the taxes have gone up.
Mill and overlay roadway upgrades beginning between the West Seattle Bridge and SW Dakota St as early as Monday, May 3
Access to driveways in the area will be temporarily impacted for short periods during this work
Overlay paving is scheduled to take place the week of May 24
Full intersection closure at 21st Ave SW and Delridge Way SW [east side – Delridge itself remains open] beginning Thursday, May 6. This area is expected to reopen in mid-May
People driving should detour to SW Trenton St or SW Orchard St during these upgrades
Restoration between SW Willow St and SW Orchard St continues
Intersection upgrades at SW Kenyon St have been rescheduled to begin as early as Monday, May 3
A UPO [uniformed police officer] will be present at all times to direct traffic at this intersection, and work should be completed by the end of next week
Roadwork demolition and paving on the east side between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St beginning as early as May 10
The full preview for the week ahead is here.
As noted here, longtime local insurance agent Terry Gangon is retiring after today. As part of the celebration, from now through about 4:30 pm, he’s hosting a drive-up food-and-funds drive to benefit the West Seattle Food Bank, outside his office at 4727 44th SW in The Junction, If you donate money for WSFB, he’s matching donations up to $1,000. They’re also grilling and offering free hot dogs to donors (and clients) – that’s drive-up too. (If you haven’t met Terry, that’s him in the red shirt near the center of the photo, with wife Julia Gangon and colleagues past and present who were at the office for a send-off today.)
High-school baseball season is in full swing! Thanks to Sean for this recap from a big cross-peninsula game on Thursday (and to the Chief Sealth IHS parent who sent the photo):
After a year of no high school baseball, the Chief Sealth Seahawks and West Seattle Wildcats renewed their rivalry on April 29th. Chief Sealth came away victorious with an 11-2 win before an enthusiastic crowd at Hiawatha Playfield.
Chief Sealth was spurred on by a 7-run first inning. Ryan Moore was on the bump for Sealth and went 6 innings, yielding 2 runs, 5 hits, 0 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Miles Gosztola was stellar in relief for West Seattle with 5 innings pitched and 12 strikeouts.
Chief Sealth had 10 hits to West Seattle’s 6. Coleman Ransom and Teagan Gaither had multiple hits for Sealth, and Jaxton Helmstetler had multiple hits for WS. Both Matthew Henning for WS and Marcel Jones for Sealth hit home runs. It was a great day for baseball. The two teams will renew their rivalry with a doubleheader at SWAC on May 24th.
Baseball is one of the high-school sports that are proceeding with condensed seasons.
12:10 PM: Thanks for the tips! We’ve confirmed with the mayor’s office that the West Seattle vaccination hub is now open to ALL walk-ups, not just a certain age (aside from the 16+ minimum). Spokesperson Kelsey Nyland tells WSB that appointments are still advised to guarantee your shot (first or second), but until further notice, they’re not required any more. The hub is on the south side of the parking lot at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex, 2801 SW Thistle – look for the driveway just east of the Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center building. The hub is currently Mondays-Saturdays, ~9 am-4:30 pm.
ADDED 12:33 PM: And if those hours don’t work for you, the city just announced they’re giving evening hours a try. This Wednesday (May 5th), the West Seattle hub will offer vaccinations until 7:30 pm. The city says, “If appointments are high, SFD will expand this pilot.” (The Seattle Fire Department runs the WS hub.)
11:59 AM: Up for Friday whale-watching? Transient orcas are southbound, north of Alki but visible from there, reports Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch. Let us know if you see them!
2:41 PM: Thanks to Brandy for emailing to say they’re now in view off Lincoln Park’s south shore, lingering.
3:56 PM: Added, two photos above by Rick Rasmussen. Also see Kersti’s images in the comment section.
ADDED 10:57 PM: Trileigh Tucker has sent photos too – here are three:
(Thanks again to everyone who has shared photos and tips!)
Today we welcome Junction Dental as a new WSB sponsor. That means they get to tell you about what they do:
From Peter Iversen, DDS, the owner of Junction Dental: We are a comprehensive general dental practice located in the Jefferson Square Professional Building (4700 42nd SW). My wife and children and I have lived, worked and played in West Seattle since 2013 and I am excited for the opportunity to support our growing community. Some of you may know the previous owner / practice, Dr. Kari Chellis/“Smile Secrets,” who provided great care for over 20 years at this same location.
To say that starting a business just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic “would be hard” is an understatement. I purchased the practice in October 2019 and have been striving to provide good, honest, down-to-earth dentistry. I love creating practical healthy outcomes and convenience for my patients with compassion and clarity. Junction Dental offers “same-day” crown technology and has an amazing staff, some of whom grew up locally in WS. Our hygienists are wonderfully calm, funny, and thorough!
Our community of local dental specialists and other general dentists are amazing. Everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and networking with has shown me that the oral health of West Seattle will be well supported for years to come. We have all appreciated the trust and support the WS community has shown throughout the pandemic for our businesses and are proud as a profession to have universal safety precautions in place which make dental offices some of the safest facilities to return to.
We currently have openings to accommodate new patients or emergencies. Whether you are a new or returning patient, I look forward to meeting you soon. Give us a call – 206-935-5522 – and Corinne or Gisela will take care of you! (PS. I love discussing anything astrophotography, science, physics, and snowboarding related :)
We thank Junction Dental 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.
Thanks to Eva Skold Westerlind for the photo – a recent low-tide sighting on Lincoln Park‘s beach. Tidewalking (carefully!) is one of the things you can do today/tonight:
NEED FOOD? 2-5 pm, grab-n-go food boxes are available outdoors at Highland Park Elementary. (1012 SW Trenton)
TALK WITH YOUR COUNCILMEMBER: 2-6 pm online, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s monthly office hours – email ASAP to see if a time slot is still available.
LOW-LOW TIDE: At 2:07 pm, the tide’s way out again today, -2.9 feet.
FOOD DRIVE AND FREE HOT DOGS: As previewed here, Terry Gangon celebrates his retirement today and you’re invitee to help by stopping by for a drive-up food drive benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank (cash donations welcome too – Terry will be matching monetary donations up to $1000 – a challenge to all West Seattle residents and business owners to raise funds for the food bank!) and hot-dog giveaway. 2:30-4:30 pm. (4727 44th SW)
VISCON CELLARS NOW OPEN FRIDAYS: 5-9 pm, stop by Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) for wine tasting, wine by the glass, and/or bottle purchases. (5910 California SW)
Family and friends are remembering William P. Mulligan, M.D., and sharing this with his community:
Bill and his two brothers, Jim and Don, were raised working on their father Bill Sr.’s modest 20-acre farm in Marysville, breeding chickens for sale during the Great Depression. He was skipped ahead in grade school, missing second grade, thus graduating Seattle Prep at the age of 16. His devout mother Ada wanted him to attend Seattle University. Never telling her that Seattle University had offered him a scholarship, he chose to attend the University of Washington instead. He barely made it to McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Canada, to start his first year, as he was stuck in Alaska working his summer job on Kodiak Island for the U of W Fisheries Department, rubbing elbows with grizzly bears, as he measured and weighed dead salmon after they spawned.
Graduating medical school, where he was elected to the medical honorary society AOA, he joined the US Navy as a Flight Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, retiring as a commander after 9 years. He then moved his family to West Seattle, where he practiced Ophthalmology and was an active member of the West Seattle medical community for 46 years, finally retiring in 2011 at the age of 81.
He and his wife were happily married for 62 years. Penny is a successful and prolific artist and sculptor, with personality and work ethic strong enough to match Bill’s. Together they raised 3 children – Bill Jr., a solar engineer; Tom, who followed in his father’s footsteps to take over his practice; Patty, who is a talented artist like her mother. Bill took his young family on many ski and backpacking vacations and it was almost always an adventure. He continued his passion for walking with daily trips to Lincoln Park with his Jack Russells.
Bill’s passions were birdwatching and travel. He and Penny traveled the world on bird-watching expeditions, visiting all seven continents. They had many memorable adventures, from climbing Mayan ruins in Guatemala, riding camels in Egypt, to crossing the South Ocean to Antarctica, to birdwatching in the jungles of Borneo and the Amazon. Also – volunteering to perform cataract surgery in Nigeria.
Bill was omnilegent, consuming enormous quantities of books, magazines, newspapers, and medical journals, his entire life. Bill lived a rich and full life and will be remembered by his wife Penny, his 3 children Bill Jr. (Kim), Tom (Suzie), and Patty, brother Don, and 6 grandchildren Hedy, Daniel, Anya, Cael, Xander, and Kylie. He will also be remembered by the patients he treated with expert care and compassion for many years.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:07 AM: Good morning! Rainy, breezy forecast for today.
ROAD WORK UPDATES
Delridge project – Delridge/Orchard work continues, and other sites, including paving on the far-north end of Delridge starting next week.
35th/Graham – Work continues to remake this intersection, including a signal.
SW Yancy east of Avalon – This closure has been extended.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its spring/summer schedule – all day, 7 days a week, plus Friday and Saturday evenings.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
403rd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 16th week for automated enforcement cameras; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends, when the bridge is now open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are now available for some categories of drivers.)
Here’s a low-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.
If you’re anywhere near California/Andover and hearing jackhammering – that’s what Erich, who sent the photo, reports is going on. The crew told him they’re looking for a gas leak. SFD logs don’t show any gas-leak callouts in the past day, so it does not appear to be any kind of immediate threat. We’ll check with Puget Sound Energy later this morning.
Here’s what you need to know about the pandemic tonight:
NEWEST NUMBERS: Since King County had no Wednesday update, the newest numbers from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard represent two days worth of totals:
*97,620 people have tested positive, 876 more than Tuesday’s total
*1,514 people have died, 9 more than Tuesday’s total
*5,784 people have been hospitalized, 42 more than Tuesday’s total
*1,036,081 people have been tested, 3,105 more than Tuesday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 95,062/1,500/5,621/1,018,555.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 150.5 million cases worldwide, 32.2 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
ROLLBACK WATCH: King County is still way beyond the case and hospitalization rates that would allow staying in Phase 3. Monday is when the state takes a look at the numbers, with decisions announced Tuesday regarding whether anyone has to roll back on the following Friday.
VACCINATION HESITATION: Gov. Inslee talked about it during his briefing this afternoon. He called the slowdown in vaccine demand “terrible” while extolling the benefits of getting vaccinated – with an increasing list of things that vaccinated people will be allowed to do.
NEED A SHOT? City-run sites including West Seattle still have thousands of appointments – make yours here. Or call this hotline – 800-525-0127.
AND IF YOU’RE GOING TO A SOUNDERS MATCH … the team will be offering walk-up vaccinations to fans, starting Sunday.
COVID AT SCHOOL: Another local elementary school has reported a COVID case. This time, it’s a person at Lafayette Elementary, according to a letter to the staff that doesn’t specify whether the person is a student or staffer but says “Seattle Public Schools’ COVID Central team did not identify any individuals who came in close contact with this person.” Here’s the district’s notification policy. The district isn’t keeping school-by-school reports on its website but does have region-by-region numbers on this dashboard.
NEED FOOD? Two opportunities tomorrow: The nearest Food Lifeline distribution is 2-5 pm Friday at 815 S. 96th; Highland Park Elementary is offering drive-up grab-n-go food boxes during that same time period (1012 SW Trenton).
GOT INFO/PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Five months after passing the final stage of Design Review, the project planned for 3417 Harbor SW – just north of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge – has received land-use approval. Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes the decision on the proposal for a 5-story building with 115 apartments and 65 offstreet parking spaces. This opens a two-week period for appeals – if you’re interested in filing one, this notice explains how; May 13th is the deadline. We first reported on the plan for this redevelopment project two years ago; its first Southwest Design Review Board meeting was the last one held in-person pre-pandemic; its second and final review was online last November. The project still needs other permits before construction – building and demolition among them.
Shop local! The Junction’s newest retailer is about to open. We first reported one month ago that Doll Parts Collective was moving from its north Morgan Junction location, where a redevelopment project is planned. The shop specializes in vintage clothing, home decor, housewares, and handmade goods. This weekend they’re officially opening their new location at 4448 California SW – Saturday, May 1st, 12 pm-5 pm, and Sunday, May 2nd, 11 am-4 pm. Doll Parts Collective’s proprietors Alyssa and Becky say, “All are welcome, as long as they’re wearing masks and being conscious of social distancing!”
Two days after Seattle Public Utilities closed the area off Bonair/Alki to “water activities” because of a sewer overflow, it’s open again. SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register tells WSB that the latest water-quality tests show it’s safe. As reported Wednesday, the overflow – approximately 1,655 gallons – is blamed on a century-old sewer line failing. We’re continuing to follow up to see what’s planned for repair/replacement.
5:05 PM: Thanks for the tip! That is a screenshot from the Seattle City Light outage map, which shows 31 customers without power near California/Dakota starting just after 4 pm. No official word yet what caused it.
6:44 PM: The SCL map now attributes the outage to “bird/animal”; commenter DEK says it was a crow.
9:40 PM: Restored since last time we checked.
As mentioned briefly in the morning traffic watch, sidewalk construction near the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse begins this weekend. After hearing about this last night, we asked SDOT for more details today, and here’s their reply:
SDOT is building sidewalks on the west side of West Marginal Way near the Duwamish Longhouse. The new sidewalk will provide safer and easier access to the Duwamish Longhouse and will also provide direct access for people in wheelchairs who are rolling to the Duwamish Longhouse from the parking lots on the east side of West Marginal Way SW. Construction will happen during the weekends and will begin on Saturday, May 1 through Sunday, May 30. Work hours will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. One southbound lane and at least one northbound lane will be maintained during construction. People driving through the area during construction should expect potential delays. If possible, we ask they plan weekend travels accordingly to detour around this work and avoid the work areas. For more information or questions, people can contact 206-684-7623 or 684-ROAD@seattle.gov.
The sidewalks are part of the long-planned project that will include installation of a crossing signal near the Longhouse later this year, separate from the protected-bike-lane proposal. A decision on that hasn’t been made yet, SDOT said at last night’s HPAC meeting, which is where we got first word of the sidewalk work. (Full meeting report to come.)
Thinking about getting out on the water? And/or – got gear to sell? Mountain to Sound Outfitters in The Triangle is presenting the 4th annual West Seattle Boat Swap this Saturday (May 1st). This is for “human-powered watercraft” such as kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and related gear. You are welcome to drop off your watercraft and gear 9 am-11 am that morning; shopping hours are 10 am-4 pm; pickup of unsold items is immediately afterward, 4 pm-5 pm. Along with whatever community members bring in, M2SO adds, “We will have used kayaks and SUPs from Alki Kayak Tours‘ rental operation, as well as scratched and dented SUPs and kayaks from Mountain to Sound for sale at amazing summer steal prices!” To register to sell, go here. It’s happening at Mountain to Sound, 3602 SW Alaska.
Almost two weeks have gone by since word that Lou Magor had died. Comments on our April 16th story included photos and memories from many whose lives he had touched and enriched, not only in his role running Kenyon Hall, but also as a performer and teacher. We promised to let you know when we heard of memorial plans, Here’s the first word we’ve received, from Pastor Paul Corner of Wallingford United Methodist Church, where Mr. Magor served as music director,
We at Wallingford United Methodist Church were discussing how best to remember Lou, and we thought his life was too big to try to do a comprehensive celebration of his life in a short amount of time that would include all the various communities which he was such a vital part of. (Tilden, Kindermusik, Kenyon Hall, Bach Choir, the Total Experience Gospel Choir, and others.) We also know that singing (and a lot of it) will need to be as part of that more complete celebration.
Because of COVID and the amount of planning that will be involved, that wider-focused celebration will need to wait a few months when it will be safe to gather in person and sing, but we are looking forward to working with those communities to that end. We do not have any date in mind as of yet, as that will need to be worked out with all these groups.
In the meantime, since Lou was our Music Director for 30 years, our church community has decided to have an online memorial service for him on Saturday, May 15, at 11 am that will focus more specifically on his life in our community. It will be on our church YouTube page, with a “coffee hour” to follow on Zoom. (This is the format we have been using for worship all through the pandemic.). As with our Sunday morning services, all are welcome to it.
The coalition with which Mr. Magor operated Kenyon Hall, Seattle Artists, has a tribute and biography on the hall’s website. Regarding the hall’s future, they note, “Even as we mourn the loss of a truly elegant musician who was our great friend, leader, and mentor, we dedicate ourselves to the task of moving forward as an organization with thoughtfulness, care, and joy. It will be difficult without him, but we will work especially hard to share his legacy and bring back as much joy as possible.”
Two days ago, we reported on the release from prison of 43-year-old Ryan J. Cox, three and a half years after he stabbed a man in West Seattle, following a string of increasingly violent crimes over an eight-year span (detailed here). Early this morning, we updated our Tuesday report with news that Cox is back in jail for violating conditions of his release. Now we have additional information: Southwest Precinct police arrested him on a warrant issued because he did not report to his Department of Corrections officer as required post-release. That’s considered “escaping” from community custody (parole), under which Cox was to be supervised for 18 months post-prison. Police say the DOC contacted them last night to advise that a warrant was forthcoming. Police say they got confirmation of the warrant at 10:30 pm and arrested Cox 16 minutes later. The police report says that after his release from prison, he “immediately returned to the area (where) the original crime occurred,” and that’s exactly where he was arrested – in the 7100 block of California SW. Cox remains in the SCORE jail in Des Moines this morning. What happens now? We’re researching that as part of a followup inquiry we already had out to the DOC. State law classifies escaping from community custody as a felony. (DOC photo, July 2020)
With eviction moratoriums continuing, some have asked about support for property owners as well as renters. King County has just opened applications for help in this year’s version of a county program that will help them as well as tenants. The King County Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program is now accepting applications from landlords who have five or more tenants behind in rent. On May 17th, it will start taking applications from tenants. The county announcement includes these points:
*The new program is significantly larger than the 2020 program, with over $125 million available to assist residents.
*EPRAP will help King County residents in danger of eviction by paying past, current, and future rent.
*Landlord sign-ups are being collected first and the Tenant pool will open in mid-May.
*The 2020 eviction prevention program provided rent assistance to 9,073 households countywide and expended over $37 million.
Find out more by going here.