day : 06/04/2021 10 results

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 4/6/2021 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Checking today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – here are the cumulative totals:

*89,743 people have tested positive, 100 more than yesterday’s total

*1,475 people have died, 3 more than yesterday’s total

*5,398 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than yesterday’s total

*986,092 people have been tested, 4,909 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 87,726/1,462/5,333/969,362.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 132.3 million cases worldwide, 30.8 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

PANDEMIC BRIEFING: At 2 pm tomorrow online, state health officials will present their weekly briefing and media Q&A. Watch the livestream here.

CITY’S BIGGEST VAX WEEK EVER: The city says it’ll vaccinate more people this week than any other so far – 30,000 doses.

LOOKING FOR A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT? Here’s our ongoing list – updated when we get tips:

*Check for West Seattle city-run site appointments (updated) here; sign up for the city’s notification list for all four of its sites here.
*Health-care providers (particularly bigger ones like UW Medicine (one reader specifically recommends Valley Medical Center), Franciscan, Swedish, Kaiser Permanente, etc.)
*covidwa.com (volunteer-run aggregator) – you can also follow its tweets for instant notifications
*The state’s Vaccine Locator
*The CDC’s Vaccine Finder
*Pharmacies big and small – Safeway, Rite Aid, QFC, Pharmaca, Costco, Bartell Drugs
*Sea Mar clinics

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

29 new speed humps on the way to Arbor Heights

That map shows where SDOT is planning speed humps to slow drivers near Arbor Heights Elementary and Westside School (WSB sponsor). We contacted SDOT for more details after a postcard landed in Arbor Heights mailboxes and reader Andrew forwarded it as an FYI. The map (here’s a PDF version) shows 29 speed humps planned for streets that already have 20 mph school-zone signage, says SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson. He adds that this is part of the Safe Routes to School program. Construction isn’t scheduled yet, he says, but won’t happen any earlier than May; the mailer was meant to be an early warning of sorts.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: SDOT explains the color-coding as – red for speed humps, blue for speed cushions. Here’s an explanation of how they differ.

YOUTH WRITING CONTEST: Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s middle-school-student winner

This week we’re publishing the winning entries in the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s youth-writing contest, for essays on “Women History Makers of the Duwamish Peninsula.” Tonight, the middle-school winner:

“We’re Still Here”
By Elliott Neves

Cecile Hansen, chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribal Council and descendant of Chief Si’ahl (also known as Chief Seattle), has made a significant impact on women and the Duwamish Tribe. Over the years she has accomplished many of her goals through hard work and determination, and the positive outcomes have pushed the Duwamish closer to recognition. As a woman in a leadership position who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants, she is an inspiration to many.

When Cecile was a young woman, she started attending the Duwamish council meetings after hearing about them from her brother. During those meetings Cecile learned about the Treaty of Point Elliott, which was an agreement saying the tribe would get fishing rights on the Duwamish River. Unfortunately, those rights were not being recognized and Cecile had to witness the outcome as her brother got citation after citation for fishing.

One thing that Cecile fought very hard for was getting the Duwamish to be federally recognized. That means they could get benefits like health care, grants, social services, and the rights to their fishing and hunting grounds. If tribes are not recognized it is very hard (if not impossible) to get these rights and was the reason why Cecile’s brother kept getting those fishing citations. On top of the physical benefits, there is also a mental benefit that comes along with being recognized. Everyone wants to feel like they are valued and a part of things. When a whole community is denied that inclusivity it is very disheartening.

In 1975 Cecile Hansen was elected chairwoman of the Duwamish Tribal Council. She led the charge to establish the Duwamish’s first tribal headquarters. This was a big step because it is important in every community to have a place where you know you can get help, and where everyone is working towards the goal of making the group better. A few years later, Cecile took on the role of Protocol officer at the Seattle Burke Museum. This position enabled her to become a liaison to other Northwest tribes. In working towards her goal of gaining recognition, she joined a group of other unrecognized tribes and testified before the U.S Senate Committee on Indian Affairs about the Federal acknowledgment process.

Through thick and thin, Cecile Hansen has been there for the Duwamish Tribe. She has been a role model to women of all ages with her perseverance, and everyone should strive to have her dedication. In addition to all her other accomplishments, she also helped secure enough land to build the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural center. This center can help members of the tribe feel more connected to their heritage and ancestors. With a memorable motto of “We’re still here,” Cecile works very hard to make those words true for the Duwamish Tribe.

Tomorrow night, we’ll publish the high-school winner’s essay; if you missed it last night, here’s the elementary winner.

VACCINATION: City plans peak week – 30,000 shots

This week, the city says it’ll be administering the highest number of vaccine doses of any week since it started vaccinating people in January – 30,000. That includes 8,000 at Lumen Field tomorrow, its biggest day since opening last month. And the West Seattle hub at Southwest Athletic Complex is giving almost 6,000 shots of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week; the city’s update says that will be done “with a focus on critical workers.” So we asked mayoral spokesperson Kelsey Nyland how they are carrying out that focus. She replied, “Through our notification list, we have the ability to be as broad or as targeted as we want with registrations. For Johnson & Johnson, we wanted to focus in on critical workers for whom it would be difficult to identify – because of their work schedule – a concrete time to schedule a second appointment. So we sent West Seattle registration links first to construction, food service, manufacturing, and restaurant workers, and then we sent it to public transit/rideshare drivers, social workers, and homeless shelter staff.” Eligibility barriers fall next week, when everyone 16 and up becomes eligible in our state on Thursday, April 15th. Meantime, to get a notification from the city when it adds appointments, get on the list here or call the city’s Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489 Monday through Saturday, between 8 am and 5 pm. The city efforts, also including mobile teams, are just part of the local vaccination availabilities, which also involve health-care providers and pharmacies. We include links in our nightly pandemic-news roundups every night (here’s the roundup from last night).

Community Land Trusts, city attorney @ District 1 Community Network tomorrow

Interested in more-affordable homeownership? You can learn about Community Land Trusts at Wednesday night’s online meeting of the District 1 Community Network, whose members/participants span West Seattle and South Park. Also on the agenda: City Attorney Pete Holmes, who is running for re-election this year, so far unopposed; we covered his appearance at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting in February. Wednesday’s meeting starts at 7 pm; here’s the full agenda, which includes information on how to participate or listen.

BIZNOTE: Starbucks pilots ‘Borrow A Cup’ program at 4 West Seattle stores

Starbucks, like many coffee purveyors, has not yet resumed accepting personal cups. But for customers uneasy about all the resulting waste, they’ve just launched a pilot program called Borrow A Cup – testing it at five stores, four of them in West Seattle.

(Fauntleroy/Avalon cup return – photo courtesy Starbucks)

At a participating store, you can “borrow” one of these cups for your hot or cold beverage for a one-dollar deposit, which is refunded when you return the cup in one of two ways: Scanning and dropping it in a special box at a participating store, or having door-to-door recycler Ridwell pick it up if you’re a member. Either way, baristas don’t have to handle used cups – they’re collected, cleaned, sanitized, and returned to stores by a company called GO Box. Starbucks says the cups are USA-made “from a very lightweight polypropylene plastic … the same material used in our current cold cups and both our hot and cold cup lids, and is recyclable in Seattle.” Each cup is expected to get about 30 uses The pilot program is running through the end of May; participating stores are at California/ Fauntleroy, California/Alaska, Westwood Village, and Avalon/Fauntleroy. (the fifth is at 4th/Diagonal in SODO).

P.S. The “borrowable” cups are available for 12-, 16-, and 24-ounce drinks, but 31-ounce drinks are still only available in single-use cups.

BIZNOTE: Pegasus Book Exchange crowdfunding to cope with PPP delay

(Photo courtesy Pegasus Book Exchange)

Thanks to Sue for the tip. Pegasus Book Exchange in The Junction has a crowdfunding campaign going – not the first local independent business to try one to survive the COVID crunch, but the first that we’ve heard of citing this reason: The lifeline promised by a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan has been dangled for so long, they’re out of personal bridge funding:

We got the PPP2 loan, which was going to cover our payroll until we can all get vaccinated and open to in-store shoppers again! Hooray! Right?

Except…the bank has been telling us we will have the money “soon” for over a month now. :( In the meantime, two paydays have come and gone, and the only way we made it through was by me (Emma) and the owners (Fred and Lanthe) loaning Pegasus money, as well as not drawing our own pay. We just can’t do this again. :(

Our landlord has been flexible and we’ve reduced our new book inventory, but payroll is by far our largest expense. No reduction of expenses is going to even remotely touch what we need to pay our employees.

The Pegasus team explains further on the donation page. Not a Pegasus customer? You can learn a bit about the shop’s backstory in this 2019 story.

UPDATE: Reduce the Duwamish River cleanup? Comment period just extended again

(EPA slide explaining ways in which people come into contact with pollutants)

If you have something to say to the Environmental Protection Agency about a plan to reduce the Duwamish River cleanup, today’s your last chance. (10:36 AM UPDATE: This has just been extended until April 21st.)

We reported back in February on the proposal to remove scattered areas totaling about five acres (not yet mapped) from the cleanup zone because the government increased the allowable level of a particular pollutant – benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), a “carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (cPAH).” On the night of the EPA community meeting we covered, the agency agreed to extend the public-comment window, and has since extended it again, but the deadline is tonight.

The reminder came in emails from two interested parties sharing the comment letters they have just submitted. The first is from BJ Cummings, longtime area advocate, who points out “significant questions about the scientific merit of the BaP reassessment” as well as a lack of time for discussion with community members who will be most affected by a cleanup change, which would leave a higher level of the substance in shellfish. Here’s her comment letter:

She refers to comments from an unofficial community coalition called the Duwamish River Accountability Group, which also sent us their letter:

That group’s points also include the time frame as well as the fact the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, an official advisory group, only released its own fact sheet on the proposal about a week ago;

The DRCC fact sheet also notes that the scientists from the UW are concerned that “inconsistent results” among studies including those that led to the proposal to change the cleanup “means that there is still a high level of uncertainty about the cancer risk of BaP.”

As linked in our February report, the full document for review is here; an explanatory one-sheet is here. If you are interested in commenting, 11:59 pm tonight April 21 is the deadline to send email to Region10@epa.gov.

Notes for your West Seattle Tuesday

(Olympics panorama from Monday, by Chris Bratsanos)

Quick notes for the hours ahead:

NORTHWEST SEAPORT ALLIANCE: Port commissioners from Seattle and Tacoma meet online at 9 am as managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance. One item of interest on the agenda is an amendment to the agreement for a railroad “quiet zone” as part of the Terminal 5 project, related to other work that’s been, and will be, done in the port/city partnership. Watch the meeting here.

READING GROUP: Alki UCC‘s “Book of Joy” reading group meets again at 2 pm – info here.

DEMONSTRATION: Organizer Scott‘s weekly announcement of the twice-weekly event:

Black Lives Matter sign waving

Tuesday, April 6, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden

Thursday, April 8, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden

Come build awareness & actions 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.

SCHOOL SURVEY DUE: If you have a 6th through 12th grader in Seattle Public Schools, the district asks you to reply to their “will you go hybrid or stay all remote?” survey by tonight.

WEATHER, ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC: Back-to-schools Tuesday watch

6:03 AM: Good morning! More sunshine today, and almost warm – could get into the 60s.

BACK TO SCHOOLS

Second day for some Seattle Public Schools elementary students returning to in-person learning, so watch for school buses and other increased traffic by schools, as well as the reactivation of school-zone speed cameras. (Here’s the districtwide map of schools.)

ROAD WORK .

Delridge project – The east end of Sylvan Way, just west of Delridge, could close as soon as today – we’ll be checking by late morning.

SW Yancy closure – The closure between Avalon and 28th because of the housing-construction project is expected to continue this week.

The Highway 99 tunnel is scheduled to be closed both ways Friday night to Saturday morning for its monthly inspection, with the NB direction staying closed until Monday morning.

TRANSIT

Metro is on its regular schedule

The West Seattle Water Taxi is scheduled to have regular vessel M/V Doc Maynard back today

BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES

379th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: 13th 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.

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.