West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s local/state pandemic toplines:
ELIGIBILITY EVE: Thursday’s the day all those months of often-confusing vaccine-eligibility rules end – everyone 16 and up in our state is eligible. That means 1.5 million more people eligible, according to the state’s newest vaccination-situation report.
J&J VACCINE STATUS: The special FDA committee reviewing the situation of a rare possible side effect decided Wednesday to keep the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on nationwide “pause.”
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals – note that the source page mentions a data adjustment, which might explain the fluctuating numbers:
*92,158 people have tested positive, 356 more than yesterday’s total
*1,489 people have died, 4 more than yesterday’s total
*5,490 people have been hospitalized, 32 more than yesterday’s total
*1,001,280 people have been tested, 8,878 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 90,026/1,480/5,408/986,427.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find all the numbers, county by county, on the state Department of Health data page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS’ BRIEFING: The weekly briefing by Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah happened this morning. Watch the briefing here. Among the topics, an update on “vaccine breakthroughs” – see that info here.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING THURSDAY: Gov. Inslee plans a 2:30 pm briefing/media Q&A. It’ll be streamed here.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT … here are links to try:
*If you’re looking for a city-site appointment, note that they canceled appointments they claim were posted on unspecified “social media” without authorization. The official advice is to 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, Neighborcare, 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
And if traveling a distance is not a barrier – Beth recommends this lookup.
GOT INFO? Email us at email@example.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Some days (like yesterday) there’s no crime news to report. Today has not been one of those days. Here’s another West Seattle Crime Watch update:
WALGREENS SHOPLIFT-TURNED-ROBBERY: Big police response this past hour at the South Delridge Walgreens after what was described in radio communication as a case of shoplifting that became robbery when a gun was pulled. Officers were in a brief standoff with the suspect – but it ended a short time ago with them taking him into custody. More information when we get it.
ADDED 9:49 AM THURSDAY: A few more details from the preliminary police summary: “The (adult male suspect) was known to the workers for having been previously trespassed from the store for numerous theft incidents. When contacted by store employees, the suspect produced a weapon and threatened to harm all persons in the store if they did not allow him to leave. Employees self evacuated.”
ID THEFT ARREST: This happened at the Westwood Village Bank of America around 4 pm this afternoon. According to the preliminary police summary:
A bank manager called 911 to report a suspect attempting to access a bank account with fraudulent documents and ID. The bank confirmed with the account holder the suspect did not have permission to access the account and stated the items being used had been stolen during a burglary in Kent. Officers arrived and investigated the incident. The suspect was taken into custody for forgery and ID theft. Search incident to arrest, officers located multiple ID cards, access cards, and personal financial documents belonging to several possible victims. The suspect was booked into KCJ for investigation of forgery and investigation of ID theft.
We’ll follow up on the suspects’ status in both cases tomorrow.
Two items of interest as Sound Transit continues planning for West Seattle light rail:
SURVEY: We’ve reported on the “realignment” process that could end this summer with ST pushing back or even canceling projects such as West Seattle light rail (currently projected to open in 2031, already reflecting a one-year delay). Today ST announced a survey to get community opinions before its board members make those decisions. The survey is accessible via this new realignment-information website. The heart of a survey is an open-ended two-part question, after asking respondents to choose the area(s) where they’d like to prioritize transit projects: “Why are the transit projects you’ve prioritized important to you? What would you prioritize when considering delaying, phasing, or modifying future transit projects?”
PROPERTY-ACQUISITION ESTIMATES: While embarking on potential “realignment,” ST is also continuing planning for West Seattle and other not-yet-under-construction projects. The next major stop along the way for WS is the release in a few months of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. ST’s ongoing research also includes estimated cost for acquiring property it might need to build the system. After we reported in January about ST saying its estimates had grown in a big way, West Seattleite Tomasz “Avalon Tom” Biernacki – who visualized early data three years ago – filed a public-disclosure request for additional data to which ST had alluded. He received it, and made a Google Map showing which properties they’ve evaluated:
He explains it as “a simple interactive map where folks can see if their property might be affected by all this. This map includes all the WS properties in the data set. The interactive map only includes West Seattle properties up to the bridge. (The full data set contains all the properties across Seattle.)” The actual cost estimates are on the dataset document, listed by parcel numbers. If you want to look up your property but don’t know your parcel number, you can find it via King County Parcel Viewer (choose ‘property report” once you’re on the page for your property).
Sound Transit, he notes, sent the data with this disclaimer: “Staff has advised us that this document is considered a work in progress and has yet to be thoroughly vetted and confirmed by local, state and federal partners. We would like to emphasize that this information is preliminary and should not be relied upon in any way. It is subject to change as design is refined and as coordination with agency partners continues. Once finalized, information similar to this will be available in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will be available for review in mid-2021.”
Avalon Tom observes, “If you study the map, an interesting pattern emerges. Assuming ST provided me with all the data you can see that they are only really studying two of the alternatives as there is no data in the set for properties that would be affected by the other alternatives. (Or they just did not share that data with me.) They are also padding the acquisition costs. If you do some random Zillow Zestimate checks against what they are estimating they are leaving plenty of headroom for what they call ‘Administrative costs, Relocation & Contingencies’.”
Again, the next formal step in the process is the DEIS release in a few months.
In case you didn’t see it in our coverage of last month’s HPAC meeting or on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – this Saturday morning (April 17th) brings another compost giveaway in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). 9 am until it’s gone, bring your own shovel and container(s) for up to a half-yard of compost per household. Masks required.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Affordable housing and city law were the two centerstage topics at this month’s meeting of the District 1 Community Network, a West Seattle/South Park coalition of community advocates.
COMMUNITY LAND TRUST: Most talk of “affordable housing” focuses on renting. The Community Land Trust concept focuses on homeownership. Kathleen Hosfeld, executive director of Homestead Community Land Trust, explained it to D1CN attendees. In short – a Community Land Trust retains ownership of the land, which is leased by homebuyers, reducing the cost of houses.
Katherine emailed to ask what we could find out about “all the tree cutting that happened along Schmitz Park Boulevard between the entrance at Whale Tail Park and the bridge? They cut down about 5 or 6 big trees.” We took the question to Seattle Parks and Recreation, since Schmitz Preserve Park is a city park, 51 forested acres between west Admiral and Alki, donated to the city more than a decade ago.
A Parks spokesperson explained that the tree-cutting is part of the Olmsted Parks and Boulevards Restoration Project, one of three sites around the city, the only one in West Seattle. The project overview says the specific goal is “to make permanent an informal pathway up a steep hillside for safety.” Specifically, Parks told us in response to our inquiry, their crews are “in the process of removing eleven Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Sycamore maples’ along Schmitz Boulevard. The trees being removed were assessed as being in poor condition and host to a number of fungal pathogens. These trees are being replaced two for one through a generous donation by the Friends of Olmsted Parks.” The project has its roots in a study and survey we featured two years ago.
Amy hopes you can help find her van and/or the merchandise that was inside it:
My white 2009 Ford E-250 cargo van was stolen from our apartment building garage, 3622 California Ave SW, yesterday 4/13 between 4:45-6:30 pm. We have both keys to the vehicle, so it was rigged to start. The van is a business vehicle, so it was stolen with a significant amount of retail inventory consisting of artisan clothing and home decor. The van was full of blue plastic storage boxes containing our inventory and retail fixtures (canopy tent, rolling rack, etc.).
The license plate number is C15608T. (Here) is a photo of the same make/model/year as our van. On our van, the front plastic bumper is sagging on the right side, and the metal bumper is pushed in with some breakage to the headlight. The right back bumper is also pushed in. The is a small number 4 on the upper window of the driver’s side door.
Our inventory is stored inside the van in blue Sterilite boxes (photo). These are just as valuable for us to retrieve as the car, so any boxes found would be greatly appreciated!
If you see the van, call 911. If you find any of the containers/merchandise, let us know and we’ll connect you with Amy.
In case you missed the announcement the first time – unclaimed items inside Quality Cleaners at California/Admiral, closed since last June after 86 years, will be available for pickup this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The family that owns the building – which, as shown in our photo, is now up for sale – will open it those three afternoons (April 17-19) from noon-4 pm so that people can come get those items. After that, what’s left will be donated to charity. On those three afternoons, masks will be required, and one person will be allowed inside at a time.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
WESTWOOD VILLAGE ROBBERY: Police are investigating a reported armed robbery at the Westwood Village Rite Aid store right now; a note on the door indicates it’s closed until 1 pm as a result. We’re hoping to get more information at the scene but in the meantime, police-radio exchanges indicate the robber(s) are believed to have escaped in a light-blue small-SUV-type vehicle last seen eastbound on SW Barton, and that this could be related to similar robberies in the region.
ADDED 3:48 PM: From the preliminary police summary:
At approximately 10:22, officers responded to a robbery at the Rite Aid located at 2600 SW Barton Street. Witnesses described the (robber) as a juvenile male between the age of 14 and 18. The (robber) jumped over the pharmacy counter, demanded Promethazine and Codeine, and threatened the victims with a firearm. The (robber) was armed with a handgun. Victims complied and provided the (robber) with an unknown amount of product.
VEHICLE ARSON: Another suspected arson at an encampment near the 1st Avenue South Bridge; the early summary on this one says it happened after 2 am, and that a witness reported that someone poured gasoline on a vehicle and set it on fire. SFD was called and extinguished the fire. No arrest or injuries reported.
STOLEN-LIKELY-DUMPED BICYCLE: From Elyse:
Recently this lovely Peugeot bike was left in our community (Duwamish Cohousing) near the 16th Ave entrance, across from the college. It was dumped with a hodgepodge of what looked like stolen items. It’s a nice bike and we’d love to return it to its owner.
For those who always ask, yes, they’ve already tried other ways of trying to find its owner. If the bicycle might be yours, contact us and we’ll connect you.
Three biznotes today:
ALAIR SUBSCRIPTION BOXES: Subscription boxes are not just for food! Alair Gift Shop proprietor Shandon Graybeal sends word that “we are launching subscription boxes – this is a project that’s been two years in the making to get the boxes right, figure out how to keep it organized and personalized, and have it make sense with shipping and all the other costs. I’m so proud with the end result, even if it took way longer than we expected. There’s 3 different themes as of today, but I’m sure we’ll add more as we learn. And people can choose monthly or quarterly to receive with an easy cancellation whenever they are ready. We wanted to get them out in time for Mother’s Day, and I think they make the perfect gift (of course I do). There’s also a one-time option – no need to sign up for anything long term.” You can check out the options online here.
YOUNG’S RESTAURANT: Good news for fans of the longtime South Delridge restaurant (9413 16th SW) – Janice Young sent word that they’re now open for dine-in and take-out. Hours are 8 am-3 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, closed on Mondays. Here’s the menu.
KICKDOWN CAFE: Proprietor Naomi Rivera says her café inside Nepenthe (9447 35th SW) has an event coming up next week:
The Kickdown is just a small café inside Nepenthe. We serve beverages and light eats at no cost. We gladly take donations. Back by popular demand — Pancake 420! Since we can’t sit in a circle and puff, let’s eat circles and stuff. The Kickdown will be open April 20, 11-5, to help you celebrate the holiday. We will be kicking down tasty cakes. If you have food restrictions message us ahead of time and maybe we can do something for you. Our usual snacks will be available as well. WE WANT TO FEED YOU AND YOUR MUNCHIES. We have outdoor seating. No cost to participate.
Got a biznote? Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
9:12 AM: Just received via text:
Watching Orcas from our house near Brace Point. They’re staying put for now, seem to be fishing. They’re at the southern tip of Blake island. Middle of the Sound. Look for seagulls overhead.
Let us know if you see them too!
9:28 AM: The texter reports they’ve moved south to the ferry lanes, now off the stern of M/V Kittitas.
10:01 AM: Northbound now, per comments.
11:45 AM: And now to the south – Kersti Muul texted to say they were near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal; Robin Sinner comments that they were in view south of there.
6:03 AM: Good morning! Sunny and breezy again today, with a mid-60s high (we got to 64 on Tuesday).
School’s out all week for Seattle Public Schools (and independent schools on the same calendar); middle-school and high-school part-time in-person classes start Monday.
ROAD WORK .
Delridge project – Here’s where they’re working this week.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule; starting Monday, the spring/summer all-day, 7-days-a-week schedule begins.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
387th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 14th 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. (Read about other changes ahead, here.)
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.