West Seattle, Washington
Our nightly roundup of local pandemic-related information:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily summary:
*93,937 people have tested positive, 83 more than yesterday’s total
*1,493 people have died, unchanged since Friday
*5,590 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than yesterday’s total
*1,009,048 people have been tested, 292 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 91,715/1,483/5,449/992,006.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 142 million cases, 3,029,000 deaths – 567,000 in the U.S. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.
TESTING IN WEST SEATTLE: As reported over the weekend, Saturday was the last day for COVID-19 testing at the city-run “hub” in the Southwest Athletic Complex parking lot, which is now a vaccinations-only site. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said at today’s council briefing meeting that the mayor’s office told her they’re working on a new testing provider somewhere else and will have more news on that in May.
PROPERTY-TAX DEFERRAL? Business property owners might be eligible, King County says – info’s here.
LOOKING FOR A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT? Here’s our ongoing list – updated when we get tips or find new links. (Sometimes we get last-minute tips like today, which we mentioned on Twitter and in comments here.)
*If you’re looking for a city-site appointment, note that 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 travel time is not a barrier – Beth recommends this lookup for potential appointments within a few hours’ drive.
NEED FOOD? This week’s nearest Food Lifeline distribution is 2-5 pm Friday (April 16th) at 815 S. 96th.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Four city councilmembers have a new-but-not-new idea for spending $20 in car-tab taxes.
First, the backstory: The city used to charge $80 for the Transportation Benefit District. Then after the last election, that dropped to $20, but the city has authority to add another $20 and is doing so starting in July. In November, three councilmembers including West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed spending the money on bridge maintenance. But instead, a council majority had SDOT come up with a different plan, which only spent 24 percent on bridges; you might recall the community survey about it last month.
Now that plan is going to the council (here are its toplines). Four councilmembers, including the three who originally proposed bridge spending, are bringing back that idea. The four say that while the SDOT plan is fine for this year, starting next year they’d rather use the fee’s $7 million revenue to finance $100 million in bond money, with three-quarters of that going toward bridges. (While the councilmembers’ news release mentions the West Seattle Bridge, spending for that project isn’t specified in their proposed amendment, which you can read here. They instead would direct SDOT to come up with a bridge-spending plan. This will all play out before the Transportation and Utilities Committee starting this Wednesday (agenda here).
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed charges today in three cases we’ve covered this past week:
MAIL THEFT: One day after 37-year-old Jason A. Turner‘s seventh arrest this year, he is charged with possession of stolen mail. Court documents say a 911 call brought officers to the 6500 block of 25th SW, where they saw Turner “carrying a large pile of mail” – until police arrived, when they saw him dumping it into a trash can, as well as pulling more mail out of his pants and throwing that away too. They found yet more in his pockets, as well as items of clothing that had been removed from packages, plus a folding knife. In all, the police report says they believe he was in possession of 70 pieces of mail that wasn’t his. (What they recovered, they took to the Westwood Village post office, the documents say.) This is the second felony case filed against Turner in two months; court documents say he has no felony convictions. Prosecutors asked for $5,000 bail, and that’s what a judge set.
Suspects are also now charged in two incidents we reported last Wednesday night:
STORE ROBBERY: 34-year-old Charles P. Lotaki is charged with first-degree robbery for a shoplift-turned-holdup incident at the Walgreens in South Delridge. Employees say they were familiar with him from previous incidents and he had been “trespassed” – ordered not to return to the store – previously. When they confronted him Wednesday night, the charging documents say, he pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot them. The store manager evacuated her employees; when Lotaki walked out of the store, police were there, and a 15-minute standoff ensued before they took him into custody. His weapon turned out to be a “realistic-looking” Airsoft gun. This is his fourth arrest in two months, with other felony and misdemeanor charges pending, including a non-West Seattle case filed today, in which he is accused of breaking into a downtown drugstore. His bail is at $76,000.
ID THEFT: The woman arrested after showing up Wednesday at the Westwood Village Bank of America and allegedly trying to use stolen cards is now charged with two counts of identity theft. 36-year-old Lidia Gutierrez-Vega is accused of trying to use cards, checks, and ID belonging to someone who was the victim of a burglary in Kent. After her arrest, the charging documents say, she claimed another person offered her $100 to impersonate the victim and try to make changes to her account. Gutierrez-Vega has.a felony theft conviction on her record as well as pending cases including two counts of being in possession of a stolen car; jail records show she was booked and released five days before this arrest for investigation of auto theft. Her bail is set at $2,500.
(File photo – honey-bee swarm photographed in Genesee)
Honey bees are vital to our ecosystem. So if you see a swarm, you don’t want to harm them. The Puget Sound Beekeepers Association compiles a list every year of members who volunteer to respond to swarm reports and remove them for free. In sending this year’s list, PSBA explains that when swarms are removed, “They will be relocated to a place where they can continue to provide their valuable contribution to our environment.” Here’s the newest version of the list, with five beekeepers listed for the West Seattle/White Center area. (The list also includes photos so you know what’s a honey bee and what’s not.)
Seattle Public Utilities is about to start a month-plus-long project to replace a water main in the Admiral area. SPU says the project – mostly on 39th SW between Grayson and Admiral – was originally supposed to start last year, but was delayed by both the pandemic and “contractor availability.” Here’s the official notice:
Work is expected to start “as soon as Wednesday.” SPU also tells us the work will have an impact on Admiral Way at some point, and they’ll send a separate notice when that gets close.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
You don’t have to have a sprawling valley full of farm fields to celebrate flowers.
The West Seattle neighbors who created “Gatewood Gardens” have done it with boxes and borders along a busy city street.
Walking in Gatewood, we had seen the flowers but didn’t realize they were part of a unified neighborhood project until an email from Krista Billinghurst. She explained that the pandemic stay-home time inspired neighbor Aaron Smith to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs along a 2-block stretch of California Avenue SW – including her corner (at SW Portland) where, she said, “he asked if he could plant some tulips in a garden box we had on our parking strip. It was an overgrown mess of weeds that I’m sure everyone was tired of looking at.”
The results drew attention from passersby.
Theft can happen fast. Latest reminder of that is in this report from Dan in the 5900 block of Beach Drive:
Someone stole my bike out of our garage this morning around 6:30-6:45. The garage door was open as we were between trips putting out the garbage. The bike was hanging up on hooks in our garage.
Stolen bicycles – like cars – may be abandoned after thieves use them to get from Point A to Point B, so be on the lookout.
We’re now less than one week away from Fauntleroy Church‘s first Recycle Roundup since pre-pandemic. Here’s a reminder from Judy Pickens:
It’s time to top off your bag, box, or bin of recyclables because we’re less than one week away from the return of the Recycle Roundup at Fauntleroy Church! The building is still closed but the parking lot will be wide open on Sunday, April 25, 9 am-3 pm, for free, responsible recycling by 1 Green Planet. Plan to wear a mask and stay in your vehicle. Donation optional. The updated list of what they will/won’t accept this time is here (PDF). The church is at 9140 California SW (map).
Pre-pandemic, the church hosted these events twice a year; the last one was in September 2019.
Happenings you might want to know about:
CITY COUNCIL: Monday means two meetings, the 9:30 am briefing – including an around-the-table chance for each councilmember to share updates on what they’re focusing on right now – and the 2 pm weekly regular meeting (agenda here). Watch both via Seattle Channel, online or cable 21.
QUALITY CLEANERS PICKUP, FINAL DAY: Noon-4 pm, it’s the last of three days for customers who still have items at the closed cleaners (2601 California SW) to go in and retrieve them – unclaimed items will be donated. Mask required; one person in the shop at a time.
CAREER EXPLORATION: 3-5 pm online, discover what Seattle Colleges offer students for Arts, Design, and Graphics career pathways. Info’s in our calendar listing.
METEOR SHOWER: The Lyrid meteor shower should be visible this week, until the clouds return. Here’s info on looking for the meteors.
6:03 AM: Good morning! Another sunny day, slightly cooler.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Seattle Public Schools‘ spring break is over, and middle-/high-school hybrid learning begins today, with some students in classrooms in the afternoon, in addition to the elementary/preschool/special-education students for whom some in-person learning already has resumed.
ROAD WORK .
Delridge project – A month or so of work at Delridge/Orchard has begun; here’s what else is planned this week.
Starting today, 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
392nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 15th 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 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.