West Seattle, Washington
Last year, after the murder of George Floyd, thousands of West Seattleites demonstrated for racial justice.
But after a few big events – and the Everyday March visits to local elected officials – the peninsula protests ebbed.
Except for the corner of 16th and Holden:
That’s where Scott (below left) has led twice-weekly BLM-supporting sign-waving for most of the past year, on through fall, winter, and now another spring.
Even before the verdict was announced, he and others were planning to be there this afternoon/evening as usual – Tuesdays (and Thursdays), 4-6 pm. So we stopped by. “This is a long-term struggle,” Scott said. Some days he’s had just a few join him; today, about a dozen. He said the Minneapolis verdict brought “a huge sense of relief (but) still a lot of pain … it’s all we can hope for, but it’s not really justice.”
We talked with some of those who also were at 16th/Holden today, a few hours after the verdict. Ed said the case left him disgusted “at the callous disregard for human life.” Adrian was “relieved to the point of tears” when the verdict was read.
Lisa, who says she did cry, also observed, “the fact that we could have believed it might have gone either way says more about racism than that Chauvin got convicted, that you could watch the video and have doubts that he would be found guilty.”
They all agreed there’s a lot of work to do. Rob said, “Awareness needs to continue – people are still dying.” And they saw the need for that awareness even on the street as they stood on the corners with their signs. “Still got a thumbs down today – someone still committed to hatred … we just hope they don’t pass it on to their children.”
The verdict itself was a teachable moment. At the time, Dani was teaching her elementary-school class, “and talking to the kids in class about it as it happened.”
What now? Adrian suggests that “police need some tool to weed out racism and white supremacy.” Scott envisions “relying less on policing” and points to the “participatory budgeting” process going on at the city (which was in fact on the agenda for a council committee this afternoon).
From Dani, an invitation: “Come out and stand with us – the work is ongoing.”
Tonight’s pandemic toplines:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Checking today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – here are the cumulative totals:
*94,250 people have tested positive, 313 more than yesterday’s total
*1,498 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total
*5,590 people have been hospitalized, 0 more than yesterday’s total
*1,016,855 people have been tested, 7,807 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 91,802/1,485/5,458/992,402.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 142.6 million cases worldwide, 31.7 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
ANOTHER TESTING SITE: As we mentioned last night, Councilmember Lisa Herbold said the mayor’s office told her another independent-provider testing site would be opening in our area, to help with the void left by the end of testing at the city’s West Seattle hub. Tonight, checking the website for Curative – which runs the kiosk at Don Armeni Boat Ramp – it appears they’re sending a van to Summit Atlas (35th/Roxbury) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We’ll follow up on this tomorrow.
PANDEMIC BRIEFING: At 8:15 am tomorrow online, state health officials will present their weekly briefing and media Q&A. Watch the livestream here.
VACCINATION PROGRESS: 55.4 percent of King County residents have had at least one shot.
NEED TO BE VACCINATED BUT CAN’T LEAVE HOME … because of an injury, disability, or other medical problem? King County mobile teams might be able to help. Here’s how.
LOOKING FOR A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT? Today’s reader tip – if you’re over 60, try walking up to the city-run Southwest Athletic Complex site (2801 SW Thistle) without an appointment. If you’d rather have something more certain, here’s our ongoing list of what to try:
*For city sites, the official advice is to sign up for the city’s notification list 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 – reader recommendation: Try this lookup for potential appointments within a few hours’ drive.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
The intersection of 35th SW and SW Graham, scene of deadly crashes over the years, is about to get a signal and other safety features – and SDOT says work will start before the week’s over.
Here’s the announcement:
This week, construction will start at the intersection of 35th Ave SW and SW Graham St for the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway Phase 2 project. Construction of Phase 2 of the West Seattle Greenway began in late February 2021. This Greenway will be completed as early as mid-July 2021.
Changes at the 35th Ave SW and SW Graham St intersection are shown in the graphic and include:
Adding a crossing signal for people using the Greenway. When activated, the signal will turn red for people driving on 35th Ave SW.
Removing high-risk turning movements:
People driving on SW Graham St (eastbound and westbound) will not be able to turn left onto 35th Ave SW or to drive straight through to the other side of SW Graham St. They can only turn right onto 35th Ave SW.
People driving southbound on 35th Ave SW will not be able to turn left or right onto SW Graham St. They will need to drive around one block to access SW Graham St.
People driving northbound on 35th Ave SW will not be able to turn left onto SW Graham St. They can still turn right onto SW Graham St.
Building new crosswalks
Improving lighting at the intersection
Painting green markings for people biking to cross the intersection
Building speed humps on SW Graham St approaching the intersection
What to expect during construction
Typical weekday work hours of 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Occasional weekend work, hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Temporary on-street parking restrictions, with “No Park” signs placed in advance
Parking restrictions to allow space for work and equipment
Driveway closures when crews are prepping and building the sidewalk in front of driveways
Flaggers directing people driving and biking around the work
Lane reductions near the work area for people driving
Detours around the work area for people walking and driving
Noise, dust, and vibrations during work hours
We will work with neighbors and the construction contractor to minimize construction impacts as much as possible.
It’s been five years since the signal was mentioned as a possibility as part of the second phase of the 35th SW Safety Project; it subsequently became part of the Greenway project instead.
2:57 PM: Less than an hour ago, a Minneapolis jury delivered its verdict in the trial of the former police officer who killed George Floyd last May: Guilty on all counts. Here in Seattle, this is just in from the city:
Following the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis, the City of Seattle is providing an update for residents. City of Seattle department leaders have been preparing to allow residents to have the space to grieve and honor the life of George Floyd.
While the City expects community members to grieve and remember the life of Mr. Floyd, the City is also reminding businesses and residents of appropriate steps to take should demonstrations occur. The Seattle Police Department, which has made significant changes over the last year, will be on standby for any peaceful, first-amendment gatherings.
Below please find an update on City departments:
Citywide Prayer and Moment of Silence: The City of Seattle – in coordination with faith leaders – will be hosting a citywide prayer and moment of silence at 7 pm.
Seattle Parks and Recreation Department: Understanding the City is still in a pandemic and there are no permitted gatherings or events, Seattle Parks and Recreation is highlighting the City’s largest parks to grieve and remember George Floyd at the City’s largest parks including: Judkins Park, Pratt Park, Powell Barnett Park, Crown Hill Park, Maple Leaf Reservoir, Othello Park, John C. Little Park, Sam Smith Park, Jimi Hendrix Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, Jefferson Park, Genesee Park, Hubbard Homestead Park, Green Lake Park, Lincoln Park, and Westcrest Park. SPR crews will ensure that parks that historically have seen gatherings will be accessible and open.
Other city departments’ preparations are listed in the full news release.
4:41 PM: Among those whose comments we’ve received, Seattle-King County NAACP president Carolyn Riley-Payne, whose statement includes;
“… this is just one verdict, and it came only after a summer of nearly non-stop mass protest, with echoes of Mr. Floyd’s last words, ‘I can’t breathe,’ filling streets from Seattle to Washington, D.C. It should not take a national movement to secure justice for a single Black man killed by a police officer. But it did, and it will.
“Because we know that our work is not done, that Black and brown people continue to be targeted, assaulted and killed by police every day, and that they rarely see justice. We see it in our backyard, in King County, where Black and Indigenous people are killed at a vastly disproportionate rate. We live in an America where white people can storm the U.S. Capitol and go home safe and unarmed, while Black and brown people are effectively sentenced to death for counterfeit dollar bills and loose cigarettes.
“It has to stop. We cannot accept the status quo. It is time to end policing in Seattle and King County as we know it and build a new system that honors Black and brown lives. As our community celebrates this rare victory tonight, we must channel our emotion into sustained action. …”
Many politicians have sent statements. This one is from the State Senate Members of Color Caucus (which includes 34th District State Sen. Joe Nguyen):
““Words cannot undo the deep wound that George Floyd’s murder left in his family, in his community, in Black communities here in our state and across the nation. They cannot undo the actions of the man who ended his life. They cannot erase the history of racism and racial violence that blinded that man to George Floyd’s humanity, and gave him such a sense of impunity that he believed he could snuff out another person’s life without consequences.
“But today: George Floyd’s killer did face consequences. We use our words now to commend this outcome – a just verdict and rare accountability, for George Floyd’s loved ones and Black Americans in our state and country – but also to reiterate our commitment to making sure that justice is not rare. That accountability is not uncertain. That another father, friend, or neighbor is not another victim. That Black Lives Matter.
“Words cannot undo what went wrong – but they can set us on the path to what is right. As the Senate Members of Color Caucus, we use our words to advocate for sustained, systemic change – for Black and brown communities, for historically marginalized communities, for every single Washingtonian. …”
4:49 PM: City and community leaders are having a media briefing right now; Seattle Channel is streaming it here.
5:53 PM: The city event is over. The first West Seattle gathering that we heard of was the regular twice-weekly BLM-supporter sign-waving at 16th/Holden, which has continued for months; a WSB crew talked with participants about today’s verdict and we’ll have that story later this evening. Meantime, a commenter says there’s a candlelight vigil happening on Alki.
That’s the question the American Red Cross has for you. If you’re not sure – they have something else for you – a free personal online session to review fire safety. Here’s the explanation they asked us to share with you:
The goal of the Home Fire Campaign is to reduce home fire fatalities by educating clients on home fire safety and installing free smoke alarms in homes that do not have them. Due to COVID, we have pivoted to delivering free virtual home fire safety sessions to interested clients. These virtual calls take less than 20 minutes and review topics such as the most common causes of home fires, how to create and practice a home fire escape plan, how to test your smoke alarms, and additional local hazard preparedness information (e.g. earthquake). Interested folks can request a free virtual appointment on our website.
You can go here to set up that appointment. (You might even be eligible for a free smoke alarm if you don’t have one already.)
(WSB file photo, Duwamish River seen from high-rise West Seattle Bridge)
If you have something to say about the Environmental Protection Agency‘s proposal to reduce the Duwamish River cleanup area because of a new health-risk standard for a particular pollutant, time is running out. Last time we reported on the comment period, two weeks ago, it was extended one more time, but that’s not expected to happen again. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has published its comments online here, voicing opposition to the change: “DRCC has concerns about this proposal and is opposed to its execution,” says spokesperson Robin Schwartz. Among its concerns is uncertainty among the scientific community over the actual cancer risk of the pollutant involved in the proposed change, benzo(a)pyrene. The DRCC letter says, “To us, it appears that EPA is taking a large risk that could affect human health in an environmental justice community for such a small change (0.33% or $1,117,000) in the overall cleanup costs.” If you’re interested in signing onto the DRCC letter, you can do that here. If you have a comment of your own, send it to Region10@epa.gov by midnight Wednesday night (April 21st).
P.S. If you missed previous coverage, here’s our report on the EPA’s explanatory meeting in February.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:
PANCAKE 420: Pancakes all day at the Kickdown Café (9447 35th SW), open 11 am-5 pm. As with everything at Kickdown, they’re free but donations are welcome.
DISCOVER SEATTLE COLLEGES: Learn about studying for a new career in business/accounting. Online event 3-5 pm – info in our calendar listing.
DEMONSTRATION: The weekly announcement from Scott:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, April 20, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, April 22, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come build awareness & stimulate 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.
TALK WITH POLICE: The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council – a chance for community members to talk with and hear from local police – is happening online tonight, 6 pm. Here’s the attendance link.
TACOS AND TRIVIA: Admiral Pub (2306 California SW) has tacos on Tuesdays and trivia 7-9 pm, free to play, “with rounds that include ’70s, Americana, Sports, Travel, ’90s, Film and more.”
Mother’s Day is less than three weeks away. If you’re interested in buying flowers and candy, you can help a local school-support group – here’s the announcement:
H.U.G.S. for Mothers & Special Others
Seattle Lutheran High School – Parent Association Fundraiser
Hope. Unity. Gratitude. Saints.
Seattle Lutheran High School Parent Association is partnering with Bakery Nouveau and Moua Floral Designs to offer chocolates and flowers for Mother’s Day weekend.
We cannot embrace everyone we love with a giant hug just yet, but that does not stop us from showing them how much we care. Funds raised go toward science-lab improvements, teacher grants, and student scholarships.
ORDER HERE by Thursday, April 29th
Contactless curbside pickup or local delivery to limited zip codes on Saturday, May 8th.
See school website HERE for more information.
6:07 AM: Good morning! Another sunny day, temperatures similar to yesterday, when the high was 72.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Seattle Public Schools‘ campuses now all have part-time in-person learning.
ROAD WORK .
Delridge project – Avoid Delridge/Orchard if you can; that’s a major work spot for the next month or so.
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
393rd 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.