West Seattle, Washington
Pandemic headlines as we conclude the first week of May:
COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER’S BRIEFING: Dr. Jeff Duchin said that after six weeks of increasing cases in King County, this past week saw a “slight decrease.” While the pandemic is “no longer a 5-alarm fire” locally, it “continues to burn,” he warned, and as more and more people get vaccinated, the better the chances are that it can be brought down to “smoldering” status. Watch his briefing, including media Q&A, here.
KING COUNTY NUMBERS: On to the daily stats from the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:
*100,485 people have tested positive, 347 more than yesterday’s total*
*1,536 people have died, 3 more than yesterday’s total
*5,926 people have been hospitalized, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*1,053,287 people have been tested, 2,257 more than yesterday’s total
NOTE: It appears yesterday’s startlingly high case total from King County was a typo of some kind on the county’s part – skipping that day and adding the “more than” totals from today and yesterday to the Wednesday total, the number is only slightly less than tonight’s total.
Continuing tonight’s report – our weekly check of key numbers on the COVID Vaccination Among King County Residents dashboard:
*1,248,950 people have received one dose (67.5% of everyone 16+)
*853,646 people have received both doses (46.1% of everyone 16+)
*1,888,395 doses have been allocated to King County (not counting pharmacy programs)
One week ago, the first four totals were 98,095/1,525/5,827/1,038,291, and the vaccination totals were 1,190,224/783,936/1,691,845.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 156.9 million cases, 3,270,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
CITY MILESTONE: 100,000 doses administered at the city-affiliated hubs, so the mayor delivered ice cream to the city-run hubs, including Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex:
GET VACCINATED THIS WEEKEND: You are still welcome to just walk into the city hubs, including that one here in WS (2801 SW Thistle), without an appointment. But you’re also welcome to lock in a spot by making one, first or second dose – you can do that here. WS is open Saturday, 9 am-4:30 pm, and Lumen Field is also open Saturday, 11:15 am-5:45 pm. Both are offering all three vaccines. (And if you want to find someplace else, here’s the covidwa.com lookup.)
GET FOOD: Here’s one more reminder about this food-box distribution Saturday afternoon.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Two reader reports and a followup tonight in West Seattle Crime Watch:
MAILBOX PROWLER: The video and report are from Justin in the Alki area:
Just wanted to share with the community that these is someone going around checking mailboxes in the middle of the night. This is the second time I’ve caught video of this person. The other time, he was on a BMX-style bike.
BUILDING BREAK-IN: The photo and report are from Jordan
I wanted to share a break-in incident we had here at the Broxton (5016 California Ave SW) to make the community aware. An intruder broke into our condo building on the evening of May 4th around 10 pm. They spent over 30 minutes inside the building, stealing at least 1 item and tampering with at least 1 vehicle in our parking garage. We would appreciate any/all feedback from the community on this person’s identity to add to our open police report.
We don’t have that report number yet but will add it here when we do.
BURGLARY SUSPECT CHARGED: Also on Tuesday night – as reported here Thursday – police arrested a 36-year-old man after a break-in at a Morgan Junction apartment building. Today, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed two second-degree burglary charges against the suspect, Justin Goolsby. The charges cover the break-in in our report – one that left mailboxes, doors, and cars damaged at a building in the 6500 block of California SW – and another one earlier that night, in the 6900 block, around 10 pm. At that building, court documents allege, Goolsby “damaged several doors, discharged a fire extinguisher, stole the complex’s garage door opener, and rendered two elevator doors inoperable due to damage.” He has no felony convictions but is awaiting trial on three charges from Avalon Way building burglaries one night last November; he remains in King County Jail with bail set at $5,000.
More high-school-football honors – West Seattle High School finished the abbreviated season 3-1, and postseason honorees in the Metro League Valley Division include head coach Jeffery Scott and a long list of his players. Here’s the list we received of the Wildcats’ honorees:
2021 METRO VALLEY ALL-LEAGUE TEAM
Offensive MVP: Jimmy Fomby (senior)
Defensive MVP: Reuben Leiataua (junior)
Coach of the Year: Jeffery Scott
RB: Jasper Mors (senior)
Wide Receiver, Defensive Back: Jimmy Fomby (senior)
Tight End, Linebacker: Jaxton Helmstetler (junior)
Offensive Line: Reuben Leiataua (junior)
Offensive Line: Dominic Novito (senior)
Defensive Tackle: Reuben Leiataua (junior)
QB: Axel Johnson (sophomore)
RB: Quinn O’Neill (junior)
Wide Receiver: Connor Berry (senior)
Offensive Line: Sebastian Chik (junior)
Offensive Line: Chris Manion (junior)
Defensive Back: Roman Centioli (sophomore)
Linebacker: Connor Berry (senior)
Defensive End: Ben Lapchis (senior)
Defensive End: Dominic Novito (senior)
Defensive Tackle: Chris Manion (junior)
Defensive Tackle: Sean Satia (junior)
Kicker: JP Dufour (senior)
Punter: Bo Gionet (freshman)
Wide Receiver: Christian Halter (senior)
Tight End: Mark Ursino (junior)
Defensive Back: Julian Tooman (sophomore)
Defensive Back: Rune Hendershot (sophomore)
Linebacker: Casey Maxwell (junior)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
West Seattle has no full-time homeless shelters. It has one city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment, usually at capacity with about 50 residents. Just about everyone else living unhoused in West Seattle is in a tent, or a vehicle, or maybe a doorway.
Right now, one group of tent residents on a South Delridge business-district sidewalk has been drawing increasing attention.
The site has grown steadily over this spring, starting on the east side of the building on the northwest corner of Delridge/Roxbury, now extending onto the sidewalk outside businesses on the north half of the block, more than a dozen tents in all, covering most of the sidewalk all the way to the curb.
The sidewalk blockage has been discussed at various community meetings on both sides of the West Seattle/White Center line. Then this week, one of the adjacent businesses’ owners, Abby Fisher of White Center Glass, said her longtime low-key view of the situation ended when a tent resident set up on the sidewalk in front of her business. So on Thursday, she sent city agencies this letter, and also sent it to us:Read More
If you missed the mention in last night’s roundup – 2-4 pm tomorrow (Saturday), the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church invites anyone in need of food to come get some at their next drive-up distribution. Food boxes will be distributed outside the church, which is at 2620 SW Kenyon, across from Denny International Middle School – here’s a map.
The intersection of 21st SW and Delridge Way (map here, and above) is one of the work sites spotlighted in SDOT’s newest weekly update on the repaving-and-utilities project preparing for the RapidRide H Line conversion. Here are the key points:
Yesterday, we started demolishing the intersection where 21st Ave SW meets Delridge Way SW. We’ve placed signage at the top of the hill indicating the road closure/local access only for residents where SW Holden St meets 20th Ave SW, as well as for the slip lane that connects with the 21st Ave SW hill (approximate locations here). We will continue upgrading this intersection through next week, with a goal of reopening the area to traffic soon.
Later this month, we will seal cracks in the roadway in North Delridge where we recently completed milling the road. Paving is still scheduled for the week of May 24.
We are finishing upgrading the third quadrant of the SW Orchard St intersection this week. We will plan to begin upgrading the final quadrant of the intersection next week.
We will resume electrical upgrades on the east side of Delridge Way SW between SW Holden St and SW Thistle St. We will need to demolish and trench the roadway in front of the properties in this area, but will maintain access in and out of driveways with steel plates. People driving may experience a slightly shifted traffic pattern in this area.
Those are the highlights, but there’s more work under way – see the full weekly update here.
During the pandemic, communities have coalesced in new ways. Among them, school communities raising money for emergency assistance, to supplement what’s available through regular channels. We’ve been asked to share information about another of those efforts, the Arbor Heights Family Resource Fund, to reach more who might be interested in offering support. Here’s their message:
What a long year 2020/2021 has been! Covid-19 has interrupted the lives of all of our families, but many of us have bene fortunate enough to remain employed, work from home, and have our children close.Unfortunately, this has not been the case for many in our community.
The pandemic has hit some of our families harder with job loss, working in high-risk environments, and being away from their children. Here is an opportunity to come together to support our Arbor Heights families.
Our families are facing diverse needs in 2021 as we continue to work through the challenges posed by the pandemic. Many of our families are experiencing severe financial hardships. This fund is direct support with no overhead — the Arbor Heights Family Support Team will work to help families with bills, groceries, transportation to school, childcare, and rent. 100% of your donations will go to the Arbor Heights Family Resource Fund to be distributed directly to families. In the alternative, please consider donating grocery (Safeway & Kroger), gas, and Uber gift cards directly to the school. We are stronger together and we are so grateful for this generous community!
NOTE: These donations are not tax deductible and this short-term Family Resource Fund is not affiliated with the Arbor Heights PTSA.
Sound Transit board members continue to disagree over whether ST needs a full “realignment” plan, which could delay/downsize voter-approved projects including West Seattle light rail. The video above is from ST’s Executive Committee meeting on Thursday morning. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci (from Bellevue) – all board members who are part of the committee – continued to argue the points they made in a letter to Board Chair Kent Keel (from University Place) reported here last month, saying it’s too soon to decide. Keel in turn recapped his reply, insisting the realignment plan – currently scheduled for a July vote – is necessary.
First the board got an update on more possible realignment “scenarios” as well as the latest stats on the “affordability gap,” all shown in this slide deck:
What’s in that presentation is not a complete list of possible scenarios – they’ve been looking at various concepts over the course of multiple meetings in recent months. Possibilities for West Seattle include building to Delridge first – maybe on a 2-year delay beyond the original 2030 plan – or a 5-year delay for the entire extension.
The big point of contention, intensively discussed on Thursday, remains whether a realignment is even needed. When this all first came up last year, the big problem was a pandemic-fueled revenue drop. That started bouncing back, but then came news of dramatically increased cost estimates. Now the latter is more of an issue than the former, according to ST staff, but Durkan argued on Thursday that they don’t have enough cost information for realignment decisions. She also noted that the gap has shrunk by billions already and could shrink further. “The affordability gap could be less and we could build what the voters want and what the climate needs.” Balducci, who has long argued against making these decisions now, said that since this has become much more of a cost gap than a revenue gap, “project-based approaches” might be a solution to the higher cost estimates. Constantine warned that officially setting “lowered expectations” now could “become the default.” Keel contended that whatever they decide would be a “flexible framework” and could be changed. Balducci countered that even if that’s technically true, a realignment vote “would essentially adopt a revamp of our program.” Keel said not responding to the current gap predictions by creating an “affordable plan” via realignment would make ST look financially irresponsible.
The discussion will continue at two upcoming meetings – the System Expansion Committee (which Balducci chairs) on May 13th and the full board meeting on May 27th, which is also when the board is scheduled to hear more about the results of recent community opinion-gathering, which brought in just under 10,000 survey responses, ST staff said on Thursday.
Saturday (May 8th) is Neighbor Day in Seattle. No major events again this year, but to get you into the spirit, the Department of Neighborhoods has published a list of neighbors around the city who were nominated for a special spotlight – the department “asked the community to submit nominations for people, businesses, and organizations who went above and beyond to help and support their friends and neighbors.” The West Seattle neighbors who are included on the list are:
Odetta Owen Boudreau, for the food-pickup program at Highland Park Improvement Club
Joe Wadden, who picks up trash while out for walks
Ella McRae, community builder for Seattle Housing Authority in High Point
Circa in The Admiral District, community-spirited restaurant
Lori Kothe for creating Poogooder
Jeff Daley, nicknamed ‘Mayor of Gatewood’
Read more about them and the others spotlighted from around the city by going here. And then you’re invited to celebrate Neighbor Day “by indulging in random acts of kindness.”
Summer’s on the way and some reunion plans are resuming, including this one:
The 50th reunion for the West Seattle High School Class of 1971 is scheduled for July 17, 2021. It will be held at the Glen Acres Golf and Country Club in Burien. There is no charge for the event but we really need to know who is attending so that we have a good head count for planning the food as well as preparing the name tags. Please RSVP to Jim Biava at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The costs are being covered by a crowdfunding campaign – if you can donate, here’s the link.
6:12 AM: Good morning! Showery forecast for today.
ROAD WORK UPDATES
West Marginal sidewalk – More work this weekend, on the west side of the road, north of the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, 8 am-3 pm both days.
Delridge project – Delridge/Orchard work continues, plus side-street closures and repaving of Delridge Way’s north end. Next week’s plan will be in later today.
35th/Graham – Work continues, with Graham closed on both sides of 35th.
SW Yancy east of Avalon – Still closed at last check.
Home Zones – Speed-hump installation continues around the Highland Park, South Delridge, and Riverview areas.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its spring/summer schedule – all day, 7 days a week, plus Friday and Saturday evenings; the free 773 and 775 shuttles are running daily too.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
410th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 17th 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:
Are bridges opening for boats or barges? Check 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.