West Seattle, Washington
Our nightly roundup of local pandemic-related information:
VACCINE FOR TWEENS: The FDA says the Pfizer vaccine is OK for 12- to 15-year-olds, along with the existing authorization for 16+. But that’s not the final say – a CDC advisory committee has a review next, and then the Western States review group, in which our state participates, would take a look. City vaccination efforts would welcome the tweens and younger teens as soon as those approvals are in, we’re told.
SPEAKING OF THE CITY … new details for the pop-up clinic Saturday morning in The Junction, including an incentive to be among the first ones there.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily summary:
*101,274 people have tested positive, 175 more than yesterday’s total
*1,542 people have died, unchanged since Saturday
*5,962 people have been hospitalized, 13 more than yesterday’s total
*1,059,270 people have been tested, 2,393 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 99,217/1,526/5,880/1,044,885.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 158.6 million cases, 3,299,000 deaths – 582,000 in the U.S. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.
COVID CANCELLATION: No West Seattle Grand Parade again this year.
POST-PANDEMIC PERMANENCE? Expanded sidewalk/curb-space shopping and dining might become permanent.
NEED FOOD? The nearest Food Lifeline distribution is 2-5 pm Friday (May 14th) at 815 S. 96th.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
With the pandemic not yet quashed, another major local summer event is skipping this year too. Just in from the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the 2021 West Seattle Grand Parade has been cancelled for this summer. Keeping our participants and community members safe is our main priority. We are looking forward to returning in 2022!
The parade usually draws thousands along its route on California SW, from The Admiral District to The Junction, in July. Here’s our archived coverage of past years, including video clips and photos of the parade prize winners from 2019.
Once upon a time, businesses had to slog through a lot of red tape to get permission for a sidewalk café. Then COVID-19 made outdoor dining – and shopping – a potential life-and-death matter, and the city loosened the rules last year, offering free permits. Sidewalk/curb-space business expansions have subsequently popped up all over. This week, a City Council committee will look at extending the free permits at least through May of next year, with a possible “pathway to permanence.” Right now the program is scheduled to end after October of this year. If the new proposal is approved, along with the extension through May 2022, it would direct SDOT to draft a proposal by December on how to make the program permanent (though not necessarily free). This is on the agenda for the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee‘s meeting at 9:30 am Wednesday (May 12th).
Two vaccination-situation updates this afternoon:
PFIZER OK’D FOR 12-TO-15-YEAR-OLDS: The Pfizer vaccine now has FDA authorization for 12- to 15-year-olds. That’s not the final hurdle, though; a CDC decision is next, and then the Western States review group. Whenever there’s word it’s officially available to those ages in our area, we’ll have updates in our continuing pandemic coverage. (Added 4:21 pm: Mayoral spokesperson Kelsey Nyland tells WSB the city will offer it to 12+ “as soon as it’s approved!”)
SATURDAY CLINIC: As we first reported last week, a COVID vaccination pop-up is planned Saturday (May 15th) in the West Seattle Junction. Today, news of an inoculation incentive – the first 50 people to get vaccinated there on Saturday will get coupons you can take to Husky Deli for a free ice-cream cone! The pop-up will happen in the 42nd SW parking lot (just south of SW Oregon), 10 am-noon Saturday (with the potential to run a bit longer if there’s a crowd). No appointments – just show up. The shots will be given by a Seattle Fire Department Mobile Vaccination Team; they’ll have the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, so if you’re awaiting a second Moderna dose, you’re eligible too. If you opt for a first Moderna dose, you can get a second-dose appointment at the city’s West Seattle hub.
The state Transportation Commission, which has jurisdiction over state-highway tolls (including the Highway 99 tunnel) and ferry fares, has a special meeting tomorrow to talk about increases/changes. Here’s the announcement:
The Washington State Transportation Commission is holding a special meeting to begin its process to increase toll rates on some tolled facilities and to adjust Washington State Ferry fares, based upon the final transportation budget passed by the Legislature in the 2021 session.
The special meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, May 11. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted virtually using Zoom Webinar. People interested in attending can register on the commission’s website. The meeting will be broadcast live on TVW at tvw.org.
In the final 2021-2023 Transportation Budget, the Legislature provided funding to relieve the financial pressure on tolled facilities resulting from reduced traffic volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission had recently discussed the possibility of raising some tolls as soon as July 1 of this year. With the funding provided by the Legislature, the commission has additional time to go through its regular rate setting and public outreach process, moving the effective date for potential rate increases to Oct. 1, 2021.
During its meeting, the commission will receive financial updates for Washington State Ferries, as well as the State Route 99 tunnel, the SR 520 bridge, and the SR 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Discussions will focus on various toll rate scenarios and approaches to generating the needed toll revenues to cover legally required costs. Those costs include debt payments, toll operations, and maintenance and preservation of the tolled facilities. The commission will also determine its schedule and process for adjusting the toll rates, including opportunities for the public to comment on the options under consideration. The commission will discuss its schedule and process for adjusting ferry fares at its May 18 meeting. The commission is expected to release its proposed ferry fare increases during its June 15 meeting and proposed toll rate increases at its July 20 meeting.
The meeting agenda is here. Public comments/questions will be accepted during the meeting via an onscreen Q&A option for Zoom attendees.
Last week, we reported that an Xfinity store is on the way to the center of Westwood Village. Today, news of another tenant for that same section of the center: The updated directory map included in listings for center vacancies shows Pet Supplies Plus as “coming soon” to the spaces next to Ulta Beauty.
Pet Supplies Plus is headquartered in Michigan and has more than 400 stores, operating on a franchise model, though a check of its website suggests this would be its first Northwest location. We have an inquiry out to the company to ask about the opening timeline. Westwood Village currently has one pet-supply store, Pet Pros – a Seattle-headquartered mini-chain – on the center’s east side.
Unless you’re a very early riser – sunrise today was at 5:38 am – you’re missing views like that, so thanks to photographer Jerry Simmons for sharing what he saw as the new week dawned. The current outlook is for sunshine every day this week, thanks to a ridge of high pressure, says the National Weather Service.
Thanks for the tip. Police are being dispatched to 6th/Roxbury [map], where a collision has brought down all or part of a tree onto the eastbound side of the road. No traffic cameras in that area, so we’re on our way to look.
10:20 AM: Photo added. Slowdown starts several blocks west.
9:15 AM: Transient orcas are in view across the Sound from West Seattle, passing Southworth right now, “northbound, quickly,” reports Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch. Let us know if you see them!
9:33 AM: Update from Kersti – they’re now in view off Blake Island.
Family and friends are remembering Frances Ratcliff and sharing this remembrance with the community:
Frances Ann Ratcliff, born May 7, 1927, in Libby, MT, passed away on May 6, 2021 in Seattle.
Fran was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Golden Carlson, her brothers John and Norman, as well as her loving husband, Willard (Bill) Ratcliff. Fran and Bill had four children: Cynthia Goodman (James), Peter Ratcliff, Philip Ratcliff, and James Ratcliff (Paula). She had six grandsons: Jason (Martina), Jimmy and Jarrod Goodman, Nathanial (Erin), Jeremy (Ashley), and Christopher (Raylynn) Ratcliff. Fran was blessed with seven great-grandchildren. Fran is also survived by her sisters Willis White and Karen Layne.
Fran worked for Pacific Northwest Bell in Seattle and volunteered at Bassett Army Community Hospital in Fort Wainwright, AK. During Bill’s military career, they lived in Germany, Japan, Hawaii, Virginia, Texas, Kansas, California, and retired in Washington State.
They enjoyed many years together cruising Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and Canada. She had an infectious laugh and a smile that would light up a room. She enjoyed a Bud-Light while watching the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will be missed but will always be in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to her favorite charity, Sound Generations Meals on Wheels Program.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:12 AM: Good morning! Lots of sunshine expected this week.
ROAD WORK UPDATES
Delridge project – This week’s plan highlights the 21st/Delridge closure and says the end is in sight for Delridge/Orchard,
35th/Graham – Work continues, with Graham closed on both sides of 35th.
SW Yancy east of Avalon – Still closed for utility work related to housing construction.
Washington State Ferries is delaying the return to 3-boat service on the Triangle Route for at least another month.
The West Seattle Water Taxi continues 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.
Metro is on its regular schedule.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
413th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 18th 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.