West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s local/state pandemic updates:
ONE MORE SAFETY RULING: The state Health Department has officially given its thumbs-up to lowering the Pfizer vaccine’s eligibility age to 12 – this after a CDC advisory group and the Western States review group both declared it safe for the younger recipients. The other two vaccines – Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – remain authorized only for those 18+.
VACCINATIONS HAVE ALREADY BEGUN: By afternoon, readers report, city sites were already vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds. Appointments are available if you want to guarantee a spot; Seattle Public Schools has clinics starting next week at all six high schools, middle schools, and K-8s in West Seattle.
SATURDAY POP-UP: Another reminder that you can get vaccinated in The Junction on Saturday if you’re at least 18, 10 am-1 pm in the north end of the parking lot off 42nd SW south of SW Oregon. Free parking in the lot if you’re going to the clinic, and coupons for Husky Deli ice-cream cones for the first 50 people. It’ll be your choice of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. (THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: We’ve learned that Pfizer vaccine WILL be available, so they WILL be vaccinating 12+ at this clinic.)
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*101,596 people have tested positive, 207 more than yesterday’s total
*1,547 people have died, 3 more than yesterday’s total
*5,987 people have been hospitalized, 14 more than yesterday’s total
*1,062,304 people have been tested, 944 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 99,754/1,532/5,914/1,049,354.
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.
HEALTH OFFICIALS’ BRIEFINGS: The weekly briefing by state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah and other officials happened this morning. Watch the briefing here. … Then this afternoon, King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin delivered an early edition of his weekly briefing. He said daily cases have dropped 20 percent and declared that it appears we’ve “turned the corner” away from the latest surge. Watch his briefing here.
NEED FOOD? Another grab-n-go food distribution is happening at Highland Park Elementary (1012 SW Trwnton) this Friday, 2-5 pm. Drive/ride/walk up, wear a fade covering, and keep in mind that it’s first-come, first-served.
GOT INFO? Email us at email@example.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
On a day that began with a one-two punch that rendered the 415-days-and-counting West Seattle Bridge closure extra-painful, the Community Task Force‘s monthly online gathering brought some news, as well as discussion of the ultimate Frequently Asked Question – why isn’t it fixed yet? – and a few other common questions.
That’s where we begin this month’s coverage of the advisory group’s meeting.
That cat is one lucky kitty. It survived a close call with high-voltage danger, thanks to determined neighbors who spent hours on Tuesday trying to get it down. Among them, Corey, who sent the report, photos, and video:
Here is a crazy story with a nice ending. We live in the Osborn condos on California Avenue SW in the Junction. My wife was on our deck and a lady below asked if we had a black and white cat and pointed to the telephone pole in the alley behind our condo. There was a fluffy black and white cat about 45 feet above the ground balanced on a 3″ piece of metal on a telephone pole. Various neighbors called the fire department, electric company, animal control pleading for someone to help get this cat down.
Pastor Ron from (First Lutheran Church of West Seattle) and neighbor Dominic tried to use a 40-foot ladder to get the cat down, but the ladder was not tall enough. I visited the local fire department and spoke with fire chief. Two police cruisers ended up in the alley and two concerned officers helped by calling the public utility requesting assistance. After about two hours of neighbors placing calls and assistance from the Seattle Police, Seattle City Light came out with its lift and rescued the cat.
The City Light worker indicated that the cat was straddling a couple live wires and one bad step could have ended this cat’s life. The cat was successfully rescued and ran off to its home!
As you can hear at the end of the video, the rescue was a relief to everyone watching!
Here’s a stolen electric bike to watch for. The photo and report are from Kimmy:
Last night, someone stole my Rad Power Bike out of our garage (somewhere between 8 pm – 5L30 am). It seems they were somehow able to get into one of our locked cars and take the garage door opener (?!).I have attached a picture of my bike, although it now has a rear-view mirror and basket over back tire that were added since I took the photo. We live in North Admiral, at Lander and 45th.
It’s been reported to police; we’ll add the report number when it’s available. (Added: It’s 2021-908044.)
A big boost for the student-powered WEB student-to-student mentorship program at Madison Middle School, in partnership with longtime WSB sponsor Dream Dinners West Seattle, which provided the announcement:
An enormous shout-out to WEB Coordinator Mike Kreiger and Madison Middle School Families! They helped the WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Program WIN the Dream Dinners $500 March Matchness nationwide contest. Out of 70 nationwide stores they had the most signups to support their cause, with 50 families.
Dream Dinners Corporate Office donated and matched the initial contribution of Madison families to the maximum of $500. Together with the help of the 50 local families’ outstanding participation and the West Seattle Dream Dinners store, they raised $600 to give back to Madison’s WEB program. But that’s not all, Mark and Meghan Hogan – West Seattleites themselves, Madison Middle School parents, and owners of the West Seattle Dream Dinners store – donated and matched an additional $600. They are so proud of our community and know that it all starts in the schools. West Seattle has a bright future and they want to be a part of it. In total, the Madison WEB program earned $1700.
If you would like to find out how Dream Dinners can help you raise money for your favorite local nonprofit, please contact them by email at WestSeattleWA@dreamdinners.com. They would be honored to partner up with you.
Again a hearty Congratulations to Mike Kreiger and the Madison Middle School WEB Program, from the entire West Seattle Dream Dinners team, who “Took the Stress Out of Dinnertime” for 50 West Seattle families! To view their monthly menu go to dreamdinners.com.
P.S. We talked briefly to two of the students who were there to accept the donation, Clara McCall and Marlo Pietsch:
They are two of about 90 eighth-grade leaders involved with WEB, according to their adviser.
1:36 PM: Two days after the Pfizer vaccine got the FDA’s OK to lower the eligibility age to 12, a CDC advisory committee has given its approval too, and the city is now taking appointments for the younger recipients. Here’s where to start. P.S. Since Saturday’s pop-up clinic in The Junction is offering the other two vaccines, it will not be inoculating people under 18. (THURSDAY UPDATE: This has changed – Pfizer vaccine WILL be available Saturday, so ages 12+ are welcome.)
ADDED 2:20 PM: Seattle Public Schools has now published the dates/times/locations for its upcoming student vaccination clinics, including West Seattle’s high schools, middle schools, and K-8 schools. See the list here.
Here’s a stolen pickup truck to watch for: Mike says his silver 2-door extended-cab 2002 Toyota Tacoma was stolen overnight from the 1800 block of SW Cloverdale: “No obvious signs of break in spotted, no broken glass, etc.” License plate #B26768V. If you see it, call 911.
Notes for the day:
SIDEWALK DINING/SHOPPING: As previewed here, the City Council Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee meeting at 9:30 am includes discussion of extending these free permits until next May, and maybe making expanded sidewalk/curb-space shopping/dining permanent. The agenda includes viewing information.
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Noon meeting, online. Awaiting the agenda, but you can expect a variety of bridge-related briefings. You can watch the livestream here.
DROP-IN WRITING CIRCLE: In pre-pandemic times, this Seattle Public Library event was usually held in West Seattle. 6 pm tonight, writers can attend from anywhere. Here’s how.
6:59 AM: Good morning. If you’re just getting going, you missed major early-morning problems, now both resolved. So it’s on with our regular traffic watch
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
415th morning without the West Seattle Bridge:
Low Bridge: Open again after “mechanical trouble” kept it closed to all modes of traffic all night. We’re following up with SDOT to find out what went wrong. Here’s a low-bridge view:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way – The early-morning crash that closed West Marginal has cleared.
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.
Buses – Metro has just returned to regular routing after rerouting to the 1st Avenue S. Bridge during the low-bridge closure.
Ferries – The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth WSF route is back to 2 boats after 1 boat was taken out of service last night for crew shortage.
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.
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
5 AM: Another complication to early-morning traffic – a crash on West Marginal Way. Witnesses say it’s a flipped-car crash. It’s logged in the 5400 block of West Marginal [map]. Police and fire are on scene. SDOT says West Marginal is blocked both ways right now.
5:21 AM: SFD has had to shuffle assignment of medical resources because of the low-bridge outage. In dispatching an added unit, the description of the original crash report was that a car hit a pole, overturned, and caught fire. We don’t know yet about injuries. SPD is calling for an SDOT crew to clean up “foam and debris all over the roadway.”
5:40 AM: Police have just told dispatch they hope to have the southbound lanes reopened “in about five minutes.”
6:15 AM: SDOT says the scene is now completely cleared.
8:10 AM: From the preliminary police summary:
Patrol responded to the report of a vehicle colliding into a pole and flipping onto its top. The call was updated that the vehicle was also on fire. SPD and SFD arrived to find the lone occupant out of the vehicle. The pole had sustained severe damage and City Light responded as well. The entire roadway was closed during the response. The driver was found to be impaired and arrested for DUI. City Light determined the pole would need to be replaced and called their team to respond. The replacement would take several hours and require the closure of some lanes. SDOT arrived and took over the lane closures.
We’re asking City Light about the repair status.
10:35 AM: We’ve confirmed with SFD that no one was injured. Also, here’s what SCL’s Julie Moore tells us about the repairs:
We have two crews working on it. We will probably need to shut down the east lane on West Marginal Way and will have flaggers assisting with that. Other impacts (e.g., outages) are unlikely or will be minimal. Estimating approximately 8-10 hours to complete the work.
1:13 AM: If you have to cross the Duwamish soon, don’t head for the low bridge. It’s been closed to surface traffic for more than an hour; SDOT says via Twitter that it’s “mechanical trouble.”
1:30 AM: The bridge had trouble Tuesday afternoon, too.
2:09 AM: Still not open.
4:58 AM: Metro is rerouting buses over the 1st Avenue South Bridge.
5:59 AM: The low bridge is still out of service and SDOT has finally confirmed that means ALL modes – closed to bicyclists and pedestrians as well as motor-vehicle drivers. No word yet on how much longer this is expected to last.
6:51 AM: The low bridge has just reopened.
10:40 AM: Here’s how SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson answered our question about what went wrong:
The Spokane St bridge was closed last night from approximately 11:30 p.m. to 6:45 a.m. due to an intermittent mechanical issue which triggered a safeguard preventing the bridge gates from being opened. This is an intentional safety measure which ensures that people cannot travel over the bridge until the underlying mechanical issue is resolved. Our engineers and maintenance staff worked through the night to complete the immediate work to address the problem and verify that it was safe to reopen the bridge. We are still working to understand the underlying root cause, and determine next steps to ensure that this does not happen again.
4:05 PM: An update from SDOT:
There were two separate mechanical issues which occurred on the Spokane St bridge, both of which triggered the safeguard of closing the bridge gates to the public.
On May 11 at roughly 4:10 pm, the tail lock on the east side of the bridge triggered an alarm, which is related to a known issue with the hydraulic arm that extends/ retracts the locking pin. Engineers and maintenance staff were able to address this issue and reopen the bridge at about 7:00pm. We are planning to address this issue by building a new hydraulic arm, and will also refurbish the existing arm as a backup for future use.
On May 11 at 11:05 pm, a small component within the traffic barrier turning mechanism got stuck preventing the gate from opening. As a safeguard, the gate is programmed to shut down if something is interfering with its normal operations in order to prevent further damage. When the gate shut down, it triggered other control system alarms and safeguards, resulting in all gates from closing. Our engineers and maintenance staff worked through the night to complete the immediate work to address the problem and verify that it was safe to reopen the bridge at about 6:15 a.m.
12:11 AM: Police and fire are headed for 16th and Roxbury after a report of a shooting. One person is reported to be in the Walgreens parking lot with a gunshot wound. Updates to come.
12:16 AM: According to emergency radio, the initial report was that someone was firing a gun at passing vehicles.
1:07 AM: 1 person was taken to Harborview. No additional details yet about their condition or what happened, and no word of an arrest; police were focusing on the 16th entrance to the Walgreens lot.
1:56 AM: SFD says the victim is a 44-year-old man who was in stable condition when transported to Harborview Medical Center.
5:08 AM: Here’s the entire brief preliminary summary filed by police: “On 5/12/2021, at about 0006, there was a report of a shooting at 16th Ave SW/SW Roxbury St. Three victims got into an argument with the suspect. During the argument, the three victims ran across the street to the Walgreens parking lot while the suspect was shooting at them. The suspect fled the scene on foot. One of the victims was shot in the groin and taken to HMC by SFD.”