West Seattle, Washington
Big day in pandemic news:
JUNE 30TH: That’s the day Gov. Inslee says businesses can fully reopen – or sooner if 70 percent of everyone 16+ in our state gets at least one dose of vaccine before then.(Right now, it’s at 57 percent.)
GOT VAXXED? DROP MASK! Well, it’s not entirely that simple, but close. The CDC declared today that fully vaccinated people could quit wearing masks in most situations, and the governor announced he’d align our policy with that, immediately. Businesses still have the right to require you to wear one.
NEWEST NUMBERS: Now the update from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:
*101,881 people have tested positive, 285 more than yesterday’s total
*1,552 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total
*6,004 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than yesterday’s total
*1,063,643 people have been tested, 1,339 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 104,256*/1,533/5,924/1,051,030. (*Last Thursday’s case total turned out to be a King County typo.)
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 161.1 million cases worldwide, 32.8 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
VACCINATION OPPORTUNITIES: Saturday in The Junction or High Point – updated details here … City-run West Seattle hub remains open Monday-Saturday 9 am-5:30 pm at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle), no appointment needed … Campus clinics for Seattle Public Schools students 12+ start Monday … Check this lookup for other sites such as local pharmacies.
NEED A RIDE TO GET A SHOT? Free and discounted transportation is available.
GOT INFO/PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Last Sunday, we reported on why The Admiral Theater‘s general manager is so excited that they’ll be screening “The Paper Tigers,” a Seattle-set/filmed martial-arts comedy, starting tomorrow. We learned via a comment that the film’s editor is a West Seattle resident, Kris Kristensen, who then emailed today with an announcement: “Since the producers are all in NYC this weekend promoting the film, they’ve asked me to hold down the fort on the West Coast. I will be in attendance at both the Friday and Saturday evening (6:30) screenings at the Admiral Theater to do a Q&A following the screening.” The movie is scheduled for two showings a day during its weeklong run here – you can see the schedule and/or buy advance tickets by going here.
Another chance this Sunday for neighbors to show their generosity: Alki UCC is having another donation drive to collect food, men’s casual clothes, and socks. Here’s the announcement:
Sunday, May 16, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Outside our main entrance at 6115 SW Hinds
While ALL nonperishable food donations are welcome for distribution through the White Center Food Bank, a food bank volunteer shared the following insights:
Sugar and Flour are treats.
Boxed milk is a treasure.
Canned foods should be pop-top OR donate a can opener.
Cooking oil is a luxury and much appreciated.
Spices, salt and pepper are a real gift.
Tuna and crackers make a good lunch.
Don’t forget the sandwich bread and jelly for PBB&J’s.
Pet food should be in clearly-marked containers.
Essential supplies include:
• Toilet Paper
• Diapers/Similac Formula/Baby Wipes
• Can Openers
• Personal hygiene items
• Hand Sanitizer
Donations of Men’s Casual/Work Clothes are also being taken, as well as NEW socks — the clothing item most requested by our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
Painter LCP (Lester C. Pearson) is one of the artists you can meet during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk. LCP is at Snip-Its (4506 California SW) until 8:30 pm, showing paintings of musical artists who have inspired him.
Also in The Junction, we visited CAPERS (4525 California SW).
Abstract pencil artist Jan Dale Koutsky is featured tonight, there until 7 pm.
See featured artists and food/beverage venues – specials when you mention you’re out for the Art Walk! – by going here. Art Walk night is a great time to explore local businesses as well as discover local art. Second Thursday every month, year-round.
In his briefing today, Gov. Inslee said the key to getting more people vaccinated is convenience. So here’s the latest on three upcoming opportunities:
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION ON SATURDAY: Two updates on the pop-up in the 42nd SW parking lot, 10 am-1 pm this Saturday – the city’s Mobile Vaccination Team will bring Pfizer too, so ages 12+ are eligible, and the West Seattle Junction Association has doubled the number of coupons for free Husky Deli ice cream cones – they’re now available to the first 100 to get vaccinated. Enter the lot just south of SW Oregon for free parking if you’re going to the clinic, too.
‘A SHOT AND A BEER’: Washington Beer Blog (headquartered in West Seattle) reports that breweries are hosting clinics – including The Good Society in The Admiral District, on Saturday, May 22nd. More details forthcoming.
SIDE NOTE: West Seattle is already at the statewide goal, at more than 70 percent of 16+ people having had at least one dose of vaccine. Choose the maps tab on this page of the King County website – scroll down to the zip-code maps, and you’ll see that 98136 leads the way with 83 percent, followed by 98116 with 81 percent, and 98126 with 70 percent. (West Seattle also has parts of the 98106 – 74 percent – and 98146 – 67 percent – zip codes.)
With big news today including new CDC guidance on masks for vaccinated people and Seattle Public Schools’ plan to fully reopen this fall, plus days to go until the end of the 2-week pause in the reopening plan, we’re carrying Gov. Inslee‘s pandemic briefing live. Notes as it goes.
He starts by saying “a huge number of business restrictions … will be lifted June 30th.” This is because of a move to “full focus” on vaccinations as the primary weapon against COVID-19. He says cases and hospitalizations are “both coming down … and we’re very pleased. … And there is universal access to the vaccine now.”
In the “immediate future,” the governor says that as of next Tuesday, every county “will have the opportunity to be in Phase 3,” even if they are now in Phase 2, but it’s up to local decisionmakers. “The basic bottom line is that most of our businesses will stay at 50 percent indoors,” until that full reopening on June 30th – or earlier if the state gets to 70 percent vaccination (at least the first dose) of people 16+. Right now, he says, trends suggest that won’t happen until late June, but it could happen sooner, with capacity/supply for more vaccinations to be given every day than are being given right now.
2:52 PM: Inslee says the new CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated people will be adopted by our state, effective immediately. That’s two weeks after the second shot if you got Moderna or Pfizer, or after the one and only shot if you got Johnson & Johnson. However, he says, businesses can require workers/customers to wear masks – the new guidance just means that if you’re fully vaccinated, the state won’t require it in most places.
Again, he says, regarding vaccination, “this is a different pandemic strategy, but we need the same level of commitment.”
2:56 PM: He moves on to schools, saying he expects that all will fully open for in-person learning this fall – an announcement that Seattle Public Schools made earlier today. Whether they’ll have any rules depends on the vaccination rate. COVID testing will be “ramped up” in the fall, he says. He also mentions more money for business relief.
3 PM: Now on to media Q&A. The first two questions are for clarification of the new mask guidance. Again, they’ll still be required some places – including health care and public transportation. But businesses CAN still require masks if they choose to. How would businesses check someone’s vaccination status? he’s asked. The state is not planning to require that they check – “but again, they are legally entitled to do so” if they choose, he says. State health secretary Dr. Umair Shah added that what the CDC said today is further recognition that vaccines are effective in both protecting the vaccinated person and preventing people from spreading the virus to others. If you’re still uneasy about getting vaccinated, the governor added, talk with your health-care provider “and get their advice.”
Will the governor follow what Florida is doing and canceling fines/penalties for business violators of COVID rules? No, Inslee says.
Will our state follow what other states are doing and offer incentives (like the Ohio lottery)? The governor “would not rule out these kind of incentives. It is something we’re giving some thought to.” He says to wait and see for possible news “next week.”
The state is not planning to call for “vaccine passports,” but again, individual businesses have the right to ask for proof.
3:27 PM: The briefing has wrapped up with the governor making one more pitch for vaccination, saying there’s no reason to not do it. “We’re looking for leaders here” – if you’re vaccinated and know someone who isn’t, talk to them about it. Overall, today he declares today “one of the most remarkable days” since the start of the pandemic.
The window atop this story will soon feature the archived video. Here’s what the governor’s office has published online about today’s reopening announcement.
Two reminders for tonight:
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Celebrate spring, art, and local businesses by joining in tonight’s Art Walk! The official preview has been updated and expanded since we mentioned it last weekend, with a full list of who’s participating this month. Here’s a quick list of who’s open with in-person artist receptions – all over the peninsula from Admiral to Arbor Heights:
West Seattle Grounds (5-8 pm)
West Seattle Runner (5-7 pm)
Wend Jewelry (4-8 pm)
Fogue Gallery (5-8 pm)
Mystery Made (5 pm “till late”)
Verity Credit Union (5-8 pm)
Capers (5-7 pm)
Wild Rose’s (6-8:30 pm)
Snip Its (5-8;30 pm)
Brookdale West Seattle (3-5 pm)
Canna West Seattle (6-7 pm)
Viscon Cellars (5-8 pm)
Resolve Chiropractic (5-8 pm)
Brace Point Gallery (5-8 pm)
Multiple restaurants/bars have food and drink specials, too! For locations, artist details, links, maps, go to the official Art Walk preview.
WORDS, WRITERS, SOUTHWEST STORIES: If you’d rather cozy up with an online author presentation, this monthly series presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is happening tonight too. At 6 pm, hear from author David Williams about jhis book “Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound.” Free but you have to register to get the link – go here.
11:20 AM: Seattle Parks announced last month that it would return the fire rings to Alki Beach by Memorial Day – and today, with the holiday weekend still two weeks away, they’re back. Thanks to Guy for the tip; we just went over for photographic proof. In the early pandemic weeks, Parks locked the fire rings to discourage “crowding and congregating,” and then removed them last July. Neither of those steps kept people from having beach fires; many nights in the ensuing months, we heard Seattle Fire crews dispatched to “illegal burn” reports. (During one recent callout, the arriving crew radioed to dispatch that no lives or property were in danger, so they were canceling the dispatch.) Here’s a recap of beach-fire rules; we’re checking with Parks to see when they’ll be officially open (unlocked).
2:34 PM: Not until Memorial Day weekend, says Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin.
10:30 AM: Seattle Public Schools‘ new interim superintendent Dr. Brent Jones has just announced the district is preparing to fully reopen schools this fall. In an open letter published on the district website, Dr. Jones said, “My staff know how to successfully open school across 104 sites and that is exactly what we plan to do in September, while continuing to follow public health and state guidelines.” District schools closed in mid-March 2020 and reopened for part-time in-person learning less than a month ago; (corrected) June 18th is the last day of this school year, while the 2021-2022 school year is currently scheduled to start for most SPS students September 1st (see the calendar here).
11:31 AM: More details from the official news release, which has since arrived:
… While the focus is on in-person instruction for all students, the plan does include a remote option for students who may be unable to attend full-time in-person for health-related or other significant reasons. …
… Dr. Jones identified important areas of collaboration and partnership that will be prioritized as the plan is developed:
• Working in partnership with the SPS Board of Directors to approve the final plan for submission to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI);
• Working in partnership with the Seattle Education Association during development of the best possible instructional environment that will ensure the highest student outcomes;
• Including input from key stakeholders, community groups, students and families, with a particular focus on students and families furthest from educational justice.
With the return to full-time in-person instruction, Superintendent Jones plans a range of student and staff-focused supports:
• Focus on student mental health – SPS will use federal emergency funds to invest in additional mental health services, trauma-informed practice and working with families and staff to create a “culture of care” as students return to classrooms.
• Supporting student growth – Focus on each student’s individual learning path in collaboration with parents and caregivers. Additional academic supports, community partnerships, and learning opportunities will be in place to support those students with the most need.
• Robust wellness supports for SPS staff.
• Continuing to use new and innovative instructional practices that have evolved over the past year.
Fall implementation planning teams will be convening to design the plans for the full-time in person model.
The SPS Board of Directors will hold a special board meeting on May 26, 2021 to review the Washington LEA Academic and Student Well-Being Recovery Plan, which is required by OSPI. On June 1, 2021, SPS will submit the board-approved plan to OSPI.
You raise the plants, they raise the money! Three benefit plant sales are happening this weekend:
SOLSTICE PARK: The gardeners from the P-Patch at this park across from the north end of Lincoln Park are hosting their spring plant sale this Saturday (May 15th), 10 am-3 pm:
The sale supports basic maintenance needs of the garden and most importantly funds our Giving Garden. The Giving Garden provides fresh produce for the West Seattle Food Bank. Last year the Giving Garden produced 999 lbs of vegetables, and combined with 255 lbs of produce from individual plots, the Solstice P-Patch gave 1,254 lbs. Last year we were unable to hold our spring sale, which is our largest fundraising event of the year. This is a great way to find great veggie starts and interesting plants for your garden.
Look for the sellers by the tennis courts at 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW.
FURRY FACES FOUNDATION: For the first time in six years, this group that helps pets and their people is hosting one of their legendary plant sales:
After a 5-year hiatus, Furry Faces Foundation Plant Sales are back! Always great plants. Always great fun. Always for a great cause…keeping pets and people together.
Perennials, Annuals, Edibles, including Tomato Plants and Veggies, Sedums and Succulents, Black Mondo Grass, drought tolerant plants, shrubs, and more. Most 2.5″ and gallon size plants are priced from $3 – $10, with all proceeds directly supporting our mission of Keeping Pets & People Together.
Tim Scallon, Furry Faces Foundation’s Official Musician, will be performing on Saturday afternoon. Come by, shop our plants, then relax and enjoy Tim’s captivating music. You might want to bring a folding chair if you plan on staying for awhile to listen to Tim and visit with fellow plant lovers.
The Furry Faces sale is set for 11 am-4 pm Saturday at 3809 46th Ave SW.
LUNG FORCE FUNDRAISER: Amy’s extended her benefit sale (which launched last Saturday), adding 9 am-3 pm this Saturaay to raise money for the American Lung Association via her Sue’s Crew Lung Force Walk Seattle team. Sue’s her mom, a two-time lung-cancer survivor. 9 am-3 pm at 3703 SW 107th.
6:07 AM: Good morning. Partly sunny forecast today.
ROAD WORK UPDATES
West Marginal Way – SDOT says the sidewalk work on the west side of the street north of the Duwamish Tribe longhouse will happen this weekend and next
35th/Graham – The work zone has expanded into both southbound lanes of 35th at Graham, so it’s one lane each way using the northbound side.
Fauntleroy/Juneau – Lane-reducing work here
Delridge project – This week’s plan spotlights the 21st/Delridge closure and says the end is in sight for Delridge/Orchard.
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
416th 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 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.