West Seattle, Washington
Our nightly roundup of local pandemic-related information:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS, AND A DASHBOARD CHANGE: First, an announcement:
Public Health – Seattle & King County is adding “probable cases” to our COVID-19 data dashboards. It will have a small impact on our count of cases, hospitalizations and deaths on all of our dashboards. These will now include people who have had a positive PCR test or a positive antigen (rapid) test.
So with that, here are tonight’s totals from the Seattle-King County Public Health daily summary:
*107,593 people have tested positive, 131 more than yesterday’s total (this includes 4,474 probables)
*1,559 people have died, unchanged since Saturday
*6,059 people have been hospitalized, 18 more than yesterday’s total
*1,069,317 people have been tested, 1,151 more than yesterday’s total (note that the dashboard makes the distinction that these are people tested by PCR)
One week ago, those totals were 101,274/1,542/5,962/1,059,270.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 163.4 million cases, 3,386,000 deaths – 586,000 in the U.S. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.
STUDENT VACCINATION CLINIC: Tomorrow there’s one at West Seattle High School.
VAX STATS: In King County, 72.4 percent of people 16+ have had at least one dose; 56.1 percent are fully vaccinated. In West Seattle, the most-vaccinated zip code remains 98136 – 84.5 percent of people 16+ have had at least one dose.
NEED FOOD? The nearest Food Lifeline distribution is 2-5 pm Friday (May 21st) at 815 S. 96th.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
That wasn’t just a beach picnic at Lincoln Park on Sunday – it was a publication celebration! Back in February, we reported on a call for contributions to a zine to be published by West Seattleite Lauren Grosskopf‘s Pleasure Boat Studio. Now the 100-page zine, Kids for Kids, is out and the publisher invited contributors and their families to an informal gathering at the beach. She printed 100 copies of the zine, which features art, stories, poetry, and comics – with contributors getting them free – and while about half are spoken for, the rest are available for purchase at $15 by going here (where you can also download a PDF version free).
In case you passed by and wondered what happened: A two-car collision at 38th/Genesee this past hour left two cars off the road – one on the sidewalk, the other through a fence. The photo was sent by the owner of the fence, who says nobody was hurt. On the other side of the fence, the primary damage, reports the owner, was a lilac bush.
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: More than a week after our last report on the sidewalk-blocking camp along Delridge just north of Roxbury, the site now has about half the number of tents that were there at its peak – down to about half a dozen as of early this afternoon. A texter reported seeing a city crew there earlier in the day. Before that text, we already had inquiries out to both SDOT and the Human Services Department – the former would be accountable for prioritizing (or not) the site for removal, under city policies leaving that up to departments that “own” individual sites, while the latter would be involved with services and outreach. First we heard back from HSD spokesperson Kevin Mundt, who said the camp was to be removed this week until a health situation led to a postponement:
Urban League, REACH, and the CCS Scope team outreach workers were at the Roxbury & Delridge location last week, in coordination with the HOPE Team. REACH made two referrals from the location to the Executive Hotel Pacific enhanced shelter on Thursday (May 13). As of last week, it was estimated that seven to ten people were residing in the encampment.
During the course of this outreach, providers notified the HOPE Team of individuals in the encampment who appeared sick with a gastrointestinal illness. Once notified, the HOPE Team shared this information with Public Health, who is investigating. Per recommendations from Public Health, a removal of the Delridge & Roxbury encampment planned for this week was postponed. The HOPE Team is encouraging outreach providers to continue their engagement at the site in the meantime.
Once a site is identified as a priority location by our City department partners, the HOPE Team shares that information with providers and directs outreach to those locations in an attempt to have the site be encampment free through outreach strategies alone. If necessary, a site may be subject to a removal under the MDARs.
SDOT, meantime, said a response to our inquiry would come from the mayor’s office, and that just arrived, from spokesperson Rachel Schulkin, explaining the city-crew sighting:
Today, REACH, a City-contracted outreach provider, contacted the Clean City initiative to request items they identified as trash and debris at the Roxbury and Delridge encampment be removed. Per the request, a Clean City Parks crew identified the items (with assistance from the outreach workers) on site and removed the debris from the encampment. Individuals residing on site were not asked to move and their property was left. As mentioned previously, there is no current scheduled removal for the encampment.
Two of the remaining tents are in front of White Center Glass, whose proprietor Abby Fisher was the latest to surface the sidewalk-blocking camp to the city. Of the newest developments, she says, “While that hasn’t improved as much as we would like to see – it is progress.” We’re following up separately with Seattle-King County Public Health to see what their investigation entails.
TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE: The camp is even smaller tonight – a few tents at the south end of the block. We’ve heard from the CoLEAD program, which has been working with the sidewalk residents, and expect to learn more tomorrow about how that has unfolded.
Tomorrow, MOD Pizza is planning a brief giveaway to celebrate a milestone. The Seattle-founded chain now has 500 locations (two of which are in West Seattle – at The Whittaker, 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, and Westwood Village, 2600 SW Barton). So for 500 seconds at 5 pm Tuesday – that’s 8 1/3 minutes – the first 50 people in line at each location chain-wide will each get “a redeemable coupon for one free MOD-size pizza or MOD-size salad in-store only between 5/18-5/20/21.”
After Wednesday, West Seattle will be without a tower crane. The only one currently in use, at the 1250 Alki Avenue SW project, is coming down that day. The alert from the project team says:
Traffic setup will be on the morning of the 19th and we expect to be completed by 6:00 PM. Due to alternating single-lane usage, vehicle traffic should expect minor delays and will be limited throughout the day of the dismantle.
The third Tuesday of the month usually brings the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, primarily a chance for community members to hear from and talk with local police. Since that’s tomorrow and we hadn’t heard anything, we checked – the. precinct tells us there’s no meeting this month. (If you missed last month’s coverage, read it here.) But police reps are often at local community-council meetings, so watch for news of those if you have an issue to bring up. The most recent briefing we covered was at the District 1 Community Network‘s May meeting.
11:32 AM: Gov. Inslee is in West Seattle right now during a daylong tour of the metro area, signing bills. He has just arrived at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, he is signing the HEAL Act (SB 5141), which he says will “set a course toward a more healthy and equitable future with greater environmental justice for all Washingtonians.” The Longhouse is hosting a celebratory event for the occasion, both inside and outside.TVW plans to stream the signing above; we are at the Longhouse to cover the event, and we’ll add more photos/details later.
11:52 AM: The ceremony has begun with a song of welcome. James Rasmussen of the Duwamish Tribe then speaks.
“My people have been here for over 10,000 years.” The bill the governor will sign today, he says, is “about healing” – not just environmental, but “all kinds.” He also reminds those gathered – and those watching.- that the Duwamish are still seeking federal recognition.
11:59 AM: Now the governor takes the podium. He says this bill addressing systemic racism’s role in environmental injustice has been decades in the making. He hails the work of organizations such as the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, whose executive director Paulina López is among the dozens of people in attendance. While the bill may “sound like process,” the governor insists that it’s “about results.”
Also speaking, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. “It is about how we approach all the work we do” – to undo what has led to disparities in “health and opportunity” affecting too many “because of where they live.” Joining her at the podium is Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley, a new legislator who speaks emotionally about her pride that this was accomplished – “I don’t want one more auntie to die 10 years too early … I don’t want one more child to have asthma” because of pollution.
12:40 PM: And after more speaking and singing, the signing.
The governor declares that the HEAL Act will make environmental justice part of the state’s “core strategy.” He moves on to one more on-location signing in about an hour, three environmental bills he’ll sign in Shoreline, two of them sponsored by West Seattle House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon. Meantime, the video from this event should be viewable, archived, above, before long. And we’ll add more coverage when we’re back at HQ.
ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: From the legislative news release about the HEAL Act, more explanation:
Senate Bill 5141, the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL Act), addresses the disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards suffered by Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, along with low-income communities in neighborhoods across Washington state, putting them at higher risk of adverse health outcomes. This risk is further amplified for communities with pre-existing economic barriers and environmental risks.
The HEAL Act, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), implements recommendations from the Environmental Justice Task Force – established by the Legislature in 2019 – on how state agencies should incorporate environmental justice principles to reduce health disparities when implementing policies and programs. Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. …
Saldaña’s bill establishes environmental justice requirements for seven state agencies, an interagency workgroup, and a permanent environmental justice council, the makeup of which includes a majority of representatives from impacted communities. It also sets timelines for guidance, recommendations, and implementation of environmental justice assessments, measurements, and public reporting of progress.
The indoor ceremony at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center was followed by an outdoor celebration (with food by the Off the Rez truck, funded by Front and Centered Coalition). Speakers included the tribe’s longtime chair Cecile Hansen:
She also reminded those in attendance that the Duwamish battle for recognition is not yet won, and noted what they had given up so long ago – 55,000 acres, while now, they hold only the 2/3 of an acre on which the Longhouse sits. As noted in our recent District 1 Community Network report, you can expect to hear more about the tribe’s renewed quest. Their message is that despite the federal attempt at erasure, “We are still here.”
Longer days and more sunshine mean more time outside for kids to explore and play – and busy, growing feet might need new shoes! Kid-Friendly Footwear @ Again & Again (WSB sponsor) in The Junction wants you to know they’re having a sale:
Here at Kid Friendly Footwear @ Again & Again we miss our friends & neighbors visiting to get outfitted with new & used sandals, shoes, boots & other gear for all seasons. After 25 years in the same location, this long pandemic year has been a little lonely. We can’t live without you!
We’re open for shopping now 10 am-5 pm Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays, (masks required). Closed Tuesdays. Other times available by appointment only for urgent needs.
Celebrate spring & the end of 2020 with 20% off all KEEN footwear (thru 5/31), Many other discounts 20- 50% off throughout the store including Hatley raincoats & boots, and iplay swimsuits & SPF50+ rashguards.
Shop online kidfriendlyfootwear.com
We offer $4.99 flat-rate US shipping & free delivery in the West Seattle neighborhood. Hope to see you again soon, please let us know how we can help you, 206-933-2060 or email@example.com
The shop is at 4832 California SW.
Alki Co-op Preschool is hosting a Dine-Out Fundraiser at Ampersand on Alki on Friday, May 21st from 6 am-7 pm. Part of SSC’s West Seattle Preschool program, Alki Co-op Preschool is a non-profit preschool that enriches our community through positive-discipline education.
Ampersand is at 2535 Alki SW.
6:07 AM: Good morning. Rainy, breezy weather on the way.
ROAD WORK UPDATES
Delridge project – Here’s this week’s plan, and progress reports on work zones like the intersections with Orchard and Thistle.
I-5 FYI – A year-long project on northbound I-5 through downtown starss tonight; WSDOT says work will be done at night to reduce impacts.
Regular schedules today.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
420th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 19th 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.