West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s local pandemic notes:
MILESTONE: It was announced today that 70 percent of King County residents 16+ having had either two shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot J&J. So in two weeks the county mask directive will end.
STAYING THE COURSE: But the governor is saying no to suggestions that he reopen the state early. .
NEWEST NUMBERS: Checking the daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health:
*111,242 people have tested positive, 78 new since yesterday
*1,616 people have died, 1 new since yesterday
*6,285 people have been hospitalized, 10 new since yesterday
One week ago, the totals were 110,565/1,607/6,239.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 176.6 million cases worldwide, 33.4 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health officials’ weekly briefing is at 8:15 am Wednesday. You can watch live here.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
We’ve learned tonight that this missing man, mentioned on Twitter by Seattle Police on Monday afternoon, is from West Seattle:
Missing: Brian Puhl
W, M, 6’04”, 185 lbs, brown hair, blue eyes
Last seen in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Possibly driving a 1994 Volvo 940 station wagon.
Please call 911 if seen. pic.twitter.com/KTOhE4eQed
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 14, 2021
He’s 45 years old. Friends tell us he actually has been missing since parking his car at Camp Long on Friday. If you see him or have information, call 911 or the missing persons unit at 206-684-5582 and refer to case #21-145895.
ADDED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: The search has come to a sad end.
6:43 PM: Thanks for the tips. The Seattle City Light map shows a big outage affecting parts of Riverview/Highland Park but mostly stretching further south, into Burien – 6,320 homes and businesses. It started just after 6:30 pm. No word on the cause yet.
7:22 PM: The Myers/Olson light is out, as are many in Burien. Remember that means an all-way stop.
7:26 PM: About a thousand customers – including most if not all of those who were affected in WS – are back on.
7:54 PM: The outage – now stretching southward from Top Hat into Burien – is blamed on “equipment failure.”
8:40 PM: Down to 657 customers. We’ll follow up tomorrow to get a more-specific description of what failed.
9:50 PM: Got the info tonight after all. SCL spokesperson Julie Moore says, “The outage was caused by a broken cross arm on a pole, which brought wires down. Once the cause was located, we were able to restore power to most customers (all but ~650 of the original 6,300). Crews will keep working until the rest of the customers are restored, which we’re estimating could take several hours.”
2:11 AM: City Light says everyone’s back on.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Back in April, we reported briefly on tree-cutting along the northwest approach to Schmitz Park. When asked, Seattle Parks told us that it was part of a “restoration project” that also would “make permanent an informal pathway up a steep hillside for safety.”
Now, with construction imminent, neighbors suddenly learned that plan involves building a full-fledged stairway up a slope where they insist there is no “informal pathway” – a stairway that would lead to and from a spot where there isn’t even a sidewalk, the corner of 57th and Stevens [map].
Outreach on the project was minimal, admitted two Parks managers who came to the site Monday afternoon for an outdoor meeting with upset neighbors, but they blamed that on the project proceeding in the early months of the pandemic, when public entities (among others) had to figure out new communications methods.
Michelle Whitfield and Kim Baldwin told the neighbors they were there to “hear your voices.” One clear voice promptly rang out: “Are you able to change the plans?”
A guilty plea and sentencing have closed the case on West Seattle’s first 2020 murder, the killing of 41-year-old Jana Layman in her Junction-area home. Her then-roommate Solomon Whitt, now 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as well as to child-rape and child-pornography charges that resulted from discoveries made during the investigation. Last Friday, according to court documents, King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North sentenced Whitt to 31 years and two months – top of the standard sentencing range – for the murder, and concurrent sentences from six to 23 years for the other charges. As reported here after he was charged in January 2020, Whitt said he attacked the victim after she asked him to move out, and tried to make her death look like an accident.
70 percent of everyone 16+ in King County is fully vaccinated. County Executive Dow Constantine just made that announcement, and added that County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin‘s mask directive will end on June 29th. That of course is one day before the promised statewide reopening date – which still could move up if the state meets Gov. Jay Inslee‘s vaccination goal (which he reiterated today), 70 percent of people 16+ getting at least one dose. Today’s King County announcement notes that tomorrow marks six months since vaccination began here.
Just announced by the Seattle Public Library – it’s reopening more branches next week, including Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW) and High Point (3411 SW Raymond), as well as the Central Library downtown. Here’s the announcement we received:
On Tuesday, June 22, the glass and steel walls of The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library will fill with visitors for the first time in 15 months when three levels of the internationally acclaimed building reopen to patrons. Nine other Library branches will also reopen the week of June 21.
The Columbia, Delridge, Greenwood, High Point, International District/Chinatown, Magnolia, Queen Anne, South Park, and University branches all join the Library’s growing list of reopened locations.
Patrons can browse books, pick up available holds, use computers or Wi-Fi, speak to Library staff, charge devices and more at these locations beginning the week of June 21. A complete list of reopening dates and operating hours is provided below. Meeting rooms, study rooms and in-person programs are not yet available at these locations.
At the Central Library, Levels 1, 3 and 5 will be publicly accessible and will include access to the Children’s Area, Adult Fiction and World Languages, as well as computers, Wi-Fi, self-checkout, reference assistance, Library card sign-ups, device charging, courtesy phones, the FriendShop, restroom access and more. Other levels of the Central Library are not yet available to the public, but will reopen in coming weeks.
The Library is making other changes: Reopened locations will no longer close for a one-hour midday cleaning break, as routine cleaning will occur during open hours. This will allow for uninterrupted service throughout the day and more open hours. All open libraries will continue to operate under Gov. Inslee’s currently mandated Phase 3 guidance for Washington state libraries until at least June 30. Physical distancing and mask requirements remain in place until further notice.
With this latest expansion, 17 of 27 Seattle libraries are reopened in advance of the governor’s anticipated statewide reopening on July 1. In addition to providing In-Building Services at these 17 reopened libraries, The Seattle Public Library will continue to provide Curbside Services at the Northeast, Northgate and West Seattle branches; material return service at the Green Lake Branch; and returns service and public restroom access at the Capitol Hill Branch until these libraries are able to reopen. Five libraries – the Fremont, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, Montlake, NewHolly and Wallingford branches – have not been able to provide services during the pandemic due to either staffing constraints or spatial limitations that cannot accommodate physical distancing.
Several more libraries are expected to reopen the week of July 5. The Library will announce those locations the week prior to reopening.
The Library will continue to reopen additional locations as staffing levels allow. The schedule of newly reopened libraries will vary depending on staffing. Open hours for Library locations are expected to increase throughout the summer.
Delridge and High Point will open on Wednesday, June 23rd. Right now the Southwest Branch (9010 35th SW) is the only one in West Seattle with in-building services.
If you’ve been to Alki in recent weeks, you’ve probably noticed the remodeling at 2532 Alki SW, which has had multiple incarnations (including a bike shop and a PPE seller) since longtime tenant Coastal Surf Boutique moved out. The space is opening Sunday (June 20th) as Natalie’s on Alki, an expansion of Natalie’s Sugar Cane and Desserts in Tukwila. Same menu, the Natalie’s team tells us (see it here) – sugar-cane-juice beverages, milk tea, smoothies, desserts, and Vietnamese street food. Hours will start at 10 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.
Two Washington State Ferries notes:
PROPOSED FARE INCREASES: The Washington State Transportation Commission, which has the final say on fares and tolls, has just settled on a fare-increase proposal to circulate for public input. The proposal is the one that won most support during the recent WSF public meetings and survey, known as Alternative 1 – increasing fares by 2.5 percent twice, in October of this year and October of next year. Watch for your chance to comment before the final decision. The higher fares are intended to meet revenue goals set by the Legislature. (ADDED 12:38 PM: WSTC says you can comment via this page or via email at email@example.com.)
CANCELLATIONS: Announced by WSF:
Several late-night sailings to and from Southworth will be canceled due to needed terminal maintenance starting tonight through Thursday.
The following sailings are cancelled from Tuesday, June 15 through Thursday, June 17:
11:50 p.m. and 1:05 a.m. – Departing Fauntleroy to Southworth
12:35 a.m. – Departing Southworth to Fauntleroy
12:15 and 1:30 a.m. – Departing Vashon to Southworth
12:35 a.m. – Departing Southworth to Vashon
On this final week of school, another West Seattle school is getting ready to say goodbye to its longtime principal, and planning a tribute. The Genesee Hill Elementary PTA is inviting community participation beynd current students/families. Here’s their message:
As announced in April of this year, our longtime Principal and friend Gerrit Kischner will be stepping down as the Principal of Genesee Hill Elementary. The current Assistant Principal, Liz Dunn, will replace Gerrit starting in the fall of 2021, keeping Genesee Hill and our community in very good hands.
Gerrit has been a tireless leader and advocate for our children and schools since his arrival at Schmitz Park in 2008. To celebrate and honor Gerrit’s many contributions to our West Seattle community, a group of current and former PTA leaders and other community members are organizing a fundraiser and commemorative gift for Gerrit.
The PTA volunteers involved in this effort are finalizing the exact gift to honor Gerrit, but we anticipate it will be a visual reminder of his years of work to support our children and our community that will be located on our around the Genesee Hill Elementary grounds. Wouldn’t it be lovely to sit with your child and reflect upon their years in elementary school on a peaceful bench? It’s just one of a few ideas we have, and we’ll update everyone on our progress.
Your child’s classroom may be organizing a gift or other activity to honor Gerrit, and you are welcome and encouraged to support those efforts. The PTA leaders and other volunteers have come together to celebrate Gerrit on behalf of our entire West Seattle community.
Our fundraising goal for this effort is $5,000, which will fund this commemorative gift and support the work of the Genesee Hill PTA.
Any unspent donations will go to benefit the current and future students at Genesee Hill. The past year has been very challenging for our children and the Genesee Hill Elementary community, and your gift in honor of Gerrit’s contributions and your support of our PTA are appreciated.
Please use this link to make an online contribution to our gift to Gerrit Kischner.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:
DEMONSTRATION: The weekly announcement from organizer Scott:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, June 15, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, June 17, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come build awareness & stimulate actions to tear down the systems that have oppressed Black lives for over 400 years on this continent. Hold signs, meet neighbors and stand for racial justice. Scott at Puget Ridge Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
WAGYU MEAT MARKET: 4-8 pm at Lady Jaye in The Junction (4523 California SW), you can buy Wagyu beef for home cooking and/or freshly grilled Wagyu cheeseburgers for takeout – details in this WSB story.
SEATTLE WRITES: Online drop-in circle for writers, 6 pm; free but registration required – our calendar listing explains how.
Family and friends are remembering Greg Cherin and sharing this with his community:
Gregory Arnoldo Cherin was born in Renton on November 7, 1958. He died on June 6, 2021, after dealing with long-term health issues. He left us suddenly and we are heartbroken. He is survived by his wife Janice, sons Andrew (Vanessa), grandchildren Kaylee and Caleb, Derek and Tyler. His sister Lela/DeeDee (Randy) Good. Half-brother Bob Cherin. In addition, there are so many more close relatives and friends that will cherish his loving memory.
Greg was a lifelong resident of West Seattle. He was the son of Eugene (Gene) and Marilyn (Jeannie) Cherin, attended Highland Park Elementary, Denny Middle School, and Chief Sealth High School. He graduated with a Business degree from the University of Washington in 1983.
He married Janice on September 11, 1982. Together they raised three wonderful and caring men, Andrew, Derek, and Tyler. Their lives were all enriched having been raised in a loving family. Greg worked for Boeing at the Plant 1, Plant 2, Renton, and also in Palmdale, California for 18 months and at the Tukwila plant. He was a purchaser/buyer and enjoyed the many friendships from that time.
Greg had a passion for baseball and basketball and relayed that passion to all three sons. Their participation in West Seattle sports fueled many games which he helped coach or was the head coach. Through these many activities he developed many lifelong friendships. He would often run into so many people on a trip to the store that you would think would take 30 minutes but last much longer (Janice says).
Greg also enjoyed fishing. He shared many fishing trips in Puget Sound with his cousin David and sons Andrew, Derek, and Tyler. He especially enjoyed fishing out by Blake Island for ling cod.
Relationships were important to him, and he would do anything he could to help others. He enjoyed family the most and was always checking in on family. He went to all family functions – or as many as he could – that lesson he leaves with us will always be important.
We always found ways to travel within the US, often due to a son’s baseball tournament – the memories from all of these trips are very special. Most recently we discovered Hawaii through Andrew and Vanessa. Greg loved Maui because of the beauty, ability to swim in the pools and the ocean, and just relax with family. We were able to go twice in the past 4 years! He and Janice also loved Leavenworth and enjoyed spending time with family and using it as a meeting place with other family members.
In 2017 the most wonderful event happened to Greg and Janice – they became grandparents to Kaylee, and Caleb in 2019. Being a grandfather or ‘Papa’ changed him in many ways – he melted with them both and would do anything for them. He took Kaylee on trips to see the snow in Snoqualmie Pass and to the Nike outlet in North Bend – of course for the good deals. Kaylee is inquisitive and fun; she loved her Papa and of course her Mimi and Uncles. Caleb is an energetic, fun-loving little boy, and watching both of their wonderful personalities develop has been fun to watch. We have had the wonderful pleasure of living close to this little family and seeing them often. They will greatly miss their Papa.
We are so grateful for the many of you who have already reached out and feel so very blessed and honored by your stories and thoughts. We are planning a memorial service to be held this summer. With COVID restrictions hopefully lessening, we are looking at options and will let you know soon.
Share memories of Greg on the Tribute Wall at emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Gregory-Cherin
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services of West Seattle
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:04 AM: Good morning! Cloudy, possibly showery, maybe even afternoon thunderstorms today. Thanks to Bruce Gaumond for this view of the pre-sunset sky on Monday:
Delridge project – Here is this week’s plan.
SW Yancy – Last week for the SW Yancy closure west of 28th.
Regular schedule. For ferries, the Triangle Route is back to three boats.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
449th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 23rd 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 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:
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.