West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s pandemic headlines, with 12 days at most until reopening:
COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER’S BRIEFING: Though the situation has greatly improved, Dr. Jeff Duchin warned that “COVID-19 is not gone. … The virus is suppressed, but not eliminated.” See the video here.
KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the daily stats from the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:
*111,509 people have tested positive, 84 more than yesterday’s total
*1,612 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total
*6,304 people have been hospitalized, 4 more than yesterday’s total
Now our weekly check of key numbers on the COVID Vaccination Among King County Residents dashboard:
*1,504,658 people have received one dose (77.1% of everyone 12+)
*1,361,806 people have received both doses (69.7% of everyone 12+)
One week ago, the first three totals were 110,939/1,613/6,266, and the vaccination totals were 1,484,440/1,307,132.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 177.8 million cases, 3,851,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
On wheels and/or on foot, Class of 2021 graduates got to celebrate tonight at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. School faculty and photo-op stops lined the southwest corner of campus.
SSC President Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap and Seattle Colleges District leadership were there for the photos and cheering.
SSC called this the “Unstoppable Graduation Celebration,” in honor of the perseverance this year’s nearly 500 graduates showed in finishing their programs and earning a degree or certificate despite the many life changes brought on by the pandemic.
South Seattle College’s announcement noted 487 awards this year, including:
313 associate transfer degrees that enable graduates to transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Washington and beyond to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
61 career training associate of science degrees and certificates that prepare graduates to enter the workforce immediately.
72 high-school diplomas or equivalents, allowing graduates to take a significant step toward future education and employment opportunities.
41 bachelor of applied science degrees, taking graduates’ careers to the next level and increasing their earning potential.
The school estimates about 150 of its new grads joined in tonight’s celebration.
Another West Seattle celebration today for a departing longtime principal – Gerrit Kischner, leaving Genesee Hill Elementary after 13 school years. After the last day of school, he was the guest of honor at a rooftop reception hosted by Kevin Broveleit of West Seattle Realty (WSB sponsor) atop Element 42, the Admiral building that’s home to WSR. Surrounded by Genesee Hill PTA leaders past and present, Kischner was presented with the plan for a tribute funded by community donations – a “buddy bench“:
Organizers hope the bench will be installed at the school by fall. Kischner will be well into his new role as principal of Thornton Creek Elementary by then.
He told those gathered this afternoon that it had been a “huge honor and privilege” to watch their kids grow. Before opening the newly built Genesee Hill in 2016, the school was Schmitz Park Elementary, and members of the Schmitz family were at today’s celebration to join in the tribute:
Dietrich Schmitz and Vicki Schmitz Block recalled the first-day-of-school flag ceremonies at the old school (which will be in use as an elementary school next year as temporary home to West Seattle Elementary, while its High Point building is expanded). Meantime, at Genesee Hill, assistant principal Liz Dunn has been chosen as Kischner’s successor.
Balloons and banners were displayed in abundance this afternoon as Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point had a farewell parade at the end of the final school day of the year. Stars of the show – two high-profile departees, principal David Dockendorf:
And assistant principal Lisa Clayton:
Dockendorf is retiring after 23 school years at the helm of Pathfinder. He told us he’s planning a trip to Mexico – and after that, he’ll figure out what else is next.
Clayton has spent 25 of the past 27 years at Pathfinder, assistant principal for the past decade. She will hold that role at Genesee Hill Elementary starting this fall.
Today’s parade also honored the rest of Pathfinder’s staff – lots of gratitude in evidence with everyone who drove by. Pathfinder’s new principal, as announced back in April, will be Dr. Britney Holmes.
You’ve got two hours until sunset … and almost two hours left with Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) in the house at Best of Hands Barrelhouse (35th/Webster), for the launch of No Surrender, a new brew with proceeds benefiting organizations working to save live-music venues. Outside, adjacent to the Best of Hands patio, visit the TRG table for $5 raffle tickets to turn up the volume on the cause – you could win a swag bag with a pint glass, gift card, and more. And if you haven’t had dinner yet, the Taqueria La Original truck is there too:
What about the beer, you ask? BoH describes it: “NO SURRENDER HAZY IPA features a boatload of STRATA & SABRO hops on a generous, pillowy body. Combining our mutual love for The Boss & for live music, this beer’s name is a nod to the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. Our mission is to help the struggling independent music venues of WA state, devastated like so many industries by the pandemic.We need the arts and music more than ever. We will see them resurrected. As the song says, ‘no retreat, baby, no surrender’.” The festivities are on until 9 pm.
The long-closed stretch of SW Yancy Street near the West Seattle Health Club will not reopen tomorrow as most recently promised. Word from Transitional Resources, the nearby nonprofit whose supportive-housing project is the reason for the closure: “The concrete is all poured on Yancy Street, but the City Inspector is not allowing the road to open until Tuesday.” It has been closed for almost three months; initial word was that the road work mostly involved drainage improvements.
Earlier this week, we reported on Seattle Parks reps meeting with neighbors near the Alki entrance to Schmitz Park to discuss their concerns about a stairway planned for the slope at 57th/Stevens. Parks reps promised to let the neighbors know by week’s end what would happen next. We’ve just received their followup email to neighbors, much of which recaps Monday’s site meeting, then concludes:
… Once again, we appreciate your willingness to meet with us to hear about the project and voice your opinions. It is important that we pause and take the time needed to address your concerns. In order (to) accomplish this, we will do the following:
-We will delay the installation of the stairs but will continue with the tree planting, vegetation management and invasive plant removal at this time.
-We will continue to coordinate with SDOT to address the safety concerns which were raised at the meeting. An addition of a staircase in the future will be dependent upon this coordination.
-We will keep you informed of any progress, changes or general information as we shift our focus to address your concerns.
As an interesting side note, we are working closely with the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks to prepare for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted in 2022. The replacement trees in this corridor will be the first of 200 trees that are intended to be planted to commemorate this celebration. Here is more information on this effort at olmsted200.org.
Stairway construction had been scheduled for August, Parks said at Monday’s meeting. Meantime, there was one update during the meeting recap in today’s email, addressing the neighbors’ contention that, contrary to Parks’ claim, there was no historic unofficial trail on the slope at the proposed stairway site: “(A neighbor and the two Parks managers) walked further east along the slope and found what appears to be the goat path in question. It has a fallen tree blocking at the upper elevation and has become overgrown but is still visible.”
Just in from Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s office: She’s extending the eviction moratorium for residential renters and small-business/nonprofit tenants another three months, through September 30th. The announcement notes:
The City is in the process of delivering $23 million in rent relief to Seattle’s residential tenants and landlords. In the coming weeks, the City Council will consider an additional $28 million in rental assistance directly allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act to the City of Seattle. In sum, throughout the pandemic, city-funded rental and housing assistance total approximately $75 million for tenants, landlords, and city-funded affordable housing providers, in addition to State and County resources. …
The executive order continues tenant protections prohibiting landlords from issuing notices of termination or otherwise initiating eviction actions with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. Late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium are not allowed. However, tenants are still legally obligated to pay rent during the moratorium, and landlords are encouraged to offer flexible payment plans. Residential tenants who receive an eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint.
The moratorium on eviction of nonprofit and small business commercial tenants applies to independently-owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The extension also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium. For additional questions please see the Office of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Lease Amendment Tool Kit.
The mayor’s announcement covers more than the eviction moratorium. Here are the other extensions:
The executive order also extends certain suspensions put in place to limit the economic impact of the pandemic on Seattle residents and small businesses. These extensions include the Utility Discount Program’s Self-Certification Pilot Program, temporary loading zones for restaurants and small businesses, and non-booting of vehicles for unpaid parking tickets. The City continues to assess when to lift these individual suspensions as it relates to the COVID-19 emergency.
Mayor Durkan has also directed utilities to refrain from shutting off service to customers through December 31, 2021.
Today we welcome The Brocante Beach House, a new business at Alki Beach, as one of our newest WSB sponsors. Here’s what The Brocante Beach House‘s proprietor Kim Medica would like you to know about what her shop offers:
Kim travels the country and hand-picks each and every item to bring you the most unique and interesting pieces. Many of the vintage items are one of a kind, and you certainly won’t find the exact same thing in your neighbor’s home. Along with vintage items that focus on a French and coastal influence, The Brocante Beach House stocks many eco-friendly cleaning products, soaps, detergents, candles, European linens, French market bags, and much more.
Kim is a West Seattle High School graduate, fourth-generation resident and has lived in West Seattle for many years.
Kim is here to inspire any home and any budget, offering personal shopping, home styling, and consulting as well.
The Brocante Beach House adds new items weekly and is the perfect destination to pick up a gift for yourself or a loved one. Take a stroll on beautiful Alki Beach this weekend and stop in – 2622 Alki Avenue SW – to say hi! Hours are Fridays through Sundays 12 pm-5 pm, and Thursdays by chance or appointment.
We thank The Brocante Beach House for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
11:25 AM: The big police response on the east side of The Junction right now is following a report of a vehicle theft. Officers are still trying to sort out what happened but the stolen vehicle is described via emergency radio as a white 18-foot Ford Econoline box truck, possibly with some of its tires deflated. The first report came from 41st/Alaska – though the theft may have happened elsewhere – and the vehicle was reportedly last seen heading west on Alaska, after hitting another vehicle while leaving the scene. The stolen vehicle’s plate is described as starting with C961. If you see it, call 911.
11:43 AM: Photos added. We’ve talked with a sergeant at the scene – clarification on the vehicle description, it’s a 2000 white Ford Econoline van. At right below is the car the thief hit while fleeing:
If you heard possible gunfire in the area, that hasn’t been explained yet – there was an initial report that the van’s owner might have shot out/at its tires but police say they haven’t confirmed that yet. Seattle Fire medics were called to the scene to check out the victim.
4:31 PM: Here’s the preliminary summary from police: “It appears to have been a disturbance involving a stolen vehicle. The victim located his stolen vehicle, and a suspect armed with a handgun. As the victim, who was also armed, tried to confront the suspect, the suspect drove off. The victim tried to shoot out the tires on the vehicle as it fled. No known injuries as the vehicle fled the scene. A second subject was detained, and as of the writing of the report, the vehicle, a KCSO stolen, had not been recovered.” “KCSO stolen” means it was reported stolen outside the city, in the King County Sheriff’s Office‘s jurisdiction.
This morning’s rescue drill at the Infinity Shore Club (WSB sponsor) is over in the 1200 block of Alki Avenue SW. Senior project superintendent Matt Ohlinger sent the photos and report:
Great turnout this morning for the rescue drills by the members of SFD Station 32
Engine 32 & Ladder 11 crews performed a variety of drills that would be used in an emergency situation for the upper floors of mid-rise building.
Great cooperation from SFD, and thanks from the members of the Alki Builders construction team.
Notes for the rest of your sunny Friday:
ALKI AVENUE DRILL: Just a reminder that if you see fire crews at the Infinity Shore Club (WSB sponsor) construction site (1250 Alki SW) this morning, it’s only a drill.
PATHFINDER FAREWELL: On this last day of school, a 2 pm drive-by parade at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee) will honor departing principal David Dockendorf and assistant principal Lisa Clayton.
BENEFIT BEER RELEASE PARTY: 6-9 pm, Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) is in the (barrel)house at Best of Hands Barrelhouse (35th/Webster) to celebrate this week’s releawe of No Surrender, a beer benefiting Washington Nightlife & Music Association / Keep Music Live WA – details here.
Family and friends are remembering Anne Marie (Link) Ushler, and sharing this with the community:
It is with deep sadness we share that on June 8, Anne passed away from cancer.
Anne was born October 1, 1955 to Kathryn and Clarence Link. She spent her childhood in West Seattle, on Pigeon Point, attending FB Cooper elementary, Boren Junior High, and Chief Sealth High School. After marrying Kevin Ushler, she moved to Bothell, and also had a home in Palm Desert.
She had a long career in Human Resources for an inhalation-therapy company, retiring to spend extended time on their boat, Haven. Anne and Kevin traveled extensively – to Russia, Hong Kong, Europe – and loved visiting their daughter and her family in England.
We will miss Anne’s love, kindness, understanding, and truly wicked sense of humor. We will miss singing with her, dancing with her, and sharing wine at sunset in the cockpit. Fourth of July in Poulsbo will never quite be the same.
She is remembered by her husband Kevin, her children Kyle (Mika), Jennifer (Craig), and Lindsay (Justin), her grandchildren Isaac, Faith, Josiah, Jeffrey, and Summer, and her brother John Link (Stephanie) and her sister Linda Byers (Gary).
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Delridge project – The Delridge/Barton/Henderson intersection remains closed on the east side; here’s what else is happening, with next week’s preview due out later today.
SW Yancy – Checking on the closure west of 28th, which is supposed to be about to end.
Regular schedule for buses and ferries.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
452nd 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.