West Seattle, Washington
With one week at most until full reopening, here are tonight’s local/state pandemic updates:
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS’ BRIEFING During state health officials’ weekly briefing today, Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said 68 percent of our state’s 16+ residents have received at least a first dose of vaccine. That’s only up .8 of a percentage point from a week earlier, so it seems unlikely we’ll hit 70 percent and reopen before June 30th.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING TOMORROW: 10:30 am Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee will give his next media briefing on the pandemic. You can watch here.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*112,164 people have tested positive, 407 more than yesterday’s total (explanation: the state “released 314 delayed positive results”)
*1,618 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total
*6,319 people have been hospitalized, 5 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 111,353/1,610/6,292.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find all the numbers, county by county, on the state Department of Health dashboard.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS PLAYGROUNDS REOPEN: The district had said it would decide at year’s end whether to reopen the playgrounds to the public – and it has announced they’re indeed open again.
GOT INFO? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
A big bike ride in and near West Seattle, White Center, and beyond is set for Sunday (June 27th), and Cascade Bicycle Club spokesperson Paul Tolmé emailed us to be sure you know:
Cascade Bicycle Club’s Ride for Major Taylor will take place this Sunday in West Seattle. We would like to alert residents that there will be bicycles on the roads (and many youth bicyclists) and we ask for drivers to be alert and aware of our youth bicyclists. Cascade and its Major Taylor Project would also like to thank West Seattle residents for being courteous to our riders.
And due to the forecast heat, we’d also like to let residents know that we encourage them to come out and cheer on our riders — and maybe offer willing riders a spray from the garden hose to cool off :)
Both start from the bicycle playground at White Center’s Dick Thurnau Park. Registration is closed, as they maxed out at 500 riders. P.S. The ride is a benefit for the Major Taylor Project; read about its namesake, a superstar runner and rider in the 19th/20th centuries, here.
Two food notes:
PEEL & PRESS: Proprietor Dan Austin says his Morgan Junction restaurant has just reopened for indoor dining:
Well, it has been a challenging 15 months. We have stayed carryout only to give West Seattle an option for all of those who wanted to avoid the crowds. Because of all of your support, we were able to survive this pandemic and take our time in reopening the dining room. We have been 100% vaccinated for a while now and are ready to see your faces (still masked for a few more days) again!
Starting Wednesday and going until the Governor announces the full reopening, we will be offering limited table seating. We will not have a ton of capacity but we need to get the staff back in the swing of plating food and serving tables. We ask that you pack your grace and understanding for the next week or two (not just here but at all restaurants) as we get our in=person and soon, full-capacity muscle memory established again. We are so excited to welcome you back!
Peel & Press is at 6503 California SW; hours are 4-9 pm this week, then after that, expanding to 4-10 pm Sundays-Thursdays and 4- 11 pm Fridays-Saturdays.
FOOD-TRUCK FIGHT: We’re told the well-known Seattle truck Where Ya At Matt will be in the Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) vicinity 3-6:30 pm tomorrow (Thursday, June 24) “for a food truck competition” along with touring Los Angeles-based truck Billionaire Burger Boyz. WYAM says other details are under wraps “but it’s going to be a lot of fun, and would love to see Seattle come represent!”
ADDED THURSDAY: The food-truck fight continues Friday, and it’s for reality TV, we’re told in this note from Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) proprietor Laurel Trujillo:
there is a food truck battle reality show shooting in West Seattle at Ounces tomorrow Friday, 6/25 from 12-7pm. We will be open at 12 pm as will the food trucks (they will be selling food, we will be serving drinks like normal). Cameras will be rolling!
Basically the premise of the show is that local truck Where Ya At Matt? will be battling against a burger truck from LA. Whoever sells more food wins! So we’d love to invite the West Seattle community out to buy grub, drink beer and support Where Ya At Matt? so they can win!
(2012 Lowman Beach aerial photo – pre-Murray CSO Project – by Long Bach Nguyen
Last weekend we published the announcement of a third public meeting about what might happen at Lowman Beach Park once the crumbling seawall and neighboring tennis court are removed. The announcement said only that “two concepts” would be discussed. Today Seattle Parks revealed those two concepts are: Pickleball court, or no replacement. But Parks also says more tennis courts in the area will be opened to the public. From the announcement:
Two public meetings have been held and three concepts were reviewed. After reviewing the work from the community and the design team, SPR recommends either adding a pickleball court (and saving the swings) or allowing for no additional change than the beach restoration project. SPR does not support the tennis-court concept.
SPR’s recommendation takes into account the park location, its unique characteristics, proximity to other tennis courts, and future maintenance impacts. In addition, SPR reviewed the images from the public meetings, phone calls, emails, and the extensive community outreach to inform this decision. The decision also supports SPR’s Strategic Plan, as the Healthy Environment section calls out preserving a healthy ocean and marine environment that contribute to the health of the Seattle and Pacific ecosystem and a balance between active and passive recreation.
SPR did hear from the community about the importance of racket courts and has worked out an agreement with Seattle Public Schools to open the six courts at the Southwest Athletic Complex [WSB photo above]. The courts are free for drop-in unless reserved … Information about court reservations can be found here.
(We don’t see the SWAC courts listed there yet; we’ll check with Parks tomorrow.) Back to Lowman Beach – the meeting is online at 6:30 pm next Tuesday (June 29th); register here to participate. If the pickleball concept is pursued, funds have to be raised to build it, as Parks has no funding allocated beyond the beach restoration following the seawall/tennis-court removal.
After a year and a half without a vehicle/vessel-licensing office in West Seattle, the new one opens one week from today, at 9 am Wednesday, June 30th, after a ribboncutting ceremony. We just got that word from operator Randy Lais. Here’s the backstory from King County, which administers the contracts for subagents like this one:
Seattle Auto License, Inc. will provide services as a private business appointed by the Department of Licensing and will operate as a county-contracted subagent. Seattle Auto License, Inc. will provide title and license services for vehicles, motorcycles, vessels, watercraft, travel and utility trailers. Customers can also renew registrations, get a report of a sale, get trip permits and disabled placards. Initially, customers will need to pay with cash or check until the credit card system is set up.
The new location in Westwood Village is easily accessible with plentiful parking, including ADA parking right in front of the office. The new licensing subagent is also close to the Washington State Driver Licensing Office.
King County partners with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to issue and renew vehicle and vessel licenses. Through this partnership, King County also contracts with local businesses, called subagents, to offer convenient locations to conduct in-person licensing. Visit dol.wa.gov to see the services that are offered online.
The new office is on the north edge of Westwood Village, near the SW Trenton entrance; we first reported on the new subagent seven months ago. The new office will be open 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays, 10 am-2 pm Saturdays.
Alki Beach residents/frequent visitors have noticed a lack of progress lately on the restroom rebuild at 57th/Alki. We asked Seattle Parks‘ project manager Kelly Goold what happened. His reply:
We are waiting on structural steel to finish being fabricated, then goes to galvanizing, then is delivered to the site and assembled. After the steel roof structure is assembled on site, finishes and fixtures will be installed, followed by final paint and concrete work, and power reconnection by City Light. The current schedule is completion by July 26.
The steel fabrication and galvanizing date has changed multiple times in the past weeks. Structural steel in general (especially in the busy Seattle construction market) is very much in demand and difficult to get into production lines. The steel package for Alki is in a fabrication shop in Bellingham, and will be delivered shortly and then site work will resume until completion.
Construction began five months ago, almost a year later than planned pre-pandemic. The new three-stall comfort station replaces an old two-stall building that among other problems had accessibility issues.
1:36 PM: Since Puget Sound dead-ends, if whales swim by southbound, they’ll eventually have to head back northbound … and that’s what’s happening right now. Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch says transient orcas are northbound right now, visible from west-facing West Seattle (after swimming the other way yesterday) – look toward Southworth. Let us know if you see them!
2:04 PM: Kersti reports in a comment that they’re now off Blake Island.
West Seattle’s only bricks-and-mortar playhouse is reopening. The jubilant team at ArtsWest in The Junction has just sent the announcement of their upcoming season, and plans for open houses soon so you can get excited too:
ArtsWest has announced their 2021-2022 season WHEN WE WAKE, with six productions – three world premieres and three Seattle premieres – featuring plays by innovative and original new voices in the American theater. This is the first season programmed by a collective of ArtsWest Associate Artists in collaboration with ArtsWest leadership, demonstrating a new power-sharing model of season curation. The season will be presented with an in-person option, including socially distanced performances, as well as an online option.
Through a season of theater full of gods, monsters, myths and legends, WHEN WE WAKE asks us to reflect on who we are as we begin to emerge from a global pandemic – and a period of profound and mythological separation. What have we learned and what will we choose to do differently as we write the next chapters of our collective story? “I’m so proud of the work of the Associate Artists,” stated Artistic Director Mathew Wright. “They have curated what I think is the perfect season of theater to return to. It is at once full of joy and theatricality and profound in its vision of how we might create better lives for and with each other.”
To celebrate reopening to the public, ArtsWest will hold Open Houses on July 1 & 2 from 4 pm-7 pm, July 8 & 9
from 4 pm-7 pm, and July 10 & 11 from 11 am-3 pm. Visitors will be invited to walk the theater space, reacclimate themselves to being together, take in some videos of ArtsWest’s 2020 digital work, and chat with ArtsWest leadership about what they can expect in the upcoming year, including this powerful new season of theater. WHEN WE WAKE opens the 2021 holiday season with the world premiere musical WE’VE BATTLED MONSTERS BEFORE, noted Seattle composer-playwright Justin Huertas’ latest addition to his canon exploring contemporary mythology and fantasy in the lives of everyday people.
In the new year, ArtsWest will present the world premiere of Christian St. Croix’s haunting and humorous MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA, a tale of a father, a son, and the everyday American monsters we create. Next, from Australian Theater for Young Audiences playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, THIS GIRL LAUGHS, THIS GIRL CRIES, THIS GIRL DOES NOTHING presents a moving modern fairytale of three powerful young women who take on the world and create lives for themselves, each in their own way. Kicking off the second half of the season is ALMA, Benjamin Benne’s story of a mother and daughter yearning for connection while holding vastly different ideas of what the “American Dream” actually represents. Next is the world premiere of miku, and the gods. by playwright Julia Izumi, a moving meditation on family, love, loss – and what it takes to become a god. The season concludes with the world premiere of HERE THERE BE DRAGONS, an original song cycle created by Valerie Curtis-Newton and co-produced by The Hansberry Project, celebrating the journeys of Black women and uplifting the words and music of some of Seattle’s most dynamic Black women recording artists.
WE’VE BATTLED MONSTERS BEFORE
Book, Music and Lyrics by Justin Huertas
November 26 – December 26, 2021
When you’re the youngest sibling in a family of secret warriors who for generations have protected Seattle from monsters and demons, living up to your Lola’s expectations is, in a word, daunting. Adarna’s mistakes were cute at first, but when they begin to cost her family more than she ever imagined, she must decide what she would sacrifice to save them. Loosely adapted from the 16th century Filipino epic poem Ibong Adarna, playwright- composer-lyricist Justin Huertas returns to his Lizard Boy roots with a sweet and intimate actor-musician musical adventure.
MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA
by Christian St. Croix
January 27 – February 20, 2022
When his husband dies, Remy Washington, a Black man, finds himself both the owner of a drive-in movie theater and a caregiver to his late husband’s straight, white teenage son, Pup. United by their love of classic American monster movies, the two have developed a warm and caring familial chemistry – but their relationship fractures when Remy discovers Pup and his friends have been bullying a gay teen at his school. Monsters of the American Cinema is a haunting and humorous tale about fathers and sons, ghosts and monsters.
THIS GIRL LAUGHS, THIS GIRL CRIES, THIS GIRL DOES NOTHING
by Finegan Kruckemeyer
March 17 – April 10, 2022
Triplet sisters are left in the forest by their woodcutter father. From this fairytale beginning, three resolutions are made – one sister will walk one way, one the other, and the third will stay right where she is. Twenty years later, having circumnavigated the globe, and fought Vikings, and crossed oceans, and tamed wilds, and achieved greatness, the three meet again, as women. What they learn on their separate journeys will change everything, and at the same time nothing, in this moving and irresistibly charming modern-day fairytale.
by Benjamin Benne
May 5 – May 22, 2022
Working mom Alma has singlehandedly raised her daughter, Angel, on tough love, home-cooked comida and lots of prayers. But on the eve of the all-important SAT, Alma discovers her daughter isn’t at home studying. A schooling and la chancla await Angel at home—but so does a creeping realization that more’s at stake than just a test score. A sacrifice from Alma’s past weighs heavy on their present; now, Alma fears that her worst nightmare may soon be their reality. Will the American Dream cost them a life together?
miku, and the gods.
by Julia Izumi
June 16 – July 3, 2022
Miku wants to be a god. Ephraim wants to be an Olympian. Grandma Seiko wants to remember. And minor god Shara just wants people to include him in the conversation, you know? As they journey from the schoolyard to the river to the underworld and back again, Miku and company will learn what it actually takes to become a god. As funny as it is moving, miku, and the gods. is an epic adventure that braids together friendship, death, memory, time, rhythm – and power beyond what one could ever desire.
HERE THERE BE DRAGONS
Conceived and Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
Co-Produced by The Hansberry Project
July 28 – August 28, 2022
Conceived and directed by the inimitable Valerie Curtis-Newton, and featuring the music and lyrics of some of Seattle’s most dynamic Black women recording artists, this brand new theatrical song cycle celebrates the joys, triumphs, and tribulations of Black women. As they confront the mystery of the unknown, they construct new legends with the confidence of all that has come before them. A unique fusion of musical styles and theatrical influences, Here There Be Dragons is a bold journey into uncharted waters and new possibilities.
The doors at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery have been closed since mid-March 2020 “and it has been really tough,” says managing director Laura Lee.
Burglars have struck again at Emerald Water Anglers (4502 45nd SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction. We went over to find out more after a tip this morning. The EWA team tells us this happened around 5:30 am; they were still checking to see what was missing, but they first missing items they noticed were several Patagonia guide jackets. We’ll add the incident number when we get it.
When our hotline (206-293-6302, 24/7) got texts/calls this morning wondering about “a large group of soldiers” on Alki, we headed out to look. Here’s who we found:
That’s Lt. Stokes from the Washington National Guard unit based at Boeing Field. She said they go to various areas for group runs/walks and decided this time to head for not-so-far Alki Beach. (A Guard spokesperson tells us “physical training … is routine for all Guardsmen.”)
Here’s what we have so far for the day ahead:
LOW-LOW TIDE: As previewed earlier this week, we’re in a stretch of low-low tides, which enables more beach exploring. Today at 10:22 am, it’s out to -3.2 feet. Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists are available for your questions 9:30 am-1:30 pm at Constellation (Beach Drive/61st) and Lincoln (8011 Fauntleroy Way) Parks.
LIBRARIES REOPEN: As announced last week, two more Seattle Public Library branches in West Seattle reopen their buildings today: Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW, 10 am-6 pm) and High Point (3411 SW Raymond, 10 am-6 pm).
SCHOOL BOARD: Today’s meeting of the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors includes approval of construction contracts for two local projects, the additions at West Seattle Elementary and Madison Middle Schools. The meeting starts at 3:30 pm; the agenda has information on how to watch.
HPAC ON SPRING BREAK: Fourth Wednesday of the month usually would bring the monthly meeting of HPAC (community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge), but HPAC has announced it’s starting summer break early – meetings will resume in September.
Anything else, for today or beyond? Email email@example.com – thank you!
6:11 AM: Good morning! A high in the 70s is expected again today – with a Friday-through-Monday heat wave on the way.
SW Yancy – Open again between 28th and Avalon.
Delridge project – Here’s this week’s plan, with closures including SW Henderson and SW Thistle east of Delridge.
Regular schedule for buses and ferries.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
457th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 24th 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.)
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.