West Seattle, Washington
Two days until The Grand Reopening – a quick look at tonight’s pandemic toplines:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health daily summary:
*112,480 people have tested positive, 39 more than yesterday
*1,657 people have died, unchanged since Saturday
*6,496 people have been hospitalized, 5 more than yesterday
ONE WEEK AGO: Last Monday, the three totals we track were 111,706/1,616/6,317.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Check the state dashboard.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 181.4 million cases, 3,930,000+ deaths – 604,000+ in the U.S. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.
VAX STATS: In King County, 78.2 percent of people 12+ have had at least one dose; 71.8 percent are fully vaccinated. In West Seattle, the most-vaccinated zip code is still 98136 – 89.2 percent of people 12+ have had at least one dose. (Maps and stats are here.)
RETIRING THE ROUNDUP: We’d been thinking about retiring our daily pandemic roundup after Reopening Day. An announcement by Public Health today cements that decision – they’re going to cut back on dashboard updates, weekdays only. We will likely launch a weekly local update, probably on Friday nights.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Before the heat wave arrived, we got some questions from former residents of frequently overheated cities, wondering what Seattle City Light was doing to try to hold off brownouts/blackouts once the power demand surged. We haven’t historically had much heat-related trouble here; SCL explained its preparations in this post. That said, the utility is currently dealing with 22 scattered outages affecting 2,600+ customers around its service area. In West Seattle, the most notable outage involved more than two dozen customers at Westwood Village, in an outage that started Friday evening and wasn’t fully resolved until Saturday night (WSB coverage here). Some stores closed. We followed up today with SCL spokesperson Julie Moore, who told us this was one of several weekend outages around the system caused by heat-related underground equipment failure. As for why it took so long to fix, she said that underground outages pose challenges in finding exactly what failed and why, and then they have to be careful with the crews going into the vaults to fix the problem – dealing with temperatures higher than the air outside.
Two West Seattle Bridge notes this evening:
HEAT WAVE EFFECTS? Since we heard a lot about watching how the stabilized bridge handled last winter’s cold weather – including a foot of snow – we wondered how it was handling the extreme heat. No problems as of this afternoon, SDOT told us via email, while explaining why the WS Bridge didn’t get the same treatment as some others:
Heat stress issues are a concern specifically for our movable steel bridges which is why we are monitoring their performance closely and cooling them with water during this current high temperature period. The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge (WSHB) is primarily constructed from reinforced concrete and is not effected by extreme heat in the same way that our steel movable bridges are. Also of note is that the WSHB is currently in a stabilized condition as a result of last years’ inspection, design and construction efforts. As such we don’t anticipate any damage to the WSHB from the extreme heat and therefore don’t see a need for cooling; however, out of an abundance of caution we still have active instrumentation throughout the WSHB to monitor performance and our readiness posture is still maintained with our Monitoring, Operation and Response Plan (MORP) in effect should something unexpected happen.
We’ll check again tomorrow.
NEW FEDERAL GRANT: Over the weekend, West Seattle-residing U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced that an $11 million federal grant was on the way to help fund the West Seattle Bridge repairs. At the City Council’s morning briefing today, Transportation Committee chair Councilmember Alex Pedersen noted that while the grant was good news, it was less than the city had requested. We went back into the archives to find out how much the request was for, and found this slide from the March 17th bridge briefing before his committee, when the grant application was about to be submitted:
So the city was hoping for up to $21 million but got $11 million. As for the new federal infrastructure package, the council was told by staff this morning that it’s not clear yet what the city stands to receive. Previously received federal funding for the bridge, meantime, has included a $14 million grant routed through the Puget Sound Regional Council. The total cost of repairs plus other projects – low-bridge work, traffic calming along detour routes, trying to encourage people to shift modes, etc. – is estimated at $175 million.
4:22 PM: This is it – the next couple hours should bring the peak of the heat, so if you are thinking about going to a cooling center or other air-conditioned venue/establishment, now’s the time to go. We’ve continued updating our list through the day; latest addition is the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) at 36th/Snoqualmie in The Triangle, open as a cooling center until 7 pm. Meanwhile, note that in addition to the heat, it’s a little hazy out there (air quality is “moderate”):
That’s the view from Upper Fauntleroy, looking toward north Vashon and beyond to Kitsap. As for the numbers … Sea-Tac hit 106 at 2:45 pm, says the National Weather Service, breaking the all-time record of 104, set just yesterday. So much for the old joke that summer starts in Seattle on July 5th … still a week away.
P.S. As we publish this, just heard a dispatch for a possible heat-related road problem – “buckled road” reported at
4:29 PM: Thanks to the reader who texted photos right after we published that!
5:36 PM: Sea-Tac has since hit 107. (Added: The official high – 108.) And we’ve received another reader report/photo of what could be a weather-related road problem:
That’s at 40th/Holly in Gatewooc.
8:49 PM: The 36th/Oregon sinkhole has now closed a section of street – that’s it at right below.
Four West Seattle Crime Watch notes so far today:
PEDESTRIAN HURT BY HIT-RUN DRIVER: The preliminary police summary says this happened at 42nd/Alaska in The Junction just before 7 am today. A woman in her early 50s, walking in a marked crosswalk, was hit by a driver who took off. She suffered a broken ankle and was taken to the hospital. A witness later called police with more information about the suspect vehicle, believed to be a black Kia Amanti with a license plate that begins with BYM. If you have any information, the incident number is 21-161387.
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT INTERRUPTED: From Aaron:
Someone was about 30 seconds from getting our catalytic converter from our Honda Element this morning just before 5 am. We live between Henderson and Barton on 34th. Our lovely neighbor was going to ask me what I was doing that was so loud, so early, and scared them off. SPD was interested in our videos, which I provided them.
At about 1:50 in, you’ll hear what the cutting tool sounds like. Police report # is 21-161330.
FOLLOWED: We heard a little about this via emergency radio just after midnight, and now have the police summary. A 911 caller said she was heading for the Southwest Precinct because someone was following her. That driver followed her into the precinct parking lot. Officers made contact with him and he claimed a man he had just met in a North Seattle bar asked him to follow her home. But, the report continues:
“… (his) story continued to change, and after finding out (he) had a suspended license and ignition interlock requirement (with no ignition interlock), officers asked (him) to exit his vehicle. Officers then observed a kitchen knife on the front driver’s seat, previously concealed under the suspect’s legs. (He) claimed to have been following the (victim) from the bar, but (she) stated she had been driving to her home in West Seattle from Burien. (The suspect) advised (police) he was a convicted felon, stemming from a stabbing murder. A wallet (with Washington driver license) not belonging to (the suspect) was seen inside the car, and later recovered with the (suspect’s) permission. (He was) arrested for DOL Suspended 1st Degree and Ignition Interlock Violation.”
We are still researching this one; the suspect is 43 and the murder case apparently dates back to when he was a juvenile.
GUNFIRE: If you thought you heard gunfire in southeast West Seattle around 5:40 am, this might be related. Police got a call about that time from someone in the 9400 block of 9th SW who heard suspected shots to the east. They found no evidence of gunfire in that area, but less than an hour later heard from someone near 7th and Trenton in South Park who had video of someone shooting out a car window. Officers found casings; no reported injuries.
We reported briefly via Twitter this morning that citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, a North Delridge resident, is proposing what could be seen as a step toward getting rid of single-family zoning, which she has long opposed – changing its name. From the news release we just received:
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) announced legislation today that will change the name of single-family only zones, a recognition that the term “single family” as used in Seattle’s zoning code is a misnomer, inaccurately describes current uses, and has roots in exclusionary practices.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6, Northwest Seattle), is in response to the Seattle Planning Commission’s repeated request since 2018 to change the name of single-family only to “Neighborhood Residential,” as laid out in their Neighborhoods for All report. The Planning Commission has reiterated this call in their recommendations for 2019/2020 Comprehensive Plan amendments and in their recommendations for analysis for the 2020/2021 Comprehensive Plan update.
“Seattle’s neighborhoods have always been more diverse than the single family only designation would have us believe—from some of the longest-standing and beloved neighborhood businesses, to brownstone apartment buildings built before tightening zoning restrictions, connected housing with shared courtyards, that all allow for residents to live near schools, parks, and services our communities rely on. Changing the zoning title can help reflect the diverse housing we need across our city to support community well-being, walkability and affordability in Seattle, and create a more equitable and inclusive Seattle to accurately reflect our diverse neighborhoods,” said Mosqueda.
“Language matters. ‘Single family’ zoning may seem to some as merely a planning term, but we know historically it has been used to further exclusionary practices and discriminatory policies of the past. If Seattle is going to be an equitable and just city, then we must also apply that same lens to our zoning code. After years of discussion, we are acting on what we know is right to undo the legacy of exclusion that exists within our planning documents — starting with how we talk about our neighborhoods,” Mosqueda concluded. …
The City Council requested this zoning name change be studied by the Executive every year since 2018 in the Comprehensive Plan Annual Docketing Resolution. This proposal would finally implement that recommendation by first amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan to make the change, and then follow with changes to the land use code.
This change will touch many elements of the Comprehensive Plan, including: (1) the Future Land Use Map; (2) the Land Use, Housing, and Parks and Open Space elements; (3) seventeen neighborhood plans; and (4) the Housing appendix.
These proposed changes can be seen on the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee website at: seattle.gov/council/committees/land-use-and-neighborhoods. The City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing to receive input on the preliminary proposal on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 9:30 AM. Councilmember Mosqueda intends to formally introduce legislation in August as part of the annual Comprehensive Plan update.
See the proposed legislation here. The announcement also notes this would change official neighborhood plans around the city, including, in West Seattle, those for Admiral, Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, and Westwood Highland Park.
While this is a proposal to change the zoning type’s name, not the zoning itself yet, it’s been a hot topic in this year’s mayoral and council races, with most candidates voicing support so far for ending “exclusionary zoning.” Mosqueda said during this morning’s council briefing meeting that potential future zoning changes could come in 2023 and 2024.
If you’re out by the water in west-facing southwest West Seattle, you might get a view of transient killer whales Orcas are headed southbound, off Fauntleroy, reports Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch. If you miss them now, you might see them later on the northbound swing!
(Good day to seek refuge under a tree. Photo by Mark Jaroslaw)
Here’s what you need to know today, heading for what’s forecast to be another record-setting high temperature:
WHERE TO STAY COOL: Our ongoing list is here – including libraries (even those not usually open Mondays) and other places opening as cooling centers around West Seattle, plus restaurants/bars with air conditioning, and wading pool/spraypark info. We’re continuing to update the list as the info comes in.
RESTAURANTS/BARS CLOSING OR CHANGING HOURS: We started this list (which we’re also continuing to update) over the weekend and are continuing to update it too – for some establishments, it’s just too hot for safety. .
OTHER BUSINESSES CLOSING: Monday is a regular closure day for some retailers anyway, but some that are regularly open are closing – Northwest Art and Frame, Floors Plus Northwest. We’ll add any others we hear of.
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS MEAL SITES CLOSED: The district announced this morning that its meal-distribution sites will not open today because of the weather.
SEATTLE PARKS MEAL SITES CLOSED TOO … for today.
REDUCED SOLID-WASTE PICKUP: As first noted over the weekend, crews are starting pickup today and tomorrow one hour earlier than usual. Monday pickup customers will not have food/yard waste pickup (you can put out double next week). Full details here.
GOT A SPARE FAN OR A/C UNIT? The Mount could use more.
We’ll continue updating through the day – if you have something to add, including closures/changes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Our area’s largest senior/rehab center, Providence Mount St. Vincent, needs some immediate help to keep its vulnerable residents and workers cool. Here’s the announcement:
Help Residents and Caregivers at The Mount beat the heat.
While the team at The Mount is working diligently to keep 300 residents cool, safe and comfortable — living and working in an almost 100-year-old building without central air-conditioning during this heat wave has increased the need for help. Donations of large (14,000 BTU) free-standing air conditioning units, commercial-grade Move and Cool units and both small and large fans would be greatly appreciated.
We are extremely grateful for the initial community response with 7 small AC units and two fans donated over the weekend.
However, with nearly 100,000 square feet of resident living spaces to cool, more donations are urgently needed given the lack of inventory in stores. New units or used in excellent condition may be dropped off at The Mount’s east entrance at 4831 35th Ave SW. If transportation is an issue, please call 206-937-3701, extension 28035 and pick up may be arranged.
The Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation is also seeking cash donations to support the purchase of air conditioning units as any become available and in preparation for the remainder of the summer as temperatures more typically reach the upper 80’s and into the 90’s.
Cash donations can be made here.
Planning the rest of your family’s summer? West Seattle’s Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) and its nonprofit arm Mode Music and Performing Arts are offering opportunities, including music lessons and summer camps. Here’s the announcement:
Mode Music Studios In-Person and Online Private Lessons enrolling now!
Mode Music Studios just celebrated their 7th year in the West Seattle community and is back in-person! During COVID, Mode’s teachers continued to teach online and educate our youth all the way to adults returning to or continuing their musical studies and are ready to serve the community face to face.
As a female-owned business, Mode emphasises hiring femme, BIPOC, and LGBTQ professional musicians in the Seattle area as teachers in the building. All teachers returning to in-person lessons are fully vaccinated and proper distancing and PPE is required following the CDC and governor’s guidelines.
Mode offers online and in-person voice, piano, drum, guitar, ukulele, bass, woodwind, brass, violin lessons and more!
For more information on private lessons, visit modemusicstudios.com or call 206-659-4018.
Mode Music and Performing Arts In-Person and Online Summer Camps still enrolling!
Mode Music and Performing Arts (MMPA), the nonprofit arm of Mode Music Studios, is offering both online and in-person camps all summer long! MMPA has served local and Seattle Public Schools since December of 2017 and will continue to work with the schools to enhance arts programming and reach all students by eliminating financial barriers.
MMPA has partial and full scholarships upon signup for music, theatre, and dance camps enrolling ages 6-15.
For more information on our summer camps, visit modemusicandperformingarts.org/camps or sign up HERE!
6:03 AM: Good morning! First a reminder – if you have Monday trash/recycling pickup, be sure it’s out – crews started at 6 this morning instead of the usual 7 because of the expected heat. No yard/food waste pickup today. As for the weather itself, this is forecast to be the third consecutive day of triple-digit heat. Here’s a cooling Sunday sunset view from Lynn Hall:
Delridge project – Station work as well as road work starting this week.
Regular schedule for buses and ferries. (We’ll talk about the upcoming holiday weekend when it gets closer.(
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
462nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: 25th 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.