West Seattle, Washington
This is it – our final daily roundup, 16 months after our first one. We’ll move to weekly Friday night updates for now. But first, the Tuesday news, on Reopening Eve:
GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT: No in-person statement from Gov. Jay Inslee, but we and other media received this:
Washington has come a long way since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was found in our state January 2020, and that is in no small part due to Washingtonians’ dedication and resilience in protecting themselves and their communities throughout the pandemic.
Because folks listened to science and stayed home to stay healthy, wore masks, and got vaccinated, we can now safely fully re-open our state’s economy and cultural centers after 15 long months. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of how Washingtonians came together, persevered and sacrificed to fight this virus, and now we’re finally in a place that is safe enough to end this chapter.
Even though Wednesday marks a new stage in our continued efforts to defeat this pandemic, we still have work to do. Continued success depends on everyone getting vaccinated and encouraging any loved one who has not yet received this lifesaving vaccine to do so, and quickly. Let’s keep it up, Washington – get vaccinated and stay safe.
BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health officials are still having their weekly media briefing on Reopening Day – this time, 2:15 pm Wednesday. You can watch live here.
NEWEST NUMBERS: Checking the daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health:
*112,514 people have tested positive, 34 new since yesterday
*1,657 people have died, unchanged since Saturday
*6,502 people have been hospitalized, 6 more than yesterday
One week ago, the totals were 111,757/1,618/6,314.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 181.8 million cases worldwide, 33.6 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
MASK DIRECTIVE LIFTED: King County has ended the recommendation – but that does NOT mean you can’t or won’t be asked to wear a mask at a business, institution, etc., so keep one handy.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
That’s 9208 20th SW, formerly 9201 Delridge Way SW, which goes back to the Southwest Design Review Board for an online meeting at 5 pm Thursday (July 1st). That meeting will include the opportunity for public comment on the design of the project, which would replace a former auto shop with what the project page on the city website describes as “a 5-story, 77-unit apartment building with 73 apartments, 4 small efficiency dwelling units, and office.” No offstreet vehicle parking is planned. See the meeting design packet here. This is potentially the final review meeting for the revised project; the previous one was last October (WSB coverage here). Under a different architect/ownership team, and before a zoning change, the site originally was planned for redevelopment as a self-storage building. Thursday’s SWDRB meeting will be accessible via a video link and dial-in number that you can find on the official notice, which also explains how to send written comments in advance.
Our photo shows a Seattle Police car we saw at Alki Beach early this evening, as the first night after a shooting that killed one person and put three others in the hospital (WSB coverage here). No new developments in the investigation today, SPD tells us. We asked Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman about the plan for police presence in the days/nights ahead. Here is his reply:
I have requested that the SPD Community Response Group (CRG) increase its presence on Alki on weekday afternoons and evenings, and as we have been doing on the weekends, we will have on-duty officers from the Southwest Precinct assist the Parks Department on the weekdays in encouraging beach fires to be extinguished by 9:30 pm and in closing the beach at 11:30 pm.
We constantly attempt to match resources with predicted needs, which is why we have emphasis patrols on Alki on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This year, an additional challenge is the reduced police staffing citywide — to include the Southwest Precinct — combined with a rise in gun violence across the city. We want to staff events and areas appropriately, which means utilizing the right amount of police resources for potential hotspots while maintaining sufficient staffing to answer 911 calls.
The man killed last night – whose identity we do not yet know – was the fourth homicide victim in Seattle in a week noted on SPD Blotter. As for police staffing, we’ve been reporting on that for months – here’s some local information and discussion from a report back in January. There have been some major shows of force at Alki, though, most notably one month ago, on the night a crowd estimated at thousands thronged the beach for a party organized via social media (WSB coverage here) and the night after.
Announced today by Washington State Ferries:
Until further notice, the Fauntleroy/Vashon Island/Southworth route will be reduced to two-boat service on Sundays beginning on July 4. Starting this Sunday, the route will operate on its current Sunday schedule without the #3 vessel. Customers should plan ahead and check the schedule online to verify sailing times.
This difficult decision was made as a result of ongoing crew shortages and the need to reallocate limited resources throughout the ferry system. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding as WSF works to maintain as much service as possible.
That SDOT photo shows a heat-damaged section of West Marginal Way that’s about to get fixed. Here’s the alert:
Where: West Marginal Way, north of the Highland Park Way SW Intersection
When: Work will start as early as 2 a.m. and last as late as 12:00pm (noon) on Wednesday, June 30.
Closure Details: One lane will be maintained in each direction during the work. Please expect delays and drive slow through the area.
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews are planning on doing urgent pavement repairs on West Marginal Way just north of Highland Park Way SW to repair pavement that has buckled in the extreme heat. Crews will begin work at about 2 am on the morning of June 30 (tonight) and expect to be done by noon on Wednesday, June 30. During repairs, West Marginal Way will be reduced to a single lane in each direction.
Crews have previously installed a temporary patch to repair the damaged pavement on Sunday which appears to be deteriorating under the heavy traffic requiring additional repairs. In order to create a longer-term solution, crews plan to remove the concrete panel entirely and build a deeper asphalt patch. This will eventually need to be completely repaved with concrete, but we are hopeful that this solution will last for at least a year.
Extreme heat can damage roads and bridges. Concrete pavement is designed to expand in hot temperatures and contract in the cold. During extremely hot weather events, like we have been experiencing over the last few days, the heat can sometimes be so great that the expanding pavement has nowhere else to go but up, creating “buckles” in the road.
SDOT crews are standing by to respond quickly to weather-related damage, prioritizing needs with public safety as a top and hazardous conditions first. SDOT engineers are currently evaluating several other locations experiencing heat related distress around the city. Once we perform field assessments of the pavement conditions, we will be targeted and strategic in our approach to make the repairs prioritized based on public safety needs.
Every season brings different kinds of challenges to respond to, and SDOT crews work year-round to maintain to our roads, sidewalks, and curb ramps. For example, in 2020 SDOT crews filled 15,000 potholes but high temperatures can often cause previously repaired potholes to form again so our crews will be ready to respond and repair them again. We expect to continue seeing more pavement damage throughout the summer and expect to continue ongoing repairs over the next several months.
SDOT would like to remind everyone to be aware of these conditions and to be careful. You may see roads closed, signs or cones to warn of a hazard. Please be careful and obey all traffic control signs and devices. If you see road damage, please call 206-684-ROAD to report the conditions.
We’ve asked SDOT about the two “buckled” spots we reported Monday afternoon (36th/Oregon and 40th/Holly); no word yet, and we haven’t checked on them yet today. As for the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT reiterated again today that it has NOT had any heat trouble.
Almost three months after we reported that Sharetea was on the way to the ex-Baja Taco space at Jefferson Square (4740 42nd SW), they have soft-opened and are welcoming thirsty tea lovers. We stopped by a little while ago after a reader tip.
Sharetea has more than 300 stores worldwide, specializing in Boba Tea but offering much more. They tell us the plan for this “soft opening” week is noon-8 pm daily through Thursday, noon-9 pm Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday, and they’ll figure out what’s next after that.
An investigation is under way into the source of a spill that has polluted Longfellow Creek in east West Seattle. First, here’s what Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Sabrina Register tells us:
About 10:30 am yesterday, SPU Spill Response responded to a call about a white substance in Longfellow Creek. SPU inspectors determined the substance to most likely be some of latex paint. The amount is unknown but estimated to be in 5-20 gallon range.
Per protocol, staff called Department of Ecology and Department of Fish and Wildlife and consulted with them on the best course of action. While SPU has captured and disposed of some of the contaminant in the pipe, the two agencies determined last night that a full-scale cleanup of the water would cause more harm than good and recommend leaving the water undisturbed. The water in the creek may be a milky white for a few days to come. SPU Inspectors will continue to source-trace to see if we can find the responsible party and will continue to monitor the creek for several days.
The affected area is centered near 24th/Thistle, a greenspace just east of the Chief Sealth International High School campus, but the spill was followed to an “upstream pipe,” according to information from Ecology that was forwarded by Puget Soundkeeper, which is also monitoring the situation. The Ecology report says part of the reason that pumping out the polluted water isn’t recommended is that it could dry up the creek, which is already in a tenuous situation this time of year, as it’s part daylit, part undergrounded along its path from Roxhill to the Duwamish River.
1:33 PM: Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail just called to say Orca Network is reporting that transient orcas are southbound, passing Blake Island right now – close enough to the other side of the Sound that you’d want to look through binoculars. As always – let us know if YOU see them too! (Added – video from readers who did see them while out on the water:)
6:58 PM: Kersti Muul from Salish Wildlife Watch says the whales are now in Elliott Bay, headed toward downtown! (Added, David Hutchinson‘s photo taken while they were in the bay:)
You might recall that even after the state said it’s OK to be indoors in most circumstances without a mask, King County urged that people keep wearing them a while longer. Today – as planned – that directive has ended. From the county announcement:
Read the full announcement here.
Notes for the day ahead:
POP-UP BLOOD DONATION DRIVE: 9 am-4 pm at the West Seattle Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4001 44th SW. Our calendar listing has information on checking to see if appointments are available.
AQUATIC FACILITIES: Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) is open 11 am to 8 pm, Delridge wading pool (4501 Delridge Way SW) is open noon-5:30 pm, Colman Pool (on the shore at Lincoln Park, 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) is open noon-7 pm.
MAYORAL CANDIDATES’ FORUM ON GUN VIOLENCE: Gun-safety groups are presenting a forum with at least five of the candidates for Seattle mayor, moderated by Marcus Harrison Green of the South Seattle Emerald. Online at noon – RSVP here for viewing link.
DEMONSTRATION: Organizer Scott‘s twice-weekly sign-waving for racial justice, 4-6 pm at 16th/Holden, signs available if you don’t have your own.
LOWMAN BEACH MEETING: 6:30 pm online, third community meeting about what might – or might not – be done at the park after the failing seawall and adjacent tennis court are removed. As reported last week, the city does not support a new tennis court. Our preview includes participation info.
Got something for our calendar? email@example.com – thank you!
6:03 AM: Good morning, First a reminder – if you have Tuesday solid-waste pickup, be sure it’s out – crews started at 6 this morning instead of the usual 7, because of the weather. As for that, it finally got back into the 60s overnight, but another warmer-than-normal day is expected. No more triple-digits, though.
Buckled pavement – 36th SW was closed at Oregon for a sinkhole, and 40th/Holly has a trouble spot too.
Delridge project – Station work as well as road work is in this week’s plan.
Regular schedule for buses and ferries, though Metro asks for patience as they readjust post-record heat. (We’ll talk about the upcoming holiday weekend starting tomorrow.)
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
463rd 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.
12:03 AM: Police and fire are responding to 60th/Alki for a report of gunfire with at least one person possibly injured. Updates to come.
12:07 AM: Police are now saying there are three victims at 60th/Alki, one more headed to the hospital via personal vehicle. One of the victims at the beach is reported to be getting CPR. Police are closing off Alki Avenue at 61st.
12:15 AM: Police have told dispatch that one victim is dead.
12:26 AM: Police are detaining one person at Harborview.
12:38 AM: They’re also investigating a vehicle at the hospital that may have been associated. No confirmed information yet on the other victims’ conditions.
1:33 AM: Just got victim updates from SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley. She is aware of three victims, all believed to be in their 30s: One man who died at the scene, one woman and man taken to the hospital, in stable condition.
2:46 AM: This is the first homicide of the year in West Seattle, first deadly shooting on Alki in four years.
3:37 AM: Police now confirm the fourth victim. They say witnesses report the shootings were preceded by an argument between two groups. SPD also tweeted a video briefing at the scene from Chief Adrian Diaz (click to watch):
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 29, 2021
The tip line mentioned by the chief is 206-233-5000.
4:27 AM: After 4 1/2 hours, police are about to clear the scene and reopen the street.
11:41 AM: No new information on the investigation yet – we will likely have a separate followup report later. Two notes from early police summaries: First – the shooting happened when police were already on their way to the area after a report of a “disturbance involving a handgun.” Before they arrived, dispatch updated it with reports that people had been shot.
During the investigation, there was one related arrest – the police report about it says officers were dealing with a “chaotic” scene and “hostile crowd” including one person who “refused to step outside of the crime scene, which was clearly marked by crime-scene tape. Officers made numerous attempts to reason with this person who refused to leave the active crime scene. Officers attempted to escort the suspect (after numerous futile attempts at reasoning) outside the crime-scene tape whereupon one officer was struck in the face by the suspect. Officers then placed the suspect under arrest for assault and obstruction, and the suspect spat on an on-scene supervisor.”