West Seattle, Washington
Every Sunday night, we’re publishing weekly pandemic updates. Tonight, the third one. First, the newest local numbers.
KING COUNTY CUMULATIVE NUMBERS AS OF FRIDAY:
115,479 people have tested positive – 1,250 more than a week ago (4,019 in West Seattle, up 44)
6,640 people have been hospitalized – 44 more than a week ago 201 in West Seattle, up 3)
1,684 people have died – 2 fewer than a week ago (67 in West Seattle, down 1) *data adjustment*
74.5% of King County residents 12+ have completed their vaccine series (up .6% in the past week)
By West Seattle zip code:
98106 – 77%
98116 – 83.7%
98126 – 72.7%
98136 – 85%
98146 – 71%
THE WEEK’S HEADLINES
Briefing: “The Delta variant is a game-changer,” said King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin during his briefing on Friday. Watch it here:
He said Delta is identified in 56 percent of the sequenced cases in King County right now. This briefing is also where he recommended indoor mask wearing, even if you’re vaccinated. Not a mandate – but a recommendation, as an “extra layer of protection.” You can hear his explanation starting at 13:29 in.
‘Power of Providers’: The state announced an initiative to encourage health-care providers to proactively encourage patients to get vaccinated, and to encourage those who are to share their status with people they know.
NOT VACCINATED YET?
Go here to see where you can change that.
This Wednesday, a City Council committee will hold a public hearing on the proposal to rename what’s currently single-family zoning “neighborhood residential.”
Last Wednesday, a staffer from the office of citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, the West Seattleite who’s sponsoring the proposal, was at the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting to talk about it.
That was one of several major topics at the online meeting led by MoCA president Deb Barker. Our recap is ahead: Read More
The weekend’s second big open-water swim between Bremerton and Alki Point was a relay – but as the final swimmer approached shore at midday today, everybody jumped in to be part of the big finish.
Guila Muir, who organized the swim and a team of her fellow over-60 swimmers calling themselves Silver Seals of the Salish Sea, was first out to applaud them all (above right). More than a dozen well-wishers were on the beach at Alki Point for the grand finish.
This was the first time the 10.4-mile Bremerton-to-Alki route, known as the Amy Hiland Swim for the first person on record to complete it (in 1959), had been done as a relay, and the first by elder swimmers. Organizer Muir was all smiles, as her years-long dream came true:
As previewed Friday, she was joined by West Seattleites Scott Lautman and Greg Rolnick, as well as Rachel Price, Zena Courtney, and Michael Palmer. Their relay went faster than expected, and the swimmers arrived before 11 am, 4:24:33 after they began. This marked a big weekend for the sport espoused by the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association; on Saturday, we covered Melissa Kegler becoming the first to do the Amy Hiland Swim as a roundtrip
We’ve been waiting for a relatively quiet Sunday afternoon to feature non-bird wildlife photos received in recent weeks – and it’s here. Above and below, the first two photos are by Jerry Simmons, seen on the shore – a gunnel and crab.
David Hutchinson is often out watching, and photographing, sightings on- and off-shore. He shared the two photos below – a crystal jelly:
And a rabbit:
In the forest, Mark Wangerin, who often shares beautiful bird photos, spotted this raccoon:
Another raccoon was photographed by Rose De Dan of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, who has many animal-encounter stories to tell. She shared a few photos with us this summer too. She says this raccoon was in a cherry tree, inspecting whether the fruit was ready to eat:
Below, Rose’s photo of an opossum enjoying fresh apples:
She says the opossum is a frequent visitor, and tells a story – with video – on her website.
Thanks to everyone who shares West Seattle photos – wildlife, breaking news, more – firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302, any time!
Thanks to Tom Stoner for the photo. In the foreground, escorted by a tug, is Washington State Ferries‘ M/V Cathlamet, the ferry that had a scare Saturday afternoon (WSB coverage here) when a smoky mechanical problem hit while it was between Vashon and Fauntleroy. It’s now at WSF’s Bainbridge Island maintenance site, Eagle Harbor. WSF hasn’t yet announced how long it’ll be out of service; two boats are on the Triangle Route today as has been standard lately, but a third boat – M/V Issaquah – is now tied up at Vashon. In the background of the photo is Silversea Cruises’ Silver Muse, which spent a while anchored off Manchester recently, then took off and sailed up Puget Sound, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and off the Washington coast for a while before returning. Its first official cruise is scheduled to leave Seattle this Thursday (July 29th) for a 10-day Alaska cruise.
If you ride Metro – occasionally or often – but haven’t yet answered its safety survey, today’s your last chance. The survey is part of what Metro calls its SaFE Reform Initiative – safety, security, and fare-enforcement reform. The survey is available here in 13 languages. You don’t have to answer all the questions – you’re allowed to skip any you don’t want to answer. Once Metro comes up with recommended reforms, pilot programs will launch next year.
An update from David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:
Seal Sitters continues to monitor our visiting Northern Elephant Seal since he was first spotted in West Seattle waters on July 16. He had previously been sighted in the Des Moines/Redondo area in early June. The volunteers at SR3 (the newly opened Marine Mammal Hospital in Des Moines) named him “Ruckus” considering all the attention and excitement he was creating. To our knowledge, he has not hauled out on any public beach in West Seattle, but with the cooperation of property owners along the Sound, Seal Sitters’ first responders have been able to check on his location and condition.
While elephant seals vary somewhat in color through shades of brown and gray, they all go through an annual “catastrophic molt.” During this process they shed their top layer of skin and fur in chunks which results in a dramatic change in appearance and they remain on the beach for an extended period of time. This is normal, but can give the impression that the animal is sick or dying.
If Ruckus is still in our area when he molts, we hope he can find a quiet safe beach. If you should come across him while out walking our beaches, please keep a respectful distance and report his location to the Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-7325.
The top photo is of Ruckus on a private West Seattle beach on 7/18, while the bottom photo is of a molting female Northern Elephant Seal on a downtown Seattle beach back in April of this year. Female elephant seals molt in the spring while males molt later in the summer.
Family and friends are remembering Dale Palella and sharing this remembrance with the community:
Retaining his amazing inner strength and boundless sense of humor to the very end, Dale passed away peacefully, at home, with Sallie by his side, on July 18, 2021.
Dale was born in 1937 in Seattle to parents Pasquale and Mary. He graduated from Holy Rosary, Seattle Prep, and Seattle University.
He worked 30 years at Boeing (computing) and Emerald Downs (Mutuels). Dale took great pride in his Italian heritage and was an active member of the Italian Community.
Preceded in death by his parents, brother John, and son Anthony (muscular dystrophy). Survived by wife of 30 years, Sallie; former wife, Sharon Palella, mother of their children; son, Dominic (Lily), daughters; Pamela, Paula, and Deblyn (Julia), and granddaughter Michela.
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Muscular Dystrophy Association, PO Box 97075, Washington DC. 20090.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Welcome to Sunday!
ROAD-WORK REMINDERS: The Highland Park Way/West Marginal intersection is scheduled for 3 am-1 pm work again today, and southbound Delridge Way is closed between SW Holden and SW Trenton.
CHURCHES: Many continue streaming, in place of – or in addition to – in-person services. Here are the newest links for 20+ West Seattle churches’ services. (We’ll continue updating that list each Sunday for as long as a significant number of streaming services continue.)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm on California between Oregon and Alaska. Scroll down the page at this link to find the vendor list and map for this week. Food and drink, open-on-all-sides entry/exit, and busking are all back. (The market is a WSB sponsor.)
TODAY’S AQUATIC SCHEDULE: Open today – Highland Park spraypark (11 am-8 pm, 1100 SW Cloverdale); Delridge (noon-5:30 pm, 4501 Delridge Way SW) and Lincoln Park (noon-7 pm, 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) wading pools. Colman Pool is open noon-7 pm, not weather-dependent.
LOW-LOW TIDE: The tide is out to -2.8 feet at 12:26 pm today. Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists will be at Lincoln Park only, 11 am to 1:30 pm, for questions and exploration advice (skipping Constellation Park because of the recent sewage leak).
LONG-DISTANCE SWIMMERS: Around 12:30-1:30 pm, six open-water swimmers – all 60+ – calling themselves the Silver Seals of the Salish Sea are expected to reach Alki Point, on the first-ever relay version of the Amy Hiland Swim (Bremerton to Alki). You can follow the tracking here after they start around 6:30 am. (UPDATE: They arrived early, about 10:45. Story to come.)
OWEN’S LEMONADE STAND: Thanks to Dani for the tip! 2-4 pm at Beach Drive/Charlestown, a “budding entrepreneur” in action.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK X 2: GreenStage presents a “Backyard Bard” doubleheader of short Shakespeare, “Twelfth Night” at 3 pm, “The Tempest” at 4:15 pm, both at Delridge Playfield (4458 Delridge Way SW), free.
LIVE MUSIC @ WEST SEATTLE BREWING: Urban Achievers‘ Led Zeppelin tribute, plus Cory Wilds Band, 4-9 pm at West Seattle Brewing in The Triangle (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW).
Event listings welcome – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!