West Seattle, Washington
Sunday night brings our weekly collection of local pandemic updates, starting with the newest numbers.
KING COUNTY CUMULATIVE NUMBERS (as of Friday – they’re not updated on weekends):
*155,326 people have tested positive – 3,044 more than a week ago (5,559 total in West Seattle, up 145)
*8,154 people have been hospitalized – 105 more than a week ago (242 total from West Seattle, unchanged)
*1,920 people have died – 25 more than a week ago (73 total in West Seattle, up 1)
81.4% of King County residents 12+ have completed their vaccine series (up 1% in the past week)
By West Seattle zip code (note: all zip codes have risen at least one full point since last week, more than previous weeks):
98106 – 83.3%
98116 – 87.2%
98126 – 79%
98136 – 89.2%
98146 – 78.7%
(Find more COVID-related King County stats here)
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THE WEEK’S PANDEMIC HEADLINES
County situation ‘improving’ – This week, King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin gave a briefing, saying rates are going down. and “The big-picture COVID-19 pandemic forecast is improving …” Watch the full briefing here:
Among the trends he mentioned: There’s been no increase in case rates among youths since in-person school began last month.
Seattle Public Schools cases – And indeed – this week, the dashboard showed a number of new cases comparable to the week before.
Still waiting – It’s now been almost two weeks since the city promised a new West Seattle site for boosters. We checked again this week – they’re not ready to say where yet. Meantime, no booster (or other) pop-up clinics announced in our area for the week ahead, so far. (If you know of any, email@example.com – thank you!)
NEED TO GET TESTED IN WEST SEATTLE?
The UW Medicine testing service at the Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex parking lot (2801 SW Thistle) continues to operate; you can make an appointment here, though readers report walk-ups have been accepted. Meantime, the Curative testing kiosk at Don Armeni Boat Ramp (1222 Harbor SW) is also still operating. In addition, both West Seattle Walgreens stores are offering drive-up testing (35th/Morgan and 16th/Roxbury) – more info here.
The Fauntleroy terminal will be less ferry-less tomorrow, according to Washington State Ferries, which announced tonight that the third boat will return to the Triangle Route on Monday. The trips to/from Vashon Island might be busier than usual, though, because the south Vashon run (Tahlequah-Point Defiance) will be out of service. Not a crewing problem, but a vessel problem, says WSF – M/V Chetzemoka is out with a generator problem. For other routes around the system, updates are on the WSF alerts page.
“You can do it.”
Those are a few of the messages written on small pieces of driftwood and placed on the bank of Fauntleroy Creek this afternoon during the annual gathering celebrating salmon spawners’ imminent return.
Co-host Judy Pickens of the Fauntleroy Watershed Council said her message was “the power of hope … This is always a hopeful time of year on Fauntleroy Creek.” The hope is that volunteer creek-watchers will see coho soon. Dennis Hinton, also on the Fauntleroy Watershed Council, said there’s reason for hope:
He told the more than 30 people in attendance that a potential spawner had been seen near the creek’s mouth on Saturday, a four-to-five-pound female. A high tide of at least 11 feet is needed to get fish into the creek, and many upcoming days will oblige. Last year, two spawners showed up; the record was 2012, with volunteers counting 274.
The centerpiece of today’s celebration, as always, was music, led by Jamie Shilling (above), with attendees young and not-as-young joining in singing and percussion – with instruments from drums to tambourines to plant pots. Some songs are annual favorites, including “Habitat,” to the tune of the 1959 song “Lollipop“:
Shilling also led a new song, singing: “We are the voice of the earth, and we are rising up, rising up …” With those lyrics, participants pointed their message-bearing driftwood sticks skyward;
What happens from here is up to the fish, and the creek:
If spawners are present on a weekend, Pickens promises, the Fauntleroy Watershed Council will host an “open creek” – and we’ll announce it here on WSB.
Thanks to Pete for sending the photo! The northeast West Seattle neighborhood of Pigeon Point has been seasonally renamed.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who’s sent tips and/or photos of Halloween-season decorations so far, after our invitation! Watch for a gallery/list page soon.
Thanks to Jerry Simmons for this morning’s photo of clouds and the Cascades. This afternoon, dark clouds are gathering to the southwest, and if you were outside or had a window open this past half-hour, you probably heard thunder rumbling out that way. The National Weather Service says thunderstorms are possible through this evening – but what’s even more notable in the forecast is that the daytime highs for Monday and Tuesday might not get out of the 40s (“normal” high would be low 60s). Tuesday morning, the NWS warns, we might even see “areas of frost.”
Thanks to Nicole for the tip. She made an appointment at Bishops at 4707 42nd SW in The Junction less than a week ago – then discovered the location had suddenly become a branch of Rudy’s Barbershop, which already has a West Seattle location at 4480 Fauntleroy Way SW. So we visited the now ex-Bishops this morning to ask what happened. Staff says Seattle-headquartered Rudy’s has taken over corporate-owned Bishops shops, including this one. (We subsequently found this report from Portland, where Bishops is based.) The staff and hours remain the same as under previous ownership. No plans so far to consolidate the West Seattle locations.
Family and friends are remembering Debra Miles-Olofson, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
Debra Y. Miles-Olofson – November 19, 1950 – September 11, 2021
Debra Y. Miles-Olofson passed away on September 11, 2021, following a 16-month battle with inflammatory breast cancer. Her family hadn’t left her side in days; they read her letters and emails from loved ones, rubbed her feet, and hosted visitors. Debra was the kind of person who always showed up, no matter what—for her family, her friends, and her clients. In celebrating her life, we show up for each other and all those who mourn her—just as she would have done for us.
Debra was born on November 19, 1950, in Seattle, Washington to Harry and Patricia Yerg. Her childhood was a happy one, surrounded by her three sisters and cousins. She was a smart, ambitious kid with a big personality. From an early age, she was determined to do great things with her life. Throughout the years, those ambitions met challenges. Debra had her first daughter shortly after high school. But she took on motherhood with commitment and grace. Debra was a single parent for most of Jennifer and Dene’s childhood, yet she never wavered in the strength and enthusiasm she showed in parenting. She was fiercely devoted to her girls and loved being a mom.
Debra took courses at South Seattle College and started working as a bank teller at Seafirst Bank on Capitol Hill. Coworkers and customers were drawn to Debra for her warmth and her sharp wit. She worked hard, and she raised her daughters to know that you should always be able to take care of yourself.
At 48, Debra discovered real estate and fell in love with the industry; she’d found her calling. Her feisty personality and tireless work ethic helped her establish a glowing reputation as a trusted broker in the community. Despite the 24/7 nature of the job, she never missed a call or a meeting—she was exceptional. Debra worked at Prudential for 2 years, then moved to John L. Scott, where she maintained her stellar commitment to clients until she was too sick to do so. It wasn’t surprising that so many of her clients became good friends.
On July 24, 2004, Debra met Ken Olofson at Endolyne Joe’s in West Seattle; both of them were sitting at the bar and noticed each other. “There’s something about you that’s different,” she told him in that first conversation. It was an encounter that changed both of their lives, and they were together from that day forward, marrying on August 8, 2021 in an intimate ceremony at their home. Ken called their relationship magic; she’d made him a better man.
Debra became Grandma Debbie when her first granddaughter Olivia was born in 2005. She adored being “Grandma” to Olivia and Sophia and her presence in their lives was constant. Throughout grade school and middle school, she was there every morning to make breakfast and lunches and drive them to and from school. The three of them cherished their time together, and fostered a special bond. Whenever mom and dad needed a night off, Grandma Debbie came over. She even let the girls have their friends over for sleepovers which she hosted with all of her Grandma Debbie-style energy. She took great care of the granddogs, too.
Debra was committed to her work—but she was even more committed to her grandkids’ sporting events. She loved cheering from the sidelines at soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball games. Every coach, player, and parent knew Grandma Debbie, and the energy she brought to those games was contagious.
Nature gave her a great sense of peace. She loved hiking with her daughter Dene, and she took many trips to places like Zion National Park, Maui, Bryce Canyon, and the Columbia River Gorge where she could be outside and soak in the beauty of the wilderness. She and Dene shared a similar sense of humor, and their time together was often filled with uncontrollable laughter as best friends do.
Lake Roosevelt held a special place in Debra’s heart, spending time on the water with Jennifer, Eric, Olivia, and Sophia. Those lake days were filled with boat rides, walks on the beach, hummingbird watching, and playing cards with the girls. Debra worked so hard for so much of her life, but Lake Roosevelt is where she could really relax and enjoy herself. Whether they were a few miles away or at the same house, Debra and Jennifer talked every day. They were each other’s greatest support—mother and daughter but also best friends.
Ken and Debra loved to travel; their favorite place was Harrison Hot Springs in Canada where they’d treat themselves to delicious meals, massages, and relaxing dips in the warm water. It meant a lot to Debra that after struggling to make ends meet for so long, she could finally afford to indulge a little. The two recently purchased a beautiful ranch house in eastern Washington where the mountains look over their home.
On May 29, 2020, Debra was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. The news was devastating, but she faced it with relentless grit and optimism. Jennifer, Dene, and Ken were there with her every step of the way. Debra and her family leaned on faith in getting through the harder days; they found the more they needed it, the stronger it became. The family prayed together often, and in that faith, their bonds became stronger, too.
Debra’s spirit was the kind that sticks with people. She will be remembered in those moments that brought her the most joy: playing board games with her grandkids; taking long walks with her daughters; and watching sunsets on the back deck of her home with Ken. She found her true love later in life, but she always felt lucky for the love that surrounded her—for the unwavering bonds she had with her daughters and grandkids. In her family, she’d found greatness. She was our rock; our biggest cheerleader; and our beloved daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, sister, and friend.
Debra is survived by her husband, Kenneth G. Olofson; her two daughters Dene Miles and Jennifer (Eric) Moe; her granddaughters Olivia and Sophia; her mother, Patricia Yerg; sisters Marlin (Gary), Patrice, and Lisa (Bob); brother-in-laws Carl and Chris (Laura); sister-in-laws Caryn (Michael) and Carol; and dozens of nieces and nephews.
Debra was committed to involving herself in multiple charities over the years. Memorial donations can be made to Debra’s favorite charities: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Sage Patient Advocates, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer International Consortium
A special thank you to Steve Kandel of Sage Patient Advocates who was our guardian angel during Debra’s battle with cancer. His compassion, support, guidance and knowledge helped not only Debra but her family through her illness.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Bolete, photographed by Machel Spence)
TRANSPORTATION ALERTS: The West Seattle Water Taxi is out of service again today; the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry run is down to 2 boats; work on the Duwamish Longhouse crossing/signal project continues on West Marginal Way.
CHURCHES: Most are still streaming, along with offering in-person services. Here are the newest links for 20+ West Seattle churches’ services.
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. (The market is a WSB sponsor.)
HISTORY EXHIBITS: It’s the second day for “Spirit Returns 2.0: A Duwamish and Settler Story” (Update) viewable today at the Log House Museum (3003 61st SW, noon-4 pm)
ULTIMATE FRISBEE: Join the weekly drop-in game at Walt Hundley Playfield (6920 34th SW), 10 am.
DINE-OUT FUNDRAISER: 10:30 am-10 pm, get takeout pizza from MOD at Westwood Village and mention Lincoln Park Co-op Preschool so they’ll get a share of the proceeds.
(added) WHITE CENTER COMMUNITY CUP SHOWCASE; Opening reception 11 am-1 pm at Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th SW).
SOUTHWEST COMMUNITY ARTISTS SHOWCASE: Check out the artwork on display at the Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) as part of this monthlong, non-juried showcase. The branch is open noon-5 pm today.
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: 2 pm in the West Seattle High School parking lot (3000 California SW), it’s St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church‘s annual blessing event – face coverings for humans, leashes or carriers for animals.
PK DWYER: Roots music at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm.
DRUM TO CALL THE SALMON HOME: 4-4:45 pm, the annual community gathering presented by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council, at 4539 SW Director Place. All ages welcome. Bring your mask and any kind of drum. Heavy rain cancels.
SUNDAY NIGHT KARAOKE: 8 pm to 1 am at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).
SUNDAY NIGHT JAZZ: Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8 pm and 9 pm sets.
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