West Seattle, Washington
9:31 PM TUESDAY: Two mail-related notes tonight:
STILL MISSING MAIL DELIVERY? Though the snow’s mostly melted, we’re still hearing from some readers that they haven’t seen U.S.Postal Service mail since before Christmas. It may not just be the weather – one reader near The Junction, for example, says a neighbor finally got mail today from a fill-in carrier who said their regular person was out with COVID. Last week, a commenter reported being told about short-staffing. Other reports of skipped deliveries are from all over the peninsula – Fairmount Springs, Gatewood, Westwood, Admiral, Arbor Heights, to name a few; the missing deliveries were mentioned repeatedly in various comment threads this past week, and this week we’ve been getting email reports. We’ve tried repeatedly to get official comment from USPS, but so far, no reply. The last official regional statement was this on December 28th, urging people to help ensure carriers’ winter safety. (ICYMI, one West Seattle neighborhood even rescued a USPS van on Sunday.)
WESTWOOD BOX OUT OF SERVICE AGAIN: Just a few weeks after it was replaced and reopened, the drive-up/ride-up mailbox outside the Westwood Village post office is out of service again.:
1 PM WEDNESDAY: We just visited the Westwood post office and noticed the box is untaped, re-locked, and back in service.
Among the elected officials ceremonially sworn in today was the new Seattle City Attorney, Ann Davison. She too had a brief speech after her oath of office. She was introduced by Victoria Beach, longtime chair of the Seattle Police Department African American Community Advisory Council, who said that “Ann has given our city hope” and would be “a city attorney like no other.” Davison herself noted that she’s the first woman to hold the position, making this “a big day for women and girls in Seattle.” Even more than that, Davison said, “this election showed that people are powerful and they’re demanding that we enforce our laws,” after a time in which, she contended, many felt powerless, unsafe, and afraid. “Our legal system must be used as a tool to stand up for victims,” Davison said. She didn’t get into policy specifics but did talk about a duty to “take guns off the streets” so that “misdemeanor gun violations” aren’t followed by felony violent crimes. Davison succeeds Pete Holmes, who came in third in the primary
A “historic day” for the Port of Seattle Commission – with Commissioners Toshiko Grace Hasegawa and Hamdi Mohamed taking office today, the commission has its first People of Color majority. The five-member commission’s other POC member, Sam Cho, was elected today as commission vice president, while Ryan Calkins will serve as president, and Hasegawa as secretary. Calkins was the only incumbent re-elected in November; the other two who were on the ballot were defeated by Hasegawa and Mohamed. The two new commissioners spoke to news media this morning, before the commission’s regular monthly meeting. Hasegawa said it’s “our responsibility to address the generations of environmental harm,” while Mohamed voiced priorities including “addressing the root causes of the supply-chain crisis.” We asked both about how they plan to be more accessible to their constituents (commissioners are elected in a countywide vote). Mohamed promised “listening sessions, town halls” and a “boots on the ground” presence in the community, while Hasegawa promised to be “authentically engaging” and to work to close the “equity gap.” Both also spoke of advocating for a new generation to join the maritime workforce, which is facing a ‘silver tsunami,” as Hasegawa put it, of retirements.
The imminent opening of cargo operations at Terminal 5‘s first modernized berth in West Seattle (with the first ship calling later this week, as we ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>first reported Monday) was briefly mentioned – Hasegawa called it “exciting,” while Calkins described it as one of the “investments we’e been making (that) are starting to pay off.” During the commission meeting this afternoon, port executive director Steve Metruck noted that the first phase of T-5 construction officially concluded just last week.
Three and a half months after work to remove the crumbling Lowman Beach Park seawall began, Seattle Parks says night work is ahead so the project can stay on schedule. Here’s the announcement:
Seattle Parks and Recreation and McClung Construction have reached a milestone with the Lowman Beach Park seawall and beach restoration project. Two main components of this project are complete: demolition of the existing failed concrete seawall, as well as drilling and installation of the steel piles that provide structural support for the new seawall.
The next critical phase of work involves installation of the new precast concrete seawall. This work will occur between January 11 – 24, 2022 and must be performed at night to take advantage of the low tides. The installation of the precast concrete seawall must occur before February 15 when the in-water work window that protects fish and shellfish habitats closes. The time limitation for work is a requirement of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the workable low tides in January and February occur outside normal working hours.
Two night work windows at low tides will occur for:
-Preparing for the permanent installation of new seawall segments which will require up to four nights of work, however, could possibly be completed in one or two nights.
-Installing the precast wall panels, which is expected to take another three to four work nights.
Our Temporary Noise Variance Permit is currently approved for work between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. starting Tuesday, January 11, 2022, and must be completed by Monday, January 24 at 7 a.m. Although the permit allows for 14 nights of work, we expect to work a maximum of eight nighttime shifts.
McClung Construction will do what is feasible to minimize noise levels as much as possible.
Thank you to the neighbors for their patience and cooperation during the Lowman Beach Park seawall and beach restoration project.
Project background is here.
Lots of government-related news today. Just received one more announcement – an online event to which you’re invited tonight:
Your representatives in the State Senate, State House, and U.S. House of Representatives – all West Seattle residents – are inviting yo8u to a live online town hall at 6:30 tonight:
Join Sen. Joe Nguyen, Rep. Eileen Cody, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, for a virtual town hall–featuring Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal!
The town hall will begin with an introduction by each participant, move into a conversation about the issues facing Washington in the build up to the 2022 Legislative Session, and end with questions from the audience.
The Legislators will also answer participant questions during the stream, but if you would like to submit a question ahead of time, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “34th Town Hall.”
You can see the stream here.
2:23 PM: Avoid Fauntleroy Way near the south end of Lincoln Park – a downed wire has led to the street being blocked off. Updates as we get them.
2:35 PM: Here’s a live view of the scene, looking south down Fauntleroy:
For now, you can only reach the ferry dock from the south, until this is cleared.
2:48 PM: As the live image above shows, the road’s open again.
1:44 PM: Metro says West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi service should both return to regular schedules later today. You’ll recall that both M/V Sally Fox and M/V Doc Maynard were out of service for propeller problems, so M/V Spirit of Kingston was going to handle both routes – then windy weather canceled Vashon runs this morning. We asked about the plan for this afternoon/evening, and Metro spokesperson Al Sanders replied, “Water Taxi crew is on its way to pick up the Sally Fox for Vashon service tonight. We should be back to regular service on both routes.”
3:01 PM: That said, Metro has just announced one change in the transition: “3:00 PM Water Taxi departure from West Seattle canceled due to lack of crew. The Water Taxi will resume regular service beginning with the 3:25 departure from downtown Seattle.”
(Seattle Channel recording of this morning’s event)
11:05 AM: Two months after Seattle voters elected him, Mayor Bruce Harrell is now in office, and right now you can see his first speech as it happens – following a ceremonial swearing-in – by clicking into the Seattle Channel stream above. We’ll be publishing topline notes below.
He opens by saying “2022 is not like past years”- it’s not a time to open with exuberance but to acknowledge it’s been a fearful time for people, including fear that “Seattle is going in the wrong direction.” He promises an “obsession” with competence and kindness. He says – in first mentioning the homelessness crisis – that the city will be intolerant “not of the people who are unhoused but of the conditions that caused them to become unhoused.” He says, “We’ll implement ideas that work.” He declares, “We are not afraid.” He discusses the diversity of his executive team, including “three deputy mayors who are women of color.”
Looking to the future – “Seattle will be thriving – no more of this ‘dying’ narrative,” Harrell insists. “Everyone will have an opportunity to help us.” His request for the cynical: “Give us a chance.” He wants the city to be “one Seattle.” He says it’s time to move toward “healing and reparation and restoration” and “a real dialogue.” He promises “health care for all … we’ll make sure every resident in our city not only has health care but is healthy.” This will involve partnership with providers and he says talks are under way. Also: He promises everyone will feel “safe and supportive,” from gun-violence prevention to police accountability. He says Seattle has the chance to set a national example. Then regarding homelessness, he says “One Seattle” doesn’t let people suffer on its streets and promises to publish a plan “within the first quarter,” with an accompanying executive order.He mentions another executive order to review processes to expedite “affordable housing” construction.
He also says the city will be hiring a new Parks director (if that means the current superintendent is leaving, that’s the first time it’s been mentioned). Also, a new mentorship program in which he says the city will partner with Seattle Public Schools. He says that also will address violence and protect young lives. “We must be all in for protecting our kids.”
He promises that these aren’t just empty promises – they’re policy commitments. “We’re not going to play small ball,” says the former athlete. He also notes that “One Seattle” doesn’t mean bragging that Seattle is “number one” but rather unity that includes humility. “We will replace fear with love,” he promises in closing.
11:28 AM: It’s on to media Q&A. First asks about his creation of a Chief Equity Officer position. That will include “new outreach strategies,” especially for “small BIPOC businesses,” and ensuring that good-paying jobs are accessible to all.
Will he keep Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz? Harrell says that hasn’t been decided yet, but “discussions” are continuing.
Asked to elaborate on “health care for all,” the mayor says they’re starting with addressing those who don’t have health care – so they’ll start by formulating a plan for those people within a few months.
Asked about his political position, he refutes the suggestion that he’s not “progressive” – “I ran on a progressive agenda … This is what progressive policy looks like. … My plea to those who claim to be the progressives, give us a chance and let us work together.”
Asked about the shortage of COVID testing and parents’ anguish in deciding whether to send kids to school, he says the city is partnering with the state and county, but has no new specifics, promising an “inventory” of how things are working.
Will he extend the eviction moratorium? “We’ll announce that in due time” – within the next week – he says, noting that “small landlords” are at risk as well as tenants. The decisionmaking process will include looking at whether the moratorium “worked.”
When will people see a difference in addressing homelessness? He promises “real progress in a short time” as well as more clarity with existing data – so that it’s easier to understand where people live now, and what’s happening.
11:45 AM: The event wraps up. We’ll add the recorded video above when it’s available. (Note: Video added at 12:20 pm – if you can’t see the embedded version above, go to this Seattle Channel page.)
5 PM UPDATE: We asked the mayor’s office about the “parks director” reference. They replied that superintendent Jesús Aguirre is “retiring from the office later this month.”
NEW MAYOR’S FIRST SPEECH: Bruce Harrell has officially taken office as mayor. At 11 am on Seattle Channel, you can see his ceremonial public swearing-in, followed by his first speech, “about his vision for a united City.”
PORT COMMISSION: At noon online, the Seattle Port Commission meets, first time with its two newly elected commissioners Toshiko Grace Hasegawa and Hamdi Mohamed. The agenda includes information on how to watch/listen.
CITY COUNCIL: First council meeting of the year, 2 pm – with agenda items including election of the council’s new president. The agenda has viewing/commenting info.
DEMONSTRATION: 4:30-6 pm at 16th/Holden, Scott leads the weekly sign-waving demonstration for racial justice.
ENDOLYNE CHILDREN’S CHOIR: 4:30 pm, it’s the start of winter session. Registration is still open for new participants, as explained here.
TAE KWON DO: Winter session starts at High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW), 6 pm – registration info here.
There’s more on our calendar – and if you have something for a future listing, email@example.com – thank you!
Young singer in the household? Endolyne Children’s Choir welcomes new participants for its winter session, which starts today! Here’s the announcement:
Endolyne Children’s Choir is excited to welcome all three of our choir levels back to in-person rehearsals this Winter Session. This is the first time that our youngest singers in our Debut Choir have been in person for two years and we are excited to welcome new singers to our non-audition choir. Registration for all levels, kindergarten to 12th grade, is open now. Visit form.jotform.com/213500279812148 to register!
Winter session dates: January 4 – March 8, with a concert on March 13.
Rehearsal location: Parish Hall at St. John the Baptist church: 3050 California Ave SW.
Debut: 4:30-5:30 (for all singers in grades K-2)
Encore: 5:45-6:45 (for all singers in grades 3-5, and new ECC choristers in grade 6)
Advanced Ensemble: 7:00 – 8:30 (returning ECC choristers in grade 6, and all singers in grades 7-12)
Tuition: We offer 5 tiers of tuition pricing, from full tuition to full scholarship. You will select your tuition option when registering.
Covid Info: We will continue to follow our successful Covid Safety Plan.
Our staff and volunteers are fully vaccinated.
Our rehearsal space is large and well-ventilated.
All singers must provide proof of Covid vaccination, with the date of their second shot on or before 1/4/2022.
Singers will maintain a minimum 6 feet of distance when singing.
Singers must wear medical-grade 3-layer masks at all times (we always have masks available at rehearsal.)
Singers will have their temperatures checked upon arrival each week.
Winter session begins Tuesday, January 4th. Please visit endolynechoir.org for more information.
You can see part of the choir in concert in this video.
7:59 AM: WS water taxi is back to regular schedule this morning – Vashon is canceled because of wind.
6:02 AM Good morning!
Rain and snow are in the forecast again, so be ready for anything.
Seattle Public Schools are scheduled to reopen today.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is back on its regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.
Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
651st morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Many area traffic cams were still down as of early this morning – here are two we have right now:
The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
South Park Bridge:
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
1:43 AM: SPD and SFD have sent a sizable response to the gas station/mini-mart in the 7800 block of Detroit SW [map] after a reported stabbing. No word yet on the severity of the victim’s injuries. Dispatch told officers the suspect claimed it was a self-defense situation; they’ve radioed in that they are talking with him now.
9:27 AM: No additional details from police yet, but SFD reports treating a 56-year-old man who was in stable condition and then is reported to have gone to a hospital in a “private vehicle.”
12:31 PM: From SPD:
One man was stabbed early Tuesday following a dispute between a landlord and tenant in a rented motorhome … Around 1:30 AM, the landlord called police and said he’d been stabbed near Detroit Ave Southwest & 1st Ave Southwest.
The tenant had also called 911 and claimed he had stabbed the victim in self-defense during a dispute.
Officers found the victim, who was bleeding from his abdomen, and learned he had gone to the motorhome to contact the tenant, who had allegedly changed the locks and stopped paying rent.
The victim had asked to be let inside, had asked to use the bathroom, and then emerged to find the suspect armed with a knife. The tenant then stabbed him.
The tenant told police he believed the victim had previously stolen several hundred dollars worth of items from the motorhome and thrown water on his bed.
Officers arrested the tenant and booked him into the King County Jail.