West Seattle, Washington
That catalytic converter was “hanging by a thread” when Edgar photographed it near his house at 42nd and Brandon. He’s the guy who, as reported here in October, literally kicked a would-be catalytic-converter thief out from under his own car. Early today, 2:30 am-ish, Edgar says, his wife scared off the people trying to make off with the one in the photo. When he emailed us this afternoon, he and his neighbors hadn’t yet figured out whose car that is. But regarding catalytic-converter theft in general, Edgar says, “This has got to stop.”
So here’s what’s being done at the state level: We noted earlier this month that four bills addressing catalytic-converter theft have been introduced in the State Legislature session that began earlier this month. The city of Seattle is advocating for HB 1815, which has more than two dozen co-sponsors, including West Seattle’s 34th District State House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon. From the bill text (which you can read in its entirety here):
The legislature finds that rates of catalytic converter theft have rapidly increased statewide and nationwide, due in part to existing challenges with accurately identifying stolen catalytic converters. The legislature further finds that victims of catalytic converter theft often incur costs that far exceed the monetary value of the catalytic converters themselves. The legislature further finds that catalytic converter theft is a multifaceted issue that requires collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, scrap metal dealers, and other involved parties to identify comprehensive solutions.
Therefore, the legislature intends to establish a pilot project to mark catalytic converters with unique, permanent identifiers, thereby enabling law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and scrap metal dealers to more effectively track the ownership of catalytic converters and identify stolen property. The legislature further intends to gather and utilize data from the pilot project to inform additional efforts to address catalytic converter theft in Washington state. The legislature further intends to establish a task force with the goal of developing effective tools and methods for deterring catalytic converter theft, identifying and recovering stolen catalytic converters, and lowering costs to victims of catalytic converter theft.
The pilot project would be overseen by the State Patrol and would focus on “vehicles that are most frequently targeted for catalytic converter theft …” The WSP would have to provide a report on the pilot project by October of next year. Meantime, the task force would be established with members including legislators, law enforcers, judges, reps from the scrap-metal and recycling industries, plus “two members representing individuals with lived experience being charged with, or convicted of, organized theft.”
Last week, West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold testified in support of HB 1815 at a legislative hearing. She wrote about it in her weekly online/email update and mentioned it during yesterday’s council-briefing meeting. Herbold also is advocating for a repeal of the state law that says only the state can regulate scrap-metal processors, recyclers, and suppliers.
HB 1815 has been referred to the state House Public Safety Committee, which is expected to review it in executive session this Thursday. As for the other three bills, SB 5495 had a hearing today; the other two – HB 1873 and HB 1994 – have been referred to committees and are awaiting action.
Our weekly look at countywide and West Seattle numbers from Public Health-Seattle & King County has moved to Tuesdays for now, given the frequency of Monday holidays in the winter, so here’s what’s happened since last Tuesday:
KING COUNTY CUMULATIVE NUMBERS (through today):
*319,373 cases – 30,565 more than our last check one week ago (12,140 total in West Seattle, up 1,299)
*10,645 hospitalizations – 371 more than one week ago (305 total from West Seattle, up 13)
*2,299 people have died – 53 more than the previous update (81 total in West Seattle, up 1)
The number of new cases over the past week countywide was 3/4 the number of the previous week … the number of new hospitalizations was down too … the number of deaths was slightly higher … The West Seattle case, hospitalization, and death increases were all lower than the previous week.
83.1% of King County residents 5+ have completed their vaccine series – up .3% from one week ago.
By West Seattle zip code – note that these numbers are NOT available as 5+, so they reflect the percentage of 12+ population:
98106 – 89.2% completed series (54.7% of them have been boosted)
98116 – 92.1% completed series (67.1% of them have been boosted)
98126 – 83.8% completed series (62.3% of them have been boosted)
98136 – 93.6% completed series (70% of them have been boosted)
98146 – 84.3% completed series (51.2% of them have been boosted)
(Find more COVID-related King County stats here.)
GETTING TESTED IN WEST SEATTLE
-The city-sponsored, UW Medicine-run West Seattle testing site at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) is open Mondays-Saturdays, limiting testing to symptomatic and exposed people. Appointments can be made here (if you find an opening).
For Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and families, a walk-in testing site is open 4-8 pm weekdays at Denny International Middle School (2601 SW Kenyon).
GETTING VACCINATED IN WEST SEATTLE
The city-run vaccination hub at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) continues Friday and Saturday operations; here‘s where to look for an appointment. Pliable‘s next Sunday clinic (same location) is this weekend (January 30th).
Many who suffer have tried medications, therapy, but few have heard of TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), a gentle, non-invasive, FDA-approved treatment for mood challenges like depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar depression. TMS can also be beneficial for addiction, ADHD, PTSD, chronic pain, smoking cessation, migraines, tinnitus, and more.
It’s available right here in West Seattle and covered by insurance; self-pay plans also available.
Information sessions, Q&A, and live demonstrations of TMS – a non-invasive, drug-free treatment – are planned during the open house, 4:30-7:30 pm on February 2nd. TPNW is in Suites 550-551 of the Jefferson Square office building, 4700 42nd SW. If you can’t make it to the open house, you can also schedule a free consultation, 206-673-2408.
(Reader photo, 2021)
Pickleball just might be the hottest sport right now. The city’s wondering how best to support it, and hitting a few questions your way:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking input from tennis and pickleball players on how we can best support the growth of pickleball. Everyone is encouraged to participate in a short survey, whether you play pickleball or not – your thoughts are invaluable as we plan for the future of this sport in Seattle.
Your answers to the survey questions will inform how we:
-Approach immediate improvements such as dual striping existing tennis courts for pickleball (for which some funding is available now);
-Add pickleball lines to tennis courts during programmatic resurfacing and renovation projects; and
-Develop options for future dedicated pickleball courts (yet to be funded).
This survey is part of the 2021-2022 Pickleball Study funded by the Seattle Park District. An advisory committee is meeting throughout the study and additional community engagement will include two public meetings. Dates and venues for the meetings will be posted on the project page.
One year ago, we reported on concerns about a salmonella outbreak at bird feeders, particularly affecting Pine Siskins. Today we’ve received a reader report suggesting that feeder-keepers keep watch for this again. Sent by Lex:
Our family regrets to report a likely outbreak of salmonella within our local bird population of Seaview in West Seattle.
A dying Pine Siskin was found motionless on our backyard feeder in Seaview.
His feathers were very puffed up and it did not move while other birds came and went. After 10 minutes though it ate seed from our feeder despite being clearly sick and having not the slightest fear of us.
To keep the other birds (and neighbors!) safe, we used gloves and a mask to move the bird into a box with a small towel and some more birdseed where the poor thing died a few hours later.
Apparently, Pine Siskins are often the first to be infected with Salmonella.
As to prevent any spread like in 2021, we would like to encourage our West Seattle neighbors to:
-Look out for unusual bird behavior (unafraid, ruffled feathers)
-Report this incident to WA Dept. Wildlife via 360-902-2415
-Feeders cleaned w/ 10% bleach solution x2 weekly (if not temporarily removing feeders altogether)
-Reviewing Seattle Audubon’s salmonella information page has been helpful to us!
Fingers crossed this is an isolated incident and everyone stays safe!
12:02 PM: Police are outside the Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool/Neighborhood Center building, investigating reports of gunfire involving people in two vehicles. No injuries are reported; police say witnesses reported the vehicles left the parking lot afterward, with at least one possibly seen northbound on 27th SW from SW Thistle. We’ve only caught one partial description, a “black sedan.” We’re checking on a report that nearby Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School are sheltering in place as a result. (Update: Confirmed.)
12:11 PM: Police have told dispatch they’ve found one shell casing “next to the community center.” The center is on the north side of a large lot that also is shared by Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (on its east side) and the city’s public COVID testing site (on its south side).
12:21 PM: Just talked with police at the scene (who are about to leave). The shell casing was found in the fire-lane area near the parking-lot gate.
12:25 PM: Police have just told dispatch it’s OK for the schools to end the shelter-in-place.
12:29 PM: Minutes later, police reported they found more casings “outside the community center.”
6:54 PM: Here’s the preliminary summary from SPD:
It was reported that one car cut off the other as they both entered the parking lot of The Southwest Athletic Center/COVID Testing site. The passenger of the vehicle that had been cut off got out of the car and fired one round. Vehicle one fled E/B on SW Thistle St. The suspect vehicle followed and then fired more rounds at vehicle one. Both cars then drove in different directions. No one was hit at the time of this (report) and there was no property damage. Evidence of (gunfire) was located.
Two and a half weeks after the first cargo-ship call at Terminal 5‘s modernized north berth, its schedule is starting to fill out. MSC Arica arrived early this morning. Its capacity is 8,886 TEUs – but ships with almost twice that capacity are on the way. While the schedule frequently changes, currently 5 more MSC ships are penciled in – Monterey (4,860 TEUs, making its second visit) next Monday (January 31st), then three big ships – Margrit (13,604 TEUs) on February 6th, Virgo (15,000 TEUs) on February 11th, and Camille (14,028 TEUs) on February 14th – followed by Lisbon (9,784 TEUs) on February 17th. The bigger ships are newer, which may mean they’re able to plug into the berth’s shore-power system. Also of note – while the north berth continues ramping up operations, construction continues on the south berth, which is expected to be complete around year’s end.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
DEMONSTRATION: 4:30-6 pm at 16th/Holden, organizer Scott leads the longrunning signwaving demonstration for racial justice. Signs available if you don’t have one.
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
There’s more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, email us the info at email@example.com – thank you!
6:02 AM Good morning!
Foggy and cloudy again today, high in the 40s.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is on a regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.
West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes are on regular schedules.
Ferries: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
672nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras are still in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.