West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Pandemic-related shutdowns had a bit of a silver lining for some businesses and institutions who were able to use the time to step back and reinvent.
Among them, the culinary program at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which has remodeled and reopened its coffee-and-more Alki Café (no relation to the restaurant at the beach), and is cooking up plans for more changes and improvements.
(‘Preferred option’ rendering from draft design packet by MZA Architecture)
Almost two years after we first reported on a development proposal for 1116 Alki Avenue SW [map], the project on Duwamish Head is set for its first Southwest Design Review Board meeting. We last mentioned the project one year ago, when the developers ran a survey as part of the Early Community Outreach process. The project is described on the city website as “a 6-story, 65-unit apartment building (with p)arking for 102 vehicles” but the draft packet for the upcoming meeting features three massing (size/shape) options that max out at 58 units with 87 offstreet-parking spaces. The project is to be built on a site that holds six houses, four of which are more than a century old. The SWDRB meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, at 5 pm, online; watch here for participation information when it gets closer. You can also send pre- and post-meeting comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, to reach the city planner assigned to the project.
Seattle has had 3.7 inches of rain in the past two days – which is the average rainfall for the entire month of February. As a soggy day makes way for night, we have two road closures to mention, both somewhat out-of-the-way but still notable:
TREE DOWN: This tree has fallen in a slide at 18th/Charlestown (map), at the start of a one-lane road just west of West Marginal Way SW, a short distance south of the bridge. An SDOT incident-response vehicle was there when we went over to look, but work to clear it had not yet started.
On to west Admiral:
POLE PROBLEM: At 52nd/College (map), this tape’s been up all day because of a leaning pole and dangling wires. A truck was stuck there this morning, though we’re not sure whether the pole was already leaning before the truck showed up – we inquired with City Light about its assessment of the situation and repair plans, since (as the photo shows) they had a crew there earlier, but have yet to receive a reply, and no crews was present when we went by to check around 5 pm.
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday – if you’re looking for tasty ways to celebrate here on the peninsula, here’s what we have so far:
CIRCA FESTIVITIES: The owners of this Admiral restaurant/bar (2605 California SW) have strong ties to New Orleans, so it’s a big day. We asked co-proprietor Gretchen what’s planned – her reply: “Big special menu for Tuesday, plus Hurricanes will be flying. Music and decor.” Reminder, Circa is now open earlier, as reported here three weeks ago – 9 am, seven days a week.
BAKERY NOUVEAU ‘POP-UP’: The beloved bakery‘s locations (including 4737 California SW in The Junction) are all Fat Tuesday-focused tomorrow. Here’s the announcement:
March 1, 2022 will be our 2nd Fat Tuesday Pop-Up Shop! All 3 cafés will be open from 7:00am – 1:00pm on Tuesday, selling exclusively Mardi Gras products.
You can stop by any of the 3 shops and pick up the following items:
– Pączki (chocolate, raspberry, lemon, vanilla & apple caramel)
– King Cake
– Twice-Baked Croissant
**PLEASE NOTE: NO OTHER PRODUCTS WILL BE SOLD THIS DAY**
Anyplace else? Please let us know so we can add!
If you’ve been affected by the city’s pandemic-related eviction moratorium, as a renter or landlord, the city wants to remind you that it’s ending today, and wants to be sure you know about an informational resource. Here’s the announcement:
As directed by Mayor Harrell in Executive Order 2022-02 on the City’s eviction moratorium, the City has set up an Eviction Assistance web page as part of the broader Renting in Seattle online resource. The Eviction Assistance page offers renters and small landlords key information they should know about the expiration of the moratorium, set to end on February 28, 2022, and post-moratorium tenant protections. It also provides links to resources and more detailed information. We will be adding translated information as it becomes available.
The website – seattle.gov/EvictionAssistance – lists resources available to tenants once the moratorium ends, including:
-Free legal assistance from the Housing Justice Project
-Assistance for rent and utility payments due to COVID financial hardships
-Rules limiting eviction of tenants with delinquent rent accrued between March 3, 2020, and up to 6 months after the end of the moratorium
-Rules limiting eviction from September to June based on Seattle Public Schools’ calendar for households with students (childcare—under 18), educators, and employees of schools
For a more complete look at the City’s renter protections look at seattle.gov/rentinginseattle.
$59 million has been allocated for rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic to help Seattle renters stay in their homes. This includes a variety of federal dollars allocated to respond to the pandemic, as well as City General Fund designated for rental assistance.
11:34 AM: Just in: As of March 12th, the state and King County will lift their indoor-mask rules. That’s nine days earlier than Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week. His new statement – issued in conjunction with the governors of Oregon and California – says in part:
This new date does not change any other aspect of the updated mask requirements Inslee announced last week. Masks will still be required in certain settings including health care, corrections facilities, and long-term care facilities. The Washington State Department of Health will be issuing new guidance for K-12 schools next week so schools can prepare to implement updated safety protocols.
Here’s a graphic from the governor’s office, with more details:
The governor’s office says the new date is possible because “of new [CDC] guidance and continued decreases in hospitalization rates.” We’ll add to this as more information becomes available.
1:08 PM: The governor has just begun speaking. Meantime, the King County decision is explained here.
1:56 PM: The governor’s briefing/Q&A has just concluded. He said he does not anticipate changing the date again. He also says (as he did last week) that the emergency declaration regarding the pandemic will remain in place, in part because that facilitates some policies staying in place such as the health-care masking requirement.
8:02 PM: If you’re wondering about schools, Seattle Public Schools has reiterated that its policy will remain in place TFN.
MONDAY MORNING: The photo is from Mary Metz, who reports, “I had to dismount and wade across the little bridge over Longfellow Creek (by the athletic club on Yancy) this morning.” With rain continuing today, our area remains under a Flood Watch alert, which says in part, “Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.” (Let us know if you encounter any other flooded spots – text 206-293-6302 or email email@example.com – thank you!)
MONDAY AFTERNOON: Here’s how it looked and sounded later – thanks to Melinda for the video:
Here’s what’s happening for the rest of this soggy Monday:
OPEN D&D: Play 6:30 pm-10 pm Mondays at Meeples Games (3727 California SW).
‘MANIFEST DESTINY JESUS’: Screening of this award-winning Seattle-based documentary, presented online by Alki UCC, 7:30 pm. Discussion afterward. All welcome – registration link is in our calendar listing.
Sot something for our calendar? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
As promised when we checked in last December on historic Kenyon Hall‘s future plans, Dennis James is returning to play the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ in accompaniment of silent movies next month. Those are two of three live in-person shows just announced by the nonprofit venue. On March 12th, he’ll play at 2 pm for three 1921 films, and then at 7:30 pm for 1922’s “Blood and Sand.” Then at 7:30 pm March 19th, Kenyon Hall will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend with Magical Strings presenting songs, stories, and dances of Ireland. Tickets are $15, $10 seniors and students – request yours ASAP via email at email@example.com.
6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Monday, February 28th.
Even heavier rain is in the forecast, so watch for standing water on the streets, trails, and sidewalks. Breezy, too, with a high in the 50s.
It’s back to school today for Seattle Public Schools and those following its schedule.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES TODAY
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of reroutes/cancellations.
Water Taxi‘s on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
706th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain 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.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
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.
Two and a half years ago, then-Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed taxing heating oil as a way to encourage people to phase it out. The City Council approved the 23-cents-a-gallon tax in September 2019. But it still hasn’t gone into effect, and it may not, until next year – if ever. The heating-oil tax originally was set to start in September 2020, a year after its passage, but by then, the pandemic response was at center stage. A start date of April 2022 was eventually decided. On Tuesday, the City Council will look at pushing that back further, to January 1st of next year. It’s estimated that 15,500 households still use oil heat, and that the tax will cost them about $120 a year. Most of the proceeds, according to this briefing paper, will be used to help low-income households cover that cost, and to fully pay for conversion to electric heat pumps. The briefing paper suggests the city’s Green New Deal Oversight Board might eventually recommend another source, like the JumpStart tax, to cover those costs instead. The tax-delay proposal is on the agenda for Tuesday’s 2 pm council meeting. If the council doesn’t take action in March, the tax will start in April.
Another West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Four weeks ago, we reported on the arrest of a man who tried to deny he was involved with a stolen car – until he told police he needed to get his cigarettes out of it. At the time, we weren’t able to get the 29-year-old suspect’s name, so we couldn’t track the case. But today we learned from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that they filed two felony charges against the suspect, Jordan W. George. He is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful gun possession. As we mentioned in our previous report, police found a gun inside the car; the gun, like the car, turned out to be stolen. George is not allowed to be in possession of firearms, because he has felony convictions – five in the past 13 years, including robbery, burglary, and auto theft. He remains in jail, bail set at $15,000, and is to be arraigned tomorrow.
Two years after two men were shot at Alki Beach, the man who did it is about to be sentenced. Checking back on various case files today, we discovered that 23-year-old Allan D. Hawley will be sentenced this Friday (March 4th) after pleading guilty in the February 2, 2020, shootings. Court documents say he was at the beach with the victims, both 21 years old at the time, early that morning, and that he lied to police, saying a stranger shot them while trying to rob them; video from a security camera nearby showed that he was actually the shooter, though the motive remains unknown. One man was shot in the head; the other, who left the scene before police arrived, turned up at a Federal Way hospital with a gunshot wound to his ankle. Hawley was arrested days later and charged with two counts of first-degree assault; earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to those charges, but the plea agreement calls for one count to be dismissed at his sentencing. The court documents also says prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 7 years and 9 months in prison, with credit for the two years he’s already been incarcerated. For someone with a minimal record (one juvenile felony conviction, for burglary), that’s the low end of the “standard” range. Hawley, previously a Marysville resident, will also be on probation (which our state calls “community custody”) for three years after getting out.
If you got a notice saying you might be eligible for part of a class-action settlement in a lawsuit over Seattle City Light billing, but put it aside and forgot about it, here’s your reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for taking action. Your West Seattle neighbor Lynda emailed us suggesting you might need a nudge. Here’s the original city announcement of the settlement; the suit was over “estimated” bills between 2015 and 2020. You can file a claim via this website. That’s also where the lawsuit’s background is explained (follow the “What is this lawsuit about?” link on the FAQs page. The FAQs also explain that if you’re eligible, and still an SCL customer, your compensation will come as a bill credit.)
Thanks for the tips! That submarine just passed West Seattle southbound, and according to MarineTraffic.com is now rounding the south end of Bainbridge Island, on its way toward Naval Base Kitsap. Submarines don’t often show up on the public tracking service but this time, this one is identified as “U.S. submarine.”
Time for one of our occasional reminders that WSB has a section where local businesses can post job listings for free, so if you are looking for a new employee – or if you’re looking for a new job – check it out. The section is accessible via the JOBS link in the menu, whether you’re reading WSB in desktop/laptop or mobile format. It’s part of the WSB Community Forums, so you do need a login to post there. If you don’t have one, look for the box on the right sidebar in desktop/laptop/landscape-portrait view, or otherwise go to westseattleblog.com/log-in. If you post a job listing, please include direct contact info for applicants, as our software doesn’t offer direct messaging. If you’re looking for work, there are a dozen new listings just this week, from automotive-service adviser to kayaking guide – go look!
Sunday is here, and now we’re just two weeks from Daylight Saving Time, three weeks from spring. But first – here are today’s notes:
CHURCHES: Most West Seattle churches are continuing online services, with some gathering in-person too – here’s our weekly update on 20+ churches.
ALKI FINALES: Today is the last day for TACOntainer (2530 Alki Avenue SW), as reported here (the container stays but a different operator/concept will be moving in), and for Alki Beach Pub (2722 Alki Avenue SW), which – as reported here – is closing for a few months for an overhaul.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, find fresh food – produce, meat, fish, cheese, beverages, baked goods, and prepared food – at the weekly WSFM (WSB sponsor). (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
POTTER CONSTRUCTION @ HOME SHOW: The Seattle Home Show is happening through March 6 at the Lumen Field Event Center, and Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) is among the West Seattle companies participating. Show hours today are 10 am-6 pm.
‘A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD’: Twelfth Night Productions presents the musical “story of a friendship that endures throughout the seasons,” 3 pm matinee at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). Ticket info and more in our calendar listing.
NEED FOOD? White Center Community Dinner Church serves a free meal (take-away available) at 5 pm Sundays at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).
SUNDAY NIGHT KARAOKE: 8 pm to 1 am at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).
Got an event to list in our calendar and previews? Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
One big topic at this past week’s monthly HPAC meeting – the plan for another giant storage tank in West Seattle to contain combined-sewer overflows.
HPAC is the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge; co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick facilitated the online meeting on Wednesday night.
WEST DUWAMISH CSO CONTROL PROJECT: We mentioned this project three weeks ago, while commenting time was open for its environmental checklist. The King County Wastewater Treatment Division sent reps to the HPAC meeting to present a briefing on the plan. Project manager Maud De Bel led the presentation, calling the West Duwamish Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project‘s central feature “similar to the Murray (Wet Weather) Facility” across from Lowman Beach Park. She offered a quick refresher course on combined sewers – stormwater running off streets and roofs, going into the sewer system – “there’s a point where the sewer gets overwhelmed,” so to prevent floods and backups, the system overflows into bodies of water like Puget Sound or the Duwamish River. The county has controlled “most of those” but this project is meant to address two areas of eastern West Seattle where uncontrolled overflows go into the river several times each year.
Somewhere between the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge and the groundbreaking for West Seattle light rail, our peninsula will see another major transportation project – the replacement of the circa-1950s Fauntleroy ferry dock/terminal. Construction is expected around 2025, so planning is reaching a key stages, and Washington State Ferries has convened advisory groups. This week, the Community Advisory Group for the project will meet for the first time since early December, 6 pm Wednesday (March 2nd), online. Though there’s no public-comment period, everyone’s welcome to watch/listen – you can register here to get access. This is the first of two meetings scheduled for this group in March; the second is two weeks later, on March 16th. WSF has yet to make key decisions such as the size, configuration, and even location – on th current footprint, or? – of the new terminal/dock.
Monday (February 28th) will mark two years since the first King County COVID-19 case was announced. It’ll also be the last day of the King County vaccination-verification requirement. And today was closing day for the city’s West Seattle vaccination clinic. Amid all this, the key pandemic numbers continue dropping. Here are the latest countywide and West Seattle trends and totals, via the Public Health – Seattle/King County dashboard.
*42 percent fewer cases countywide in the past week than the week before
*Currently averaging 407 new daily cases countywide (down from 798 when we last checked a week ago)
*29 percent fewer hospitalizations countywide in the past week than the week before
*Currently averaging 10 new hospitalizations daily (down from 22 a week ago)
*35 percent fewer deaths countywide in the past two weeks than the two weeks before (the dashboard doesn’t offer a one-week increment)
*Currently averaging 6 deaths daily (down from 7 a week and a half ago)
For West Seattle, we have two-week comparisons:
*343 cases between 2/7 and 2/21, down from 1,030 between 1/23 and 2/6
*4 hospitalizations between 2/7 and 2/21, down from 16 between 1/23 and 2/6
*2 deaths between 2/7 and 2/21, down from 4 between 1/23 and 2/6
And checking vaccination rates:
*79.7 percent of all King County residents have completed the series (up .2% from a week ago)
*84.4 percent of all King County residents ages 5 and up have completed the series (up .3% from a week ago)
*In West Seattle, here are the zip-code vaccination rates for ages 5 and up (note that 98106 and 98146 are not entirely within WS):
98106 – 86.5% (up .3% from a week earlier)
98116 – 91.7% (up .1% from a week earlier)
98126 – 82.5% (up .3% from a week earlier)
98136 – 92.7% (up .1% from a week earlier)
98146 – 81.1% (up .4% from a week earlier)
Though the city’s West Seattle clinic is now closed, you can still find vaccination locations via this statewide lookup – for example, it brings up a clinic at the West Seattle YMCA (3622 SW Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor) on March 12th.
If you look across Elliott Bay and see the Space Needle bathed in blue light tonight and tomorrow night, this announcement we just received explains why:
The Space Needle will be lit in blue tonight, displaying a message of Peace and Diplomacy, as we join landmarks around the world in lighting in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. We anticipate remaining lit in blue tomorrow evening as well.
Next door to the Needle, the Pacific Science Center was illuminated for Ukraine last night.
Thanks to Mark Dale for sending the photo of a nesting Anna’s Hummingbird in Lincoln Park. With spring now just three weeks away, it’s a reminder to watch for nests large and small, especially if you’re doing tree/shrub work. Here’s a WSB story from 2019 with photos and information, courtesy of community naturalist Kersti Muul, about what to watch for.
11:05 AM: If you’re hearing the sirens and/or seeing the responding units – Seattle Fire had a big response headed to Harbor Island for what dispatch describes as an engine-room fire aboard a 150′ Navy vessel. But it’s reported to be out so units are being put on standby.
11:09 AM: Firefighters on scene say this involves the littoral-combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords, whose namesake visited it at Vigor last November; the ship’s been there since June.
11:16 AM: Dispatch has been told that SFD has confirmed the fire’s out, so most of the response is being canceled.