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WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Meet more of your feathered neighbors

Thanks to everyone continuing to share West Seattle bird photos with us so we can share them with you! Time for a weekend gallery. Above and below (with a shrimp snack), Mark MacDonald photographed Common Mergansers.

Here’s another seabird – a Cormorant drying itself, photographed by Stewart L.:

Two views of Anna’s Hummingbirds – first, from Jerry Simmons:

And from Patience McGaughey:

Max Welliver shows us a Red-breasted Nuthatch:

From Mark Dale, a Cooper’s Hawk:

And here’s a tree full of Crows, photographed by Michael Burke:

If you catch a great view of a local bird, westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

WATER TAXI: Smaller boat on West Seattle route for next 2 weeks

(Spirit of Kingston – WSB file photo)

Just announced – the smaller M/V Spirit of Kingston will be on the West Seattle Water Taxi run for the next two weeks:

Starting Monday, January 25, the M/V Spirit of Kingston (physical distancing passenger capacity of 33) will be assigned to the West Seattle Water Taxi route for the next two weeks while the M/V Sally Fox goes to the shipyard for scheduled annual maintenance.

The M/V Doc Maynard (physical distancing passenger capacity of 86) typically serves the West Seattle route and will be operating on the Vashon Island route. The smaller vessel is assigned to West Seattle because the route has twice as many sailings as Vashon Island’s route and therefore more departure options for passengers.

Ridership on the West Seattle route has not exceeded 33 passengers since early November, although ridership has been fluctuating since the holidays. Please plan your commute accordingly.

The Water Taxi continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through regular cleaning and disinfecting between sailings. Masks are required for both passengers and crew.

Seattle Fire callout at Arrowhead Gardens, quickly downsized

Briefly sizable SFD callout at Arrowhead Gardens, the senior-living complex in southeast West Seattle [map]. The incident log shows all but two units were canceled within a few minutes of dispatch.

HELPING: Valentine’s Day kit from BAKED, with a sweet donation on the ingredient list

(Photo courtesy BAKED)

Back during the holiday season, BAKED in Admiral raised money for the West Seattle Food Bank by donating part of the proceeds from what turned out to be a very popular gingerbread-house kit. Now BAKED has two Valentine’s Day offers, with 10 percent going to Mary’s Place, a nonprofit that works to get families out of homelessness (with a White Center shelter among its locations): A DIY cupcake-decorating kit, or a cupcake/cookie combo (in partnership with Jenn’s Cookie Jar). You can order now – before they sell out – and choose pickup on either February 12th or February 13th. BAKED is at 2604 California SW.

WEST SEATTLE SUNDAY: What’s up today

(Photo by Don Brubeck)

Here’s what’s happening on your Sunday:

TODAY’S ONLINE CHURCH SERVICES: Every week we update our list of more than 20 local churches’ Sunday online services (with a few also offering in-person options), with the latest links; find them here.

DONATION DRIVE: 10 am-3 pm, bring food and other items – see the list in our preview – to Alki UCC. (6115 SW Hinds)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction, the market’s open. Scroll down the page at this link to find the vendor list and map for this week. (Enter at California/Alaska; pickups for online orders are at California/Oregon)

MISSION CANTINA BENEFIT FOR STUDENTS: The Genesee Hill Elementary PTA is partnering with Mission Cantina (2325 California SW; WSB sponsor) for a dine-out fundraiser today and tomorrow, with orders taken by phone starting at 11 am – details in our calendar listing.

WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Open 11 am-4 pm – need a tool to fix or improve something? (4408 Delridge Way SW)

FREE TO-GO DINNER: White Center Community Dinner Church will serve to-go meals at 5 pm, outside, near the Bartell Drugs parking lot in White Center. (9600 15th Ave SW)

Got something for our calendar? westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 1/23/2021 roundup, including our weekly West Seattle trend check

Here are the mid-weekend pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:

*74,214 people have tested positive, 413 more than yesterday’s total

*1,215 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*4,687 people have been hospitalized, 4 more than yesterday’s total

*812,614 people have been tested, 2,505 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 72,274/1,188/4,665/790,996.

WEST SEATTLE TRENDS: Here’s our weekly check of this stat, with numbers shown in two-week increments via the “geography over time” tab on the daily-summary dashboard, combining the totals from the West Seattle and Delridge “health reporting areas” (HRAs). For the past two weeks, 210 positive test results; 268 in the 2 weeks before that; 299 in the two weeks before that. … We also are noting WS death totals each week; the HRAs are the most precise count. The total deaths for the entire pandemic in the two HRAs comprising West Seattle: 52, one more than a week ago.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 98.7 million people have tested positive, and more than 2,120,000 people have died; U.S. deaths exceed 417,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, Russia, UK (third consecutive week with the same top five). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

‘MORE CONTAGIOUS’ VARIANT: The more-contagious “UK variant” of the virus has shown up in our state for the first time, the Department of Health says:

Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) along with the Snohomish Health District and the UW Medicine Virology Lab, announce that the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 has been found in testing samples from our state.

The UW Medicine Virology Lab detected two cases of the COVID-19 variant, known as B.1.1.7 or SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01 in specimens collected from two Snohomish County residents. The lab screened 1,035 samples between December 25, 2020 and January 20, 2021 to detect mutations associated with B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom (UK). The lab confirmed the variant by whole viral genome sequencing. Data collected so far suggests a low prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant in western Washington. Although these are the first detected B.1.1.7 variants in the state, it is likely that other cases exist and will come to light through ongoing surveillance.

Read the full announcement here. And note that while it’s more contagious, the DOH says, “there is no conclusive evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.”

REOPENING: West Seattle Grounds says everyone tested negative, so it’s reopening tomorrow.

HELPING: 10 am-3 pm tomorrow (Sunday), Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) is collecting food and other donations – details here.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? westseattleblog@gmail.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: ‘Spotty snow’ possible

Sub-freezing temperatures have been scarce this winter – but this morning’s official low (at Sea-Tac) was 29, explaining the ice-skating the Steller’s Jay was attempting in the photo above by Jerry Simmons. If you have a bird bath, you’ll want to keep it defrosted it in the days ahead, because more extra-chilly weather is on the way, including what the National Weather Service calls “a chance of spotty light snow at times in the lowlands.”

(Photo by Lynn Hall)

As for the near-term, tonight’s NWS “forecast discussion” says: “Clouds will increase tonight and areas of precip should start by daybreak. The hills might pick up a little wet snow tomorrow morning, but accumulations should be mainly in the grass rather than the pavement.”

(Frosty roof and foggy sunrise, by Coleman Smith)

After that, “Another front or two arrive late in the week–but it is too early to say much about that other than a low snow level is likely, but nothing yet looks like a slam dunk for the lowlands.” Snow or no snow, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights may get down to freezing again.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Closer look at ‘Phase 1 rehabilitation’

Exactly 10 months ago – on March 23, 2020 – the city announced the West Seattle Bridge was unsafe and would close within hours. At the time, there was concern it might be unstable enough to fall apart. Stabilization work ensued. SDOT refers to that as “Phase 1 rehabilitation” in a just-published closer look at the work it’s completed, including an explanation of what’s visible from beneath the bridge:

That graphic, credited to SDOT’s consultant WSP, shows, among other things, the bolts for the brackets holding the “post-tensioning” steel cables strengthening the bridge. In a summary of the stabilization work last month, SDOT said 10 miles of those cables had been installed. One of the final tasks, completed this month, was to coat those brackets, according to SDOT’s new update. So what’s next? The update has the same timeline reported in our coverage of this month’s Community Task Force meeting – they’re designing “Phase II” now, expecting to hire a contractor in the spring, starting the work in fall. The timeline shown at the CTF meeting suggested completion in midyear 2022.

Some startled by ‘Stay Healthy Block’ in South Alki

Steve sent that photo this morning showing “Stay Healthy Street”-style signage facing north/westbound trffic at 61st SW/Beach Drive, a little more than a block from the south end of the Alki Point Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Street. SDOT hasn’t announced any expansion of the program – hasn’t even decided the fate of the 63rd/Beach stretch – so we were a little skeptical, especially when we went to check it out and found this less-official-looking sign a block north, at 61st/Spokane:

We weren’t the only ones wondering; we got texts asking about it, and someone even called police to investigate, according to a scanner conversation. That call and our research reveal this is a legitimate “Stay Healthy Block” – shown on the map on that program’s webpage. The “Stay Healthy Block” program allows residents to request permission to close non-arterial blocks to through traffic up to 20 hours per week. The officer who checked out the signage told dispatch that it was authorized 10 am-4 pm on Saturdays; we went back for a look around 5:30 pm and the barricades were gone. Steve, an area resident, notes that using 63rd between Beach and Alki is faster anyway – if you haven’t been on 61st in a while, as we hadn’t, take note that it now has several sets of speed humps south of Admiral.

P.S. The city’s asking for feedback on Stay Healthy Blocks, which were launched – take the survey by going here.

GIVING: ‘Little Free Toy Box’ awaits visitors

The photo is from Karen, who says, “Our little free toy box has had so many donations that they don’t all fit! We’d love to have people stop by and pick a toy!” You’ll see it in the 8600 block of 18th SW [map].

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 stolen vehicles to watch for

Two vehicle-theft reports received so far today:

That’s Indy‘s red 2001 Subaru Impreza hatchback. The plate in the photo is NOT the current plate – the car now has license # BUZ7132. Indy says it was “last seen in West Seattle 1/22/21.” Next, Jesse‘s stolen Toyota:

Jesse reports, “My truck was just stolen around 1:15 pm today in broad daylight in the 30th Ave SW alley behind Luna Park Café. They apparently took something out of my neighbor’s truck, and cut through the club on my steering wheel. They might not get far though, the engine surges when at an idle stop…” The plate, shown in the photo, is BTZ1825.

If you see either of these – or any other known stolen vehicle – call 911.

TRAFFIC ALERTS: Seattle City Light work continues downhill from Olson/Myers; 1st Ave. S. Bridge crash

2:20 PM: Thanks to @clarisaface for the tweeted photo/tip. There’s traffic trouble on the uphill side of the 1st Avenue South hill east/northeast of Olson/Myers, because Seattle City Light is still working at the site where one or more trees took out lines and caused that 5,700-customer power outage Friday afternoon. The SCL map shows 74 customers still out, 25 hours later, in that area of southeast West Seattle.

2:42 PM: Also of note, a crash response is blocking multiple northbound lanes on the 1st Avenue South Bridge.

Volunteer storytelling along Alki path of ‘Walking in Eva’s Shoes’ – and a winner!

(WSB photo)

Until 2 pm, you can be “Walking in Eva’s Shoes” and finding Save The Stone Cottage volunteers at any or all of five historic spots on Alki. We stopped by Luna/Anchor Park and found local historians Clay Eals (above left) and Ken Workman (above right) – a descendant of Chief Seattle – there to share stories including the site’s fame as home to a waterfront amusement park more than a century ago. This is all to commemorate how the Stone Cottage (1123 Harbor SW) got its unique look – with wagonloads of beach stones hauled by Eva Falk and her family from Alki Point to the bungalow’s site across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp. The Stone Cottage itself is another of the stops along today’s self-guided walk, as are the Alki Point Lighthouse, the “Birthplace of Seattle” monument at 63rd/Alki, and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s Log House Museum at 61st/Stevens. More info here; this is all part of a series of events sponsored by the local advocates working to preserve the Stone Cottage, crowdfunding to move it to an interim site before a redevelopment project starts where it is now.

P.S. Today’s walk also featured optional participation in a search for the third “Story Stone” – just as we finished writing this, we got word there’s been a winner – Beata S.:

(Photo courtesy Save The Stone Cottage)

Save The Stone Cottage’s Jeff McCord says, “Beata S. impressed us all by not only completing the “Walking in Eva’s Shoes” walking event at 11:33 am this morning, but answering all five puzzle questions correctly! Congratulations, Beata!!” Here’s her story.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 more robberies, 1 arrest

Two more store robberies last night, we’ve learned this morning, and the suspect in one was arrested. Here’s the SPD summary on that one, which happened just after 10:30 pm:

A suspect smashed one of the front-facing windows of the 7/11 at 35th Ave. SW/SW Avalon Way. The suspect entered the store, threatened to kill the clerk and a customer, went behind the clerk’s counter and stole merchandise while holding a blunt-object weapon. The suspect had just fled from across the street where he had committed a burglary by breaking into a building by smashing out a front-facing window. Patrol officers responding to the burglary chased the suspect on foot as he fled the robbery. The suspect was captured four blocks away. The suspect was booked into KCJ for Investigation of Robbery and Investigation of Burglary.

(The burglary was at the 3295 SW Avalon building – added beliw, the boarded-up door:)

The other robbery was the third Walgreens robbery this week in West Seattle, second one at the 15th/Roxbury store. Few details except that one person robbed the store by implying they had a gun, making off with about $250. No suspect description provided but police do not believe last night’s two robberies were related.

WEST SEATTLE SATURDAY: Low-bridge closure; ‘Walking in Eva’s Shoes,’ free food, more…

We start Saturday with a traffic alert:

(“Live” view of SDOT camera)

LOW BRIDGE CLOSURE: 8 am-1 pm, the low bridge is scheduled to close to all but emergency traffic, so it can be inspected. Here are the bus reroutes:

C Line

Route 21

Route 50

Routes 120 & 125

WALKING IN EVA’S SHOES 10 am-2 pm, walk Alki and imagine Eva Falk‘s journey toting the stones that cover the historic (and endangered) Stone Cottage – at five stops along the way, including the Stone Cottage itself, volunteers will tell the true stories of those places’ histories. More info here!

(Photo by James Bratsanos)

NEED FOOD? Get it free, while supplies last, today at the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church, starting at 2:30 pm, 2620 SW Kenyon.

STREETCAR HISTORY: If you missed out on registering for Historic Seattle‘s 11 am online presentation about West Seattle’s streetcar history, good news – it will be livestreamed here.

(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

SUNSET: 4:57 pm.

CORONAVIRUS: Friday 1/22/2021 roundup

47 weeks have now passed since the Friday night announcement of the first King County case of COVID-19. Here are tonight’s updates:

KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary page, cumulative totals:

*73,801 people have tested positive, 356 more than yesterday’s total

*1,214 people have died, 8 more than yesterday’s total

*4,683 people have been hospitalized, 19 more than yesterday’s total

*810,109 people have been tested, 5,123 more than yesterday’s total

And from the COVID Vaccination Among King County Residents dashboard, our weekly check:

*126,474 people have received one dose

*21,910 people have received both doses

*214,425 doses have been allocated to King County

One week ago, the first four totals were 71,231/1,180/4,566/788,074, and the vaccination totals were 82,382/11,640/141,375.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 98.1 million cases, 2,107,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.

PHASE 1 FOR WEEK 3: In the third “Roadmap to Recovery” report since the governor’s announcement of a new reopening plan, everyone’s still in Phase 1 for the week ahead. This week’s announcement also included the launch of this dashboard to monitor how regions are doing.

COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER’S BRIEFING: Dr. Jeff Duchin provided his weekly video briefing – see it here. He said we’re still on a “COVID rollercoaster,” though right now it’s going down. He also discussed the vaccination situation.

SPEAKING OF VACCINATIONS … still no mass vaccination sites planned on the peninsula. But as we mentioned last night, several local pharmacies are expected to offer it – eventually. As for large health-care providers, they’ve been vaccinating off-peninsula – CHI Franciscan‘s closest location, for example, is St. Anne Hospital in Burien. Sea Mar says it’s been vaccinating at locations including White Center BUT it does not have any vaccine available right now. Dr. Duchin said in his briefing today that more than 300 King County providers have signed up to offer vaccine – but many haven’t received any at all, yet.

COVID CLOSURE: West Seattle Grounds says it’ll be closed again Saturday because its staff is dealing with possible exposure.

NEED FOOD? Reminder – the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church has another food distribution tomorrow, 2:30 pm Saturday (January 23rd), 2620 SW Kenyon, first-come first-served.

GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

Revised plan for upzoned site, park-project updates, more @ Morgan Community Association

The newest plan for an upzoned development site tops our look at what happened during the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting this past Wednesday:

REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Project-team members from StoryBuilt were there to talk about the 41st/Graham project. Brandon Burrowes and Patrick Cobb, both West Seattle residents, explained that their company specializes in “infill.” The project at 6314 41st SW is a 20,000-sf, 3-parcel site upzoned by HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability to Lowrise 3. The project has changed since they had an early community meeting last year. The project will have fewer units (now 36), plus less height – 30 to 40′ in an area zoned up to 50′ – and more parking (15 spaces) than zoning requires (zero). The units will range from 500 sf to 1300 sf, in a mix of townhouses and flats, and though the city files still describe the project as “apartments,” the StoryBuilt reps say these will be units for sale, likely ranging from $300,000 to $700,000.

Read More

SCHOOLS: Seattle Lutheran High School to be managed by Hope Lutheran

(Image from Google Maps Street View)

West Seattle’s only parochial high school will be under new management starting this summer. Here’s the announcement sent tonight:

Hope Lutheran Church and School is pleased to announce that Hope has accepted an offer from Seattle Lutheran High School to manage the high school as of July 1, 2021, after the conclusion of the current school year.

Hope and Seattle Lutheran have had a close relationship and ministry partnership, beginning 45 years ago when Hope was one of the more than 30 Lutheran churches in the Seattle area that worked together to open SLHS. Over the many decades of Seattle Lutheran’s ministry and educating thousands of students, many Hope members have attended the school as students, served as teachers, staff, and as board members, and supported the school in many other ways.

Hope Lutheran has agreed to manage Seattle Lutheran High School for a period of one year, and is actively engaged in a process of determining the feasibility of assuming the ministry of Seattle Lutheran permanently. More information will be shared as this process continues. Hope considers it to be a privilege and honor to continue the work that began in 1976 at Seattle Lutheran High School, and looks forward to the future.

Thank you to the West Seattle community, and Hope and Seattle Lutheran communities, for your support as we embark on this new partnership together!

The two schools are located a little more than one block apart in The Junction – Hope Lutheran at 42nd/Oregon, SLHS at 41st/Genesee.

FOLLOWUP: Interim superintendent proposed for Seattle Public Schools

A month and a half after Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau announced she’ll leave when her contract’s up this June, the School Board has decided what’s next – an interim superintendent. According to the agenda for next Wednesday’s school-board meeting, the board will vote on whether to offer the interim job to Dr. Brent Jones, who was the district’s Chief Equity, Partnerships and Engagement Officer for three and a half years, until June 2019. Since then, he’s been an assistant general manager at Metro. Approval by the board would authorize negotiations with Dr. Jones to spend a year as interim superintendent without being a candidate for the permanent job. If you’re interested in commenting on this or any other item during Wednesday’s meeting, the agenda explains how to sign up starting Monday.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car prowl

Reader report from Gregorio, who says it happened in the 4400 block of 35th SW:

I had a vehicle outside my apartment rummaged through last night after potentially leaving it unlocked. There’s been a lot of suspicious activity in the area, including a white van that’s constantly parked near the Rotary Viewpoint park. I know my neighbor also had their car windows smashed in a few weeks ago.

It’s been reported to police. Even if nothing is taken, you can report a car prowl online – go here.

DELRIDGE PROJECT: What’s planned next week

(WSB photo, Thursday)

The repaving-and-more project paving the way for RapidRide H Line on Delridge continues. Here are the toplines for next week’s work, as sent by SDOT:

Electrical upgrades along the west side of SW Webster St to Sylvan Way SW begin soon
Trenching and demolition in the sidewalk will begin as early as January 27
Sidewalk restoration and paving to begin in February

Roadway demolition and paving on west side of Delridge Way SW between SW Holden St to SW Kenyon St in early February
Paving will follow shortly after and include roadway, sidewalk and curb restoration

Select driveways for business in Zone C are now open
Remaining driveways will be poured soon

*We will also be installing the curbs for the roadway median in Zone A. Traffic will also shift again in Zone B soon. We ask that people driving practice caution when driving through this area, as the traffic patterns will be very different in the next few weeks.

The full preview for the week ahead can be seen here.

COVID CLOSURE: West Seattle Grounds temporarily closed because of possible exposure

Thanks for the tip. North Admiral coffee shop West Seattle Grounds says it’ll be closed through tomorrow because of possible virus exposure. From the WSG website:

We are sorry to announce that we will be closed January 22nd and 23rd (Friday and Saturday) in order to take all the correct precautions to keep our staff and community safe. We have been informed that our staff may have been exposed to the Coronavirus so we are making sure that all of our lovely staff gets negative tests back until we resume our regular takeout service. We encourage you to continue to stay the positive and wonderful customers that you are and enjoy all the wonderful January weather we are having!

Like many businesses, WSG has dealt with closures before, and its website has links for showing extra support to the shop and its employees.

UPDATE: Power outage stretching from parts of southeast West Seattle to South Park to Burien

2:19 PM: Second big Seattle City Light power outage this week – this time, 5,700+ customers, some in southeast West Seattle and west South Park. Above is a closeup of the WS areas affected – to see the full outage zone, which stretches into Burien, go to the SCL website map. This started about an hour ago; no word yet on the cause.

3:18 PM: Via Twitter, City Light says this was caused by “a downed tree that came into contact with overhead power lines.” In a comment below, Bill says the culprit tree appears to have been one that fell near the 509 ramp on the Olson/1st/etc. hill.

6:01 PM: Most of the areas in the image above are still out – almost 400 customers – but the rest are back on. Note that commenter Patience points out this is still affecting traffic in the Olson/Myers vicinity at the east end of the Roxbury corridor.

11:52 PM: Just checked the map – 74 customers still out.