WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Red Loyale just stolen (update: found!)

“WSRes” just emailed to say a neighbor’s car was stolen less than an hour ago, near 35th/Raymond. It’s a red 1990 Subaru Loyale. (Update: plate #659 YTG.) Call 911 if you see it.

FRIDAY UPDATE: Found!

UPDATE: Gas leak briefly shuts down 9th SW in Highland Park

(Added: WSB photos)

9:46 PM: Police are closing 9th SW between Elmgrove and Kemyon in Highland Park because of what was described in radio communication as a gas leak that may have been caused by a crash. They’re also evacuating some nearby residents. More as we get it.

10:05 PM: The gas has been shut off and the street is expected to reopen soon. We are in the area to see what else we can find out.

10:29 PM: Raad’s open again. Police told us at the scene that the gas line, on a driveway serving multiple residences, was hit but the driver was gone when they arrived. No other damage.

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 5/28 roundup

Another briefing from the governor – but still no final word on June 1st. That tops our roundup again tonight:

MAYBE TOMORROW? Gov. Inslee said he MIGHT have more to say on Friday about what happens June 1st (aka Monday). Otherwise, the briefing’s main topics were testing of patients/staff at long-term-care and assisted-living facilities and protection for farm workers; here’s our coverage

NOW THERE ARE 26: Kitsap and Clallam counties joined the Phase 2 list today.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard

*7,986 people have tested positive, up 55 from yesterday

*552 people have died, up 3 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 7,645 and 534.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: More than 5.8 million cases, 1.7 million of them in the U.S. (four times Brazil, which has the second-highest total). See the global outbreak breakout, nation by nation, here.

NEW WEEKLY TESTING IN WEST SEATTLE: We briefly mentioned this in last Friday night’s roundup but didn’t get details until tonight – weekly COVID-19 testing starts tomorrow, 10 am-3 pm, in the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) north parking lot.

FOOD-AID UPDATE: From the state’s daily virus-crisis newsletter:

This week WSDA’s Food Assistance program distributed 1.09 million pounds of food, enough to serve more than 170,000 clients. In addition, Washington National Guard soldiers and airmen helped box nearly 2.8 million pounds of food and assembled more than 51,000 meals. Since March, Guardsmen have boxed more than 18.4 million pounds of food and assembled 1.1 million meals.

SPEAKING OF THE NATIONAL GUARD … the president won’t be pulling federal funding early after all. As we’ve reported, both the West Seattle and White Center food banks have been getting help from Guard soldiers.

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

FOLLOWUP: Parking-lot COVID-19 testing starts Friday at South Seattle College

As we first reported last week, a new weekly COVID-19 testing site is about to start up at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. We’ve been working all week to get additional details, and info just came in, as follows:

UW Medicine and the Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods are opening a mobile COVID-19 testing site at South Seattle College’s main campus in West Seattle starting May 29. The testing site is open Fridays only, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. SSC agreed to be the host location to help improve testing access for the communities of south and southwest Seattle, and south King County.

Location & Time

When: Fridays only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning May 29

Where: South Seattle College’s North Parking Lot, accessed by Entry 1, located at 6000 16th Ave SW. (campus map here). Please Note: Visitors should only use Entry 1/North Parking Lot entrance. South Seattle College’s physical campus is otherwise closed to the public in response to COVID-19 with very limited exceptions for essential staff and programs approved by the state. The college is operating remotely until further notice and will run summer and fall quarter classes in accordance with public health guidelines.

Testing Site Details

Anyone experiencing the following symptoms can come to the testing site, speak with medical staff from UW Medicine and, if qualified for testing, get tested on-site:

Cough
Shortness or breath or difficulty breathing
Fever
Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Muscle Aches
Headaches
Chills
Sore throat
Runny nose
New loss of taste or smell

There is no cost to be tested. If you have health insurance UW Medicine will bill your insurance.

Walk-up and drive-up visitors are welcome. Please note due to King County Metro bus service reductions in response to the pandemic, the college does not currently have Route 125 or 128 service to campus. Visitors should only use Entry 1/ North Parking Lot Entrance, where UW Medicine staff will direct you.

Neighborcare Health also has been doing COVID-19 testing in West Seattle, outside its High Point clinic.

VIDEO: From Denny International Middle School staff, for students

In English and Spanish, that’s a new video message from Denny International Middle School staff, made for its students, but potentially of interest to the wider community too. Three weeks are left until this most-unusual school year ends on June 19th.

ALSO OPEN AGAIN: The Original Bakery

Thanks for the tips and pic! One month after we reported that The Original Bakery in Fauntleroy was gearing up to reopen, it’s happened. Today was the first day back for the beloved bakery, now equipped with a take-out window. The announcement:

This week we will be open for takeout with a limited menu of donuts and pastries. We will not be serving coffee or espresso yet. Our hours are from 9 am-3 pm Thursday through Saturday. Sorry, no telephone or online orders. We will operate similarly to a food truck to start, first come, first serve. When we sell out of items, we will be out for the day. We appreciate your patience as this process will move a bit slower than our regular service. We will take orders and contactless payment (credit card only) at the walk-up window. There will be a pick-up table at the far end door when your name is called.

The Original Bakery is at 9253 45th SW. (And of course we’re updating our ongoing restaurants/food/beverage-businesses list.)

VIDEO: Updates from the governor, but no June 1st decision yet

2:33 PM: For the second consecutive day, Gov. Inslee is having a mid-afternoon media briefing, this time described as “an update on the state’s long-term-care COVID-19 testing plan and farmworker protections.” But with three days left in the stay-home order, that’s likely to come up in Q&A at the very least, so we’ll be adding notes as it happens.

The agricultural topic is first, and he notes that 100,000 people work in that industry in our state; he’s issuing a “proclamation with clear guidelines” for both employers and workers. He makes note that workers are striking in Yakima. He and Labor & Industries director Joel Sacks mention a few points of the new rules, including access to face coverings and more handwashing stations.

2:45 PM: Erik Nicholson of the United Farm Workers is also speaking, detailing workers’ concerns and how they’re being addressed by the new rules. He says that the governor’s action reinforces the essential nature of farm work. … The governor then moves on to the long-term-care topic. He notes that his 103-year-old grandmother is in a facility. The state is issuing an order to broaden testing requirements in LTC and assisted-living facilities. All residents and staff must be tested by June 12th, except memory-care facilities have an extra two weeks – if they haven’t been tested recently. The state will send the facilities test kits and PPE, Inslee says, and will pay the lab costs for staff (for residents, he expects that insurance will cover the cost).

2:55 PM: Secretary of Health John Wiesman is elaborating on this. He notes that they’ve continued to see a decline in outbreaks at these facilities. He says it will enable them in particular to focus on facilities that haven’t had outbreaks, to be sure no one is infected but asymptomatic.

3:01 PM: On to Q&A. First one is about penalties for violating the new farmworker-protection rules. The governor stresses that while “sanctions are available,” he expects that won’t be needed as the “vast majority” of businesspeople are complying. … Second question notes that a judge is expected to rule Monday on the governor’s stay-home order; the governor says the filing of a lawsuit is not affecting his decisionmaking, but that aside, “We believe we’re on very firm ground” as he acted on an obligation “to save people’s lives.” … Next question, Snohomish County wants to seek a variance despite not meeting the current requirements, any comment on that? The governor says he’s been talking with people there but as for what’s next, he’ll have decisions “in the days ahead” about “what happens June 1” … He also says the state’s been getting testing supplies that will allow that to be ramped up. … Is the farmworker announcement too little too late? He says, “We’re making decisions on an hourly basis with huge ramifications on people’s lives.” … In response to another question, he says he’s looking into whether the state can create a relief fund for undocumented workers without legslation … Does the Employment Security department director still have his full confidence? Yes, he said, noting that the department has recovered $300 million. … What about the ongoing reports that some deaths counted as COVID were not? The governor says even with that, it could still be higher than reported, but to some degree the specific number is irrelevant – “hundreds of deaths …is a pandemic.” He also criticizes politicians (without naming them) who have claimed the pandemic was “a hoax” and/or going to end quickly. And he goes on to say masks can be very effective so it’s dangerous when “leaders …and I can think of at least one” deride them. Other questions from there focused on the protections for farmworkers and how those will be monitored/enforced. … Last questions include, what’s to keep people from Phase 1 counties in central Puget Sound “flooding” nearby counties that have been allowed into Phase 2? The governor says that hasn’t been seen yet and they’re hoping it won’t.

In closing, he says that “masking requirements” will be an increasing component of strategy to keep the virus from spreading even as things open up. Wearing one is a sign of your love for your community, he stresses. He wraps at 3:37 pm.

Highland Park Way hill rechannelization on hold, and other news from HPAC’s discussion with SDOT

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The proposal to remove one downhill lane of Highland Park Way traffic and add an uphill protected bicycle lane is shelved for now.

That was the big headline from last night’s HPAC discussion with SDOT, a week and a half after that particular detail of the Highland Park Way/Holden safety project update came to light, sparking controversy.

Instead, SDOT will focus on figuring out how to expand the trail along the downhill lanes.

But first, HPAC got a West Seattle Bridge update that segued into traffic issues. SDOT’s Heather Marx recapped where things stand and what’s been done related to traffic effects – all of which we’ve reported on, but if you’re interested in a recap, check out this SDOT post from earlier this week, and our most-recent update. On the bridge itself, they’re preparing for Pier 18 work, and the new Community Task force and Technical Advisory Panel will have their first meetings the week of June 8th.

Traffic-mitigation projects will be focused on what can be done in less than a year and for less than $100,000 because that way SDOT doesn’t have to send them out to bid and can move faster. Plans, she said, will address effects on SODO, South Park, Georgetown, Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge, Roxhill – in other words, the areas now getting barraged with detour traffic. When the draft traffic-mitigation plans are out, they’ll look for community prioritization. The timeline for the plans is approximately:

Read More

UPDATE: Tower crane goes up at 1250 Alki SW

(Photo sent by Matt Ohlinger)

11:58 AM: As previewed last night, the tower crane for 1250 Alki SW is going up right now, which means traffic is down to one lane (alternating) until it’s done.

(Photo sent by Stewart L.)

The project team estimates it’ll take until 4 pm or so.

(Photo sent by Lynn Hall)

The project, Infinity Shore Club Residences, is planned for 40 condominiums on a site that previously held five houses and had an earlier proposal – five years ago – for 125 apartments.

(Photo sent by Stewart L.)

7:41 PM: By just after 6, the installation appeared mostly done:

(Photo sent by Lynn Hall)(WSB photo)

With this, there are currently two tower cranes in West Seattle; the other is at the 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW two-building mixed-use project.

RESTAURANTS/BEVERAGE BUSINESSES: Admiral Starbucks reopens post-remodel, and other updates

Thanks to Andy for the photo. The latest standalone Starbucks store to reopen in the area is the Admiral shop (41st SW/Admiral Way), which has been remodeled during its closure. “We are remodeled and brand new!! We are excited to have customers come back and see the new store!!” says Sarah. … Other food/beverage changes: You can now get food from Easy Street Café 7 am-3 pm, 7 days a week … Falafel Salam has updated hours too … all those changes are on our ongoing West Seattle food/beverage list (thanks again to everyone who keeps sending word of updates, westseattleblog@gmail.com or text 206-293-6302).

Crash closes Pigeon Point stairway

Thanks to Jack for tweeting the photo. The 19th SW/SW Charlestown stairway (map) is taped off after an overnight crash. We heard a collision call there in the very early morning hours but no details; Pigeon Point resident Pete tells us the driver “missed the dead-end sgns and headed down the stairs toward Marginal Way; police had to have a tow truck pull it back up the stairs.” It’s been reported to SDOT for repairs.

ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, TRAFFIC: Thursday notes, 10th week of West Seattle Bridge closure

6:07 AM: Good morning – the 66th morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. We start with two traffic reminders – #1, SW Roxbury repaving between 16th and 18th continues. Here’s our preview; here’s the westbound detour map:

Here’s the nearest traffic camera:

And in the 1200 block of Alki Avenue SW, traffic will be one lane, alternating directions, all day because of a crane installation.

On with our other featured cameras. for the 5-way intersection at West Marginal/Delridge/Spokane/Chelan, and the restricted-access low bridge:

The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) – here’s that camera:

The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map) – this camera shows the SP-side approach:

Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

Metro – Reduced schedule; reduced capacity; check here for next departure

Water TaxiReduced schedule continues

Sound Transit reminder – Link light rail and Sounder trains will start charging fares again June 1st (Monday)

During the stay-home order, we’re not live-monitoring morning traffic, but we’ll update with word of incidents, so please let us know what you’re seeing – comment or text (but not if you’re drivingl!) 206-293-6302.

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 5/27 roundup

The governor’s still mulling June 1, and tonight’s other virus-crisis toplines:

WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID & DIDN’T SAY: We’re still in suspense as to whether the stay-home order will be extended or will expire Sunday as scheduled. The governor’s only announcement today was a loosening of the rules for religious gatherings – in Phase 1 counties like ours, under 100 people can gather outdoors to worship, but with precautions.

Here’s our coverage of today’s briefing.

MOVING TO PHASE 2: The county that is home to the state capital, Thurston, just won approval, as did Kittitas and Walla Walla.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary data dashboard:

*7,931 people have tested positive, up 35 from yesterday

*549 people have died, up 5 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 7,617 and 530.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

WHAT’S A ‘CLOSE CONTACT’? From the state Health Department’s nightly digest:

Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated the definition of a COVID-19 close contact to align with new CDC guidance. The new guidance states that a close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes. Previous guidance stated 10 minutes.

“Our guidance has changed over time as we learn more about COVID-19, and will continue to do so in the future,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “This update doesn’t change our recommendations for members of the public. We continue to urge people to maintain physical distance to protect themselves and others.”

DOH will be working over the next few days to update our website and associated guidance documents.

CONGRATS, CSIHS CLASS OF 2020: Another drive-thru event in honor of seniors who won’t get to have an in-person ceremony. The Sealth staff made it as festive as possible:

The Sealth “virtual graduation” is June 17th; WSHS is June 18th. (District-wide list is here.)

ANOTHER CELEBRATION AT A DISTANCE: Anniversary serenade!

ALL IN WA: This relief coalition is presenting a fundraising concert (online, of course) June 10th, and headliners include local superstar rockers Pearl Jam (which you of course know includes West Seattleites!).

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

TRAFFIC ALERT: Crane installation at 1250 Alki on Thursday

Just got word of a traffic alert for tomorrow: The Infinity Shore Club Residences construction site at 1250 Alki SW will get its crane installed, which means, according to the project team:

Alki Ave will be reduced to a single lane of alternating traffic from 5:00 AM to approximately 4:00 PM.

Police will be providing traffic control throughout the day.

That’ll be West Seattle’s second crane; the other is at the two-building 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW project.

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Battle of the Great Blue Herons

Thanks to Laurence Shaw for this series of photos from Alki during low tide earlier this week.

He says, “I was lucky enough to witness a pair of Great Blue Herons battling over a spot of lunch near the 1300 block of Alki Ave SW.”

“Happy to report that the bird who made the catch ultimately held on to its prize.”

VIDEO: Celebrating Chief Sealth International High School’s Class of 2020

(WSB photos/video)

Caps, gowns, signs, and more are now in the hands of Chief Sealth International High School seniors, after a drive-up event at the school today – a chance for staff and seniors to see each other, at a distance, for the first time since campuses closed 2 1/2 months ago:

Along with the caps and gowns, honor cords and other items were picked up, plus the Class of 2020 received cheers:

Among those there to cheer the seniors – Chief Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and Sammy the Seahawk:

And the “Lunch Ladies” were there too:

Among the surprises for seniors – special cookies:

The well-wishing extended even to four-legged volunteers:

The district is planning “virtual graduations,” and the dates/times are now online – Sealth will be at 8:30 pm June 17th.

How might ferries factor into fixing traffic without the West Seattle Bridge? WSF @ WS Transportation Coalition on Thursday

Many have wondered how Washington State Ferries might factor into the traffic picture during the West Seattle Bridge closure. Tomorrow, WSF guests at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s meeting, and you’re invited. Here’s the announcement:

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition May meeting is this Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. We will be meeting online using Zoom (please see details below).

Before Everything Changed, we had representatives from Washington State Ferries lined up to come talk about long-range plans for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. Now with the West Seattle High Bridge closure, we will also be discussing what the ferry system can do to help take pressure off West Seattle roads.

Officials from Seattle and King County will be joining us as well to talk about West Seattle mobility and bridge closure mitigation.

… We can’t wait to see you online Thursday for what should be a very interesting virtual meeting!

West Seattle Transportation Coalition is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:

Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting ID 876 0979 0501
On the web: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87609790501
Via phone: +12532158782,,87609790501#

Our coverage of last month’s WSTC meeting is here.

UPDATE: Governor reduces religious-gathering restrictions, but no stay-home decision yet

2:34 PM: Gov. Inslee has just started his first media briefing of the week, announced as “an update on the state’s COVID-19 response,” with four days to go until the current expiration of We’ll add notes as it goes.

He opens by announcing that some “restrictions on religious gatherings” will be “eased,” both for Phase 1 and Phase 2 areas. He introduces religious leaders from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian organization. “For in-person services … Phase 1” will now allow “outdoor religious services” on or adjacent to the organization’s property, up to 100 people if they’re wearing face coverings (and using physical distancing). For Phase 2 areas, indoor services at 25 percent of capacity will be allowed. Choir singing won’t be allowed yet, though, because of science regarding transmissibility.

2:45 PM: The governor turned over the mic, so to speak, first to Aneelah Afzali, the West Seattleite and local Muslim leader, who said that Muslims are yearning to return to mosques but that preserving life was the paramount goal. She’s followed by Olympia rabbi Yosef Schtroks, who makes a similar statement. After him, Lutheran Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee speaks, urging people to follow the governor’s protocols to protect each other.

2:53 PM: Before moving on to Q&A, the governor announces that more counties have moved to Phase 2, now 24 in all. “We remain hard at work determining our next steps as a state come June 1 … we’ll have more to say in the next few days.”

First Q, the current eligibility metrics seem impossible for larger counties, so might they change? And if you’re going to require face coverings for religious services, why not, say, grocery stores? He says he’ll have more to say about the latter “probably Thursday or Friday.” For the former, “we may have more to say in the future” is all he’ll say: “We look at the science on a daily basis … we’re continuing to think about the criteria going forward.”

Next Q, another two-parter: Is he standing by his Employment Security Department director given the fraud situation, and might he let larger counties make their own decisions? To the former, he has words of scorn for the criminals. “I stand against them and we’re doing everything we can to fight them.” To the latter, he notes the counties can maintain their own restrictions if they’re tougher than the state. “The difficult part for us to realize is … we’ve knocked down the fatalities … but the evidence remains clear that this could spring back quickly.” Overall, he declares, “We’re making real progress in our state.”

Then: What’ll be done for people who now are being told they can’t get their unemployment payments at all? He says the department’s doing everything it can. He says the ESD director thinks there’ll be big progress in the next two weeks or so, and “will have more to say about that tomorrow.” Also: Why does the governor have any say over religious gatherings at all? Inslee replies that in emergencies, that authority is established “in American law.”

Might some counties end up moving to Phase 3 while others remain in Phase 1? “It’s possible,” Inslee says. After that, he’s asked why our state is still “stricter” than others. “Because people are dying … we still have a meaningful infection rate in our state,” he replies. In response to another question, he says people seem to be adopting more protection – face covering, social distancing – even as they resume more activities – he says infections haven’t increased at the same rate as mobility. He repeats that they’re “still developing” plans for the counties that remain in Phase 1.

Another question is about Chelan and Douglas counties’ lawsuit. The governor repeats that he is hopeful the infection rate will allow those counties to move to Phase 2. He reminds people that this state was first and hardest hit and has made progress. As for the lawsuit itself, he says they certainly have the right to go to court but “we believe we’re on sound ground making these decisions.” … After that, might he consider graduations for loosening restrictions like will be done for religious gatherings? No – the latter are getting special treatment because of their unique constitutional protection. Then: Is the public-health emergency over? His reply boiled down to “No. … If we give up now, this disease is going to come back big time.”

In closing: “I just want to thank everyone (for their efforts) to defeat this virus,” and he says this is the “hardest phase” …adding that “today the mark of heroism is giving your neighbor some space on the sidewalk, or wearing a mask at the grocery store.” He wraps at 3:30 pm; the full video should be available soon in the same window above, and we’ll link the document about today’s religious-gatherings announcement when it’s available.

4:41 PM: Find that document here.

TRAFFIC-ALERT REMINDER: Low-bridge work Friday-Sunday nights

Reminder – work on the low bridge will close it to all users (including those on bikes or on foot) Friday night, Saturday night, and possibly Sunday night:

As first announced last week, SDOT will …

… be closing the low bridge to vehicle, bike, and pedestrian traffic while we are working at night because we will not be able to open and close the bridge in a normal manner.

As a result, roadway traffic, including freight and buses, will be detoured to the 1st Ave or the South Park bridges. The low bridge will also be closed to bicyclists and pedestrians, and emergency vehicles will have limited access across the bridge. Waterway traffic will be maintained.

These restrictions will only be in place at night while we are working during the following hours:
Friday night: 8 PM to 5 AM
Saturday night: 6 PM to 3 AM
Sunday night: 6 PM to 3 AM (if needed)

During those hours, buses will be re-routed – here’s the Metro advisory:

From Friday evening, May 29, through the end of service on Sunday, May 31, overnight only each night, Metro routes 21 Local, 50, 120 and the RapidRide C Line will be operating a modified reroute via the 1st Av S bridge due to maintenance on the lower-level Spokane St bridge.

…Routes 21 Local, 50, 120 and the RapidRide C Line will travel instead via W Marginal Way SW and the 1st Av S bridge. There are no additional stops missed during this modified reroute. Expect possible service delays. At all other times, these routes will continue using their long-term reroutes via the lower level Spokane St Bridge.

SDOT says the closure is for “necessary maintenance work on the low bridge’s controls and communications systems that are used to operate the bridge.”

UPDATE: Watch the launch with Alice – but not today

1:14 PM: West Seattle-based educator Alice Enevoldsen has a webcast going right now for the “first launch of crew to orbit in a commercial spacecraft,” scheduled just after 1:30 pm – here’s more info, including how to join via Zoom!

1:21 PM: And … the launch has been scrubbed for today. But if you’re interested, register for Alice’s webcast anyway, as she’ll do it whenever Crew Dragon launches.

Rad Power Bikes: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we welcome Rad Power Bikes as a new WSB sponsor. New sponsors get to tell you about their businesses; here’s what Rad Power Bikes would like you to know:

Mike Radenbaugh built his first electric bike in his parents’ garage in 2007 as a way to get to and from high school. For years, Mike worked solo, converting his friends’ traditional bikes into electric bikes and customizing each to fit their riding style. He joined forces with childhood friend and college roommate Ty Collins, and in 2015 they relaunched Rad Power Bikes as a direct-to-consumer company with their flagship model — the legendary RadRover electric fat-tire bike.

What started as a passion project is now the largest e-bike brand in North America, with more than 100,000 owners of all ages riding Rad across 30 countries.

Electric bikes give you all the fun, freedom, and flexibility of traditional bikes with just a little extra oompf when and where you need it. Whether that means crushing hills with pedal assist from the electric motor or freeing yourself from your car commute a day or two a week, e-bikes make getting there easier.

You’ll never have to pick out the right neon-colored spandex for weekend rides, or hang out in a bike shop pretending to know what you’re talking about, or even show up drenched in sweat when you bike to work.

It’s an e-bike revolution — one that makes it easier than ever to ditch your car.

At Rad Power Bikes, we envision a world where transportation is energy-efficient, enjoyable, and accessible to all. Ride with us and you get an unrivaled customer experience with radical electric bikes that are built for everything and priced for everyone.

With flexible financing options, you can start riding for as little as $39 a month — less than a cup of coffee a day (or a twelver a week ;).

Our judgment-free product-support team is available 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have. Seriously. They’ve heard it all.

Most of all, our e-bikes make getting around fun and environmentally friendly. When every trip’s an adventure, you may even start to look forward to your commute.

You can contact Rad Power Bikes through their website.

We thank Rad Power Bikes for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

VIDEO: Supporting the arts with a sidewalk surprise

That’s soprano Ellaina Lewis, performing a surprise show in a West Seattle neighborhood this past weekend. L’Nayim Austin explains:

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this weekend. Since we are social distancing, we couldn’t celebrate in the usual way (dinner and show). So, as a surprise for my husband, I commissioned a West Seattle friend and opera singer, Ellaina Lewis, to perform a short opera outside our home (following social distancing recommendations).

It was a lovely performance enjoyed by my husband, and everyone else in the neighborhood. The weather cooperated, and Ellaina’s beautiful soprano voice was magical. Two neighbors took videos.

Perhaps next time one of your readers needs a bit of celebration, they might consider hiring a local artist for an outdoor serenade. A little art during these times goes a long way to raise the soul.

(In the other clip, she sings an Elvis Presley classic.) P.S. Happy anniversary to L’Nayim and husband!

ONLINE TONIGHT: SDOT @ HPAC

If you live and/or work in Highland Park, Riverview, or South Delridge, your community council HPAC invites you to the monthly meeting online tonight at 7 pm, featuring guests from SDOT. The main topic: The newly unveiled details of the Highland Park Way/Holden Safety Project. A brief West Seattle Bridge update is planned too. See the agenda, and how to access the meeting via Zoom or phone, by going here.