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Repair work to start ‘soon as possible’ for Alki/57th restroom building

If you’ve been wondering why the little brick restroom building in the heart of Alki’s sandy beach area has been closed for more than two weeks – here’s an update. It’s from David Takami at Seattle Parks and was forwarded by Alex Clardy from the office of Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who had asked about it because of constituent questions:

The restrooms at Alki Beach Park at Alki Ave. SW and 57th Ave. SW are closed due to the collapse of a sewer line beneath the surface that occurred just before July 4. The restroom building is circled in red on map below. There are signs up at the restroom explaining the closure.

There are two restroom facilities nearby in the park further to the west, one at the Alki Bathhouse and one at 63rd Ave. SW. There is also a restroom in Alki Playground, across Alki Ave. along 59th Ave. SW. Farther away to the east, there are two restrooms, one at the Don Armeni boat ramp and one at Seacrest Park.

In addition, we’ve set up two portable toilets at the site of the closed restroom and one portable outside the Alki Bathhouse. These were set up right after the restroom was closed. Because it’s a busy time of year at a popular park, we’ve increased the frequency of cleaning the portable toilets to once a day, seven days a week. Staff also monitor the portable and other restrooms daily to see if they need more toilet paper and paper towels. (A group that runs beach volleyball tournaments on weekends has set up its own portable toilet – paid by the group – which is open only on tournament days on Saturdays and Sundays.)

We plan to begin the project to repair the broken sewer line as soon as possible. Work will include excavating and repairing the sewer line in the street right of way, replacement of an ADA ramp, and renovation of the restroom.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Young Shakespeare Workshop presents ‘As You Like It’ @ Roxhill Park

(Photo courtesy Young Shakespeare Workshop)

So much summer fun is on the schedule for this weekend, you’re going to be very busy sampling it all – and tonight we have word of even more, just added to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. The birch grove at Roxhill Park is where you’ll be able to enjoy William Shakespeare‘s comedy “As You Like It” this weekend – both Saturday and Sunday (July 22-23) at 2 pm each day – presented by the Revolving Company of the nationally recognized Young Shakespeare Workshop, directed by Darren Lay. Thanks to city support, the performances are free. (See the rest of the company’s summer performance schedule – no other shows in West Seattle, so don’t miss these! – here.)

VIDEO: 22nd annual West Seattle Big Band Concert in the Park

7:09 PM: With a classic by Count Basie, the West Seattle Big Band just kicked off this year’s Concert in the Park. Even though the longtime presenting organization West Seattle Hi-Yu is no longer active, the tradition will go on, as band director Jim Edwards just told the crowd. (WSB and the West Seattle Grand Parade are co-sponsoring this year.)

Lots of people here but also plenty of room for your chair, blanket, family, friends, neighbors … and it’s free, continuing until about 8:30 pm, with a break along the way to present this year’s Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community to Keith Hughes, in advance of Saturday’s parade.

(Keith Hughes with Michelle Edwards, band member and parade co-coordinator)

(See our preview here and find out more about Keith.)

8:35 PM: The concert just wrapped, featuring vocalists Sarah Ackers, Jeff Carter, and Kevin Mason with the WSBB along the way for a full slate of classics. We have more video and photos to add when back at HQ!

ADDED 11:50 PM: Xavier Cugat‘s “One Mint Julep“:

Sarah Ackers delighted the crowd despite confessing she had awakened with “no voice”:

Here she is on “All Right, OK, You Win”:

The band director himself had a solo during Gershwin’s “Summertime”:

The program was full of great songs – including a musical geographic tour of sorts, from “South of the Border” to “New York, New York.”

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Stadium track-resurfacing project to start this week

Though it was originally expected to start in late June, the $1 million track-resurfacing project at West Seattle Stadium will finally get going this week. That’s according to Seattle Parks capital-projects coordinator Jay Rood, responding this morning to an inquiry from a track user who noticed the stadium was still open. The delay, Rood explained, is because Parks still had “some bid/contracting steps to finalize.” The work is expected last about seven weeks, according to our original report back in April, though Rood writes that they hope to be done by the end of next month. The contractor is Hellas Construction, a Texas-based firm with Northwest regional offices in Mountlake Terrace.

UPDATE: Lincoln Park’s south play area closed for safety concerns

(WSB photo, added 1:55 pm)

11:40 AM: Just found out from Seattle Parks that it has closed Lincoln Park‘s south play area because of safety concerns. Parks says the closure followed a regular inspection. Now they’re trying to determine if repairs are possible, or if it will have to stay closed pending replacement. The south play area already lost its zipline, removed for safety and maintenance concerns after one was installed at the north play area during its renovation last year. And so if you’re looking for a playground at Lincoln Park, the north play area is where you’ll have to go, TFN.

1:55 PM: Just got a chance to go look at the play area. The main play equipment is fenced off, but the swings to the north are still open. Since we couldn’t tell from looking through the fence exactly what the safety problem is, we called Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin. She explains that the wooden sections of the play equipment’s platform/bridge/etc. are a major concern – the inspection showed gaps and other deterioration. Signage should be up soon to explain to people what’s going on; the fix or replacement, however, according to Schulkin, might not happen before next year.

PUGET PARK TREE-THINNING: Why hundreds of trees will be removed, before thousands are planted

(WSB photo: Looking into the West Duwamish Greenbelt from the northeast edge of the SSC campus)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

An unusual forest-restoration project – involving a significant amount of tree-cutting as well as tree-planting – is about to get under way in eastern West Seattle’s Puget Park, after three years of planning.

The project leader says it’s work that will have benefits for decades and centuries to come – but it’s a project unlike any other they’ve undertaken, and they want people to understand why it will require taking out hundreds of trees (an estimated 600 “stems” – some trees have more than one).

We went to a weekend briefing to find out more firsthand. It’s a Seattle Parks project under the umbrella of the Green Seattle Partnership, which will have 1,500 acres in restoration citywide by year’s end. The challenge here is that the area has an “unnaturally dense hardwood canopy” – far out of balance with evergreens, and bringing them back requires removing some of that dense canopy.

Here’s what plant ecologist Michael Yadrick from Seattle Parks told attendees about what’s going to be done and why: Read More

PUGET PARK TREE-THINNING: Open house/site walk Saturday

Another West Seattle park has a major tree-cutting project ahead. 24 acres of Puget Park, in the West Duwamish Greenbelt east of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), will be thinned starting later this summer, and an informational event is planned this Saturday for anyone who wants to find out more. The project is explained extensively here, including this summary:

… Beginning in mid-August after the primary bird-nesting season, professional crews will carry out a restoration prescription to thin red alder and bigleaf maple up to 30% and create small gaps in the canopy to allow more light to the forest understory where underplanted conifers await favorable light conditions. We have no mandate to sell any timber, and no wood will leave the site; the intention is for the larger wood to become nurse logs. The crews will also enhance wildlife habitat through retention/creation of snags and build habitat piles with excess slash material. Activities also include weeding and major replanting of tree seedlings over the 24 acres + 16 additional acres lying to the south. With more light and subsequent replanting of 10,000 native tree/shrub seedlings, we expect this effort to let the remaining trees grow big and healthy that remain for future generations. …

Here’s a map of the project area. The project open house/site walk is scheduled from 10 am-1 pm Saturday (July 8th) starting at the Chan Education Center on the north side of the SSC campus (6000 16th SW; here’s a campus map). It will include a presentation at 10:30 am and a site walk at 11:30 am. Questions? Michael Yadrick at Seattle Parks – michael.yadrick@seattle.gov – is the person to ask.

READER REPORTS: Parks left trashed post-holiday

FIRST REPORT, 9:17 AM: Sadly, we’re sure this is only one of many parks left in this condition after another 4th of July night full of illegal fireworks. But James is the first to send photos and a report:

I was going for my usual morning walk and I could not believe the vast amount of garbage that people left/disregarded. Lincoln Park trash cans had bags of trash and styrofoam coolers stacked next to them, but Solstice Park was beyond the pale. It looks like a bomb went off here.

I don’t know if you are collecting readers’ stories about partygoers treating West Seattle like a trash dump, but it’s truly shameful that other people would do this to a community.

Anyone/anyplace else? editor@westseattleblog.com

SECOND REPORT, 9:57 AM: From Jason in Highland Park, a report on Westcrest Park:

Incredibly annoying and sad how people leave the parks after a day of celebration.

We know there are also bighearted neighbors who go out every year and quietly clean up, and welcome photos of them too.

THIRD REPORT, 12:16 PM: From Jenni:

Highland Park Playfield on the baseball field.
11:00 am, July 5th

We’ve also heard from a couple people who didn’t have photos – including one mentioning debris at Sanislo Elementary School.

VIDEO: Schmitz Park bald eagle disturbed by drone

(Unedited video – you can hear the eagle around 1 minute in)

Twice this evening, Rob – who sent the video – reports, that drone’s been bothering a bald eagle in Schmitz Park by his home. The video is from the second sighting, and arrived before we’d gotten a chance to post Rob’s first note:

I live next to Schmitz Park and around 6:30 pm tonight a drone appeared and started flying around one of the eagle nests at the western edge of the preserve. The drone made a few close passes to the nest. The adult eagle was audibly signaling as the drone approached (there may be eaglets in this nest). Twice the adult eagle took wing due to the drone, once flying at the drone, the second time it retreated away from the nest entirely until the drone left. I don’t know where the drone came from, but it departed in the direction of Alki Beach. If it is possible for you to mention something on the blog, perhaps with a reminder that this is both not cool and a Federal offense, that would be much appreciated.

While bald eagles are no longer considered endangered, they are protected by federal law, and the illegal behavior includes “disturb(ing)” them. Also, though rules regarding drones seem to change frequently, the Seattle Municipal Code says they are prohibited in Seattle city parks.

4 YEARS IN THE MAKING: Camp Long steps rebuilt by West Seattle’s Boy Scout Troop 284

Thanks to John Vair for the photo and report:

Over a period of 4 years starting in June 2013, the Boy Scouts from local Troop 284 rebuilt trail steps in Camp Long that rise along the Glacier Climbing Wall on the east side of the camp.

Four of the Scouts led phases of the rebuild as their Eagle Scout projects: Bennett Pagliarini, Michael Pennie, James Vair, and Jonathan Vair.

Originally constructed out of wood timbers by the Works Progress Administration in 1940, the stairs had become worn, broken, and difficult to traverse. The Scouts constructed the new steps from recycled granite sidewalk curbs formerly used in downtown Seattle, and completed the project on June 11.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Lions Club of West Seattle celebrates organization’s 100th with park-bench plaque

June 22, 2017 5:30 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | West Seattle people

Next time you’re at Junction Plaza Park (42nd SW/SW Alaska), look for that plaque on the center bench on the west side. The Lions Club of West Seattle worked with the city to get it placed in honor of their parent organization’s centennial, and in a short ceremony this morning, club leaders were joined by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold to celebrate its placement:

The councilmember read a special proclamation in the club’s honor:

The Lions wanted to add a new bench to the park, not just a new plaque, but couldn’t get that worked out with the Parks Department in time. If you’re not familiar with the Lions, they’re a community-service organization that supports sight- and hearing-impaired people as well as students seeking scholarships – read more about their work here, and go here to find out about events at which you’re welcome to join them.

8 MORE DAYS TO VOTE: Which 3 local park/street projects should get city grant money?

June 22, 2017 4:58 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Nine West Seattle/South Park projects to choose from, and eight days left to vote in Your Voice, Your Choice:

As shown in our June 3rd start-of-voting story, that’s the guide spotlighting the local projects. Three will be chosen in each district (ours is 1), so vote for your three favorites. As explained in this reminder on the city website, you can vote online (ages 13 and up) by going here, or on a paper ballot (ages 11 and up) available at city libraries and community centers. The voting deadline is June 30th; the projects were proposed by local residents – more than 200 suggestions in our district alone.

COLMAN POOL CLOSURE: At least one more day

Colman Pool will stay closed at least one more day, Seattle Parks told us this afternoon. This was supposed to be its first week of 7-day operations, but a broken pump required repair work, and instead it was closed all weekend, yesterday, and today; Parks hopes for a Thursday reopening. The outdoor saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park marked its 75th anniversary last summer.

Reader report: Lincoln Park neighbor’s warning for you

Last week, in comments following a West Seattle Crime Watch report about car-prowls at local parks, the discussion turned to suspicious activity in and around the north end of Lincoln Park..

Today, Lila e-mailed us this detailed account of recent incidents, wanting to warn others:

Me and my family live right next to Lincoln park…a few days ago a woman walked through with her dogs while we and the neighbors were all playing outside, she informed us about calling the cops on a man who made her very nervous – she saw him scoping out cars/homes to rob. About five minutes later he walked through our side entrance in the park and right by us, he got uncomfortably close to my friend/neighbors son and said something along the lines of, “what’s up little man” everything about his mannerisms were extremely uncomfortable (and extremely inappropriate to approach a child like that-it was simply uncomfortable) and felt by all of us, he walked on and that was that.

The next day my baby and I went on a walk in the rain, it was clear right when we entered the trail that we were the only ones in the park…as we walked for a minute the same man jumped out from the side shrubbery on the North end of the park sort of near the picnic table (like he was waiting for someone to leap out at) where all the homeless people hang out and drink. He was alone and jumped out right in front of us and turned around looking under the hood of my stroller at my son then looked at me up and down licking his lips and whipping a dirty cloth against his leg, he slowed down so much he had it so we couldn’t get passed him and he walked backwards as he continued to check us out, like we were his lunch.

It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable, I have bartended for many years and I have seen men at their worst. But this? This was something different, something dark and terrifying. I know this park like the back of my hand so I knew there was a side trail coming up, and as soon as he looked away to watch where he was going I made it to that opening and headed straight to the street, where he followed us the whole way looking pissed and mumbling. I took a moment to call 911 because I had that unfortunate thought of, ‘this is just what men do. You’re safe, it’s fine’ But what about the next woman? Or child? And that thought, that shook me to my core, so we called. The operator was impatient and kind of over it, as seems to be the theme to emergency operators; two police SUV’s and one trooper entered the park and that was that. I let my neighbors know, shook it off and got on with our day.

This morning at 4-5 am my husband woke up to do his exercise routine and heard a woman screaming on the top of her lungs for help in the park, he called the cops immediately, a bit later he heard a man erratically screaming. We still don’t know what happened. However, my husband and I want to make certain that everyone knows what is happening. I don’t know if the two incidents are related, but I do know that West Seattle isn’t the same place we moved into. And specifically at the North end of Lincoln Park, as well as the parking lots, thing have been getting extremely sketchy and dangerous and there have been uncountable car and home burglaries.

I have seen coyotes walk in and out of the park, I have been almost decapitated by a hawk catching a fish on my paddle board down there, I have seen unleashed erratic dogs with no owner in sight … none of this has scared me. You know what scares me? Our own species.

First: We suggested to Lila that she (or someone from her household/neighborhood) bring this up at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, when precinct leadership is in attendance and there’s a specific time for voicing questions/concerns. (7 pm, Southwest Precinct, 2300 SW Webster)

Second, calling 911 IS the right thing to do if you see illegal activity happening in a park – that’s reiterated here. The “alcohol & drugs” section of that page begins: “Use of alcohol, cannabis, and illegal drugs is prohibited in our parks.” The “code of conduct” section specifically refers to threatening and harassing behavior and reiterates, “If you see illegal or threatening activity in a park or facility, call 911.” The more someplace is reported as a trouble spot, police say, the more likely it is that patrol resources – not just reactive responses – will be assigned.

Colman Pool repair closure continues

June 19, 2017 9:30 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Today was supposed to be the start of the 7-day-a-week summer schedule at Colman Pool in Lincoln Park – but that’s been delayed because the repair work that closed the pool over the weekend isn’t done yet. According to the pool website, Seattle Parks hopes to reopen Colman Pool on Wednesday. Once the outdoor saltwater pool is back open, here’s the schedule it’ll be following.

LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: Talk about it @ Morgan Junction Community Festival

As first shown during a community meeting two weeks ago (WSB coverage here), those are the three alternatives the city is considering for the north shore of Lowman Beach Park, where the seawall is failing. This Saturday, you have another chance to find out more about the problem and the city’s proposed solutions, during the Morgan Junction Community Festival this Saturday at Morgan Junction Park (west side of California SW, half-block north of Fauntleroy Way). Organizers tell us that Seattle Parks‘ point person on the project, David Graves, will be at the festival around 12:30 pm-1:30 pm to talk with festivalgoers and hear their thoughts on the Lowman Beach possibilities. More background is on the park’s website.

P.S. As for the rest of the festival, which runs 10 am-5 pm Saturday, here’s the program – and we’ll have another preview with new info later today (Thursday).

YOU CAN HELP: TLC for Fairmount Playfield greenbelt

June 9, 2017 12:01 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The photo is from Christine Deppe, volunteer Green Seattle Partnership forest steward for the greenbelt at Fairmount Playfield, where she’s hoping for a few others to join work parties today and tomorrow. They’re mostly working through the summer to remove invasive plants such as ivy and blackberry in the north end of the greenbelt, Christine says, “so the site is ready for the 450 native plants (lots of berries, ferns, flowers, trees, pollinator-friendly brushes) to be planted at work parties in October and November, which is actually the best planting season for Seattle.” She would love to see you there today, 4-6:30 pm (more info here) and/or tomorrow (Saturday), 3:30-6 pm (more info here).

City plans to remove at least 91 trees from Lincoln Park

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Starting as soon as next week, Seattle Parks crews will remove at least 91 trees from Lincoln Park.

Even if you’re a regular park visitor, you aren’t likely to have heard about this unless you saw one of a few fine-print signs scattered around the park, like this one by the Fauntleroy Way entrance near the north play area:

We found out by hearing about it from local arborist and advocate Michael Oxman, who is on the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition board. This morning, he and reps from the Seattle Nature Alliance and Friends of Lincoln Park took a walking tour with Christopher Rippey from Parks’ Urban Forestry division, and we went along to find out more.Read More

NEW AT WESTCREST PARK: Agility structures, thanks to Aidan McMahan’s Eagle Project & Troop 282

Something new at West Seattle’s only off-leash area, at Westcrest Park! Thanks to Kevin McMahan for the photos and report:

Aidan McMahan, along with other Scouts from his West Seattle Troop 282, installed three agility structures (Saturday) at Westcrest Dog Park as a part of his Eagle Project.

The structures are now open for business.

Special thanks to Westcrest Off-Leash Area, Coalition for Off-Leash Areas (C.O.L.A.), Alki Lumber, and Seattle Parks for their assistance in making this happen.

West Seattle weekend scene: National Trails Day hiking @ West Duwamish Greenbelt

Our area has the city’s longest stretch of contiguous forest – the West Duwamish Greenbelt – and it was the place to be to celebrate National Trails Day this weekend. Paul West from the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails group shared the photos from Saturday’s guided hikes; below, Patti Bakker from Seattle Parks told hikers about the city’s forest-management plans:

The trailhead closest to Saturday’s hiking area is at 12th SW/SW Holly (map), if you want to go explore on your own. You can also help out in the forest – next work party is June 17th.

TIME TO VOTE! Which of 9 West Seattle/ South Park park/street projects should get funded?

Above (or in PDF here), you can see and learn about the nine West Seattle/South Park park/street projects that made the ballot for the first-ever Your Voice, Your Choice “participatory budgeting” vote. We first told you about the voting plan back in January, followed by the project-suggestion period in February, and then the final 10 for the West Seattle/South Park area in April (from 211 suggestions). Now the official ballots are out with nine projects in each city-council district; you can vote for three. $285,000 is allotted to each district (ours is #1), and that will cover three projects. Voting starts today and goes through the end of the month. You can start the online voting process by going here – or look for in-person voting at these upcoming West Seattle/South Park events and meetings listed here and below:

South Park Pride Picnic
Sunday, June 04, 2017
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Duwamish River Park, 7900 10th Ave S

Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Seattle Public Library – Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave SW

North Delridge Neighborhood Council
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW

West Seattle Farmers Market
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Farmers Market, 44th Ave SW & SW Alaska St or park at Alaska & 42nd Ave SW

Stewart Manor Resident Council Meeting
Monday, June 12, 2017
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Stewart Manor, 6339 34th Ave SW

Morgan Junction Festival
Saturday, June 17, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Morgan Junction Park, 6413 California Ave SW

Delridge Neighborhood District Council
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW

The city says paper ballots also are available at all city-run community centers and libraries; the votes will be counted after June 30th, and winning projects announced by July 18th. Everyone 11 and up is eligible to vote.

HAPPENING NOW: Emerald Water Anglers’ Fly Fest

June 3, 2017 1:58 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Two more hours to go celebrate fly fishing at Emerald Water Anglers‘ (WSB sponsor) Fly Fest at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park. You can browse gear including demonstration rods, get casting instruction, and more – plus the schedule includes one more presentation this afternoon – “Fly Fishing Cascade Mountain Creeks” at 2:30 pm. When we stopped by, it was guide-cookoff lunchtime:

In the foreground, EWA proprietor Dave McCoy was making spring salmon pizza on a naan-bread base, and in the background, Hilary Hutcheson was cooking up a version of Philly cheesesteaks with elk. She’s the special guest tonight at EWA’s Junction shop (4502 42nd SW) for the 7 pm Seattle premiere of the Costa film “SLAM,” billed as “the engaging story of three female anglers from different walks of life in pursuit of the same epic challenge – landing a grand slam in the Keys – with just a few days to accomplish it.” Free, but tickets are required – check availability here. Meantime, Fly Fest continues at Me-Kwa-Mooks (4503 Beach Drive SW) until 4 pm.

LOWMAN BEACH PARK’S FUTURE: Seawall or no seawall? And is there really a choice?

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After what was publicized as an hourlong meeting was well into overtime, a relentless round of questioning finally dug into the heart of the matter:

Is there really any choice about what’s going to be done about Lowman Beach Park‘s failing north seawall?

While Seattle ParksDavid Graves (top photo) and his consulting engineers showed three possibilities – including one keeping the tennis court and restoring the seawall – Graves acknowledged it was unlikely he would be able to get grant money for a new wall.

And that concerned many of the ~40 people at the meeting, mostly waterfront residents north and south of the park, some of whom think the city’s removal of a south seawall section in the ’90s has adversely affected their property, and are worried the city doesn’t have enough information about effects of another removal.

Here’s how it all unfolded: Read More

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