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AT LINCOLN PARK: North Play Area construction update; Saturday ‘tree walk’

Two Lincoln Park notes today:

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NORTH PLAY AREA UPDATE: We have an update today on construction of the North Play Area renovations. Seattle Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter tells WSB that the contractor is a week ahead of schedule and has finished demolition, poured the concrete curbs for the new play area, almost finished the grading work, and is rerouting an electrical line. By this weekend, she adds, “The new picnic seating area will be open and ready for use by this coming weekend.” Next week, you won’t see work at the site, because they’ll be waiting for the new play equipment, with delivery expected in early September. After receiving the aforementioned updates, we asked about one other part of the project:

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That’s the framework for the new “cable ride” northwest of the play area. It is a kid-sized “zipline,” no trees involved. P.S. You can find more project info here, including notes from the planning meetings last fall and winter.

SATURDAY TREE WALK: In case you haven’t already seen the listing for this in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – the city’s reLeaf program is reminding you that this Saturday, you’re invited to go along for a free guided walk to learn about the park’s trees. Meet by 10 am at the information kiosk along the north parking lot (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW).

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Body found in Schmitz Park

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If you’re wondering what Seattle Police are doing in Schmitz Park … they are investigating the discovery of a body not far from the Admiral Way entrance. The person was reported to have a gunshot wound but police and the Medical Examiner (who just arrived) are investigating to confirm whether it’s suicide, and when it happened – the person clearly had been dead for a while, as there was not a major medical callout, just one SFD crew, which has long since departed. Our crew at the park talked to officers but there’s no further information about the person who died. We did confirm that the park remains open.

SUNDAY: First-ever Central American festival coming to Westcrest Park

A first-of-its-kind festival is happening in West Seattle this Sunday! Here’s the announcement we received for Festival Centroamericano, coming to Westcrest Park:

The first festival in Seattle that is dedicated to learning and sharing the cultural expressions from Central America, the Festival Centroamericano, will bring together members of the various Seattle Neighborhoods that are from Central America or have family from the seven Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).

Embracing our Central American heritage and culture to a community that is not well exposed to it can also offer a great opportunity to learn something new especially with the different ethnic groups (Indigenous, African, Mestizo, Latino) that are involved in the festival. The organization will unite the different ethnic groups from each of the Central American countries to exchange cultures and learn from one another.

The Festival Centroamericano will be a family-oriented and free-for-the-public event, therefore, everyone is welcome to experience a Central American community at Westcrest Park, 9000 8th Ave SW on August 28 from 11AM to 7PM. The festival will have live performances and vendors providing food, art, information, other great services, and more!

CONTINUING SUNDAY: Arts In Nature Festival 2016 @ Camp Long

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Want to be outdoors – and be cool? The meadow at Camp Long is the perfect place right now. We just arrived at the Arts In Nature Festival, presented by Nature Consortium, which is sponsoring WSB right now to promote the annual festival. It’s on until 9 tonight, and again 11 am-6 pm Sunday – you still have lots of time to get here to see this evening’s headliners in the meadow at 7 pm, Big World Breaks, playing on the Nancy Stage [named for NC founder Nancy Whitlock, who’s here right now, as is former NC leader Merica Whitehall and David Bestock of DNDA, with which NC is merging – photo below].

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Big World Breaks is in fact doing a sound check right now, before Etienne Cakpo (video added below) takes the stage around 6 pm.


And this is just the main stage – one of four major spots around the park that you’ll find music, dance/performance, or activities. Most of the latter two are done for the day, but music continues until 9, as does the Beer Garden (top photo), where you can also buy and drink Ethiopian coffee:

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Camp Long’s famous cabins have artists in residence throughout the weekend, with “installations that mix sound, auditory arts, music, and visual arts.” (Added) That includes poetry, and you can write your own:

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Lots more to explore:

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On the south end of the meadow, YAMS (Yesler Art Mobile Studio) is here with all-ages activities.

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Festival ticket info is here; the park is at 5200 35th SW, with the main entrance off northbound 35th at Dawson.

P.S. One more addition from Saturday evening – the installation inside the Camp Long Lodge that managed to make its subject (“Dust Motes”) seem magical:


(Mouse over the image to reveal the “play” button so you can click it.)

FOLLOWUP: Morgan Junction Park expansion site clearing now; planning/design still distant

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Six days after it began, demolition of the former commercial building on the Morgan Junction Park expansion site is almost complete. Our photos from this morning shows the crew clearing the rubble, though the former Short Stop Market sign is still standing.

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As discussed in our coverage last week, this was originally purchased by Seattle Parks for $1.9 million as a “landbanked” site – to hold until money was found to design and develop actual park features. That money, as we also reported, will come from the Park District levy that voters passed in 2014. So the remaining question is: When?

We tried reaching some of the directly involved Parks staffers last week, without success, so today we asked the communications team to help us find the answer. Spokesperson Dewey Potter replied, “The planning and design processes for landbanked sites will take place in the order in which they were acquired, and we’re starting the processes for them as Seattle Park District funding becomes available. All will have begun planning and design by 2018. The Morgan Junction site is scheduled to begin planning and design in 2018.” The original Morgan Junction Park to the south opened in 2009, so it’ll be a decade old before the expansion is fully developed.

P.S. While landbanked sites are NOT on the agenda, the Park District oversight committee is having a meeting tonight, 6:30 pm at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.), with a public hearing on “major projects challenge” proposals.

West Seattle weekend scene: First ‘Blood Wedding’ performance @ Roxhill Park

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If you missed “Blood Wedding/Bodas de Sangre” Saturday night at Roxhill Park – you have another chance to see it Sunday night. And “see it” doesn’t go far enough, as it involves audience participation – in our top photo, those in attendance learned a dance they would get to do during the show. (As the announcement we published last week explained, “Each performance will preclude with a professionally-taught latin dance lesson, the learning of a song from the show, and an an invitation for the audience to participate in the wedding scene.”) We were only able to stay for a few minutes, but they included the opening moments of the play:

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This bilingual drama/dance/music production is the first by 1-Off Productions, “a joint venture between Seattle theatre artists Tina Polzin, Ana Maria Campoy, and Matt Sherrill“; Polzin is the director. The second and final West Seattle presentation is tonight (Sunday, August 14th), 6 pm at Roxhill Park (29th/Barton), free; it will also be performed in nearby South Park at 6 pm, Saturday, August 27th, in Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.)

UPDATE: Demolition at Morgan Junction Park expansion site

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12:47 PM: Thanks for the tip! Another long-in-the-works demolition has just begun – this time, on the former market/cleaners building at the Morgan Junction Park expansion site. Both of the businesses closed earlier this year, months after the demolition permit was issued. The city bought the site two years ago for $1.9 million. The plan for the site has yet to be designed, but the Park District levy will provide money for design and development, along with more than a dozen other “landbanked” sites including two others in West Seattle (40th SW in The Junction and 48th/Charlestown)

2:29 PM: They’re making fast work of it – just passed by again a few minutes ago:

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Close to half gone.

NEXT WEEKEND: Free bilingual music/ dance/ drama performance of ‘Blood Wedding/Bodas de Sangre’ at Roxhill Park

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(Production photo)

We just found out about this unique, free performance coming to Roxhill Park next Saturday and Sunday nights, “a bilingual multidisciplinary telling of the Spanish play ‘Blood Wedding/Bodas de Sangre‘ by Federico García Lorca, with live music and dance.” Here’s the full announcement:

Rural Spain. A story of love, longing, and bitter revenge. Families in a small village are divided, rankled with old grudges, but their children, despite it all, seek love instead of acrimony. A classic since its inception, Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Blood Wedding demands that we ask: Is it up to us or fate in deciding who we love?

This inaugural production by 1-Off Productions, Blood Wedding, is translated by Caridad Svich and directed by University of Washington graduate Tina Polzin. Through collaborative work done by Polzin and a cast of bilingual actors, Blood Wedding will be presented bilingually, using Lorca’s original text alongside Svich’s translation.

1-Off Productions is a joint venture between Seattle theatre artists Tina Polzin, Ana Maria Campoy, and Matt Sherrill. Its intent is to bring professional theatre to communities with limited access, to represent diverse stories onstage employing a multidisciplinary approach, to create theatre reflective of the community artists serve, and to build and strengthen community through shared theatrical experiences.

As a core tenant of 1-Off’s mission of creating community through a shared theatrical experiences, all performances will be free of charge.

Each performance will preclude with a professionally-taught latin dance lesson, the learning of a song from the show, and an an invitation for the audience to participate in the wedding scene.  The live music will continue post show, allowing the audience members to meet and greet with the actors and each other.

Blood Wedding features a diverse ensemble of Christen Gee (Brooklyn Bridge), Jordan Taylor (American Idiot, Bad Apples), Michael Blum (Blood/Water/Paint), Angela Maestas (The Passion As Told by Antígona Pérez), Marissa Castillo (The Brothers K), Meg Savlov (Electricidad), Carolynne Wilcox, Maddy Noonan, Alex Huffman, and Miranda Sieg. Creative team includes Jonathan Shue (music director), Amy Johnson (choreography), Danielle Pekus (stage management), Brandon Estrella (scenic design) and Melinda Hare (costume design).

It’s described as suitable for all ages, and it’ll be performed at Roxhill Park (2850 SW Roxbury) at 6 pm Saturday and Sunday (August 13-14). You can also see it at South Park’s Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.) at 6 pm August 27th.

REMINDER: Free summer meals for kids and teens continue this month

August 2, 2016 9:18 am
|    Comments Off on REMINDER: Free summer meals for kids and teens continue this month
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

With the new school year still more than a month away, so are the school-provided meals that some kids and teens rely on. But anybody under 18 can still get free meals through summer programs that continue into late August. Here’s the reminder we were asked to share:

This summer, hundreds of sites across Washington State are providing free meals for kids and teens! Places like local high schools, elementary schools, community centers, parks and apartment complexes will serve breakfast, lunch and snacks for kids under the age of 18. It is open to everyone! There is no enrollment or registration is necessary. Meal times and days of the week will vary among sites, along with the actual meals served. To find a Summer Meals site near you: Call 888-4FOOD-WA, visit parenthelp123.org or Text MEALS to 96859.

Summer Meals sites in West Seattle include these three, all continuing through August 26th, Mondays-Fridays:

High Point Community Center (6920 34th SW)
Breakfast: 9:30 – 10:00AM
Lunch: 12:30 – 1:15PM

Highland Park Playground (1100 SW Cloverdale)
Lunch: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Snack: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

E.C. Hughes Playground (2805 SW Holden)
Lunch: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Snack: 3:00 – 3:30 PM

Construction starting for renovations at Lincoln Park’s north play area

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12:01 PM: Thanks to everybody who tipped us on this (and thanks to Lorraine for the photo)! Fencing is up around Lincoln Park’s north play area by the wading pool so that construction can begin on the renovation project. We reported last fall/winter on community discussions during planning for the work; after we contacted Seattle Parks to ask about it today, project manager Katie Bang told WSB that signage is going up this week, adding: “The project was awarded to LW Sundstrum Inc, who has worked on many Seattle Parks and Recreation play areas as well as other play areas around the area. The contractor will begin work at the cable ride. This was an additive alternate that was discussed in the public meetings that we were hoping to fund and were able to do so! He also will be removing and recycling the old play equipment materials. The work is scheduled to be complete by the end of October. The wading pool and shelter 5 will remain open during construction.” You can see images of the new equipment on the project website, which notes that the $600,000 cost is from the Seattle Park District levy.

1:35 PM: You might recall that during the planning period, we reported on a group of Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) students sharing ideas they had been promoting for “accessible” play areas. We asked Bang if any of those ideas made it into the final project:

We have integrated some of the ideas from the 8 students from Explorer West into the design of the renovated play area at Lincoln Park along with all of the other public input.

In our conversations with the middle school students and other community members, we emphasized that the Lincoln Park North play area was probably not the location for a “state of the art” play area for children in the autism spectrum for the following reasons: lack of ADA compliant restroom, lack of ADA compliant parking and compliant pathways in Lincoln Park, the size of the play area, and overall budget.

However, as part of this current project, we are making the play equipment and the immediate area of the play area ADA compliant and we have incorporated some nice features that will appeal to children on the autism spectrum as well as all users. A few of these features include the tactile sand play area which features an accessible play table, tactile rocks, many ground element features of the play equipment are accessible, an accessible group swing, and an accessible cable ride.

FOLLOWUP: Grand opening next month for Hiawatha’s new outdoor workout zone

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Thanks to Mike for the tip that Hiawatha Community Center‘s new outdoor exercise equipment has been installed, by the east lawn. It’s not quite done – still fenced off – so we stopped by Hiawatha (a very busy place this summer – 20 day camps!) today to ask when it will be open to the public. Answer: The grand opening is exactly one month from today, currently planned for 11 am-1 pm Saturday, July 30th (you’ll see posters soon), and the celebration will include something for everyone, including a construction event (“like sandcastle-building, but with cardboard boxes,” we’re told). The Hiawatha installation is one of two announced for West Seattle last year, with the help of nonprofit partners – we’ll be checking on the status of the other one, at Delridge CC.

West Seattle wading pools: First week of the season!

June 27, 2016 8:59 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle wading pools: First week of the season!
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

(WSB file photo, Lincoln Park Wading Pool)

Today’s forecast is for sunshine and a high around 80, so it’s perfect timing for the first full week of Seattle Parks‘ wading-pool season.

*Lincoln Park Wading Pool opened on Saturday and will be open 11 am-8 pm seven days a week (provided 70+-degree sunshine is in the forecast); it’s in the upper park, not far from the big parking lot.

*Delridge Wading Pool is scheduled to open today; it will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, noon-6:45 pm, same weather caveat, and you’ll find it in the park north of Delridge Community Center, south of the skatepark at Delridge/Genesee.

*Wednesday is the first day for the wading pools at EC Hughes Playground (28th/Holden) and Hiawatha (Walnut/Lander). Hours/days are in the citywide wading-pool brochure.

Other outdoor splashing opportunities:

*Highland Park Spraypark, which opened Memorial Day weekend, continues its 7-day-a-week, 11 am-8 pm schedule. It’s West Seattle’s only spraypark, and you’ll find it at 1100 SW Cloverdale.

*Colman Pool, midway along the shore path at Lincoln Park, is also now open 7 days a week – see its schedule here.

Another park fire: Schmitz Park staircase

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Heads up if you usually walk into and/or out of Schmitz Park via the staircase to Admiral Way – its wooden steps have fire damage. Thanks to Dannie for the photo and tip this morning: “The steps on the SW corner of the Schmitz Park reserve were burned, very recently. I came upon them when walking the trail this morning. Strong scent if burning… The whole middle section was destroyed.” Dannie called to report it and a Seattle Fire team was dispatched to investigate; they were gone before we arrived, so we don’t know what they determined, and won’t likely be able to get official information until Monday, but will follow up then.

More Seattle dog parks? See the city’s new draft Off-Leash Areas plan – ‘People, Dogs, and Parks’

(WSB file photo, Westcrest Off-Leash Area)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Months later than first promised, the draft plan for Seattle Parks‘ off-leash areas is finally out today. See it here.

The process leading to this has been under way for almost a year – we mentioned a survey last July, and several local community councils included discussions at their meetings earlier this year.

We’ve just taken a quick read through the draft plan, and here are some of the points:

*No specific new off-leash areas are proposed

*A process for adding new OLAs “gradually” is outlined

*In the meantime, the city proposes spending up to $1.3 million to improve the 14 existing OLAs, through funding from the voter-approved Park District

Here’s the outline of the process suggested for adding new OLAs:

For each proposed OLA, except those involving private developers, SPR will convene a committee including dog advocates, environmental advocates, a veterinarian or animal behaviorist, community members, and SPR staff to recommend to the Superintendent whether the proposed OLA should move forward.

1 Adding OLAs through new park/redevelopment processes. SPR will specifically include OLAs as an element
for consideration in the planning process when SPR embarks on the development or redevelopment process
for new and existing parks, along with any other suggested use that arises during the process.

2 As SPR develops land-banked park sites, SPR will examine their use for new OLAs as part of the park
development process.

3 SPR will continue to consider adding new OLAs by request of the community, whether through
Neighborhood Matching Fund processes or other community processes.

4 Support groups such as COLA in developing OLAs on non-park public land suitable for OLAs, by convening
the committee described above and assisting with design.

5 Encourage groups like COLA to work with private property owners to provide OLAs on unused property.

6 Encourage private developers, through the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection, to include
OLAs as part of prospective developments.

There will still remain the issue of development costs for any of these alternatives, but those can be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

The document says adding a one-acre off-leash area is estimated to cost just under $1 million.

As for the nature of improvements/additions, the draft plan includes these recommendations:

Based on the potential for conflict between leashed and unleashed dogs and between dogs and other park activities, limited enforcement resources, and feedback from other jurisdictions, SPR recommends continuing to offer fenced OLAs only.

*Based on the potential for conflict between leashed and unleashed dogs and between dogs and other trail users, the associated need for more maintenance and enforcement and the potential for disturbing animal and bird habitat, SPR does not recommend designated leash-optional trails.

*Based on the protection of many of Seattle’s beaches by the Marine Reserves Rule and the potential for disturbing animal, marine and bird habitat, SPR recommends against establishing any more OLAs with beach access.

We’re still reading through the rest of the plan and will add anything else of note in the next hour or so (again, see the full draft plan here). Geographically, it notes that a “small area of (north West Seattle)” is one of the parts of the city that does NOT have an off-leash area within 2.5 miles; West Seattle’s one and only OLA is at Westcrest Park in Highland Park, opened in 1997 and described in the draft plan as the second-busiest off-leash area in the city.

The Westcrest analysis starts on page 145 of the report and recommends these improvements:

1. Reinstall ADA parking sign and ADA path in small and shy dog area.
2. Upgrade fencing to protect natural areas.
3. Replace woodchips with other surfacing and fill in ruts.
4. Restore eroded slope.
5. Pave service road from the north lot entrance to the inside dumpster.

WHAT’S NEXT: The process for commenting on the draft plan is outlined here. A public hearing is set for July 28th in Northgate (that same link has full details), and the Seattle Parks Board is scheduled to vote at its September 8th meeting. Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre has the final say on the plan.

West Seattle 4th of July: Colman Pool’s 75th-anniversary party

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(Fall 2012 photo of Lincoln Park & Colman Pool by Long Bach Nguyen; click image for larger view)

We’re putting together our annual West Seattle 4th of July page – what you need to know about the big day/night around here – and this is one of the events you’ll see: As announced by Seattle Parks, here are details of the 75th-anniversary party for Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park:

Colman Pool, West Seattle’s outdoor pool and Seattle’s only heated saltwater pool, celebrates its 75th birthday this year, and Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding a celebration on July 4.

The celebration at the pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW in Lincoln Park, will begin on the deck at 11 a.m. and include light refreshments and special entertainment. The celebration on the deck is free; regular fees apply for all swims, however the slide will be free all day. See swim schedule below.

The event will also include the unveiling of the restored entry mural, which was commissioned in 1941 when the pool was opened. The mural was restored with help from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. A presentation by mural conservator Peter Malarkey will take place in the lobby at 10:15 a.m.

Swim schedule for July 4

Noon-1:30 p.m. — Lap and family swims
1:45-4:45 p.m. — Public swim (slide and diving board open)
5-7 p.m. — Lap and family swims

The mural restoration was done right after the end of last year’s Colman Pool season – here’s our feature about the project and the artist. Meantime, today is the second day of the 7-day-a-week season at the historic pool.

P.S. If your business or organization has a public event (or special hours, or closure, or …) on the 4th of July, please send info so we can include it on the upcoming WSB holiday page! editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

FOLLOWUP: Riverview Playfield fire was ‘set’

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(WSB photo, taken before fire debris were cleaned up Saturday)

Saturday’s 2 am fire in a restroom/storage building at Riverview Playfield was “a set fire,” SFD Lt. Sue Stangl confirmed to WSB today. She said the damage estimate is $70,000. What that breaks down to, and how the building will be repaired, has yet to be determined, according to Seattle Parks. Spokesperson Christina Hirsch told us today that “SPR staff have visited the site to take an initial look at the damage. Staff are planning on conducting a formal assessment this week. After that assessment is complete, we will have a better idea of damage estimates and repair plans.” The comfort-station building is only three years old. Meantime, with the park so busy this time of year, portable restrooms already have been brought in, Hirsch said.

UPDATE: Seattle Parks says it will bring back Orlando condolence banner removed from Alki Statue of Liberty after ‘complaints’

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(WSB photo, Sunday afternoon)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:07 PM: Less than 24 hours after West Seattleite Sam Samaniego and her wife put up that banner at the Alki Statue of Liberty expressing condolences for the Orlando massacre and inviting people to sign it – as reported here on Sunday afternoon – it’s gone:

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We went by at midday and thought maybe Sam had removed it – but she said it wasn’t her. So we asked Seattle Parks if their crew had for some reason removed it – as has happened on occasion in the past (though, in this 2013 incident, with warning). Spokesperson Dewey Potter just responded to say yes: “The crew removed it after receiving complaints.” She added that Sam would be able to retrieve it.

6:01 PM UPDATE: Parks has just tweeted that “removing the banner was an error and it will be replaced in the AM.”

8:33 AM TUESDAY: Heather tweeted this photo showing the signature section of the banner is back, but not the sash:


We were just about to head down to Alki to follow up, and were already planning to check with Parks.

FOLLOWUP: Parks, parents plan talks to resolve Ercolini Park toy trouble

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(WSB photo, 3:20 pm today)

One day after a Seattle Parks crew hauled away a truckload of toys meant for sharing at Ercolini Park, the resulting parental petition drive (original WSB coverage here) is past 1,000 signers, and Parks has responded with an offer to negotiate:

We know the park is well-loved and much used by the many parents of small children who live in the neighborhood, and that the littlest of them love the supplemental toys the parents bring. We have no desire to substitute our judgment for theirs, but we do need to respond to the complaints we receive.

In today’s world of social media, people can raise an issue fast, as happened with the community’s online petition. In turn, we at Parks and Recreation are responding fast. Our Interim Parks Division Director has reached out to the author of the petition and offered to meet her at the park …

Our goal is to forge a compromise that involves establishing a protocol for what wear or breakage warrants the removal of toys, and involves the community in assessing the condition of the toys.

We hope to have a full resolution within the next day.

Petition author Amanda confirmed she was scheduled to talk today with a Parks rep to set up a meeting.

TOY TAKEAWAY: Ercolini Park toy roundup brings plea from parents

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(Photo from Change.org petition page)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Ercolini Park at 48th/Alaska was dedicated eight years ago as a triumph of community collaboration – grants, donatios, volunteer labor, passion.

Since its opening, a community tradition has grown – toys kept at the park for young visitors to share.

This afternoon, all but a few of those toys are gone.

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A Seattle Parks crew gathered them up and took them away. One local mom said it was the second roundup and so she took action, launching a petition on Change.org, with this plea:

Attention: Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesus Aguirre, Superintendent Christopher Williams, Deputy Superintendent

In the last month, there has been a mass exodus of toys from West Seattle’s Ercolini Park – two pick-ups in the last two weeks! We’re heartbroken and our children miss their toys!

After the first removal, parents rallied and donated toys for the use of hundreds of toddlers and children in our community. The large majority of them were taken by the City this morning. All of the push carts are gone. We’re left with a few tricycles and other toys that the littlest community members aren’t old enough to play with. We’re told a neighbor has filed a complaint, leading the Department of Parks and Recreation to take action. With no means through which to negotiate with the neighbor, we’re asking you to please also take into account the wishes of the larger community.

Wasn’t Ercolini gifted to the city for precisely this reason? Ercolini is special BECAUSE of the toys. Without them, it’s every other park in Seattle. Our children have learned to walk at Ercolini, ride bikes, share with other children, discover empathy, and experience true community. For the parents, we have a place to take them, meet other parents, it’s a space that encourages outdoor time and interaction in a way that other parks can’t. Ercolini is unique and should be kept that way.

We ask the following:

– Please limit the frequency of toy removal to a more cyclical time frame. Families have donated toys to replenish the loss and those toys should have a reasonable life span for the children’s use, and/or;

– Only take the broken toys and/or set up an area for parents to deposit broken toys for the City to pick up rather than taking all or most of them. We’re happy to partner with the City on this, and/or;

– Please arrange an opportunity for us to work with the neighbors requesting removal so we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement; and/or

– Suggest an alternative to removing the toys. Many thanks in advance for considering our requests.

-West Seattle Parents Who Care

As of the moment we’re hitting “publish” on this story, that online petition has more than 430 signers.

After hearing about this – thanks for all the tips! – we asked Parks about the toy takeaway, and spokesperson Dewey Potter replied: “The Park Code has a section that prohibits leaving things in a park. We know that some people like to bring supplemental toys to play areas, and we have tried to walk a middle ground. The toys the crew removed this morning were either old or broken, and there are still many left at the playground. The crew has had complaints from people who had tripped or nearly tripped, so they did post signs in the park. People apparently are not paying attention to the signs, so the crew tries to walk that middle ground by going by once a week to remove any toys that are worn or broken or could present an obstacle or a hazard. Ercolini Park has an unusually large number of toys that are left behind — the crew chief once counted four dozen. We would encourage people to leave only toys that are in good repair.”

Meantime, what happened to the toys taken away by Parks crews – are they somewhere awaiting pickup, or did they just get dumped? We’re waiting for the answer to that.

ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: That response, also from Parks spokesperson Potter: “The toys from previous pickups are gone. The crew chief took a quick look at the toys that came in today. She saw signs of wear on the toys on the top of the load and asked the staff about their condition. Their guideline was that they removed toys with damage of any kind. The toys are in the packer truck and cannot be retrieved.”

Highland Park Spraypark: Working today!

Just in case you were wondering – after a breakdown yesterday, the Highland Park Spraypark is back up and running today, in time for what’s expected to be an even hotter afternoon/evening than yesterday. We just went over to check firsthand, and that’s what we found. (We won’t be able to find out from Seattle Parks what caused yesterday’s problem until tomorrow.)

Highland Park Spraypark out of service

3:58 PM: We’ve received two reader reports that Highland Park Spraypark is out of service so we’re sharing the news here before anyone else heads that way and is disappointed. We’re trying to find an after-hours number for Seattle Parks to see if we can find out whether help is on the way; we’ll check at the park shortly, too, and will update when we get word it’s working again.

5:15 PM: Not fixed yet.

SATURDAY NIGHT NOTE: We never did get word on its status before official closing time but will check as close as we can to 11 am opening time on Sunday.

ALERT: Partial closure ahead for Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint handrail work

May 27, 2016 3:29 pm
|    Comments Off on ALERT: Partial closure ahead for Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint handrail work
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

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(WSB photo)

Just announced by Seattle Parks, a big project ahead – starting right after Memorial Day – at Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint in the 3500 block of Beach Drive, just south of Alki Point:

Starting on Tuesday, May 31, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will close a section of Charles Richey, Sr. Viewpoint, 3521 Beach Dr. SW, so that a crew can replace an old, rusty handrail.

The work involves cutting the old handrail into pieces, core drilling 47 holes in the supporting concrete, and setting the new handrail and mortar in place.

The crew estimates the work will take eight to 10 working days. While there will be no access to the viewpoint once the work begins, there will be street parking available at the site evenings and weekends.

SPR regrets any inconvenience to park users, looks forward to providing a new, safe handrail in time for summer, and hopes park visitors will enjoy nearby Me Kwa Mooks, Schmitz, and Whale Tail parks while the work is under way.

We asked Parks, after receiving this, which specific section of Richey Viewpoint/Constellation Park will be affected; spokesperson Christina Hirsch said she expects it’ll be “most of” that stretch, because of the vehicles and equipment that will be involved.

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