Back from talking climate on an international stage in Europe, Mayor Jenny Durkan visited South Park on Tuesday to gird for potential budget battle back home. Public-safety concerns were in the spotlight as Police Chief Carmen Best and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins accompanied her on a walking tour with the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps. The sights ran from gritty to pretty, the former embodied by the “scary trail” (photo above) running along Highway 99 south of 8th and Trenton, where Youth Corps members said they had found four needles during a recent cleanup event. For the latter, she got to see three murals the Youth Corps, led by Carmen Martinez, created in and around Duwamish Waterway Park.
The mayor pronounced the murals “gorgeous.” Corps members explained they had worked with artist/storyteller Roger Fernandes to create the mural telling the Duwamish River’s story, past, present and future.
Between the murals and the trail, a photo-op outside South Park Library:
Serious moments too. The mayor took questions from the teens at the South Park Neighborhood Center pre-tour:
Among those questions, one Youth Corps member voiced worry about the upcoming renovations at the South Park Community Center, and that they’d be “pushed out.” The mayor and Seattle Parks‘ Christopher Williams reassured them that the work would be done in phases and that other locations were being sought for temporarily displaced programs. Another teen asked if there could be a police station closer to South Park than the Southwest Precinct; Chief Best said response times are actually on par with what the rest of the city experiences. South Park is one of the communities where “emphasis patrols” were added earlier this year, and the mayor’s proposed SPD budget would continue that.
WEST SEATTLE NEXT WEEK: The mayor and chiefs are expected to visit West Seattle next week for a similar tour; we’re awaiting specifics on when and where.