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FOLLOWUP: Work under way at Lowman Beach Park

In case you haven’t been to Lowman Beach Park since work on the shoreline-restoration project began, here’s what’s happening:

Construction fencing stretches across the entire north-south length of the park – no shore access. Through the fence, you can see crews working on the north side of the to-be-removed tennis court and seawall:

The swings, however, are still open and accessible (and are NOT part of the project zone):

McClung Construction is the contractor for the $1.2 million project, which is expected to last at least eight months.

YOU CAN HELP! Forest restoration with Friends of Lincoln Park

On Sunday (September 19th), Friends of Lincoln Park would be happy to have your help. From forest steward Lisa McGinty:

Urban forest restoration volunteer opportunity at Lincoln Park! Registration and event details can be found here. .

When: September 19, 2021, 9 am-11 am

Please be sure ALL volunteers are pre-registered (including youth). If event is full, you can find other event dates here: greenseattle.org/get-involved/volunteer. Search for Lincoln Park or any of your favorite Seattle green spaces! Large group or other questions? Please reach out to flip98136@gmail.com.

FOLLOWUP: Alki Beach Park back to regular hours

While the days are getting shorter, at Alki, they’ve also just gotten longer. Tonight is the first night that Alki Beach Park‘s closing time is back to 11:30 pm, after two months of closing at 10 pm. The early closing time was ordered in early July – first as a holiday-weekend experiment, then as a two-month trial run – days after the shooting that killed 22-year-old Tilorae Shepherd. We confirmed with Seattle Parks this afternoon that there had been no last-minute decision to extend the early closing time. One note: Though the beach is open later now, the fire pits are supposed to be closed for the season as of tonight.

Lowman Beach tennis court’s days are numbered: Six

If you want to play tennis at the Lowman Beach Park court one last time before it’s removed as part of the shore-restoration project, you have six days. Seattle Parks says its contractor McClung Construction will be starting work next Monday (September 13th) and that means, according to project manager Janice Liang, “The park will be partially closed during construction including the beach, tennis court, and the gravel walkways. The play area and the part of the lawn area close to the street will remain open.” The $1.2 million shore-restoration project will remove the failing seawall on the north side of the park, creating more beach space, and daylighting the stretch of Pelly Creek that currently leads to an outfall pipe in the seawall. The work is expected to last at least eight months. Earlier this summer, Parks ruled out building a replacement tennis court elsewhere in the park, but said it would consider allowing something smaller, like a pickleball court – provided community fundraising covered the cost; nothing is planned so far.

1 MORE DAY: Wading pools, sprayparks, Colman Pool closing after Monday

(WSB file photo, Delridge wading pool)

The pandemic-shortened season for city-run outdoor aquatics ends tomorrow. Labor Day – that’ll be the last day for the Lincoln Park wading pool (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, noon-7 pm), the Delridge wading pool (4501 Delridge Way SW, noon-5:30 pm), the Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale, 11 am-8 pm), and Colman Pool (at Lincoln Park, noon-7 pm). One week later – on Monday, September 13th – indoor Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle) is scheduled to reopen (no schedule posted yet, though). The city kept some wading pools closed this season – including E.C. Hughes and Hiawatha in West Seattle – and cut the schedule for others, citing a chlorine shortage.

VIDEO: Created Commons’ second Saturday at Westcrest Park

4:05 PM: Created Commons continues through Sunday at Westcrest Park (9000 8th SW) and right now the performances are celebrating Pacific Islander culture – Hawaii, Samoa, and now Okinawa. It’s all free, outdoors, just north of the P-patch, until about 8 pm. (Here’s the schedule.) Video and photos later!

6:48 PM: We were there for two performances – first, Ala Talo from the Asia Pacific Cultural Center introduced a trio of dancers who she said had not performed onstage before today.

They were a late substitution for a Hawaiian dance group originally scheduled for this afternoon.

The dancers’ previous collaboration: Playing on the volleyball team Pakka Hittaz. Like some other performances we covered in the past week-plus at Created Commons, this one featured audience participation. Talo talked about the mood conferred by the music, particularly a song she attributed to a 12-year-old Marshallese boy, with the lyrics: “Smile and be happy/don’t let nobody take the smile away/Live life to the fullest/As if you’re dying every day.”

Following the dancers, the duo of Mako and Noriko performed Okinawan music, with vocals, the stringed instrument sanshin, and a traditional drum.

Some of the music was hypnotic and lulling; other songs, festive and upbeat. Mako explained her instrument between songs – covered in python skin, with a pick made from a water-buffalo horn.

The afternoon was hosted by R2ISE‘s Alexia Jones and curated by the Jack Straw Cultural Center, which also presented poets and writers; Jack Straw writers are also on the schedule for tomorrow, the final day of Created Commons, a grant-funded festival of art and science that began Friday, August 27th, spotlighting BIPOC artists and speakers, produced by Lelavision. Our coverage of night 1 is here; the second day, here; third day, here; fourth night, here.

P.S. Sunday begins, as did today, with a free 10 am wellness class – this time, K-Pop Zumba!

2 Jack Block Park notes: Restroom damage; pier’s future

Two notes about Jack Block Park, the Port of Seattle-owned waterfront park at 2130 Harbor Avenue SW:

WHY ONE RESTROOM IS CLOSED: Thanks to Jessica for sending the photo and wondering what happened to the men’s restroom in the park’s easternmost comfort station:

Port spokesperson Peter McGraw says it was damaged by fire, apparently this past Monday. “Repairs are currently underway,” he said, but no estimate for reopening yet.

PIER’S FUTURE: Steps away from that comfort station is the park pier that’s been closed for months because of safety concerns.

Back in spring, the port conducted a survey asking your thoughts on the pier’s future, promising to update the community afterward. Five months later, no word. Andrew emailed us wondering what ever happened to it. McGraw says the results should go public “likely sometime in the middle of October.”

YOU CAN HELP: 3 chances to volunteer in West Seattle this weekend

Here are three ways to join neighbors in making West Seattle more beautiful this weekend:

ALKI CLEANUP, SATURDAY: Jessica leads this on first Saturdays:

Alki Beach, Parks and sidewalks Cleanup September 4th

Where: Meet outside at 2452 Alki Ave SW
Time: From 10 AM to 1 PM

Bring your own pick sticks, gardening gloves and a bucket (works better than bags, especially if windy). I have a limited number of pick sticks and buckets. Recommend that you bundle up if cold and if warm, best to wear closed-end shoes.

Kids welcome if supervised by adult. Text Jessica to RSVP, 206-769-6330.

FRIENDS OF LINCOLN PARK, SATURDAY: This longtime group has a couple spots for more help

September 4 9 am – 12 pm

Ivy, blackberry and holly, oh my! Join FLiP (Friends of Lincoln Park) as we work to restore our beautiful natural spaces. The Park includes 80 acres of forested areas, with a huge diversity of native trees and plants. But our urban forests are threatened by nonnative, invasive plant species and need our help to thrive and remain healthy. This is where YOU come in! We promise you a good workout and lots of eco-karma. Good for the environment and good for your health!

Sign up by going here.

SCHMITZ PARK, SUNDAY: Still some room left for help at this event too.

September 5, 1 pm – 3:30 pm

There is something for everyone! We will be pulling ivy in a shady valley, watering native plants to help them survive this hot, dry summer, and hauling wood chips to prepare for the plants arriving this fall.

Sign up by going here.

FOLLOWUP: New Alki Beach restrooms ‘very close to opening’

While at Alki for the art installation, we noticed the new restroom building (aka “comfort station”) getting painted, so we asked Seattle Parks about the newest estimate for opening. When last we checked on it, the projected opening was late July, but that’s come and gone. Parks’ Kelly Goold says, “Alki is very close to opening – waiting on City Light to reconnect power.” No date set for that yet, but they are hoping for next week. The new restroom building, which will have three stalls, has been under construction for seven months, with delays along the way including material availability.

FALL FITNESS: Outdoor classes for Lifelong Recreation at Seattle Parks community centers

August 30, 2021 9:24 am
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 |   Delridge | High Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Seattle Parks is offering outdoor fitness classes at local community centers this fall, includng its Lifelong Recreation program for peopl 50+. Here are three they’re spotlighting; each class title is linked to a page with online registration and more information:

Gentle Yoga at High Point: 9/13-10/18, 10 am Mondays

Stretch and move with awareness, correct alignment and a focus on breath to increase strength and stamina, improve flexibility, and develop better balance, posture, poise, and peace of mind.

Fitness at Delridge: 9/8-10/20, 10:30 am Wednesdays

Build total body muscle strength using fitness bands, free weights and floor work. Improve balance, flexibility and agility. The instructor is a professional dance and fitness instructor and performer. Please bring weights to class

Thriller Dance at Delridge: 9/9-10/21, 11:30 am Thursdays

Learn the “Thrill the World” version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance. During this session you will learn all the steps and practice the entire dance (no dance experience necessary). If there is interest, the instructor will provide quick tips on Zombie makeup, character and costumes. All participants will receive a dance script so that you can practice at home. After this class you’ll be prepared to join in on the next Thriller flash mob or be the hit at your next party! The instructor is a professional dance and fitness instructor, performer, and has taught and performed Thriller since 2008.

You can also register by phone at 206-684-5177. Classes will be moved indoors if the weather’s bad.

VIDEO: ‘Art heals’ – Created Commons, day 3

4:28 PM: The duo Dandy rapped as Created Commons got going for a third day at Westcrest Park, north of the P-Patch. Up next, a panel discussion about health-care access, moderated by co-emcee Dr. Sinead Younge, with panelists including today’s curator dani tirrell. Programming for this first-ever celebration of art and science, presented by Lelavision through September 5th, continues after the panel, until about 8.

(L-R, Dr. Sinead Younge, Candace Jackson, dani tirrell)

7:33 PM: Also on the panel, Candace Jackson from Seattle’s African American Health Board. The topic turned out to be not health-care access but the concept of caring for yourself and your community – through rest, through joy, through art. “Art transforms the way we think about life,” tirrell noted.

Art is vital to healing, Jackson agreed.

She also spoke of the importance of support. tirrell laid it out in personal terms – what could you, would you give up so that someone else could benefit? Here’s our video of the entire discussion:

That segued into the performance slate curated by tirrell. Dandy – David Rue and Randy Ford – returned with raps both sharp-edged and playful:

Inbetween, tirrell spoke of impending plans to move to Washington, D.C., and sadness at leaving the artist community here. Next up was poet J Mase III:

We recorded this on video too:

We had to leave before the rest of the slate, including Northwest Tap Connection. But all the while, Lelavision’s interactive sculpture Interspecies Connection was there for eventgoers to visit, pulling a cord to flap its wings:

The next Created Commons event at Westcrest (9000 8th SW) is Tuesday at 6 pm, in commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day, promising “art, poetry, health science, remembrance, recovery.” Vaccinations will be offered, too. Lots going on Friday/Saturday/Sunday too – here’s the full schedule. (Our Friday coverage is here; our Saturday coverage is here.)

VIDEO: ‘Be part of the art’ @ Created Commons, day 2

August 28, 2021 5:41 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS culture/arts

5:41 PM: You can make art, join dancers, and/or just watch as Created Commons continues at Westcrest Park (9000 8th SW). Performances continue until 8 tonight, with a DNDA-curated Arts-in-Nature showcase. We’ll add photos and video when we’re back at HQ; if you can’t get here this evening, you have tomorrow, next weekend, and multiple events inbetween!

ADDED 7:24 PM: When we arrived this evening, dancer Noelle Price (above) was performing with electric cellist Gretchen Yanover.

She invited audience members to join her in front of the stage.

Co-emcee Lash (above) observed that their work conveyed “so much love and peace and sisterhood.” She handed the mic to co-emcee Dr. Sinead Younge (see her in our Night 1 coverage), who encouraged everyone to “be part of the art” (including pulling the cord that flaps the wings of the kinetic sculpture Interspecies Communication, made by Created Commons coordinating team Lelavision). Dr. Younge also offered props for Erika Bell from DNDA, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center manager and curator of today’s showcase:

(Erika Bell with DNDA executive director David Bestock)

The performances are telling stories, observed Lash, stories “that are not fictional – they’re real.” She introduced a group whose music and movement told stories of West Africa, Boka Kouyate and the Djeliyah Band:

They explained that the Djeli people were for centuries the ones who communicated between the community and kings, so the latter could more wisely rule.

See the Created Commons schedule here; tomorrow includes not only performances curated by artist/activist dani tirrell but also a panel on health-care access, part of the Created Commons mission to elevate science as well as art. This is all free; a booth is set up if you want to donate to Real Rent Duwamish, in honor of the Indigenous people whose unceded land is where this is taking place.

ONE DAY AWAY: ‘Created Commons’ events at Westcrest Park start Friday

Last week, we previewed a first-ever event coming up at Westcrest Park (9000 8th SW) – actually a series of events spread over nine days, tomorrow (Friday, August 27th) through Sunday, September 5th – transforming part of the park into a “Created Commons,” hosted and curated by Lelavision. The Created Commons will feature what the overview describes as “BIPOC-centered performances, kinetic musical-sculpture, eco-art installations and workshops, wellness offerings, and science panels to cultivate our health as a community.” Now that it’s almost here, we have updates.

The first event is at 6 pm Friday (calendar listing here), honoring the Duwamish Tribe, with other participants sharing “stories, music, and tales of their activism on behalf of the resident Orcas in the Salish Sea.” On Friday night, families in need can get free groceries at the park, thanks to Free Food for All. A highlight this Saturday (August 28th) is the Arts in Nature Festival Showcase presented by Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, 3-8 pm, a mini-version of the annual festival, promising music, poetry, and dance.

As you can see in the full Created Commons schedule on Lelavision’s website, this isn’t just a spectator event – there are opportunities for participation. That includes the vaccination pop-ups we mentioned yesterday as well as free wellness classes:

Those are just some of the events – we’re adding listings to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar too. And along with scheduled events, Lelavision will bring its kinetic sculpture Interspecies Communication (seen in South Park in 2017) to the park for community interaction, noon-8 pm all four weekend days (August 28-29, September 4-5). All events over the course of Created Commons are free, funded by grants and sponsorships.

9-day ‘celebration of art and science’ to transform Westcrest Park into a ‘Created Commons’

August 17, 2021 12:16 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS culture/arts

(WSB photo, 2017)

Back in 2017, we photographed the portable kinetic sculpture “Interspecies Communication” during a daylong event at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park. Now the sculpture and its creators – Vashon Island-based Lelavision – are coming to Westcrest Park in West Seattle for a nine-day “celebration of art and science.” From the announcement:

On August 27-September 5, 2021, Lelavision will animate West Seattle’s Westcrest Park with BIPOC-centered performances, kinetic musical-sculpture, eco-art installations and workshops, wellness offerings, and science panels to cultivate our health as a community.

As part of the Created Commons initiative, the performance and production company Lelavision (choreographer/organizer Leah Okamoto Mann and sculptor/musician Ela Lamblin) will provide a neighborhood celebration featuring BIPOC-centered performances, wellness offerings, and science panels utilizing their interactive kinetic sculpture, Interspecies Communication. This large sculpture — 50 feet long and 32 feet wide — depicts a whale and a bird. Visitors can make the bird “fly” from 12 pm to 8 pm each weekend of the event, by setting its wings in motion.

This family-friendly, zero-waste event is free and open to the public. All are encouraged to bring picnics, camping chairs, blankets, and filled water bottle, which will help them stay hydrated during the fun. Composting and recycle bins will help keep the park clean. Visitors should pack out all other trash in the spirit of leaving the park better than we found it. Vashon Island Growers Association will provide free organic produce, and a variety of food trucks will be on site, including delicious ice cream from event sponsor Full Tilt Ice Cream. There is limited parking at the park, but plenty of surface street parking. No alcohol will be permitted on site.

An Indigenous-centered opening will kick off the nine-day event on Friday, August 27, at 6 pm. Orca Annie & Odin Lonning, UW Tacoma Students from the Pacific Islander Student Association, will share stories, music, and tales of their activism on behalf of the resident Orcas in the Salish Sea. Duwamish Tribe representatives Ken Workman, Nancy Sackman, and Billie Jane Lakey will also be present. Donations for Real Rent Duwamish will be collected throughout the event to honor the Duwamish Tribe and acknowledge the unceded land the event will take place upon.

On Saturday, August 28, 12 pm – 8 pm, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) will present an Arts in Nature Festival Showcase, a condensed version of the well-loved annual Arts In Nature Festival that has offered an eclectic experience of art and performance in a local park for 22 years. Starting at noon, the park will be full of art on the paths, fun in the field, sound baths, roving dancers, and more. Between 3:00 and 8:00 pm, poet LASH will co-MC the main stage performances, with movement artists Danza Symbiosis, Seattle Capoeira, and Noelle Price with cellist Gretchen Yanover. Music features include Troy Osaki, Jennifer Moore, and Holy Pistola.

Sunday, August 29, from 12 pm to 3 pm, the park will come alive with activities and eco-arts in the field and with trail animations. From 4pm to 8pm, the festival will feature performances curated by artist and activist dani tirrell and a science panel on health-care access. Panelists include Candace Jackson of the African American Health Board of Seattle and Dr Sinead Younge, Director of the Social Justice Inquiry and Praxis Institute in the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership at Morehouse College. Performers Dandy (David Rue & Randy Ford), Northwest Tap Connection, Majinn (Michael O’Neal), J Mase III, Kutt’N’Up, and Malicious Vixens will take the stage following the panel. The evening’s finale will be a community dance party with DJ dark_wiley. Pop-up vaccines will be available on site.

On Tuesday, August 31, from 6 pm-8 pm, the festival will create a community event in honor of Overdose Awareness Day in collaboration with artist and counselor, Alexia Jones, the Executive Director of R2ise and Dr Seema Clifasefi of UW’s HaRRT Program (Harm Reduction, Research, Treatment). Vaccines will also be available on this day.

Friday, September 3, 6 pm-8 pm will feature a drumming circle with artist Sumayya Diop. Some drums will be provided, or participants can bring their own percussion (including clapping, stepping, and heartbeat).

Saturday and Sunday, September 4 and 5, 3 pm-8 pm Jack Straw Cultural Center joins Lelavision in presenting BIPOC poets, musicians, and dancers, including Hula Halau O’keala’Akua Naniloa Mana’oakamai; Jack Straw Writers, hosted by Anastacia-Renee; and music by JR Rhodes. Sunday’s presentations will include a Community Bon Odori; music by Nic Masangkay, Trio Guandalevin, and Seattle Kokon Taiko, and Jack Straw Writers, hosted by E.J. Koh.

You can also see the schedule details here.

NEXT WEEKEND: ‘Flutes in the Forest’ returns (UPDATE, CANCELED)

FRIDAY UPDATE: The performance has been canceled because of illness – watch for a new date.


Twice this summer, local musicians have serenaded Schmitz Park visitors with free “Flutes in the Forest” concerts – the video above is from the second one earlier this month. Next Saturday, you’re invited to the third one. From organizers’ announcement:

The JBC Flute Trio (Jennie Goldberg, Barb Cotton, and Carolyn Hoppe-Denend) will play an hour of flute trios including favorites from concert #1.

Saturday, August 21, 2021 – 2:30 PM

Bring your own chair or blanket. Invite your friends and family! Bring a picnic. Feel free to come and go.

On concert day, you’re advised to enter Schmitz Park from Admiral/Stevens.


Thanks to Mike Munson for the photo from Lincoln Park. Mike reports, “Shoulder to shoulder fishing this morning at Lincoln Park, just north of the pool. Saw several catches. The crowd has been building over the last week — run must be getting strong.” That’s the every-two-year pink-salmon run.

CLOSED: No Delridge wading pool today

August 14, 2021 12:31 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The Delridge wading pool is closed today because of a staff shortage. Seattle Parks just tweeted that announcement. Lincoln Park wading pool remains open until 7, Highland Park spraypark until 8.

FOLLOWUP: Reopening date set for Southwest Pool

(Photo from seattle.gov)

In late July, we reported that Seattle Parks hoped to reopen Southwest Pool – West Seattle’s only city-run indoor pool – in September. No date was set at the time. Now, we have one: Monday, September 13th. That’s when SW Pool (2801 SW Thistle) will reopen “for lap swim, limited aquatic exercise classes, independent aquatic fitness, and swim team rentals.” No swim lessons, though, per today’s announcement. In the meantime, city-run Colman Pool, on the shore at Lincoln Park, remains open through September 6th. P.S. The city still has aquatic-job openings!

FOLLOWUP: Contractor chosen for Lowman Beach Park seawall, tennis-court removal

(WSB June photo of soon-to-be-removed seawall)

We reported in coverage of last month’s Morgan Community Association meeting that Seattle Parks was close to choosing a contractor for the Lowman Beach Park project that will remove the seawall and tennis court and restore a more-natural shoreline. Announced today, the contractor is McClung Construction of Buckley, awarded a $1.2 million contract, according to Parks’ project manager Janice Liang. They’ll start mobilizing in early September, which means partial closure of the park; Parks says that “includes beach access, tennis court and trail access. Public access to a portion of the lawn and playground area will be maintained.” The failing seawall used to continue across the south half of the park’s shore, but that part was removed in the 1990s; the new work will not only expand the sandy beach area, but will also daylight part of Pelly Creek. (added) Construction is expected to last at least eight months.

You asked, so we asked: Here’s why Junction Plaza Park kinetic sculpture is partly covered

August 4, 2021 1:00 pm
|    Comments Off on You asked, so we asked: Here’s why Junction Plaza Park kinetic sculpture is partly covered
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks | WS culture/arts

Thanks for the tip! The Junction Plaza Park kinetic sculpture’s new wood framing has caught some attention. We asked Lora Radford at the West Seattle Junction Association. She says it’s related to the ongoing renovations at Alaska House, the apartment building whose south-facing wall it abuts – painting and other work is planned for the building, so this was done to protect the sculpture. In case you’re new – the sculpture, by local artist Troy Pillow, was installed and dedicated in 2016.

MORE MUSIC: Flutes in the Forest encore

If you missed the first “Flutes in the Forest” outdoor concert last month – here’s another chance: 4 pm Wednesday (August 4th), Jennie Goldberg and Jaime Cornutt of the West Seattle flute duo Toujaise will be playing at Schmitz Park. Free, bring your own chair/blanket; enter the park from Admiral/Stevens [map] and, the musicians advise, “walk the paved road 300 feet to the sound of flutes in the forest.”

You asked, so we asked: About the warning sign at Lincoln Park

Thanks to Sean for sending that photo of a warning sign spotted along the trail north of the central Lincoln Park parking lot. We asked Seattle Parks about it, and got this explanation from spokesperson Rachel Schulkin:

People were reporting to staff that they were being stung on this trail. We put up the sign to warn people until we could investigate and decide on next steps. Today we identified and sprayed a wasp nest. Sign should be gone now.

We also only spray wasps if they are a danger to the public, as was the case here. If they are high in trees or away from heavily used areas and don’t present a danger to the public or staff, we leave them.

Here’s more info on Parks’ pest-management policy; here’s more info about wasps and other stinging inspects.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s when Southwest Pool is expected to reopen, and other aquatic updates

July 27, 2021 4:36 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

The chlorine shortage continues to impact our operations but we are hopeful that we can make it through to the end of the summer without any further impacts to the public.
(WSB file photo)

Yesterday’s temporary closure of the Delridge wading pool reminded us that we hadn’t checked on the state of Seattle Parks aquatics for a while. So here’s what we found out, thanks to Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin:

WADING POOLS: The current curtailed schedules aren’t expected to change before season’s end – what you see now is what you get, for this year.

SWIMMING POOLS: Five are open citywide, including outdoor Colman Pool at Lincoln Park, but that closes in early September. So what’s the status of West Seattle’s indoor city-run pool, long-closed Southwest Pool? Schulkin says, “We anticipate opening Southwest Pool in September for drop-in swim, and adding lessons in October.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Reopening the rest of the city’s pools, Schulkin stresses, “is all dependent on our ability to hire pool staff and lifeguards. We are actively recruiting and hiring.” Info on the openings, and how to apply, is here.