West Seattle, Washington
Later this week, the Seattle City Council starts getting down to specifics in potential changes/additions to the mayor’s proposed budget plan. One group of West Seattleites thinks a little money could be spent to get a little more use out of a public asset in West Seattle: Colman Pool. If you agree, now’s the time to speak up. The 77-year-old, city-owned outdoor saltwater pool on the Lincoln Park shore is open less than three months a year – it opens for weekends from Memorial Day until mid-June, then daily until Labor Day, and usually a post-season weekend.
The photo above was shared by Venkat Balasubramani, one of a group of Colman Pool fans who gather for an end-of-season picnic and talked about campaigning to add some operating days to the pool as well as some funding to address its maintenance backlog. He says the issues brought up by pool users ranged from pump maintenance (you might recall that the pool was closed for four days this summer because of pump trouble) to the need for better, more thorough cleaning of dressing areas and pathways, as well as the restrooms, which the swimmers say also are desperately in need of toilet seats.
They’ve contacted our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold as well as Councilmember Debora Juarez, who chairs the committee that oversees parks and other public assets. Herbold’s staff told the swimmers that she has “submitted a ‘Form A’ in the budget process which requests additional funding to extend the use of the pool by one month every year and to add any funds necessary to fix the maintenance backlog.” But public support is required for changes to the budget, so if you’re interested in more use of/support for Colman Pool, there are two ways to show it:
-Send e-mail that goes to the entire council, email@example.com
-Show up at the next major public hearing on the budget, 5:30 pm Tuesday, October 23, at City Hall downtown
For the request to move forward, Herbold’s staff told the swimmers, they need at least two other councilmembers to sign on as co-sponsors by the day after that hearing, October 24th.
Back in May, when reader questions led us to ask Seattle Parks about the almost-viewlessness of some viewpoints like Admiral Way, they told us they were “pausing any view trimming while we review and update our viewpoint and tree trimming policies.” That process is happening now, and the city’s advisory Board of Park Commissioners got a briefing at its meeting this past week:
It’s the last big topic of the meeting, 1 hour and 33 minutes into the video (which you also can watch on the Seattle Channel website if the embedded version above doesn’t work for you). The briefing was presented by Parks’ Kathy Nyland and Jon Jainga, who brought along this document explaining where things are at:
They explained that a Viewpoint Advisory Team has been convened and has already met twice. It’s focusing on the 16 officially designated-by-the-city viewpoints (five of which are in West Seattle – Admiral Way [Belvedere], Charles Richey, Emma Schmitz, Hamilton, Rotary), though a fair amount of discussion at the meeting kept sidetracking to issues such as how to get other parks treated as viewpoints. But Parks can barely take care of what they already have: “We’ve got a maintenance problem and a capacity problem,” said Nyland. She and Jainga explained that not only does Parks have too few maintenance crew members for the 280,000 trees in the system, the work at some steeply sloped parks is too dangerous and requires hiring specially trained tree experts. Plus, they added, rules and practices have changed, and even if they had enough staff, they couldn’t do some of what used to be OK for maintaining views (tree-topping was mentioned). So they’re talking about what they can do, and where. Maybe figure out ways to have environmentally sustainable and not-labor-intensive landscaping in some areas, Jainga suggested, noting that Seattle is now a Bee City and a Bird City, among other things.
Interim Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams elaborated on the cost issue, saying Parks has to make decisions such as, maintain viewpoints or maintain ballfields? Money also factors into those considerations, he said, because organizations pay to use fields, while “views are free.”
The briefing document says Parks is considering using four viewpoints as “pilot” sites to try out whatever they come up with, adding, “This will allow us to ‘course correct’ as necessary before implementation across all designations.” The proposed “pilot” list includes Admiral Way and Hamilton Viewpoints.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Viewpoint Advisory Team is meeting again on October 10th and 24th (6 pm at Parks HQ downtown, open to the public) and after that is expected to return to the Parks Board with a final report and recommendations.
Three sightings of note, in case you wondered too:
CAMP LONG: We received multiple questions late today about a big gathering at Camp Long that has police directing traffic. Hundreds of members of Ethiopian Orthodox churches from around the region are at the park for the annual observance of Meskel (Finding of the True Cross). The city’s Special Events Committee agenda from August notes that this is an annual event that has “grown to require (a) Special Event Permit.” Erika J. Schultz of The Seattle Times photographed the celebration at Camp Long two years ago (scroll down this page).
BEACH DRIVE: Beach Drive Blog noted a sizable turnout of motorcycle riders at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook this morning. The occasion: The local edition of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, raising money and awareness for men’s health issues.
PUGET SOUND: Thanks to JayDee for this Saturday photo:
That’s the SS Cape Intrepid, a ready-reserve ship long moored in Tacoma, headed out on sea trials, last seen on the MarineTraffic.com tracker as it entered open ocean outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca last night. (JayDee also contributed a photo of this ship almost exactly nine years ago!)
The sun is setting on 2018’s PARKing Day – when parklets pop up along city streets. Earlier, we showed you the Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) setup at Westwood Square. At midafternoon, we stopped in the 5900 block of Delridge Way SW, across from Louisa Boren STEM K-8, where West Seattle Bike Connections had a helmet giveaway going, courtesy of Bell:
Boren’s three 1st-grade classes helped plan the parklet.
Thanks to co-organizer Doug Ollerenshaw for letting us know!
Seattle Parks is considering changing the hours at Riverview Playfield (7226 12th SW) in hopes of enabling more police enforcement in response to problems there. Next Thursday, the city Board of Park Commissioners‘ meeting will include a public hearing on changing the hours from 4 am-11:30 pm to 6 am-10 pm. Here’s the rationale as listed in the city briefing paper for Thursday’s meeting:
At this site, there have been continuous complaints about illegal behavior occurring at the park. Drinking and vandalism occur in the evening hours and people congregate at all hours. Neighbors and Parks staff cite four specific reasons for requesting the change in hours:
1) Maintenance workers are burdened with cleaning beer cans, broken glass, and laden trash. The park benches were often found damaged.
2) Tagging is pervasive especially late at night and after the park has closed. At sites with similar issues, changing the closing time to 10:00 p.m. enabled SPD to do a sweep through the park and enforce the closure time.
3) Neighbors frequently call 911 because of the late night activities which often include loud and boisterous behavior, in addition to illegal activity.
4) Community members do not feel safe confronting those who loiter in the park after hours and the earlier closure time enables the police to enforce the rules.
Perhaps the biggest incident in recent years – the 2016 arson that left a new restroom/storage building at the park closed for a year (top photo). The Parks Board hearing is during its regular meeting at Parks HQ downtown next Thursday (September 27th), 6:30 pm, 100 Dexter Ave. N.
As reported here Friday, Seattle Parks cut short the planned monthlong closure of Southwest Pool, citing permit/contract trouble. But it’s operating on a limited schedule during the month instead. So what IS being worked on during that time? Parks has updated this post with info, including:
SPR will take advantage of the pool’s reduced operating schedule to conduct a complete interior LED conversion to the facility, including changing approximately 430 fluorescent tubes to LED. This effort will reduce the facility’s lighting energy consumption by 55%. This project will help us meet the City’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as set out by the Seattle Climate Action Plan. SPR will complete this project prior to the pool returning to its full operating schedule on Monday, Oct. 15.
The limited schedule, meantime, can be seen here (PDF).
Today was supposed to be the second day of a monthlong closure of Southwest Pool for accessibility renovations. Instead, we’ve just received word that the closure plan has changed dramatically because of permit problems – the pool will instead reopen Monday, and will be on a “limited schedule” for the next month. The announcement:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will be making a variety of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements to Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle St.). Most of the work will take place this fall and will include improvements to the restrooms, driveway, entrance, and parking lot.
SPR originally planned to close Southwest Pool from Sept. 13-Oct. 14; however, contracts and permits were unable to be secured in time to meet the planned closure dates. Instead, Southwest Pool will now operate on a limited schedule from Monday, Sept. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 14 to facilitate this work. The pool will resume operating on its normal schedule on Monday, Oct. 15. Details on Southwest Pool’s limited schedule can be found on their website.
SPR will continue ADA improvement work on Southwest Pool’s restrooms throughout October and November; however, this work will not impact facility hours. SPR will also work on improvements to Southwest Pool’s front driveway, entrance, and parking lot in October and November, which will require users to access the facility via the rear entrance. ADA improvements to the pool locker rooms will occur in spring 2019.
The “limited schedule” that will be in place starting Monday can be seen here (PDF). Southwest Pool is at 2801 SW Thistle.
Two closure alerts from Seattle Parks: First, all of its community centers, pools, and teen life centers will be closed on Thursday, September 13th – one week from today – for staff training. The announcement adds, “The only programs that will be operating will be Preschool and School Aged Care; all other programs, lessons and activities will be canceled for the day.” September 13th also will be the start of a monthlong closure for Southwest Pool; it’s scheduled to shut down for a month of upgrades/renovations, primarily to improve accessibility, reopening October 15th.
1:13 AM: If you’ve got Shelter 4 on the Lincoln Park shore booked for a Labor Day picnic – be forewarned. Kevin sent the photo late Sunday night:
We were down there walking this evening around 10 pm and came across one of the most disgusting messes that we’ve ever seen. It’s quite heartbreaking to see a public space in our neighborhood treated with so little care.
We made some attempt at cleaning up, but it was very dark and my phone was about to die and it provided the only light. We made a dent, but the size of the mess was quite overwhelming. I’ve called Seattle Parks about it also, but safe to say they won’t get the message until Tuesday – hopefully there’s some recourse from them to whoever had the reservation. Words can’t do the mess justice. … I can only imagine the poor folks who show up tomorrow for a Labor Day picnic and have to deal with that before they can have their own day – at least it will be light.
I’m sure people leave picnic sites in an untidy state quite often, sadly… but the absolute magnitude of this mess and the disrespect to others left us dismayed and angry.
MONDAY AFTERNOON: Commenters who’ve since been to the park say this has been cleaned up. Given that so many unused items were among what was left behind, some wondered if what happened was an abrupt emergency departure. The archived real-time 911 log shows a medical response at the park at 4:42 pm, but there’s no way to tell whether it was related.
(Schurman Rock photo courtesy Seattle Parks)
Join Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Friends of Camp Long for Camp Long Mountain Fest, a celebration of Seattle’s vibrant outdoor community and Camp Long’s place in mountaineering history. This free, family-friendly event will take place at the Camp Long Environmental Learning Center (5200 35th Ave. SW) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
All participants of Mountain Fest will enjoy a day of free access to rock climbing, rappelling, mountain-themed games and activities, and opportunities for nature-based learning. Event participants can develop outdoor living skills and experience an array of programs offered by Camp Long and other local organizations.
Mountain Fest activities will be made accessible to all people, regardless of their experience level, allowing beginners, intermediate, and advanced climbers and adventurers of all ages to enjoy the event*.
The goal of Mountain Fest is to continue the tradition started by Judge William G. Long and Clark Schurman, two of the founders of Camp Long, of providing access to outdoor recreation and education to all people, particularly underserved youth.
For more information about the event, please call 206-684-7415. Camp Long Mountain Fest is sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation, Associated Recreation Council, Mountain Madness, Vertical World, 4-H, and the Falconer.
*Space for climbing and ropes course is limited, so we encourage early arrival to the festival and sign-up. Waivers are required for all climbing activities and will be available at the lodge. Participants need to wear closed-toed shoes. High ropes course is limited to height and weight that fit harnesses and to those who have the physical ability to participate safely.
(Colman Pool, photographed last year by Long Bach Nguyen)
Just announced by Seattle Parks via Twitter: “Colman Pool will be opening today for regularly scheduled programming. Thanks to our Facilities staff for their work fixing the broken pump.” The historic outdoor saltwater pool on the Lincoln Park shore has been closed since Monday afternoon because of the breakdown. Its 7-day-a-week season runs through Labor Day, and then the pool will close except for one postseason weekend, Saturday-Sunday, September 8-9. You can see the pool schedule here.
(Closure-alert sign at south Lincoln Park lot – thanks to Venkat for the photo)
Thanks for the tips! The phone recording for Colman Pool now says it will be closed again Wednesday. The outdoor pool on Lincoln Park’s shore has been closed since Monday afternoon because of mechanical trouble. This is the last week of the pool’s short summer 7-days-a-week schedule; after Labor Day, it’s scheduled to close until one last post-season weekend, September 8-9.
7:30 PM WEDNESDAY NOTE: Just checked web, Twitter, phone and not seeing/hearing anything yet on status for Thursday.
12:01 AM THURSDAY NOTE: We checked again, no update yet for the day ahead.
6:06 PM: Thanks to Barbara for the tip: Colman Pool closed early today because of a problem. Seattle Parks says they hope to be able to reopen tomorrow. We’ll check in the a.m. and include the info in our daily highlight list. This is the last full week of operation this year at the outdoor pool on Lincoln Park’s shore; after Labor Day, it’ll be closed except for one postseason weekend September 8th-9th.
8:21 PM: Parks now says swim lessons are canceled at Colman tomorrow because of the pump problem. No official call yet on the pool status beyond that.
9:12 AM TUESDAY: Closed today.
Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
Joining a breakdance workshop with the DogPound Crew – above are Dan, Robert, and Sammy – was one of the many ways to spend the second and final day of the 2018 Arts In Nature Festival, presented at Camp Long by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. The dancers were inside the park’s historic lodge, but much more was happening outside – especially at the cabins:
Above, at Cabin 1, Degenerate Art Ensemble‘s “Skeleton Flower Seed Ceremony” invited people to anonymously share their stories of dealing with challenges. Below, at Cabin 7, Paul Kikuchi presented an interactive sound installation in collaboration with his brother Joel Kikuchi:
Visitors at “Robotic Ensemble” played traditional Japanese instruments remotely using low-fi robotic hands, blending with pre-recorded soundscapes. Meantime, at Cabin 8:
That’s part of Celeste Cooning‘s “Cut Paper Meets Digital Media.” All around Camp Long, art was happening, including Angelina Villalobos creating a painting:
This is the third year that DNDA has presented the festival, whose founding organization Nature Consortium became part of DNDA in 2016.
Thanks to Carey Drewes-Moore for the photos and report – including a Sunday morning offer for you!
Muriel, Lauren, and Kassidy from Girl Scout Troop 45120 came up with a fantastic idea for their Silver Award Project of replacing the signs at both entrances to Schmitz Preserve Park in hopes that hikers will be able to have a better understanding of the trails system.
They also offered historic information and information on some of the plants to stay away from while in the park on their signs. Because the park is a preserve, signs on the trails are not allowed, to preserve the natural environment. They each spent close to fifty hours researching and revising their plan, communicating with the city, and bringing together all their information to create the new signs. (On Friday), the girls installed both signs.
They are hosting a map handout for those looking for an awesome West Seattle hike on Sunday morning from 8-10 am at the Admiral entrance of Schmitz Preserve Park. We will have coffee, donuts, and maps to hand out!
Another first tonight – the first family-movie night for Roxhill Park Champions, community volunteers working on a brighter future for the park. “Wall-E” is on the big screen right now; everybody there got free treats:
Also sponsoring the event: The Seattle Park Commons program, which is explained here along with how you can get involved with future community planning for Roxhill Park.
4:39 PM: Just announced by Seattle Parks: Because of the unhealthy air, it’s closing its outdoor pools as well as the remaining still-in-operation wading pools, through tomorrow. Colman Pool is closing at 4:45 pm, and wading pools (including Lincoln Park) were to begin draining an hour ago. (Sprayparks weren’t mentioned, so we’re checking on their status.)
5:06 PM: Parks’ Christina Hirsch replied that sprayparks are staying open. (West Seattle’s lone spraypark is in Highland Park at 1100 SW Cloverdale.)
By this weekend, the air is expected to be clearer, and that’s a good thing given the number of big outdoor events on the schedule! Among them: The 19th annual Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long, presented by Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. The festival spans both Saturday and Sunday, with visual and performing artists all around the sprawling, forest-and-meadow West Seattle park. You can see the full schedule here; find out more about the artists here. As explained here, this isn’t just a festival where you go to watch and listen – it’s also a festival where you experience and create. (And don’t miss what’s happening in and around the cabins!) You will be inspired and stirred on Saturday night by musical headliners Total Experience Gospel Choir, led by Rev. Pat Wright, who’s talking about retirement, so this might be one of your last chances to see and hear her! Festival hours are noon-9 pm Saturday and noon-6 pm Sunday; tickets are discounted when you buy online in advance, so do that here ASAP! (WSB is a co-sponsor of this year’s festival.)
Thanks to Erin for the tip: The High Point Play Area relocation/renovation project is starting work. It’s been more than a year since the Seattle Parks open houses on this playground project – one of several in the works – so it fell off our radar. The project website has full details, noting that the $700,000 project will more than quadruple the playground’s size while also improving safety and accessibility. The contractor is LW Sundstrom.
We’ve been reporting on the community members and neighbors working to bring more events to Roxhill Park. The next one is the first Family Movie Night in the park, this Friday (August 24th)! The movie is the animated classic “Wall-E.” If you haven’t already seen it in our calendar, here’s the invitation from Roxhill Park Champions:
Bring blankets and low chairs to the central lawn in Roxhill Park starting at 7:30 pm.
Show starts at dusk just after 8:15 pm. Children must be with an adult to watch the film.
Popcorn, sweets, and bottled water will be provided to the first 100 attendees.
The film screening and refreshments are being brought to you by the community-led Roxhill Park Champions in partnership with the Seattle Parks Commons Program.
The park is at 29th/Barton.
Someone texted us at sunset wondering if that was another movie crew at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, with bright lights and a luxury motor home nearby. Nope – just the setup for an “installation” by three “influencers,” to be open for viewing 8 am-8 pm tomorrow in honor of National Thrift Shop Day. Backstory’s in the preview we published after a PR person pinged us Tuesday.
If someone in your family is living with memory loss – you might want to sign up for Camp Momentia, happening next month in West Seattle! Here’s the announcement:
Camp Momentia: A day-camp experience for people living with memory loss and family and friends. Explore, create, and connect at historic Camp Long in West Seattle. Enjoy nature, art-making, storytelling, s’mores, singing around the campfire, and more!
Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16*, 10 am – 3 pm
Registration: Required. One-day registration only. $20 to register, includes lunch. One care partner per participant is welcome free of charge.
Space is limited. Contact Cayce Cheairs by Wednesday, August 29: 206-615-0100, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Sunday is a family-friendly day, welcoming youth over 9 years old free of charge.
Transportation: Optional van transportation is available from Northgate and Rainier CC.
Offered in partnership: Seattle Parks and Recreation, PNA-Greenwood Senior Center, Providence Mount St. Vincent, Senior Center of West Seattle. Sponsored by: Aegis Living on Madison, Aegis Living of West Seattle, and Quail Park Memory Care Residences of West Seattle
Momentia is a grassroots movement empowering people with memory loss and their loved ones to remain connected and active in the community. www.momentiaseattle.org
The city has announced the winning projects in this year’s round of “participatory budgeting.” From the announcement:
The results are in! More than 7200 community members voted for their favorite park and street projects and 51 projects have been selected. It’s all part of the city’s Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets, a participatory budgeting program in which community members democratically decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. …
The projects were selected from more than 1,000 ideas submitted in February by community members across Seattle. These ideas were evaluated and honed by more than 500 volunteers who participated on Project Development Teams that met in each Council District. This spring, Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation provided cost estimates for the proposals. Then beginning in June, community members ages 11 and above voted by Council District for their favorite projects online and at in-person polling stations at Seattle libraries.
With $3 million available, a maximum of $285,000 was allocated for each City Council District. The remaining $1 million was designated for funding projects in the City’s Equity and Environment Initiative Focus Areas—geographic areas where communities of color, immigrants, refugees, people with low incomes, Native peoples, and limited-English proficiency individuals tend to live. Overall, 20 projects located in these Focus Areas received awards.
Many communities embraced the voting process, especially Districts 1 and 2 whose residents cast nearly 40% of the total votes received. “Programs like Your Voice, Your Choice are important,” observed Kim Schwarzkopf, District 1 resident and Your Voice Your Choice Steering Committee member. “It is a simple way for people to get involved, connect with their neighbors, and make a positive impact in their community.”
Here are the winning projects in West Seattle and South Park:
Riverview/Puget Ridge: Pedestrian Lighting Improvements at SW Morgan St bus stop near South Seattle College (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 287)
South Park: Intersection Improvements at Dallas Ave S, 12th Ave S, and Thistle St (Cost: $3,500, Total Votes: 290)*
South Park: Walkway Improvements on S Cloverdale St under SR-99 overpass (Cost: $90,000, 60% design only, Total Votes: 364)*
South Park: Signage Improvements at S Henderson St and 12th Ave S. (Cost $2,000, Total Votes: 208)*
North Admiral: Crossing Improvements on California Ave SW and SW College St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 277)
North Delridge: Improvements to basketball courts at Delridge Community Center (Cost: $7,000, Total Votes: 367)
North Delridge: Equipment Refurbishment at Puget Boulevard Commons/Cottage Grove Park (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 271)
Fauntleroy: Benches in Lincoln Park (Cost: $15,330, Total Votes: 355)
Roxhill/South Delridge: Trail Improvements at Roxhill Park (Cost: $88,800, Total Votes: 305)*
Those 9 projects were among 11 that went up for a vote in our area back in June. (Our June story also linked to individual infosheets on each proposal, if you’re looking for more details on any of them.)