Seattle Parks and Recreation Labor Day closures

Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018.

These facilities and services will be CLOSED:

  • Community centers
  • Environmental learning centers
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center
  • Baker Rowing and Sailing Center
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center

These facilities are OPEN:

  • Golf courses
  • Boat ramps
  • Beaches (Matthews, Madison, Mt. Baker, Seward, West Green Lake)
  • Lowery C. “Pop” Mounger Pool
  • Colman Pool
  • Wading pools (Green Lake, Lincoln Park, Van Asselt, Volunteer Park)
  • Spray Parks

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Seattle City (spot)Light: Melissa Skelton

Melissa Skelton has been at City Light for three and a half years. She initially served as a Legal Affairs Advisor on a small team in the General Manager’s Office, but now works in Regulatory Affairs as a strategic advisor. “I love my job. I’m in the right place at the right time,” Melissa said. “My work centers around monitoring regulatory policy issues and dockets at the federal regulatory level for matters associated with transmission and wholesale sales of power.  So, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is my main ballpark, where we look at high-level issues that affect the entire utility and engage City Light as necessary.”

Melissa was born in Washington D.C. but spent most of her life in Kansas. She attended the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!) and earned a degree in Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology. “With my ecology background, it really matters to me how City Light interacts with our environment,” Melissa shared. “Everything we do (or don’t do) affects every other living thing on this planet.”

After college, she took the legal route and attended Washburn University School of Law. Melissa and her husband Joshua relocated to Seattle in 2014 and welcomed their first child, Malcolm, two years later. This past February, they welcomed their second son, Conrad.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Melissa talks about the joys of being a mother, running with elk and sailing around the world.


Melissa with her family.

“I love trying new things. I love to cook and travel. I like to hike, go to hot yoga, anything active. I also enjoy reading, being part of book clubs, all those types of things. What’s cool is that Joshua and I incorporate our kids into the things we like. We bought a double jogging stroller, so we take them out when we go for a run or take them hiking. We can still do a lot of the things we love and show them what we love.”

“Right now, I’m focused on running. I’m training for a 10k in September and excited to have a reason to train. It’s also helping me get back in shape after having our second baby. There are two places where I love to run. One is Meadowbrook Farm. It’s right at the base of Mount Si. It has beautiful views. There’s a big elk herd out there; you can often see them in the early morning hours. It’s neat to be out there with your thoughts and nature and run next to elk. How cool is that? The other place I like to run is Snoqualmie which is where I live. We have some bears in the neighborhood behind us. They’re black bears so they’re not aggressive but there is a mom with two babies, so you must be careful. I have a pretty fast pace when I run in the evenings around there!”

“I was fortunate to do the Semester at Sea program when I was in college, which is a semester aboard a ship sailing to ten locations all around the world. We started in Vancouver, then went to Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, and Morocco before ending back in Miami. It was an amazing opportunity and opened my eyes to issues around the world. I’m looking forward to international travel again in the future (once the boys are out of diapers!).”

Want to cuddle a kitten? Come to “Kitty Hall” on Thursday, Aug. 30

City Hall to become “Kitty Hall” for the day

Fifth annual Kitty Hall event return to raise awareness and encourage cat adoptions

The kittens are back! The fifth annual Kitty Hall returns to Seattle on Thursday, Aug. 30. Mayor Jenny Durkan will issue a proclamation renaming City Hall as “Kitty Hall” for the day, and the public is invited to meet, greet and, of course, cuddle kittens.

WHAT: Seattle Animal Shelter’s Fifth Annual Kitty Hall
WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 30, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Seattle Kitty Hall’s Bertha Knight Landes Room, 600 Fourth Ave.

Seattle Animal Shelter, which hosts the Kitty Hall event, will provide at least two tents where the public can spend a couple of minutes with roaming kittens. Also returning this year is the “Kitty Council,” which features adoptable adult cats vying to be named the “Kitty Council president.” The event will include a kitten photo booth and educational displays about the Seattle Animal Shelter and its programs, and Seattle residents will be able to purchase pet licenses for their cats and dogs.

Kitty Hall highlights the shelter’s foster care program and promotes shelter cat adoptions. Most of the kittens and the cats at Monday’s event will be available for adoption, and potential adopters at Kitty Hall can place “first choice” holds on their favorite kitten or cat.

“Kitty Hall is an amazing way for the Seattle Animal Shelter to highlight our adoptable kittens and cats and raise awareness about the lifesaving work that we do,” said Ann Graves, Seattle Animal Shelter executive director. “But we also love this event because of the joy it creates. It’s a family-friendly place where you can cuddle kittens – what’s not to love?”

The Seattle Animal Shelter will also be live streaming parts of the event on its Facebook page at

Seattle Animal Shelter created the first Kitty Hall in 2014. At least nine other cities and rescue organizations across the United States have since adopted the idea for their own Kitty Hall events.

The Seattle Animal Shelter, located at 2061 15th Ave. W., is open 1-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday for adoptions and licensing. For more information, call 206-386-PETS (7387) or visit

Camp Long CampOut provides immersive nature experience for low-income, immigrant and refugee families

Camp Long and community partners Delridge Neighborhood Development Association and National Wildlife Federation recently hosted the second Great American CampOut of 2018 at Camp Long. The CampOut program provides an immersive nature experience for low-income, immigrant and refugee families who live near Camp Long. Guests experience staying overnight in a rustic cabin with their neighbors, rock climbing, nature walks, community meals, and a classic American campfire with songs, stories and s’mores.
21 families (108 individuals) attended the event in August and 22 families (118 individuals) attended in June. These families were from Seattle Housing Authority communities in the Delridge and High Point neighborhoods. Participants represented home countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, and more.
Camp Long CampOut was selected as a winner of the national Meet Me at the Park campaign and received a $20,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association and The Walt Disney Company. Community members voted for the winning project throughout Earth Month in April. Learn more here.

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Man Steals Occupied Car, Passenger Later Found Safe

A 33-year-old developmentally delayed man named William has been found safe and unharmed after the car he was in was carjacked in the International District Friday night.

At approximately 6:45 pm, a carjacking occurred at Maynard Avenue South and South King Street.  William’s mother had parked the car and got out to pay for parking while William remained in the passenger seat.  While she was out of the car, the unknown male suspect got into the driver’s seat and drove off eastbound.  911 was called and officers responded quickly to the scene.  Officers conducted an area search for the vehicle, described as a silver, 2012 BMW 328i hardtop convertible, Washington license plate AXL6052.  Information about the stolen vehicle and William’s description and photograph were sent out to the public via the SPD Twitter feed.

At approximately 7:45 pm, a Seattle Police officer believed he observed the stolen vehicle travelling southbound on Interstate 5 near Interurban Avenue South.  The officer was involved in a roll0ver collision with another vehicle on the freeway.  Fortunately, there were no serious injuries sustained, but the officer was transported the hospital for minor injuries and as a precaution.  The Washington State Patrol is handling that collision investigation on I-5.

Shortly after 9:00 pm, William was observed in Pioneer Square by an alert individual who recognized him from the SPD tweet.  911 was contacted and officers confirmed that William was unharmed.  He was reunited with his family.  Detectives are attempting to determine when and how William got out of the vehicle. The BMW is still listed as a stolen vehicle at this time.

This remains an active and on-going investigation.