NEWS GLEAMS: Lake Washington Boulevard Closure, Property Tax Exemptions, & More

curated by Emerald Editors

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

✨Gleaming This Week✨

A bicyclist rides along Lake Washington Boulevard.
A bicyclist rides along Lake Washington Boulevard. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Summer Weekend Closure of Lake Washington Boulevard Starts May 20

Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic on alternate weekends starting May 20 at 7 p.m., opening the meandering lakeside road to bicyclists, walkers, runners, strollers, and water gazers.

The approximately 3-mile stretch will be closed on certain weekends to motor vehicles, except for local access, from 7 p.m. Fridays to 7 a.m. Mondays through mid-September, according to the Seattle Parks and Recreation website

The dates for the weekend closures are as follows: 

  • May 20–23 and May 27–31 
  • June 10–13 and June 24–27
  • July 1–5 and July 15–18
  • Aug. 12–15 and Aug. 19–22
  • Sept. 2–6 and Sept. 16–19

For more information about parking and public access to docks, visit Seattle Parks and Recreation’s website.

Applications for Property Tax Exemptions Overwhelm King County, Report Says

An audit of the King County Department of Assessments found that it was overwhelmed in 2020 by applications for property tax exemptions from seniors, people with disabilities, and disabled veterans.

In a report to the King County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, the Auditor’s Office reported that applications took a median of eight months to process in 2020, double the time it took in 2021. 

It noted that the number of applications tripled in 2020 due to changes in eligibility requirements. Meanwhile, the department faced “‘‘extraordinary challenges’ beginning in early 2020, not least of which was a transition to remote work for a team that was primarily paper-based until then.”

“The Assessor’s Office faced extraordinary circumstances in 2020 which made operations difficult and negatively impacted customers,” said King County Auditor Kymber Waltmunson. “Implementing these recommendations will help get results for seniors, people with disabilities, and disabled veterans seeking property tax exemptions in King County.”

Along with recommended policy and operations changes, read the full report on the King County Auditor’s Office website.

Flyer advertising the IMPACT! Safe Middle Schools inaugural event.
Flyer courtesy of the Seattle Neighborhood Group.

Inaugural IMPACT! Safe Middle Schools Conference on Saturday

Previously only available to high school students, IMPACT! Safe Middle Schools is launching Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The theme of the virtual conference for middle schoolers is “Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities” and sponsored by the Seattle Neighborhood Group. Speakers are Rian Roberson of Intersectional Therapies PLLC and Zeke Khali of the Healthy Hueman along with workshop partners, including child psychologists from UW’s Doctor for a Day program.

From their press release: “IMPACT! Safe Schools is a student leadership conference to be held online this year due to continued COVID-19 safety and accessibility for all students. This conference is a meaningful, youth-focused dialogue that encourages discussions surrounding youth mental health with mental health professionals. 

“Through interactive workshops, activities, and discussions led by our partners, youth leaders spend the day exploring topics relevant to mental health awareness and brainstorming ways to take what they’ve learned back to their school communities and encourage school engagement.”

Sign-ups for the virtual conference are required; students can directly register through Zoom.

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