West Seattle, Washington
(WSB file photo, Westcrest Off-Leash Area)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Months later than first promised, the draft plan for Seattle Parks‘ off-leash areas is finally out today. See it here.
The process leading to this has been under way for almost a year – we mentioned a survey last July, and several local community councils included discussions at their meetings earlier this year.
We’ve just taken a quick read through the draft plan, and here are some of the points:
*No specific new off-leash areas are proposed
*A process for adding new OLAs “gradually” is outlined
*In the meantime, the city proposes spending up to $1.3 million to improve the 14 existing OLAs, through funding from the voter-approved Park District
Here’s the outline of the process suggested for adding new OLAs:
For each proposed OLA, except those involving private developers, SPR will convene a committee including dog advocates, environmental advocates, a veterinarian or animal behaviorist, community members, and SPR staff to recommend to the Superintendent whether the proposed OLA should move forward.
1 Adding OLAs through new park/redevelopment processes. SPR will specifically include OLAs as an element
for consideration in the planning process when SPR embarks on the development or redevelopment process
for new and existing parks, along with any other suggested use that arises during the process.
2 As SPR develops land-banked park sites, SPR will examine their use for new OLAs as part of the park
3 SPR will continue to consider adding new OLAs by request of the community, whether through
Neighborhood Matching Fund processes or other community processes.
4 Support groups such as COLA in developing OLAs on non-park public land suitable for OLAs, by convening
the committee described above and assisting with design.
5 Encourage groups like COLA to work with private property owners to provide OLAs on unused property.
6 Encourage private developers, through the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection, to include
OLAs as part of prospective developments.
There will still remain the issue of development costs for any of these alternatives, but those can be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The document says adding a one-acre off-leash area is estimated to cost just under $1 million.
As for the nature of improvements/additions, the draft plan includes these recommendations:
Based on the potential for conflict between leashed and unleashed dogs and between dogs and other park activities, limited enforcement resources, and feedback from other jurisdictions, SPR recommends continuing to offer fenced OLAs only.
*Based on the potential for conflict between leashed and unleashed dogs and between dogs and other trail users, the associated need for more maintenance and enforcement and the potential for disturbing animal and bird habitat, SPR does not recommend designated leash-optional trails.
*Based on the protection of many of Seattle’s beaches by the Marine Reserves Rule and the potential for disturbing animal, marine and bird habitat, SPR recommends against establishing any more OLAs with beach access.
We’re still reading through the rest of the plan and will add anything else of note in the next hour or so (again, see the full draft plan here). Geographically, it notes that a “small area of (north West Seattle)” is one of the parts of the city that does NOT have an off-leash area within 2.5 miles; West Seattle’s one and only OLA is at Westcrest Park in Highland Park, opened in 1997 and described in the draft plan as the second-busiest off-leash area in the city.
The Westcrest analysis starts on page 145 of the report and recommends these improvements:
1. Reinstall ADA parking sign and ADA path in small and shy dog area.
2. Upgrade fencing to protect natural areas.
3. Replace woodchips with other surfacing and fill in ruts.
4. Restore eroded slope.
5. Pave service road from the north lot entrance to the inside dumpster.
WHAT’S NEXT: The process for commenting on the draft plan is outlined here. A public hearing is set for July 28th in Northgate (that same link has full details), and the Seattle Parks Board is scheduled to vote at its September 8th meeting. Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre has the final say on the plan.
(Photo courtesy Michelle Taylor: Taproot students attend to a bag dispenser in Fauntleroy Park)
What Fauntleroy Creek/Watershed volunteers did in 2004 and 2008, students from Taproot School are doing now, according to watershed/creek steward Judy Pickens:
Continuing concern about pet waste left in Fauntleroy Park prompted students at Taproot School to take on the 2016 Poop Study.
The study documents the number and location of pet waste along a segment of trail in Fauntleroy Park that’s popular with dog walkers. After a baseline count earlier this spring, the students are reaching out to dog owners with information about why picking up after their pet is important and making compliance easy with free bags.
Located in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse Community Center, Taproot School makes almost daily use of the park as an extension of classroom learning for its 27 (K-5) students. Run in 2004 and again in 2008, the study initiated by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council aims to reduce the level of fecal coliform bacteria that Fauntleroy Creek conveys into Puget Sound.
Students will do a second count in July and a third in September, then compile their report, with an emphasis on what more they recommend doing to get dog walkers to scoop.
Tomorrow, you can help four animal-advocacy groups in one place at one fun event: Catsino, 2-6 pm Sunday at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW). Just-for-fun game tables are always the main attraction, but you will find more than casino-style games – for example, organizer Teri Ensley from Furry Faces Foundation tells us, one table will feature Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) dealing the famous Kickstarter-launched game Exploding Kittens. And at the silent auction, here are some of the items you can bid for:
· West 5: One year Mac ‘n’ Cheese Certificate
· West City Kitchen: $50 Gift Certificate
· Two T-shirts from Mariners Spring Training
· Fairmont Olympic Hotel: Afternoon Tea for Two
· Autographed Sounders Mini-soccer ball (super cool)!
· Bad Ass Barbecue
Ticket info and other details can be found here.
The city’s moving toward a new proposal for dogs in Seattle parks – and this Thursday night, the Seattle Parks Board of Commissioners will hear how Parks leadership is leaning.
That briefing document prepared for the Parks Board hints at what might be in the proposed People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan, due out soon for public comment. It’s been a subject of discussion in several community meetings we’ve covered recently, starting with the Delridge District Council‘s meeting last November.
For one, the document says Superintendent Jesús Aguirre is NOT expected to call for “unfenced, (certain) hours-only” offleash periods in parks. It also says he’ll recommend limiting the number of dogs that can be brought to a park to three per person. And he’ll recommend that development of additional off-leash areas go “through regular new park development and/or existing park redevelopment processes.”
One more note from the briefing paper: “Beginning this month, there will be a two-person team, one Animal Control staff and one Parks and
Recreation staff, patrolling parks with the sole purpose of enforcing leash and scoop laws.”
The draft plan is now expected to be made public next month, with public meetings in April and May, and a final plan in June. Meantime, the board meeting this Thursday starts at 6:30 pm at Parks HQ downtown (100 Dexter Ave. N.).
Back on February 6th, we brought you the story of West Seattleite Marcia Lyons and her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Liberty, getting ready to head to the legendary Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the Masters Agility Championship preceding it. We noticed in today’s results that Liberty had received “select” honors in her breed category. So we e-mailed Marcia to ask for an update:
It has been an amazing but incredibly busy time in New York. Here’s a recap of the last couple days and Libby’s exploits at Westminster.
I am crazy proud of my little Liberty and her performance this weekend at Westminster. On Saturday she ran in the Masters Agility Championship. She ran well enough in the two daytime runs to make it into the top 10 of her height class (16″) which meant she made it into the final Championship that night. It was quite the spectacle, as it was televised nationally on Fox Sports. I was also one of the few selected to wear a special wireless microphone as I ran so they could hear everything I was saying to Libby as we ran. In the final round she ran beautifully and one of the fastest times of the evening, but unfortunately we made 2 errors that added time penalties so we didn’t win. But she was a winner in my book, the way she gave her all as she ran and held up through an incredibly crazy busy day.
To cap her agility success, today she displayed the beauty side of things to compliment her athletic achievements. In the dog show she went into the breed ring for Conformation, in the “Best of Breed” class. It was quite thrilling when the judge awarded her the “Select Female” prize, meaning she was his second highest pick out of the females. We are now heading home tired and happy with some lovely ribbons.
It was an amazing weekend for the little Toller from West Seattle.
We almost missed Liberty on the winners’ list because she was listed by her official name: CH Aqueus Let Freedom Ring CD BN RE AX AXJ OF CGC.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One week from tonight, you might find yourself cheering for a West Seattle dog in a televised competition that precedes the legendary Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City.
Marcia Lyons tells WSB that she and Liberty, her 4-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, are the only team from our state set to compete in the club’s 3rd annual Masters Agility Championship.
After Marcia e-mailed us about Liberty, we asked if we could come meet her and see what she does. Marcia obliged, so there we were near their home on a sloped stretch of SW Juneau this morning:
In the original announcement we received from Marcia, the Agility Championship is described this way:
This event, which features some of the most talented K9 athletes in the country, will feature dogs and their handlers excitedly attacking an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and more, racing against the clock. At Westminster, each dog will compete in two qualifying rounds. The ten dogs from each height class with the lowest combined scores will move on to the Championship round Saturday evening (February 13th), creating a field of 50 finalists competing for the coveted title of Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Champion. The Championship round will be televised on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:00 pm Pacific.
Liberty and Marcia also will be in the All-Breed Dog Show itself, which starts on Monday, February 15th, competing against other Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers – the smallest breed of retriever, Marcia explained. The evening finals will be that night 5-8 pm PT on CNBC and Tuesday, February 16th, same time slot, on USA Network.
But first, next Saturday’s agility competition, which starts with daytime runs before the televised evening finals. Liberty, she says, is already fastest runner in her class, and she feels good about their chances at the championship, “as long as we run clean” – no mistakes.
Liberty is the first dog with whom she’s competed; she says they’re also working on “competitive obedience.”
The full schedule for the Masters Agility Championship and All-Breed Dog Show is here.
P.S. There’s one way you can help: If you look at our video again, you’ll notice Liberty running on a planting strip along a busy street. Marcia’s backyard isn’t quite big enough for proper training. They’re looking for a space in West Seattle that is large enough for them to practice, especially before they take off for the competition.
What will be proposed in the city’s “People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan” – formerly the off-leash plan? We won’t know for another month. That’s the latest word from the city; thanks to Mike Dey from the Fauntleroy Community Association for the alert. When the new project lead, Susan Golub, spoke to the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council in November (WSB coverage here), it looked like the draft plan would be out in early January. Now the city says “tentatively … late February.” You can watch this city webpage for updates – or be at the city Parks Board’s next meeting, as they have a “preliminary discussion” about the forthcoming plan. A briefing paper just posted in connection with that meeting offers these questions for Parks Board members to discuss:
1. Should we allow/encourage sponsorships and advertising? …
2. Should we have unfenced, hours-only off-leash areas? …
3. How should new OLAs be added to the system? …
4. Should there be a restriction on the number of dogs an individual can bring to an off-leash area?
The Parks Board meets 6:30 pm next Thursday (January 28th) at Queen Anne Community Center. No dog-plan-specific meeting dates/times are set yet
As mentioned in the daily preview, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market is on, and we found special guests today at the south end (California/Alaska):
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 3, 2016
This 8-year-old kitty was looking especially regal, awaiting adoption:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 3, 2016
If you miss MaxMobile today (there until 2 pm), two more West Seattle visits are on the calendar for this month – Pet Pros at Westwood Village on January 15 from 2 pm to 5 pm, Mud Bay in Admiral (2611 California SW) on January 23 from 11 am to 2 pm.
1:16 PM: That’s Gus, and he’s in West Seattle Crime Watch as well as on the Lost/Found Pets page because we’ve received a reader report that he was inside a car stolen near The Junction this morning. The car is a 2003 silver Infiniti FX 35, license plate ALL9711. Gus is half Pomeranian, half Brussels Griffon. Please call John or Laura if you find him – 206.935.3525 or 206.948.8540. And call 911 if you see the car.
2:19 PM: Per commenters, Gus has been spotted in the Fairmount Park/Fairmount Springs area.
3:40 PM UPDATE: Found!
SUNDAY EVENING P.S. Happy-ending photo, forwarded by John and Laura’s friend Madeleine, who sent the original info about the theft.
John also e-mailed us to thank WSB readers: “Thanks to the Blog we found him. It worked like an Amber Alert. His first sighting was near the Morgan Junction, and I finally found him near Admiral and 50th Ave SW.”
Who in this photo’s been naughty and who’s been nice? Up to “Santa Paws” to find out. Thanks to Bethany from Cascadian Nomads for sharing the photo of her canine friends’ adventure in The Junction, where – as previewed on our daily list – you can get a free professional Santa photo at West Seattle Windermere until 1 pm. (4525 California SW)
If you’re interested in the city’s policies regarding off-leash dogs in parks – whether you think current policies are too lenient, too tough, or just right – you’ll be interested in this Wednesday’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting. The agenda includes a discussion of the People, Dogs, and Parks Strategic Plan (previously called the Off-Leash Area Strategic Plan) that’s under development, with a draft plan to go public in early January. Scheduled guests include reps from Seattle Parks and from the Seattle Nature Alliance. The under-development plan was a topic at last week’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, as reported here. The DNDC meets at 7 pm Wednesday (November 18th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
P.S. If you can’t be there, the city is also taking comments via this form.
Some of the cats and kittens at the Seattle Animal Shelter Cat Adopt-A-Thon at High Point Community Center were snapped up fast. But Katya, 10, above, didn’t have a forever home yet as of about 15 minutes ago. Go see her and the others looking for new homes.
HPCC is at 6920 34th SW and this is on until 3 pm. There’s even a tent where you can get acquainted with your potential new furry family member.
(That’s Bowser the kitten.)
That’s Miles, our ex-shelter cat and official WSB assistant, suggesting you might want to add a feline family member this Saturday, when the Seattle Animal Shelter returns to West Seattle for an adopt-a-thon. He’s not available but dozens of cats are – including, we’ve just learned, 16 kittens, among them Bento and Sushi (city-provided photo below):
Here’s the basic info about the event:
The Seattle Animal Shelter will host a cat adopt-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at the High Point Community Center, located at 6920 34th Ave. SW. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and features numerous kittens and cats of different breeds. Cats available at this event have been living with foster parents, who are available at the event to share information about the personality and habits of the cats with potential adopters, helping to make a perfect match.
“With our monthly neighborhood adoptathons, we hope to continue to spread the word about the joys and value of adopting shelter pets and saving lives. If you have room in your home and your heart for an orphaned animal, this is a great opportunity to come and see some of the wonderful pets available from our foster-care parents,” said Don Jordan, Seattle Animal Shelter director.
Adoption prices range from $45 to $135 (plus applicable license fees) and include:
● Initial vaccinations
● Feline Leukemia testing
● Certificate for free health exam at local veterinarians
● Spay or neuter
The Seattle Animal Shelter has a foster-care program to rehabilitate sick and immature dogs and cats. Donations from the city’s “Help the Animals Fund” pay for veterinary care for these animals while they are being fostered.
Or maybe Nellie or Robbie.
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Every year, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral invites pets and their people to an open, public “Blessing of the Animals” event, a tradition for many churches in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, and today was the day. St. John’s new priest-in-charge Rev. Michael Carroccino and Brother Paul Dahlke from the Order of Saint Francis were in the neighboring West Seattle High School parking lot for all who showed up.
Most of the pets brought for blessings were dogs … but we also spotted Olive the cat:
As explained on the event flyer, “Today we thank God for the gifts of companionship and beauty which animals and pets bring to our lives and homes, and ask God’s blessing on them.”
Blessings are usually offered this time each fall as it coincides with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals:
At least two other West Seattle congregations offered Blessing of the Animals events today; another is still ahead, next Sunday (October 11th) at 10:30 am at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood (thanks to Sue for the tip).
The first Sunday of October usually brings “Blessing of the Animals” events in honor of St. Francis of Assisi‘s feast day. We’ve received word of two:
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Local Franciscans are usually part of this one:
The church shares the photo and reminder (if you haven’t already seen it in our calendar):
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All are invited to bring your pet or pets for St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church’s annual community-wide St. Francis’ Day Blessing of the Animals, this Sunday, October 4, at 1:00 p.m. on the West Seattle High School parking lot.
That’s at 3000 California SW (just north of the church).
PROVIDENCE MOUNT ST. VINCENT: At the same time – 1 pm Sunday – The Mount and its Spiritual Care Department is sponsoring a blessing in honor of St. Francis, at Pigott Chapel, on the building’s third floor. “All pets are welcome. People may bring photos of their pets, too.” The Mount is at 4831 35th SW.
Big Sunday in The Junction. Seen while wandering through …
If you love chocolate, go see Andrea from Dolcetta Artisan Sweets, making a guest appearance at VAIN (WSB sponsor) until 3 pm as “Seattle Made Week” wraps up. VAIN is at 4513 California SW, on the west side of the street if you’re wandering the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, where you’ll find these gentle visitors today:
The “retired” greyhounds and their friends also are on the west side of the street. The market’s on until 2, as always, on California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon.
Right now, millions of domestic animals are without homes. Many will lose their lives without ever finding one. Last night, local animal advocates and companions gathered for a candlelight event in the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) courtyard, in observance of “Remember Me Thursday,” meant to call attention to what you can do to help change that.
Above, that’s Teri Ensley of West Seattle-based Furry Faces Foundation, which organized the gathering; other participants included animal advocates from Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation and Kitty Harbor. Teri read a poem; another inspirational reading was the proclamation by King County Executive Dow Constantine, in which he urged everyone to adopt a cat or dog:
Adopting a pet is not the only way you can help reduce the number of pets who have no home. Spaying/neutering yours is another vital step. So is making sure your pet has ID – a chip, a collar, a license – so that if it ever gets lost, it won’t be in danger of never coming home.
This was the third year for “Remember Me Thursday” – here’s how it got started.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Didn’t take your dog to the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club tonight for the first of five “Dog Days of Summer“? Your next chance is 5-7 pm tomorrow. It was sunny but a little brisk, yet the dogs just couldn’t wait to get into the pool
This is an annual fundraiser tradition to help support the AHSTC swim teams – the dogs are allowed in after the human swimming season ends, before the pool is drained and cleaned to await next year.
This continues 5-7 pm the next three days, and 11 am to 1 pm this Saturday – details in our preview.
The pool is at 11003 31st SW.
It’s become a tradition at the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club pool – just before it’s drained and cleaned after the season ends, it’s opened to local dogs for a fun(draiser). More than a few people have messaged us in recent weeks to ask if it’s happening again this year, and finally we can say “yes,” after receiving the photo and announcement from Cori Roed:
It’s that time again, The Dog Days of Summer at the Arbor Heights Swim & Tennis Club. Tuesday 9/22 – Saturday 9/26.
Weekdays 5-7 pm
Saturday 11 am-1 pm
Donation to AH Teams via cash or check to AHSTC
Suggested: $10/dog or $25 for a pass for the week.
Your donations allow us to purchase equipment and keep our team fees low. Thank you!
11003 31st Ave SW – Please drive slowly on 31st, no matter HOW excited your passenger is. See you on deck!
No, you don’t have to be a member. And no, you can’t go in too – dogs only.
For the third year in a row, generous West Seattleites helped those two local students do a good deed for animals via their annual Seattle Humane-benefiting bake sale and donation drive. We photographed Muriel and Gwen on Sunday; David and Carey sent the followup tonight:
The girls raised over $300 and got nearly a full barrel of dog and cat food! West Seattle is awesome :)
Goodies for a good cause, tomorrow – the photo and preview are from Carey:
Gwen and Muriel, Madison 6th graders, are putting their love for animals to work again through their third annual Humane Society bake sale! Delicious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and more! They’ll be back at the corner of 36th and Dakota this Sunday, August 23rd, from 10 am-3 pm. The girls are also sponsoring a barrel from the Humane Society to collect cat or dog food (wet or dry), animal toys, or new scratching posts. Cash and check donations are very welcome; all proceeds go to Seattle Humane Society.
Here’s a map.
It’s a tail-wagging prospect: Your dog, on the cover of CityDog Magazine (founded and edited by West Seattleite Brandie Ahlgren)! First step is this Sunday, when the annual CityDog Cover Dog Model Search returns to West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor). From CityDog:
ALL dogs are welcome to enter for the chance to be on the cover of CityDog, and because all dogs are super models, each and every canine contestant will get their photo in the magazine! $10 per dog to benefit the Doney Memorial Animal Clinic.
Simply swing by West Seattle Thriftway between noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 23, and CityDog Magazine will snap a photo of your pooch for the chance to be on the cover!
CityDog is 10 years old this year, by the way (human years, anyway).