day : 16/08/2006 2 results

Beer nuts

August 16, 2006 7:23 pm
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 |   WS beverages

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to go into the beer business, you’ll be fascinated by this ongoing tale told by West Seattleites getting ready to go public with their microbrew. (“Schooner Exact,” if it doesn’t ring a bell, is a WS-appropriate name, since that was the ship the Denny Party sailed to Alki.)

Coyote controversy, the sequel

The Schmitz Park coyote flap seems to be raging on in the WS Herald letters to the editor. One letter today points readers to the Friends of Schmitz Park website, which we hadn’t been aware of before.

You may recall, this latest round was touched off when coyotes made off with a dog briefly left alone in a nearby yard. People whom we believe had a connection to the dog are leading a campaign to get rid of the coyotes and claiming that they will inevitably come after small humans in the area, once they are out of small animals.

First, we agree with them — no one should be leaving food out for the coyotes; feeding wild animals does them no favors. Two, we agree with one of this week’s Herald letter-writers; cats (and other pets) belong indoors, and not only if you live near a park or greenbelt. We’ve had cats all our life, they’ve always been indoor cats, and they’ve lived long, healthy, happy lives. If you still choose to let your cats roam outside, they face worse threats than coyotes (or other wildlife).

Three, get the facts about coyote-human attacks. Rare. As this site points out, hundreds of people are killed by so-called “domestic” dogs every year. Anybody calling to ban them? Didn’t think so. So here on our tiny corner of an online soapbox, we’re standing to say, it’s not easy or convenient or perfectly safe to live in an area where we are blessed with some of the last swaths of urban sort-of-semi-wilderness in America. But we can deal with it without exterminating/evicting everything that doesn’t happen to be a cute, tiny, theoretically harmless “wild” creature. The animals don’t have a choice of where to go or what to do. We do. To quote the state site we have linked above (which you can also find from the Friends of Schmitz Park site, which elsewhere displays one of the anti-coyote letters):

Coyote behavior is based on instinctual programming for survival that is centuries old. As intelligent beings, individual coyotes can learn new ways to obtain the food, water, and shelter they need to survive. But coyote needs aren’t going to change.

However, human “needs” to set garbage on the curb, leave dog food outside, or put the cat out at night, can and should be re-examined. If humans want to peacefully coexist with these fascinating wild animals, it’s up to humans to change.

If you are interested in more advice on how to do that, here’s excellent information from the Humane Society of the United States.