2 more beach-fire updates: Council commentary; “briefing” details


(WSB photo taken on Alki, November 2007)
Two more notes this morning on the still-smoldering re-emergence of the notion of banning beach fires on Alki (and at Golden Gardens) — First, City Councilmember Sally Clark has posted a blog entry panning the prospective ban, writing in part:

Let me just say that if there’s one thing I believe it is that we have a God-given right to have bonfires on the beach. Yes, I care about global warming and I believe that we all must make changes small and large in our lives to keep the planet alive. However, I cannot support extinguishing beach bonfires. Beach bonfires are not killing the planet. Hummers, coal-fired power plants, routine air travel, and single-occupancy car commutes are killing the planet.

Second, we’ve now read through the document that’s part of the “briefing” that park commissioners will get this Thursday (read the full document here). Here’s one point that didn’t get much play before Superintendent Tim Gallagher‘s “clarification” announcement late yesterday saying “no action this year”: The list of possible restrictions includes the idea of requiring people to pay for permits to have beach fires. The memo says Parks spends $60,000 a year to manage the beach-fire program and didn’t expect much immediate cost savings even if a ban were implemented: “Even with the cessation of the beach fire programs, park resources maintenance staff will still need to respond to illegal fires with cleanup until the public understands and accepts a no beach fire policy as a logical element of the CAN Initiative.” We sent a note late last night to Superintendent Gallagher to double/triplecheck that his “no action this year” statement meant NONE of these changes would be put in place this year, meaning COMPLETE status quo — he e-mailed back early this morning, “No change this year.” As for what happens for next year and beyond – we’ll keep watch.

13 Replies to "2 more beach-fire updates: Council commentary; "briefing" details"

  • Yelladog June 7, 2008 (10:18 am)

    Waaaah! Waaaaaah! I’ll a big, scared baby liberal tree-hugger, and I want to sit by my itty-bitty campfire on the Seattle beach so I can see all the pretty waves and fishes swim by. I always only use fallen (never cut with Mr. Chainsaw) already dead branches to make my fire. Oh, pleeeasse, please, don’t take away Mr. Flame and Ms. Bonfire from by beach. I’m so sad because my elected liberal facist city council now wants to take away my bonfire instead of trying to put Mr. Bad Corporation out of business. I’m good!!! So good, I even recycle my Mr. Stinky baby diapers….And the nightmare begins in police city of Seattle….as the last scroll of liberty was destroyed, an old dying English citizen (who was denied Avastin for her brain tumor, as Kennedy got) whispered, “The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions.”

  • old timer June 7, 2008 (10:36 am)

    $60K per year for ‘maintenance’.
    As Dick Cheney would say – “So what”.
    How much does it cost to cut the grass in our parks per year?
    How much does it cost to pick up the trash at our parks per year?
    Should we stop doing these things too?
    We have two beach parks where we can have fires.
    Do the maintenance and deal with it.
    That’s what we are paying you parks people to do.

  • vincent June 7, 2008 (11:07 am)

    Wait, this is the same city that is letting industrial companies, less
    than a mile away BURN TIRES for fuel, and they are complaining about
    wood fires on the beach?
    I have to wonder if the city doesn’t just pick items like this to piss
    people of so they won’t notice other ridiculous spending in the city


  • ToddinWestwood June 7, 2008 (11:17 am)

    If Mayor McCheese was REALLY worried about the air quality , global warming , and the such, he would have those damn cruise ships plug into Seattle power grid instead of running their huge diesel motors to generate electricity while docked.
    Instead, its easier to take away the beach fires.

  • vincent June 7, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    test post, looks like I am blocked

  • WSB June 7, 2008 (1:22 pm)

    You had two url’s in a comment. The spam filter flags more than one URL, as we are bombarded by 5K spam comments a day and their hallmark is multiple URLs. Looks like you sent the same one three times so I’ve pulled one out of the filter.

  • TheHouse June 7, 2008 (1:38 pm)

    This whole thing cracks me up….#1 the fact that some people actually believe that campfires even contribute to destroying the Earth, #2 – the fact that people that are supposedly brainwashed into thinking that humans are causing the Earths temp to rise are fighting for their right to have campfires.

    Some of the libs heads must be smoking from running in an infinite loop.

  • vincent June 7, 2008 (3:36 pm)

    house how is “poop in drinking water = we can’t drink it anymore” a vast liberal conspiracy? Every time I hear some half baked conservative rant about how its impossible for humans to cause any sort of change on earth, climate or otherwise, I have visions of people who passed biology class through a combo of yelling and beating the teacher over the head with a bible.

    The earth, the sound, your neighborhood is shared property, anytime someone alters it in a way that effects everyone, we a lot of people get concerned with how it will effect them. Much like that trailer in front of your house that you consider ugly, but if you like existential arguments about if pollution is real or possible changes in the environment due to humans, I would be thrilled to hear your opinion. And bring your bible or other non flexable belief system.

  • TheHouse June 7, 2008 (9:03 pm)

    Patrick, you’ll have to connect my statements about campfires to your “poop in drinking water” statement because I don’t see any connection.

    If you’re referring to my comment about people being brainwashed into thinking that humans are causing the Earths temperature to rise, then you’ve apparently bought into a very self centered way of thinking (though very popular) and one that can be refuted scientifically (the Earths temperature has risen and fallen for thousands of years, thousands of years before cars and anything with emissions was invented).

    The self centered part of the debate is regarding humans. I hate to break the news to you, but the Earth heals itself quite well and while many humans (specifically liberal) like to believe that they possess the power to destroy Her, they really don’t. She will destroy humans long before the Earth is even near destruction.

    I am not debating if pollution is real. It is very real. Do humans change the environment? Yes, they can.

    But, that does not address my statement regarding humans causing the Earths temperature to rise (do you see the difference)?

    In addition, I do not reference the Bible because I’ve never read it cover to cover. I also am not a religious person. I do have standards though.

    I’m anxious to hear your response.

  • cleverblognameTBD June 7, 2008 (10:15 pm)

    WSB, can you find out how it is possible to spend $60,0000 a year on managing the beach fire program? (We have a “program”?) That is just unbelievable.

  • big gulps,eh? well, see ya later. June 8, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    The one side effect of the fires I have noticed is that sometimes in the early mornings the air is heavy from the cold water and it holds the smoke from the smoldering fires down at ground level. It seems like folks sometimes burn plastics and it can be pretty nasty when running or walking. just an observation.

  • Mags June 8, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    My experience with the beach fires is that they are quite well managed. There are police officers checking out what is being burned and it must meet the correct wood standards or they threaten to shut you down. (We had to have standards becuase of the yokels burning things like old couches and other bad for the environment kinds of things). It must be clean firewood, no pallet wood, no painted wood, nothing up clean firewood and they check it out.

    My guess is the $60,000 is that the cost of morning cleanup etc of the beach is all being lumped together. If we are all good stewards, we clean up the beach after ourselves and our bonfire.

  • WestsideHomie June 19, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    Wanted to add that bonfires have been a LONG standing tradition to West Seattle-ite’s celebrations – birthdays, graduations and New Year’s Eve. It’s great community building, and I have been there when most families had three generations in attendance! It’s the best (and LAST) safe place for teens to celebrate and have actual fun, without having to pay admission or hang on the streets.

    We live here because we love the beach, and WS offers access for those of us who can’t afford beach properties. Waterfront owners can have bonfires, and their dogs can swim in puget sound without a $500 fine. Why isn’t the city monitoring these offences?

    The density “mandates” are killing this lovely little community, and our ties to eachother as well. My WS grandmother would roll in her grave. It’s a crying shame.

    So, my question is, where is the small but vocal contingent of old timers that I can join to stop this pro-developer fiasco? I haven’t put 40 years in “the island” to see it … go up in smoke??? :)

Sorry, comment time is over.