Tonight: Smoke-free parks? … WS Art Walk … High Point health

SMOKE-FREE CITY PARKS? Smoking is one of the “behaviors” that would be banned in Seattle city parks under a new proposed Code of Conduct that’ll be discussed at tonight’s Parks Board meeting, 7 pm, Parks HQ downtown; a public hearing is scheduled for two weeks from tonight. Smoking is one of the “newly prohibited behaviors” proposed for the code; also “newly prohibited” would be (from the briefing paper):

• Conduct that deprives others of their use or enjoyment of a park or facility or disrupts parks business
• Possession of glass containers at athletic fields, beaches and children’s playgrounds
• Improper use of restrooms
• [as noted] Smoking
• Spitting
• Leaving packages, backpacks, luggage, or other personal items unattended
• Blocking entrances, exits, walkways, etc. that interferes with provision of services or use of park property
• Conduct that creates an unreasonable and substantial risk of harm to a person or property
• Entering restrooms designated for people of the opposite sex
• Use of flammable liquids
• Abusive or harassing behavior, including obscene language or gestures; assault or fighting
• Possession of fireworks, firecrackers, explosives, acid, or other articles or materials capable of causing serious harm to others
• Sexual misconduct

Again, the Parks Board is getting briefed on this tonight (full docs here); a public hearing comes Jan. 28, a vote later. Meantime, it’s Art Walk night all over our peninsula:

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: That’s the Barbie-inspired art of Wyn Bielaska, the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) featured artist during tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm at dozens of venues all over WS (see the list, and learn about the artists, here). Other events happening during the Art Walk – C and P Coffee‘s Wine Club, and M3 Bodyworks (WSB sponsor; 5410 California SW) is having a Holiday Open House featuring photographer Wayne Burger‘s underwater work. (added 2;04 pm – more info on this:)

M3 Bodyworks’ holiday opening will be catered by Chef Kate Thomson of Seasonal Palate ( with island themed food and specialty drink. M3 will also be giving away door prizes tonight including a 90 Minute Package of 5 massages. More can be found at

HEALTHY HIGH POINT: Healthier living – including your chance to take a survey about food – is the focus of tonight’s High Point Neighborhood Association quarterly meeting, 6 pm, High Point Neighborhood Center. The featured speaker is Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association executive director Derek Birnie.

THINKING ABOUT REMODELING – OR BUILDING FROM SCRATCH: Tonight is another one of the free workshops presented by longtime WSB sponsor Ventana Construction. Free! It’s not too late to RSVP – 206-932-3009 – 6 pm, 5458 California SW.

See what else is up today/tonight (and beyond) by checking the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.

41 Replies to "Tonight: Smoke-free parks? ... WS Art Walk ... High Point health"

  • Bill January 14, 2010 (8:08 am)

    Hhmmm…interesting subject. Last Saturday I was at Lincoln Park sitting on a bench overlooking the water. A young family approached and occupied a picnic table behind me. Thier two children were screaming and screaming and screaming. I had to get up and leave because thier ‘Conduct deprived me of my use or enjoyment of a park’. Does this mean we ban children? They where horrifically loud kids.

  • Alison January 14, 2010 (8:59 am)

    While I think banning smoking in parks is a wonderful idea, how would this be enforced? As a runner I HATE running into a cloud of smoke and that nasty smell, so I would love it if everyone stopped smoking in parks, but I don’t think it will happen.

    Bill-instead of banning children, how about parents who can’t control their own kids?

  • LMA January 14, 2010 (9:31 am)

    Its a public place and if children run and scream at the park it should be fine, Perhaps that is why they are at the park , you did the right thing by leaving that was very nice of you. or what the parks can do is to put sign up as a quite zone. and make the swings and the slides an okay zone to scream and run
    ya some times it is nice to zone out of the world and have it nice and silent just to hear the wind throw the trees

  • Peter January 14, 2010 (9:32 am)


  • Smoker January 14, 2010 (9:34 am)

    The smoke ban in parks might pass to appease the whiners, but they won’t and can’t enforce it. The same as they don’t enforce the 25 feet from the door rule. I smoked a cigarette 2 feet from the door of an establishment in Pioneer Square standing right next to two police officers and they didn’t even say “boo” to me.

  • luckymom30 January 14, 2010 (9:35 am)

    I too would like to know how the banning of smoking in parks will be enforced, when we visit downtown Seattle and other areas of Seattle we are bombarded by cigarette smoke near business entrances, on sidewalks and people just standing outside puffing away on the while polluting the air and making second-hand smoke available to all passing by. My mom died of lung cancer (her left lung was removed), her right lung was punctured in the surgery, a very delicate surgery), it took her 6 months to get up from the couch and walk across the room, and another 6 months to be able to take a very short walk outside. Then the cancer was found in her left shoulder and finally in her brain which killed her. She had a good 20+ years to live but because of someone smoking she is gone. She was a non-smoker and her doctors classified her death due to second-hand smoke. I don’t care if someone else wants to smoke, go ahead and pay the consequences, but please try to be considerate of others and not smoke around them or right in their faces.

    Our last visit to downtown went like this: a woman walking towards us with a cigarette in hand puffing and blowing smoke yelled at me because I choose to switche hands with my daughter and walk around a tree near the curb to avoid us both being smoked out. As if it was any of her business what I do to protect my child from her!

    I too agree with Bill that their are some parents (you know who you are) who are not good at supervising or reminding your children to behavior around others and to treat others with respect. It all boils down to how the parents are parenting the children and if they are taught that anything goes everyone around them pays the price, including the children.

  • bluebird January 14, 2010 (9:35 am)

    All the thin, athletic, sport fanatics deprive me from enjoying my high fat, grease dripping BBQ. I’m sick of them judging me with their eyes. And yes, those screaming children are extremely offensive. One of them on a big wheel nearly side-swiped me at Lincoln Park. I had to move over.


    Who are these people that want to control every minute aspect of our lives? And could the wording be more vague? It’s becoming easier to just stay home. I’m sure there will be a law against that soon too.

  • Foxy Diamond January 14, 2010 (9:47 am)

    Seems I am rarely the voice of reason, but it seems to me that King county is alread in the sh*tter for what 78 million (probably more by today) is this really something of such great importance that it needs to be discussed followed by the undoubted expenses to follow for new signage for no spitting etc. & all the red tape and time of certain “focus groups” to study the possible effects of spitting on the carbon footprint etc. I am just saying…..

  • nmb January 14, 2010 (10:04 am)

    While I applaud the smoking ban in parks, what I’d REALLY like to see is the enforcement of litter laws for all the smokers who use the world as their ashtray.

  • cjboffoli January 14, 2010 (10:07 am)

    This is sure to be polarizing. I’m surprised (and perhaps impressed) that the Parks Board even has this on the agenda for discussion.
    Loud children and spit do not contain hundreds of toxic chemicals including at least 50 known carcinogens, as cigarette smoke does. Cigarette smoke exposure, even outside, can be harmful to people and especially children, when they are in close proximity to smokers. And the cigarette butts that litter the ground everywhere leach those chemicals into the watershed. The US Surgeon General has said that NO amount of exposure to cigarette smoke is safe.
    Personally, I’d like to see people stop smoking. The use of cigarettes has had devastating effects on my family. On the other hand, I support adults having the right to do what they want as long as they don’t harm other people.
    But I also think this issue is more about courtesy per se than cigarettes. Too many smokers are not mindful of the reach of the cloud of smoke around them. If I’m going to the park for a walk or a run, the last thing I want to do is to be sucking on someone’s cigarette smoke. Since apparently 9 out of 10 King County residents are non-smokers, a change like this for Seattle Parks would serve the majority of the population.

  • Kate January 14, 2010 (10:09 am)

    These are ridiculous! I am not a smoker, do not like smoking but really? If were going to do that then I also want dogs banned b/c honestly, THEY bother me more than smoking. No, their OWNERS bother me more than smoking.

  • lazybeard January 14, 2010 (10:17 am)

    Does this mean I can do everything on that list currently and have no issues with it? I’ve always wanted to accidentally walk into the women’s restroom.

    Are they looking to generate revenue by creating new rules? Would these be enforced? Have they even gotten that fair?

  • wisepunk January 14, 2010 (10:25 am)


    Enjoy the park that you paid for, and please give up your freedom of speech in the public square.

    If I want to swear in the park, I’m going to swear. I can’t believe the PC police are getting this bad around here. If you don’t want your precious snowflake to hear any swear words, keep them hermetically sealed inside your property. Otherwise, welcome to the real f*ckin world.

  • Harpi January 14, 2010 (10:27 am)

    I second the “Spitting?!!” comment. Who came up with THAT one? Might as well ban sweating or sneezing while they’re at it. God forbid visitors release any sort of bodily fluid in a public recreational space.

  • OP January 14, 2010 (10:36 am)

    It’s not possible to play on an athletic field and not spit.

    And isn’t all this other stuff already covered under city ordinances and codes?

  • nmb January 14, 2010 (11:02 am)

    OP: Swallow your spit. Problem solved.

  • luckymom30 January 14, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Ok Kate so let me hear of the people you know who are dying of cancer that it is no big deal. Yes you can be mauled by an annoying or aggressive dog but to compare that to cancer, really? I would like to hear from anyone who is dying of cancer, has a family member or friend who has the diease that it is no big deal. It is a devasting disease. Would you like me to send you the picures of my mom as she is dying of this disease would that make you a believer?

    I have no problem with people spitting on the ground, as I have gotten use to looking down while walking to make sure I don’t step in someone’s spit. As for the noisy children they are a product of igorant parents who choose ignore they children and show others no respect, what remodels they are for their children, huh?

    It is a big deal to lose someone you love. Our daughter has been deprived of her grandmother and 2 other family members due to second-hand smoke.

  • creepmeout January 14, 2010 (11:57 am)

    I was told it is illegal to spit on sidewalks etc here when I was a toddler .It is illegal in most places to spit in public. It became illegal when TB was a huge problem.Viruses live in spit…you can catch something as innocuous as a cold or the Aids virus from someones spit. You really want your kids to dig around in the sand at the beach if someone has been spitting there?? Really?? They would do better to play in pee…cleaner than spit.

    Thank goodness it would appear the cyclists will still be able to ride in the nude.

  • Donn January 14, 2010 (11:59 am)

    I would really like to ban all the annoying signage that is destroying the views at the parks. The signs will just get bigger with all these new rules.

  • J January 14, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    @smoker: thanks so much for your courtesy and consideration of others. Your attitude is exactly the reason we need to strengthen and enforce these laws. If smokers were courteous and considerate, no law would be needed.

  • austin January 14, 2010 (12:10 pm)

    Ban the internet.

  • Alki Area January 14, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    LOL….what crazies! In a city with 10s of thousands of cars spewing exhaust, you want to ban cigarette smoke OUTSIDE. Sorry, that’s SILLY CRAZY! Cigarettes aren’t magic or “evil”, nor are pipes and cigars. I understand the issue indoors (where it’s VERY concentrated) or a large gathering in one spot (in front of a door). But outside in an open park? That’s just stupid.

    And spitting? On city sidewalks, but I see people playing frisbee, touch football, soccer and other activities, including running, where someone works up the need to spit in the GRASS…spit is bio gradable. Yes I don’t want to step in it on the sidewalk…but the grass in parks has birds, squirrels and other animals peeing and pooping in it…are we going to ban THAT too? STOP the crazy folks!

  • luckymom30 January 14, 2010 (1:08 pm)

    Good point Alki Area – however I have seen smokers holding signs in support of going green, and many other causes, maybe they think that the smoke from their nasty cigarette is going green?

    If smokers would be polite and not be so damn rude about them smoking us non-smokers would not have to get on their case and the Seattle Parks Department wouldn’t have to ban smoking. If you are a polite smoker, thank you. But still you are polluting the air and not doing our environment any good.

    I agree that people drive too much, my god I know of people who drive their kids to the neighbohood school when the school is just afew houses or maybe 1 -2 blocks away.

  • OP January 14, 2010 (1:31 pm)

    Ban stupid, easily offended people from parks.

  • Rena January 14, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    WOW luckymom30 – you are something else… and I am someone speaking from an experience very much like yours. My mother died 5 years ago from lung cancer. It was devastating to myself and my family. Death happens… It sucks. But honestly, as an ex-smoker I have no problem with people smoking outside. They SHOULD smoke outside. It is still legal and quite frankly all of these asinine laws that are wasting our tax money is getting really old. Seems our country isn’t so much “Land of the Free”.

    Furthermore, there are rude smokers, there are rude non smokers, there are rude bicyclists, and rude motorists, there are rude walkers and talkers, and even rude bloggers (HA). There are also considerate smokers, and considerate non-smokers, considerate motorists and bicyclists (etc). The biggest problem is the fact that more and more people are just plain rude and think that they are the only ones who have rights and they are the most important. People need to slow down, be nice to others, be a little understanding. Think of others instead of just yourself. Have some respect for others and yourself. A little common sense doesn’t hurt either.

    I’m am honestly and sincerely sorry for what happened to your mother… I am sorry for what happened to my mother. But making a crusade to eliminate smokers by ridiculous laws such as this is a waste of time and money. You are stereotyping all smokers and personally attacking them. If you go and ask a smoker, chances are they do not want to smoke… it’s a really crappy addiction that is incredibly hard to kick – IT’S NOT AN EASY THING TO DO. Maybe you should gear your crusade to helping people find more options to quit smoking and be supportive instead of rude and judgemental.

  • nmb January 14, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    @Alki Area, “spit is bio gradable. Yes I don’t want to step in it on the sidewalk…but the grass in parks has birds, squirrels and other animals peeing and pooping in it…are we going to ban THAT too? STOP the crazy folks!”

    Dog crap is “bio gradable” (sic) as well. You wouldn’t have a problem with people not picking up their dog’s leavings then, would you. It would be crazy to ban that.

  • cougher January 14, 2010 (2:36 pm)

    With great sympathy for the smokers, many of whom I realize would rather quit, but it’s very hard, smoking outside isn’t harmless, and it’s not as dilute as some would think. Walking through the drifts of cigarette smoke sets off spasms of coughing for me, and can set off asthma attacks or serious allergic reactions in other people. Smoke does not dissipate as fast as you might think, especially on a calm day. A smoker walking leaves a trail of smoke behind them along their path. Just one or two smokers can sometimes ruin a Lincoln Park beach walk for me, and there’s usually more than that.

  • Aye Jay January 14, 2010 (2:56 pm)

    14 days and not one cigarette…

    I am ahead of the game for once.

    • WSB January 14, 2010 (3:09 pm)

      Congrats. You can do it. 26 years here, but just like 14 days, it’s one day at a time.

  • OP January 14, 2010 (3:41 pm)

    14 days and not one cigarette…

    I am ahead of the game for once.

    Congrats! 14 days is H-U-G-E! After 17 years of smoking, I’m celebrating my 10th year of being smoke free, and I don’t miss the vile things an iota. Tip: Drink lots and lots of water each day 48-60 oz.; it helps wash away the carcinogens and the craving.

    P.S. The last smoke I had induced a heart attack in me at age 33. Keep that in mind if you get a craving.

  • Smoker January 14, 2010 (4:41 pm)

    @J – I am not a rude smoker. In Pioneer Square, all of the doors are less than 25′ apart – there is nowhere outside you can smoke without breaking the law. That’s why the 25′ rule is stupid and why they don’t enforce it. I am a very respectful smoker and am very conscious of where my smoke goes. And in fact, I NEVER throw cigarette butts on the ground. In fact, I don’t even drive a car. Being a full-time ped I get to suck in all the exhaust spewed by all of you drivers. I only smoke 5-10 cigs a day – so who’s the bigger polluter/bad guy here?

  • Smoker January 14, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    Also, Stanford University did a study about outdoor second hand smoke. It determined that you could be at risk if you stand or sit right next to a smoker outdoors breathing in their exhale – but you’d have to be directly downwind or right next to the smoker for a prolonged period of time. For example, your best friend is an outdoor smoker and you stand 12″ away from them several times a day, every day. That is a risk. Being several feet or yards away on an irregular basis does not expose you to a risk of getting cancer from outdoor secondhand smoke. Use your heads poeple – if someone is sitting on a park bench smoking a cigarette, either give them a few minutes to finish it or just don’t sit next to them!

  • nmb January 14, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    FYI, smoking bans in public parks is by no means unheard of. Iowa has a state-wide ban on smoking in public parks, and several cities in California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Texas have expanded their state’s smoking bans to including public parks.

  • kate January 14, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    @luckymom — i’ve had a myriad of family and friends die from cancer. I am also quite capable of either 1)asking someone who is smoking near me to move a bit or 2) moving so the 2nd hand smoke doesn’t affect me. I don’t believe we need to waste resources on this type of ordinance. There seems to be plenty more that we could put resources into than monitoring how people behave at a park. I did not truly mean to ban dogs..I noted it to show how ridiculous this is.

  • luckymom30 January 14, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    Kate – I have tried several times to ask nicely that a smoker move abit over and I am greeted with the middle finger or worse a f— you right in front of my daughter (another pet peeve is people whatever age that use foul launguage aroud children, some think they are cool)

    Yes I am very aware that death happens to us all but I have no sympathy for smokers I am fed up!

  • Smoker January 14, 2010 (9:53 pm)

    @luckymom – no sympathy for smokers? I don’t think people choose to die of lung cancer or put others at risk, and most don’t even really “choose” to start smoking in the first place – most of us were clueless teenagers when we first got addicted. It is one of the most addictive substances on earth. Most of us who smoke, started when we were teenagers and try as we might, we can’t seem to kick it. It’s not about “strength” “resolve” or “will power”. The addiction is more strong that all of that. Not everyone has the capacity to kick this addiction. “John” may be able to stop but “Sally” might not be able to. It’s chemistry and everybody’s chemistry is different. Certain types of psychological disorders also make it harder for some people to stop. If you want to be pissed at someone for cigarette smoke being in the air, be pissed at the tobacco companies who initially refused to admit that it was even addictive, but now that they admit and pay huge sums in lawsuit settlements, still don’t stop selling it. Be pissed at the government for not banning growing and selling tobacco. As long as they grow and sell it, addicts will smoke it. Addictions are embedded in our DNA. Ask yourself why the government doesn’t outright ban a substance widely know and proven to cause cancer the same as they did PCBs. They don’t because it is a huge revenue generator for government and shareholders alike. They don’t care if we all die of cancer if they’re making money from it. All I’m saying is that too few people truly understand what nicotine addition is like. We can’t smoke inside anymore and almost all of us smokers are more than happy to go outside to smoke. We don’t want to hurt others but a large number of us are unable to quit entirely. Smoking will continue because nobody in government wants to be so draconian as to bring down a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds these addictions. (BTW – I lost my beloved step-mother and uncle to lung cancer. My step-mom had three smoking induced strokes and even though she lost many of her motor skills and ability to speak, she still kept smoking. It’s not about “will” – it’s about physical and psychological addiction.)

  • Mike January 15, 2010 (12:19 am)

    just a side note…I think from spitting they might mean “chew” or the type of tobacco you put in your mouth and spit out. maybe, just a hunch.

  • Mike January 15, 2010 (12:26 am)

    I’m thinking next year this will continue more indepth….no one will be allowed to enter after enjoying a warm bowl of chilli for the sake that it might increase the levels of methane in the park and thus create un satisfactory enviroment. Wear those Hazardous gas and vapor respirators everyone!

  • Garden_nymph January 15, 2010 (3:37 am)


    “God forbid visitors release any sort of bodily fluid in a public recreational space.” This comment left me smirking…

    Nmb, I too hate to see smokers littering their spun glass filters on the ground. Would this include Woodland Park Zoo? A few no smoking signs at the ticket booths should suffice. It’s hard to enjoy the zoo when walking paths that have been “scented” by smokers and who stand at view points smoking. It’s terribly disgusting and rude.

    Luckymom30, I am sorry for your loss!

    My issue is with the law stating that one cannot enter the bathroom meant for the opposite sex. As a female, I have to protest and state that until there are more stalls for women, I will continue to have someone “stand guard” as I duck in to use the empty men’s room instead of standing in a line to use the women’s.

    Most of the items listed seem like common courtesies to me. Given the state of the economy, I feel our money is better spent on other things. The police have better things to do than monitor these issues. In my humble opinion…

  • Fancy Nan January 15, 2010 (9:17 am)

    Cigarette smoke is gross and second-hand smoke has been proven to be very harmful. Kudos to the city for taking these steps to make our parks more enjoyable for all. The rare minority of citizen who still chose to harm their lives by smoking can do so in their own homes or automobiles so the rest of us do not need to smell it their stink.

  • JN January 15, 2010 (12:21 pm)

    The other day I was at a local park and I noticed a big brown slug very close to where I was standing. It was gross. It totally deprived me of my enjoyment of the park. I didn’t know what do. I had a twig in my hand so I asked him if he was going to stick around but he just lit a cigarette, whipped out his cell phone and called all his buddies. Pretty soon there was a group of slugs talking, laughing and puffing away. I just wanted to cry. Finally, I had to move. Can you believe that? Me, of all people!?

    Pretty soon I spotted a picnic table and decided to sit down, catch my breath and hopefully find my “inner calm”. There they were. At the far corner of the picnic table… two caterpillars were behaving inappropriately. One had climbed on top of the other! Again, I didn’t know what to do.

    I tried another picnic table, and another, and another. They all had bird droppings on them. How could these birds be so inconsiderate?!? How can ANYONE be expected to enjoy these parks with all that stuff going on?

    Well, I have just about had it!!!! I’m sure you can tell because I used 4 exclamation points. That means I’m serious and I may just do something about it. Well, something other than typing and cussing at my computer. I wish we could just ban slugs, caterpillars and birds. A sign every 100 feet or so, should do the trick. At least it would make me feel better… for two minutes.

Sorry, comment time is over.