West Seattle, Washington
Some stayed in their cars … others stood outside, distanced:
This was the pandemic-era Blessing of the Animals, held by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church this morning in the neighboring West Seattle High School parking lot.
This is an early-fall tradition for many churches, honoring the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology. As declared in St. John’s program: “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.”
Presiding were St. John’s rector The Rev. Kate Wesch and Brother Paul Dahlke of the Order of St. Francis:
Also from the program, part of “a prayer attributed to St. Francis”:
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.”
P.S. As previewed here, Alki UCC will include a Blessing of the Animals during its livestreamed service tomorrow, followed by a neighborhood walk-by.
You and your pet(s) are invited to join in two West Seattle churches’ Blessing of the Animals events this weekend, both with pandemic-altered formats:
SATURDAY: St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church invites you and your pet to the West Seattle High School parking lot (3000 California SW) north of the church at 10 am Saturday (October 3rd). The blessing dates each year are in recognition of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, and this event usually has a participant from the Order of St. Francis, as it will this year. As explained on the church website, you and your pet can either stay in your vehicle or stand outside to receive the blessing.
SUNDAY: Alki UCC will include its Blessing of the Animals in the livestreamed service at 10 am Sunday (October 4th), and you can send the church a photo of your pet to be part of it – today’s the deadline – email@example.com. The church website has info on registering to view the service. As also explained in our calendar listing, the church also is having a pet “walk-by” event Sunday, 11 am-noon outside the church entrance, at 6115 SW Hinds.
A West Seattle woman has launched what she hopes will be a solution to the acrimony that is so often set off by the subject of dog waste – and ultimately a solution to its environmental effects. Lori Kothe has hatched the plan for Poogooder. After she mentioned it on Twitter, we invited her to email us so we could share the concept with you. Here’s her story:
My daughter Annika is a 3rd grader at Alki Elementary. Back when she started kindergarten, I was shocked to discover the massive “wayward” dog-poo issue around Alki Elementary and the beach. Dog poo was everywhere, and we were always at risk of stepping in some. So I started recording how many instances I’d find when I’d walk to the beach from the school and back to my car each morning. I talked to people with and without dogs about their poo stories. And EVERYONE had a poo story. I did research. Dog=poo wars are no joke — they cause crazy levels of neighborhood angst, pollute waterways and soil, spread disease, and ruin a person’s day if they step in some. But it’s still a persistent issue.
So I decided to do something about it with the hope of at least creating greater awareness and empathy so people might care more about their (often unintended) impact on each other, the shared community, and planet (that’s truly my bigger purpose and goal here, which is why the tagline is “Let’s do some good today.”).
On a grander scale, unfortunately right now in Seattle, “properly disposed of” tons of dog poo goes to the landfill, so if we can get people to start paying more attention to how and where they are disposing of dog poo, my hope is Poogooder becomes a catalyst for local governments to start implementing dog-poo composting capabilities (or other landfill-diverting solutions), ultimately making dog poo go from being a bane to a boon for society.
Big ideas, I know. But we’re talking TONS of wasted waste and community uproar. So back to the story, literally: My original intent was just to write a picture book for kids and work with educators, local governments, shelters/rescues where people adopt dogs, and orgs to create a program around it to help instill empathy and raise awareness and inspire action and behavior change. So I wrote and illustrated “Oh Poo! A Cautionary Tale,” which I self-published in June, and I thought that would be it. But then I figured I had to walk the walk, so to speak, and the Poogooder movement was born. First I put up 2 community dog poo bag dispensers near my home (49th Ave SW & Juneau in Seaview), and that was nice. People started using them. But then I realized I would truly have to commit to the cause and remove all barriers to proper dog-poo disposal, so in July I set up a community dog-poo bin in my front yard. I’d seen 2 others in West Seattle, which really impressed me. It’s funny to think how excited I was when I started getting poo in my bin! (This is 2020 after all, so everything is weird).
That’s when I decided to see if I could get others to steward nice-looking dog-poo bins & bag dispensers in their yards or nearby areas like Little Free Libraries, with the goal of recruiting 30 West Seattle volunteer Poogooders to steward bins the month of October for the first pilot program and collect learnings and see how things go. Ideally we then scale and partner with cities, orgs, schools, and shelters for a complete solution, including the city providing a voucher or free extra garbage can to offset Poogooder personal costs/garbage space for collecting poo in their bins. And of course, I’m hoping all shelters and rescues encourage a “Poogooder Pledge” as part of the adoption process to reframe the dog-poo conversation from a punitive action to a positive purpose. I’m not sure yet what kind of business model this will turn into or how it will be funded; my goal right now is proof of concept and inspiring a movement.
The Poogooder Approach:
Empathize > Engage > Educate > Enlighten > Enable
I’m just getting started. I’ve recruited about a dozen West Seattleites, with 5 confirming they will steward bins for the pilot so far, and interest is growing. I’m paying for everything out-of-pocket right now (and I’m woefully unemployed), which is why I set up the GoFundMe page, but I want there to be as little barrier to entry as possible at first so we can prove that people will actually willingly accept other people’s dog poo for the sake of the greater good.
I’m seeking volunteers, partners, sponsors, stewards, advisors, and connections to help bring this to fruition.
The Wash Dog has a spacious new home, and the “bath house and spa for pets” is sponsoring WSB to make sure everybody knows about the move. Here’s what they would like you to know:
The Wash Dog has moved! We are very happy to be able to welcome furry customers to our new and larger location: 10623 16th Ave SW in White Center [map].
At The Wash Dog, there’s a grooming service for every need:
*Self-Service Dog Wash Rooms – Walk-In Service
*Professional Bathing Service – by appointment
*Professional Grooming – by appointment
*Nail Trims – Walk-In Service
Customers can also drop by with their dog just to say “hi” and pick up a treat.
The Wash Dog is located at 10623 16th Ave SW, on the west side of the street. Hours for walk-in services are Monday–Friday, 10 am to 7:00 pm, and Saturday/Sunday, 9 am to 5:00 pm. Holiday hours are always posted online at thewashdog.com or on The Wash Dog’s Facebook page.
We thank The Wash Dog for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Among its offerings in the early 2000s: Shelter cats up for adoption.
Back then, our son liked to visit the store to see the fish, some of which came home to join our aquarium (until the 2006 windstorm outage claimed the last one). Your editor would usually insist on a visit to the back of the store to see the cats.
In summer 2005, one shelter-maintained cage held a 5-year-old Tonkinese/Siamese mix, whose info card from Purrfect Pals said his name was Kitty Boy and that his prior owner had to give him up upon moving to a long-term-care facility. Kitty Boy looked at us with big sad “get me out of here” blue eyes. But we had a cat at home already, a 5-year-old tortoiseshell adopted three years earlier during a Seattle Animal Shelter “foster cat” event. The next time we visited Petco, the card for Kitty Boy indicated an adoption was pending. We felt relieved for him.
On our next visit a week or so later, though, he was still there – and we learned the adoption didn’t go through. That changed everything. We took him home (and renamed him Miles, which seemed a bit more befitting than Kitty Boy).
A few months later, we started WSB (as a personal site, almost 2 years before going all-news). Miles has been our “shop cat”/mascot the whole way – low-maintenance as house cats go, no escape attempts, not much furniture clawing, occasionally putting his head on my arm while I typed but never trying to commandeer the keyboard. He had a few endearing habits like swatting at the straps on co-publisher Patrick’s camera bag when we returned from a story – left jab, right jab, left jab.
Miles became our lone cat when Sweetie the aforementioned tortoiseshell died of cancer at 13 on the 4th of July, 2013, while we were out covering the Kids’ Parade. The years ticked by and we wondered what amazing feat of kitty longevity Miles was aiming for.
Early this year, though, as Miles turned 20, there were signs of decline – going into corners of the house and yowling for no apparent reason. A few weeks ago, he became notably skinnier, and then started to wander around the house in apparent confusion, mewing rather than yowling. But he seemed relatively OK until this past Wednesday morning, when suddenly, he couldn’t stand up, and soon lost consciousness.
We sat with him, thinking death was near. He wasn’t going without a fight, though. Our vigil lasted 34 hours, and then Miles was gone – during a breaking story (the power outage). After one last round of goodbyes, we called Resting Waters, which came to tenderly transport him.
It’s odd around HQ now. No cat lying in the morning sun, or curled up on the couch. No playful paws to take aim at the camera-bag strap. So whether your pet is 2 or 20, give them a hug on our behalf, as we remember Miles.
11:17 AM: Got room in your heart and home for a furry friend? The announcement is from Friends of the Animals Foundation – note the pre-application requirement:
Friends of the Animals Foundation will have rescued kittens ready for adoption at our West Seattle outdoor garden adoption event August 22nd (4-7 pm) and 23rd (10 am-1 pm). Kittens have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and treated for parasites.
In order to help keep our volunteers and adopters safe, the event is by invitation only with applications approved in advance. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application and more information.
7:30 PM: FAF says they’ve received a big response so if you don’t get a chance to adopt this time, stand by, because they’re hoping to have more kittens available in September.
It’s not even dark, and people are illegally setting off fireworks, scaring those you can’t calm with an explanation – particularly pets. The Seattle Animal Shelter‘s advice for helping your pets this time of year (published last year, but unfortunately perennially relevant) is here, with advice such as “Leave pets at home and inside,” “Create a home sanctuary,” and “Identification is essential.” No matter what you do, your pet might still bolt if s/he gets the chance; if you lose or find a pet, remember that we have had a Lost/Found Pets page on WSB for 12 years – send us info (email@example.com or text 206-293-6302) and a photo, if available. But no matter how much care you take with pets, there are still animals affected because their “home sanctuaries” are those same outdoor spaces where people are setting off explosives – our beautiful birds, for example. Thanks in advance for your consideration. (WSB shop cat Miles, 20 and declining, thanks you too.)
three of West Seattle’s small independent pet-food/supplies stores are open – here are their latest updates:
PET ELEMENTS (6511 California SW)
Please use the hand sanitizer located in store as you enter PRIOR to touching any carts, baskets, or product. We also ask that you pay with a card if possible, we have a no-touch procedure in place.
If necessary you can call us to place and pay for your order. We can then bring it to your car for you. We do ask that you have brand, formula, size needed, and limit variety on can requests. We may ask that you call back if we are busy…please understand if this happens. We’re doing our best to provide you with pet groceries and great service during this time.
Customer Scott also reports they’ve suspended receipt-signing but can still print you a receipt.
NEXT TO NATURE (4543 California SW):
We firmly believe that continued access to proper pet nutrition is just as important as continued access to proper human nutrition, so we will do everything we can to support the pet families in Seattle. We plan to be open on our regular schedule for in-store purchases, but will also be expanding our options by
1) offering curbside pick-up either in the 15-minute zone currently set up in front of our store on California Ave SW or in our parking area off the alleyway between California Ave SW and 44th Ave SW (near Wells Fargo) and
2) offering free next-day home delivery within the greater Seattle area
For both 1) and 2), customers can call us at 206-935-1134 to place and pay for their order and select their preferred fulfillment method.
On a separate note, we are working hard, as are our manufacturers and distributors, to maintain the supply of essentials such as foods and litters, and we’d like to thank all of those people who have chosen NOT to over-purchase in these uncertain times.
MUD BAY (2611 California SW): Open 11-7:30 weekdays, 9-7:30 weekends:
To help keep Muddies and customers safe, we have increased our efforts to reduce the spread of any illness by cleaning and sanitizing surfaces regularly, we’ve also implemented curbside pickup to keep visits as brief as possible.
We’re tracking as many business categories as we can – email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
ADDED 7:20 PM: Thanks for the reminders that we omitted another small local store.
PET PROS (Westwood Village): Open. You can order online for pickup, home delivery available for orders over $50.
Disruption in so many regular routines means disruption in pets’ lives too. So in case you weren’t already aware, a reminder of one of the resources we offer: For more than a decade, WSB has had the only all-West Seattle Lost/Found Pets page on the open web. The first thing to do if you lose/find one is of course, canvass the area – then (if you’ve found one), check our page in case s/he is already posted – if not (whether found OR lost), send us a pic/info: email@example.com or text 206-293-6302. Here to help!
Somebody somewhere declared this “National Love Your Pet Day,” so in honor of that, the West Seattle Junction Association has opened registration for the third annual PAW-rade, set for Saturday, July 18th, right before the West Seattle Grand Parade. Free! Prizes! See the categories on the registration form. Then show up at 4400 California SW on PAW-rade day and show off for thousands!
Big news for Camp Crockett (WSB sponsor), the “dog day camp” with West Seattle and Burien locations. They’re expanding to add another West Seattle location. Here’s the announcement made tonight by proprietors Joe and Vanessa Crevling:
We are very happy to announce that we will be opening Camp Crockett Little Campers; a Puppies and Littles branch, added to our West Seattle location.
Located at 6531 35th Ave SW, this new expansion will be for Little Campers (under 35 pounds) and Puppy Campers (12 weeks – 6 months or 50 pounds). We will offer a beautiful 4200-square-foot outdoor area attached to a warm and cozy 1200-square-foot indoor area. This space will be a great first stepping stone to your puppy’s socialization, or for a Little Camper that won’t be overwhelmed by the “size” of the pack.
We are looking to open our doors in the first half of March, so stay tuned for more updates!!!! Thank you for all of your continued support as we strive to make the best OUTDOOR space for your CAMPER through ALL stages of life.
They also tell WSB this will be the largest playspace of its kind in Seattle. Camp Crockett’s other 2 locations will stay open; its original West Seattle location is at 5611 Delridge Way SW, just a mile and a half from the new site, which is just south of 35th/Morgan.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It was the lowest-key proceeding we’ve ever covered in the city Hearing Examiner‘s room downtown.
On one side of the table in the windowless room on the 40th floor of the city’s Municipal Tower, West Seattleite Inge Anderson, making the case for her appeal of the “determination of non-significance” regarding the upcoming drainage work that will close West Seattle’s only off-leash area, at Westcrest Park, for up to six months.
On the other side, Seattle Parks‘ David Graves.
At the head of the table, Hearing Examiner Ryan Vancil and assistant Galen Edlund-Cho.
Under the table, Anderson’s service dog.
In the gallery, no one but your editor here. In some cases, the table is full – with lawyers and witnesses – and spectators fill the seats. Not this time.
We previewed the hearing last Sunday. Anderson contends that the city’s plan will be a hardship on the hundreds of dogs and owners who use the park each day, because Parks intends to open only a much-smaller arra of Westcrest as its replacement. But that wasn’t the only point she argued.
Vancil expects to issue a written ruling “after the holidays.” Here’s how the hearing went:
A Westcrest Park neighbor who says the planned temporary replacement for the dog park is too small will argue her case downtown tomorrow.
West Seattle’s only dog park is closing for up to six months next year because of a drainage project; we first heard about it when Inge Anderson‘s appeal was mentioned at an HPAC meeting in August. At the time, as we subsequently reported, the city only planned to keep the “small/shy dog area” open during the closure, but it has since – as reported here in October – planned to cordon off some extra space north of the Westcrest P-Patch. Not big enough, Anderson says, so she continued to pursue her appeal of the Determination of Non-Significance filed by the city in relation to the drainage project. Anderson contends Seattle Parks should create a much-bigger temporary dog park with some of the space further north at Westcrest, atop the underground reservoir. When that came up at an October community meeting about the temporary dog park, a Parks rep said it wasn’t possible, but Anderson communicated separately with Seattle Public Utilities, which told her it was. (We asked Parks Friday about the discrepancy and have not yet received an answer.)
Her hearing before the city Hearing Examiner, previously set for September, is now scheduled for 9 am tomorrow in the HE’s hearing room on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower (700 5th Ave.). There’s not likely to be a decision immediately, as the HE usually issues a written ruling a few weeks after a hearing. The drainage project that will close the permanent off-leash area is expected to start next spring.
Today we welcome West Seattle Wonder Dogs as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what they would like you to know about what they do:
West Seattle Wonder Dogs offers puppy socialization using the close supervision of two certified dog trainers in a small-class setting. Puppies can gain confidence with other dogs and humans while learning play skills and developing potty training. Time is set aside for questions about how to raise a puppy.
Doggy day care is also provided. Dogs can interact in a small setting, and training is available both as a class and part of the day-care program We use only force-free training methods, which keeps training fun and positive. Our training classes are smaller than average, allowing for individualized attention. Our day-care program is limited to 15 medium-to-small dogs, so every dog feels safe and has direct human supervision. We offer in-home individual training, group classes, and pull-out training sessions for dogs during day care, so there is something for everyone!
West Seattle Wonder Dogs clients consistently say that their relationship with their dog has improved by coming to us. Life with a new puppy has become easier and more enjoyable; the bond people have with their dogs becomes stronger and more positive than ever; and many frustrating behavior problems have been solved. Many of our clients continue with classes after their dog has learned basic manners, because whether it’s learning new tricks, participating in agility, or taking the first steps
toward service-dog certification, working together and learning new things is equally fun and rewarding for the humans and canines involved!
West Seattle Wonder Dogs is located at 2414 SW Andover, Suite E115. For more info or appointments, call 206-472-2946 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank West Seattle Wonder Dogs for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
That’s Midget the Chihuahua, taken during a robbery in South Delridge. Shannon says it happened to her parents Sunday near Delridge/Barton:
Please be on the lookout for my mom’s Chihuahua, Midget.
On Sunday, December 8th (at around 1:45 pm), a woman and man pulled a gun on my parents and took Midget. The woman was described as being caucasian, with shoulder-length brown hair, tall and thin. The man was described as being caucasian, with reddish/brown hair and combed to the side. He was also very thin. My mom couldn’t give very much of a description because it happened so fast, she was in shock.
Midget, is a little over a year old and is a tri-colored Chihuahua. The (photo above) is when he was only 6-8 months old. He’s bigger now and weighs about 5-7 lbs.
The SPD case # is 19-454236. We’re also adding to the Lost/Found Pets page.
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Urban Animal, a pet-care clinic now open at 17th/Roxbury in White Center. Here’s what they would like you to know
We strongly believe in “people and pets over profits” and that all pet owners should have access to affordable, high quality, option-based pet care. To that end, we employ some of the most highly trained general-practice veterinary professionals in the area who are committed to providing “gold standard” veterinary care to every patient that visits Urban Animal. Most of our doctors have advanced training beyond veterinary school, and many of our staff have worked in referral and specialty medicine practices. Our unique walk-in model allows us to help people and pets when they need it most. Whether it’s a routine exam, vaccine, or an urgent-care situation, they don’t have to wait to get an appointment to have their pet’s needs taken care of.
Our clients often say they feel the difference with Urban Animal immediately when they walk thru the door. Our staff is not only focused on the patients (pets) but also on our clients’ individual needs and situations. We often hear that people appreciate our candor and “zero up-sell” approach, which is part of our option-based, affordable-care philosophy. We firmly believe that the cost of owning a happy, healthy pet shouldn’t be overwhelming.
We are committed to giving back to the communities we serve and support a number of non-profit organizations throughout Seattle including Mary’s Place and Pet Project. This allows us to provide pet care for those who often need it most but can’t afford it. The pets in these people lives often make a world of difference to them.
Urban Animal‘s White Center location is at 9610 17th SW, open 8 am-8 pm Mondays-Tuesdays, 9 am-6 pm Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (closed Thursdays), 206-257-1524.
We thank Urban Animal for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
We often publish remembrances about people who have died; tonight, we have one about a cat. An extraordinary cat, as her human companion Dr. Jean Nokes-Ghivizzani explains:
For over a quarter of a century, a 6-pound fluffy calico cat named Luna has graced Falconridge Farm in the Highland Park area of West Seattle.
She was the greeter, the guardian, a rider of horses, and put the rodents on notice. She was one of a litter of kittens abandoned in South Park and brought to Falconridge as a young kitten, arriving mid-April 1994 on the full moon.
Luna became a celebrity and was a feature on the International Discovery Channel, appeared in the Seattle Times, the West Seattle Blog, and KING-TV. Because Luna was an amputee, she had a fan club of other amputees for whom she was an inspiration.
Just before submitting her Great Animal Videos TV audition tape, Luna came into the barn dragging her hind leg, which had a compound fracture, and after 2 surgeries, it was finally removed. Prior to that time, Luna had spent about 16 hours each day on a horse.
She slept in the middle of their backs at night, curled up in their hay where the horses gently nibbled around her, rode out to the pastures on her equine friends, jumped on passing horses and rode double behind the surprised riders.
Luna was practicing sitting on a trotting horse for TV shortly before her accident. What had occurred was not clear but what was clear was that Luna was not going to be held back. 2 days after returning to Falconridge after her amputation, she was up on top of the stall dividers, and yes, back on a horse. Her balance was off a bit and she would go backward, but one of her Falconridge friends took her to her own chiropractor. After a few weeks of adjustments, Luna was much improved and resumed riding, although she preferred her mounts to be walking or dozing.
On September 16th, 2019, her solitary hind leg gave out. She went home with her human Mom and after a night in her cozy bed with care, catnip, and her favorite toys, she made it clear she could not go on. She is mourned, missed, and celebrated simultaneously. Luna is a legend and now has joined the dynasty of distinguished Falconridge barn cats, all of whom lived through their mid-twenties. She left no trainee.
We asked Dr. Nokes-Ghivizzani about Falconridge Farm’s status, since you might recall that it was for sale for a while two years ago. She replied, “Falconridge is thriving. The facility is being used (not leased) exclusively by a horse rescue and all is well, as my late husband used to say. A small part of a feature-length film will be shot there this year.”
That’s part of what the project briefing at HPAC‘s October meeting revealed.
As first reported here in August, West Seattle’s only off-leash area will be closed for months next year while a persistent drainage problem is fixed. Earlier this month, Parks announced a plan to set up a temporary off-leash area north of the Westcrest P-Patch.
Parks’ Emily Griffith was at the HPAC meeting to talk about the plan and listen to community comments.
She said that the drainage project is important because “Westcrest floods pretty regularly” and that’s led to problems including erosion. Regrading will be part of the half-million-dollar project, as will fencing repairs and, while they’re there, accessibility improvements in the north parking lot.
As originally promised, the current “small/shy dog area” will remain open in addition to the planned temporary area, which is “open lawn” right now but will get temporary fencing. It will be restored to “lawn” after the six-months-or-so construction is complete and the regular off-leash area is reopened.
Questions and comments started with one attendee wondering whether the project will include lighting improvements. Answer: No.
What about using another area of Westcrest? Explanation: Much of the big grassy space atop the park is the lid of the underground reservoir (buried 10 years ago – here’s what it looked like, underground too, before that), a Seattle Public Utilities facility, and that can’t be used for an off-leash area. They can’t use trails, because those would have to be fenced.
Did you consider the city-owned Myers Way Parcels? asked HPAC chair Gunner Scott, especially if Camp Second Chance leaves that space in March? No, they hadn’t.
Dates aren’t finalized yet but the Westcrest construction is expected to last about half a year, “spring through fall” of 2020. The project webpage is here.
ADDED: Here’s what the city showed at the meeting, to pinpoint what’ll happen where:
Back in August, we reported on a months-long closure ahead for West Seattle’s only dog park, the Westcrest Park off-leash area, because of a drainage project. At the time, Seattle Parks was only planning to keep the “small/shy dog area” open as an alternative. Now they have a new plan, just announced:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is investing in the maintenance of Westcrest Park and the Off-Leash Area (OLA). Over the past few years, the maintenance project has grown from a simple drainage improvement project to a $505,000 project that will address drainage, access and erosion.
To address the impacts to the community during construction, SPR is proposing establishing a temporary OLA north of the P-Patch at the park. SPR will present the construction project and temporary off-leash plan on Wednesday, October 23 at 7 p.m. at the Highland Park Action Coalition (HPAC) meeting. The meeting will be held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St.
Due to the scope of the project and the nature of the work, the north parking lot and the entire OLA will be closed for the duration of construction. After initial outreach and discussions with the project team, SPR is working to accommodate a temporary off-leash area during the 6-month construction window and will also keep the shy/small dog use area open for everyone’s use.
Please join us at the upcoming HPAC meeting to learn more about the proposal. SPR anticipates construction will begin in the spring of 2020 and will run through the fall of 2020.
For more information please visit https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/westcrest-park-drainage-improvements
HPAC’s meeting also is scheduled to include SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe talking about the latest Highland Park Way/Holden safety-improvements plan.
Seattle Animal Shelter investigators are hoping someone who reads this might be able to help with an investigation. They explain that “a man was bitten by a dog that was living in a vehicle with some folks parked at Solstice Park by the tennis courts.” So they’re “hoping to find anybody who may have interacted with the people and the dog, or seen the dog off leash or not under direct control, on or prior to 9/30/19.” They’ve already talked with neighbors and haven’t had any luck. “The vehicle is a silver 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, with one male and one female occupant, and a large tan and white pit bull. Anybody with information can contact the main Animal Control line at 206-386-7387.”
As mentioned in our West Seattle Saturday highlight list, Meat The Live Butcher (9432 16th SW) has something new – a walk-up window outside for dogs to get bones. It’s the latest community-spirited idea from proprietor Tom Salle.
It’s the grand opening celebration for the window until 3 pm today.
You’ll find the animal advocates from West Seattle’s own Furry Faces Foundation there too.
It’s that time of year – several local churches offer Blessing of the Animals services around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. One of them tomorrow will be followed by a special extra availability featuring three of the participants. As announced by Alki UCC:
Sugar, Mary, and Peggy … three llamas owned by Alki UCC member Charley Rosenberry, will be back by popular demand for Sunday’s Blessing of the Animals service. The 10:00 am service (as always) is open to everyone and the llamas will be available afterward for neighborhood kids to come pet.
Alki UCC is at 6115 SW Hinds.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The meeting room at the Southwest Precinct was full almost to overflowing this morning as more than 50 people, accompanied by their very patient dogs, showed up for the Paws on Patrol launch.
The precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner observed that she hadn’t seen the room that full in a long time. Assisted by her North Precinct counterpart Mary Amberg, Danner revealed to attendees what Paws on Patrol is all about.
It’s essentially a riff on Block Watch … Bark Watch, if you will. It’s based on a national program called Dog Walker Watch. The premise is simple: If you have a dog, you’re out walking it daily, no matter what the weather. So you might be first to spot neighborhood crime in progress. Pay attention while you’re out with your pup – don’t be head-down staring on your phone: “When you are walking, we really want you to be aware.”
Much of the presentation – which was accompanied by an outdoor resource fair involving local pet-related providers – involved training on how to deduce what’s suspicious (“you know your neighborhood best (and know) “what’s not normal”), and when to call 911.
“95 percent of all police arrests are the direct result of a citizen 911 call,” Danner noted. As has been repeated over and over and over at community meetings we’ve covered in the past 12 years, if it’s happening now, CALL 911. Don’t call the non-emergency number. You’re not “bothering” police. If the calltaker answering 911 determines what you’re calling about is not an emergency, they’ll transfer you. And if what you’re calling out turns out not to be a crime, “it’s OK to be wrong.”
Not only can you be a crime spotter, you can be a crime preventer, Danner said – the program is intended to let criminals know, “dog walkers DO REPORT suspicious activity.”
As the dogs continued patiently keeping watch, their people heard other advice and reminders, such as judging people by their behavior, not their appearance – and go with your “gut feelings”; if you think something is wrong, it may well be. Keep watch for suspicious situations involving vehicles as well as people – parked in an unusual location, full of what might be stolen property, etc.
If you feel safe doing it, you can speak to suspicious-seeming people, attendees were advised – say hello. And if they’re at your door and you don’t want them there, added Community Police Team Officer Nic Plemel. tell them to leave your property; if they don’t, call police, because then they’re trespassing.
A few more 911 tips – be succinct, calm, and clear; let the operator ask the questions; if you want to talk to the officer, tell them proactively you want contact. (That’s not required; you can also be anonymous.) If you are out and don’t know the exact address of something/somewhere you’re calling about, just look for the nearest street number as a reference. And don’t hang up until they tell you it’s OK too – they are dispatching officers even as they speak with callers, and might need to ask you more questions.
(Side note – 911 is the topic at the precinct next Tuesday, at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – 6:30 pm September 24th.)
Those in attendance today got special SPD-logo tags for their dogs.
If you couldn’t be there, Danner tells us, you’ll have another chance; another meeting will be scheduled at a TBA date. Questions? email@example.com is how to reach her.