July 2013

Pet of the Week: Winston is a dog with a blog

Amy Nelson and her husband Quinn got their dog Winston at Seattle French Bulldogs (which is a clue to his breed) about five years ago. He has a brindle coat.

They feed him Canidae Lamb and Rice they get at Next to Nature in the West Seattle Junction. But he gets no treats (aside from some bits of his regular food that he thinks are treats) because they give him gas.

His name came from Amy's secretary who saw him chewing on a stick and "He looked like Winston Churchill," the British Prime Minister during World War II. "She said, 'Winston' and he came."

Winston, already rather low to the ground loves to rub his belly Amy said, and "he snakes along the carpet and pulls himself, and he loves to roll around on the grass too."

But Winston's claim to fame, almost literally is that he has his own blog. No kidding. it's http://www.winston-nelson.blogspot.com and it contains photos, and reports by Winston himself who is apparently a remarkably good typist. Who knew?


Public meetings on pot businesses coming up: Local meeting set for Aug. 8

Information from King County

Four public meetings set on proposed zoning for marijuana-related businesses in King County
Proposed ordinance would allow indoor growing, limit outdoor growing to rural and agricultural areas, and allow processing and retail sales in certain business zones

Following the voter initiative creating a state licensing system for production and sales of recreational marijuana, a King County agency has developed proposed standards for the zoning of marijuana-related businesses that would be regulated by the state and located in unincorporated King County, outside of cities.

“The voters have mandated that marijuana-related businesses are allowed uses, so we have worked to identify appropriate zoning districts for them,” said John Starbard, director of the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. “As a next step we now seek public input on this proposed zoning, which will define where these uses will be permitted in the unincorporated areas outside cities."


SLIDESHOW: To Burien and back again Jerry Gay’s been on an eventful journey

Former Highline Times freelance photographer Jerry Gay is forever linked with Burien by one photographic image snapped 39 years ago.

It’s a photo of four exhausted volunteer firefighters resting after battling an early morning blaze at Burien’s Three Tree Point.

It won Gay the Pulitzer Prize for news photography in 1975.

He’s told the story a million times.

“I was on the early morning shift at The Seattle Times,” Gay told me. “Jim Heckman, the picture editor, said not much was going on but there had been a house fire in Burien overnight. If something else more important came up, he’d call me on the radio.”

The call didn’t come. At the scene, Gay spotted the four firefighters with their helmets removed. He took the “tired warrior” shot.

He then realized the four guys were volunteers who had been up all night battling the blaze. They were now contemplating having to go home, shower, and go on to their regular day jobs.
This was the Vietnam War era. The shot resembled a war scene so his editors dubbed the shot, “Lull in the Battle.”


LETTER: Inattention causes accidents

Just before 9 a.m., Monday July 22, I nearly hit a young woman driver.

She sped through the red light at the intersection of 4th Ave. S.W. and S.W. 146th, just as I was ready to turn left on the green light at the same intersection. Fortunately for her and her two passengers, I saw her peripherally and was able to stop my turn--but I certainly blasted my horn. She and possibly her front seat passenger would have been killed if I had hit her -- my car is a Volvo, she had a much smaller, lighter car.

She didn't look around and continued until she turned left into the Burien Community Center Annex buildings on 4th S.W. I followed her into the parking lot and told her that she was almost killed because of her inattention. I was shaking so hard that I had difficulty getting the words out.

I suspect the young woman did not have a valid license and should not have been driving with other young adults. I think the third young woman (in the back seat) was the person responsible for letting her drive, because she took over the car when the other two went into the building.

Des Moines utility tax increase on primary ballot

By Shakira Ericksen

Des Moines Proposition No. 1, which will is on the Aug. 6 primary election ballot. is causing a stir on the streets of the Waterland City.

The proposed proposition increases the city utility occupation tax to pay for paving existing city streets.

Prop. 1 is part of the city’s pavement preservation program. It increases the current six-percent utility occupation tax to eight percent for 20 years authorizing two percent for paving existing city streets.

At the July 25 City Council meeting, Public Works director Dan Brewer said the street network is the city’s most expensive public asset, Estimated replacement would cost well over $100 million. Des Moines has 215 lane miles of city streets.

Asphalt pavement has a design life of 20-25 years and streets are rated by a Pavement Condition Index (PCI.) PCI rates streets from 0-100, with zero being a failed street and 100 a new street.

In 2002, 68 percent of Des Moines streets had a 70-100 percent PCI rating. That number dropped to 60 percent in 2012.


Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival rocks Des Moines Aug. 24

Annual event brings blues bands and microbrews to Des Moines Beach Park

Press release:

Four of the Northwest’s top blues bands will play at the 4th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival on the shores of Puget Sound. The event features tastings from 11 local microbreweries, plus hard cider and wine.

The festival benefits Highline Music4Life, which provides musical instruments to low-income students in Highline Public Schools. The event is organized by the Rotary Club of Des Moines.

The Stacy Jones Band returns to the festival again this year. The musical line-up also includes Portland-based vocalist/bassist Lisa Mann, the Coyote Kings with Mush Morgan, and the Randy Oxford Band.

Beer, wine, and hard cider will be available for purchase by the glass in addition to tastings. To compliment your beverage, Rotarians will be grilling up bratwurst and B&E’s famous tri tip.

“Great music, food, and drink with a view of the sunset over the water! What better way to spend an afternoon?” said festival co-chair Lisa Meinecke. “Plus you are supporting music education in our local schools.”


Letter: Supports Obama's climate change plan

I support President Obama's recently announced plan to combat climate change and advance clean energy. The plan calls for reducing carbon pollution from power plants--our largest source of pollution driving climate change--that also harms our health and economy.

We are already seeing the effects of climate change: storms are becoming more intense, heat waves more severe, drought more persistent and wildfire more prevalent. Superstorm Sandy alone caused more than $1 billion in damages and a loss of life that cannot be quantified.

Rising temperatures also trigger more bad-air days, which are of particular concern for the young, the elderly and those with asthma and other health issues. We can't afford to ignore these costs any longer.

Investing in renewable energy, increased efficiency and pollution controls will create jobs and a more resilient economy. In fact, history has shown when we rein in pollution we get a big bang for our buck. Since 1970 every $1 in investment in compliance with Clean Air Act standards has produced $4-8 in economic benefits.


Burien Walk 'n Talkers to launch public art tour on Sunday

Press release:

This Sunday, Aug. 4 combine a leisurely urban walk, good company, and a lot of Public Art!

The City of Burien is launching its new Public Art Walking Tour
by partnering with a WABI Walk-n-Talk… Wear your walking shoes!

From 2-4 p.m. Start at 2 p.m. at the Burien Community Center Annex Skate Park, corner of 4th SW and 146th SW.

Included will be:
• A tour map
• Special presentation by local artist Phillip Levine!
• Tea tasting and snacks at Phoenix Tea

For more information:


Letter: Vote Yes on Des Moines Proposition 1

Apparently Mr. Axtell believes that roads can be paved without the money to pave them.

First, while it’s true that utility rates have gone up over the years, the taxes on those
utilities are not used to pay for road maintenance. They are used to pay for general city
services, such as police, parks, and planning/building services.

Second, it would not be “impossible” for the city to handle an increase in funding for
paving. The money goes to the companies winning the contract to actually do the work.
For years the city has managed paving projects. There would be no problem in
managing that work, and the city would not need to hire more employees.

Third, utilities pass along the utility taxes to their customers. Everybody knows that; it’s
just normal procedure. There’s no negotiation, they just do it.

Fourth, the city is audited on an annual basis by the Washington State Auditor’s office.
As part of their annual audit, they will determine whether the utility funds designated for
road maintenance are used for that purpose and only that purpose. We have good, solid


At Large in Ballard: Roofing it

By Peggy Sturdivant

Why am I poring over the troubleshooting section of a garden book as a result of a beautiful evening at Bastille Café and Bar? Who knew there were pests called cabbage loopers?

When Bastille opened four years ago on Ballard Avenue with press dedicated to its rooftop garden, I dismissed the possible crops as little more than a fresh herb or a bit of garnish. When a friend organized a rooftop garden tour last week I agreed to the date because it had been so long since I had seen my friends.

So I bicycled down to Bastille on yet another one of those stunning cloudless nights that defined early July. I had no expectations, just the $10 charge plus tax in my pocket. No matter how French Bastille tries to be, I still never confuse Ballard Avenue with the Champs Elysees.