A Blog About the Environment, Land Use, Preservation, Politics and Life, In and Around Shoreline, WA
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Saturday, January 9, 2010
2010 Washington Environmental Priorities Coalition
Today, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop for the 2010 Legislative Environmental Priorities. This is an effort put on every year by a coalition of statewide organizations, who advocate for the top issues needing attention by legislators.
The room was full at this event, held at the Gwinn Hall on Seattle Pacific University. We listened to a panel discussion by four of the most active environmental advocates in the legislature including - Rep Hans Dunshee, Rep Sharon Nelson, Rep Skip Priest, and Rep Rolfes.
We also heard from newly elected King County Executive, Dow Constantine. He impressed on us, the importance of the work this coalition does. He gave the example of fighting against the gravel mine on Maury Island. That group fought this battle for about 10 yrs and recently won a decisive victory in court. He said it teaches the lesson that even with seemingly hopeless situations to "Never,never give up!"
The 2010 Environmental Legislative Priorities Coalition will be advocating for 3 major efforts this session. They are the following:
• Safe Baby Bottle Act - This act would phase out BPA in baby bottles, food and beverage cans, and other consumer products.
• Working for Clean Water - The Working for Clean Water bill is about creating jobs, rebuilding local economies, and cleaning up polluted waterways.
• Sustain Environmental Protections in the Budget We aim to ensure Washington's budget sustains core environmental protections that safeguard the health of our families, communities and economy.
There area also many other issues that are important coming up during this challenging session of importance, such as Aquatic Lands Act and Revenue issues.
Environmental Lobby Day is coming up on January 26th. It is a very rewarding excercize to participate in, and the efforts of citizens during this event makes a tremendous difference to passing good legislation. Citizens visit their legislators, and it means a great deal to them to hear directly from constituents who are well informed about the bills. And it's lots of fun too!
Check their website at the following address www.environmentalpriorities.org for more details on the bills and what you can do to help. It's your government!
Contact the Coalition at: Kerri Cechovic, Washington Environmental Council (206) 631-2607 firstname.lastname@example.org or Media Center Press Contact: Nicole Fallat Communications Director email@example.com (206) 631-2625
1402 Third Avenue, Suite 1400, Seattle, WA 98101 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Douglass Squirrel sighted in Briarcrest by Chris Southwick Feb 2012
• Cottontail Rabbit sighted in Briarcrest Neighborhood Nov 1st. Did not look like a domestic "bunny!"
• Coyote spotted in Paramount Park Meadow, just sittin'. 3/11
• Varied Thrush sighted in Paramount Park Neighborhood 2 & 3/11
• Townsends Warbler photographed in Highland Terrace Neighborhood 1/11
• Blackheaded Grossbeak sighted near Paramount Park last Fall
• Great Blue Heron sighted at Hidden Lake in Boeing Creek basin
• Barred Owl sighted in Thornton Creek Park #1 near Jackson Park, 8/10
• White crowned sparrow identified in Highland Terrace/Aurora Square neighborhood
• Blackheaded Grossbeak sighting in Hillwood neighborhood
• Two Raptors sighted in Shoreline. Osprey and Merlin have been documented at Ronald Bog and Echo Lake respectively this summer (2010)
• Pacific Chorus Frog heard in Shoreline's Hillwood Neighborhood
• Three types of warblers identified in Briarcrest neighborhood in May and June
• Red Breasted Sapsucker Banded in Briarcrest Neighborhood of Shoreline
• 4/16 - Mating pair of Pileated Woodpecker seen yesterday in Paramount Park. They were utilizing some "snags" (dead trees) which were placed in the wetland restoration area with a KC Wildlife Habitat Grant in 2002. The Pileated Woodpecker is considered a "Priority Species" by WDFW. The pairs mate for life and make their nests in cavities they excavate in dead trees with their sharp beaks. They eat insects and grubs they find in the dead wood.
• Great Blue Heron seen today at Thornton Creek Par #6 eating two fish in five minutes. It's interesting to note that it took many years to get the City of Seattle to realize that there are fish living in Thornton Creek, only 2-3 blocks from Northgate. In the design of the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel at Northgate, fish passage was a non-negotiable issue. The Great Blue Heron is considered a Priority Species by WA State.
• River Otter Spotted at Kruckeberg Botanic Garden! The Garden does not have a river running through it, so we were startled to see what appeared to be a river otter (Lutra canadensis) passing through recently. River otters live in rivers, streams, and coastlines. With water repellant fur and webbed feet, these playful members of the weasel family are designed for swimming and catching fish, their main food. However, they often wander far from water in search of a mate or new living area, surprising the unsuspecting staff of botanic gardens. The Kruckeberg Garden is near the headwaters of Storm Creek.
• Wood Ducks seem to be happily proliferating at Thornton Creek Park Six near Northgate. With the help of stewards, beavers and other species, habitat is improving at this little "wild" urban paradise. Despite a jungle of invasives there is a wetland habitat (improved by beavers) that suits the Wood Ducks. Today, 13 were sighted in the branches of a fallen cottonwood. 13 Wood Ducks Today!
• Beaver families have been moving in and building habitat around our urban watersheds, especially into Thornton Creek. Here is a photo a "creative engineer" naturally utilizing the creek corridor at Thornton Creek Park #6, which is a wetland waiting for better "engineering".
• At least 40 bird species have been sighted at Paramount Park over the last 20 years and more. The Barred Owl is one visitor who is watching over us.
• 12 birds at Greenlake today including Western Grebe, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron and Hooded and Red-breasted Merganser
Janet proudly served on Shoreline City Council, from 2005-2009 and is an outspoken, current environmental and preservation activist residing in Shoreline, WA. Over the past 20 years, she and many other partners have succeeded in many remarkable accomplishments for the environment and community. On the City Council, she helped spearhead many environmental achievements for Shoreline, giving Shoreline a "green city" profile. She is a founding member of Paramount Park Neighborhood Group, Thornton Creek Legal Defense Fund (which advocated for and succeeded in "daylighting" Thornton Creek at Northgate), South Woods Preservation Group, Lake Ballinger Forum, Sno-King Economic Gardening group and other efforts. She serves on the Advisory Board of Friends of Fircrest, and is a member of Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and Shoreline Solar Project.
Janet holds an Art degree from Moore College of Art, Phila, and runs an arts business for 30 yrs. She also is sales rep for Appel Farms dairy at Seattle Farmers Markets.
Janet and her wonderful, patient husband, Alan Worthington of 32 yrs have two grown sons, Travis and Spencer.