A Blog About the Environment, Land Use, Preservation, Politics and Life, In and Around Shoreline, WA
Search This Blog
Friday, January 1, 2010
Of Paramount Importance - A New Beginning
Of Paramount Importance
It’s 2010 and Happy New Year to all. It’s a good time for a new adventure.
This is a blog about my interests and your interests. As a recently minted Ex-city councilmember, I believe I have a view that could be useful to many. Specifically, the view on the environment and “land use”, which many people may not realize is perhaps the largest role played in local government.
Many years ago (approx 1989), I got involved in some local environmental concerns in order to preserve and extend a wetland in my neighborhood. That neighborhood is Paramount Park, located in southeast Shoreline. What started out as an attempt to protect a 3.5 acre section of wetlands and streams with my neighbors, became a nearly all encompassing quest (some might say obsession) to protect and restore the Thornton Creek Watershed. We had many successes along the way, and some sidetracks. This interest also evolved into related watersheds and political adventures, the last of which placed me square in the middle of local politics and elected to the Shoreline City Council.
Now, as a former elected official, I have the freedom (and more time) to look more deeply into the related issues of land use and link them to the many local issues such as (but not limited to) Open Space, Sustainability and Renewable Energy, Economic Development (ie density vs alternatives), Green Building and Low Impact Development, and even Historic Preservation and all things related including political opinion. These will be specifically related to local land-use issues, but also contain links to issues going on in nearby areas. It will be educational and entertaining whenever possible.
This site will be a place to present alternative views, promote ideas, relate news about land use issues in and around (roughly) the 32nd Legislative District and North Seattle. Other nearby areas also welcome to chime in.
I willl publish links to other blogs and invite guest writers to publish their views. I will also post photos, maps and illustrations to illuminate the concepts.
Basically, I’ve decided that I have a voice which cannot stay silent (much to the dismay of many). Someone in the media once said to me during my council term, they thought that as an elected official I should not be an activist. I disagreed. Perhaps that's why I'm no longer an elected official. C'est la vie! But I do know that I have the HEART of an activist, because positive change is what I seek and what makes me tick. So, I invite you to participate. Any reasoned and civil opinions are welcome, but vicious vulgarity will be subject to editing.
I welcome debate and additions, suggestions and any brilliant ideas.
• 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.