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THE WATCHDOG
News for all responsible dog owners from the Citizens for Off-Leash Areas
Volume 4 Issue 2 Spring 1998
Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA)
P.O. Box 80672, Seattle, WA 98108
206 233-1333


Inside This Issue
President's Message
Magical Mystery Tour
Stay Connected

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE:
CHANGES HAPPENING FAST IN OFF LEASH AREAS
For those of us who have gotten comfortable and complacent going to our
favorite off-leash areas for a couple of years, beware. Changes are coming
to many of these areas, and quickly.
By October, Volunteer Park's off-leash area might be history. The Seattle
City Council voted last September to find an alternate site on Capitol Hill,
and the Department of Parks and Recreation has identified several
possibilities. Several of these would make nice off-leash areas, but there
is one problem: none of them are really on Capitol Hill. Three are closer to
Montlake, and two are closer to Eastlake. A replacement site several miles
away will not work for those many Capitol Hill folks who walk their dogs to
the off-leash area in Volunteer Park. In recent months the Volunteer Park
site was fenced and COLA volunteers spread sand to make the site more
useable.
Magnuson Park's off-leash area will see changes. Soon fencing will be
installed, and it seems likely we will lose some of the long walk that so
many of us have enjoyed. In return, we may gain a very large grassy field,
additional water access, and possibly some of the paved road near Kite Hill.
Meetings have been held involving us and other Magnuson stakeholders, and so
far discussions have been productive.
Woodland Park's site has been moved to an area near the North tennis courts.
This was due to strenuous objections to the original site from cross-country
running organizations.
Westcrest Park in West Seattle (near White Center) is undergoing an
environmental study regarding the expansion of the off-leash area there.
Westcrest's neighbors, local police, and community council support a much
larger off-leash area in Westcrest.
Genesee Park's off-leash area will remain closed until at least autumn,
because of the city project to re-cap the old landfill under the site.
Discussions are underway to consider adding raised pathways through the wet
part of Blue Dog Pond. A measure such as this could make the site more
useable, for a longer part of the year.
Additional fencing will be erected at Golden Gardens Park.
Hopefully, 1999 will see the opening of new pilot off leash sites on North
Beacon Hill, Rainier Beach, and North Seattle.
One of COLA's strengths is its high level of volunteerism. COLA members are
involved with the political process, go to meetings, send e-mails, make
phone calls, send faxes, and do whatever it takes to make our need for
off-leash areas heard by others. There are still folks we encounter who want
to close the off leash areas, or relocate them to very small, paved, or
undesirable areas. I believe our chances of keeping what we've got and
expanding on that look pretty good for the next few years, because so many
of you are committed to fighting for off-leash areas and are tenacious
enough to outlast the opposition. Keep it up; don't grow complacent.
Other off-leash groups are sprouting up all over the country, from Austin,
Texas to New York City, from Philadelphia to Tacoma. And several of these
groups have solicited advice from us. Why? Because we are recognized
nationally as being successful, because Seattle has legal off-leash areas
that work, thanks to your efforts, both in stating a compelling case and
being responsible users of off-leash areas.
Thank you, and keep up the good work.
Ira Sacharoff
COLA President

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The Legal Committee is recruiting members with legal training to prepare to
negotiate a new contract with the City. Contact: 206-233-1333 and leave a
message for Lucy.

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KEN BOUNDS: A DRIVING FORCE
by Ira Sacharoff, with contributions from Lucy Flanagan
On April 28, I had the surreal pleasure of being chauffeured around in a
City-owned van by Ken Bounds, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. The
reason for this was to provide COLA's input to the City on the possible
replacement sites for Volunteer Park's off-leash area. The current Volunteer
Park site will likely close this fall.
Also on this "magical mystery tour" was Parks Department official Dewey
Potter, Volunteer Park lead steward Pam Klein, City Council aide Lisa
Herbold, and Seattle City Council member Nick Licata.
Three of the five sites would make acceptable off-leash areas, but none of
them are on Capitol Hill. All of them are in the Montlake area. One is a
former landfill north of the arboretum near 26th and Miller (this one may
have water access), and two are near the Museum of History and Industry.
Lead steward Pam Klein had coordinated a survey showing statistical evidence
that many Capitol Hill residents will find it hard to travel to Montlake if
the off-leash area is moved to that part of town. Pam and I made the request
that the Volunteer Park site remain open, but at the same time we pushed for
a choice alternate spot in Montlake with water access.
The city ordinance for off-leash areas allows Parks to recommend keeping
Volunteer Park's off-leash area as part of a rotating set of sites. But Mr.
Bounds feels that keeping this site would compromise the aesthetics of this
Olmsted-designed park.
Volunteer Park's off-leash area is one of Seattle's most popular, and has
benefited from a tremendous quantity of volunteer work improving the site.
The volunteers covered the mud with sand, making the site very useable, and
the City fenced the site.
The City Council will make the final determination, and a public process
will likely take place in the near future to determine which site will be
the replacement. If you have feelings on the subject, feel free to contact
members of the City Council.
I'll say one thing though: Ken Bounds makes a fine chauffeur.

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MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
COLA's going on the road to a park near you! Just like a public broadcasting
station, we're conducting a Spring Membership Drive at off-leash areas
through May and June. We've scheduled a day or evening at each area to sign
up members and sell T-shirts. Remember, the off-leash areas wouldn't exist
without COLA. Think of how many hours you and your little friend enjoy the
off-leash areas! So come and say hello, and please don't turn us down when
we ask you to ante up a ten-spot to cover our costs.
To volunteer at our information table for an hour or two, contact
coordinator Jerry Malmo at (206) 233-1333 or jmalmo@aol.com
Our membership drive schedule:
Westcrest Park - Thurs. May 21, 5 - 8 pm
Magnuson Park - Sat. May 23, 8 am - 2 pm
Volunteer Park - Thurs. May 2, 5 - 8 pm
Golden Gardens Park - Tues. June 9, 5 - 8 pm
Blue Dog Pond - Wed. June 17, 5 - 8 pm
Woodland Park - Thurs. June 25, 5 - 8 pm

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WHO TO CONTACT
City Council member Nick Licata chairs the Parks committee. Council member
Tina Podlodowski is a Capitol Hill resident, and is interested in how her
neighbors feel. Council member Richard Conlin chairs the Neighborhoods
committee. Council member Jan Drago originally proposed the off-leash
legislation, and maintains an active interest in it.
To contact these officials:
Seattle City Council
600-4th Ave. #1100, Seattle WA 98104
Hotline: (206) 684-8888

Nick Licata: 684-8803
nick.licata@ci.seattle.wa.us
Tina Podlodowski: 684-8808
tina.podlodowski@ci.seattle.wa.us
Richard Conlin: 684-8805
richard.conlin@ci.seattle.wa.us
Jan Drago: 684-8801
jan.drago@ci.seattle.wa.us

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JOIN COLA TODAY!
Please join COLA, or renew your annual COLA membership. Your support was
essential in persuading the Seattle City Council to establish a permanent
off-leash program - Thank You!  With this major goal accomplished, our work
is just beginning:
The city is looking toward us to monitor and improve the off-leash areas.
We need to continue to pressure City Hall for a fair share of funding for
maintenance and improvement of off-leash sites.
We're working to create permanent off-leash areas in Woodland Park, Magnuson
Park, and Capitol Hill, designate all of Westcrest Park as off-leash, and
add new pilot sites at Rainier Beach, North Seattle, and Beacon Hill.
Off-leash areas are constantly subject to review and possible closure, and
under continual pressure from opponents. We must continue to defend our
place in the parks.
It's important that you join us in our efforts. Just fill out the form on
the right of this page and mail to COLA.

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Are You On The COLA Email List?
If you have an email address but have not been receiving our emails, please
send email to coladog@scn.org with the following information in the message:
your email address, full name, and phone.


COLA also has a list where you can send e-mail to all listed, as well as
received off-leash related e-mail regularly. This is the best way to learn
of upcoming meetings and events. We post off-leash area news, notices of
work parties, volunteer opportunities, public meetings, and opportunities
for public comment. It's moderated to prevent chat, flames, or commercial
messages. We average only two or three messages per week. Although you may
have provided your e-mail address in the past, it is possible that you are
not  on the e-mail list. Please subscribe yourself by sending a message to:
majordomo@scn.org In the body of the message, write:
subscribe colainfo
When you want to send something to the entire list, send the notice to:
colainfo@scn.org
A national e-mail list recently started, and folks are sending news from
Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Seattle. To
subscribe to this list, send an e-mail to: majordomo@legendary.org In the
body of the message, write (note capitals):
subscribe OffleashDogs
Off leash areas are popping up all over, and other areas are experiencing
the same issues we've experienced. It's good for us all to share ideas with
folks from elsewhere.

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GET AN OFF-LEASH AREA IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
es, you too can have an off-leash area in your neighborhood!  Particularly
if you propose a site on non-park land. That is, if you are willing to go to
a few meetings.
As an outgrowth of Seattle's Comprehensive Plan, Seattle's neighborhood
community councils have geared up to present the City with individual
neighborhood plans.  Some of these plans are in their second phase, but it
is not too late for dog owners to make their wishes known and incorporated
into the plans!  Seize the moment because you won't get an opportunity like
this again to propose land for use as off-leash recreation.  All it takes is
your participation in your community's neighborhood planning process. COLA
cannot do this for you - it is a city-wide organization. Only you can
represent dog owners in your neighborhood.
Take some time off walking your dog(s) and get involved in this process. You
may find out interesting things and meet interesting neighbors and friends
at these meetings.  It's easier than you think and the COLA board is eager
to assist you if you need help with strategy.  COLA hotline: (206) 233-1333.
To find out what community you belong to and when meetings are, call the
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods at (206) 684-0719.

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COLA
P.O. Box 80672
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 233-1333
coladog@scn.org
http://members.tripod.com/~coladog
Board of Directors
Northeast
Gerry Adams
Margaret Johnson
Northwest
Lu-Ann Branch
Kerstin Ellstrom
Lucy Flanagan
Qn. Anne/Magnolia
Dan Klusman
Sharon LeVine
Capitol Hill/Central
Marshall Livinston
Brenda Thomas
Southeast
Ira Sacharoff
Michael Slivka
Southwest
Shelley Cowan
Lead Site Stewards
Magnuson Park
Mick Braddick
Golden Gardens Park
Neve Willow
Lower Woodland Pk.
Rhonda Jensen
Volunteer Park
Pam Klein
Blue Dog (I-90 Lid)
Diane Gaylord
Genesee Park
Shannon Terri
Westcrest Park
Sara Dupre
City Light ROW#3
Kathy Jochim
Northacres Park
Mary Bradley
Other Chairs
Email Monitor
Vince Slupski
Membership Chair
Cynthia Blair
Newsletter Editor
Rebecca Laszlo

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all rights reserved.  1998. C.O.L.A.