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Main contents of this issue:
1. Volunteer Leaders Needed
2. Volunteer Orientation Meeting Wed. Nov 19 at Ballard Community Center
3. Seattle City Council Candidates Speak Out On Off-Leash Areas
4. Stewardship News
5. Off-Leash Legislation Overview

Read on for the good stuff!



Our off-leash areas wouldn't even exist without the dedicated efforts of COLA volunteers. If you've been enjoying our off-leash areas and haven't yet had a chance to volunteer your time, or haven't done so for a while, please call 233-1333 now (day or night). Without new volunteers, we won't be able to keep up the push that's needed to make our off-leash areas a continuing success.

Let us stress this point: we need new volunteers leaders to step forward.

* We need COLA Board Members, particularly from the NE region (around Magnuson and/or Woodland), West Seattle, and SE Seattle (near Genesee and Blue Dog).

* The lead steward is a very social and important role in COLA. We rely on lead stewards to identify and solve problems. Magnuson, Volunteer, Lower Woodland, and Upper Golden Gardens Parks each need 1 or 2 lead stewards.

* If you are a Capitol Hill resident, we need you to find great alternative sites to replace or supplement the Volunteer Park site!

* Westcrest Park stewards need help determining what assistance volunteers can provide to the SEPA review process and lobbying City Council to expand the site to the entire park.

* New pilot sites will not open unless volunteer steward groups step forward to oversee the sites. If you want one of these sites, it's yours to get open:

1. The Beacon Hill greenbelt at 12th Ave So. and Golf St. across from Pacific Medical Center
2. City Light right of way at MLK S. and S. Cloverdale in Rainier Beach
3. North Acres Park at NE 130th St and 1st Ave NE in North Seattle near I-5

* The Licton Springs Community Council indicated a while back that it would be interested in hosting an off-leash area - but there are no dog owners on the council. Do you live in the Licton Springs area so you can get involved?

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COLA Volunteer Orientation Meeting Wed., Nov. 19, 7:30 to 9:30 PM Ballard Community Center 6020 28th Ave. NW (at NW corner of 60th, phone 684-4093) For information: 233-1333

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City Council Candidate Statements

To help you learn about candidate views, COLA asked each city council candidate to answer the following questions in 50 words or less:

1. Do you favor additional/expanded off leash areas in Seattle Parks?
2. Do you favor additional off leash water access in Seattle?

Here are their answers. Although informing our members is an important part of our mission, COLA does not endorse candidates. Remember to vote November 4!

Position 2
Sherry Harris
No response received.

Richard Conlin
1. I support having off-leash areas in parks where there are limited environmental impacts. For additions or expansions of the off-leash program, the City should identify alternative locations, preferably on non-Park sites. I support the Council's resolution, establishing some sites as permanent, substituting others, and adding additional sites.

2. I'm sympathetic to the desires of dog owners to have water access. However, this must be approached carefully, because of possible impacts on shorelines, wildlife, and water quality. I will encourage a careful look at what options might be available, and look forward to learning more about this issue.

Position 3
Thomas Goldstein
1. WOOF WOOF WOOF! Yes, I enthusiastically support off leash areas as a great benefit to dog owners, dogs, parks, and the general public. Off leash areas are a new social venue, make parks safer, and reduce the wear and tear on remaining parkland. We can make off leash areas attractive and wear resistant.

2. Yes, I have two suggestions. First, dog swimming piers might work where shoreline is in short supply, and second: In larger well marked waterfront areas we could allow dogs off leash in defined areas for swimming. The increased environmental and maintenance concerns at water's edge can be handled.

Peter Steinbrueck
1. I do not oppose developing more off-leash public areas for dog owners to exercise their pets, as long the area is controlled and segregated from other public uses. Our developed parks should be open and accessible to everyone. I would prefer to see that future dog runs be located on other public lands.such as street right-of-ways and utility easements.

2. I would not oppose additional water access for dog recreation in public areas where it can be controlled and does not conflict with other established public uses for water access.

Position 4
Jan Drago
1. As the council member who spent three years fighting for off leash areas for Seattle dog owners, I recognize the need for additional sites whether on public or private property, including parks. Neighborhood planning groups which want to site off leash within their parks should be allowed that flexibility.

2. Yes!! The council recognized the need for additional waterfront sites by amending the permanent off leash bill to require the Parks Department to locate other water sites to alleviate the pressure at Magnuson. One creative solution would be to allow off leash mornings and evenings at parks where Canada Geese are problematic.

Bob Hegamin
No response received.

Position 6
Nick Licata
1. Yes. I've personally seen OLAs heavily used by park goers and believe it helps lower crime in the parks. OLA Stewardship groups should help monitor and take care of each site and OLAs should be rotated so that the ground cover can recover.

2. Yes. Let's make OLA work and not set them up for failure. Not only should water access be provided, but also proper lighting where necessary to allow for evening use of OLAs in the winter months. And of course fencing is needed to avoid conflict with other park activities.

Aaron Ostrom
1. I strongly support COLA's position that off leash areas are appropriate in parks, but not in environmentally sensitive areas. I am commited to finding alternative sites where appropriate park sites are not available.

2. Ideally, increasing water access would be preferred. Finding appropriate locations will be difficult. I look forward to working on this issue with Councilmember Drago, who has endorsed my campaign, once on the Council.

Position 8
Richard McIver
1. Yes, I do support additional and expanded off-leash areas for Seattle dogs and their owners. I believe we need to work with neighborhoods to find some appropriate alternative off-leash recreation sites on properties in addition to park lands as well.

2. Yes, I do favor additional water access both for drinking and swimming at off-leash areas, provided it does not endanger shoreline flora or fauna. In addition, I support adding other amenities to the off-leash sites, including shade, benches, and bulletin boards, to make it more pleasant for dog owners.

Kerman Kermoade
No response received.

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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 with the following information in the message: your email address, full name, and phone number. We will update our records ASAP.

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Presidential Succession

COLA Chairperson Ed Henderson has passed the baton to Ira Sacharoff. Ed has been a great Chair for the last 18 months, and will remain active on the board. COLA is deeply grateful to Ed, and warmly congratulates Ira as our new Chair.

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Rally Big Success at Woodland Park

On September 20, 1997, 200 COLA people held a successful "Save the Off-Leash Areas" rally in Woodland Park. Thanks to the rally planning committee: Sharon LeVine, Lucy Flanagan, Duff DeVee, Pam Klein, Sally Cope, Mary McMahon, Jay Adams, Margaret Johnson, Karen McGough, Dave & Joslin Gane, Mindy Simons, Carina Vanderleest, Steve Boyer, Ed Henderson, and Diane Gaylord.

Local musicians donated their talents: Linda Lee, Jim Frank, Brad Grant, and Ron Bronstrom. Smiley Dog donated 2 great prizes for a raffle. Pet Pros (at Aurora) donated treats and other goodies. American Music donated use of the sound equipment. Melodie Tune (U.W. Ctr. for Ed. Resources) produced our podium sign. Thanks!

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The water access area will remain. The Council did not address the possibility of making one or both of the roads from the parking lots to the OLEAs into off-leash corridors, so the quarter-mile on-leash walk to the off-leash area continues....

Upper Golden Gardens
The Parks Dept. plans to install a berm at the SW end to prevent runoff from seeping into the stream.

Lower Woodland
Until the new site opens, the "old site" is subject to some restricted hours to accommodate the runners. It will be closed weekdays 2:30-5:30 and most Saturdays in November (1, 8, 15, 22) and December 6. As soon fences are installed in the new site we can move in, after the Hearing Examiner hearings complete.

Volunteer East continues as a pilot site until October 25, 1998, or until another site on Capitol Hill has been opened. By March 15, 1998, the Parks Department, in consultation with COLA, is to submit at least 3 alternative sites (one of which may include rotation of the Volunteer Park area). The Council will vote on a final Capitol Hill site no later than July 30, 1998.

The Volunteer Park steward group deserves special recognition for its hard work keeping the Volunteer Park site open (for now). This group is a model for steward groups all over the city. Brenda Thomas has done a great job as lead steward there.

Blue Dog
No big news to report.

This site is now closed for 12 months (exact reopening date TBD) as the old landfill is capped and turf is grown.

City Council has ordered an environmental review to determine feasibility of making Westcrest 100% off-leash.

Due to continued illegal activity in the woods (outside of off-leash area), the Parks Department has decided to close Westcrest's parking lot at dusk. In the winter months, this restriction effectively closes the off-leash area by 5:00 pm. If the City agrees to expand the off-leash area at Westcrest to include the woods, we believe the incidence of illegal activity will be greatly reduced, thus eliminating the need to close the parking lot at dusk.

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Off-Leash Legislation Passed Unanimously!

On Sept. 15, 1997, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to expand and make permanent the off-leash program. Thanks to all of you who contacted the Council, Parks, and Animal Control on this subject. Over 100 people spoke in favor of the off-leash program at the Sept.10 public hearing held at city council chambers.

Here's a brief overview of the new law. For more details, call COLA or contact Parks or Council Member Jan Drago's office.

1. Four of the original 7 pilot sites become permanent: Genesee, Westcrest, Golden Gardens, Blue Dog Pond.

2. Seattle will conduct a SEPA review of Westcrest Park to determine whether the off-leash area can be expanded to the entire park.

3. Volunteer East continues as a pilot site until October 25, 1998, or until another site on Capitol Hill has been opened.

4. The pilot site at Magnuson (including boundary walk and water access) will continue as an interim site until a Master Plan is adopted for Magnuson Park/Sand Point and a permanent site is located within the park. In addition to the Magnuson water site, a new water site at another location will be considered.

5. A pilot site at Central Woodland near the north tennis courts will be established immediately, before the existing site is closed.

6. New pilot sites may be added at Northacres, City Light Right of Way #3, and one of the following: East Duwamish Greenbelt, Jefferson Park Reservoir, or City Light Right of Way #2.

7. The City and COLA will meet periodically to discuss improvements to and amendments of the City-COLA agreement. One of these amendments will address user or membership fees that may be collected by COLA and dedicated to maintenance and operation of the off-leash exercise areas (OLEAS).

8. The Superintendent of Parks (Ken Bounds) may close any OLEA on a temporary or permanent basis. Public notice must be given and a public hearing held prior to any such closure.

9. Seattle's SEPA review resulted in a Determination of Non-Significance. However, UNCOLA and Friends of Olmsted Park have apealled this decision, so the permanent off-leash program cannot take effect until the appeal process is completed, no earlier than Thanksgiving.

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