Daily news blog for Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood

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Check Out Easy Street Tonight at Wallingford Center

September 10th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Easy Street Band

The Easy Street Band Returns to Wallingford for an open air concert on the plaza at Wallingford Center, tonight Sep. 10 at 6 pm!!!

The Wallingford Chamber of Commerce invites neighbors and friends to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy an open air concert with The Easy Street Band.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 10th. 6pm
What: a 90 minute free concert
Where: Wallingford Center Plaza
For more information check out the WCC website .

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What a Close Call Can Teach Your Kids About Crosswalk Safety

September 5th, 2014 by Nico Lund

photo credit:blackboxberlin

With the news of a 12 year old boy hit by a car this morning in Wallingford, it’s time to review pedestrian safety with our kids. Especially those of us with older kids that are starting to venture out-and-about on their own.

Even as our children become older, wiser and more independent, it is still really important to check in with them about basic rules-of-the-road.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stresses five reasons why kids are most vulnerable as pedestrians:

• They often act before thinking.
• They often make the mistake of thinking
that if they can see a driver, the driver
can see them.
• They can’t judge speed or the distance of
vehicles moving toward them.
• They think cars can stop instantly.
• They’re difficult to see when behind a
backing vehicle.

First, lets check out a disturbing statistic:

The NHTSA reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young children. Twenty percent of fatal crashes involving children between the ages of 5 and 9 involve pedestrian-related fatalities.

The NHTSA says that children age ten and older are often ready for the challenges of having more opportunities to walk unsupervised but they still need reinforcement and reminders about safe walking behaviors. They recommend practicing with them on specific routes so they can talk to them about where to walk, cross and any other safety considerations.

Some Important Tips:

  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • In this digital age, it’s very important to model proper walking etiquette by putting down your device (phone, tablet, etc.) when walking with your kids.
  • Teach kids to ALWAYS look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
  • Keep in mind that it may be hard for certain kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.
  • Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • And when you are driving, make sure to get off your digital devices, be alert for bicyclists, pedestrians and other road hazards.

For more safety tips check out the NHTSA website

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Meaningful Movies Make for Sweet Dreams

September 4th, 2014 by Nico Lund


Meaningful Movies Presents  ”SWEET DREAMS,” an Ice Cream Social and a Drum Performance  Fri. Sep 5th at 6:30pm-it’s FREE!(donations appreciated).

The folks at Meaningful Movies are excited to begin their new Film Season with Sweet Dreams Rwanda, drumming and an ice cream social. The takes place at 5019 Keystone Place N, Seattle.

What do Rwanda, drumming and ice cream have in common you may ask? Sweet Dreams follows a group of Rwandan women as they help their community recover from genocide by forming a women only drumming troupe and opening an ice cream shop!

Meaningful Movies is a non-profit organization that helps communities and groups organize, educate and advocate using the power of social justice documentary film and discussion to build positive and meaningful community.






For More info Check out the Meaningful Movies Website or check out their Facebook Page.

Free and open to the public.  Donations for expenses kindly accepted.

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Dicks Walk-A-Thon Event Raises Money For Local Charities

September 3rd, 2014 by Nico Lund

Dick’s Drive-In Walk-A-Thon is expected to arrive at 4:45 pm Sunday, Sept 7 at the Wallingford Dicks Location.

Lifelong Seattleite Lars Philips is the Founder of Dick’s Drive-In Walk-A-Thon, an event to raise money and support for local charities.

Philips started the event three years ago with a friend. At first it was just the two of them, but now in their 4th year they expect more than 30 people to join the walk which consists of 1 day, 6 locations and 22 miles.

This year the event is officially partnered with Dick’s Drive-In and the Spady Family who have agreed to match up to $2,000 raised by participants and in Change For Charity buckets on the day of the walk. Money raised goes to support charities like Mary’s Place, First Place School, FareStart, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, The Compass Center, Operation Nightwatch, St. Martin de Porres Shelter, and Cocoon House.

As mentioned on their Facebook Page, they are encouraging interested walkers to gather at the Edmonds Drive-In at 10:30am to begin the trek across Seattle to support their Change for Charity partners.


1. EDMONDS – 10:00 AM [Start walk at 10:35]
2. LAKE CITY – 1:15 PM
3. HOLMAN ROAD – 3:00 PM
5. BROADWAY – 6:15 PM
6. QUEEN ANNE – 7:15 PM

ROUTE MAP: goo.gl/maps/HF7xt

Walk-A-Thon participants are encouraged to donate $20 to Change for Charity to receive a drive-thru punch card at the Edmonds location. For those who complete the entire trek and have the proof in hand they promise a cheeseburger will be waiting for them at the Queen Anne Dicks!

What: Dick’s Drive-In Change for Charity Walk-A-Thon When: Sunday, September 7th starting at 10:00
Where: Starting at the Edmonds Dick’s Drive-In Location and continuing 22 miles on foot to all 6 Dick’s Drive-In locations!
For more information check their Facebook Page

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The End of a Hot Summer = a Delicious Harvest Time at Seattle Tilth

August 31st, 2014 by Nico Lund

Seattle Tilth’s Annual Fair Celebrates Our Local Harvest Season

Now in its 27th year, the family friendly Tilth Harvest Fair is back and overflowing with a bountiful harvest this Saturday, September 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.at Meridian Park

How lucky are we to live in a city with such a vibrant farming and gardening community! It’s a place where a next door neighbor may be growing prized tomato’s or a friend down the way might drop off a basket of sweet peas. It’s also a place that you can easily make a meal with all local ingredients.

Seattle Tilth has been providing hands-on education in organic agriculture for 36 years. It is with this commitment to sustainability that they put on the Seattle Tilth’s Harvest FairWith fun activities and great community, it’s a great way to enjoy harvest season and celebrate our amazingly fertile place on the map.

Seattle Tilth’s Harvest Fair
Saturday, September 6; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Meridian Park (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle)
Get directions.
Facebook event.

The Harvest Fair isn’t just for the green thumbs and their fans, it’s also a great opportunity to see some live music, join a parade, press cider from local apples and hang out with and even meet some neighbors! With all the deliciousness around making your mouths water, food truck and booths will be there to fill your bellies.

Kids will love the opportunity to nuzzle a goat or chicken, make an herb crown, and everyone can learn about farm crafts, native and edible plants, garden supplies and sustainable goods. You can also learn tips for canning and cooking — or bring goods to trade at the barter organized by Backyard Barter.

get your snuggle on with some farm friends

See the full schedule of activities and the list of participating farmers, vendors and organizations.

Activities include:

  • Workshops
  • Live music
  • Local food trucks and tents
  • Organic farmers market
  • Urban farm demonstration
  • Sustainable vendors
  • Kids parade (noon)
  • Barter (1-3 p.m.)
  • Canning and cooking demonstrations
  • Cider pressing
  • DIY herb crowns
  • Seed swap
  • Raffle
  • Kids crafts in the children’s garden

As with all local community events, it’s volunteers like YOU that make it all happen; plus, it’s a fun way to participate. Sign-up to volunteer!

Sponsors including PCC Natural MarketsBig Dipper Wax Works and media sponsor KUOW.

Admission is free but donations are encouraged at the entrances to help cover event costs.

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SPUtilities NOTICE: Soil Tests Through September in Ballard, Fremont, and Wallingford

August 14th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews will conduct soil tests near the Lake Washington Ship Canal to Investigate potential locations for underground sewage and stormwater storage.

When rain overwhelms the combined sewer system, raw sewage and polluted stormwater spill
into the ship canal in Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford.

As part of a ten year project to protect human health and the environment, and comply with existing laws, SPU will need to construct storage for approximately 9.4 million gallons of sewage and polluted stormwater.

Crews will drill holes up to 150 feet in depth, primarily in the parking strip and on side streets. “No Parking” signs will be placed 72 hours in advance of the work and will be removed as soon as work is completed.

Work will occur from late August through September at 14 locations near shilshole Avenue, Leary Avenue NW, and NW 35th Street.  It will take approximately four to five days to complete at each location. Work will be occurring in the Right-Of-Way and happen during normal work hours will be between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

SPU would like people to be prepared for:

• Crews working on and around the location
• A vehicle-mounted drill rig and support truck
• Paint and other temporary markings in the right of way
• Reduced nearby parking
• Limited traffic impacts in a few locations
• Periodic noise from drilling operations, including engine noises

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We Saw the SuperMoon, Now Let’s See Your SuperKids!

August 13th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Group Health has a fun Photo Contest Going On. You Have until August 17th to get your entry in!

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How a Walk at the Zoo can help People With Early Stage Memory Loss

July 31st, 2014 by Nico Lund

Aug. 4, The Woodland Park Zoo and the Alzheimer’s Association have a great program aimed to help seniors suffering from Memory Loss.

For some, aging comes with a high price to pay; the loss of memory. It’s sometimes a slow transition and can be hard on not only the person loosing their memory, but also their close friends and family members.

Recently, I was in California helping to care for my own aging parent suffering from an illness and cognitive disfunction. It made me realize how important it is to reach out to the seniors in my life and make sure they are getting the proper care and support.Here are a few local programs that are available for just that reason:


Starting on August 4th, for 10 consecutive weeks, the Woodland Park Zoo with sponsorship from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Greenwood Senior Center and Seattle Parks and Rec. is offering a program for seniors. The program takes place 9:30 – 11:00 am on Mondays and provides a chance for physical activity, cognitive stimulation, and social connection. The program is open to a set number of participants living with Early Stage Memory Loss and care partners. Registration is required.


Invigorate body, brain, and spirit with 3-4 mile brisk walks in various parks and neighborhoods throughout Seattle. Varied terrain includes sidewalks and gravel paths, mostly level but expect some gentle to moderate hills. Each walk concludes with a social gathering in a nearby cafe. To determine if this is the right group for you or someone you care for, and to be added to the email list for current location information, contact Mari Becker, mari.becker@seattle.gov, (206) 684-4664. 2nd & 4th Fridays at 10:00 am. No charge.


From Delicious Meals and fitness classes to Senior Education Programs and Community Events, the WCSC has a ton of great opportunities for seniors.

4649 Sunnyside Ave N Suite 140 Seattle WA 98103 206-461-7825

In Addition

There are many resources on line to help support caregivers and seniors. It’s important to check in with your loved ones as they age and make sure they are getting the care that they need, i.e., getting exercise, eating healthy and understand their rights. Here are list of helpful links:

Senior Rights Assistance

Five wishes: Aging with Dignity

Senior Services

Seattle Senior Centers

If you know someone in need of help will dementia or Alzheimer’s, contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-272-3900

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Be The Change You Want To See: Crime Prevention Meeting July 24th

July 14th, 2014 by Nico Lund

It’s Easy to Be  a Good Neighbor!

A Fremont / Wallingford Safety Meeting will be held on Thursday July 24th at 9am at History House (790 N. 34th St.)

There are many ways to be a good neighbor and help keep our neighborhood safe, clean and friendly. Some ideas include keeping front yards maintained, adding censored lighting to alleyways, getting to know your neighbors and local business owners and starting or being a part of  a Neighborhood Watch program.

If you are a concerned citizen,  there is a free and open public forum to discuss crime prevention in Fremont and Wallingford.

Guests include: Elizabeth Scott, City of Seattle Police, Crime Prevention Officer; Linda Clifton, FAWN & Fremont Neighborhood Council Board; John Nordstrand, Resilient Fremont and Wallingford Chamber of Commerce.

For more information contact:

Neighborhood Coordinator, Karen Ko,
karen.ko@seattle.gov phone 206.233.3732

For even more information check out some of these very helpful phone numbers and links:

The Find it, Fix it App for reporting issues
Report Graffiti - 206.684.7587
Abandoned Vehicles - 206.684.8763
Report Streetlights - 206.684.7056
City General Info – 206.684 – CITY (2489)
Seattle City LightDavid Wernli 206.496.4532
City Calendarwww.Seattle.gov/parkingmap

Neighborhood Coordinator, Karen Ko,
karen.ko@seattle.gov phone 206 .233.3732

To report a crime, contact North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator or SPD Sgt. Dianne Newsom.

Elizabeth Scott
North Precinct Community Coordinator

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Wine Tasting, Chocolate and a chance to win a new Hairdo!

June 16th, 2014 by Nico Lund


Chocolati Café and Salon Metro are excited to co-host an event as part of this year’s Summer Solstice Night Out. Featuring wine, small bites, giveaways – and, next door, chocolate — you will not want to pass by without stopping in!

Check out some of the latest looks designed by Salon Metro’s newest stylist, Justin Dahlquist, who will be hosting a raffle drawing for free cut and color services. Kevin Murphy sulfate-free styling products, featuring natural ingredients and recyclable or biodegradable packaging, will also be raffled off.
Fellow Salon Metro stylists Ross Taylor, John Simmons, and Sasha LeBeau will be on hand, as well local jewelry designer Jennifer Stenhouse.
Next door, sample a Chocolati Chill, the café’s signature summertime blended drink, plus wine tasting and truffles. Chocolati, with five locations in Seattle, specializes in handmade truffles and espresso.

Salon Metro is a full-service salon with experienced stylists who are committed to using only the finest earth-friendly color and products.

WHEN: Sunday June 22nd, 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: Salon Metro 1714 N. 45th St., Wallingford, (206) 545-6905 www.salonmetroseattle.com
Chocolati Café 1716 N. 45th St., Wallingford, (206) 633-7765www.chocolati.com
RSVP: 206.552.1984

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City Wide Annual Night OUT is Aug. 5th: Register Now!

May 23rd, 2014 by Nico Lund

It’s the 30th Annual Night Out on August 5th.

Did you Know that the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has a fund to support your event and activities?

It’s time to meet your neighbors! Yeah, those people that live next door to you, across the street, and that nice person who always throws your paper up onto your porch on his morning walk with his dog…the one who’s name you don’t know.

You know that cool looking couple that passes by on their evening run, or that elderly woman always working in her garden rain or shine. This is your chance to put names to faces and create that community vibe you are always craving. This could even be your chance to find out who lives in that haunted looking house with the over grown blackberries!

The Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement. Community groups can request up to $1000 to help fund Night Out planning efforts and activities such as outreach efforts, educational fairs, bike parades, and neighborhood cleanups, to name a few.

The deadline for applications is Monday, June 23 at 5:00 p.m., but you must register in its web-based application system by June 20 to apply.

For information on the application process, visit seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/smallsparks.htm or call 206-733-9916.

Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit www.seattle.gov/police/Nightout/.

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Get Garden Ready at Tilth’s May Edible Plant Sale

April 28th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Attention Gardeners: Stock Up at the May Edible Plant Sale and Support Education Programs

Choose from the largest selection of organically grown edible plants in the region while stocking up on plants and supplies to grow your own food. This unique sale supports Seattle Tilth’s many educational programs.

If you are like a lot of Seattleites, you have probably noticed that the sun is coming out a little more these days, as well as your yard could use a little TLC. Why not finally start that salad garden you keep talking about? Or if you are a seasoned green thumb, you might want to try out a few organic varieties that you haven’t tried before.

The Sale will feature over 50,000 organically or sustainably grown plants that are specially chosen by Seattle Tilth’s experts because they are well-adapted to thrive in our Pacific Northwest climate. Educators will be on hand to answer questions throughout the sale, and shoppers can learn organic gardening techniques in a series of gardening presentations.

May Edible Plant Sale Shopper Shoppers will find:

  • More than 350 plant varieties for your summer garden, including rare and heirloom varieties
  • Summer crops that love full sun such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and melons that can be planted at the end of May or in early June
  • Plants for beginning gardeners such as lettuces, Asian greens, kale, chives, arugula, strawberries, culinary herbs and edible flowers
  • Exotic flavors and colorful vegetables such as sweet chocolate peppers, bulbing fennel, Thai basil, lemon cucumbers, Purple Erdine eggplants, tarragon and striped tomatoes

If you’re new to this sale, check out Hot Tips to know before you go to maximize the experience.

All of the proceeds support Seattle Tilth’s extensive food, farm and garden education programs throughout Seattle and King County, building a sustainable and equitable local food system while safeguarding natural resources. The sale also supports local organic growers.

Seattle Tilth’s May Edible Plant Sale

Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Meridian Park
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle
Get directions.

Join the Facebook event.

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Chocolate, Not a Bunny for Your Kids This Easter

April 15th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Our Sister Site, Udistrictdaily.com speaks on behalf of cute fluffy bunnies:

Don’t Let the Cuteness Fool You: Buy Chocolate Not a Bunny for Your Kids This Easter

Posted by Nico Lund on April 15th, 2014

Last May, during a elementary school ultimate frisbee practice at Cowen Park, the game was halted due to a mysterious furry white creature hopping through the bushes.

When I picked up my daughter from practice she told me what happened and then asked if I thought it was a wild bunny. I said, “no, it was probably abandoned.” Then she said, “mama, we have to go save it!’ We turned around, went back to the park and found the derelict bunny and brought him home.

Just so you know, bunnies are very cute, but unless they are raised correctly, they can be very hard to handle and not very cuddly. The bunny we brought home fit into the latter category and try as we might, and many scratches and bites later, we realized he would do better in a home with someone who had a lot of bunny experience and could rehabilitate him.

Nilly, as we called him, was a beautiful white rabbit, the quintessential white rabbit from Alice and Wonderland. When you see bunnies, they really are irresistibly sweet and furry, but they are a pet that requires very specific care to ensure a healthy and happy rabbit. Unfortunately, many parents, boyfriends, partners and such think that a bunny would be a super cute gift, but it often ends with either a very sick rabbit, or in the case of Nilly, one that is abandoned to become raccoon food at the park.

According to Rabbit Haven, a non-profit that cares for unwanted bunnies and educates the public about rabbit care, every year “thousands of tiny baby rabbits are purchased for Easter gifts.” From their website, they have a list of reasons why this should be avoided.

  • Rabbits are not toys to be set up in a kid’s room only to come out when the child FEELS like playing. The rabbit needs a family to live with who loves them. They need room to play and be themselves.
  • Rabbits are not always cuddly and do not always like to be hauled around. They are affectionate, enjoy running and playing on the ground and use litter boxes.
  • Rabbits can become frightened when held or confronted by prey animals, like the family dog or cat. THEY NEED LOVING, GENTLE CARE.
  • Rabbits need to live indoors to be safe from diseases and predators.
  • Rabbits are not low maintenance pets. They require as much work as a cat or dog. Rabbits have high social needs and often want another rabbit as a companion.
  • Rabbits are not good first pets for a very young child. Kids lose interest quickly, and rabbits need continual love and support for a lifetime.
  • Rabbits can live 10 years, sometimes longer.
  • Rabbits need medical care from an Exotics vet. Spay or neuter can cost $150 or more, and rabbits require routine veterinary care. Rabbits have special diets and housing needs.
  • Rabbits cannot be set “free” out of doors- it’s a death sentence. They are usually killed by predators within 72 hours, suffering terribly.

If you or someone you know is considering getting a bunny, please pass this information on. As with any pet, one should always inform themselves on the pro’s and con’s of what they are getting. All species and breeds of pets have unique needs and dispositions.

Make sure you are informed before you bring any pet into your home.

Here is a great list of things to consider before getting any pet:

  1. Don’t buy a pet on an impulse
  2. Shop around for the right kind of pet for you or your household
  3. Consider Adoption
  4. Make sure your chosen pet (breed, species) fits your lifestyle
  5. Make sure your chosen pet (breed, species) fits your home environment
  6. Be clear about Why you want a pet
  7. Make sure this is a good time in your life to own a pet
  8. Consider lifespan of pet that you feel will match your needs
  9. Make sure you can meet a specific pets needs
  10. Make sure you know what breed, species is the right type for you or your household
  11. Nilly Vanilly liked his pal Spiral better than us from the get-go. He has since been happily re-homed where he was bonded with a female (spayed) companion

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Pay Attention! Whether You’re Walking or Driving, it’s Time to Put Down the Phone!

April 10th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Recently, while driving at a neighborhood friendly speed near Greenlake, a female runner who was looking at her phone proceeded to cross the street in front of me without even slowing down or looking up. When I questioned her disregard for safety, she gestured that it was a crosswalk.

While not a marked crosswalk, I agreed with her that technically, yes, an intersection of streets does denote a crosswalk for pedestrians, but doesn’t she still have the responsibility to at least look up and make sure there are no cars coming?

In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, between Today and next Tuesday

The Washington’s Traffic Safety Commission says officers across the state will be cracking down on distracted driving as part of a national enforcement campaign. Komo News reports that the campaign has the slogan, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” Yet, the epidemic of distracted driving seems to only touch the surface of how the distraction of smartphones and other digital devices are increasingly infiltrating so many areas of our lives. In many cases these distracted behaviors are putting people in harms way.

Distracted Walking: Putting thousands of pedestrians in emergency rooms each year

In a 2012 study conducted by the University of Washington, pedestrians who texted were four times less likely to look before crossing streets, stay in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals. NPR reported that the study watched more than 1,100 pedestrians at 20 intersections in Seattle that have had the most pedestrian injuries over three years.

The conclusion of the study published in The Injury Prevention Journal, stated:

Distracting activity is common among pedestrians, even while crossing intersections. Technological and social distractions increase crossing times, with text messaging associated with the highest risk. Our findings suggest the need for intervention studies to reduce risk of pedestrian injury.

Just as You Teach Kids to look Both Ways before Crossing Streets, Teach by example not to look at Mobile Devices While Walking

Healthline.com reported on an Ohio State University study that looked at the most recent impacts of distracted pedestrians.

The authors “found that the number of pedestrian ER visits for injuries related to cell phones tripled between 2004 and 2010, even though the total number of pedestrian injuries dropped during that period. The study also found that adults under 30, mainly those between the ages of 16 and 25, are most at risk for cell-phone related injuries while walking.”

Co-author of the sturdy, Jack L. Nasar,  Ph.D., professor and Ph.D. program chair of city and regional programming at Ohio State University says that “If you must talk or text, pull out of the stream of pedestrian traffic and stop walking while doing it. If you’re a parent, just as you teach your children to look both ways before crossing a street, teach your children not to use their mobile devices while walking or driving.”

If the distractions of your phone is still irresistible while you’re driving or walking…

and for those texting walkers:

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Elephant Exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo Brings up a lot of Emotion on Animal Welfare

April 2nd, 2014 by Nico Lund

Do Elephants belong in captivity, even if it helps educate visitors on the importance of habitat and animal conservation efforts?

In the wild, elephants typically live in tight knit matriarchal families. They experience many emotions that humans can relate to like grief, love, pain and fear, and they have self-awareness, memory capacity and recognition. The question being asked by some is, is being in a zoo setting detrimental to their well being?

Critiques of the Woodland Parks Zoo’s elephant program say that the current plans for the elephant exhibit expansion is not adequate or recommended. In fact, many zoo’s in the nation are dismantling their elephant programs.

Co-founder of the group Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, Alyne Fortgang, wants to see “the elephants retired to a sanctuary that would be in a warmer climate and a drier climate, that would offer a vast amount of space and would offer these highly social animals an opportunity to make companions of their own choice.” However, the Woodland Park Zoo has decided to take the advice of Task Force on the Woodland Park Zoo Elephant Exhibit & Program (WPZEEP) that put together a report over a seven month period in 2013.

The WPZEEP report states “…that although the elephants are healthy and staff provide good care, continuing the exhibit and program as it currently functions is not viable for the long term and changes are needed…”

The WPZEEP recommendations included two options for action:

Option One:

  • Create a multi-generational herd with an effective breeding program.

Options Two:

  • Improve the existing exhibit but allow current elephants to age out or retire at the appropriate time.

I have visited the zoo many times with my daughter over the years and feel torn on the issue. Although I agree that being able to share with my child the wonders of the natural world up close and personal has been an amazing treat and a way to talk about conservation issues, I still leave feeling like something is amiss. Perhaps it’s watching the amazing creatures try to function in such unnaturally small spaces that feels strange, or maybe it’s the fact that we are standing there just watching them on display.

I can remember trips to the San Diego Zoo with my family when I was a young girl and the Sea World trips and even going to the small zoo in my hometown. I wonder if going to these zoo’s has helped me to understand the plights of the natural world more?

Alyne, of the Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants Group seems to think the answer in no. She states that:

“the number one reason the zoo says that they want to keep elephants is because people have to see an elephant in order to act on their behalf and save them in the wild. Well, there is no scientific proof that has ever shown that to be true. We are taking this intelligent and social animal and giving it such an impoverished life.” She continues by saying that “we are teaching our children the wrong message. This is not education at all. This is selfish entertainment.”

It’s hard to say what the right course of action is here with folks on both sides of the issue passionate about their views.

As of now, the Woodland Park Zoo is planning to expand the elephant program, however, I am sure this isn’t the end of the debate.

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