The Seattle Animal Shelter is a model for animal rescue shelters everywhere. The shelter provides temporary homes for several thousand animals every year – rescued dogs, cats and critters. Only the handful that are incurably ill or overtly dangerous fail to find adopted homes.
But, admired as Seattle’s shelter has been, it has suffered through some difficult times during the recent recession. The City, facing a steep shortfall in revenue, had to give top priority to public safety and essential human services. Other less critical city services, including the shelter, suffered steep reductions.
During those tough times, the diminished staff at the animal shelter received some partial help from its many … Continue Reading »[More]
Past lives continue to haunt us. How well I know. Although I have been a City Councilmember for these past 10 years, some Seattleites still remember me from my apprentice years as a daily columnist – eight years writing a column at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer a dozen years at the Seattle Times.
It was a job that I loved. I found great satisfaction in chronicling life in my favorite city. Nothing made me happier than for some newcomer to tell me that they were wondering whether to relocate and my column gave them a feeling for what life would be in Seattle.
As a columnist, I had this secret aspiration: I wanted to hold a mirror up to Seattle and tell readers … Continue Reading »[More]
Reception for the 40th Anniversary of the Seattle-Tashkent relationship
Think back, if you can, or imagine, if you cannot, what the world was like 40 years ago. It was a chilling time. The United States was engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The United States’ war with Vietnam was winding-down. The world was different and scary place.
But in the midst of those difficult years, there was at least one bright and hopeful move. For, in 1972, during a dinner at the 10-year-old Space Needle, Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman suggested a sister-city relationship to his counterpart, the mayor of Tashkent.
The next year, against all odds, that sister city relationship became a reality. This agreement incredibly … Continue Reading »[More]
Latest to make the rounds on Facebook and Twitter are references to a remarkable self-penned obituary by a Seattle writer, the late Jane Lotter.
When I saw the Lotter name, I was stunned, for I was lucky enough to have known the witty and personable Jane Lotter during my former career as a Seattle Times columnist. And, as it turns out, the New York Time story that prompted the Twitter is only part of Jane’s story.
Jane Lotter also wrote a show-stopping obit for her mother, the late Margaret Anne Lotter. The words about her late mother were so exceptionally touching that in August, 1999, I called attention in my column to the obituary that had appeared in the Death … Continue Reading »[More]
On rare occasions, Cheryl Sesnon, executive director of Jubilee Women’s Center, hears a tale of adversity and tragedy from one of her residents so overwhelming that she that quietly closes the door to her office and cries. Sesnon has heard many such stories during her years of working in social services and she’s developed a tough skin. Yet, the grace and strength the women of Jubilee show in the face of hardship can also reduce her to tears.
Most of the time Cheryl seems full of hope, wisdom and strength. It takes that and more for her to balance needs at Jubilee. The Capitol Hill women’s center … Continue Reading »[More]
Two modern-day pioneers – Al Dietemann, the man they call the “Great Guru of water conservation,” and Carl Woestwin, “the father of Seattle’s organics” – stopped by my office recently to bid goodbye.
The pair are retiring from Seattle Public Utilities. And they’ll most assuredly be missed, for they’ve both led campaigns so amazing and so innovative that the rest of the nation is breathless trying to catch up.
First let’s look at Al Dietemann, the “great guru” of water conservation. What he accomplished since joining SPU in 1987, is miraculous. Just think: In that year, one the city’s worst droughts, there were fewer people using Seattle water, but water consumption overall was 41 percent higher than it is today.
As he retires, Dietemann is leaving Seattle Public Utilities with 233,000 more water … Continue Reading »[More]
But you can bet that Helen and I shared some of the same experiences along the way. We both lived through some of the tough days of women trying to make their way in journalism careers.
She was a pioneer and it was through her gritty, determined elbowing that she was able to earn such designation as first female member of the White House press corps, first female officer of the National Press Club and first female member of … Continue Reading »[More]
The 57.5-foot tunneling machine that begins its journey from Pioneer Square to South Lake Union this summer, is presently cradled in an 80-foot launch pit, poised to delve underground.
In the prelude to the start of boring, workers are shoring up soils in the Pioneer Square area, making sure that all the supports, hoses and electrical connections are in working order, … Continue Reading »[More]