Tag Archives: West Seattle Blog


52WoLP: #10, Animal Presence Part 2

This is a bit of a riff, but bear with me, we’ll end up at Lincoln Park. I’m still buzzing about animal presence, and wanted to share some o’ that love. After the iridescent octopus at Makena on Maui, the turtle-paloosa at every beach we visited, the shave-ice colored wrasses and graceful idols, the whales, spinner dolphins, I wanted to learn about local folks helping to protect the gift of nature that Hawaii is… and one group stood out: Hawaii Wildlife Fund.

HWF was founded in 1996 by two biologists who saw the encroachment of all kinds of not-very-wild activity on an environment that depends on wild conditions. They are, as co-founder Hannah Bernard put it: “small but mighty.” They spend most of their energy actually doing things like this and this and this (poopy!). They have an awesome education and intern program (do they take 60 year olds??), outreach, and have built an impact worth supporting.

So….Lincoln Park, here’s the link up: as soon as I learned about HWF, Seal Sitters here in West Seattle came to mind. Local with an impact that belies its size, passionate and visionary…Good stuff. Some things I love about Seal Sitters: they have educated a whole city about the little seal pup on the beach, the one people may mistake for injured or worse, others may think would be a happy playmate for their dogs, and still others who might not have noticed at all. It’s neighborly, it’s profound, it’s small but mighty.

Co-Founded by author Brenda Peterson and gaining strength as Seal Sitters in 2007, the group has helped so many–kids, adults, even dogs– understand that it is up to us to protect and share the beach as part of our wildlife habitat. You see them often on Alki, but for the last couple of years, you’ll also see them at the beach in Lincoln Park, setting up a protective zone around a seal pup resting on the shore. They have a great blog (blubberblog, best. name. ever.), our beloved West Seattle Blog is a big booster, and the volunteers are more than happy to talk about what they do. The pups are still taking long sleeps on the shores so keep an eye out for that thing that Seal Sitters does so well.

Wildly, improbably, a few people saw a need and decided to do something about it. As a result, they really have changed the world–one beach at a time. I love that.

52 Weeks of Lincoln Park: week #10

52WoLP: week #9 and Animal Presence

I can’t help it. I’m still enveloped in the pleasure of swimming with green sea turtles in Hawaii for the past two weeks, and am not yet finished replaying the sensation over in my imagination.  Those great bodies moving so gracefully through blue green water, coming up for a gulp of air and a look at the odd but apparently harmless creature swimming alongside–I will not soon forget the glint in the turtle’s calm, accepting eye.

What does this have to do with Lincoln Park, you might ask. Well,  I was reminded of a post on the subject of animal presence by the eloquent Trileigh Tucker, intimate friend of Lincoln Park and all of nature. Her post is this week’s contemplation of LP, because it’s an awesome post, and because we are heading into a period of intense animal presence in and around the park.

How rare it is for us humans to be encountered in the wild by an animal who seems without fear of us, and even more powerfully, to whom we are of calm interest. To see ourselves in their eyes, to be recognized in some way as having a presence, perhaps even being of a kindred nature, perhaps, ultimately, with personhood — such an experience reminds us who we are….Some deep part of us yearns for this recognition.


Personally, I wait each year for the ruby crowned kinglets–skittish little lovelies with beautiful songs.  Yesterday I noted on WSB Facebook that a neighbor had seen a coyote on the perimeter of the park three days in a row, a seasonal presence to watch for. There are owls, bald eagles, wrens, tree creepers like nuthatches and browns, song sparrows and squirrels, of course. We can watch them, and there’s a sense that they might enjoy watching us.

May you be in the presence of the animals that make their home in LP; coexisting with them is deeply, deeply soothing to the soul.  Thanks Trileigh!

8 Reasons Why These Local Boys Do Good

Mike and Jason of Urban Build Inc.

We are in the final phase of a garage conversion which has gone unbelievably well and quick.  The biggest chore in fact was clearing out, recycling, using, giving away 10 years of stuff from the garage so it could transition to its new self.

We sort of had the insulation and demo lined up and were looking for drywallers when I had a moment of clarity.  It went like this:  couple months back we had a repair which required a full day of my presence at home.  I arranged it, canceling meetings and such, basically a day of work lost but it had to be done.  So here I am, waiting…waiting.  Finally the guy calls and says he’s coming from North Seattle, is stuck in non-moving traffic on 5 and won’t make it that day.  The whole day?  Yeah, whole day.  Too late to pick the shambles of my schedule up and too late to find a new company to work with.

So when I started to get bids for the drywall on this project, I recalled that and revised my craigslist search to <drywall west seattle>.  I found a few names, one with a website I could refer to  , Urban Build Inc–local guys, they live near Alki, so I gave them a call.  They came by that afternoon…and after talking with them, I decided to ask how they would do the whole job, not just the drywall.  Cut to the chase, their bid was fair, clear and made sense, so we gave it a shot.

Here is a list of the many reasons I’ll use Mike and Jason of Urban Build again:

  1. Fast: Since they were local, they could drop by to view the site on their way home from the project they were working on and give me a bid by the end of the day. Immediate turn-around.
  2. Conscientious:  avoid unnecessary waste, mess, or toxins.
  3. Experience: Their professionalism took me by surprise–I don’t know, sometimes I have low expectations of craigslist.  These guys take enormous pride in what they do and how they interact with the client.
  4. Communication: clear, easy, consistent. Super-value add: they listen.
  5. Can-do: There was virtually nothing I suggested that they said couldn’t be done. That sounds weird but we’ve worked with a few guys who were all “oh no, you can’t do that. you’ll have to tear the house down to do that.” Really. Mike and Jason might add some ideas or explain how we might do it differently but “no” just isn’t part of their vocabulary.
  6. Magic: They said what they were going to do and then, magically, they just did it.  In my experience, this is unusual.
  7. Work ethic: Did I mention pride of work and ownership?  Again, less common all the time, and the job they did was gorgeous.
  8. Design sense: they’ve seen a lot and have good taste–good ideas and suggestions.  For Mike and Jason, it’s the art and mechanics of the job, not just the muscle and know-how.
These guys are keepers and they are right here on The Rock.  They work all over, of course, eastside, north and south, but my preference is to keep things local when I can–especially with the price of gas and traffic issues we’re having just now.   If you need a contractor who can do it all, elec to drywall and plumbing, give these guys a shout.  
Also, just so’s you know I’m not overly partial, here are some rave reviews from West Seattle Blog and Yelp.

construction in process Urban Build