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Friday, June 29, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Here and Now

Gas Works Park to reopen

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Gas Works Park

Seattle's Gas Works Park at the north end of Lake Union will reopen to the public tomorrow - in time for the park's annual Fourth of July celebration - after being closed since November for an environmental cleanup. A community celebration to mark the reopening will take place at 11 a.m. tomorrow with live music and refreshments.

Protect the pets

Fireworks can be fun for people. But don't expect pets to love them. Fireworks can rattle the nerves of pets, causing them to become confused, panic and run for cover, often losing their way or putting themselves in harm's way in the process.

Animal-control shelters say panicked dogs and other pets will go to great measures to escape their fenced-in yard by digging under or climbing over a fence, chewing their ropes or jumping through the window of a house or car. And shelters routinely receive reports of lost pets, mostly dogs frightened by the noise.

Animal-control workers advise pet owners to keep pets inside in a sheltered area such as a laundry room or basement while fireworks are being set off. With their keen hearing, dogs and cats can be spooked even by far-away explosions that don't alarm humans. Playing soothing music can help muffle the sound of fireworks.

Some veterinarians offer oral tranquilizers to help quiet dogs' nerves, and some pet owners even take their pets to kennels to keep them safe over the holiday.

Shelters say it's important to make sure pets have current identification tags or microchip IDs.

Pet microchip-ID clinic

Speaking of which, you can get microchips implanted in your pets from 2 to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle and at 210 Washington Ave. S., Kent. On Sunday, pets can get the implants at the Shoreline Safeway, 15332 Aurora Ave. N. The cost is $15, and insertion is similar to a vaccination.

A canine walk

Dog owners and lovers are invited to join a Walk for the Animals Sunday to benefit homeless animals in King County. Walk for the Animals is a pledge walk in conjunction with PetFest at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Registration will open at 10 a.m., with the walk at 11 a.m.

The daylong event, to benefit the Humane Society for Seattle-King County, also will include live bands, food, entertainment and prizes. Close to 1,000 dogs and their owners are expected. Festivities will continue until 6 p.m.

The road blitz

If you're not careful, you could get blitzed in the next few days. For more than two decades, the State Patrol has picked certain days during the year to team up with other law-enforcement agencies to step up traffic enforcement. A "Three Flags" enforcement blitz - so named because it also involves Oregon and British Columbia - starts again today and continues through July 8.

The State Patrol says troopers and police officers will be out in force in marked and unmarked vehicles - troopers even drive unmarked sport-utility vehicles these days - looking for motorists not using seat belts and child restraints, those who exceed the posted speed limit, and those who have had too much to drink.

State law requires children to be buckled up, and troopers say they'll accept no excuses.

Last year, during this same period, a blitz resulted in 445 alcohol-related arrests, 14,168 stops for speeding, 1,569 seat-belt citations, 152 child-restraint citations, and 262 felony and misdemeanor arrests.

Fact of the day

The 20-year anniversary of the assassinations of Filipino labor leaders Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes will be commemorated tomorrow with an awards dinner sponsored by the Northwest Labor and Employment Law Office the pair founded.

Domingo and Viernes, officers of the Alaska Cannery Workers' Union, were activists opposing U.S. support of the Philippine dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

In 1989, the families of Domingo and Viernes won a $15 million lawsuit that held the Marcoses liable for the killings. The lawsuit uncovered evidence that Marcos and his wife, Imelda, sent agents into the U.S. to spy on Americans who opposed the regime.

Four men, including the former cannery workers' union president, also received life sentences for the two murders.

An award bearing the names of Domingo and Viernes will be presented to activist Bob Hasegawa, the former president of Teamsters Local 174 in Seattle.

Here & now is compiled by Seattle Times staff reporter Charles E. Brown and news assistant Suesan Whitney. To submit an item, e-mail herenow@seattletimes.com or call 206-464-2226.

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