Here and Now
This ought to get your goat
Seattle's elected leaders are used to putting out the red carpet for visiting dignitaries. But how do you give a herd of goats the key to the city?
City Councilwoman Jean Godden and Seattle City Light superintendent Jorge Carrasco will formally welcome Craig Madsen, owner and operator of Healing Hooves of Spokane, and his goat herd to the city's Maple Leaf neighborhood at noon Tuesday.
City Light has contracted with Healing Hooves to clear blackberries and brush from a steep slope at the north end of a City Light substation in the 800 block of Northeast 75th Street. The plan is for the herd of 250 female goats to graze on the brush. The city calls it environmental sustainable vegetation removal.
Using goats to manage invasive plant overgrowth may sound unconventional, but it's not new to Seattle or to many parts of the country, according to City Light. Last year, a community group used goats to clear an area in South Seattle to make way for a park. Goats are used frequently in California to clear brushy areas to decrease the potential for wildfires.
The goats are expected to chomp on old growth and stomp down dried canes and brambles to make it easier for crews to finish removing the brush.
The substation's northern boundary has been overgrown for years and is now an impenetrable thicket, says City Light. Removal is necessary for substation safety reasons and to remove overgrowth spreading onto neighboring private property.
The goats will be kept in a fenced enclosure, unable to roam outside the area. Because the area is near high-voltage transformers and power lines, access to the public is restricted.
Earlier this month, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels made public a draft plan for managing the city's trees. It proposes tripling the number of trees over the next three decades.
Tuesday, a public meeting is scheduled to review the draft and allow citizens to comment. The meeting, the second chance for the public to discuss the plan, will include time for small-group discussions.
The meeting will be held from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at the Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Ave. S., on Beacon Hill.
This is the final week this season for Metro Transit's Elliott Bay water taxi, which runs between Pier 55 at the foot of Spring Street on the downtown Seattle waterfront and West Seattle's Seacrest dock. The last day for taxi runs is Saturday. The taxi has been popular with tourists and commuters.
• A two-month street project that will run from North 45th to Northeast 45th Street in Seattle's Wallingford district begins today. The project calls for construction of concrete bus pads, curb bulbs and curb ramps between North Midvale Place and Interstate 5.
During construction, parking will be prohibited at times. Some lane closures will be necessary, but all lanes of traffic on the street will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. At least one lane will be open for travel in each direction at all times, but traffic is likely to be backed up at times.
Regular work hours for road crews will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with some weekend work scheduled.
Can you help?
The YWCA's nonprofit Dress for Success program, which focuses on supporting low-income women entering the work force, is seeking donations of high-quality clothing the next three Saturdays. For information on dropping off donations, call 206-325-3453.
Here & Now is compiled by Seattle Times staff reporter Charles E. Brown and news assistant Suesan Whitney Henderson. To submit an item, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-464-2226.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company