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Seattle , Washington
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January 26, 2011     West Seattle Herald
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6 Friday, January 28, 2011 West Seattle Herald MMENT Pheasant under foot Editor's note: Along Maplewild S.W. at around 160th, a beautiful male Chinese Pheasant seems to have taken up a home. He's not all that concerned about passing cars as he pecks his way through the brush looking possibly for grubs or some other tidtbit. I've seen him several times but never soon enough or my being ready enough to shoot a picture. Last week it all changed when I got this shot of him preening along the pedestrian right of way. I only shoot with a camera these days but ff did remind me of an event many years ago when I thought I was capable of more daring deeds. Read on .... Below the clear October skies over Wenatchee, the corn stubble cracked beneath my boots at every step. My shotgun fully prepared to bring down my first game bird.My Mcmicken Heights buddy Ciff Goodman sidled along nearby. He had shot lots of ducks and other game birds. I had son Tim's little cocker spaniel. I had rented Richard Tiger for the weekend, for a quarter. He too was ready for the sudden flutter of wings. Richard was useless. He was too short to leap over a row of beets and spent his time trailing behind me. Cliff was a consummate hunter instructing me to keep the safety on and the muzzle pointed low. I follow instructions as well as anyone but somehow when the birds take to flight I fumble around, my thick fingers too slow to even get off a shot. Not wanting to be skunked and suffer the subsequent embarrassment I cleverly slipped the safety off while continuing to obey the first rule of gun control, point the gun down. I don't really know how it happened. My mom always said I was a fidgety kid. Somehow my finger managed to gravitate to the trigger like a goat to grass. BOOM!, my rifle fired into a thick stand of corn stubble. A hole the size of a basketball sent soil and stubble flying up and out, right towards Cliff. I was about to apologize when he shouted, ',did you get anything, you missed me[" I tried to explain that it was an accidental 12-guage This beautiful Chinese Phesant appears to have settled into the Maplewild area. experience but I chickened out. I told him the bird was right in front of me, had great color and I was afraid I'd miss him if I didn't try to ground sluice him right there. I know it is not fair and the unofficial hunter's rule book says you gotta let 'em fly first. Cliff was disgusted as he brushed bits of dirt from his eyebrows. He did offer some advice in the process. Maybe fishing was more to my liking as hunting takes wits and good athletic reactions. Since I possess little of the first and none of the second I was willing to take his advice."Let me do the shooting," he said. It worked out just fine. I've never killed a pheasant yet. Jerry Robinson is the publisher of the West Seattle Herald~ White Center News. He can be reached care of Ken Robinson at kenr@ robinson news.com. Jerry Robinson in action. Who is right- who is wrong? Who is bad, who is good? Police, a pooch and How about if we just admit...no human being is perfect and just do the public the best we can each day. When we can all walk on By Earline Byers home blank stare straight-ahead water without sinking, we'll have To be safe, how can we know when people or pets really are brewing up a hurricane force of hatred and/or mental instability?. Miss Katrina, my Shih Tzu is a social butterfly. I've got to watch that little girl every time we're in public parks or she'll be rounding up a bunch of equally excited $1egged friends in no time for one happy, "Let's play" roundup. You see she's very smart, yet, too trusting as well, believing most other dogs love her that much also. Innocence dealing with other pets, people and parks has its good and not so good influences and opportunities. Then there was Rosie, the Newfoundland dog that made news around the world at her death. As adults, we know the important roll pets play in our life, yet there seems to be a lack of understanding of our pets and what is going on in their thinking process. They can't speak English and we can't read their minds. Today, some dogs, such as pit bulls, are trained to be mean and ornery, but not Rosie. Miss Katrina and I only met Rosie once in the park about 2 weeks before she was killed. We found her gentle, although cautious. How can we really know when people or pets are safe or not? That's a question I asked readers when I walked within inches of soon-to-be notorious killer Maurice Clemmons while crossing the Beach Park walking bridge Nov. 7, 2009. I'll never forget the look on Clemmons' face, that nobody's- look. Two days later Clemmons murdered four highly respected Lakewood police officers. One year later in that same park, Miss Katrina and I met "Rosie" the Newfoundland dog that would be controversially fatally shot within two weeks. How do we know when danger is only steps away?. That question seems answered when Seattle Police Officer lan Birk, who shot and killed John Williams, a woodcarving citizen, was quoted in The Seattle Times of 01.12.2011, saying he felt threatened by Mr. Williams' behavior, based on police training known signs of attack; "Pre- attack indicators include a clenched jaw, furrowed brows, and a fixed "thousand yard stare." The tragic victims of Clemmons' blank stare were four young, innocent police officers who died much too early in life. Today, thoughts around the world are for Rosie, recently killed in a sad Des Moines situation. Did Rosie have dog "pre-attack indicators," other than possibly being scared to pieces? When Miss Katrina and Rosie met it was quite a sight to see, little Katrina standing on her back legs leaning front feet against Rosie's strong legs, and stretching to touch noses. There was no fear between them. Rosie allowed me to pet her thick hair, while Miss Katrina made Rosie her new friend. That was the first and last time we saw Rosie. Today Rosie is a worldwide subject. Blame for her death is bouncing around like a soccer ball one great all~ity celebration. Meanwhile, we need to live together and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Meantime, Des Moines Mayor Bob Sheckler is the target of unkind printed public words responding to Rosie's death. Des Moines Police Guild leader demanded Sheckler's resignation on the basis that the mayor was not publicly supportive of police officers in the Rosie tragedy. From Bob Sheckler's first campaign to become a council member, he has served this city well. Mayor Sheckler established the first Volunteers Leadership Conference that produced a committee that supported police services in every possible way. A huge help was the levy lid lift that voters passed allowing upgrades of DMPD equipment and added personnel. In response to the Police Guild's published criticism Mayor Sheckler said, "1 am very disappointed that something like this is happening and especially in light of what I believe is my stellar history of supporting the Police Department. As to Police Guild Leaders demanding my removal from office - only voting citizens of Des Moines have the right to make that determination, and when they do, it will be at voting polls. I strongly support Des Moines Police," Mayor Sheckler said. Earline Byers can be reached care of Ken Robinson at kenr@ robinsonnews.com. The women (and .,.ar ocmelll) Ofwnlg,lOnd and wife I cannot allow 2010 to pass without noting that it represented the centenary of two significant events: women's suffrage in the state of Washington and the birth of my late mother-in-law, also in the state of Washington. Washington's male voters (bless 'em) approved women's suffrage by a nearly 2:1 majority, making this the fifth state in the Union to give women the right to vote. National women's suffrage would arrive 10 years later, with passage of the 19th Amendment. It was the great watershed in the struggle for women's equality that continues today. I wonder what it was like to be born into a revolutionary era like that. Edna Mae's generation (which included my own mother, born in Illinois six years later) subtly reinvented the role of women. With new assurance of their equality with the males, they were challenged to perform an intricate balancing act. They still were called to safeguard certain cultural values and perform their traditional role as family nurturer. They advanced the cause of equal status for women, but quietly - and certainly not as quickly nor as far as my generation demanded. Edna Mae was born into a religiously conservative family. She left institutionalized religion behind when she escaped to college ("normal school" they called it then) and developed her own strict moral code that was the marrow of her being. She met her future husband, John M. Andrist, on a geology field trip. They ultimately eloped. . Their marriage was similar to my were equal partners, yet with roles clearly defined by the norm of the day. The economic fate and social status of the family depended on the father's career path. It was the responsibility of the wife to be the Oscar-winning supporting actress. Yet as the decades advanced, roles were modified to meet the demands of the times. When Edna Mae and John bought a small restaurant, he did the cooking. He'd had experience and was good at it. Edna Mae ran the wait staff, and I'm certain she was good at that. The term of endearment my late husband used most often when describing his mother was "stubborn." A petite Woman, she had a set to her chin that said without words, "Don't waste your breath arguing." Yet she did not argue when we invited her to move in with us after she'd lived alone as a widow for six years. What followed was a challenge. Andrist men tend to marry strong-willed women, and there were two of us under the same roof, We adapted, not easily and not always gracefully, but we knew we had to. Without ever losing her sense of self, Edna Mae had been adapting all her life. It was the most important lesson of the many she taught me. Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking it was my generation that brought about the most significant changes in gender and racial equality. But, ah, let us never forget the women - and men - of 1910. Mary Koch is an Omak freelance , writer and editor. She can be contacted at www.marykoch.com