Opinion / If I Ran The Zoo

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 By Mel Damski    Opinion    May 29, 2024 

If I ran the zoo

No, my obsession is no longer Donald Trump or the Mariners or preparing to vote for the Oscars. My obsession is BIRDS. I sit in my hot tub at least twice a day and I am transfixed by the bird feeders...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    March 6, 2024
Snow geese fly and forage in a field

Save the birds!

I've always been a bird lover. I grew up with birds in cages in my house and now I have feeders in the front and the back of my house. My dog Rosie loves to sit by the window and watch the birds come...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    February 7, 2024

If I Ran the Zoo

It’s heartbreaking to be updated on how many homeless people there are in Skagit County. Fortunately, they are no longer camping out on sidewalks in our towns. I can no longer visit my friend in S... Full story


If I ran the Zoo

Rain rain, go away, come again some other day. No, rain please don’t go away, stay so I can breathe another day. We live in a place with a lot of rainfall, especially at this time of year. This m... Full story


If I ran the Zoo

If you are heading towards Whatcom County or Canada and you are not in a hurry, Chuckanut Drive is a wonderful alternative route. Chuckanut is a winding road that goes along the Pacific coast and feat...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    October 25, 2023

If I ran the zoo

It’s been heartbreaking for me to follow what’s happening in Israel right now. My cousin Yossi Drory lives in Tel Aviv and the last time I saw him in person I was four years old and he was five and... Full story


Are you offended? Feedback requested

When I became a columnist many years ago for this newspaper, I borrowed the title “If I Ran The Zoo” from a delightful book by Dr. Seuss. For me, it was just the perfect title for a column in whi... Full story


If I ran the zoo: Do your part to preserve birds and habitat

I love birds. I have feeders in the front and the back of my house and my office and I refill them every day so that I can continually enjoy watching them in large numbers. Which brings me to a very... Full story

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    July 26, 2023

So many great stories, whether old or new

I just turned 77 years old, and as I write this, I feel older and wiser. Well, wiser in some ways as we can always learn from our own experiences, but also facing the challenges of short-term memory l...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    June 28, 2023

If I ran the zoo

Women, women everywhere. I noticed more women recently in places where we hadn’t seen them before, such as covering men’s sporting events on television and serving as governors and in the police and...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    May 31, 2023

If I Ran The Zoo

The Mount Vernon High School debate team debated about the positive and negative effects of social media May 15. Also on stage were Jason Miller, publisher of the Concrete Herald, Ron Judd, executive...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    April 26, 2023

If I Ran The Zoo

Believe it or not, I was a star athlete in high school. My senior year I was an all-county linebacker, an undefeated wrestler and a catcher in baseball who batted .517. There were scouts at all of my...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    March 29, 2023

It's a wonderful life and a land of opportunity

These are tough times that will definitely be noted in our history books. Crime and violence are at all time highs (which can be seen as big lows). Many small businesses have shut down and many big...


If I Ran The Zoo

It has been absolutely heartbreaking to follow the news of the devastating effects of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The number of deaths is nearing 44,000 as I write this column and will...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    January 25, 2023

If I Ran The Zoo 1/25

Am I proud to be an American? Yes. This is the country that gave my parents a wonderful place to live after they barely escaped from Nazi Germany. Am I happy with the direction this country is headed...


If I Ran The Zoo

As I drive around the Skagit Valley, I am blown away by the beautiful cloud formations I am seeing. If I am able to pull over in a safe place along the road, I stop and take a cloud photo. I am...


If I ran the zoo

Okay, are you sitting down? You are about to be very surprised by what this progressive liberal is about to say. I am very much in favor of the death penalty for murderers who are absolutely guilty of...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    October 26, 2022

If I Ran the Zoo

Talk about mixed emotions: My close friend, Father William Treacy, died last week at the amazing age of 103, and I will miss him so much, but I will also join in the joyous celebrations of his...


If I Ran The Zoo

Remember the Birdman of Alcatraz? I am introducing you to the Birdman of Shelter Bay. I'm buying a house in Shelter Bay with different feeding areas, including a bird watering hole. I'm converting...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    August 31, 2022

If I Ran The Zoo

Being a caffeine addict, I was excited to welcome La Conner's new Beaver Tales Coffee & Tea and indigenous gift shop and what I found was so much more than another excellent local outlet to satisfy...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    March 29, 2022

If I Ran the Zoo

I was blown away this winter by the number of birds that I passed by as I drove all around Skagit Valley, including fields filled with snow geese and eagles in trees being photographed by many birdwat...

 By Anne Basye    Opinion    February 9, 2022

Farmers faced with farmland tree planting as way to save salmon

For farmers evaluating Governor Inslee’s Salmon Recovery bill, the devil is in the details. Details like what exactly constitutes a Riparian Management Zone and whether the riparian buffers proposed in the now withdrawn HB 1838 will not just target s...


Pat Paul discusses indigenous people in international lecture

Pat Paul knows her history. She also knows the history of indigenous people throughout the Americas, enough of it that Paul took part last week in a major online global biennial conference addressing their plight. A La Conner attorney and Alaska...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    August 25, 2021

If I Ran the Zoo

I lost my wallet. I had no idea where, it just wasn’t in my pocket or on the top of the dresser where I leave it at night. Big hassle. Canceling and replacing credit cards and ID cards and my d...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    July 28, 2021

If I ran the zoo

I recently said goodbye to my Uncle Harry Rosenfeld. Three weeks ago, when our part of the world was experiencing record high temperatures, I flew across the country to Albany, New York to visit my...


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