Seattle Met Magazine (formerly Seattle Metropolitan) just released its July issue with “100 Reasons to Love Seattle,” and the Woodland Park Zoo and neighborhood blogs made the list.
At number 77 (the magazine says the numbers are random because they didn’t want to rank them), the zoo got props for extracting DNA from elephant ivory to help trace captured contraband ivory to its origin.
When Zambia and Tanzania petitioned for exemptions from the worldwide ban on ivory exports at a WTO conference in Doha, Qatar, last March, they had Sam Wasser to thank for sinking their bid. As the scientific director at the Woodland Park Zoo in the 1990s, Wasser set out—where top forensic scientists had failed—to extract intact DNA from elephant ivory. He succeeded, then assembled a comprehensive DNA map of Africa’s elephants, a useful tool in tracing captured contraband ivory to its area of origin. Now the director of the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology, Wasser proved via DNA that Zambia and Tanzania were the main sources for most of the contraband ivory seized. Their bid was rejected—a stunning upset victory for elephants and conservation. And it all started at our zoo.
And at number 57, Seattle Met says neighborhood bloggers “are competing with the powerhouse pubs.”
The last thing Justin Carder needs is an award. Anyone tuned in to CHS, his blog about all things Capitol Hill (capitolhillseattle.com), knows his posts can veer from selfless service to self-promotion. (One recent headline: “CHS saves Cal Anderson Playground.”) Still, we can’t begrudge him the Society of Professional Journalists nod he received in May for best geo-specific site; he and his stable of contributors rarely drop a lead in Seattle’s most on-the-move ’hood.
CHS, along with nearly 20 blogs like it, are part of the Networked Journalism Project, which The Seattle Times launched in August. (Phinneywood.com also took home an SPJ award for its coverage of the Greenwood arson last winter.) Sure, it serves its purpose as an aggregated forum of local news, but the real lesson here? Our neighborhood newshounds, now more than ever, are competing with the powerhouse pubs.
Seattle Met’s online article includes a slideshow of its Flash Mob Cover Shoot at Gas Works Park, with photos by our sister site, My Wallingford.