Truly Underwhelming RWQC Briefing on CSO Projects, June 2

5 06 2010

I have to say this — I am so glad I did not spend my hard-earned time on planet earth to attend the most recent Regional Water Quality Committee meeting. At the last minute, since I had not been sent an agenda as promised, and since I had no idea of what amount of time was going to be devoted to the “CSO Briefing,” I decided not to attend. I have since viewed and analyzed the presentation that was made to the RWQC by Linda Sullivan and the committee members’ responses to the presentation. Frankly, it was abysmally underwhelming.

Committee members showed literally no concern about any of the alternatives currently proposed for CSO solutions at the Murray pump station and NONE for the proposed complete alteration of Lowman Beach Park or the use of eminent domain to buy up prime private property for the 2 million gallon tank. NONE!  (Oh, and now the tank is being described as a 2 million gallon tank — used to be 1 million — can someone please make up their mind?)

View the video of the June 2, RWQC meeting yourself by clicking here. Go to the 1:39 mark where the briefing starts. It lasts about 30 minutes.

The two most interested and concerned committee members were Don Davidson, Mayor of the City of Bellevue, and Bill Peloza, councilmember City of Auburn. Unfortunately, one of the most significant questions that came from Mr. Peloza went substantially unanswered and without follow-up. The question related to “how are you going to reduce those five overflows per year at Murray to one per year?” I will send Mr. Peloza an e-mail that answers that question for him. The short answer is, the current plans won’t.

I will also be writing to the RWQC asking to be allowed to do a briefing to them on the community’s concerns and to more adequately answer the questions that Mr. Davidson and Peloza had.  Mr. Davidson’s concern related to his question which was essentially “when are we going to get this right?”

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The Leadership Void

19 05 2010

Let’s see, I first found out about KCWTD’s potential plans for siting a CSO tank in the Lowman Beach Park neighborhood by “hounding” Martha Tuttle, whose official title, as I understand it, is Water Quality Planner/Project Manager lll, but who is often identified as a community relations representative for KCWTD. When I finally landed a direct phone call with her in February 2010 in my attempts to get updated on why I hadn’t heard from KCWTD for so long about the plans for the underground electrical generator that a team of neighbors (including me) and KCWTD had been working on since late 2005, she said “We are working on CSO plans that incorporate the electrical generator. . . you aren’t going to like it.” That was it, until the three alternatives showed up at our neighborhood’s door-step on or about March 29, 2010.

Literally, almost within seconds of getting back home from that KCWTD informational meeting of March 29, 2010, I started writing to my city, county, and state representatives about the significant lack of true community involvement in the plans that KCWTD was clearly going to go forward with, come hell or high water. To date, I have continued to beat the drums and communicate to those same “leaders” what I see happening with King County’s complete lack of respect for our community’s desires to do the right thing for our neighborhoods and Puget Sound. The lack of respect continues, and our “leaders” are, as far as I can tell, missing in action.

So, while a very large group of residents of West Seattle try to get to the table to get a true vote, and offer their clout, assistance, and willpower in finding the solutions they feel are best for the West Seattle community, our “leaders” more-or-less twiddle their thumbs, I guess (until proven otherwise), hoping for us to disappear. Ain’t gonna happen!

While our “leaders” twiddle their thumbs, two communities with different agendas, different stakes, and different sets of “sacrifices” start to go at each other. Hmmm… and, where are the “leaders”? Still missing in action. I guess that is what they want, “war” and hard feelings being created between neighbors and communities. Hard-earned time and money being paid out to find the right solutions, stop the KCWTD madness, and look for legal strategies. That’s what our “leaders” want? To keep offending us, making us spend our hard-earned money and time to get the right thing done? Us?

I can only assume that is what they want until they prove otherwise. I wrote to them a couple of days ago about this very scenario. See the FCA’s allegedly “Draft” letter to Dow Constantine, basically saying “your problems (Lowman Beach Park) are not our problems.” I would debate that one, anytime, anywhere. Mr. Butterfield, are you listening? It was a cheap shot by the FCA, alleged “Draft” or otherwise, and the idea was not passed by any of the Morgan Junction Community Association officers prior to the FCA going public with a “Draft.” For goodness sake, a “Draft” slap in the face?

The FCA apparently has a very short memory (or, they don’t give a rat’s behind) as to how much many of us helped them in their very recent fight to keep Washington State Ferries from expanding the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock, something THEY did not want. It could have been good for some businesses in West Seattle. Many of us could have taken a different path. But, no, we supported the FCA’s efforts. Hmmm… so much for reciprocal neighborliness.

So, Executive Dow Constantine, Councilmember Jan Drago, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, where are you for this community?

P.S. I am sending copies of this to our state representatives. I wrote them more than a month ago, but the only one who responded at all said “it isn’t really a state issue.” Really? So, you want to see subsections of the 34th District at “war” with each other. Well, do you?





Fauntleroy Community Association Ups the Conflict Quotient

12 05 2010

Although it is allegedly only a “Draft” letter to Dow Constantine from the Fauntleroy Community Association (FCA), it is difficult to know just what was going through their minds, other than to raise the level of conflict and set up a situation that only makes things more controversial. You can read it for yourself at the West Seattle Blog: Fauntleroy Community Association: CSO “proceed” letter, schoolhouse.

I have checked, and so far received confirmation from one Morgan Community Association officer, that no FCA officer or otherwise passed this Draft letter to Dow Constantine by any of the MOCA officers for review and comment BEFORE deciding to make it public. In its current form it is a clear call to arms for MOCA and all those who are working for a comprehensive solution to this area’s CSO problems.

In my humble opinion, it would have been far more neighborly to do a joint letter to Dow Constantine from the presidents of both organizations, but, I guess the FCA wants to go this on their own and have decided they want what they want when they want it no matter how it affects anyone else. Pretty far from neighborly. And, quite frankly, it signifies the VERY LAST TIME I will support anything the FCA wants, like I did with their campaign related to Washington State Ferries’ expansion plans for the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock. Never again. What are you thinking?

As for the solution that they want to have proceed, I am not sure they are getting it. It won’t solve their CSO problems, not even close, and they have an aging pump station that is the lowest in the system and is incredibly vulnerable to future sea level rise and has already gone down, pumps and all, from flooding. To put an underbuilt structure in a school house parking lot and then call that a solution is really just passing the buck to the next community downstream. Thanks, but no thanks!





People for Puget Sound?

29 04 2010

Here’s my rant for the day, and a suggestion. I have written to all the organizations noted in our right sidebar. I have spoken on the phone with Puget Soundkeepers, NOT ONE OF THEM HAS TAKEN UP OUR CAUSE — you know, the cause of building the right facilities for truly protecting the Sound, not some under-built, quick-fix, do-the-minimum, band-aid on CSO events. NOT one of them. Do they offer to provide links to SoundAngels.org? No! Do they offer to get together with us in person, and with the significant neighborhood players in our cause? No!

So, if you are a member of any of these organizations, please give them a call, and let them know how you feel about their “non-participation” so far. I am a member of People for Puget Sound. They often ask me for help. Now, that our neighborhood and I need help, where are they?