Worth Repeating — RWQC Meeting June 2!

1 06 2010

At the June 2 Regional Water Quality Committee meeting, chaired by King County Councilmember Jan Drago, the Committee will receive a briefing about the West Seattle CSO projects and the other two CSO projects further north at North Park and Magnolia. Public comment is allowed. I have not received an agenda.

The meeting takes place at 3:00 p.m., in the King County Council Chambers, at the King County Courthouse, on the 10th floor.

To view the video of last month’s meeting, please click here. Go to the 11:30 mark of the video for Councilmember Drago’s comments and directions to King County Wastewater Division for the June 2 meeting agenda. Kudos to Jan Drago for her initiative in these matters!





Heritage Trees?

27 05 2010

I have nominated the two sycamore trees in Lowman Beach Park for Heritage status at the Plant Amnesty Heritage Trees page.

You may think that it is not possible for a tree on Seattle Parks land to be declared a Heritage tree, but it is! I confirmed that with our local Southwest Parks Center people AND four trees were recently declared Heritage trees in the Roanoke Street Mini-Park. Watch the video at the link. It is way too much fun and special! Can you envision our celebration of the Great Sycamores of Lowman Beach?

Feel free to let PlantAmnesty know how you feel about these two trees.

On another note, the Parks Board meeting tonight is about trees and shrubs on Parks land. My plan is to ask them why they have not moved the city for an ordinance allowing such Heritage trees found on public land (parks) to have legal status and legal protections?





Community Advisory Committee or Council?

25 05 2010

Apparently, there is movement towards establishing bona fide stakeholder groups for the four designated “Beach CSO Projects” two located in West Seattle, and two further north in the Magnolia and North Park areas. I and several other neighbors have been contacted to provide preliminary comments and feedback to staff of company called EnviroIssues, apparently for the purposes of getting a sense of the issues that would be important for the establishment of stakeholder groups.

I will keep you updated as this process moves along. It would be nice if it is truly the beginnings of bringing the willpower, clout, and commitment of engaged communities to the table for obtaining the right solutions for CSO for both neighborhoods and the Sound — you know, adequate, expandable, maintainable, non-hazardous, and future-oriented.





Important Regional Water Quality Committee Meeting!

25 05 2010

At the June 2 RWQC meeting, chaired by King County Councilmember Jan Drago, the Committee will receive a briefing about the West Seattle CSO projects and the other two CSO projects further north at North Park and Magnolia. Public comment is allowed. I will post an agenda of this meeting as soon as I receive it.

The meeting takes place at 3:00 p.m., in the King County Council Chambers, at the King County Courthouse, on the 10th floor.

To view the video of last month’s meeting, please click here. Go to the 11:30 mark of the video for Councilmember Drago’s comments and directions to King County Wastewater Division for the June 2 meeting agenda.  Kudos to Jan Drago for her initiative in these matters!





Important Seattle Park Board Meetings!

25 05 2010

Seattle Park Board Meetings, Thursdays, May 27 and June 10, 2010.

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a volunteer advisory board established by ordinance. The Board consults with and makes recommendations to City Council, the Mayor, and the Superintendent regarding the Parks and Recreation Department’s policies for the planning, development and use of the City’s park and recreation facilities..

May 27 — Seattle Parks’ senior urban forester, Mark Mead, is scheduled to attend the May 27 Park Board meeting to brief the Board on the Department’s “Tree Management Maintenance, Pruning and/or Removal Policy.” This is an opportunity to let the Park Board know about your concerns regarding the proposed KCWTD alternative plan to site a CSO tank in Lowman Beach Park that would require the removal of the two treasured and significant sycamore trees located in the park.

June 10 — Kevin Stoops, Seattle Parks’ Director of Planning and Development, will give a briefing on Lowman Beach and King County’s consideration to use the park for underground sewage storage and combined sewer overflow control facilities. Obviously, this is a great opportunity to let the Parks Board know your feelings and thoughts about the KCWTD plans to completely redo the park for the purpose of locating a CSO tank in the park.

Public testimony is allowed and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. Public comments are heard by the Board near the beginning of the meeting, during Oral Communications. There’s a sign up sheet on the agenda table and the chair will call people to the podium in the order of those signatures. If a large number have signed up, each person will have 2 minutes to speak. If there are only a few speakers, the chair will allow 3 minutes each. If a group is attending, it may be advisable to ask one person to speak for the group and so indicate to the chair when you come to the podium. Many speakers find it helpful to read their written comments and then give 10 copies to the Board.

Park Board Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and take place in the Park Board Room in the Parks administration building in Denny Park at 100 Dexter Ave North.





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?





So Many Promises

13 05 2010

It is significant to note that on page 13 in KCWTD’s 2008 Annual Report, that purports to describe what KCWTD will do with respect to the Puget Sound Beach Projects (Barton, Murray, North Beach, Magnolia), they state “Up to nine alternatives . . . will be developed for each basin.” Up to nine. I guess three comes close enough, eh?