A reminder from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition – this event’s not in South Park but worth the drive/ride if you can make it!
Where can you find a 50-foot long large-scale model of Seattle’s only river + art (including an 18-foot “scroll”, professional photographs, paintings, sculptures, etc.) + authentic Hawaiian food + FREE tickets to the Seattle Aquarium (a limited number) AND play in the sand ALL at once? In one of two of Seattle’s funkiest neighborhoods: Georgetown! Join us at “The Duwamish River in 3-D” – an unconventional public meeting in Georgetown style! More details here:
When: Thursday, May 23rd at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Sandbox Sports (5955 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108)
What: everything described above plus child care, beautiful people and saving YOUR river!
Bring your flip flops (or easy-to-take-off shoes), shorts, sun glasses and the WHOLE family (this is a family-friendly event).
We will be presenting about the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Duwamish River and what you can do to make sure the cleanup is one that truly benefits you, other affected communities and protects fish, wildlife and human health. The format will be a brief, visual and graphic tour where you will be able to learn what the cleanup is about, how it can be improved, discuss the alternatives with your neighbors, ask questions and let EPA know how and to what extent you want them to clean up your river.
Your participation and input is much needed; we only have 23 days left to save our river!
For more information about other opportunities to get involved, click here.
The event is co-sponsored by Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center, United Artists of Georgetown, Sandbox Sports and DRCC/TAG.
(Our video of the entire 2-hour meeting) 5:48 PM: We’re at South Park Community Center, where the presentation is under way at the latest public hearing about the EPA’s proposed Duwamish River cleanup plan – primarily in Spanish, though an English translator is on hand and speaking into a system that can be accessed by headsets, which are available. It’s starting with a slide show that began by showing the Duwamish’s 1909 configuration versus today, and has now moved into graphics showing the cleanup alternatives, followed by a presentation about sources of pollution/contamination – both a discussion of industry and also showing of photos including a street drain with cigarette butts teetering precariously over the edge. The hearing’s being held in the gym, and will include a public-comment period.
6:02 PM: The third presenter is going over the Environmental Justice Analysis for the cleanup – which also, according to DRCC, is a first. “Why is your opinion important?” asks one question – for one, because this is a new analysis, the first in the nation. This last part of the presentation is followed by questions – this period is becoming a bit more bilingual, as the first person to answer questions is speaking in English, with a translator next to her. The question was in part about lead levels in the river; the reply is that there hasn’t historically been much of a problem, so they haven’t studied it, so far. But then comes the discussion of kiln dust from nearby industry – and the Ecology Department is reported to be studying all the areas that lead- and arsenic-heavy material has been laid down. A report is expected in September of this year.
Another question is about what will be done with feedback on the overall cleanup plan. The next version, incorporating feedback, is expected early the next year, is the reply. It’s also noted that some cleanup in the worst areas is already under way. But the rest of the cleanup is likely 5 to 7 years from beginning – since it will have to be determined who pays for it.
Next question – which required some crowdsourcing to interpret – how to ensure that the cleanup doesn’t hurt nature in the area? Reply: They hope to minimize the amount of truck traffic related to the cleanup, and also hope to restore habitat in the course of the cleanup. And they were asked about past cleanups; Commencement Bay in Tacoma was among those mentioned.
6:24 PM: Alberto Rodriguez from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition is making a presentation now. He’s presenting a study which includes the questions and concerns raised by DRCC – including how the people who live and work along the river in South Park and Georgetown are affected by what’s on and in its shores. And with a pie chart, he shows that almost two thirds of the affected area is proposed for natural, monitored recovery – a much smaller percentage for dredging/removal or for being covered. The “natural recovery” presents problems, DRCC says, and they return to the concern over toxicity of the resident seafood. Another slide shows the cancer risks from PCBs in tribal children who have eaten more seafood. There’s an examination of what to do about that – how to reduce risks and exposure, particularly from river fish and area shellfish. And the DRCC voices concerns because some of the risks are not distributed equally – some are more at risk than others, especially because of the seafood consumption. He calls attention to page 87 of the proposed plan, which discusses this, and a disagreement with the EPA’s recommendation(s). More sediment removal could mean more certainty and less risk, they posit; concerns about addressing “source control” resurface, too, so that the cleanup isn’t followed by a new round of contamination.
June 13 is the comment deadline set by EPA, Rodriguez reminds the crowd – less than a month now.
6:46 PM: The first person to comment is speaking now. He’s talking about pollution resulting from industry serving the rest of the world – but affecting those who live here in South Park.
The microphone faces the attendees, rather than any panel of people. Everyone has mentioned concern about children, including those at Concord International (Elementary) here in South Park. The third person to comment is talking about how difficult it is to keep kids away from water and beach and parkland that you know is or could be contaminated. The fourth person also speaks of the illnesses that befall children, including her son, and hopes that the cleanup will do justice to families. Next, a woman speaking passionately about how there is so much nature here – but the river isn’t clean, and hasn’t been for years, but has to be made that way. Each speaker is receiving applause as s/he finishes.
7 PM: Speakers continue to be called from a list that the coordinator, Michael, is holding. Now Pam Elardo from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division is speaking, saying her Spanish doesn’t go much further than introducing herself, so a translator is now standing with her and speaking after every few sentences. She says that source control, which has been brought up, falls under her purview, every day, as do jobs, which somebody else brought up. “There are a number of source-control projects we will be building along the Duwamish River.” She says she’s brought brochures about jobs with her agency – jobs represent another issue that has come up. She also declares that after the EPA’s cleanup program, the Duwamish will be as clean as some other regional bodies of water, including Lake Sammamish – clean enough to swim in and to fish in, she vows.
She is followed by more community members, and then a Boeing representative who says they are excited about already being involved with an early cleanup. He says that the lower Duwamish will not be helped by a plan that advocates more dredging. “More dredging will take longer and have impacts on the surrounding community,” he contends.
7:20 PM: A Seattle city rep speaks next, also in English with a Spanish translator coming to stand and speak by his side. He talks about what the early-action cleanup has done – 29 acres at a cost of $95 million. He also mentions something that has come up a few times before – green stormwater treatment/infrastructure reducing runoff into the river and therefore being one part of source control for the future. He’s followed by Maggie from Puget Sound Sage, also speaking in English with Spanish translation. She mentions the South Park/Georgetown air-quality research project they’ve been working on – “knocked on over 500 doors, and held multiple community meetings in this very building. … Working with this community is an honor, and hearing of their health struggles must not be taken lightly.” She says Puget Sound Sage has three major concerns with the EPA proposal:
*The lack of controls on upriver pollution
*Responsible parties should pay into a mitigation fund for communities to direct where they see fit – since they aren’t the ones who polluted the river, it was nearby industry, for its own profit
*”They need to hire local people – this is a critical part of the cleanup plan … Hiring local will demonstrate the commitment to the local community.”
7:30 PM: A Port of Seattle representative follows, also in English, using the provided translator. She says they believe that the cleanup can be achieved more quickly and at less cost – 5 years, is their belief. Second to last person on the list is Alberto of the DRCC. He again addresses the audience – acknowledging that everybody wants what’s best for them, their family, their community. And last is a woman introduced by Maria, who promises she will be brief, drawing laughter.
FINAL UPDATE: The meeting wraps up at 7:40 pm with a reminder that they are continuing to take comments on the plan via e-mail. The remaining meetings are listed here, culminating with a public hearing downtown at Town Hall on the 29th, with two sessions, 2 pm and 6 pm.
Again this year, local nonprofits are participating in today’s GiveBIG one-day donation drive coordinated by the Seattle Foundation. The money you give to any or all of the participating nonprofits helps them be eligible for a “stretch pool” of partial matching funds, to be distributed proportionately depending on how much each participating nonprofit raises during GiveBIG, by 11:59 pm tonight. BIG catch: You **must** donate through the special pages that participants have on the foundation’s website, NOT via theirs own websites. So again this year, we have a South Park-relevant list. The special links take you to pages on the Seattle Foundation website with background information and links to the organizations’ own sites, as well as the donation links to use for this one-day event. (P.S. Please let us know if we missed a SP-based/-relevant organization – post a comment or e-mail us ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!)
DUWAMISH RIVER CLEANUP COALITION/TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP- go here
ENVIRONMENTAL COALITION OF SOUTH SEATTLE – go here
The agenda for tonight’s South Park Neighborhood Association meeting, as published on the Yahoo! e-mail group:
7:00 Meet and Greet
What is your favorite flower?
1. Anyone is free to suggest a topic for discussion at a future meeting. Contact Elizabeth Mauro, SPNA VP, at Elizabeth@artinstallation.com (206) 940-6145
2. Boeing Plant 2 Cleanup Update Brian Andersen
3. Give Big day May 15
4. South Park Nonprofit (TBD) awarded 3K for Think Green Recycle Challenge
5. South Park Landfill Site public comment period through May 30 (web link)
6. Any other announcements?
7:25 Nominate SPNA board members
Dagmar Cronn, President
Bob Cronn, Treasurer
Tom Ferlazzo, Director
Laura Schmidt, Director
Peter Quenguyen, Director
Elise Walker, (possible Director)
Nominate Bridgett McGinnis to represent SPNA at GDDC
Nominate Betsey McFeeley to represent SPNA SWPAC
7:30 SPNA Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation – Draft review
7:45 Police Report
7:55 Local Project Updates
South Park Landfill – Meg Bonmarto, Dept of Ecology
8:05 Featured Speaker
Proposed River Cleanup plan- Renee Dagseth, EPA
On Mondays, the Seattle City Council usually has two meetings. The first one, in the morning, is its weekly “briefing” session, often with a central subject on which it’s briefed. Today, the Duwamish River cleanup-plan proposal is at centerstage. B.J. Cummings of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition will be one of the experts talking to councilmembers about the health-impact assessment of the EPA’s proposed cleanup plan. Right now, they have an advance edition of the assessment, summarized here; the full version is expected out next month. The slide deck that’ll accompany this morning’s presentation is here. You should be able to watch this morning’s briefing live via the Seattle Channel at about 10 am, online or on channel 21.
Just west of here, it’s the 9th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – which your co-publishers here organize on behalf of partner site West Seattle Blog, as coordinators/presenters of the big event. 280 sales are on the map this year, and you are cordially invited to check them out between 9 am and 3 pm – we have online, printable, and mobile maps available via this page.
(March 2013 photo by Nick Adams for TSPN)
Back in March, we reported on a vigil at the South Henderson St. home of Jeremy Griffin, who has been fighting foreclosure. He is still fighting, and a local activist group has just sent this media alert saying they plan to fight a court-ordered eviction:
Yesterday, after a King County Superior Court commissioner denied Jeremy Griffin – a South Park, Seattle resident — his motion to stay his eviction, the Sheriff posted a notice ordering him to vacate his home by early Wednesday morning.
This is a scene that has played out millions of times across the country and thousands of times in Washington State. But this time, the Sheriff will meet resistance.
With numerous lawsuits pending against the big banks for their illegal evictions, their refusal to negotiate with families, and their well-documented acts of fraud, the banks have lost their right to prey on our community. With hundreds of Seattle homes going to auction each month and with more vacant homes than there are homeless people, we need a moratorium on all bank evictions.
SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure & Eviction) will stand with Jeremy to defend his home.
With a strict code of nonviolence to guide supporters, SAFE will embark on Seattle’s first eviction blockade since the current mortgage crisis began. SAFE volunteers will begin the blockade starting at 12:01 AM, early Wed. morning, May 15, and will continue until the Sheriff arrives.
A press conference is scheduled for noon, Wed., May 15, at Jeremy’s home. We invite members of the press to join us throughout the duration as developments unfold.
For years, Jeremy Griffin has labored as an ironworker on construction projects, reading plans, and physically carrying on his shoulders tons of rebar each day.
When the Great Recession hit, the construction industry dried up, along with Jeremy’s income.
After the stress of years of unemployment and underemployment, his life partner left him. Soon his mortgage went into default.
Then in 2012, the construction industry began to revive, and Jeremy got a job again as an ironworker on a bridge near his South Park home.
He told his bank, Wells Fargo, he could now pay his mortgage, but they weren’t interested. He even delivered to Wells Fargo’s Seattle headquarters $1200 rent checks.
On his first rent delivery, Wells Fargo threatened to call the police. On his second delivery, they opted to close the entire 47-story headquarters for the afternoon, rather than accept his money.
Only five weeks remain for you to have your say on the proposed Duwamish River cleanup. A multi-language event tomorrow is one way to find out what’s being proposed and how it would affect you. Incentives, too, as explained by this announcement from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition:
Concord International School, South Park’s neighborhood school, will co-host a workshop about the Duwamish River cleanup for families and community members this Thursday.
The workshop will be held in four languages – English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Somali – reflecting the diversity of the school’s students. Co-host Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC/TAG) will facilitate a hands-on workshop about the proposed cleanup plan and its recommendations for improvement, followed by a family dinner, river-themed tile-making activity, and free tickets courtesy of the Seattle Aquarium.
WHERE: Concord International School, 723 S. Concord St., Seattle
“This is a great opportunity to voice our concerns in our own languages,” says Concord School parent and South Park resident Paulina Lopez, who serves as DRCC/TAG’s Outreach Coordinator. “We want to make sure that the cleanup protects the health of our children and our families. ”
“This will help empower the community,” says DRCC/TAG Program Manager Alberto Rodriguez. “South Park residents will be teaching each other about the cleanup options, and they’ll get to design their own cleanup plan to submit to EPA as formal public comments.”
DRCC/TAG serves as EPA’s Community Advisory Group for the Superfund cleanup. Representatives will also be available from EPA, the WA Department of Ecology, and the “Lower Duwamish Waterway Group,” comprised of four potentially responsible parties with liability for cleanup (Boeing, Seattle, King County, and the Port of Seattle).
DRCC/TAG will also announce and recruit school families interested in its new river cleanup Job Training Program, a partnership with EPA’s Superfund Job Training Initiative.
EPA’s Proposed River Cleanup Plan is currently out for public review, and public comments are due by June 13.
The situation that brought SWAT officers to the 8300 block of Dallas overnight finally ended early this morning – here’s the newest information from SPD Blotter:
Three men are in custody after a robbery inside a building in South Park early this morning.
At approximately 12:37 a.m. officers responded to the 8300 block of Dallas Avenue South for the report of a robbery-in-progress inside a building containing marijuana.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the adult male victim was inside the facility (a commercial-style building) talking on the phone when three unknown male suspects entered the building. The victim set the phone down as he was confronted by the suspects, allowing the person on the other end of the line to hear what was going on. As the suspects began binding the victim with duct tape the victim’s friend (on the phone) called 911.
As officers arrived on scene the victim was able to escape and ran out the front door of the building to the safety of officers. Two of the three suspects then exited the building and were taken into custody. Officers saw a third suspect emerge who retreated back inside the building. Officers subsequently surrounded the building and attempted to get the suspect to come out. Officers received information that led them to believe the third suspect was armed with a gun.
The SWAT team and negotiators were called to the scene. They made several attempts to get the suspect to come out and surrender peacefully. The SWAT team used distraction devices and a chemical irritant to get the suspect to come out which were unsuccessful. The front door of the building was locked, therefore a SWAT vehicle was used to breach the door in order to allow the robot to enter and survey the building. The SWAT team entered the building and located the suspect hiding in the ceiling. He was taken into custody without further incident.
All suspects are now believed to be in custody.
Fire department medics were called to the scene and treated the victim for non-life-threatening injuries he sustained during the robbery.
The victim indicated that the facility was a learning center to study marijuana production.
Marijuana-growing learning centers are not legal according to state law.
Robbery detectives responded to the scene and are handling the active and on-going investigation.