Here are a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day, love, loveless, hugs, kisses, and, yes, (not scary) sex stories from the CHS archives. Happy Valentine’s Day.
By Joel Sisolak and McCaela Daffern
The most expensive public works project in Seattle’s history is quietly heading toward City Council approval. Let’s hit pause and consider how the project will impact adjacent neighborhoods and how the developer should internalize costs that will otherwise fall on Seattle taxpayers, including the cost of housing the development’s own workforce.
In case you’ve missed it, the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) is slotted for a makeover to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars – an eye watering price tag bigger than Safeco and CenturyLink combined. It will reshape a large part of Seattle’s city center, result in four years or ongoing construction, disrupt downtown traffic, and permanently remove 1.28 acres of streets and alleyways to use by the public.
And the benefits are less than certain. WSCC claims that the addition will provide “a host of economic benefits, including as much as $240 million annually in visitor spending, as many as 3,900 direct and indirect jobs.” Continue reading
Across Washington State, thousands of women, families of diverse communities, and members of the LGBTQ community, took to the streets in a peaceful protest to stand up for equality, civil and women’s rights, and religious freedom.
It was an inspiring day, but one we can all agree must be followed by longer term action.
As the female majority of the Democratic Caucus in the Washington State House of Representatives—one of only four women-dominated chambers in the country—and the most diverse we have ever been, we have a request of you: run for public office. Continue reading
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 5, 2017
From the National Weather Service
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 4 PM PST MONDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR THE CENTRAL PUGET SOUND REGION FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 4 PM PST MONDAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...3 TO 6 INCHES OF SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE. LOCALIZED ACCUMULATIONS UP TO 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE CLOSE TO THE CASCADES. * SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS...SEATTLE...EVERETT...TACOMA...BREMERTON...AND MOST LOWLAND LOCATIONS EAST OF PUGET SOUND. * TIMING...SNOW IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE THIS EVENING AND CONTINUE OFF AND ON THROUGH EARLY MONDAY AFTERNOON. * MAIN IMPACT...ROADS AND SIDEWALKS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND VERY SLIPPERY. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY DURING THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. DELAYS MAY BE SIGNIFICANT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD, AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
With great anticipation, having twice seen Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, I attended “Cendrillon” on opening night. Following is a review I posted on the PNB website (Or tried to post. “Your review has been submitted successfully!” says the auto reply, “Upon approval of the administrator your comments will be added to Seattle Theater”):
“The dancing, sets, and choreography are exquisite, but Cendrillon has a fatal flaw: The Pleasure Superintendents are rendered as silly, simpering gay stereotypes. The original Boys in the Band offered a more subtle presentation. The PNB’s overlooking bigotry, whether against homosexuals or another minority, would be wrong at any time; under the Trump Administration it is downright scary. If Maillot’s Romeo & Juliet is a predictor, the PNB will offer Cendrillon in years to come. If that is the plan, I would urge Peter Boal and the Board to scrap it.”
My radar for bigotry was, thankfully, enhanced last Tuesday by a rally for refugees hosted by Jewish Family Services and Temple de Hirsch Sinai. During that event, speaker after speaker compared the rhetoric used by President Trump and his supporters against refugees and Muslim Americans and the rhetoric used in the 1930s to close U.S. borders to Jewish refugees ( “They’re dangerous,” “They’re not like us,” “They’ll take our jobs”). Watching Cendrillon last night, I thought, “Here’s an example of how the normalization of bigotry begins. In winking at what we know is wrong. In playing stereotypes for laughs.”
Please join me in urging the PNB to do better.
From the Office of Senator Jamie Pedersen
Greetings! We are now a month into the 105-day legislative session. We have spent most of our time so far in committee, reviewing over 1,700 bills introduced so far. Our first major cutoff will come two weeks from today, giving us a much better idea of which ideas actually have support to proceed this year.
Amply Funding Public Schools
I continue to focus my energy on our top priority this session – increasing funding for our public schools. Senate Republicans finally released their education plan last Saturday. Although it makes major policy changes to how we run and fund public schools, they held no public hearing in the K-12 Education Committee. Instead, they held a Ways & Means Committee hearing on the 130-page bill Monday, passed the bill out of committee Tuesday, and passed it out of the Senate Wednesday on a 25-24 party-line vote. I spoke against the plan in committee and on the Senate floor. Here is why:
- Compared to current school funding levels, the Republican plan would cause real harm for the 53,000 students in Seattle Public Schools. Families will pay $174 million more in property taxes and in return, our schools would receive a $30 million cut.
- Across the state, the plan would result in fewer resources for 605,000 students – more than half of the 1.1 million K-12 students in our public schools.
- The plan would result in larger class sizes, fewer school resources, lower teaching standards and a loss of local control.
- The Republican plan fails to meet the Supreme Court’s order to provide ample funding for schools – the main objective of our work in Olympia this year.
House and Senate Democrats have released a plan that would lower class sizes, improve teacher compensation, and increase services offered to our students. Our plan will receive a public hearing on Monday in the House Appropriations Committee at 3:30 p.m.
Hope for terminally ill patients
I am also working on legislation that would give patients who are facing life-threatening diseases the ability to access investigational medications that have cleared initial safety testing. Similar “right to try” laws have already been enacted in 33 other states.
This bill gives hope to those who have run out of options. One of our neighbors on Capitol Hill brought the issue to my attention. She is a courageous mother of two elementary school kids, battling an aggressive form of breast cancer that has spread to her brain. After being told she had just months to live and facing numerous barriers to trying medicines that are still in development but could save her life, she has put her energy into making sure that she and others have access to those drugs. The bill (SSB5035) was unanimously approved by the Health Care Committee on Thursday and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
From the Seattle City Council
SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant, NoDAPL Seattle, and 350 Seattle celebrated unanimous Committee approval of Sawant’s bill to divest from Wells Fargo and adopt socially responsible banking practices. The legislation enables the City to divest from Wells Fargo, and establishes social justice as an important consideration when deciding what bank and other types of companies to use in the future.
Councilmember Sawant joined with organizers fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline to draft this legislation, with the specific intention of divesting from Wells Fargo, one of the pipeline’s primary financiers, and establishing the most rigorous banking standards allowed under state law.
Wells Fargo was recently caught defrauding customers by creating two million fake bank accounts, and was indicted in 2012 by the US Department of Justice for engaging in racial discrimination when it scandalously sold subprime loans to black and Latino households. The bank also is a principal financier of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which impugns native sovereignty and will be deeply destructive to the planet.
“Seattle’s divestment from Wells Fargo is a stunning rebuke of Wall Street, Big Oil, and the billionaire class,” Sawant said.
“Wells Fargo executives have shamelessly profited off climate change, environmental destruction, and the brazen, unapologetic discrimination and defrauding of millions of everyday working people. The CEO may have stepped aside, but not a single executive has been punished. Instead, 5,300 lower-level workers, many of whom were forced into involvement in Wells Fargo’s despicable practices, have been scapegoated,” she added. “Thanks to the advocacy of thousands of activists and working class people, we’re going to hit Wells Fargo, the financial sector, and Big Oil where it hurts – their checkbook.”
“For five hundred years, Native peoples have fought back against genocide and resisted the destruction of our lands. This defiant movement against DAPL, begun by the Standing Rock Sioux, has united our tribes like never before. We are going to defeat this pipeline, continue to lead the fight to protect and better the Earth, and defeat Donald Trump,” said Millie Kennedy, local Indigenous leader.
“Millennials, both students and working class youth, aren’t going to stand idly by and let Wall Street and Big Oil destroy life as we know it. Climate change is real. We need a sustainable economy, we need it now, and it’s going to take mass movements to get us there. That’s why I am a socialist,” said Ezgi Eygi, Socialist Students leader, supporting the NoDAPL movement.
Full Council is scheduled to consider the Socially Responsible Banking legislation Monday, February 6 at 2 p.m.
We don't know exactly how many people are being detained at our airport or what their status is. This is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/x0hMSXAC0e
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 29, 2017
From the office of Rep. Pramila Jayapal
SEATTLE – Today, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal demanded the release of individuals being held at Seattle airport by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as a result of President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.
“This executive order is absolutely inhumane and barbaric,” said Rep. Jayapal. “President Trump has banned men, women, and children seeking better lives from accessing the American dream. His xenophobic policies are not only causing mass chaos and uncertainty at our ports but exacerbating fears in the hearts of Muslims across the country.”
The CBP must be transparent about the number of people being detained, their legal status, and must provide them with access to attorneys. CBP authorities have not provided any information on the numbers of people detained. It is unclear how many are legal permanent residents, visa-holders, or refugees. According to one Somali family, a family member was turned away and put back on a plane.
Jayapal urges family members of those who are detained to contact the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project at email@example.com for assistance.
“This is not the America I know,” said Jayapal. “We are a compassionate nation that welcomes people with open arms, no matter their nationality or religion. We will not let this President destroy our American values. In the streets and in the courts, we will fight these policies to the bitter end by building a mountain of resistance against him.”
Thousands pack SeaTac Airport in protest of Trump's ban on Muslim immigration. pic.twitter.com/Y8fkMWQWsX
— Alex Garland (@AGarlandPhoto) January 29, 2017
From Doug Bayley Co-founder, Volunteer Park Trust
A response to the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s letter of January 17th, 2017
I am alarmed at the tone and content of the conversation around the SAAM expansion project because it stops the conversation rather than furthering it and because the consequences of stopping the project are significant and do not take into account the reality on the ground.2
The most major change to the Olmsted design for Volunteer Park was the construction of the Seattle Art Museum, gifted to the city of Seattle in 1933. Several challenges currently exist: the museum needs serious renovation, including an expansion to the east, the four-acre reservoir is currently non-functional; the water tower has seismic issues and ground toxicity; and a new, relocated amphitheater is in the schematic design phase. The Landmark Board, Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP), Volunteer Park Trust, Seattle Parks Foundation, Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM), the Friends of the Conservatory’s sponsored Sustainability Coalition have joined Seattle Parks & Recreation to help manage these restorations using city funds, grants and private donations. SAAM has presented a renovation plan, including a 3,500 square foot extension, that will bring it into the 21st century and fulfill it’s mission for exhibiting Asian art and culture as well as public education.
Public process is complicated, especially when it concerns a nationally recognized and landmarked historic park. While many people approve of the interior renovations and service access changes to SAAM, the extension on the East side has provoked some to protest the loss of 3,500 square feet of adjoining park land. Since the fall of 2015, architects and park groups have met to develop designs for interior and exterior improvements for presentation to the public. Many changes have been proposed, discussed and accepted as a result of these meetings. Public meetings began in late summer 2016. But, despite multiple opportunities for input, there are complaints that the public has not been brought into the process earlier. By late fall it became clear there was loud minority who objected any expansion in the park whatsoever.
In fact, the Olmsted’s vision for Volunteer Park was to be a civic center for passive recreation and culture. In its 100 year history, there have been many changes to the park, reflecting changing public taste and a changing world. The museum has enhanced the park since it opened eight decades ago. Its cultural importance has grown along with it’s internationally recognized collection. Much of this collection cannot be shown for lack of space, air conditioning and humidity control.
The museum lacks space for it’s thriving education programs, visiting exhibitions and important art restoration. The question that those opposed to the expansion ask is whether the expansion onto park land is justified and appropriate. The answer, in this case, is yes.
Despite pastoral pictures accompanying the Cultural Landscape’s letter, the site behind the museum is desolate, wet and shady. The original Olmsted plan has already been compromised by the museum building. There have been concerns about loss of views, danger to major trees, and connections to the park on both sides of the truncated East lawn. The SAAM review process considered these potential problems, taken many ideas from professional architects and park groups the plan includes many of these changes in the current proposal.
People visit parks for more than fresh air. But, change in the park has been ongoing and is inevitable as we adapt to a changing world. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is a vital and important cultural hub. Volunteer Park is a neighborhood park and also a city and regional cultural treasure. The museum gives much more than it takes from the community. There will be many opportunities for more discussion. I would like people to consider adding to the conversation instead of stopping it. The larger picture of Volunteer Park with revitalized features and healthy institutions needs to happen and needs involvement and vision in a open minded conversation.
From United Way of King County
Take the stress out of filing your taxes and maximize your refund – have United Way of King County prepare your return for free!
United Way of King County is offering free tax preparation services in 27 locations throughout King County from now until April 20th. Households making under $64,000 can have their taxes prepared– and they can get connected to healthcare enrollment and other public benefits.
Locations can be found throughout the county with daytime, evening, and weekend hours available. No appointments needed. Get your maximum refund fast and pay no fees!
The tax site in your community is: Douglass Truth Library — Wednesdays 3:00-7:00 PM
To find other locations, languages available, a list of what to bring, and other details, visit our website at www.uwkc.org/taxhelp or call 2-1-1.