Weekly Update: 02/08/2021

Public Service Announcements

  1. If you are a local business, make the Southside Promise from the South Side Seattle Chamber Of Commerce! There are grants of up to $1,000 to help you now.
  2. The new round of Federal PPP loan program just opened up. And it is much better than the first round last year. If you need more information, here is a presentation from the Small Business Administration with lots of links to more information.
  3. There are new State Unemployment Benefits. But you gotta read and follow the instructions!
  4. Last month’s article in the Seattle Times regarding the Masonic Home has gotten a lot of people talking. As you know, working to save the place has been on my agenda for years. Please contact me or Barbara McMichael of SoCoCulture.org at info@sococulture.org to get involved! She is compiling a mailing list and is coordinating efforts to save the place. 🙂
  5. City Of Des Moines Minor Home Repair Program This is one of those great programs the City has had in place since forever, but we only advertise every quarter in the City Currents Magazine. Basically, low to moderate income households can get grants to do all sorts of necessary repairs. Just email Minor Home Repair Coordinator Tina Hickey (206) 870-6535.
  6. Every home should have a Carbon Monoxide Detector–especially during the colder months! Full stop. If you need one but money is tight, South King County Fire And Rescue will get you one. Just call their Community Affairs Office at 253-946-7347.
  7. Rental Assistance for Low Income King County Bar Association – The Housing Justice Project is requesting community based providers assistance to identify households who owe 10K or more in back-rent. “We can zero out $10K or more of rent for folks who are at 50% AMI or below these income limits. If you know anyone, can you have them email fwblackcollective@gmail.com for navigation with case managers or give them this link which has all the paperwork to complete and email to edmundw@kcba.org to get their rent payed out.   Forms to Eliminate Back Rent: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1fUdYAwMFH_V_B1vTD_urmir_ltI8Wfnw.   Completed forms can be emailed to edmundw@kcba.org.”
  8. If you wish to sign up for future City Clean Ups Michelle Johansson Fawcett: cleanuri.com/pj4RQ5
  9. And last, but not least: If you have a Port Package that is having issues, please email SeatacNoise.Info with your address!

This Week

Tuesday: Port Of Seattle Commission Meeting (Agenda). This is one of those ‘details’ that you should care about. The Port will be purchasing 14 acres of wooded area next to the Des Moines Creek Business Park for the purpose of adding more warehouses. This is to support cargo aviation. Which means more air traffic over Des Moines. My colleagues on the Council have publicly stated that they are all-in on this development. It’s shameful. Those will likely not be Des Moines jobs. This will definitely add to the noise, traffic and pollution.

Wednesday & Thursday: Association Of Washington Cities Action Days. I attended this last year as a noobie and found it very useful. (I actually scored a private five with Jay Inslee. No selfie or pen. 🙁 😉 )

Thursday: Public Safety Committee (Agenda)

Thursday: City Council Meeting (Agenda)

You can (and should) attend any of these meetings by signing up at:  https://www.desmoineswa.gov/FormCenter/City-Forms-3/Council-Meeting-Comments-49.

Last Week

This week I’m doing a ton of site visits for SeatacNoise.Info. If you have a Port Package and it’s got problems, please contact us and follow the instructions.

Tuesday: I had a good meeting with UW DEOHS, Senator Karen Keiser and Rep. Tina Orwall to harmonize State funding for her indoor air quality proposal with SeatacNoise.Info’s outdoor air quality monitoring proposal. The upshot: The indoor studies are full-speed ahead at five area schools (hopefully one more will be added to include Beacon Hill.)  For the next year the outdoor monitoring will only take place at those schools. In the 2022 legislative year, I’m gonna push to get that expanded as I’ve been talking about. Every neighborhood. Every year. That’s what we need.

Mea Culpa!

Two weeks ago now, I sat in on the Economic Development Committee Meeting (Agenda). In last week’s Weekly Update I commented

Chairman Nutting asked that the City make the mall at Kent Des Moines Road and Pac Highway a higher priority for re-development. Good idea. However, my feeling is that until we deal with the fact that the City boundary with Kent goes right through the middle of that mall we’ll never get where we want to be there–or with the homeless camp issues to the west. Bottom line: you can’t fix what you don’t own.

After, I had a back and forth with Councilmember Buxton where she pointed out that the group was actually talking about what is now the Dollar Tree store. D’Oh!

I’d like to offer some excuse like lack of sleep, war wound, medical procedure, but naaaaaah. It was a stupid, sloppy mistake and I am thankful that Councilmember Buxton took the time to point it out.

At the risk of sounding defensive…

Councilmember Buxton closed our back and forth by expressing this concern:

“Just trying to help you understand what you hear in Econ, so that there is less miscommunication to the public.”

I also have that concern. And I think it’s fair to say that some of my colleagues consider pretty much everything you read here to be suspect. But  I am happy to compare the quality and quantity of information I share with the public with that of my colleagues (and the Administration) any darned day of the week.

I welcome transparency and (constructive) criticism. Whenever possible, I try to provide references to what I describe. If the Economic Development Committee Meetings were recorded I would put links to that so you can see the work (and my mistakes) in all their glory.

In all our sister Cities, the public can watch and provide public comment at all Committee Meetings–which is where the majority of the real decision-making happens. I have proposed this here and been shot down each time.

So you have to take me at my word for now. Which means that, when I make a stupid mistake like… oh I dunno… referring to the other QFC that has left town in the past decade…  it’s especially embarrassing.

If you do anything long enough…

I’ve now done over thirty of these Weekly Updates. That’s a significant amount of writing (or ranting depending on your point of view.) I’ve talked with a couple of for-realz reporters about doing a ‘column’ like this. And I was warned that this sort of *screw up will occur. Sooner or later, if you do anything long enough, you’ll blow it.

What one reporter told me–and he was prophetic–is that when you *screw up, it will be for something you take for granted. And that is exactly what happened here. I was responding reflexively. My mistake was that I wasn’t really listening to the discussion because, in the back of my mind I am constantly livid about the state of our City’s economic development. And anger makes one sloppy.

What ‘the haters’ will say is, “That jerk doesn’t even know what QFC we’re talking about. Buwahahahaha!”

I can see it all from here…

But speaking of potential embarrassments, what puzzles me is why the City still insists on referring to that location as ‘the QFC’. It’s been eight years after all. Perhaps some of us still haven’t accepted that the ‘gateway’ to our great city is a Dollar Tree?

Whatever the reason, CM Nutting said that he wanted that area given higher priority because he ‘did not want to lose all the momentum we’ve achieved.’ Councilmember Buxton made a similar comment in a voice mail where she said (I’m paraphrasing): “When you’re at the top of 216th and you look West, you see all the progress.”

I do not see what they see. When I look west on 216th I see a very nice road (thank you Federal government), but to my eyes the downtown hasn’t significantly improved in the fourteen years since that project began.

And the other ‘gateway’, the one I thought they were talking about when I was on my mental stay-cation? My previous comments apply.

It’s not that I don’t agree with these plans. It’s that I literally do not see the plan. And that has created a sense of urgency in me, which, on this occasionm made me a sloppy listener. I will have to work on that.

*To be clear, this not the language I use at home when I make this kind of mistake. 😀

4 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 02/08/2021”

  1. What happens to the comments posted here? I’ve posted a couple of times and the comments seem to go in some bottomless pit.

  2. JC again a lot of information about our little City Thank YOU !! I’m interested in the presentation about our “Bridge ” on 216th And the replacement Restroom at the Marina !!

    Also a lot of credit to you about “eating Crow” on the mistake Refreshing !! Thanks Kaylene

  3. 16 more acres of land destruction for the port…. Not just stupid…criminally stupid in my personal view. You’ve not only added noise and pollution but more crime in time as DM is transformed into a New Jersey industrial zone.

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