Weekly Update: 03/23/2021

Public Service Announcements

  1. Spring Recycling Event at the Des Moines Marina Saturday March 27. NEW: You can now bring TVs and electronics!
  2. Kent Des Moines Road Closure March 21 and 23rd!
  3. SBA Webinars on new PPP Programs start March 3rd!
  4. Virtual Open House on SR 509 I-5 to 24th Ave
  5. Give public comment on Sound Transit’s Operations And Maintenance Facility March 24 and March 30!
  6. The Rotary Club’s Poverty Bay Virtual Wine Festival is March 27th! Order a couple of glasses of great wine and support a great local charity!
  7. The fourth round of Washington State COVID-19 Small Business Grants starts March 29th. Go get ’em!
  8. 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.
  9. There are new State Unemployment Benefits. But you gotta read and follow the instructions!
  10. The recent 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. ūüôā
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Rental Assistance for Low Income King County Bar Association ‚Äď 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.”
  14. If you wish to sign up for future City Clean Ups Michelle Johansson Fawcett: cleanuri.com/pj4RQ5
  15. And last, but not least: If you have a Port Package that is having issues, please email SeatacNoise.Info with your address!

This Week

Monday: Chat with King County Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott on working with King County to include aviation-related emissions and green house gases in the Counties environmental planning.

Tuesday: Puget Sound Resource Council (PSRC) Broadband Community Planning in Puget Sound.

Tuesday: Highline Forum

Tuesday: City Of Burien Town Hall on DESC. First of all, they’re actually having a Town Hall. Second of all, even though it’s Burien, this matters for Des Moines. We will be looking at the same issues in the near future so it’s a good idea to see how other Cities are tackling the problems of affordable housing.

Wednesday: Testimony at King County Environment and Mobility Committee on air quality improvements around the airport.

Wednesday: Public comment on Sound Transit’s Operations And Maintenance Facility siting

Thursday: 30th District Legislative Call: A chance to get updates on what’s happening in Olympia that affects Des Moines from State Senator Claire Wilson and Representatives Jesse Johnson and Jamila Taylor.

Thursday: Economic Development Committee Meeting: Hazard Pay for Essential Workers

Thursday: Municipal Facilities Committee Meeting: Van Gasken Park Update (20 minutes) Redondo Restroom Replacement CIP (20 minutes)Staff will provide a project update highlighting public outreach and preferred options for the Redondo restroom replacement building. Marina Master Plan Update (50 minutes)

Sign up here to participate or provide public comment!

Last Week

Wednesday: Reach Out Des Moines meeting. This was actually pretty huge. We got to see stats on youth crime in Des Moines and it’s taken a fairly predictable upward turn–most likely due to COVID.

Thursday: City Council Meeting (Agenda) Baby, this was super-action packed. A bit more below.

Council Meeting Recap

(Agenda Packet), (Clerk’s Recap), ( Video)

(Check out the Northwest Maritime Center plans for a Maritime High School! It’s in that packet.)

As has been noted, the City has recently announced the retirement of more than one senior official in the building department. I asked the City Manager what the City’s hiring process was for encouraging diversity. He offered no immediate answer but promised an off-line reply. So far, no answer. This is concerning to me. As many of you have noticed, the City staff is overwhelmingly white. I know from my own hiring experience that there is an association representing virtually every combination of professions and minorities (eg. there is a Society Of Black Professional Engineers) and they love to hear from organisations like the City Of Des Moines. I hope that the City is making every effort to recruit people of color–especially at the level of department head.

We had a briefing from Sound Transit re. where to put the Operations And Maintenance Facility and their Draft EIS.–and more specifically, what might be the ramifications of choosing the Midway Landfill (You should provide your public comment.) There is a lot of support for the Midway site–turning lemons into lemonade, right? Well, even though it’s a much more expensive solution than the two FedWay sites, if I were betting (and I’m not) my guess is that it will end up there–at least, if enough Federal Way residents complain. Having seen what this sort of displacement does to an area after the Third Runway, I don’t blame them for not wanting it anywhere near their neighborhoods. That said, here are a couple of interesting notes if the Midway site is chosen.

  1. The whole area is squishy. It’s not solid ground, right? So you either gotta drill real deep or excavate the entire area in order to truck out all the crap in order to build on something stable.
  2. It might take up to twice as long to build. Seven years. (And that’s if it’s on schedule.)

Which means that there might be seven years of hundreds of giant trucks moving fill out of our area every damned day. Think about that.

Resignation from Diversity Task Force

After the whole George Floyd thing last Spring, the Police Department responded by creating a Diversity Task Force, consisting of both police and residents.

On Monday, the Council received this letter of resignation from one member of that Task Force, *Meg Tapucol-Provo. I encourage everyone to read it because it has some really great ideas for improving diversity in hiring–not just in Des Moines, but everywhere. And that is no accident. Apparently, Ms. Tapucol-Provo was something of a ringer. She has worked as a professional diversity trainer. I have spoken to several people who have worked with her and she is highly regarded as a trainer and educator.

I had no idea who Ms. Tapucol-Provo was until after she wrote this letter. I had absolutely no contact with the group and in fact I had no idea who was participating.  As readers of this column know, I have been denied access to any police advisory committee meetings and that the Chief does not return even routine inquiries from me.

I consider myself to be a major supporter of the Des Moines Police Department. In fact, if I had the authority, I would want to hire at least four officers because I know that’s what the overwhelming majority of residents want–more officers on the street–especially in critical areas. But the issues of police reform are real and they apply to Des Moines just like every other town in America.

Ms. Tapucol-Provo gave me her permission to publish this letter.

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