Garbage strike creates mess of confusion — Collection continues as usual in Montlake

The Great Seattle Garbage Strike of 2012 is creating more messes than just piles of trash. Workers at Waste Management are on strike and not collecting garbage — in Waste Management service areas — in which Montlake is not. Montlake’s garbage is collected by CleanScapes, whose workers are not on strike and collecting garbage as usual. The City of Seattle explains with this map:

Image: City of Seattle

So get those cans out on the curb. Also, Mayor McGinn has issued a press release announcing free garbage drop-off at city transfer stations:

Starting tomorrow (Aug. 1), single-family residents in Waste Management’s service areas may drop off up to six bags of garbage and yard waste for free at the South and North transfer stations, which operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week. Customers should bring appropriate identification – for example, a driver’s license or a utility bill – to demonstrate they are City of Seattle residents.

It is unclear if this applies to all citizens or just Waste Management customers.

REPOSTED: Neighborhood Night Out Tuesday, August 7th

Tuesday, August 7th is Seattle’s 28th annual Night Out, when neighbors band together, close down their streets to traffic and throw block parties all over the city. The events are first and foremost fun and give residents a chance to discuss safety and emergency preparation. Last year there were over 1,000 block parties for Night Out. From the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

Falling on the first Tuesday of every August, “Night Out Against Crime” is a national event that encourages neighbors to gather and spend time together in an effort to heighten crime prevention/awareness and increase neighborhood safety.  Porch lights are typically turned on as a symbolic gesture supporting crime prevention.  When you register your event in Seattle, most non-arterial streets can be blocked off (without a fee), so you and your neighbors can take over your street.

Night Out is an excellent time to organize your block and address neighborhood concerns.

  • If you haven’t yet formed a Block Watch, this is a great way to take that first step.
  • All across the city there is concern about violent crime, especially gun crimes.  The problems of crime and violence in our communities cannot be solved by police alone.  You, the community, are the catalyst in preventing crime.  This year we invite neighborhoods touched or concerned by violence to use Night Out as an opportunity to take a unified stand against violence in their community.

More details at SPD, including instructions on how to register your party and close down streets, here.

Originally published July 8, 2012.

Aberdeen 520 float out in pictures

The first 6 of 33 pontoons under construction in Aberdeen were floated out into Grays Harbor tonight. These include some of the first world-record-breaking-360-foot-long longitudinal pontoons that will form the backbone of the new floating bridge. Here’s a photo sequence, courtesy of WSDOT/OxBlue construction cams:

7:24 PM

7:55 PM

8:09 PM

8:23 PM

8:39 PM

8:54 PM

9:07 PM

9:52 PM

The first of 44 supplemental (“water wing”) pontoons were floated out of Tacoma last week.

UPDATE Monday 10pm: New information from the Aberdeen casting site via Seattle Times reporter Mike Lindblom’s Twitter feed:

  • The @520_bridge pontoons will be inspected 2 days, then 4-8 days towing via ocean to Ballard Locks for first pair. #floatout
  • A federal $320m loan for @520_bridge “lake to land” is now in final negotiations and likely to happen, @wsdot secy Hammond tells me.
  • Third @520_bridge pontoon floats out. WSDOT secy Hammond just left, after seeing it go w/ her initials carved in concrete.

Summer Dog boat brings hot dogs and bikinis to the waterways of Lake Washington

Image: Montlaker

First there were food carts, then food trucks and now food boats. Summer Dog, a new floating food venture combining a “love for hot dogs, bikinis, boating and kick ass fun times,” appeared east of the Montlake Cut on Sunday just in time for Seafair. The boat seemed to be a big hit, with canoes, kayaks and motorboats lining up for grilled hot dogs made-to-order. Deliveries via cell phone and paddle board — payment by credit card — and cash accepted wet or dry.

Looked good from shore, but two questions remain: are the dogs any good? — and — does it really matter?

Follow @summerdogboat to go find out.

Coalition cartoon catharsis

Image: David Lefebvre, in “Seattle Citizens Against Freeways 1968-1980, Fighting Fiercely and Winning Sometimes” by Margaret Cary Tunks

The Coalition for a Sustainable 520 has released their first statement since their lawsuit defeat last week, with talk of keeping the grass-roots movement going. From Coalition Coordinator Fran Conley:

We lost [the] lawsuit, but the cause is still worth our efforts. We are working to prevent huge harm to our communities and to the waterways and shorelines which attracted us here and which support so many outdoor activities. We are working to have neighborhoods where everyone can walk without danger and breathe without more pollutants, and can navigate
local traffic without constant congestion. We are working to prevent the state from squandering money on an expansion which will only move the traffic jams a bit further west.

The support from the communities has been fantastic. Literally hundreds of people have given money and time to get us this far. Huge thank-you’s to each of you! We will need your continuing support to counteract the falsehoods and foolishness that are coming at us. …

Read the rest of the statement here.

There are lots of reasons to support (reduce carbon emissions!) or not support (build the damn freeway already!) the Coalition for a Sustainable 520 movement. But consider this: today, 520 has six ramp-lanes at Montlake Blvd and two near the Arboretum. With the closure of the Arboretum access ramps, the new Montlake interchange will have 11 ramp-lanes, bringing a lot more traffic to already congested local streets.

While you chew on that, check out these cartoons from the RH Thomson freeway fight of the 60s and 70s:

All images: David Lefebvre

Coalition lawsuit ruling in judge’s own words

United States District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez issued a ruling yesterday against the Coalition for a Sustainable 520 lawsuit to force WSDOT to further study a 4-lane 520 floating bridge with tolls. In short, the suit argued the Environmental Impact Statement did not take a required ‘hard look’ at a range of reasonable design alternatives and dismissed the tolled 4-lane option prematurely (read a more thorough summary here).

Here is the core of Judge Martinez’s ruling, in his own words:

Plaintiff contends that the inclusion of only two bridge designs in the FEIS, the Preferred Alternative and the No-Build option, does not meet the “range of alternatives” requirement, arguing that a “single alternative is not ‘a range.’” … While this argument is logically appealing, it fails as a legal proposition. The mandate of the regulation is that the agency “rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all reasonable alternatives.” … (emphasis added). It does not use the word “range” or establish a minimum number of alternatives which must be examined. Rather, it mandates examination of the reasonable alternatives, together with a brief explanation as to why other alternatives were eliminated from consideration.

… the 4-Lane Alternative was part of the original consideration for the bridge replacement, as the minimum footprint option. The 4-Lane Alternative was explored and objectively evaluated in the DEIS. The agency determined, on the basis of objective analysis, that it did not meet the first of the project’s three essential goals: that of improving the mobility of people and goods across Lake Washington in the SR 520 corridor. The 4-Lane Alternative was therefore dropped from further consideration as a reasonable alternative, and the basis for that decision was explained in the SEIS and FEIS.

The full ruling can be read here.

Union Bay Watch: Eaglets rev their engines, ready for first flight

Image: ©Doug Schurman

Union Bay Watch has new photos up showing the 520 eaglets flapping their wings in preparation for taking their flight from the nest. The word “eaglet” hardly seems appropriate anymore since the birds have grown into full-size eagles, as big as their parents. These mighty little birds have mighty impressive wings, seen here in this video by UBW contributor Doug Schurman:

 

Beatrice, the older eaglet, will be the first to fledge. Larry Hubbell offers some eagletwatching tips:

Keep one eye on the sky as you pass over 520 or visit Foster Island. If you see a large dark eagle with interesting and unique white markings under the wings, you may be seeing Beatrice’s maiden flight. She could take to the air anytime in the next few days or weeks. We will all just have to wait and see.

Lots more wing flapping photos at UBW (which also has an interesting post about rare birds in Hawaii’s Waikamoi Preserve). Expect to see new eagles flying over 520 soon.

Judge rules against Coalition for Sustainable 520, bridge replacement to move forward

Image: Montlaker

Federal Judge Riccardo Martinez has ruled against the Coalition for Sustainable 520‘s lawsuit against the S.R. 520 Replacement project, according to a WSDOT press release. “With the court’s decision, WSDOT can continue with construction of SR 520 improvements as planned and funded.” The lawsuit challenged the project’s Environmental Impact Statement on the basis it did not adequately consider the effect of tolling on a four-lane option for 520.

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said, “Our analysis was thorough and exhaustive, and we hope that the ruling by Judge Martinez puts an end to the debate about mobility improvements to this vital corridor.”

Judge Martinez:

“The voluminous record in this matter reflects great concern on the part of defendants (WSDOT) for the impact of the SR 520 replacement bridge project upon the environment and the community, as to the immediate neighborhood of the bridge itself and the greater regional community which will use the bridge. Plaintiff has not challenged the decision to replace the existing bridge; the dispute is over the choice of design and footprint for the new bridge. Through the analysis set forth above, the Court is satisfied that the agencies have taken the requisite ‘hard look’ at the environmental consequences of the proposed project. The Court finds that the FEIS and ROD in this matter fulfill both the letter and spirit of NEPA, and by analogy, SEPA (state Environmental Policy Act). The Court also finds the elimination of the 4-lane Alternative from consideration after the DEIS (draft EIS) was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor an abuse of discretion.”

Previous Montlaker coverage on this issue:

Coalition for Sustainable 520: What are the legal issues?

Fate of 520 rests with federal judge after Coalition lawsuit gets its day in court

Will update with more reactions when and if they are available.

Arboretum seeks Azalea Way garden stewards

Flicrk: camknows

The Arboretum needs a few good green thumbs to help look after Azaela Way. The work? Weeding, mulching, edging and… the planting of native ground covers. With hand tools. Via the Arboretum Foundation:

The Arboretum Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the UW Botanic Gardens are launching a new volunteer initiative to help maintain Azalea Way, an historic component of Washington Park Arboretum’s original Olmsted design. Flanked by a spectacular array of azaleas, rhododendrons, and other flowering shrubs and trees, Azalea Way runs for about two thirds of a mile from the Graham Visitors Center to the Japanese Garden and is one of the Arboretum’s most popular and enduring attractions.

The new Azalea Way Garden Stewards program is modeled on the Pacific Connections Garden program, which has, since its inception in fall 2011, resulted in the recruitment of close to 30 volunteer gardeners to help maintain the new eco-geographic displays at the south end of the Arboretum. Like the Pacific Connections Garden Stewards, the Azalea Way Garden Stewards will provide volunteer support to salaried Arboretum staff in caring for Azalea Way.

There will be a work party to start the program on Tuesday, August 7th, 9-noon. More info and sign-up instructions here.