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West Seattle Bridge; Gun Bills Pass at State Legislature; Sound Transit Draft EIS Public Hearings and Open House; New Bus Stops for West Seattle Routes; SPD Grant Legislation; Apply for a Paid Summer Internship with Seattle Youth Employment Program; Annual Recycling Event; Human Services Department Reports on its Race & Social Justice Accomplishments; Virtual Office Hours

West Seattle Bridge

Last week SDOT began work to start installing carbon-fiber wrap to the west side of the exterior of the bridge. This work will continue on the exterior and inside of the bridge.

Here’s an SDOT photo of exterior carbon fiber wrap:

Carbon fiber wrap works in conjunction with epoxy injections into the cracks to strengthen the concrete.

Below is a chart showing the hourly openings on the lower bridge, and duration, from February 28 through March 4th. There were two occasions with two bridge openings during a one-hour period, on February 28th and March 3rd:

In last week’s blog post I wrote how I inquired with the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS is a City department that manages many city contracts) regarding the procedures used for to debarment of contractors.  The City Council in 2005 adopted legislation to establish procedures for this, with a new section 20.70 to the Seattle Municipal Code. One of the grounds for disbarment includes “The Contractor has colluded with another contractor to restrain competition.”

Specifically I inquired about how the debarment power had been used in the past and whether the city has ever initiated a disbarment investigation, and if so, what were the allegations?  I made this inquiry because the Teamsters have argued that the 5 concrete companies are acting as a sort of cartel, perhaps triggering the prohibition against colluded to restrain competition.

FAS responded that last known debarment was in the 1980s against a construction contractor who violated the federal substitution rules for a minority contractor on a federally funded project.  You can read more about it here:  Gary Merlino Constr. Co. v. City of Seattle :: 1987 :: Washington Supreme Court Decisions :: Washington Case Law :: Washington Law :: US Law :: Justia

FAS also explained that: “Typically, FAS would reserve debarment for only the most serious and egregious instances of violating fair contracting practices. With the current information available, FAS does not see that the City would be able to reasonably initiate an investigation to seek evidence that there is collusion occurring among the five companies.”

This week King County Executive Constantine’s letter to Attorney General Ferguson raises similar concerns that “coordination among the concrete companies has created an effective oligopoly and rendered fair and effective bargaining, including mediation, untenable:”

2022-0225- Request for Attorney General Office from King County re Concrete Strike[66] – DocumentCloud

In response, I have requested the FAS pursue additional inquiry on this matter and review the information to determine how we might best seek assistance from the Seattle City Attorney to a. determine whether this is sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation and b. to conduct the investigation.

 

Gun Bills Pass at State Legislature

We have seen an increase in gun violence in Seattle and the region, as in numerous other locations throughout the country. Addressing this requires local, regional and statewide action. In recognition of the need for state action, the Council included in the 2022 State Legislative Agenda it adopted the following:

“We support common sense, responsible solutions to reduce gun violence, including efforts to limit high-capacity magazines, rejecting intimidation by limiting open carry of firearms in politically charged and contentious environments. We believe in maintaining funding for critical gun violence prevention research and intervention projects and that local governments should have the ability to regulate firearms or weapons to ensure the safety of their communities in accordance with local circumstances.”

The state legislature has voted to approve three important gun control bills during the session that just concluded.

First of all, ESHB 1705, regarding ghost guns; secondly, ESHB 1630, establishing restrictions on the possession of weapons in certain locations; and third, ESSB 5078, limiting large capacity magazines.

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility notes, HB 1630 “restricts the manufacture, assembly, sale, transfer, purchase, possession, transport, and receipt of ghost guns—untraceable, unserialized firearms and unfinished receivers.” Ghost guns are not serialized, so it is difficult for law enforcement to track the origin of these guns.  HB 1705 “prohibits open carry at local government meetings and restricts firearms at school board meetings and election-related offices and facilities” Last year the legislature established similar limitations for the state Capitol. This extends these safeguards.

HB 5078 prohibits the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It provides limited exemptions for the military and law enforcement agencies.

I noted during my testimony to the state legislature,

“This is a public health crisis; the easy access to magazines holding more than 10 rounds – puts our families and communities at great risk. 

These magazines were used in all 10 of the deadliest mass shootings since 2009.  High Capacity Magazines increase casualties by allowing a shooter to fire continuously without reloading,  In many tragic situations, including the 2014 shooting at Seattle Pacific University, lives have been saved during a pause to reload. When large capacity magazines are used, there are fewer pauses, and fewer chances for victims to escape.” 

The three bills have been delivered to the Governor; who must sign for the bills to become law.

 

Sound Transit Draft EIS Public Hearings and Open House

Next week Sound Transit will begin holding public hearings about the Draft EIS for the West Seattle and Ballard light rail project. Virtual public meetings will take place as follows, with the West Seattle focused meeting on Wednesday, March 30:

  • Tuesday, March 15, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Interbay/Ballard focused)
  • Tuesday, March 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Downtown focused)
  • Thursday, March 24, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. (CID/SODO focused)
  • Wednesday, March 30, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. (West Seattle focused)

In addition, they will hold an in-person open house on Thursday, March 17 from 12 – 6 p.m. in the International District Station plaza next to Union Station at the intersection of 5th Avenue S and S King Street.

More information on attending the public meetings is available on the online open house site at wsblink.participate.online. Sound Transit is seeking public comments on the Draft EIS through April 28. In addition to providing comments at the public meetings, comments may be sent via email to WSBLEDEIScomments@soundtransit.org or by voicemail at 800-471-0879.

On March 8 the West Seattle/Duwamish Community Advisory Group to Sound Transit met to hear a “deep dive” into detail about the Draft EIS from Sound Transit, as well as the City of Seattle Draft EIS Review.

Here’s a link to the meeting presentation; the City of Seattle portion of the presentation begins on slide 77, and lists “opportunities” and “concerns” about different options. Here’s a link to Sound Transit’s Visual Affects presentation, which shows several slides showing visual representations of the options.

After completion of the Draft EIS public comment period, the Sound Transit Board will select options to be analyzed in the Final EIS.

 

New Bus Stops for West Seattle Routes

Metro King County recently opened two new bus stops on Alaskan Way on the waterfront for routes that serve West Seattle, including bus routes 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 125 and the RapidRide C Line.

These stops provide better access to the stadiums and Pioneer Square.

The northbound bus stop is at South Jackson Street, and the southbound bus stop is at South King Street. Last month, Waterfront Seattle completed installing new roadway markings on the east side of Alaskan Way, allowing King County Metro buses to begin using the new northbound transit lane.

Bus shelters will be added this summer.

 

SPD Grant Legislation

This week, the Public Safety and Human Services Committee voted to approve legislation that I sponsored to accept two grants. The first is from the US Department of Justice to continue the work of the Northwest Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to address technology-facilitated child exploitation. The second is to continue the work of the Human Trafficking Task Force.

The legislation moves to the Full Council for a vote on Tuesday.

 

Apply for a Paid Summer Internship with Seattle Youth Employment Program

Applications are now open for a paid summer internship with Seattle’s Youth Employment Program.  Land a six-week paid internship that matches your skills, career interests, and availability, while receiving pre-employment training and work experience.

  • Get professional support from a trusted mentor throughout the program.
  • Gain practical experience to build your resume and potential connections to advance your career or education.
  • Be paid $17.27 per hour to intern with City departments and participating non-profit organizations.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old at the start of the program
  • Live within the Seattle city limits or attend a Seattle School (SPS or Seattle College)
  • Live in a household with income at or below 80% Area Median Income

Learn more and apply at www.seattle.gov/syep.  Applications are due by March 25th.

 

Annual Recycling Event

If you have hard to recycle items such as styrofoam, batteries, paper for shredding, or electronics, this annual event has you covered. Seattle Public Utilities partners with the West Seattle Chamber and the West Seattle Junction Association for this annual reuse & recycling event.

Please remember your masks and maintaining social distancing when dropping off materials is required at the event.

When: Saturday, March 19th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: South Seattle Community College, Entrance #1, 6000 16th Ave SW

See here for more information about the event and for items not accepted.

 

Human Services Department Reports on its Race & Social Justice Accomplishments

Every year, each City department identifies goals towards ending institutional racism within their department and achieving racial equity across our community.  This work is led by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights’ Race & Social Justice Initiative.

At my Public Safety & Human Services committee meeting this Tuesday, the Human Services Department (HSD) presented their 2021 race and social justice accomplishments and provided a look forward toward their 2022 goals.  Here’s a snapshot of some of HSD’s most impactful actions in 2021.

…and some goals for 2022:

You can review the presentation deck, and watch the presentation, starting at about the 1:40’ mark.

 

Virtual Office Hours

On Friday March 25, I will be hosting virtual office hours between 2pm and 6pm, with the last meeting of the day beginning at 5:30pm.

Due to the nature of virtual office hours, please contact my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov) to receive the call-in information and schedule a time.

Here is a list of my tentatively scheduled office hours which will continue as virtual office hours until indicated otherwise. These are subject to change.

  • Friday, April 29, 2022
  • Friday, May 27, 2022
  • Friday, June 24, 2022
  • Friday, July 29, 2022
  • Friday, August 19, 2022
  • Friday, September 30, 2022
  • Friday, October 28, 2022
  • Friday, December 16, 2022

 

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