Apply Now for Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, Deadline Is January 6

pmp4_headerHelp Get Seattle Walking

Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board seeks new members

The City of Seattle is accepting applications for new Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board members to help make walking in Seattle safer, easier and more attractive.  The volunteer board, which was created by Seattle City Council in 1993, plays an influential role in implementing Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan. The board advises the Mayor and City Council, participates in planning and project development, evaluates policies and makes recommendations to all city departments including the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Board members serve a two-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. The board should include people who walk (or travel via wheelchair or other mobility device) frequently, who are of a variety of ages, levels of mobility, and walks of life, and who are from areas throughout the city. Members must be Seattle residents, and may not be city employees. The board meets the second Wednesday of each month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at City Hall on Fifth Avenue between James and Cherry streets.  The meetings are in the Boards and Commissions Room, on the lower level (L280) of City Hall.

Devor Barton, current chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Board, says “A walkable community benefits everyone, . . . Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board members work to make our community healthier, our streets safer, and our neighborhoods more livable.”

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the City’s boards and commissions. Women, young persons, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply.  Interested Seattleites should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest via email by 5:00 pm on January 6, 2014 to:  Howard Wu at howard.wu@seattle.gov.  For more information, call Howard Wu at 206-684-3902, or send e-mail Howard.Wu@SEATTLE.GOV.

February 8 Is Neighbor Appreciation Day, Apply for Small Sparks Grant To Help Out

NeighborAppreciationDayNeighbor Appreciation day is February 8, 2014.

Neighbor Appreciation Day is Seattle’s annual recognition of great neighbors. Celebrate by planning an activity in your neighborhood. It might be eligible for the Small Sparks Fund, which supports projects that connect and engage people in Seattle communities.

Community Projects include neighborhood events like these:

  • Organize a Block Watch, a program of Seattle Police Department: Click here for tools and information;
  • Hold a neighborhood food or clothing drive;
  • Have a neighborhood BBQ, potluck, pancake breakfast or spaghetti feed;
  • Organize a SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepared) meeting. Click here for tools and information;
  • Organize a game or sporting event;
  • Have a block party;
  • Invite neighbors over for dessert;
  • Organize a neighborhood rummage or garage sale;

Other Possible Ideas:

  • Go for a bike ride with your neighbor and check out the local scenery;
  • Stop by your local fire station and meet the crew;
  • Find other neighbors who play instruments and play music;
  • Go for a hike with some neighbors;
  • Have a progressive event: a progressive dinner or progressive work party;
  • Have a cookie exchange;
  • Hold a ‘Stencil a Storm Drain’ party.  Click here for more information;
  • Hold a bake sale for charity or to raise money for a neighborhood project;
  • Visit your local park with a neighbor;
  • Have a neighborhood treasure hunt;
  • Have a book or plant exchange;
  • Neighborhood Clean-up

Small Sparks application for Neighbor Appreciation Day are due January 8, 2014.

For Neighbor Appreciation Day information and ideas, visit Seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborday

For information about the Small Sparks Fund, visit Seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf.

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King County About To Begin Construction on Murray Combined Sewer Project

Murray Timeline[This post contains updated information]

King County Wastewater Division has released additional information about the construction about to begin at the Lowman Beach Park combined sewer overflow location.

How will the facility be built?

  1. Stabilizing the hillside – the contractor will install soil nail walls by inserting steel rods into the hillside and attaching screens to them. Reinforcing the rods and screens with concrete adds stability to the walls and controls erosion.
  2. Controlling groundwater – A drill will install over 100 interlocking concrete cylinders called secant piles. These cylinders will extend into the ground to create a watertight ring that reduces the need for groundwater removal and safeguards against settlement.
  3. Positioning the storage tank underground – the watertight ring will measure nearly 100 feet wide and 80 feet deep. Building the tank will require excavating enough material to fill  Colman Pool twice!
  4. Building  the storage tank interior – to prevent the high groundwater from dislodging the tank, a 20-foot thick concrete slab will be installed below the tank. Crews will then build forms and pour concrete above the slab for the tank, the building walls and support columns, the tank’s roof, and a view deck.
  5. Connect the storage tank to the existing wastewater system – the tank’s power, water, ventilation and overflow pipes will run beneath Beach Drive Southwest to connect to the County’s pump station in Lowman Beach Park. The excavation in Beach Drive will be sequenced to keep the road open. A steel plate will cover the excavated trench after work hours.

What to expect

  • Work hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., weekdays
  • Heavy equipment, increased activity and noise on and around the site
  • Beach Drive Southwest will remain open
  • No parking on the eastern side of Beach Drive Southwest
  • Lowman Beach Park facilities, beach remain open
  • Increased truck traffic, especially on Beach Drive Southwest and Lincoln Park Way Southwest

How will the facility fit into the neighborhood?

Lowman Beach and Lincoln Park users, community members and neighbors worked closely with the King County project team to develop a design that fi t with the community. The facility design incorporates the common themes the community identified:

  • Minimize “industrial facility” feel;
  • Encourage views of Puget Sound;
  • Discourage through traffic down Beach Drive;
  • Enhance continuous space between Lowman Beach Park and the facility site

Project Art

The facility’s public space and staircase to Lowman Beach Park will feature installations made out of “rammed earth” – highly compressed soils – taken from the site. Rammed earth is as durable as concrete and a much more environmentally sound material. All rammed earth features will be sealed to protect against graffiti and the marine environment.

Access to Lowman Beach Park facilities and beachfront will be maintained. Park users are encouraged to access the park through the 15-foot wide pathway north of the contractor project office. This pathway will remain open throughout construction. Parking on the west side of Beach Drive Southwest will be maintained once the trailers are installed.

Community members can call the project hotline at 206-205-9186 with any inquiries or concerns.

The Murray CSO Control Facility will safeguard Puget Sound by storing sewage and polluted stormwater during storms and preventing regional sewer system overflows into the water off of Lowman Beach Park. Construction is anticipated to start in December 2013 and be complete in the fall of 2016.

For more information about the new facility, please visit: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Construction/Seattle/MurrayCSOStorage.aspx.

For more information contact Doug Marsano, Community Relations Lead, King County Wastewater Treatment Division, at 206-477-5549 or cell at 206-423-0480 or by email at Doug.Marsano@kingcounty.gov

UW Botanical Gardens Winter/Spring Class Catalog & Courses Available

botanic garden logoThe University of Washington Botanical Gardens Educational Program has posted their new Winter/Spring 2014 class offerings. They have cool classes on a variety of topics all winter and spring.

Want to learn a little about woody plant selections or proper pruning? Or are you curious about saving seedsforaging for your food, or becoming a beekeeper? Become a First Detector, and learn to monitor plant pests in our area. The Botanical Gardens Educational Program has all these and more in their new catalog! Take a look and find something new and unusual for the new year.

Link to 2014 Winter/Spring class catalog: http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/education/2014Winter_SpringWebVersion.pdf

For more information contact Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, www.uwbotanicgardens.org/education, or cll 206-685-8033 or email urbhort@uw.edu.

 

2014 Neighborhood Park & Street Fund Improvement Applications Now Available

traffic circleThe 2014 Neighborhood Park and Street Fund (NPSF) applications are now available. Do you have a park or street improvement project in mind for your neighborhood?  Applications are due on February 3, 2014.

Click here to download the NPSF 2014 fact sheet or here to download the NPSF 2014 application

What is the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund (NPSF)? Each year a portion of Seattle’s city budget – approximately $1.2 million in 2014 – is set aside for neighborhood streets and parks improvements. This means that each of Seattle’s 13 neighborhood districts will receive approx. to $90K to go towards neighborhood projects that are proposed by the COMMUNITY (that is you!).

Some examples of park projects include: playground improvements, trail upgrades, tennis or basketball court resurfacing, park benches or tables, natural area renovations, and accessibility improvements.

Examples of street projects include: crossing improvements such as marked crosswalkscurb ramps, and pedestrian countdown signals; and traffic calming, such as traffic circlesmedian islands, and speed feedback signs. This funding source may be used for sidewalk repair and, rarely, for short segments of sidewalk construction (less than 100 feet, or one third of a block).

SDOT has created a list of approximate project costs per project type.

Who decides which projects will be funded?  The NPSF is a competitive process and not all projects will be funded. Each Neighborhood District Council will review applications and select three projects to forward to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) for detailed feasibility and cost analysis. Funding decisions are based on recommendations from District Councils, Parks and SDOT, with the final decisions made by the Mayor. For more information, contact your Neighborhood District Coordinator.

How are proposals evaluated?  Neighborhood District Councils are looking for projects which meet the fund source criteria listed above and also will consider the following:

  • Significant Impact:  The project will have a widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole.
  • Broad Support: The project has the support of multiple neighborhood or community groups. Both residential and business groups are encouraged to apply.
  • Leveraging Opportunities: The project also qualifies for funding from another City source, and therefore leaves more NPF money available for other projects.
  • Equity: Funding is to be equitably shared among the districts over time. Neighborhoods that are already receiving significant public investment from other sources may be also given lower priority.

For more information about this funding opportunity, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/npsf/default.htm or contact your Neighborhood District Coordinator.

2014 Neighborhood Park and Street Fund Fact Sheet and Timeline

2014 TIMELINE

February 3rd

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February/March

Neighborhood District Councils review applications.

Early April

Neighborhood District Councils forward top 3 projects to SDOT/Parks for feasibility review and initial cost estimates

Early June

SDOT/Parks return project feasibility reviews and cost estimates to Neighborhood District Councils

June, July

Neighborhood District Councils review and submit final project rankings to DON

September

DON notifies applicants of award/no award project status. Project award recommendations are included in Mayor’s proposed budget

November

City Council considers recommendations and adopts 2015 budget

December

DON announces final project awards

2015

Project implementation

How do I propose a project?

Complete the application form which is available from your Neighborhood District Coordinator or on-line at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/npsf/default.htm. Both residential and business groups are encouraged to apply.

Applications may be submitted by mail, (PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649, Attn: Wendy Watson) fax 206-233-5142 or emailed to: NeighborhoodParkandStreetFund@seattle.gov

Questions or Assistance?

Revised Department of Ecology Yard Sampling & Cleanup Program Online

Ecology LogoThe Washington State Department of Ecology is offering yard sampling for homes affected by the former copper smelter in Tacoma and is providing a cleanup program guide online.

The Residential Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program (Yard Program) offers free soil sampling and cleanup for homes impacted by  the former Tacoma Asarco smelter.  The design document explains how Ecology will run the Yard Program.  The response to comments addresses the questions and concerns the department heard during the March-April, 2013 public comment period.

Questions?
For more information, please visit the Yard Program webpage or contact Jill Jacobson, Yard Program Outreach Coordinator at 360-407-6245 or Jill.Jacobson@ecy.wa.gov.
To find out if your property is in the Yard Program service area, please visit the Department’s interactive map.

King Conservation District’s Native Bareroot Plant Sale Now Underway Online

KCD plant saleThe King Conservation District announces its 2014 Native Bareroot Plant Sale, with online ordering underway!

Order bareroot native plants online for pick up on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Quantities are limited and some species may sell out, so please order early.

The King Conservation District offers a variety of native trees and shrubs for conservation purposes, including wildlife habitat, windbreaks, hedgerows, reforestation, and stream enhancement. The plants are bareroot stock, which means they do not come in pots or burlap bags, but are harvested from the field in winter when the plants are dormant and ready to be replanted. Bareroot plants are affordable, hardy, have well-developed roots, and are easy to handle, transport and plant.

Order online at http://www.kingcd.org/pro_native.htm.

Quantities are limited so if there’s a particular species you would like, survey the varieties on the website and order now.

HOW TO ORDER: Order and pay for your plants by credit card online at www.kingcd.org. Minimum order $30. All orders must be pre-paid. Purchase orders are acceptable for agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

ORDERING DEADLINE: All orders must be placed by February 9, 2014.

PICK-UP DATE: Saturday, March 1, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

PICK-UP LOCATION: King Conservation District, 1107 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057. (No plant delivery available.)

AVAILABILITY: Quantities are limited. All plants are sold on a first-come, first served basis.

QUESTIONS: Call Jacobus Saperstein at 425-282-1912, or email: jacobus@kingcd.org.

Plants Available

  • CONIFEROUS TREES: Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Noble Fir, Shore Pine, Sitka Spruce, Hemlock, Western Red Cedar;
  • DECIDUOUS TREES: Black Hawthorn, Cascara, Oregon Ash, Oregon White Oak, Pacific Crabapple, Vine Maple, Western Flowering Dogwood;
  • SHRUBS: Black Twinberry, Blackcap Raspberry, Blue Elderberry, Evergreen Huckleberry, Indian Plum, Mock Orange, Nootka Rose, Oceanspray, Pacific Ninebark, Pacific Rhododendron, Red Elderberry, Red Flowering Current, Red Osier Dogwood, Serviceberry, Snowberry, Tall Oregon Grape, Thimbleberry;
  • GROUNDCOVERS: Coastal Strawberry, Kinnikinnick, Low Oregon Grape, Salal, Sword Fern.

Link with King Conservation District on Facebook:www.facebook.com/KingConservationDistrict

Bike Master Plan Update Now Online, Presentations Scheduled for December

BMP2013UpdateSeattle Department of Transportation Bicycle Master Plan Update was transmitted by Mayor Mike McGinn to Seattle City Council yesterday.  SDOT says the plan is based on the vision that riding a bicycle is a comfortable and integral part of daily life in Seattle for people of all ages and abilities.

Click here to go directly to the updated Bicycle Master Plan.

On the Bicycle Master Plan website you’ll be able to download the following sections of the plan:

  1. A reader’s guide that summarizes major changes in the Mayor’s recommended BMP as compared to the public review draft plan, which SDOT published in June;
  2. The new Recommended plan (by chapter);
  3. Recommended bicycle network maps; and the
  4. Appendices

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination for the Bicycle Master Plan will be published and posted to the BMP website on Monday, December 2. A 14-day comment period will follow and close on December 16, 2013.

Future dates to be aware of:

  • Wednesday, December 4: SDOT presentation and discussion with the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Tuesday, December 10: SDOT presentation to City Council Transportation Committee
  • Wednesday, December 11: Special meeting of the City Council Transportation Committee to take public input on the recommended plan
  • Additional deliberations by City Council on the recommended plan will occur in early 2014; dates of subsequent meetings will be posted on the project website

For further information contact the Bicycle Master Plan folks at bmpupdate@seattle.gov

Parks Advisory Committee Releases First Draft of Future Funding Options

GapAnalysis4SeattleParksThe Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee (PLCAC), appointed to consider Seattle Parks and Recreation’s future funding options, has released a first draft of 37 newly prioritized investment initiatives (funding recommendations) that are being considered for a possible ballot measure in August 2014.

Click here to see the newly prioritized list on the PLCAC website.

Also, the Committee is considering what type of funding mechanism to use: short-term, long-term, levy or Metropolitan Park District. The committee has asked community members to attend a public hearing to comment on the initiatives and their prioritization, as well as on the funding mechanism options. The public hearing will take place Thursday, November 7, starting at 6:00 pm at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E. (See separate Event notice.)

To give verbal testimony at the hearing, community members must sign in. Testimony may be for up to two minutes. Sign-in begins at 5:00 pm. The Associated Recreation Council will provide on-site childcare 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm for up to 20 children ages 5–12.

Written testimony carries as much weight as verbal testimony. To submit written testimony to the Committee, please send email to parkslegacy@seattle.gov or to Parks Legacy Comments, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle WA 98116.

The 37 investment initiatives proposed for inclusion in a future park funding ballot measure have been initially prioritized by three subcommittees: Existing Programs and Services, New Programs and Services and Partnerships.

The Committee seeks feedback from the community on the initiatives, and on the type of funding mechanisms being considered. Community members planning to attend the hearing may want to consider these questions beforehand:

  • What priorities should the committee consider as it makes recommendations for a ballot measure?
  • Should the ballot measure focus on maintaining core services like park restroom maintenance, trash and litter pickup, and keeping community center doors open?
  • Should the ballot measure focus on new projects that develop “land banked” sites and acquire new property?
  • Should the ballot measure concentrate on challenge grants like an Opportunity Fund for community-initiated projects and innovative new programs that encourage health and fitness?
  • Should the type of ballot measure recommended by the Committee be a levy? If so, for 6 years, 8 years, 12 years, or permanently?
  • Should the type of ballot measure recommended by the Committee be a Metropolitan Park District with its own taxing authority?

After the public hearing, the committee will Continue its work to prioritize the list of investment initiatives and evaluate funding mechanism options, with the goal of completing its preliminary recommendations by December. In January, the committee will host open houses throughout Seattle to hear additional public comments before the final prioritization.

In March 2014, the committee will forward its final recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.