Thursday, November 30, 2006

City Giving Away Trees for Backyard Planting

As part of Mayor Nickels' Fall Tree Planting Challenge, the City of Seattle is giving away free trees to Seattle residents to plant in their yards.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Stan Sayres Pits, 3800 Lake Washington Boulevard S, City staff we will be giving away 300 trees.

The trees include more than 100 Thornless Hawthorn with white flowers and a glossy leaf, and 10 other species ranging from small evergreens to large ash.

These trees are not intended to be planted in the street planting strips. Some species are suitable for planting in most yards.

For more information, please call Mark Mead, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 206-684-4113, or visit the web site

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Olympia's Solution to panhandling and loitering

Olympia Washington is taking a very interesting approach to panhandling and loitering in the downtown area. They have proposed an ordinance that the city council will be voting on soon that would clear "a 6-foot buffer for pedestrians to move along downtown sidewalks without having to step over extended legs or dodge aggressive panhandlers." (from the olympian)

Essentially banning panhandling and loitering in the commercial part of downtown.

I am curious as to what everyone thinks.
Please post a comment and let me know what you think.

Articles on the ordinance
Article 1

Article 2

SIFF to Create New Home for Great Films at Seattle Center

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels announced today that the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) Group will develop a year-round screening facility at Seattle Center, turning part of McCaw Hall into one of the West Coast’s top film venues.

The city will contribute $150,000 toward the $350,000 project, which will transform the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall into a theater with top-of-the-line projection and sound equipment for year-round film exhibition.

The new theater will become the flagship venue for next year’s 33rd Seattle International Film Festival, May 24 through June 17. The theater has the potential to become, in the opinion of film professionals who have toured the facility, the best screening facility in the Northwest and one of the top facilities on the West Coast.

“This is a great move for SIFF and a great addition to Seattle Center,” Nickels said. “We are a city of film buffs, and movies are an important part of our culture and our economy. This flagship theater allows cinema to take its place along side the vibrant mix of music, theater, dance and opera at Seattle Center.”

Work to transform the lecture hall is expected to be complete in January. SIFF Group, which is raising private money to complete the project, plans to begin showing films in the venue shortly thereafter, and will be making a future announcement about upcoming film programming. The room will continue to be available for other events.

SIFF Group produces the annual Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended film festival in the United States. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Carl Spence and Managing Director Deborah Person, the 25-day festival presents more than 400 feature films and shorts from more than 60 countries, to an audience of 160,000.

“This is the realization of a long-time dream for SIFF,” Person said. “We are looking forward to joining the other arts and culture constituents at Seattle Center, and offering audiences the best in world cinema. We couldn’t be happier with this partnership between SIFF, Seattle Center and the city of Seattle, and we are enormously grateful to Mayor Nickels and the City Council for their support.”

Robert Nellams, Seattle Center acting director, is pleased to welcome SIFF Group to campus.

“SIFF’s goals fit perfectly with Seattle Center’s future goals,” he said. “The partnership establishes Seattle Center as a hub of the emerging music and film district developing in Lower Queen Anne and Belltown.”

In addition to the annual film festival, SIFF Group curates other year-round programming, including the Global Lens Film series, The Screenwriters Salon, the 1 Reel Film Festival at Bumbershoot (in conjunction with One Reel), FutureWave (K-12 film education and youth outreach programs), SIFF-A-Go-Go festival travel program, the Sci-Fi Shorts Film Festival (in collaboration with the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame) and other film-related events.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Trim Your Holiday Waste

SEATTLE- Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year.* Consider:

  • The 2.6 billion holiday cards that Americans purchased last year could fill a football field ten stories high.**
  • If every family reused two feet of holiday ribbon, that 38,000 miles of ribbon could tie a bow around the Earth.**
  • If every American wrapped three gifts in reused paper, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. **
  • Each year, between 25 and 30 million Christmas trees are purchased in the United States. ***
  • More than 50 million pounds of electronics will become obsolete in the Puget Sound area this year. ****
  • Americans dispose of 50 million tons of edible food each year, valued at $100 billion. 33 percent of Seattle’s residential garbage is made up of food. 1

This season, Seattle Public Utilities offers the following tips to prevent holiday waste:

  • Bring a reusable cloth bag to carry your gifts when you go shopping.
  • Reuse or recycle used wrapping paper. Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or funny papers.
  • Send recycled-content greeting cards and recycle any paper cards you receive. Sending electronic greeting cards is a great way to reduce paper waste.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries. Consider giving a battery charger as a gift.
  • Consider buying a reusable tree to reduce waste. If you use a live tree, plant it or recycle it!
  • Give the gift of experience instead of stuff through the Waste Free Holidays program. More than 100 local businesses and organizations offer discounts of 15 percent or more on “experience gifts” - tickets, gift certificates or memberships for concerts, plays, sporting events, recreation, museums, restaurants, spa treatments and much more. Find Waste Free Holidays participants at
  • Reuse Styrofoam packaging or take it to a shipping store. For a list of local mailing centers that will take packing peanuts for reuse, visit , under “Office Materials.”
  • Consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money.
  • Buy recycled-content products to encourage manufacturers to make more recycled-content products available.
  • Recycle your old TV, computer or other electronics at a Take It Back Network location near you. Visit for information.
  • Put your leftover fruitcake, pumpkin pie, paper napkins and other vegetative leftovers in your yard waste cart to make compost for local parks and gardens. Donate non-perishable food at your local food bank.

* King County Solid Waste Division
** EPA Use Less Stuff Report
*** National Christmas Tree Association
**** Take it Back Network
1 Tucson Citizen, Seattle Public Utilities

Here is a list of sales you will find Friday when you go shopping

This website lists all the known specials for this Friday

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Identity Theft Alert! Seattle City Light customers need to be warned

Seattle Press Release
SEATTLE - Seattle City Light is issuing a warning about the possibility a thief or thieves are calling customers to obtain credit card information. The thief indicates that the customer must give them their credit card number immediately to avoid shut-off of electricity that day. In this case, the thief indicated a customer hadn’t signed their personal check for payment of their bill and to avoid a shut-off, they needed to make a credit card payment immediately.

"That simply isn’t the way the utility contacts customers,” states Carol Dickinson, Account Services Director. “Seattle City Light does not make calls to customers asking for credit card information. If a customer hadn’t signed their personal check for payment, we would take them at their word that they intended to, process the check and forward it to their bank to be funded." Dickinson adds that City Light has a prescribed method of notifying a customer if their power is going to be shut off and that includes at least two written warnings, asking customers to contact the utility directly to make a payment. "Our goal is provide our customers with power – not shut them off," says Dickinson. "The way this customer was approached and dealt with isn’t the way we do business."

All City Light customers are advised to take down the name and telephone number of anyone who calls and represents themselves as a City Light employee. Also, before a customer provides anyone with credit information, they should call City Light at 684-3000 to verify that the request is legitimate.

City Light warns customers that they could see more scams such as this shut-off threat as we get closer to the holidays. Customer service representatives are available Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. to receive customer inquiries at 684.3000. Also, customers can e-mail City Light at

For more information, please call Peter Clarke at (206) 684-3602.

Clearwire Laser Light Show Tonight at Space Needle

Clearwire is hosting a laser light show from the top of the Needle around 7:15 p.m. today. This is part of Clearwire's Seattlewide Wi Fi(WiMax) Service which launches today

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Help the Firefighters' Food Drive

From the Seattle PI
Seattle firefighters have teamed with Emergency Feeding Program (EFP) of Seattle and King County to collect food and monetary donations to help feed the city's hungry during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Firefighters have begun accepting donations at any of the city's fire stations. They will continue collecting food and money through Nov. 21 in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

The firefighters will resume their drive Nov. 27 and continue until Dec. 21.

You can also donate here

52% of Garbage in Seattle is Recycled. Goal of 60% by 2010

Seattle Press Release

Recycling Rate Hits New High in Seattle
Residents send more than half of their garbage to the recycling bins

SEATTLE - Seattle set a new record for recycling rates, with 52.1 percent of residential garbage heading to recycling bins instead of the landfills.

The residential recycling rate climbed by 2.7 percentage points compared to 2004 and was 2.2 percentage points higher that the previous record set in 1995. The figures are based on an annual waste audit conducted by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).

SPU officials cite Mayor Greg Nickels’ 60% Recycling Plan and the efforts of businesses and residents as the primary reasons for the city’s recycling progress.

“Seattle is once again leading the way on recycling, thanks to the commitment of residents across the city,” Nickels said. “People understand that recycling is one of the most important steps they can take to protect the environment, and it shows the kind of impact we can make when everyone works together.”

New programs, such as the city’s food waste service and recycling ordinance, made a difference. In the first year of the food waste program, residents recycled 6,000 tons of scraps. Businesses recycled 68,000 tons of paper in 2005, nearly 14,000 tons more than in 2004.

SPU reports show that all sectors increased their recycling in 2005, except the city’s two recycling transfer stations, which dropped slightly from 18.8 percent to 17.9 percent. Combining commercial, residential and transfer station rates, the city recycled 44.1 percent of its waste last year, an increase of 2.9 percentage points over 2004.

“There’s still more that can be done,” said Nickels. “More than half of our garbage is made up of paper, food waste, plastic, glass and metal that could be recycled.”

Seattle’s goal is to recycle 60 percent of its waste by 2010. Seattle’s recycling rate steadily declined in the late 1990s to a low point of 38.2 percent in 2003. That year, Nickels unveiled a range of new recycling services for Seattle residents and businesses, including commercial food scrap collection, more frequent collection of yard waste, vegetable food waste added to yard waste, new yard waste collection carts, new public place recycling containers, and free curbside recycling for businesses.

Seattle also established an ordinance that prohibits recyclable paper and cardboard and yard waste in commercial garbage. The ordinance also prohibits recyclable paper, cardboard, cans and bottles in residential garbage.

Still another means of increasing recycling is to expand recycling opportunities at the city’s garbage transfer stations. That option is part of a proposed garbage facilities plan now under consideration by the Seattle City Council.

Earlier this year, Seattle’s recycling program was recognized for excellence by the Solid Waste Association of North America and the American Forest + Paper Association named the city its “Community Recycler of the Year.”

In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the city’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region's environmental resources.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Seattle Named A Top Global Gateway

From The Seattle PI

This article is a great insight into the future of Seattle Economy and Real Estate.

Some Excerpts from the Article

With its easy port access to Asia, hot office market and international airport, Seattle's got it going on -- or so says the Urban Land Institute's emerging trends report, which pegs the Emerald City as one of the nation's top five "global gateway cities."

The U.S. cities that will perform the best next year will be coastal metropolises with easy access to the rest of the globe, according to the report co-compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and released locally today. Seattle's office market leapt over New York and San Francisco into the No. 1 spot with more real estate experts rating it as a "buy" than any other city.

The report calls cities such as Seattle "expensive and elitist," meaning that "people pay a premium to live in them." But companies pay handsomely for brainpower, so employees can afford to live in these places.

Random -- Free Parking in Seattle on Saturday

Random News For The Day
Seattle Press Release
Saturday, November 11, drivers will not have to pay for parking at City of Seattle parking meters or pay stations. Payment will be required on Friday, November 10. The free parking on Saturday is in observance of Veterans’ Day, according to legislation adopted by the Seattle City Council in September 2006 to clarify parking holiday rules.

The days during the year on which payment is not required, including November 11, are listed on all parking payment devices.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Here are the Local Election Results

I am so happy to see that I933 was rejected and glad that voters support the Estate Tax

Wow!! Democrats take the Senate (Associated Press)

From the Associated Press

Democrats wrested control of the Senate from Republicans Wednesday with an upset victory in Virginia, giving the party complete domination of Capitol Hill for the first time since 1994.

Jim Webb's squeaker win over incumbent Sen. George Allen gave Democrats their 51st seat in the Senate, an astonishing turnabout at the hands of voters unhappy with Republican scandal and unabated violence in Iraq. Allen was the sixth Republican incumbent senator defeated in Tuesday's elections.

The Senate had teetered at 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans for most of Wednesday, with Virginia hanging in the balance. Webb's victory ended Republican hopes of eking out a 50-50 split, with Vice President Dick Cheney wielding tie-breaking authority.

For the first time in a long time I actually have hope in the Future.

The Monorail is up and running and free!!

From the Seattle PI
The Seattle Center Monorail, disabled for nearly 3 months after a summer stall, will begin carrying passengers again at 11 a.m. Wednesday between the Westlake Mall and the center, carrying fewer passengers and running shorter hours than before.

The service will be free to riders until Monday mornng, "as a way of thanking people for their patience" during the trains' hiatus, said center spokeswoman Kari Shaw.