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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Community Forestry Bonds Program Considered by Congress

Cascade Land Conservancy is announcing an effort to support a Community Forestry Bond program proposal, which is now under consideration in Congress.

They are urging supporters to contact our Senators to support this concept. 

It would provide funding to communities who wish to promote green jobs in their communities and support "working forests" nearby.

Casscade Land Conservancy is a "land trust" organization that promotes the Cascade Agenda and other conservation programs. They have acheived amazing success at aquisition and restoration of lands needed to preserve open space and quality of life in our region.  Shoreline is a Cascade Agenda City in partnership with Cascade Land.
Here is their vision:


This collective vision for the region is grounded in the belief that a broad coalition can achieve fundamental change.  Led by Cascade Land Conservancy, nearly 100 businesses, organizations and government agencies and more than 750 community leaders and passionate citizens from King, Kittitas, Pierce and Snohomish Counties stand behind The Cascade Agenda.  Supporters range broadly from farmers, foresters and tribes to housing, arts and cultural interests.  Clearly, the ideas behind The Agenda speak powerfully to our community.

Community Forest Bonds

Working forests provide jobs and public values for our communities, such as habitat, water quality and carbon storage. 
In the past 10 years, more than 80% of America’s industrial forests have changed hands and the trend is continuing. This unprecedented level of sales creates opportunities for large scale working forest conservation. Funding is thelimiting factor, but Community Forest Bonds offer a solution. 

A New Conservation Tool 

Community Forests Bonds are a financing tool that conserves working forests while providing jobs and respecting landowner property rights.
In short, tax-exempt revenue bonds are issued for the purchase of forests by a non-profit. These low-cost bonds are repaid by sustainably harvesting the forest.
Using this approach, millions of dollars will be made available, which could result in the conservation of 2 million acres!

Make Community Forest Bonds a Reality

This innovative approach requires change in the current laws. Legislation has been introduced in the 111th Congress(HR3302, S1502), and the coming weeks will be criticalfor the efforts to pass the bill.
Call Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell now to thank them for their leadership on this legislation and to urge them to work with Senate colleagues to pass the bill at the earliest opportunity.
Senate offices can be reached at 202-224-3121.
Here's what you can say:
  • We're losing our working forests and we need Community Forestry Bonds to conserve these lands.
  • Community Forestry Bonds is about jobs: by keeping working forests working, the bill will retain 13,500 green jobs.
  • Please pass Community Forestry Bonds at the earliest opportunity.  

Please Take Action Today!

(and let us know if you do. We'd love to hear from you!)
Click here to learn more about Community Forest Bonds. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tribute to West VA Senator Robert Byrd - Longest serving Member of Congress

Senator Robert Byrd died today at age 92.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In 2006, while visiting Washington DC, I had the privilege of seeing Senator Robert Byrd deliver a short speech on the Senate floor. It was not the most significant or important issue he was addressing (it was about preserving Amtrak), but I recall the power and eloquence of the moment, and his dynamic and theatrical flair.  He waived his arms and bellowed "All aboard for Amtrak!" as a part of his plea.

I don't even know the fate of that particular legislation. But I was so impressed and even thrilled to have a chance to watch this amazing Senate institution in action. It was equally impressive to see him in that setting, rather than just an aging fellow who I passed in the hallway (he had just been out walking his dog).

Photo credit - Senator Byrd website

Robert Byrd was first elected to the Senate in 1958. He was the adopted son of a coal miner, and received his law degree from American University in 1963 (while serving in the Senate).  He was considered an expert and defender of the US Constitution and according to an NPR story today, he said  in a speech:

In 2004, he warned his colleagues that the same fate could befall the United States.
"Why so deferential to presidents? Under the Constitution, we have three separate but equal branches of government," Byrd said. "How many of us know that? How many of us know that the executive branch is but the equal of the legislative branch, not above it?"
As he often would, Byrd then pulled out the well-worn copy of the Constitution that he always carried in his breast pocket.
"This Constitution impacts your life," Byrd said. "Every day that you are here on this planet, this Constitution has a bearing on it."
And the Constitution, Byrd said, empowers Congress — not the president — to declare war.
I also recall the thrill of watching him on TV deliver his impassioned and inspiring speech against the Iraq War resolution. He spoke with pride at the time about the amazing response from peace activists and citizens supporting his efforts. He said that his office had received over 50,000 emails and 18,000 phone calls from all across America, which was considered remarkable in 2002.

He was elected both Senate Majority and Minority leaders, and was still Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee when he died.

He even showed the courage to admit he was wrong. He had filibustered the Civil Rights Act in 1964, but later renounced his position on that manner and had since become a crusader for Civil Rights.

He garnered the respect of lawmakers from both parties over his career.

Robert Byrd loved poetry and also played the fiddle. He even produced an album of Blue Grass fiddle tunes.

Rest in peace defender of the US Constitution.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shoreline Schools Staff Funding in Doubt

A flyer entitled "Bait and Switch" was passed out this weekend at the Shoreline Arts Fest by the SESPA Union. The flyer detailed problems at the Shoreline School District with funding for staff salaries.
Ridgecrest Elementary
photo credit - SSD

The flyer details how many of the school district staff categories such as; school nurses, security monitors, special ed, library staff, playground and lunch supervisors jobs may be threatened, and yet some administrators will be given substantial raises. For instance, Superintendent Walker is slated to receive a $8,276 raise next year. The School Board has already proposed to create new "reserve funds" which will in effect squirrel away much of the funding allowed in the last Levy Votes passed by voters.

Many people are concerned about the way the Shoreline School District has been less than candid to the public about their proposals and actions in the last year.

You can contact the school Board at the following site.

The SESPA (Shoreline Education Support Professionals Association) group has posted their concerns on  the lack of funding for support staff in a blog posting at

Here is the article from the SESPA UNION Blog with chart shown on the flyer:


Friday, June 25, 2010

SEPA Process - An Explanation and Why It Matters for Shoreline

S.E.P.A. - A Tool for Communities to Control Impacts of Development and Projects? Or Something to Be Ignored by Citizens or Written Off by Local Government?

Photo credit - Cedarbrook Coalition

People who've been involved with monitoring the Planning Process in Shoreline for a long time are concerned about proposals to severely cut back citizen involvement in Shoreline governance. 

Are you a citizen who feels there are impacts to the environment that occur from development and other projects, but are not sure what to do about it? These "impacts" (measured by SEPA) can be included under many "elements"  such as; transportation, streams, wetlands, water quality, historical or cultural, wildlife habitat, neighborhood character and others.
Are you a citizen who values things about Shoreline that give it a neighborhood character?

SEPA definition from the Department of Ecology website -
 A state policy that requires state and local agencies to consider the likely environmental consequences of a proposal before approving or denying the proposal.
SEPA Citizens Guide -

Then perhaps you should pay attention to the following!

This commentary was provided by a concerned person we'll call "Citizen X":

A dramatic increase in allowable impacts and a decrease in public involvement is proposed. Protecting Public Oversight and SEPA Review: 
The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requires completion of a checklist to assure development protects neighbors and neighborhoods from unnecessary environmental impacts.
The checklist  becomes a public document that can be reviewed and commented upon to assure that all potential impacts are identified and mitigated.
Before final approval and issuance of a city building permit, local citizens are given appeal rights under the law to assure developments do not cause environmental impacts.
 The City of Shoreline is proposing to expand the size of development that is EXEMPT from the SEPA process. The reasoning given for this proposed expansion is to assure certainty in the development process. For instance:
                   • developments from 4 up to 20 units would be EXEMPT.
                   • commercial buildings from 4,000 sq. ft (+ 20 parkling stalls) up to 12,000 sq ft (+ 
                       40 parking stalls) would be EXEMPT
                   • parking lots for 20 spaces up to 40 spaces would be EXEMPT

The effect of this change would be to eliminate substantial oversight by the public in their neighborhoods and could impact an individual's property rights and property values if a development under 20 units is proposed nearby.  "Experts" with a vested interest in stimulating development processes would replace local citizen review and those who have to live with the consequences would have little recourse other than the election process (of City Councilmembers). No challenges, comments or appeals would be possible (except though Superior Court).
Don't let non-elected city officials determine the fate of your neighborhoods without allowing public input! Hold the City Councilmembers, who will vote on this issue accountable for their actions. Tell them you will watch and remember how they vote, and insist they support local citizen oversight of projects.
No other city of Shoreline's size in the region has proposed such an expansion of SEPA EXEMPTIONS. Most cities require SEPA review for ALL development without ANY exceptions.
Please help protect the environmental future of YOUR city. 
The above message brought to you as a service from Of Paramount Importance Blog.
If you are interested in preventing one more erosion of your rights as citizens of Shoreline, you are
encouraged to contact the Planning Commission @
City Council @

Thank you for caring!
Home built too close to Thornton Creek
photo credit - TCA/SPU

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oil Spills in Puget Sound? Draw the Line this Saturday!

Say NO to Oil Spills in Puget Sound!

The BP oil disaster is a wake-up call for Puget Sound. We need to be vigilant that Puget Sound is spared from an Exxon Valdez orDeepwater Horizon magnitude oil spill.
Check out our mock oil spill from yesterday:
Big Oil’s history of lobbying against environmental protections in Puget Sound and call for BP to be held accountable for the devastation that they have caused in the Gulf Coast. It is time for greater protections against oil spills in Puget Sound and time for President Obama to deliver a plan to transition America off oil by 2030.
Not in our Puget Sound!  
Join the fun on Saturday, June 26th for an international day of action against BP.  A  Hands Across the Sands event is occurring at a beach near you, check it out:
While we do not have oil rigs operating in the Puget Sound or on our outer coast—thanks to legislation we helped pass a long time ago, Puget Sound is at risk of a catastrophic oil spill.  Over 4,000 vessels travel through the Strait of Juan de Fuca every year ( oil tankers, large ships, oil barges). Puget Sound is also home to five oil refineries. And we have had plenty of small and medium-size wake-up spills over the years. Yet, a recent “worst-case” oil spill study here in Washington State concluded that we are woefully unprepared and under-equipped to deal with a large spill. The nightmare of the Gulf could be our nightmare.
Not in our Puget Sound!  For a beach location near you, go to:
See you on the beach!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alice Bryant Park: Let's Give Peace a Park!

Let just admit it.... Thornton Creek Park #6 needs a better name.  Why not make it a Peace Park, since Northgate needs a peaceful place?
Photo credit - Seattle Parks Dept

Alice Franklin Bryant (1899-1977) was a nationally-known, Peace Activist in the Northwest. She had been a prisoner of war during WW II by the Japanese military in the Phillipines, and yet became an advocate for "Nuclear Disarmament" and against the internment of Japanese Americans during the war years here. She even travelled to Japan to support Hiroshima victims.

She went on to a vibrant politically active career in the Seattle area, running for Congress and the US Senate. She received many awards including a citation from Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman and from the WAState Senate.

Now, Peace groups in the Seattle area and Thornton Creek Alliance have taken a position advocating for a "Peace Park" named after Alice Bryant in the Northgate area.

Alice Franklin Bryant 

Thornton Creek Park #6, has been without a real name since it's inception during the Forward Thrust Bond years in the 1960's and 70's. It is across the street to the new Thornton Place Development at Northgate and the Daylighted Thornton Creek segment. It is a lovely, and somewhat wild, little natural area that provides an element of "peace" to a busy urban hub, for those who seek it out.  There are other "nameless, numbered parks" in the watershed and in other parts of town as well.

Thornton Creek's South branch is rich in native plantings, some invasive weeds and yet provides a wildlife sanctuary for many native species and a respite for local residents and workers who seek peaceful surroundings. It has been a "work in progress" for over a dozen years, and much restoration work has been accomplished by local stewards.

Local activists have collected over 300 signatures to support the idea of naming this nameless park in honor of Alice Bryant. They've held vigils and received support from many current and former elected officials and other dignitaries such as, Gov Albert Rosselini, former Senator Donn Charnley, Seattle City Councilmembers, many local residents and groups such as SNOW(Sound Non-violent Opponents of War) and local Churches like Seattle First Baptist.

Her connections to North Seattle are through her family members, who've been longterm stewards at this park. Alice was a passionate supporter of the environment, especially on it's relationship to disarmement. Here is a message from Ruth Williams, Alice's grandaughter and TCA 2nd Vice President about the progress that's been made on the park naming issue.

Alice meets with a Japanese Diplomat in Tokyo

At the Thursday, June 16th, Thornton Creek Alliance meeting the group voted
unanimously for their naming proposals for the unnamed Thornton Creek Parks.

They are proposing the following:

1)  A naming convention for the currently unnamed park properties along

Thornton Creek and its tributaries that would highlight a distinctive

natural feature of each property, followed by ".  Natural Area on Thornton

Creek"; and a notable exception

Thornton Creek Southbranch at restoration site near 
Fifth Ave NE, Northgate
Photo credit - Janet Way

2)  Naming at least part of TC Park 6 "Alice Bryant Peace Park on Thornton

It was necessary for TCA to take a stand on the park naming issue because
Seattle Parks is considering not naming any of the parks, but only the entry

And the "Alice Bryant Peace Park on Thornton Creek" name already has 300
supporting signatures, many of which belong to watershed activists as well
as others from all over the community.  This name will add a wonderful new
dimension to the Northgate neighborhood.  It is already generating more
interest in the park from the greater community. A few of them have already
attended some of our Park Six work parties.

The TCA naming system and the name are not a done deal yet, but the
endorsement is of immeasurable help in making NE Seattle's peace park a
reality.  Sally Bagshaw, the new chairwoman of the Seattle City Council

committee on Parks and Seattle Center, has been an effective watchdog in

making sure that Parks respects the public will.  We believe her office will
make sure we get a fair hearing when the TC parks come up for naming in the

Great Blue Heron feeding at Thornton Creek Park 6

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shoreline Solar Fest Coming Soon!

Four Weeks 'Til 
Solar Fest!

Shoreline Solar Project is gearing up for the Seventh Annual Solar Fest, this year located at the campus of Shoreline Community College. It promises to be an exciting event that highlights Shoreline as a center for innovation on renewable technology and green living.


Shoreline Community College 

July 16/17

Count Down to 
4 Weeks to 
Opening Night

Each week leading up to SolarFest we are
focusing on some special features
you can look forward to


Keynote Speaker:
Marceloda Luz

On June 12th, 2008 the epic
journey began by the shores of the Great Lakes.
The power of one (XOF1) solar car reached
the Arctic Circle just 46 days later, breaking the
worlddistance record for a solar car.
Hear about thisadventure and meet the
maestro of this journey
Marcelo da Luz in “Solar Goes a Long Way”-
The Power of One Solar Car Project
 Marcelo’s motto is:  “the only thing between 
you and your dreams is yourself”
 Marcelo da Luz was born in Brazil where
he attended public schools, and vividly
remembers a teacher explaining that pollution
was the price of progress.

At a young age, Marcelo believed that 

progress should be defined by improvement 
in quality of life for not just present 
generations but for those who would 
come after.
 XOF1’s motto is:  “Inspired by the sun, 
motivated by the environment.”
 Friday July 16th, 7PM Shoreline Community 
College Theatre suggested donation to this event $10

Saturday July 17th 
10am – 8pm

Featured Speaker:


Cecile Andrews
 is the
author of Slow Is Beautiful: 
New Visions of Community,
Leisure and  Joie de Vivre
(New Society Publishers,

and The Circle of Simplicity: Return 
to the Good Life(HarperCollins, 1997).
 A former community college administrator,
Cecile has been a visiting scholar at Stanford 
University and affiliated scholar at Seattle University.
She is founderof the Phinney Ecovillage in Seattle.

Her work has been featured in the PBS video 
"Escape from Affluenza" and the TBS video 
"Consumed by Consumption" (featuring 
Cecile, Ed Begley Jr., and Phyllis Diller), CBSNews 
"Eye on America", New York Times, 
Los Angeles Times, Esquire, 
and various PBS and NPR programs. Cecile
received her doctorate in education at Stanford
University and gives workshops and presentations;
she has written a column for the Seattle Times; and
she has co-hosted a local NPR program.
 Cecile will be speaking on Gross National
Happiness and says, “Most of the ills our society
can be traced to our beliefs about money and
happiness. Americans think that if we’re rich
we’ll be happy, so making money has become
our national goal. But this goal not only does
not deliver happiness, it destroys the planet.
How can we change this? A new campaign for
a Gross National Happiness standard is catching
fire. Join us to explore what true happiness is and
learn how we can influence national policies for
the wellbeing of people and the planet.”       
 For more information about Cecile Andrews
visit her website at:
Fair Feature
Electronic Waste Recycling
Bring your e-waste to the Fair. You will be able to
pull your car up and unload your items. Look for the
signs as you enter the main gate.
Recycle your Computers, Monitors, TV's, Laptops
and Cell phones for FREE!
All other electronics up to and including Microwaves.
(DVD/CD players, Desktop printers/scanners etc),
are $5 to $10, depending on the size.
(No large appliances, stoves, refrigerators etc.)
Services will be provided by:

Featured Exhibitor:
Solar Energy International was founded in
1991 as a non-profit educational organization.
 Through our Renewable Energy Education 
Program (REEP), SEI offers hands-on workshops
and online courses in solar PV, wind, micro-hydro,
solar hot water and natural home building.
SEI works cooperatively with grassroots and
development organizations in the Americas, Africa,
Micronesia and the Caribbean. SEI staff has delivered
services to the Pan American Health Organizations,
Non-Governmental development organizations
(NGOs), foreign, national and state governments,
universities and individuals seeking the benefits
of renewable energy.
Please visit for more
information on Solar Energy International

Featured Sponsor:


As a community partner
is a proud sponsor of
CleanScapes is the waste management 
serviceprovider for the City of Shoreline and
many parts of Seattle.

Mission: To enhance the commercial and
residential viability of cities by partnering to
deliver innovative and efficient StreetScape
management services and effective waste
reduction, diversion and collection programs
for cleaner, safer, and more sustainable cities.

At the core: CleanScapes believes that social 
entrepreneurship can work to alleviate many of
the fundamental problems generated by the lack
of resources for basic government services. By
filling this gap, we make the communities in which
we operate cleaner, safer and more attractive for

Furthermore, CleanScapes believes that they can
be profitable while creating a seamless transition
and support a network designed to return at-risk
populations to the local workforce and to the
benefitof the neighborhood. CleanScapes views their
business success as a way to further benefit the
communities in which they operate

What they are providing to this event:
is providing containers for each of the food vendors
at “Taste of Shoreline” during SolarFest so
attendeescan deposit left over food and compostable
plates and utensils. The compostable waste will be
sent to Cedar Grove and turned into compost for
use in private and commercial gardens.
They are also providing signage so attendees can
discern which container is appropriate for
recyclables, for compostable material and for waste.
Visit: to
learn more about their role in helping to make
a great place to live work and play.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Calling All Democrats - KC Democrats Legislative Action Committee Mtg

King County 

Action Committee

June 20, 2010 


The June 20, 2010 
Legislative Action 
  is this Sunday June 20, 
from 2PM to 4PM

at the Lake City Library,
Guest Speakers are:

Representative Maralyn Chase and
Representative Ruth Kagi
Maralyn Chase is on the
(Vice Chair)
TradeEcology, Parks Committees