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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Nature Publishing - Amazing Ecosystem Posters


Celebrating our "ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY" for "Of Paramount Importance" Blog all day today!
Thanks to all of our "Followers" "Commenters" and everyone who's checked in on our new adventure. Look forward to your future participation, tips and ideas as our local blog evolves.
It here for all of you to use to share information, issues, good news and challenges.

Best Wishes in February 2010 - Janet Way





Good Nature Publishing Climate Impacts Series

Tim Coleman is a successful, local publisher who has made his mark by illustrating different types of habitats of the Northwest Ecosystem, and other topics illustrating our natural connections, by publishing local illustrators poster art.

His posters are widely distributed and affordable ways to get the message of our connections to our natural world, whether out in wilderness or in our own backyards.

They are educational and inspiring.

Topics include, Raingardens, Sustainable Living and most recently the Climate Impacts Series by John C. Pitcher pictured here.

Contact Tim at 800-631-3086 or through his website - http://www.goodnaturepublishing.com/


Steven Chu Announces $1.4 Billion Loan to Nissan for LEAF Electric Car

Celebrating our "ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY" for "Of Paramount Importance" Blog all day today! We'll feature stories from various areas of the environmental spectrum.

Thanks to all of our "Followers" "Commenters" and everyone who's checked in on our new adventure. Look forward to your future participation, tips and ideas as our local blog evolves.
It here for all of you to use to share information, issues, good news and challenges.

Best Wishes in February 2010 - Janet Way

Here is more good news for the environment from Treehugger Environmental Blog.

Steven Chu Announces $1.4 Billion Loan to Nissan for LEAF Electric Car

by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada on 01.29.10

nissan leaf steven chu photo
Photos: Nissan, DOE

About 1,300 New Jobs at Smyrna Factory
Steven Chu announced that the U.S. Department of Energy agreed to loan $1.4 billion to Nissan for the modification of their Smyrna plant in Tennessee. This will help Nissan start production of the LEAF electric car (coming to
British Columbia in 2011 and the rest of the world in 2012) and build an advanced battery manufacturing facility.

nissan leaf photo
Photos: Nissan

Dr. Chu said: "This is an investment in our clean energy future. It will bring the United States closer to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and help lower carbon pollution. We are committed to making strides to revitalize the American auto industry and supporting the development of clean energy vehicles."

Nissan's goal is to make about 150,000 LEAFs and 200,000 battery packs a year in Smyrna once production is up to speed. This should create about 1,300 jobs.

In September 2009, Ford received a $5.9 billion loan, and just last week Tesla's $465 million loan with the DOE was finalized.

It's Finally Starting to Happen
Getting electric cars to market is taking longer than a lot of people would like, but manufacturing on this scale is long and expensive. It seems like a couple years ago, everybody was coming up with electric concept cars but almost nobody was actually taking actions to commercialize them. Now we seem to be entering a new phase: Companies are working hard to find financing, build/retool factories, make partnerships with battery companies or bring that expertise in-house, etc. Certainly a step in the right direction, though widespread adoption of EV will still depend a lot on oil prices in the next 5-10 years, and on battery technology improvements.

Once again, a carbon tax (revenue neutral would be best) would help make this happen much faster. As long as people don't pay directly for the cost of air pollution and global warming, the playing field won't be level with clean(er) technologies.

Via DOE

More Nissan LEAF Electric Car
Nissan Working on New Battery to Double the Leaf's Range by 2015
Nissan LEAF: Instead of Engine Choices, People Might Have Battery Choices
Nissan LEAF Electric Car to Come to British Columbia First (in 2011)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

State to reduce stormwater pollution from highways



An important legal settlement has been reached which could have far reaching consequences for improvement of the State's Water Quality problems. Coincidentally, State Legislators are currently working on important bills which may pass this year and provide funding to help- municipalities address these water quality problems that are their responsibilities.

The following article is from The Olympian. http://www.theolympian.com/environment/story/1116689.html

State to reduce stormwater pollution from highways
By GENE JOHNSON

Washington state will do more to prevent polluted stormwater from running off state highways into rivers, lakes and Puget Sound, where it poses a serious threat to salmon and other aquatic life.

In a legal settlement filed Tuesday, the state Department of Transportation agreed that whenever it builds new highways in Western Washington, it will also spend a little bit of money to retrofit old ones – thousands of miles of which were constructed without sediment ponds or other pollution controls.

The environmental law firm Earthjustice and the group Puget Soundkeeper Alliance challenged the DOT’s stormwater discharge permit before the Pollution Control Hearings Board last year, saying it didn’t meet the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.

“This is a 7,000-mile highway system that generates enormous amounts of pollutants, most of which are discharged directly into waters without any treatment or storage whatsoever,” Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman said. “The amount of copper coming off a highway is staggering compared to the levels that we know affect salmon.”

The state Ecology Department said stormwater runoff is a major source of the 52 million pounds of toxic chemicals, such as oil, PCBs and heavy metals, that end up in Puget Sound each year. Copper is particularly troubling for young salmon because it destroys their sense of smell and prevents them from avoiding predators.

Environmental groups have been pressing the state to get a handle on runoff, not just from highways but from cities and businesses as well.

photo credit - Janet Way

Friday, January 29, 2010

Features of Fish Singer Place and Martha Rose projects








We had a fascinating site visit to Fish Singer Place today.

This a new development in Shoreline by Martha Rose Construction. Martha has been developing single family home sites which she calls High Performance Homes, in an "eco-village style" with Built Green techniques such as:
• Low Impact Development drainage sites
• Green Roof demonstration
• Cisterns for roof drainage
• Quadruple pane windows
• Recycled and retrofitted features on original "farmhouse"
• High Performance Insulation
• Pervious pavements
• Passive Solar technology

Discovered all kinds of interesting green features and got some photos to share with you.

Photos show -
• Martha showing off cabinet retrofit in original farm house
• Green Roof Sedum mix and sample installation
• Original flooring restored in Farm House
• Green roof on new garage
• Recycled brick pile
• pervious pavement samples seen at Greenwood Ave site

Saturday, Jan 30th Open House continues - 12-4pm.

Fish Singer Place Low Impact Development Strategies





Martha Rose is a local developer in the Shoreline Area. She has championed the "eco-village" concept in several of her recent projects. These projects feature many green building tactics and techniques including the "High Performance House" concept. Marthas previous project on Greenwood Ave N was featured in the Shoreline Sustainabilty Strategy Report.

Her latest project is the "Fish Singer Place" on Dayton Ave N. See her article below on LID techniques she's utilizing.

Her company is hosting a reception TODAY and Sat to showcase the projects during construction to demonstrate how they are made. It's a great opportunity to see this project and techniques as they are put into place.

Martha says "it's time to take it to the next level," join us for a special Behind the Walls Tour of Martha Rose's newest 5-Star Built Green Homes
Fish Singer Place

Wine & Cheese

Friday January 29, 2010 2pm-4pm
Saturday January 30, 2010 12pm-4pm
Address: 15715 Dayton Ave N. Shoreline Wa. 98133

Special Sneak Preview

The making of a High Performance House



Fish Singer Place Low Impact Development Strategies

Located just south of 160th on Dayton Ave N, a (4) lot eco-enclave is under construction. The Fish brothers would likely be very pleased that developer, Martha Rose, is employing many strategies on their old land to help clean up our waterways. Careful civil engineering allows all portions of the property to absorb, retain and purify storm water until it has a chance to sink into the ground and slowly wend its way to Puget Sound. Here are some of those highlights:

Several portions of this 35,000 square foot site are left undisturbed with 7 mature native trees and other smaller deciduous trees left intact. Wood chips from ground tree branches form a thick layer of mulch that create a natural forested condition that absorbs water like a sponge.

Sod is not planted, eliminating the need for lawn mowers, weed killers and artificial fertilizers. Areas suitable for vegetable gardening are enriched with slow release fertilizers such as manure compost, bone meal and wood chips to help create tilth. A similar strategy is used for landscaping plants to allow the native and drought tolerant species to thrive. These beds absorb water almost as well as our little forest.

Our hardscapes also function as water filtration devices. The pervious pavement road, installed over a thick bed of 2” crushed granite railroad ballast, is so efficient at purifying pollutants that it breaks down mercury and other heavy metals into 98% inert compounds. This rock basin that underlies the road is hospitable to microbes that “eat” the harmful substances, allowing cleaned water to be absorbed into the adjacent soil. Rain water on site that is not intercepted by a rain barrel or absorbed in garden beds ends up in this under-road natural treatment plant.

Vegetated roofs also play a role in storm water management. About 70% of the water that lands on a green roof stays there to either evaporate into the sky or to be released by transpiration over a longer time. Plants protect these long lasting roofs from harmful UV rays and also help to temper climate and add beauty to our buildings.

For an up-close look at all of these features, ask to sign up for our tour notices at info@MarthaRoseConstruction.com

These homes are available for sale. See www.FishSingerPlace.com Interested buyers, please ask for a personal tour.


Martha Rose

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter



Lisa Stifler's Stormwater "Daily Score" Blog from Sightline Daily, is very worthwhile for those who are concerned about our Puget Sound and other waterways health.

Here is today's entry 1/28/10 -
http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2010/01/28/get-out-of-the-gutter

Curbing stormwater while trimming the bottom line.
For years, environmentalists have touted "low-impact development" -- letting soil and vegetation soak up heavy rains, rather than channeling storm runoff into gutters and sewers -- as the best solution for stormwater. But as it turns out, LID has picked up a whole host of new fans: smart economists, developers, builders, and government regulators are now singing LID's praises as well.

The fundamental principle of low-impact development is that it's better -- both for people's pocketbooks and for streams -- to prevent storm runoff than it is to treat it. That means building green roofs and rain gardens, installing rain barrels and cisterns, and using porous concrete and pavers. The conventional alternative is building an elaborate and expensive system of concrete storm sewers that funnel stormwater, as well as the trash and toxics it picks up, into streams, lakes, and bays.

And recent studies from around North America show that the principle has promise: real-world evidence shows that LID is, in fact, a cheaper way to handle stormwater, and it does so without the flooding risk or the damage to marine life, that the conventional approach to stormwater often carries with it.

Take, for example, this 2005 study by researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. They point to a previous study, which had estimated that it would cost a whopping $284 billion, and require building 65 drinking-water treatment plants, to clean the filthy torrents streaming off of LA's highways and rooftops. But the researchers concluded that LID, coupled with related strategies, could deal with stormwater in the sprawling metropolis at a cost of $3 billion to $7 billion -- treating stormwater at pennies on the dollar, compared with the conventional approach.

Seattle Public Utilities has done some number crunching of its own. The utility found that using LID, or what they call "natural drainage systems," to retrofit streets in need of stormwater treatment that the city spent $325,000 per block, compared to $425,000 if they had built traditional storm-drain-and-pipes infrastructure.

A good chunk of that savings likely came from the fact that the LID street has only one sidewalk (this is in a neighborhood that previously had no sidewalks) rather than two. But the comparison doesn't count the many other benefits of LID, including improved property values (thanks to the improved aesthetics of the natural systems) plus the near elimination of runoff. That means no flooding and less dependence on combined-sewer overflows that can dump raw sewage along with stormwater into the sea and rivers (this talk outlines these additional benefits).

If you're looking for good examples of smart LID projects, this EPA document is a stormwater solutions throw down. It concludes that, in 11 of the 12 projects studied, LID is the economic winner over conventional strategies. The savings ranged from 15 to 80 percent. Let's take a look:

SEA Street Seattle: If you're an LID fan, you already know about SEA Street, or 2nd Avenue Street Edge Alternative. This 2001 literally groundbreaking project was a rebuild of a residential street in which the road was narrowed, some sidewalks removed, and wide ditches called swales built along the pavement to catch runoff. The amount of impervious surfaces were reduced by 18 percent, and the redesign captures nearly all of the runoff according to studies tracking its performance. Plus, it's really pretty with native plants and trees lining the street. It's been replicated in neighborhoods around the city.

PROJECT COSTS

For a conventional retrofit: $868,803
LID retrofit: $651,548
Difference: $217,255 in savings


Parking lot retrofits, Bellingham: The city opted for rain gardens instead of underground vaults to capture and treat runoff from parking lots at city hall and Bloedel Donovan Park. Three of the city hall's 60 parking spaces were converted into the rain garden. At the park, a 550 square-foot area was converted.

Rain gardens typically look like traditional landscaping, but can include planted depressions that are lined with layers of gravel and porous soil. Sometimes the depression can contain a drain that leads into traditional stormwater infrastructure to accommodate unusually heavy rains.

PROJECT COSTS

For vaults: $80,400
For rain gardens: $18,400
Difference: $62,400 in savings


Crown Street, Vancouver, BC: This 2005 retrofit of a Vancouver street was based on the SEA Street model. The project is expected to reduce runoff by 90 percent. The city opted for the LID design because the street reportedly drains into the last two salmon-bearing streams in Vancouver.

PROJECT COSTS

For a conventional retrofit: $364,000
LID retrofit: $707,000 (this includes $311,000 in consulting fees that would not be required for additional projects, making the cost $396,000)
Difference: $32,000, discounting consulting fees; however, according to the EPA report, the city estimates that the LID approach would be less expensive than a traditional stormwater system in areas of new development


Downspout disconnection program, Portland: Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) are a scourge of urban sewer-stormwater systems. In these systems, stormwater and sewage are mixed and treated in sewage facilities. In heavy storms, the treatment plants are overwhelmed by the extra runoff, and the combined waste gets dumped untreated into rivers and bays. And they're really expensive to fix by separating the systems or increasing capacity.

So Portland is opting for a program that pays homeowners $53 for each downspout it disconnects from the stormwater system. Instead, the water flows into rain barrels or the home's yard. More than 50,000 downspouts have been disconnected, channeling more than 1.2 billion gallons of water out of the CSO system.

PROJECT COSTS (based on numbers provided for the EPA's December 2007 study by which time there had been 44,000 downspouts disconnected)

For added capacity to CSO: $250 million
For disconnection program: $8.5 million


If you want some more examples, the Puget Sound Action Team (now the Partnership for Puget Sound) published "Natural Approaches to Stormwater Management" a few years back. It's a great document providing dozens of case studies showing LID in action from around BC and Washington.

I could go on, but you get the idea. LID is smart for the pocketbook, and the only answer for the built environment.



Green roof photo from Rob Harrison under the Creative Commons license.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Response to School/Museum “Agreement in Principle


Response to School/Museum “Agreement in Principle”


Speaking for our Committee to Save Our Shoreline Historical Museum, we are pleased that the Historical Museum Board and School District have come to an “agreement in principle”. However the terms of this “Agreement in Principle” (which is very different from a “Legally Binding Agreement”) are unknown at this time. We expect to know more later today (Monday, Jan 25th).

After this Monday evening’s meeting of the Shoreline School Board at Shoreline Conference Center, 4:30pm in Board Room, which will vote on the agreement in principle, we presume that the legal details and underpinning, which is agreed to “in good faith” by the parties on behalf of their supporters and the taxpayers of the District will be forthcoming soon, and those details will clarify and ensure the long-term stability of both institutions.

We take no position at this time on the election questions and will leave the matters up to the voters. But we do express concern that these matters will be carried out with complete transparency and that the School District and Board will be completely accountable to the people, whatever the outcome of the vote.

We also have expressed concerns, which the District chose not to include the details of the ballot measures in the King County Voters Pamphlet and any statement justifying the proposed measures. We believe that the voters have a right to be fully informed about this expenditure of their tax dollars, and the details of this agreement should be widely publicized.

We trust that the agreement will include language that will protect the historical integrity and landmark status of the Shoreline Historical Museum and Ronald School Building, and ensure it’s place as a part of Shoreline’s Town Center as expressed clearly in our Community Vision process last year passed by the Shoreline City Council.

The District should have more transparently presented the process by which these measures were pursued, as well as the impacts placed upon the Museum and the community, to the voters, in our opinion. This issue of accountability is one that needs improvement for the sake of a better public process wise use of public funding.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Solar Century? A Vision for a Solarized World (Review)




This is a Book Review from "Treehugger" the green Blog of The Solar Century
by Jeremy Leggett.


It looks like a fascinating project and worthwhile to look into.

Of course, Shoreline has been the center of much interest in Green Technology with many groups working towards renewable energy solutions. These include, Shoreline Solar Project, Shoreline Community College and the Shoreline Chamber Green Business Program. Shoreline Solar Project's Solar Fest 2010 http://www.shorelinesolar.org/page/8385 will be held at SCC this July. It promises to be exciting as ever with lots of new venues and opportunities to get involved. We even have local Solar energy suppliers here in Shoreline. Northwest Mechanical is a Shoreline small business that has been involved in the new installation at the Shoreline City Hall.

The Solar Century? A Vision for a Solarized World (Review)

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC, USA
Image credit: Jeremy Leggett

"Building houses that use no fossil fuels, directly or indirectly, is surprisingly easy..."

This is not the type of statement you'd expect from a former oil geologist. But Jeremy Leggett is not your average former oil geologist. Having left academia to campaign for action on climate change, he eventually decided to found Solarcentury, which he describes as his "very own microcosm of hope in the business world." The company has since become the UK's fastest growing energy company, it's launched innovative products like the complete solar roof, it's expanded it's solar operations to Spain and is partnering on bringing major solar installations to the Middle East, and it's even mounted solar arrays on hundreds of schools. You certainly couldn't accuse Leggett of suffering from a failure of ambition. Now he's applying that ambition as editor and lead author of a new book that lays out his vision for a world-wide solar surge that could revolutionize the way we think about energy.

The Solar Century is an incredibly inspiring read. So much so, that I had to remind myself to keep a healthy dose of skepticism to some of its claimst—a man who sells solar for a living (and names his book after his own company!) is likely to be a little biased when it comes to the potential of solar energy. Yet Leggett presents a compelling, exciting and inspiring case for solar as a central thrust of a renewable energy future.

Citing studies from the likes of Shell Oil and the German Economics Ministry, Leggett claims that contrary to what naysayers will tell you, it is perfectly possible to power the entire world with renewable energy technologies much sooner, and much cheaper, than most pundits would have you believe. (Previous TreeHugger posts have also covered the question of how much land is needed to power the whole world with solar, not to mention a plan for a world powered by 100% renewables by 2030.)

I'm not qualified to assess the technical feasibility of Leggett's vision, but I do know that we need to aim extraordinarily high if we are going to get anywhere near the kind of carbon reductions needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. And with solar being regularly cited in surveys as everybody's favorite energy source—regardless of political persuasion—what's not to like about a plan to harness the energy falling on our rooftops, parking lots and deserts to create clean renewable energy? (One project in my community exploring how farms can double crop solar energy with food production—just one example of how out-of-the-box thinking can help solar to coexist and even enhance existing land uses.)

The book also takes the opportunity to talk the lay reader through the various solar technologies available, including thin-film, crystalline, solar-thermal, passive solar and solar concentrators, as well as exploring the various potential combinations of centralized versus decentralized supply, grid-tied versus off-grid, and how smart grid technologies may help manage supply and even out demand. The result is a highly accessible guide to the pros and cons of each approach, and an uplifting pep talk on just how much can be achieved if we can only find the political will to act.

Interestingly, for this non-techy reader at least, Leggett and his co-authors' also tackle the potential for improvements in solar technology and explain that media focus on improving solar cell efficiency is perhaps less than half the story—companies are also working on squeezing more value out of their products at every level of the supply chain. In fact, with silicon ingots making up 95% of the costs of solar wafer manufacture, finding ways to use silicon that has not been purified to solar-grade may be at least as important as the actual efficiency of each cell.

There's plenty of big-picture thinking in The Solar Century to keep the visionaries happy too. In fact, the last third of the book is dedicated to defining and assessing a number of visions that could help lead us to a truly "solar century". Ranging from the idea of carbon armies rebuilding economies after the financial crisis, through most buildings being transformed into power plants, to solar reaching grid parity with fossil fuels, Leggett lays out where we need to go, how we need to get there, and what has already been achieved on the road to these goals.

Crucially, while Leggett clearly believes that solar needs to be a central (perhaps the central) technology for a renewables revolution, he also recognizes that efficiency, wind, geothermal and other technologies will play a vital role in kicking the fossil fuel habit.

I started out reading The Solar Century expecting a sales pitch for Leggett's company. In some ways, that's exactly what I got. But when a company stands for nothing less than a startlingly ambitious vision to rethink the way we power our entire world, reading its sales pitch becomes a sheer delight. Having picked up the book early yesterday evening, I found myself still pouring over the details at midnight. Somehow my still relatively new solar panels on the roof are beginning to feel like the first step to something much bigger.

See also my brief interview with Jeremy Leggett back in 2006.

More on Solarcentury
The Complete Solar Roof from Solarcentury
The TH Interview: Jeremy Leggett of Solarcentury
Solarcentury's Thermal and Electric Tiles Win Green Energy Award
Solar4Schools: Solarcentury Launches Initiative for Solar Education
Solarcentury Expands to Spain

Walking Shoreline, Stuff I've noticed walking around.




Welcome New Blog Post -" Walking Shoreline, Stuff I've noticed walking around."

We would like to welcome with excitement, another voice to the Blogosphere,
Maryn Wynne.
She is Director of the Shoreline Solar Project and has started a brand new Blog called
"Walking Shoreline, Stuff I've noticed walking around."

It is a fun new site with lots of possibilities, and can be another forum for community and environment, especially on the subject of Energy. See the first post at http://walkingshoreline.blogspot.com/ with a feature about the new solar installations going in at the new Shoreline City Hall.

We will be proud to feature this site frequently.
Check it out, be a follower and post comments (here too!).

Walking Shoreline
Stuff I've noticed walking around.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Solar on City Hall: more details
The newly built City Hall is in line for LEED Silver and possibly Gold certification and features a solar hot water and 20KW photovoltaic system using made in Washington modules from Silicon Energy and designed and installed by Shoreline based Northwest Mechanical.

The modules are the only ones that are manufactured in Washington State. This makes the installation of these modules eligible for additional production incentives. See the Northwest Solar Center for details.

Solar Washington will have a meeting on Monday night, 1/25, from 7-9 pm at REI. The new owner of Silicon Energy, Jong Limb will lead a Q & A session on new developments and current development plans for Washington's first solar module manufacturer.
Posted by Maryn at 2:32 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: meetings, solar
Solar on City Hall
I walked to City Hall this morning to take photographs of the racking system that will hold the new City Hall's solar electric system. I was told the racking should be complete by Monday and then the installation of the solar modules (panels) begins.


Posted by Maryn at 1:44 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: city hall, solar
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About Me

Maryn
I started intentionally walking this week, trying to get some exercise for myself and the poodle, Molly. There are so many interesting things to see. Places I travel by everyday, normally by car, look different to me on foot. This blog will share some of those things.
View my complete profile
Blog Archive
▼ 2010 (2)
▼ January (2)
Solar on City Hall: more details
Solar on City Hall - photo credit, Maryn Wynne

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Letter from a Museum Supporter and concerned Shoreline School District Voter



Letter from a Museum Supporter and concerned Shoreline School District Voter
Virginia Paulsen, PhD


She's analyzed the issue from a taxpayers standpoint.




Hi Folks:

My absentee mail -in ballot for the Feb 9th election arrived earlier this week. I read each measure very carefully. The wording for the school bond gives considerable discretion to the Shoreline School Board - current and future - about what this bond measure intends to accomplish with our tax dollars. And what it does not.

1. It is not clear whether the Shoreline School Board intends to modernize or to replace the high schools. There is a substantial difference between modernization and replacement.

The former means I assume - (just as you may be tempted to assume) - that it means repair and renovation of the buildings that comprise each of the two Shoreline High Schools, Shorewood and Shorecrest. The actual intent or aim of modernization is not clear. It could mean anything from gutting each and all of the buildings, to such repairs and upgrades that are in need of that such as plumbing, electrical work, earthquake retrofit, etc.

What is meant by replacement is also not clear. Replace both high schools? Replace one or two of the buildings on each school site? Replace any and all school buildings on each site? What architectural designs does the Shoreline School Board have in mind if and when they - and they alone - if they do decide on replacement?

Do any or all of these buildings need replacement, or is this a make work project that will benefits architects, engineers, contractors, etc.? Will these new buildings enhance or in any way contribute to the learning capabilities of the high school students attending each of these two schools? (As a Sociologist I can tell you that the research on academic performance shows this has little to do with school buildings.)

The fact is that the school board will have total discretion - perhaps we might want to call it indiscretion - to make choices about repair, renovation, replacement after the vote but not before it. That is we do not know what we will be getting or what we are voting for.

2. This bond also authorizes the School Board to "acquire land such as is necessary for such modernization or replacement? What land does the Shoreline School Board have in mind? Why is such land necessary? What will such acquisition have on students' academic capabilities and enhancement?

Coupled with the fact that the Shoreline Historical Museum has been targeted by the Shoreline School Board for possible removal from its present historical site, suggests that the Board may have committed itself to a plan that is not specified in this bond measure. Keep in mind, please, that the Shoreline Historical Museum building was a school building, The Ronald School, built to last forever in 1912, and is now, with good maintenance, a fully functioning building, eminently suited to its current functions as a museum. It is situated on its orginal site. Removal of the Shoreline Historical Museum to a different sitre may not only be very expensive but damaging to the structural integrity of this building.

Do we voters want to give the Shoreline School Board this much power to make decisions with our money, decisoins that we may not have any post-facto say in the matter?

3. The final statement in this bond measure deserves very close scrutiny, since it calls for the possibility of the school board being able to "levy annual excess property taxes to pay fhe bonds". Such possiblility is in addition to the two levy mesures that are on the Feb 9th ballot., (Prop No 1) replacing the expiring levy for educational programs, and Prop 3 ( a capital levy for technology improvements and support.)

Prop 1 calls for an annual level of $2.48/1000 assessed value and $0.35/1000 assessed value for Prop. 3. The total estimated levied costs of the three measures, that includes the bond (Prop 2) is $5.29/1000 assessed value. Please take the time to (A) calculate what this means for your budget, given the current dismal economic climate, and (B) compare with 2009 school levy amount.

How much can the citizens of Shoreline afford at this time when houses are on the market daily (at least in the Ridgecrest area) and folks are silll losing jobs and their homes?

4. Finally, keep in mind that there is another levy for the King County Rural Library Project, which calls for $0.50/$1000 assessed property values in order to provide continuing funding for normal operations.

With the loss of income, jobs and the ability to pay for basic necessities folks are cramming into the libraries, some to keep warm and read at the same time but many others to use the computers and free printing services provided as a
means to find jobs and to apply for these. The Library levy is a basic and in my opinion necessary service - or rather set of services - that people daily - every hour the library is open - and is not very expensive.

So, the bottom line, is to read the ballot measures carefully, think even more carefully about the statements in each measure, and what these aim to accomplish, without our necessarily knowing what the Shoreline School Board actually has in mind with the three school measures, especially the Bond proposition. To my mind this is not a bond which I want to vote for in its wording or intent.

Gini Paulsen
Shoreline

Friday, January 22, 2010

Curbing Stormwater Pollution Cleaning Up Washington’s Toxic Runoff



Fascinating and clear Report from Sightline Institute on the problems and solutions we face on Stormwater Polution.
Lisa Stiffler has a great record as a crusading environmental rporter from the late great PI.
Eric de Place is an expert from the Sightline Institute.

Curbing Stormwater Pollution
Cleaning Up Washington’s Toxic Runoff

Lisa Stiffler and Eric de Place
January 21, 2010

One Coho salmon does a flopping dance of death atop the creek’s surface. Another swims in dazed circles, then limply drifts downstream. A third lies on its side, mouth gaping open and shut, fins splayed.1 In Seattle’s Longfellow Creek, researchers at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center found that nearly four out of five female fish died with a belly full of eggs, perishing before they could spawn.

2 The culprit in this story is the most mundane of villains: the rain. As rainwater streams off roofs and over pavement, it mixes a toxic cocktail of oil, grease, antifreeze, and heavy metals from cars; pesticides lethal to aquatic insects and fish; fertilizers that stoke algal blooms; soap; and bacteria from pet and farm-animal waste. A heavy rainfall delivers this potent shot of pollutants straight into streams and water bodies— threatening everything from tiny herring to the region’s iconic orcas. Stormwater doesn’t match the traditional image of pollution. There are no factory smokestacks belching waste, no pipes with a steady trickle of noxious effluent. Despite appearances, stormwater packs a wallop. Runoff from streets and highways long ago surpassed industry as the number one source for petroleum and other toxic chemicals that wash into the Northwest’s rivers, lakes, and bays.

3 Today, scientists fear that if runoff pollution continues unchecked, it could wipe out some of the region’s urban and suburban salmon runs.

4 In addition to this environmental toll, stormwater runoff carries a steep price tag. Stormwater
triggers flooding and landslides, causing millions of dollars worth of property damage. Cities and
counties in Washington spend more than a quarter billion dollars a year trying to control and clean contaminated runoff.

5 Stormwater threatens to make drinking water undrinkable and vast beds of shellfish unsafe to eat. Fully addressing the region’s stormwater woes will require significant investments, a modernization of building codes, and tougher restrictions on sprawling development. Cities and counties in Washington spend more than a quarter-billion dollars a year trying to control and clean up contaminated stormwater runoff.
{Sightline Report • Curbing Stormwater Pollution • January 2010 2
In 2010, Washington’s leaders will have two key opportunities to turn the tide. The state Legislature can find a way during the current legislative session to help pay for stormwater fixes, including “low-impact development,” the most affordable and
effective way to curb polluted runoff. Later in the year, the state also plans to update its stormwater regulations, offering a second opportunity to improve stormwater management.

But in order to understand the potential in these opportunities, we need to look
more closely at what the region is up against.

Rivers of runoff
Ten bathtubs full of water. That’s how much rain pours off one average-size house during a good-sized drenching. In a typical year in central Puget Sound, approximately 26,600 gallons of stormwater rush into the gutters and streams from that single home.

6 And there are more than 1.5 million houses in the state, as well as countless more apartments, condos, warehouses, offices, stores, and other buildings.

7 When the rain runs off that home’s roof—and its driveway, sidewalk, and lawn—it flows into a
labyrinth of stormwater infrastructure. Seattle alone has hundreds of miles of storm-drain pipes and
thousands of storm drains and catch basins.

8 From the pipes and gutters, torrents of water typically flow into creeks and rivers that empty into lakes and
bays—most often without any treatment. In some places the stormwater system actually merges with
the sewer system. During downpours, runoff can overwhelm the sewers, sending massive volumes of untreated sewage
pouring into the Snohomish and Skagit rivers, Lake Washington, and Puget Sound. In November 2009, for example, the combined sewer in Port Angeles dumped more than 25 million gallons of sewage and stormwater into the city’s bay.

9 Sometimes the stormwater infrastructure simply backs up, flooding streets and basements. Seattle recently identified more than 600 privately-owned properties at risk of flooding, a risk that goes beyond property damage.10 In 2006, a woman in the
city’s Madison Valley neighborhood drowned when her basement suddenly filled with filthy stormwater during a downpour.

11 In 2009, a dozen homeowners in the same neighborhood sued the city. They alleged that Seattle officials failed to take action to prevent repeated flooding of runoff tainted with sewage, mercury, arsenic, and other
noxious and dangerous contaminants.

12 Stormwater’s costly and toxic cocktail
What falls as rain reaches Puget Sound loaded with deadly chemicals. Petroleum is the Sound’s largest pollutant from stormwater runoff. But the runoff is also chock-full of other chemicals, including copper from the brakes on cars and pesticides sprinkled on roofs and lawns that threaten salmon at very low concentrations.

13 For other harmful (problems)
In November 2009 the combined sewer in Port Angeles dumped more than 25 million gallons of sewage
and stormwater into the city’s bay.{Sightline Report • Curbing Stormwater Pollution • January 2010 3
chemicals, including lead, mercury, and plasticizers called phthalates, stormwater is
now out-polluting the big industrial facilities that were long believed to be the worst
environmental offenders.

14 In all, approximately 14 million pounds of heavy metals, flame retardants, dioxins, oil and grease, and other dangerous pollutants are washing into the Sound each year—and that’s a conservative estimate.

15 This deadly concoction helped earn the region’s orcas the unfortunate distinction of
being “among the most PCB-contaminated marine mammals in the world,” according
to Canadian scientists.

16 The banned chemicals are long lasting in the environment and accumulate over time in wildlife, harming their immune function, reproduction, and brain development. PCBs and other stormwater pollutants are among the top threats to
the survival of the orcas, a federally protected endangered species.

17 Polluted stormwater puts drinking water supplies at risk too. Runoff is the primary
source of dangerous chemicals that contaminate Lake Whatcom, Bellingham’s sole source of drinking water. As new houses pop up around the lake, the city’s leaders are struggling to keep up with the growing volumes of runoff. Bellingham and Whatcom County combined have spent more than $5 million in stormwater-related capital
improvements, plus $20 million in land acquisition to limit development.

18 Yet the lake contains levels of mercury and phosphorus that exceed safe levels.

19 Stormwater also imperils Puget Sound’s world-renowned shellfish industry. Of
the 95 places where enterprises harvest oysters, clams, and other shellfish, more than one-third had elevated levels of
fecal waste in 2007, waste that is often traced to tainted stormwater runoff or failed septic systems.

20 Over the past decade, the gross revenue earned by Washington’s shellfish
industry fell by two thirds to $55 million in 2008. Research from the University of
Washington suggests that pollution-triggered harvest closures are a significant cause of
the industry’s decline.

21 Recreational harvest of the sea’s bounty is also suffering. Shellfish gathering has long been a tradition for many Northwest families, but Health Department officials say the entire stretch of shoreline from north of Everett to south of Tacoma is unsafe
for beachgoers to gather shellfish. Stormwater and sewage plants have polluted it too much.

22 As sprawling development and the added stormwater that comes with it
continue, the battle to protect shellfish from runoff will grow more urgent. “It’s like the guy with the finger in the dike,” said Bob Woolrich, a manager with the Health Department’s Office of Shellfish and Water Protection. “They keep improving
the dike, but there keeps being more water to stop.” Bellingham and Whatcom County combined have spent more than
$5 million in stormwater-related improvements. Yet the lake contains levels of mercury and phosphorus
that exceed safe levels.{Sightline Report • Curbing Stormwater Pollution • January 2010 4

Putting a LID on stormwater
A stroll down a stretch of 2nd Avenue NW in Seattle is almost a walk in the park. The
slightly meandering residential street is lined with wide strips of native grasses, small shrubs, and trees. Along the shoulder, interspersed among parking spots, are ponds and swales—gentle depressions—that fill with water during a downpour. You won’t find sludgy gutters brimming with muddy water and trash, or deserts of black asphalt lining the roadway.
The street was one of the Northwest’s first experiments in “natural drainage systems.” A decade
ago, workers jackhammered up the block and rebuilt it to catch and clean stormwater the way it happens
naturally. In a forest, rainwater falls on branches and leaves and slowly evaporates, or it soaks into the ground and
gets sucked up by plants. The project —called SEA Street—has
been wildly successful, nearly eliminating stormwater runoff, even during heavy rains.

23 Natural drainage systems are slowly cropping up around the Northwest. It’s all part of a movement called “low-impact development” or LID. The logic of LID is to try to replicate nature’s way of managing rainfall. It means taking surfaces that normally repel water—roofs and driveways, for example—and making them spongy. That can mean green roofs covered in water-trapping soil and plants, like the ones capping a building complex at the Evergreen State College in Olympia.24 It can mean hooking downspouts to rain barrels or cisterns to store the water that does run off, or having downspouts flow into “rain gardens” where ponds with deep layers of gravel and soil help water soak into the earth. It can mean building driveways from a lattice of pavers that leave some of the soil exposed, like the parking lot built at the Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, or the residential alleyway built of porous concrete in the same
city.

25 LID is both less expensive and more effective at cleaning stormwater than the
traditional gutter-and-storm-drain systems. A study by the US Environmental Protection Agency compared the cost of stormwater projects that were built using LID techniques to what they would have cost using conventional strategies. In 11 of 12 cases examined across North America, the LID option was cheaper by anywhere from
15 to 80 percent.26 Low-impact development is gaining popularity, but still faces hurdles. Developers often are more comfortable sticking with the conventional systems that they know.
And in many cases, city building regulations even require traditional infrastructure,
whether mandating wider roads to accommodate parking plus emergency vehicles, or
prescribing stormwater pipes when a swale would work better and cost less.

The SEA Street low-impact development project has
been wildly successful, nearly eliminating stormwater runoff, even during heavy rains.{Sightline Report • Curbing Stormwater Pollution • January 2010 5

Death by a thousand rainstorms
Puget Sound faces a death not so much by a thousand cuts as by a thousand rainstorms, each flushing foul stormwater into Washington’s cherished inland sea. Saving the Sound as a place to fish, beach comb, dig clams, and enjoy watching
seabirds and orcas will require a long-term commitment and a dramatic shift in how we build our streets and homes and landscape our yards. Given the infinite ways in which stormwater picks up pollutants and flows into rivers and the sea, its solution will likely take multiple initiatives that tackle the problem from different angles. Washington’s leaders have an opportunity to launch two of these initiatives, taking important steps toward making low-impact development more widespread. First, state legislative leaders can look for ways to provide funding for stormwater
management—especially for cost-effective low-impact development—that can stanch the flow of runoff. Second, the Department of Ecology is crafting a set of rules to specify where and how cities and counties should require the use of LID.27 If Ecology establishes robust standards that hasten widespread adoption of smart LID strategies,
Puget Sound and the waterways that feed it could reap big benefits for a modest price. The stormwater problem is only likely to worsen if the region’s population swells as projected to more than 5 million residents by 2020, roughly a 13 percent increase from today.

28 “Time is not on our side,” said Tom Holz, a stormwater and LID expert who’s
helping advise Ecology. “We may lose the battle just simply through dallying.”

About the Authors
Lisa Stiffler is a researcher and editor at Sightline Institute. Previously, she worked as
an environmental reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer where her work included
award-winning investigations into the health of Puget Sound. Eric de Place is senior
researcher at Sightline Institute.
Sightline Institute is a not-for-profit research and communication center—a think
tank—based in Seattle. Founded in 1993 by Alan Durning, Sightline’s mission
is to bring about sustainability, a healthy, lasting prosperity grounded in place. Our
focus is Cascadia, or the Pacific Northwest.
Endnotes
1. Northwest Fisheries Science Center, “Coho Pre-Spawn Mortality in Urban Streams,” http://
www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/ec/ecotox/movies/cohopsm.cfm.
2. Sarah G. McCarthy, John P. Incardona, and Nathaniel L. Scholz, “Coastal Storms,
Toxic Runoff, and the Sustainable Conservation of Fish and Fisheries,” American Fisheries Society
Symposium, 64:7–27, 2008, http://www.afsbooks.org/54064C; The data on Coho prespawn
mortality were collected from 2002 until 2006.
3. Washington Department of Ecology, “Control of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound -- Phase
Sightline Report • Curbing Stormwater Pollution • January 2010 6
2: Improved Estimates of Loadings from Surface Runoff and Roadways,” November 2008, http://
www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0810084.html; and Washington Department of Ecology, “Reports confirm
surface runoff as leading source of toxics in Puget Sound,” January 2010, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/
pubs/0810097.pdf.
4. Lisa Stiffler and Robert McClure, “Toxic stormwater is one of the Sound’s biggest
threats,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 11, 2006, http://www.seattlepi.com/specials/
brokenpromises/288238_stormwater11.asp.
5. Association of Washington Cities, “Invest in Clean Water Today,” fact sheet.
6. A rainfall of one inch falling on a house with a 1,200 square foot roof creates 748 gallons
of water. Seattle’s average rainfall is 38.2 inches (Eric A. Rosenberg, Patrick W. Keys, Derek B. Booth,
David Hartley, Jeff Burkey, Anne C. Steinemann, and Dennis P. Lettenmaier, “Precipitation extremes
and the impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure in Washington State,” March 2009,
http://water.washington.edu/Research/Articles/2009.precipitation.climate%20change.stormwater.pdf);
and Western Regional Climate Center, “Climate of Washington,” section on Puget Sound lowlands,
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/narratives/WASHINGTON.htm.
7. Calculated from US Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “S2504: Physical Housing
Characteristics for Occupied Housing Units,” http://factfinder.census.gov.
8. Seattle Public Utilities, “At Your Service” newsletter, January-February 2007, http://www.
seattle.gov/util/stellent/groups/public/@spu/@csb/documents/webcontent/spu01_003432.pdf.
9. City of Port Angeles, “Wastewater Treatment Plant Monitoring Report,” November 2009,
http://www.cityofpa.us/PDFs/PWorks/CSONov2009.pdf.
10. Seattle Public Utilities, “Utilities’ Scientists Re-map Seattle’s Flood-prone Areas,” news
release, October 5, 2009, http://atyourservice.seattle.gov/2009/10/06/utilities-scientists-re-map-
seattle%E2%80%99s-flood-prone-areas.
11. Brad Wong, “Making her loss a lesson for living,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 10,
2007, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/342869_fleming10.html.
12. King County Superior Court, Complaint for Damages, filed December 14, 2009, http://
www.seattlepi.com/dayart/PDF/MadisonValleyComplaint.pdf.
13. Sarah G. McCarthy, John P. Incardona, and Nathaniel L. Scholz, “Coastal Storms, Toxic Runoff, and the Sustainable Conservation of Fish and Fisheries,” American Fisheries Society Symposium, 64:7–27, 2008, http://www.afsbooks.org/54064C.
14. Washington Department of Ecology, “Control of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound -- Phase 2: Improved Estimates of Loadings from Dischargers of Municipal and Industrial Wastewater,” September 2008, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/0810089.pdf; and Washington Department of Ecology, “Addendum 2: Phase 1 and Phase 2 Toxics Loadings Reports, Technical Memorandum,” January 8, 2010, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/0810084addendum2.pdf.
15. Washington Department of Ecology, “Addendum 2: Phase 1 and Phase 2 Toxics Loadings Reports, Technical Memorandum,” January 8, 2010, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/ pubs/0810084addendum2.pdf. Data were taken from Table B1, converted into millions of pounds, and results taken from the 75 percent probability of exceedance.
16. Brendan E. Hickie, Peter S. Ross, Robie W. Macdonald, and John K. B. Ford, “Killer
Whales (Orcinus orca) Face Protracted Health Risks Associated with Lifetime Exposure to PCBs,”
Environmental Science and Technology, August 22, 2007, pp. 6613–6619, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/
Sightline Report • Curbing Stormwater Pollution • January 2010 7
Photo Credits Storm drain into Cherry Creek © tux404, http://www.flickr.com/photos/tux404/1683615115/
Canal Water © robpatrick, http://www.flickr.com/photos/alkalinezoo/577175881/
abs/10.1021/es0702519.
17. Lisa Stiffler, “Orcas so full of pollutants, it’s enough to sicken them,” Seattle Post-
Intelligencer, October 10, 2007, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/335005_orcas11.html.
18. Bill Reilly, stormwater and surface water utility manager for the city of Bellingham,
personal communication, January 7, 2010; and City of Bellingham, “Stormwater Solutions for
Protecting Lake Whatcom,” November 2006, http://www.cob.org/documents/pw/environment/
Stormwater-Solutions-for-Protecting-Lk-Whatcom.pdf.
19. Whatcom County Public Works, Stormwater Division, “Lake Whatcom Comprehensive Stormwater Plan: Executive Summary,” March 2008, http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/publicworks/ pdf/water/stormwaterplan/executivesummary.pdf.
20. Washington Department of Health, “Atlas of Fecal Coliform Pollution in Commercial Shellfish Areas of Puget Sound: Year 2007,” April 2009, http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/Pubs/ fecalreport.pdf.
21. Derek B. Booth, Bernadette Visitacion, and Anne C. Steinemann, “Damages and Costs of Stormwater Runoff in the Puget Sound Region,” August 30, 2006, http://www.psparchives.com/publications/our_work/stormwater/stormwater_resource/stormwater_management/
PSATstormwaterFoundation_FINAL_08-30-06.pdf. Calculations on the decline of revenue from
commercial shellfish harvest originally found in the study by Booth et al. were updated by Sightline
using data from the Washington Department of Revenue, http://dor.wa.gov/content/aboutus/
statisticsandreports/TID/StatisticsReports.aspx?query=gbinaics.
22. Bob Woolrich and Tim Determan, Washington Department of Health’s Office of Shellfish and Water Protection, personal communication, November 13, 2009.
23. Richard R. Horner, Heungkook Lim, and Stephen J. Burges, “Hydrologic Monitoring of the Seattle Ultra-Urban Stormwater Management Projects,” November 2002, http://www.seattle.gov/util/stellent/groups/public/@spu/@usm/documents/webcontent/spu02_020016.pdf.
24. Greenroofs.com, Evergreen State College Seminar II Building, http://www.greenroofs.com/
projects/pview.php?id=466.
25. Puget Sound Action Team, “Natural Approaches to Stormwater Management: Low Impact Development in Puget Sound,” March 2003. http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/smartgrowth/resources/ pdf/lid_natural_approaches.pdf.
26. US Environmental Protection Agency, “Reducing Stormwater Costs through Low Impact
Development (LID) Strategies and Practices,” December 2007, http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/lid/costs07/documents/reducingstormwatercosts.pdf.
27. Washington Department of Ecology, Developing Low Impact Development (LID)
Standards, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/municipal/LIDstandards.html.
28. Calculated from Puget Sound Partnership, “Vetted Statements from Recent Findings,” August, 13, 2009, http://www.psp.wa.gov/downloads/PSSH_Toolkit/documents/Puget%20Sound%20 Starts%20Here%20VettedFacts-ProblematicStatements_2009-08-13.pdf.

photo credit - Janet Way

Thursday, January 21, 2010

[Blog post] R.I.P. Sunset Bowl and the Future of Other Bowling Alleys: What Would the Dude Think?





Interest in Historic Preservation, can take many forms. Here is an article from the MAin2 Blog on a place from the mid 20th Century that is now lost, Sunset Bowl. Many icons from this period have already disappeared. We have some buildings here in Shoreline which are also valued, such as The Crest Cinema. Here's hoping it will continue to thrive as one of the Landmark Theatre chains most popular local sites. It may not be fancy, but it works. (Still only $3!)

We have many worthwhile places in Shoreline worth highlighting and saving, which would increase our economic viability if preserved as a cultural asset and promoted as such. Lets think creatively, and make Shoreline the best it can be, without throwing away the past.

R.I.P. Sunset Bowl and the Future of Other Bowling Alleys: What Would the Dude Think?


Bowling alley in WA state / Photo: UW Special Collections, Art Hupy Collection, Hupy 0242-10

Ballard’s Sunset Bowl was demolished yesterday. As first reported by My Ballard, a group of former employees walked through the building one last time to say their goodbyes. Sunset Bowl, built in 1957, had been closed since 2008 after the property sold to Avalon Bay Companies. Plans for redevelopment of the site for a new apartment building have been approved by the City of Seattle but according to a statement from the developer to My Ballard, development is not yet moving forward. A landmark nomination was submitted by the developer as part of the process but Sunset Bowl was not nominated by the Landmarks Preservation Board because it did not meet any of the criteria for listing. Efforts to save Sunset Bowl by a passionate group of advocates were not successful.

Although demolition of the Sunset Bowl building has been expected for some time now, the question of the value of bowling alleys in our communities comes to play. Each year, more and more of these one-story boxy buildings with large surface parking lots are being torn down. Few may stand out architecturally, but their significance for communities as a place for sport and social interaction cannot be denied. Most bowling alleys contain not just bowling lanes but also restaurants and lounges—they are multi-generational, community gathering places.


Bowling alley in WA state / Photo: UW Special Collections, Art Hupy Collection, Hupy 0242-20
The land value for these properties is usually high and the lots present themselves as attractive redevelopment sites. Leilani Lanes, built in 1961, met the same fate in 2007 when it was demolished to make room for a proposed multi-family residential project which has yet to be built. The Leilani Lanes property was sold to developer Michael Mastro in 2005 and foreclosed in 2009. The property remains a gigantic empty lot—not exactly the “best and highest use” is it? Seattleites can still go bowling at the West Seattle Bowl (built in 1948 and renovated in recent years), Imperial Lanes (1959), and Magic Lanes (1960).

It’s interesting to note that all of these bowling alleys date from the mid-twentieth century when bowling as a sport was embraced by the masses. The game grew in popularity in the early 1950s when production of the automatic pinspotter was introduced more widely. The historic and architectural significance of buildings housing bowling lanes has been recognized in other parts of the country but they are no less endangered. The Holiday Bowl in Los Angeles was declared a City Historic–Cultural Monument for its cultural and architectural significance but landmark listing did not save the bowl. The Googie style Holiday Bowl, designed by Armet & Davis and constructed by five Japanese-American businessmen in 1957, catered to a multi-cultural neighborhood in LA’s Crenshaw district. The bowl, its coffeeshop and bar (called Sakiba) served as important community gathering spaces for many ethnic groups, particularly for Japanese-Americans whose bowling leagues thrived at the Holiday Bowl. The bowl closed in 2000 and was demolished in 2003, despite an impassioned effort by many to save it. It was replaced by a Big 5 Sporting Goods store, but the Holiday Bowl’s story lives on as a chapter in the book, Sento at Sixth and Main.

Another Los Angeles bowling alley that was torn down in the last decade was the Hollywood Star Lanes, featured in the cult-classic film, “The Big Lebowski.” The place where “the Dude” bowled was demolished in 2003 (a bad year for LA bowls) by the Los Angeles Unified School District for construction of an elementary school. At least it’s not just an empty lot. With the Sunset Bowl now gone, Ballard has two big empty lots on NW Market Street within a couple blocks of each other.

Note: the images for this post were chosen to show the beauty of the mid-century modern bowling alley. They are photos of an unknown bowling alley somewhere in Washington state. Let’s celebrate these places for what they were and what they mean now.

Crest Cinema photo credit - Shoreline Historical Museum

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Evan Smith: Time for Compromise on School Bond




Editorial from Shoreline Area News

We are very pleased to see Mr. Evan Smith taking a stand for our wonderful community asset, the Shoreline Historical Museum.

Evan Smith: Time for Compromise on School Bond

Commentary / Evan Smith

Voters in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park shouldn’t have to choose between new high schools and the community’s Museum.

Yet, that’s what the School District is asking us to do on the ballots that arrive in our mailboxes this week.

Either we vote “yes” to start building new high-school buildings and relegate the Museum to a fraction of its current space while incorporating the rest of the 98-year-old Ronald School building into a new Shorewood High School campus, or we vote “no” and force an expensive revote in April or May.

A “yes” vote means protracted litigation over terms of the Museum’s title to the old Ronald building and its lease on the land,

A “no” vote means a delay in building the new schools and a second vote in the spring, an election that the School District would have to pay for.

Neither of these is a very good choice. So, let’s find a compromise in which the School District would promise to leave the Museum alone, and the Museum board would agree to raise enough money to buy the land.

What if we have no compromise by Election Day? Then, I have no choice but to vote “no” and hope that the School District can come up with a better plan for the April or May election.

I know that Shorecrest has deteriorated over the more than fifty years that the building has been there and that Shorewood was never a very good building, having been built as a combination of an elementary school and a junior high school

I want to get it right this time even if that means taking a second vote.

Editorial Response to School District's Specious Arguments





Friends,

As a representative of the Committee to Save Our Shoreline Historical Museum I am proud of our efforts. We have a voice and we will take our message to the people.

Let me be clear.... we ALL care about our schools and would like to vote YES on the ballot measures. I moved here too for the schools, always supported the levies and bond measures. But the Shoreline School District has been acting irresponsibly with regard to publishing the correct information. They persist in absurd, specious arguments already rejected by the Museum Board because they are completely impractical.

The District keeps suggesting, as if practical they will "share" the space (share is such a nice word?). Or "move Ronald School" which is a pipe dream. Or "move the museum" to some storefront or left over space in the District's array of defunct buildings or properties.

The District is hell bent on a Hostile takeover of the Museum.

Message to the School District… Get real Shoreline School District!

YOU, and you alone will be responsible for the downfall of this Bond Measure, because of your recalcitrant positions.

YOU are the ones refusing to meet with the Museum Board until you already had your plans set.

YOU, are the ones putting out these irresponsible and factually deceptive positions.

YOU are the ones, who have refused to negotiate in good faith with the Museum Board.

YOU are the ones who are making the voters chose between two things we value here; a cultural asset, the Historical Museum and our precious Schools.

YOU are the ones dividing our community!

YOU are the ones ignoring legal opinions from the Museum's legal counsel and reputable legal experts.

YOU have a chance right now to take the offer from the Museum to buy the property. Your Board has a responsibility consider this offer and whether you need to be financially responsible to the voters, taxpayers and negotiate in good faith.

Get the ALL facts!

Save History in Shoreline, Save Our Museum! Listen to the people!



Sincerely,

Janet Way

Com to SOSHM

photo credits - Steve Schneider, Linda Stein and Vicki Westberg

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden master site plan workshop



This morning's post is courtesy of Shoreline Area News. The Kruckeberg Botanical Garden is a treasure in our community.
Learn how to get involved in the Master Plan process. The neighboring community is asking questions and wants to help the Foundation and City create a plan that will truly preserve the vision of Art and Mareen Kruckeberg.

Also, coming up on Thursday, Jan 21st (tomorrow), remember the Kruckeberg Garden Foundation's annual meeting, held at Shoreline Historical Museum (see earlier post).

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Master Site Plan Workshop

In September, the community gathered at the first Kruckeberg Garden public workshop to learn about the development of a master site plan for the Garden. Since then, a full site survey has been completed along with an assessment of existing buildings and structures and the existing plant collection has been fully documented.

Shoreline residents are invited to the next public workshop on Wednesday, January 27, at 7:00 pm, Council Chambers at Shoreline City Hall, 17500 Midvale Ave N.

After gathering information from the community, a recommended master plan for the Garden will be presented to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Board and the City Council in the spring of 2010.

For more information, contact Capital Projects Manager Dave Buchan at (206) 801-2475 or email.


Photo of MsK Nursery by David Berger
Courtesy of Kruckeberg Garden

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Great Letter


Another Great Letter stating FACTS!

This letter to Shoreline Area News, from Tracy Tallman, Museum Boardmember really expresses the angst that voters feel.
One essential question for the School District is "Why are they making voters chose between Museum and Schools?"
People with sincere concerns


Thanks Tracy for expressing our concerns as well.

Letter to the Editor:

On January 18th there was a “Save the Museum” rally at the Shoreline Historical Museum. I am a museum supporter (board member actually) with a camera, so I went across the street to take a picture. There were some stalwart folks there supporting the schools. I got into a conversation with them. I would like to make this an open letter to them and to others in the community who feel the way they feel, because I know that all of us who were on that corner sincerely care about the City of Shoreline and the Shoreline Schools.

If the School District had honestly wanted an open dialogue with the Museum when they began the planning process for the new Shorewood High School, why wasn’t there a Museum representative invited to those meetings as a stakeholder in the process?

The Museum is a community in the same way that each school and the school district as a whole is a community. As the Museum Community we are prepared to pay fair market value for the land on which the building sits and for any land required for parking. We are not expecting to get anything for free. We know that we do not own the land, but that we do own the Ronald School Building.

One of the women at the rally supporting the school district kept saying that “the Museum could never be what it was.” I think everyone in the Museum community is baffled as to what seems as a concerted effort to stop the Museum from being what it was. It seems that no explanation of Museum services or statistics supporting the impact the Museum has on the Shoreline community can sway the detractors. But please don’t forget that the Museum is a community too and we care passionately about our organization.

Why can’t the Museum co-exist with the high school? How can the lack of a small amount of land in the corner of a large property even impact the operation of a sparkling new high school? The Museum has offered to buy the land under the building and for parking and also to do the seismic upgrades that would allow the new school to be built close to Ronald School. If there are other external upgrades would make the building fit in with the new school so it isn’t an “eyesore” as some people believe, we will do our best to satisfy those concerns. What else can we offer?

As much as the School District may wish that the School Board members in 1989 had made a different decision and torn the Ronald School down rather than deeding it to the Museum, they DID deed the building to the Museum. They thought that a Museum was an important part of the community. They didn’t deed the land to the Museum in 1989 because they were worried that the Museum wouldn’t survive and that it would try to sell the land. Instead the Museum survived and thrived. Now it is 2010 and the Museum must fight for its existence. People who love museums love schools. Many of the people on the Museum Board are or were educators. Can you honestly say that if you were on the Museum Board you would do anything else but fight for the Museum’s survival?


Respectfully,
Tracy Tallman, Edmonds


photo credit - Steve Schneider