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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Postal Service Workers Unions Demonstrate at Rep Inslee's Office

Rep Jay Inslee's Office was the site of a rally by Postal Workers Unions Tuesday. 


Postal Workers Union members and supporters
gather in front of Shoreline Conference Center
to get out their message to Rep Inslee
Senator Maralyn Chase joined the rally (center).
The rally was sponsored by "Save America's Postal Service", a coalition of labor organizations
and unions including,  APWU, Letter Carriers, Mailhandlers and Rural Letter Carriers. About 40 people attended the rally.

They are rallying to get a message across to the public that the Postal Service, that the service is not "broke" as recently claimed in the media. Their website states -
Background: A congressional mandate is killing the U.S. Postal Service.
A 2006 postal reform law requires the USPS to pre-fund 75 years' worth of future retiree health benefits within just 10 years. At the behest of the Office of Personnel Management and the Government Accountability Office, and to make the law appear not to cost the government money (i.e., to be “revenue neutral”), Congress included in the law that destructive pre-funding mandate.
No other federal agency or private enterprise is forced to pre-fund similar benefits like this, especially on such an aggressive schedule.

They are touting their support for a bill introduced in Congress,
HR 1351. The Bill was introduced by Rep Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and now co-sponsored by Rep Jay Inslee.

Speakers from the various unions highlighted their concerns about the proposals by Postal Service management to end Saturday deliveries, raise rates, close offices and potentially lay off many workers.
A leader from WA State Labor Council gave a message of support.
Jeff Johnson, WSLC President
speaks in support of Postal Workers
at rally.

Inslee's staff, Mark McIntyre read a statement of support from the congressman who was not in the office
that day.
Rep Jay Inslee's staff member Mark McIntyre
spoke to the rally.

Markham McIntyre
Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01)
Office: 206-361-0233

To our local USPS letter carriers:

I want to thank you all for visiting my Shoreline office today. I apologize that I cannot be here in person, but know that I appreciate the actions you have taken to make your voices heard.

Our country is facing tough economic times, and if you read the recent news, it would seem that no organization is in more turmoil than the U.S. Postal Service. But that prognosis is partly based on incorrect information that has lead to pension fund overcharges. As you know, I am a co-sponsored of H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, which would directly address this issue. Despite what the media are saying, if Congress acts to correct this issue, the USPS will be on firmer financial footing and may not have to make the drastic cuts to jobs and services that are being threatened.

During these difficult times, we should make sure we close loopholes, end inefficiencies and fairly review the facts of our financial challenges before resorting to more cuts. I will continue to fight to protect the services that our citizens depend on and the people who provide those services, while honestly confronting our countries fiscal problems.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to come to my office to express yourself. As your representative, I applaud your participation.

   Sincerely,

____________________                               
JAY INSLEE                                                                         Member of Congress                       

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kudos to Save Richmond Beach for Standing Up to the International Developer!

Now that takes moxie!  
"I applaud the outstanding efforts and position of Save Richmond Beach organization and urge everyone who can to chip in to their effort!"  Janet Way


Today I also prepared a statement that I'll be distributing around town in the upcoming weeks.  
Puget Sound means a great deal to my family and to everyone
in our region. But it is especially important to the
residents of Richmond Beach.
We all stand with them as they face this crucial battle
on the Point Wells development.


TO:     Shoreline Residents
From:    Janet Way - 
Candidate for Shoreline City Council, Pos #4

RE:     Letter to Richmond Beach and surrounding neighborhoods on Point Wells development proposal.

The Point Wells proposal is a problem for our entire community

The fundamental problem with the BSRE Pt. Wells, LP (BSRE) proposal is the potentially huge impact to a unique 100 yr old neighborhood as well as the rest of Shoreline caused by an international corporation and Snohomish County imposing its will on our City, when we have no direct control over the outcome.  This is a violation of the sovereignty of our city and community and an “Urban Center” is not appropriate.  The developer and Snohomish are not playing fair!
I have stated quite clearly that I support the position and outstanding work of the Save Richmond Beach organization. I believe that the City of Shoreline should do everything in its power to fight this development, including joining the litigation if necessary.  They should not give up any leverage by agreeing prematurely to negotiate.  The developers should know that the City is willing to use every legal tool to protect Richmond Beach and keep our citizens safe from the massive impacts of this development.

If the City Council stands with the community and shows its willingness to use its power to litigate if necessary, then anything is possible, perhaps even funding for a regional park which would benefit all of us and restore the natural Puget Sound shoreline. 

I have fought international corporations in the past and triumphed, and in the end worked collaboratively with a visionary developer for a great outcome. I believe that strong council leadership and oversight is needed from the council now and in the future to guide this process to save Richmond Beach and our entire community from an inappropriate development and a horrendous traffic nightmare.

We need council members who are willing to stand strong with the community and insist on action to protect our community.  I stand ready to serve and insist on courageous actions to Save Richmond Beach. Anything less would be unacceptable.

Sincerely,

Janet Way
Candidate for Shoreline City Council, Pos #4



Paid for by Citizens to Elect Janet Way
Volunteer Labor Donated

Save Richmond Beach Announces Major Lawsuit Against Point Wells Development

In a press release today, the non-profit "Save Richmond Beach"announces it has filed litigation against BSRE (Blue Square Real Estate) and Snohomish County, in partnership with the town of Woodway.




The non-profit was formed in reaction to the BSRE proposal to build nearly 3000 units of housing, which would be larger than Richmond Beach itself. There is only one access road, Richmond Beach Drive through Shoreline, and yet Shoreline would have no means of funding the needed infrastructure to accomodate such growth.  


An important meeting will be held tomorrow night (Tues) by the RBNA (Richmond Beach Neighborhood Association) to discuss the situation and reaction to the City's current position to "negotiate". 
BSRE graphic of possible transportation solutions




Save Richmond Beach is also changing its structure to request memberships.
To offset the cost of legal fees, in addition to the expense of hiring environmental and transportation experts, Save Richmond Beach will be asking the community to pay a membership fee.

“We have budgeted out our strategy for the next couple of years and the only way we can execute those strategies is by asking the community to help,” says Caycee Holt, founder of Save Richmond Beach. “The neighborhood feels very strongly about this issue and this is the best way to allow the community to participate in a meaningful way.”
 
If you would like to contribute to their organization or contact them you can send a donation to:
Save Richmond Beach

PO Box 60191
Richmond BeachWA 98177
Info@saverichmondbeach.org
206.356.5356 

Check their website for updates - http://www.saverichmondbeach.org/contact.html


Action has Statewide Significance for Growth Management Act and Environmental Protections

Richmond Beach, WA., September 12, 2011 - The Town of Woodway and Save Richmond Beach, an organization of Shoreline, Woodway, Edmonds and Seattle citizens, announced today that they filed suit against Snohomish County and BSRE-Point Wells, the developer of a controversial condo/retail project, over development plans for the former refinery site on Puget Sound in unincorporated Snohomish County.  
 
At the heart of the conflict is a 2009 decision by Snohomish County - which altered its Comprehensive Plan policy and land use map - to allow the re-designation of Point Wells from Urban Industrial to Urban Center, the most dense development classification available in Snohomish County.  In order to carry out the Urban Center designation, the County also adopted ordinances which amended its development regulations for Urban Centers to accommodate the proposed re-development of Point Wells. The County’s actions, which were undertaken at the request of the developer, would pave the way for a high-density urban development at Point Wells.  
 
The Town of Woodway, Save Richmond Beach, and the City of Shoreline filed an appeal with the Growth Management Hearing Board (“Board”) challenging the County’s ordinances as well as the State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”) process utilized by the County. Among other things, Woodway, Save Richmond Beach, and Shoreline argued that the Point Wells site did not have adequate access or urban infrastructure for such a large development, and that Snohomish County had not adequately resolved conflicts with neighboring jurisdictions.
 
The Board agreed and found that the County’s designation of Point Wells as an Urban Center violated the Growth Management Act (“GMA”) and was declared invalid.  The Board also found that the County failed to comply with SEPA with respect to the Comprehensive Plan amendments as well as the amendments to the development regulations.  The Board ordered that the County comply with both GMA and SEPA.
 
After the hearing, but a few weeks prior to the Board’s decision, BSRE - Point Wells filed applications to subdivide the Point Wells property and develop it as an Urban Center with approximately 3000 condominium units and 100,000 square feet of retail space.  Under the  GMA, if an applicant submits a completed permit application prior to a Board decision, that application is considered “vested” to the regulations in question and the applicant may be able to proceed with the permit process under those regulations  – even if they’re subsequently found to be invalid.
 
Both the County and BSRE-Point Wells consider the BSRE-Point Wells permit application complete and therefore vested to the ordinances that were found invalid under GMA and void under SEPA.  Thus, despite the Board’s strong ruling rejecting the Point Wells Urban Center designation, the County continues to process the BSRE-Point Wells permit application under the invalid ordinances adopted in violation of the SEPA.
 
“Snohomish County’s approach would allow development projects to vest to ordinances that have not only been found to be invalid under the GMA, but have been adopted in violation of the processes required by our state’s environmental laws – and that’s dangerous precedent.”  Zach Hiatt, Graham & Dunn attorney representing Save Richmond Beach.
 
The vesting issue of GMA is not new to policy makers in Olympia and has been taken up by the Washington State legislature over the past few years.  State Senator Adam Kline has tried several times to make Washington’s vesting law more like those in most other states, where building rights aren’t locked in until construction starts.      
 
“Members of Save Richmond Beach appreciate the value of responsible development that benefits both the economy and the environment,” said Caycee Holt, Director of Save Richmond Beach. “We also fully understand and appreciate the value of and assurances that vesting provides to developers. However, in this case we are very concerned about Snohomish County and the developer’s apparent efforts to exploit the vesting rules to negate critical environmental protections.”
 
“This lawsuit seeks to address a local problem, but it is also part of a broader conversation about planning, environmental considerations, and sound public policy in our region,” said Hiatt. “And it’s a call for Snohomish County and the developer to respect the Growth Board decision and engage the local community in a meaningful discussion that can lead to a win-win outcome at Point Wells rather than more litigation.”
 
"If the developer and Snohomish County would like to address our issues regarding the scope, density and transportation issues related to the site, we welcome a meaningful conversation about how to create an economically-viable, appropriately-sized development for that location," said Holt.

###



Save Richmond Beach is a 501 (c) 4 non-profit organization with a mission to promote responsible and sustainable planning. For information visit us at www.saverichmondbeach.org

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Point Wells is Front and Center Tonite at Shoreline City Council Again

The first Shoreline Councilmeeting of the fall season will bring the big issue front and center -
Point Wells. 
Council Hearing tonight! 
Citizens are urged to attend and express their opinions. 


The City had issued a Letter of Intent" to negotiate with the billionaire developers, rather than pursue further litigation. The council has presumably given it's blessing to this tactic but is requiring a series of public hearings.


YOU can testify and/or send a comment to the Council tonite or any week. 
Here is their meeting info page.
http://www.cityofshoreline.com/index.aspx?page=82




Save Richmond Beach is a non-profit advocacy organization that is standing up against the mega-huge development proposal by Blue Square Real Estate.  They've published the following notice urging citizens to attend tonite's meeting and advocate for no capitulation by the City to BSRE. 


They've recently posted many "NO URBAN CENTER" signs around town and are urging the City to fight against that GMA designation rather than just negotiate. They are asking folks to "Adopt-a-Sign" for $10. Contact them at -
Info@saverichmondbeach.org
206.356.5356 





http://www.saverichmondbeach.org/


Point Wells City Council Meeting Tuesday at 7PM

September 6, 2011
Council Chamber
Shoreline City Hall
17500 Midvale Avenue North


As a follow-up to the staff-sponsored (standing-room-only) public meeting on August 31, the City Council will be hosting another 
public meeting to discuss the Point Wells Letter-of-Intent and the public comment that was generated at the meeting last week.

Below is a bulleted list of concerns from the meeting last week as documented by staff. This is not the final list as stated in the 
staff-report released after the hearing.

If you do not see your concern listed, I highly recommend you 
email your City Council or come and speak at the meeting this week.

1) Traffic - residents are concerned about the traffic impacts from the project, including construction and parking diversion from the development when completed;

2) Project Opposition - residents are opposed to the project and feel that the City should fight or delay the development through lawsuits, and not agree to anything;

3) Trust - that there was not sufficient public notice about the community meeting or the Council meeting on September 6th and that people felt the City abruptly changed policy direction with the LOI and they felt blindsided;

4) Premature Action/Decision - residents voiced concern that the LOI is premature and the staff should have held the public hearing to receive residents' input prior to formalizing the LOI; and

5) Annexation - The City is only pursuing annexation as a way to increase City resources regardless of the project impacts.

SaveRichmondBeach.org is a community-driven non-profit organization dedicated to preserving our neighborhood through responsible and sustainable planning.
 http://www.saverichmondbeach.org/