As Chuck Parrish Sees It
Talking about politics, government and the Tukwila community.
I listened to the audio of the March 25, 2013 city council meeting. It was an amazing number of people who came forward to speak about conditions in their neighborhood. The owner of the Grand Terrace Apts was there as well. I had no idea that people on S 158th St west of 42nd Ave South were experiencing the variety and the quantity of problems that they shared that evening. These residents are asking for services. That is the bottom line. I truly hope that something can be done; some shifting of resources from one law enforcement area to another. But…it is important to connect the dots…to be aware of cause and effect in government. The citizens of Tukwila, as part of the larger population in our state, have taken a very anti-tax position. Max 1 per cent increase on annual basis for property taxes, no state progressive income tax, no additional taxing of the wealthy. All this when our federal taxes have not been so low since the 1950′s. This causes governments to be resource restricted. So while citizens want and deserve more or better service, it may not be possible given the limited resources that citizens make available to pay for those services.
Perhaps there are other ways of dealing with problems like this. For example, private security firms that are funded by the homeowners and the apartment owners could provide a visible presence and dovetail efforts with Tukwila police. There may be other ideas…how about block watch groups in which people walk the street as a group with cameras? Safety in numbers and photographic evidence. Just an idea.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Waste Management Cascade Recycling Center in Woodinville, Wa. This is quite the production. It is a cacophony of sounds and sights..the beep, beep, beep of the trucks as they back in to dump their recyclables, mountains of multicolored materials, a serpentine system of belts and conveyors going every which way, the hissing of compressed air actuators, the sucking sounds of vacuum, rotating discs, bearings whining at high speed, huge drums rumbling, discs whirring and….at the end of the process, orderly bales of paper products, crushed aluminum cans and plastic….ready to go to market, both domestic and international.
It is not often that one sees a profitable business model that helps to preserve our environment and employs many people. For every person that a landfill hires to handle a ton of landfill refuse, WM hires six employees to process a ton of recycling. About 80 sorters work the line at one time or another. They separate products in ways that only humans can do while working along side very big, noisy, expensive equipment that automates much of the process. Less than 5% of the material that comes in the center is disposed of as garbage. The CRC processes about 500 tons/day (12,000-13,000 tons/month) residential recyclables, 500 tons/mo commercial and 300-400 tons/day (6500-8500 tons/month) construction, demolition and land clearing materials. 250 truckloads come in daily.
This facility was opened in September, 2003 and occupies 82,000 square feet on 6.25 acres. For more information, go to: http://wmnorthwest.com/cascaderecycling/index.html
And now for some hot tips:
You know the caps on water bottles. Plastic markets will accept bottles with caps or lids on them. Throw the caps away or screw them onto the bottle. Don’t toss loose caps into the recycle bin. It causes problems at the recycling center. If you collect recyclables in bags or boxes, please empty the bags into the recycling containers. They do not want the bags. I guess I will have to change my ways.
WM says that the numbers and chasing arrows on the bottom of containers don’t help people very much. Often products with the same number have different resins that are not compatible. WM says to ignore the numbers. Instead, follow this simple list where plastics are concerned. Plastic jars and jugs (e.g., rinsed bleach, detergent & cat litter jugs) Plastic bottles (e.g., beverage, detergent & condiment bottles) Round plastic dairy tubs (e.g., yogurt, cottage cheese and pudding containers) No loose lids of any type. Containers should be rinsed.
What causes plastics to be rejected?
They are made from a resin that is not recyclable because of low supply or high remanufacturing cost. They contain more than one type of plastic resin.
They have too much food and/or moisture residue.
They are dirty.
Here are the definite no-no’s per the WM website:
Residential plastic recycling does not accept any plastic that is not a bottle, jar, jug or dairy tub.
NO polystyrene foam (e.g., peanuts, egg carton, packing) – litter; wrong resin NO Take-out containers (e.g. clamshell, deli tray) – wrong resin NO Plastic cups, plates or utensils – brittle; wrong resin
NO Plastic bags, plastic wrap or bubble wrap – wrong resin; litter (Clean plastic shopping bags can be recycled at many grocery and retail stores.) NO Lids (e.g. juice box lids, jug lids, plastic bottle caps) – jam recycling equipment; litter NO Six-pack rings – wrong resin; litter
NO Disposable diapers – usually wet or dirty; health hazard
NO Containers that contained hazardous or toxic material (e.g., antifreeze, oil) – health hazard
Check out the photos at TukwilaTalk.com, photos, album Waste Management’s Cascade Recycling Center
At the end of April, I will have completed my three year term as a member of the Human Services Advisory Board and will be stepping down to seek other opportunities to serve and learn. Having had four years on the planning commission and now three on human services, I will have to see what openings occur. Something kind of peculiar in our boards and commissions. Once a person is on one of the boards or commissions, the existing paradigm is that the person can stay on the board as long as they want. The mayor will in most cases automatically appoint them if they want to be reappointed. I don’t really care for that but it is not a battle I am willing to fight. We often suffer from a lack of volunteers so there you are. This is, in part, why I have chosen to serve just one term in two capacities. I think others should have a chance to serve. Louise Strander now serves where I once did on the PC and who knows who will step up to the Human Services Advisory Board.
For those who might consider serving on the HSAB, it is a fantastic opportunity. Most of us have an understanding of human service organizations and human that is limited to our own experience in utilizing those organizations or having our needs met in some fashion.
For me, it was like the submerged iceberg simile. There are far more organizations than I could have imagined that help to keep the fabric of our communities knitted together. And I would have thought that those who serve those in need day in and day out might become jaded and lose motivation but no, no, no…not the case. They are the most motivated and compassionate people I have had the honor of being around. Particularly our staff in the human services department, Evie Boykan and Stacy Hansen. Check out this opportunity!
Ohio Senator Republican Rob Portman announced today that he is reversing his position and is now supportive of marriage equality after learning that his son is gay.
On the one hand, this is a good thing; a dinner table conversion. On the other hand, it reveals what we already know; that many politicians lack the empathy needed to properly represent their constituents. Anti-this and anti-that until their own personal experience informs them about something that others already know and experience every day. Especially in the arena of personal liberty, we need to elect more representatives who can chew gum and rub their bellies at the same time. That is to say, draw on their own personal experiences and beliefs AND still be sensitive to the experiences, beliefs and, most importantly, the needs of their constituents. Only then can we hope for and expect public policy that is more tolerant than restrictive, more hopeful than fearful and more effective than politically expedient.
As citizens, if we can do the same, we will be better citizens and better models for our children. We can be leaders in our families and friendships by being civically minded. By listening to the points of view of others and trying to be fair about things. We can get involved in our community in at least some small way that fits our busy lives. The attitude that if it does not affect me then I don’t care about it is not acceptable any more.
I receive a newsletter form Mr. Roger Simmermaker regarding American made products. Here are a few places that one might try from his most recent article.
……………Many American-only e-commerce sites offer a range of goods in several categories, where others are more specific (companies that sell only American-made toys, for example).
Among the American businesses that sell only domestically-made goods on their websites include American Aisle (www.americanaisle.com), Choose Made in USA (www.choosemadeinusa.com), America’s Virtual General Store (www.americasvirtualgeneralstore.com), Made in USA Forever (www.madeinusaforever.com), Made in USA Products Store (www.madeinusaproductsstore.com), Petriot (www.petriot.com), Strictly USA (www.strictlyusa.com), and The Union Shop (www.theunionshop.com).
Other American e-commerce sites that also have actual brick-and-mortar stores that sell only American-made goods include Hometown USA Stores (www.hometownusastores.com) in Nassau, New York, Made in America Store (www.madeinamericastore.com) in Elma, New York, Norton’s U.S.A. (www.nortonsusa.com) in Barrington, Illinois, San Antonio Shoes (www.sasshoes.com), and Union House (www.unionhouse.com) in Wyoming, Misnnesota. Another store that will be opening in Blue Springs, Missouri the near future is called American Made Stores (www.americanmadestores.com).
Then there are the more-specific e-commerce sites that sell only American-made toys like All-American Toys (www.all-americantoys.com), Kathy’s Kreations (www.kathyskreations.com), and Toys of USA (www.toysofusa.com). Websites like All American Clothing Company (www.allamericanclothing.com) sell only American-made apparel and accessories.
This is not a complete list, and I’m sure I failed to mention more than just a few that I know about but did not come to mind while writing this article. And of course I’m not aware of every single American-made e-commerce site that exists, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org about any that you think I should mention in the future.
Hopefully the number of ecommerce sites that sell only American-made goods will grow along with more significant sales so that the U.S. Department of Commerce will have good reason to track those sales. Until then, we can do our part in making that happen and help the U.S. economy grow at the same time by patronizing websites like these that are run by patriotic American entrepreneurs who have taken on big financial risks in unchartered economic waters and therefore demonstrated that they deserve your business.
Roger Simmermaker is the author of How Americans Can Buy American and My Company ‘Tis of Thee: 50 Patriotic American Companies American Consumers Should Know About, and writes “Buy American Mention of the Week” articles for wnd.com and his website www.howtobuyamerican.com. Roger has a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, is president of his local Machinists Union, has been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Business Week among many other publications.
Survey: Many conflicted on gov’t spending cuts
By TOM RAUM
WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Barack Obama and lawmakers spar over huge federal deficits, they’re confronted by a classic contradiction: Most Americans want government austerity, a survey shows, but they also want increased spending on a host of popular programs: education, crime fighting, health care, Social Security, the environment and more. Less for defense, space and foreign aid.
The newly released General Social Survey asked people whether they believe spending in specific categories is “too much,” “too little” or “about right.” It covers the public’s shifting priorities from 1973, when Richard Nixon was president, through 2012 with Obama in the White House.
“Despite a dislike of taxes, more people have always favored increases in spending than cuts,” wrote the survey’s director, Tom W. Smith, of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.
While people’s priorities shift over the years, they’ve not changed on one category. Foreign aid has been stuck firmly in last place since the survey began. Last year, 65 percent of those surveyed thought there was “too much,” 25 percent checked “about right” and a slim 11 percent said “too little.” The numbers are not much changed from 1973 – when 73 percent said too much on foreign aid, 22 percent just right and 5 percent too little.
Various polls have consistently shown the public believes foreign aid is a far bigger slice of the spending pie than it actually is.
Foreign aid amounts to loose change, hovering for years at 1 percent or less of the federal budget, compared with defense spending and “entitlement” programs like Social Security and Medicare. Those are among the biggest deficit drivers and a focal point in Washington’s recent budget debates. The survey shows the public is largely opposed to cuts in entitlement programs but tilts toward cuts in the defense budget.
To reach all these conclusions, Smith devised an index that boils down his findings to a single number for each category. If everyone favored more spending for a given program area, the maximum score would be +100; and if everyone wanted less spending, the score would be a negative number, -100.
On this scale, top-ranked “improving education” in 2012 scored +68.4 while bottom-rated foreign aid scored a -60.4.
Support for defense spending has swung back and forth between negative and positive over four decades. It posted a -28.4 in 1973 near the end of the politically divisive Vietnam War, turned positive in 1978 and peaked at +48.9 in 1980. It returned to negative territory from 1983 to 2000. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks and the start of the war in Afghanistan, support for more defense spending again went positive – through 2004. But it turned negative again as U.S. military involvement in Iraq increased and has been negative ever since.
Conversely, Social Security has always been in positive territory. Most people have favored increased spending on this program since the mid-80s, with the exception of 1993 and 1994.
On other issues: Most Americans in the poll favored increased spending for assistance to the poor (64 percent), improving the nation’s health (61 percent) and Social Security (56 percent). Most also favored greater spending on domestic and social issues including education (76 percent), developing alternative energy sources (62 percent), reducing the crime rate (59 percent), improving the environment (57 percent) and dealing with drug addiction (56 percent).
Despite all this support for increasing spending, the survey found that 52 percent believed their own federal income taxes last year were too high, 46 percent said about right and just 3 percent said too low.
Taxes are a sore point in efforts to strike a deficit-reduction deal on Capitol Hill. The president insists any new package must contain a mix of spending cuts and new revenues from limiting tax deductions benefiting the wealthy. Republicans, especially those who control the House, adamantly oppose new taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
Of the 23 categories in the survey, only five received negative scores – foreign aid (-60.4), welfare (-28.5), assistance to big cities (-23.4), space exploration (-9.0) and defense spending (-6.3)
If the people participating in the survey were to make federal budget decisions, those five programs presumably would be the only ones to see their spending slashed. The other 18 would get more money.
Those surveyed last year also wanted more government spending on: nonwelfare assistance to the poor (+53.8), fighting crime (+51.9), Social Security (+47.6), health programs (+46.3), protecting the environment (+45.9), drug rehabilitation (+43.5), highways and bridges (+29.9), solving problems of big cities (+24.1) and improving the condition of blacks (+21).
“The net numbers have always been positive, meaning they want to spend more on things. And the vast majority of them are things that are pretty good: education, health, highways,” Smith said in an interview. “The average – when asked about specific programs – is pro-government spending and always has been. It’s gone up and down as to how pro they are. The pro-spending edge is a little weaker now than it was at its peak.”
Some changes in national priorities are generationally driven and the aging of baby boomers is an important factor as more and more retire.
“The retirees generally think things are about right. Pre-retirees are the group most likely to say (spending on Social Security) is too low. And the youngest generation is the least concerned about putting money into Social Security,” Smith said.
In other findings:
- Now in second place for more spending, assistance to the poor has rebounded from its 10th place finish in 1996.
- After a first-place rank in 2004, spending on health programs slipped to sixth place in 2012.
- Halting crime was a top favorite for increased government spending from 1974 to 1988 and regained first place in 1993 and 1994. But after 1994, it dropped from +71.4 to +50.6 in 2002 – still a strong positive but the lowest for the category ever posted in the survey. In 2012, crime-fighting finished in third place at +51.6.
The General Social Survey is conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with principal funding from the National Science Foundation. Data were collected between March and early September 2012 in face-to-face interviews with 1,974 randomly selected U.S. adults. The margin of sampling error varies for questions within the survey, but for most, it is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.
I met Tuffi Dolan (a Tukwila Talk participant) at a council coffee chat at Billy Baroos recently. She had disc golf on her mind. I knew little of this activity other than the fact that a course exists nearby in SeaTac . It is a very close cousin to regular golf. You walk a course, get some fresh air and exercise. A disc is thrown towards a target called a hole in as few attempts as possible. Just like golf. All ages can play; low cost to particpate. This was sounding pretty interesting. Tuffi was advocating for a course to be built in Tukwila. While discussing this activity, the waitress told us how she enjoys the activity with her child.
Robert Eaton of our Parks and Recreation Department, is familiar with this activity and has been thinking about some Tukwila possibilities recently. He and I decided to pay a visit to a person recommended by Tuffi. We visited Keith who runs Chainbangerz Disc Golf Shop in the Burien area very near Evergreen High School.
His website reads: Located inside of King County Lakewood park. Come on by and see us for all your disc golf needs,as well as quenching your thirst and hunger with some good to eat treats. Recently added espresso machine is turning out some pretty sweet coffee drinks.
The address is: 11050 10th Ave SW
Seattle, Wa 98146
Tues-Sunday 12-6 from March-October Thurs-Sunday 10-4 from November-Feb.
We were there was to get some idea of what would be involved to set up a disc golf course at one of our existing parks. What are the pro’s and con’s…safety concerns…does it have to meet the standards of ADA? What is the high end approach and what is a low budget approach? What kind of help could we expect?
About the websites:
This website is a club website. Go to the “team” selection. Some great videos and photos there.
This website appears to be more about the promotion of disc golf It reads: We are a non-profit organization whose mission statement is to educate our community about the importance of healthy recreation & education through the development of new disc golf courses and maintaining & improving existing disc golf courses. Our future goals are to continue to design & develop more disc golf courses with pro shop/club house on site. More beginner friendly disc golf courses for youth groups with an on-site course pro for educational seminars. This will only help in providing a meeting place for surrounding school districts to implement disc golf into the PE programs,school disc golf clubs,and school disc golf teams. Now…click chainbangerz disc golf club link at the top. Scroll down and you will see Tuffi Dolan holding a $150 check. Hey, you mean I can make some bucks at this? …hmm..probably not. She must be pretty good!
The situation looks like this:
The disc golf community is very willing to help design golf courses and, perhaps, help with some volunteer time to put it together. A disc golf basket or hole costs about $250 to $500 each depending on features. Let’s say that we wanted to put a six hole course in at Crestview Park. Six times $500 is $3,000. Installation is relatively simple but requires some security features to deter theft and vandalism. Additional receptacles (holes in the ground) are a good idea so that the baskets can be moved around as the ground gets worn around the hole. The tee boxes can be a strip of asphalt or concrete but we could also go with a low cost natural environment with wood chips. Some signage would be required. Not sure of the installation costs. Depends on whether the installation is done by volunteers or paid staff. I think that a reasonable budget cost might be in the $15-20K area. As for players, $25 would get a person a “driver” disc, a “mid range” disc and a “putter” disc. If one chooses not to invest, one can visit a course like the one discussed above and rent the discs. There is no course fee.
Marie and I will visit the course where Keith has his shop and try this out. I encourage others in Tukwila to give it a try. See what you think. If you think that it would be a good move to build a small disc golf course in Tukwila, please sent an email to Robert Eaton in our Parks and Rec Department. He will keep a tally. If there appears to be sufficient interest, he will present the idea to the powers that be along with the list of people who indicated interest.
Robert’s email is: Robert.Eaton@TukwilaWA.gov. His phone number is 206-767-2332 office
Photos at tukwilatalk.com
Someone else made me aware of this article. It is an interesting read and is requesting comment from Tuwila residents. Please go forth and inform! (smile)
Marie and I are very disappointed in the Seattle Times. Their business department has decided to promote certain political candidates and issues. The Seattle Times is a newspaper; our expectation is that the newspaper stay outside the political process while reporting on it. Seattle Times employees on the reporting side of the business who protested this move had it right.
We do not care who the candidates are or what the issues might be. A newspaper should not be doing what the Seattle Times is doing. We cancelled our subscription today.
They noted that we were prepaid through Dec and said that they would cancel then. We said “No, we want immediate cancellation and a return of our prepayment.”
Note: While one may not always agree, we find that the editorials have been reasonably fair.
Hopefully the Seattle Times will reverse this policy decision and win back their customers.
Recommendations do not include offices in which there is only one candidate
Initiative Measure No. 1185 – no
Initiative Measure No. 1240 – no
Referendum Measure No. 74 – approved
Initiative Measure No. 502 – yes
Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8221 – approved
Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223 – approved
Advisory Vote No. 1 – Engrossed Senate Bill 6635 – maintained
Advisory Vote No. 2 – Substiture House Bill 2590 – maintained
Proposition No. 1, Regular Property Tax Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Services – approved
President of the United States – Barack Obama
United States Senator – Maria Cantwell
United States Representative Congressional District No. 9 – Adam Smith
Governor – Jay Inslee
Lt Governor – Brad Owen
Secretary of State – Kathleen Drew
State Treasurer – Jim McIntire
State Auditor – Troy Kelley
Attorney General – Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands – Peter Goldmark
Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler
Legislative District No. 11 State Senator – Bob Hasegawa
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position 1 – Zack Hudgins
Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position 2 – Steve Bergquist
Sheriff – Steve Strachan
State Supreme Court – Sheryl Gordon McCloud