Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for March, 2009

Mar 28 2009

Obama, King and Lincoln:
Nice Work Madrona Elementary School!

Madrona K-8 ArtworkOn March 26, 2009, Mayor Nickels and I celebrated the magnificent drawings done by the students at Madrona K-8 Elementary School. Students in Ms. Letta Baker’s class were asked to develop images of their three favorite historical figures. They developed images of President Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Abraham Lincoln. The top seven pictures have been on display in my office at City Hall since March 20, where onlookers and viewers have been amazed. On March 26, these paintings were transported to the Mayor’s floor for another viewing, where people were equally impressed with the work.

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Nice Work Madrona Elementary School!

Mar 19 2009

Great Start by the Huskies & Sounders FC!

Published by under Seattle Sports

[3/22/09 Update: With a tough lost in the 2nd round against Purdue, the Huskies wrapped up the season with an overall record of 25-8 and the first Pac-10 Conference Championship in over half a century.]

The Huskies are still dancing in the NCAA tournament after defeating Mississippi State this afternoon in Portland. Great defense played by the Huskies!

Great start tonight by our new Major League Soccer team, Sounders FC. They beat the New York Red Bulls 3-0 at Qwest Field. Beautiful steal and fake by Freddy Montero for the third goal.

Image credit: ESPN; ©

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Mar 18 2009

The end of an era–We will miss the P-I

Published by under Seattle's Culture

On Monday, March 16, 2009, we all received news of the inevitable—the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as we know it printed its final edition for the Tuesday (March 17, 2009) circulation. The paper, which began in 1863, is 146 years old and is our City’s oldest business. It is a casualty of changing times which have been exacerbated by the current economic recession. The P-I will still continue to run as an online publication with 20-25 professional news staff, but a majority of the 167 employees will lose their jobs. According to a representative from the Hearst Corporation, the online version will be “a new type of digital business with a robust, community news and information web site at its core.” I am pleased that the P-I will continue online at least. However, I believe that we are losing a significant piece of our city which lends itself to creating a balanced discussion of news and issues.

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Mar 09 2009

“Jail” – Not a Pretty Word or Concept

Seattle is consistently rated as one of the most desirable places to live in our country. Our city is known for its great people, entrepreneurial spirit, great neighborhoods, commitment to environmental sustainability, and our beautiful natural environment. As of mid-2008, the frequency of major crime was 11 percent lower than the previous year. Although Seattle’s population has increased by 8 percent in the last ten years, the misdemeanor jail population has decreased nearly 40 percent during the same period of time. Despite this decline, King County is requiring that Seattle and other cities discontinue their use of King County Jail for misdemeanor offenders by December 31, 2012. No extension of this lease has been offered. The County’s decision is based upon a King County Jail study which found that King County will need all of the space in its jail facilities to house their own felony offenders by 2015. During this same time, the Seattle Public schools have decided they must close several inner-city schools and consolidate several of its treasured programs. Seattle should be known for building castles for education — not jails for crime. This does not seem to be the case.

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Mar 08 2009

Would it Stop Snowing Already! An Update on the City’s Winter Storm Response Plan

On February 20, 2009, Council held another briefing regarding the December 2008 Winter Storm response. The briefing was the last of 4 scheduled briefings as a result of the “illegal procedural penalty” by the City (excuse my football reference). The “After Action Report” and “Corrective Action Plan” was presented and discussed by Council. Each department with a role in the snow storm submitted a “Corrective Action Plan.” Implementation of all the new policies in the action plan will be completed by September 2009. The action plan included 68 areas for improvement covering 12 agencies and departments.

As mentioned in an earlier blog posting, there was an overarching problem of determining the severity and duration of the storm and the lack of measures in place for different snow advisory conditions (from low to severe). More specifically, I saw two major problems in the City’s and County’s snow response: 1) snow plowing and 2) lack of communication among agencies. There should be a common sense approach in identifying the different response plan if 12 inches of snow falls over a 14 day period compared to the average 2 inch accumulation. The City cannot use the fact that this was the most severe snow storm in the last 20 years as an excuse or claim we now have 20-20 hindsight. The Executive and Council’s main function is to be preemptive and review all possible scenarios.

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Mar 07 2009

Huskies Win Outright Pac-10 Title in 56 Years!

Published by under Seattle Sports

Congratulations to the UW Men’s Basketball team for winning the first outright Pac-10 title since 1953!

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