A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
COVID-19 Vaccination Accessibility & Other Info
Auburn Vaccination Center Now Offering Car-Side Service on Mondays —From PHSKC: On Mondays only, beginning May 10, the Auburn vaccination clinic is offering car-side service for those who cannot easily walk into the clinic. Just let a greeter know upon arrival that car-side service is needed. Find directions to the Auburn location at https://kingcounty.gov/vaccine
Shape Our Water is a community-centered project from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and KVRU 105.7 FM, a hyperlocal low power FM station in South Seattle, to plan the next 50 years of Seattle’s drainage and wastewater systems. Funded by SPU, the project spotlights members of local community-based organizations and asks them to share how water shapes their lives. Our latest conversation is with Maggie Angel-Cano, community engagement and communications specialist for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition.
Growing up in South Park, Maggie Angel-Cano spent years without realizing Seattle’s only river ran through her neighborhood.
“We had no idea there was a river in the community,” she said. “We just, you know, lived our daily life: work, school, back home.”
(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
In late January, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change to the cleanup plan for the Lower Duwamish River, one of the nation’s most polluted waterways, which was declared a Superfund site in 2001. The proposal — which would allow for higher levels of certain pollutants to remain in the river sediment — generated frustration amongst community groups in South Seattle, who called for an extension of a public comment period on the change. Public comment now lasts until April 21.
At the center of the EPA’s proposal is a pollutant called benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (cPAH) that comes from burning coal and oil and is present in the sediment of the Duwamish River.
After more than six months of community outreach and coordination, six parks along the Duwamish River have new names. The new identities of the parks were announced at a virtual Port of Seattle meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The public spaces on the industrialized Duwamish River previously all had names with numerical subjects, but now all six of them have names that correspond more with the ecological significance and cultural history of their individual locations. Four of the properties have new names in Lushootseed, the Indigenous language of people who lived near the Salish Sea, and two of the new names are in English.
The Port of Seattle owns six public parks and shoreline access areas along the Duwamish River, but the current names of the green spaces don’t quite reflect the cultural and ecological history of the region.
To replace names based on former industrial sites, the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Parks Foundation are holding a nomination process to collect suggestions for new potential names for the parks and to decide on their new identities.
“Renaming parks is not sufficient in and of itself,” said Ryan Calkins, one of five elected Port of Seattle Commissioners. “This is the culmination of the effort to reconnect those communities to the water that runs right through them. These efforts will hopefully provide the means to really reconnect with the green spaces themselves, in terms of access, identity, and the actual content of the parks themselves.”
On Tuesday July 7, the Port of Seattle broke ground on Terminal 117 Park located in South Park along the west bank of the Duwamish River.
With the South Park bridge, moored sailboats, and dozens of Boeing commercial jets as a backdrop, Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins opened the event and stressed the importance of the Port’s relationship with its neighbors, saying, “throughout the cleanup, the Port and the community maintained an open dialogue on design ideas, and we know we have a better outcome as a result of that strong partnership.”
On March 23, the City of Seattle closed the West Seattle Bridge due to rapidly expanding cracks that rendered it unsafe for vehicle traffic.
The bridge will be closed until at least 2021 and may not be repairable according to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director Sam Zimbabwe. SDOT is still working to assess the full cost and timeline of needed repairs.
The city-owned bridge is vital to people living on the West Seattle peninsula, serving as the main route of access to the rest of the city, serving about 100,000 vehicles per day.
The main detour routes offered by the city take drivers through the Duwamish Valley, and through the communities of Georgetown, South Park and along West Marginal Way.
Standing on the Tukwila Community Center’s back patio, Ken Workman squinted a little as he looked towards the Duwamish River. More than two centuries ago, his ancestors looked over the same river, its shape much the same now as it was then.