Hanford leaks anew
Gov. Jay Inslee this afternoon threatened legal action against the federal government over a newly discovered leak of radioactive waste from a storage tank at the Hanford nuclear reservation. Inslee said the leak from one of the problem-plagued single-shell tanks involves "very significantly toxic" waste, but doesn't pose an immediate threat to the waters of the nearby Columbia River. Inslee also pointed to the possibility that the federal government might suspend the cleanup effort. Crosscut's John Stang is preparing a full report.
Seattle, the surveillance city?
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is raising new questions about the city of Seattle's use of surveillance equipment obtained under federal grants. In a letter provided to the media this morning, the ACLU objects to dozens of surveillance cameras for monitoring West Seattle waterfront neighborhoods and the Port of Seattle. KOMO reported Thursday evening that the Seattle City Council had approved the cameras, but the police department apparently didn't disclose the extent of the cameras' coverage. Two council members, Bruce Harrell and Tim Burgess, said they want to re-examine the cameras' planned usage. The ACLU praised Mayor Mike McGinn's cancellation of a police drone program, but called for a public process for civilian review of all new surveillance purchases and programs.
Move over for developers!
Construction is picking up in Seattle, and the city is letting developers shut sidewalks. On the Slog this morning, Dominic Holden posts his thoughts (and a relevant photo) about the city's unwillingness to require protected walkways — even in areas designated for heavy pedestrian activity. As he notes, cities in the Eastern part of the country routinely require temporary walkways. Seattle? It loves to talk about encouraging pedestrians, supporting sustainability and requiring smart development. But City Hall's decades of hicktown pedestrian mistreatment point to the real interest: the developers' money.
Put down the keys, Seattle
Only 34 percent of downtown Seattle workers drive to their jobs in single-car vehicles, according to a new study reported on Seattle Transit Blog. Buses are the No. 1 method of travel (with 35.7 percent) but rail, walking, biking and vanpooling are growing faster than Metro Transit bus ridership.
Sammamish: King County's Pleasantville
Seattle gets a happy pass from any mention on a list of the 100 most dangerous U.S. cities from an online real-estate service, NeighborhoodScout. And, as seattlepi.com's Joel Connelly found, Sammamish is No. 8 on the service's list of the safest cities. So, let's salute Sammamish, its safety and the ability of some of its residents to poke fun at its oh-so-comfortable suburban-ness. Forbes magazine even ranked them No. 1 in friendliness last December.
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