New Nickelsville site
The organizers of two small Nickelsville housing encampments on Capitol Hill say they will soon move to the edge of the International District at 1001 S. Dearborn St. That's near a Goodwill Industries facility, The Stranger's Ansel Herz reports, and Goodwill said it welcomed the move, noting that the groups had worked well together in another location. The organizers said they want to fulfill promises to Capitol Hill hosts about limiting the length of their stay. The new site has a six-month lease with an option for an extension. — J.C.
Leading architectural firm sold
A Holland-based consulting firm, Arcadis, has purchased Callison, Seattle's largest architectural firm. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Callison employs nearly 420 people in the Puget Sound region and another 1,000 worldwide in 12 offices. Callison CEO John Jastrom told the PSBJ Editor Rob Smith that he expects few changes and hopes for continued growth for the firm in Seattle as well as increased opportunities for existing and future employees. —J.C.
Bainbridge protest: Still looking at options
Some Bainbridge residents will talk tonight about ways they still might stop a planned shopping center, where a protest temporarily held up clear-cutting of trees. On Tuesday evening, Bainbridge Island teen Chiara D’Angelo climbed down from the 70-foot evergreen in which she had been sitting for more than 36 hours. Shortly afterward, developers of the 60,000-square-foot shopping center moved in and began cutting down the trees.
In a note of optimism today, D’Angelo’s mother, Deborah, said that the outcome of Chiara’s sit was positive. It not only generated awareness — which was Chiara’s goal — but also inspired more community members to get involved. According to Deborah D’Angelo, a number of potential “community investors” have stepped forward, offering to buy the land. The meeting at Bainbridge Co-housing tonight will discuss the viability of this option and brainstorm a “community vision” of how the land might be better used. — K.H.
Mercer Island library drama
A group of Mercer Island residents is filing a petition to remove their public library from the King County Library System. My Northwest’s Jamie Skorkheim reported on a conversation between KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson and a member of the Mercer Island group, Gary Robinson. The concerns center around a renovation that KCLS has planned, which residents of Mercer Island feel is unnecessary (at best).
Putting aside the “airport look” of the renovation plan, Robinson seemed most concerned with how unresponsive KCLS has been to the needs and desires of the Mercer community: "We don't begrudge paying as much as we pay,” he said, “What we absolutely do not like is that KCLS won't listen to us." The Library System announced in June that design decisions had been completed. At the time, an advisory committee member told the Mercer Island Reporter that she was satisfied overall with the Library's responses to community ideas.
In an email today, KCLS Interim Director Julie Acteson said, "KCLS spent four months working with the city-appointed library committee and dramatically altered the remodel plans based on their input. We also just recently announced plans to retain the bookdrop that was of value to patrons." — K.H.
Grizzly bears: Coming back?
The National Parks Service today said it will move forward on its long-planned study of whether to restore grizzly bears in Washington's North Cascades. Federal officials have estimated that only a "remnant" population of perhaps 20 to 30 bears are in the area, not enough to be self-sustaining. The first step in the expected three-year review will be awarding a contract for an environmental impact statement sometime this fall. Soon after, the Parks Service said, a plan for public involvement in the process will be announced. Expect lots of willingness to comment, on both sides. Given the dangers of human-bear interactions, it's not the easiest environmental question. But that makes it more important for the Northwest to live up to its values. — J.C.
How smart are grizzlies?
Coincidentally, Associated Press reports today that Washington State University is conducting some fascinating research on grizzly bears' intelligence and their ability to use tools. Food is dangled out of reach of the bears and the researchers observe how well the grizzlies figure out how they can use a tree stump and, as they progress, a plastic box to get up high enough to score the munchies. A group of eight grizzlies — male and female — are being tested, WSU says. The star pupil is 9-year-old Kio, a female — wouldn't you know it — who has graduated from using the tree stump to moving around the plastic box, apparently having figured out it's easier to manipulate. — J.C.
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