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City of Seattle

December 12, 3:53 PM click here to comment > 0

The Reader – Economic impacts of coal trains in Seattle

From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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Economic impacts of coal trains in Seattle
Today Mayor McGinn announced that the City of Seattle will commission a study on the local economic impacts resulting from 18 coal trains passing through Seattle each day. McGinn has previously detailed some of the local traffic and safety impacts that would result from the coal train proposal.

“Seattle’s economy is growing at a faster pace than the rest of the region, state and country,” said McGinn. “As the entire city works together to recover from the longest, deepest recession since the Great Depression, we need to do our due diligence to analyze the negative impacts to our local economy should this coal train proposal become a reality. We have done an initial review of local traffic and safety impacts of this proposal. Now we need to work to make sure that we are protecting our local economy. The impacts from these coal trains will be felt at the local level. That is why we need a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement to help inform policy makers on this proposal.”

Agreement calls for specific actions to help Third Avenue Corridor
Yesterday King County Executive Dow Constantine, Downtown Seattle Association President & CEO Kate Joncas and Mayor McGinn signed a landmark Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), calling for a series of improvements to the Third Avenue corridor to support Seattle’s strengths, address its challenges and work collaboratively with the community to continue building a great place downtown.

The MOA details needed improvements such as transit reliability, attractive streetscape design, pedestrian flow, reductions in criminal activity and coordinated support for individuals who struggle with extreme poverty, limited housing resources, mental illness and/or drug and alcohol dependence.

Specific actions called for in the MOA include:
• installation of real-time transit arrival information at all major stops,
• installation of new, well designed street furniture (i.e. litter cans, newspaper boxes),
• afternoon and evening cleaning of sidewalks,
• a more visible Seattle Police presence during periods of the day with greatest pedestrian volumes, in conjunction with Metro Transit Police,
• directed foot-beat patrols at hotspots,
• continued work between Seattle Police and human service providers and community leaders on non-traditional strategies to address low-level drug offenses, and
• DSA, through its MID Ambassadors, will work with the City and other stakeholders to conduct targeted outreach to individuals in need of housing and services who frequent Third Avenue.

Congratulations to many happy couples
We were honored to host 133 weddings inside City Hall (and another five outside) on Sunday, the first day same-sex couples could be married in Washington. We’ve posted photos and videos to

As expected, this event generated much activity on Twitter as well as many news stories. A few highlights are below.

Reuters: More than 100 same-sex couples wed in Seattle after state law change
BuzzFeed: 60 Moments That Gave Me The Chills During Seattle’s First Day Of Marriage Equality
LA Times: Seattle City Hall: One Day, 138 Same Sex Weddings
The Guardian: Washington state kicks off day of gay marriages with midnight ceremonies

Library ESL Expanded + Immigrant and Refugee Library
The Seattle Public Library (SPL), in collaboration with Seattle Central Community College, will be hosting ESL Classes at two new branches in January 2013: Rainier Beach and Douglass-Truth. These classes are for adult immigrant and refugee English language learners and is designed for levels 1, 2, and 3. SPL offers ESL Classes currently at the Central Library, Beacon Hill and Northgate branches. Also, English language conversation groups are available at Central Library, Lake City Branch, High Point Branch, and Beacon Hill Branch. Valerie Wonder, the Outreach Services Program Manager, can provide more information – contact her at:

Upcoming events (for more see
Dec 13, 4:00 p.m. – Coal trains public hearing, Washington State Convention Center (800 Convention Place)

Dec 13, 6:00 p.m. – Human Rights Day celebration, Seattle City Hall (600 4th Ave)

Dec 14, 12:45 p.m. – Governing for Racial Equity Conference, Seattle University (1016 E Marion St)

Video highlights (for more see

Seattle City Hall weddings Consortium for a New Policing Paradigm

What we’re reading:
Seattle forum on police relations identifies trust as top concern

Credit unions have surpassed BofA in Seattle

McGinn and Constantine pledge to improve Third Avenue

To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios

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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill