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October 1, 3:44 PM click here to comment > 0

The Reader – Kwel Hoy’ totem pole arrives in Seattle

From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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Kwel Hoy’ totem pole arrives in Seattle
Last week we welcomed the Kwel Hoy’ Totem Pole to Seattle. Jewell James, a member of the Lummi Tribe, and the House of Tears Carvers created the totem pole as a statement of opposition against the Gateway Pacific Terminal, proposed for Cherry Point, north of Bellingham.

“The Kwel Hoy’ Totem Pole is a symbol of what will be lost if we move forward with coal exports in the Northwest,” said McGinn. “Communities up and down the rail lines will suffer the impacts, tribal culture and treaty rights will be damaged, and climate change will be worsened. I am pleased to join with members of the Lummi Nation as well as the more than 75 elected and tribal leaders in the Leadership Alliance Against Coal to continue the fight against the proposed coal terminals in Washington and Oregon.”

“Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) has deep spiritual and cultural significance to our people,” said Jewell James. “The project will result in significant, unavoidable, and unacceptable interference with treaty rights and irreversible and irretrievable damage to Lummi spiritual values. Kwel hoy’: we draw the line.”

Seattle wins federal grant to hire 10 new police officers
Mayor McGinn and Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel welcomed the news that the Department of Justice has awarded Seattle a $1.25 million Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to hire 10 new police officers.

Previously McGinn announced funding for 15 new officers in his 2014 Proposed Budget. Combined with that announcement and the 27 new officers added in the 2013 budget process, the COPS grant brings to 52 the total number of new officers authorized in the City budget since the end of 2012.

“This federal grant will help us continue to put more officers in our neighborhoods and walking beats to protect public safety,” said McGinn.

“We are pleased that we will be able to hire ten additional Seattle Police officers under the COPS Hiring Program. This award, along with the extra officers outlined in the budget, is great news for the department and for the community,” said Pugel.

New officers hired under the COPS Hiring Program will be deployed into each of its five precincts at 2 officers per precinct, as part of the Department’s Community Police Team (CPT) program. Under the grant, the city has committed to hire four military veterans.

Affordable Care Act enrollment begins
Today marks an historic day in Seattle and across the country. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 by the U.S. Congress and President Obama, nearly 70,000 Seattle residents who don’t have health insurance will be able to enroll in new, affordable health insurance options through Washington Health Plan Finder. Many people with low and moderate incomes will be able to get free coverage or will pay reduced rates.

All health plans will include basic benefits like doctor visits, emergency care, prescriptions, maternity care, mental health services, and preventive care like cancer screenings and vaccinations. No one will be denied coverage because they are sick or because they have a pre-existing condition.

Enrollment begins on October 1, 2013 for coverage that begins January 1, 2014. Free or low cost coverage is available. Go to to enroll or attend a local event. A listing of events can be found at The first free enrollment event is this Saturday, 2-5 p.m. at Garfield Community Center (2323 East Cherry Street). Almost everyone can now be covered by health insurance, so please help spread the word among your friends and family members.

36 Northwest leaders call on President Obama and government agencies to conduct broad and inclusive review of coal exports
Thirty-six elected and tribal officials from the Pacific Northwest are calling on the state and federal governments to conduct a broad, inclusive review of all three coal export sites proposed for Washington and Oregon. In letters to President Barack Obama, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington Department of Ecology, the members of the Leadership Alliance Against Coal raise important concerns about the impacts to public health, the environment, the local economy, traffic, and the climate of coal trains and coal exports at the proposed sites.

“We believe it is necessary to consider the three terminals together, in a cumulative impact analysis, in order to understand the full breadth of the impacts,” write the officials in their letter to President Obama. “We urge you to direct the Army Corps of Engineers or another federal agency to conduct a broad analysis of the impacts of coal export, including the impacts of mining in Wyoming and Montana, transporting the coal via rail across state lines, shipping it through our waters and eventually burning it in Asia. We need to understand the full impact of these proposals on our local communities, on our environment and on our health; and the federal government needs to take the lead.”

“Coal trains and coal exports will have a major and harmful impact on our communities, our environment, and our climate,” said Mayor McGinn. “These elected officials have come together to urge our state and federal leaders to look at the cumulative impact of these coal proposals so that we can make the right decision for our future.”

Upcoming events (for more see
Oct 1, 6:00 p.m. – North Transfer Station Rebuild Community Meeting, Lake Washington Rowing Club (910 N Northlake Way)

Oct 1, 6:00 p.m. – Vessels Used as Floating Residences, 415 Westlake Ave N

Oct 3, 5:30 p.m. (5 p.m. sign up) – Council Budget Public Hearing, Seattle City Hall (600 4th Ave)

Oct 26, 9:00 a.m. – Plant-For-The-Planet Academies for students ages 8-14, Jane Addams School and MLK Elementary

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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill