Tag Archives: City council

THE Plastic Bag Ban STORY …it’s now 2019 and the fight continues and who is monitoring this?


It is now 2019 and though the effort to deal with plastic is more evident, you can still tell …if you’re the one shopping that plastic bags are NOT gone! They come and go, get replaced by paper for about a month still and the next thing you know plastic bags are the only option

first posted – Nov.2011

What’s the Problem?

Washingtonians use more than 2 billion single-use plastic bags each year, and Seattle alone uses approximately 292  million plastic bags annually and only 13% are recycled.  Too many plastic bags end up in Puget Sound where they do not biodegrade.  Plastic bags break down into smaller and smaller pieces that remain hazardous as they are consumed by filter-feeders,  shellfish, fish, turtles, marine mammals,  and birds. PCB levels in Chinook salmon from Puget Sound are 3- to  5-times higher than any other West Coast populations.

In 2010, a  beached gray whale was found to have 20 plastic bags in its stomach!

Data source: Keeping Plastics Out of Puget Sound,  Environment Washington Report, November 2011

How would the plastic bag ban work?

by Mike O’Brien

It’s simple – retailers are prohibited from offering plastic carryout bags to customers.  Paper bags may still be provided to customers for a minimum of five cents – stores keep the nickel to help cover the cost of providing bags.  Everyone is encouraged to use reusable bags.

What bags?

  • Banned Bags Include plastic bags provided at the checkout of all retail stores (bags less than 2.25 ml thick and made from non‐renewable sources).
  • Exclusions: bags used by shoppers in a store to package bulk foods, meat, flowers, bakery goods or prescriptions; newspaper, door hanger bags and dry cleaning bags.

What stores?

  • Where the policy applies: all retail stores including but not limited to grocery stores, corner and convenience stores, pharmacies,  department stores, farmers markets, restaurants and catering trucks.
  • Where it’s not applicable: for take‐out food where there is a public health risk if a bag is not provided.

What about paper?

  • Retailers may provide paper bags made of at least 40% recycled paper for a minimum 5 cent pass-through cost that retailers keep to  offset the cost of providing bags.
  • Low-income customers who qualify for food assistance programs shall be provided paper bags at no charge.

Joining cities on the West Coast and around the world

Seattle would join cities along the West Coast, hundreds of cities across the country and twenty nations worldwide that have already taken action to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.

  • San Francisco, CA – Banned plastic bags in 2007.
  • Los Angeles County – Banned Plastic bags November 2010; includes a 10 cent fee on paper bags.
  • Portland, OR – Banned plastic bags in summer 2011.
  • Edmonds, WA – Banned Plastic Bags in 2009; the law was implemented in August 2010.
  • Bellingham, WA – Banned plastic bags in 2011, in the model outlined in this document;  legislation to be implement in summer 2012.
  • Washington DC – Implemented a 5 cent fee on paper and plastic bags in 2009; reduced  disposable bag use by 80% citywide in the first year.

Background -Seattle

   In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance that would have placed a 20 cent fee on disposable plastic and paper bags at grocery, drug and convenience stores in an effort to reduce waste.   The ordinance passed the Council in a 6-1 vote and then opposing parties collected enough signatures to refer the ordinance to the ballot, where it was overturned by the voters (53%-47%)  in the  November 2009 primary election.   The American Chemistry Council spent over $1.4 million opposing the law during the ballot measure campaign.

My take ~ As the ban on plastic bags is implemented and or enforced most checkers are asking if you would like to buy a cotton bag because there were no flimsy plastic available. Now, after finally getting those flimsy bags out some stores, others such as the Dollar store and Safeway came up with or possibly the plastic industry came up with a heavy-duty plastic supposedly reusable bag. I was at a Safeway and needed another bag. I honestly did not want to spend $5 and while I was looking around, I spotted a heavy-duty plastic Safeway logo on the bag with pretty colours.  I don’t don’t about you but this was a disappointing find on so many environmental official statewide ban levels though i admit it can be reused, it is quite large and was only .25 but they tear easily. I bought one to see how it would hold up and it lasted about 2hours

… so, the next question for king county is if they actually have folks checking in on stores selling heavy-duty reusable plastic bags

What plastic bags?   ugh


When 19 firefighte​rs died in Arizona

Our fallen hero Andrew Ashcraft: get the family Andrew’s benefit package that they were promised

  By Tom Ashcraft
        Change.org       https://www.change.org/petitions/                                Prescott Valley, Arizona

My name is Tom Ashcraft, father of Andrew Ashcraft and fallen Granite Mountain Hot Shot. He was a full time employee working for the City Of Prescott, Az. on June 30th, when the fire overcame him and 18 of his brothers. 19 firefighters were killed in the fire. We are all heartbroken beyond words can say.  Just as all the families are doing we too must press on to help secure the future of Andrew’s wife Juliann and his four children and help them endure the difficult times ahead.

In addition to this tragedy, the city of Prescott has officially denied paying out his benefits claiming he was not full time. This is not accurate at all. He had been working his scheduled 40 hour weeks, he had obtained their goals required of full time status and had been given a raise above that of a seasonal employee.  Because of that,  his employee file had been forwarded onto the city managers‘ office with the endorsement of his supervisors. Unfortunately, they too perished in that fire and cannot confirm this. The delay in the process is the primary reason for their not approving his status.  Nonetheless, he was verbally assured of his status, he was working his required schedule as a full time employee, being paid as a full time employee therefore is due full time benefits.
It is not only our family’s belief, but our community, as well as many around this great nation that the City of Prescott, specifically the Mayor and City Council, should immediately approve Andrew Ashcraft’s benefits that will provide a secure future for his wife Juliann, Ryder (6), Shiloh (4), Tate (3), and Choice (18 mo).
Please stand with us, our family, our community by signing this petition to enforce the prompt processing of his benefits. With your help, together we can make this change.
Mayor and City Council, agreeing with the words on his bracelet that Andrew wore until he perished – you too now have the opportunity to “Be Better”.
Thank you,
Tom Ashcraft

Progressive Radio in Seattle Update, 6-18-13

We are looking into collaborating with Northwest Progressive Institute

Andrew Villeneuve, American political activist and entrepreneur and founder of NW Progressive Institute (http://www.nwprogressive.org/), attended our meeting at the recommendation of Chip Hanauer. NPI does media, outreach, advocacy and research for progressive causes. Andrew shared thoughts and contacts that might make our collaboration effective.

We are all invited to NPI’s 10th annual picnic, Aug. 22, Perrigo Park in Redmond! We are planning to have a table there to let more people know about what we’re doing.

Planning for an event in Seattle

A group of volunteers had their first planning meeting for Progressive Radio Seattle (PRS) Reunion/Rally Planning on June 5.  They want to create an event in the early fall.  If you are interested in helping with this or being involved in any way, please contact: travelinla@speakeasy.net

Other news

We are actively building our Progressive Radio Seattle website, and we plan to have it go live this summer.

We have a volunteer who has offered to help with our database.  We also have business people, legal experts, event planners, radio and media personalities and progressive radio advocates who have been meeting with us and sharing their skills and ideas.

If you know anyone who hasn’t signed our petition, please send them the link:


Gondolas could help Seattle rise above traffic mess, some say

By Mike Lindblom
Seattle Times transportation reporter


As crosstown traffic becomes intolerable, a few Seattle thinkers are suggesting a gondola as the best way out of the mess.

One possible route would go from the light-rail station being built on Capitol Hill to Olympic Sculpture Park, serving the South Lake Union, Seattle Center and Belltown areas. Another idea would run overhead cars between downtown and the central waterfront.

The Capitol Hill gondola is championed by Matt Roewe, of VIA Architecture, and Matt Gangemi, better known among transit wonks as Matt the Engineer.

Roewe’s trial-balloon essay about the gondola proclaims, “Rise Above it all, for real this time,” reprising the old slogan of the never-built, 14-mile Green Line monorail.

The idea is to provide a gondolicious alternative to the Route 8 bus, which sits in stop-and-go traffic most weeknights on Denny Way. “It’s not unusual to wait 30 minutes for the 8,” said Gangemi. “We need east-west connections.”

Gangemi said he worked in college at a ski resort with gondolas, and has long admired the 1962 World’s Fair, which included the Union 76 SkyRide gondola, now at the Puyallup fairgrounds. He first publicly mentioned his Capitol Hill brainstorm in a 2011 post at Citytank blog, “Glass bubbles in the sky.”

Meanwhile, businessman Hal Griffith is researching another concept, with slightly more political traction, for a gondola from downtown to the central waterfront.

Griffith, owner of the new giant Ferris wheel on the waterfront, has discussed generalities with some business and city leaders. He said a gondola could move visitors from parking spaces near the state convention center to the shoreline.

City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chairman of the council’s Transportation Committee, likes the idea of helping people reach the waterfront while road and seawall construction are creating years of obstacles.

“It could be successful, it could be useful,” he said. “I’m interested in following up with him.

“The other attractive part is, he wants to pay for it,” Rasmussen said.

Griffith, who along with his family owns Miners Landing on Pier 57, built the Seattle Great Wheel on the pier last year.

There is no political groundswell for a Capitol Hill transit gondola. Even Roewe called it a pipe dream in an interview, but added, “I was shocked at how many people thought it was not just a valid concept, but desirable.”

Roewe may have shot himself in the foot by suggesting a gondola terminus within a soaring 400-foot-high building at the Capitol Hill light-rail station along Broadway, which he calls the cherry on top.

“It would be such a huge structure, it might look like something out of ‘War of the Worlds,’ ” Rasmussen said.

Still, supporters say now is the time to build, before South Lake Union becomes too full of buildings to allow room for a gondola route.

Other citizens have suggested lines up Queen Anne Hill, climbing Yesler Way, spanning the Montlake Cut, even reaching West Seattle or Ballard.

A common criticism is the threat to privacy, if riders peer down through condo dwellers’ windows. The Fairmont Olympic Hotel might not appreciate a downtown skyride overhead, said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw.

Aerial lines, with costs similar to streetcars, have made greater progress in Seattle’s neighbor cities.

• Portland has a tram going two-thirds of a mile from the Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital to the new south waterfront area, built for $57 million and carrying 3,700 riders a day.

• In Vancouver, a $120 million, 1.7-mile Burnaby Mountain Gondola is an option to replace diesel buses that climb from the nearest SkyTrain station to Simon Fraser University.

“The gondola is a great idea,” said Gordon Price, director of the SFU City Program and a former Vancouver city councilor.

For a long-term cost of about $10 million more than operating and replacing buses, the gondola would cut travel time by eight minutes, said a study for B.C. TransLink.

Price thinks it will be built, but not in the next few years, because of other demands for money for at least three high-capacity train projects.

A similar avalanche of requests for transit in Seattle means that any gondola here would be a longshot.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @mikelindblom