Get Out Your Ice Skates

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When a young genius at City Hall helped launch a plan to complete the Burke-Gilman bike trail along the Ballard waterfront, he wrote that historic markers would be erected along the route to honor the maritime businesses that once operated beside the trail.

Two decades later, the maritime businesses are still there, both vibrant and stubborn enough to wage a battle that may be ending with a long elusive compromise agreed to by some members of the maritime business community, the City of Seattle and the Cascade Bicycle Club.…

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EPA Food For Thought

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President Trump’s nominee, Scott Pruitt, was finally confirmed to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), infuriating environmental advocates and Democrats who claim Pruitt will rollback regulations with ruthless relish. We have no idea if that’s true, but a few experts will provide their insights about the road ahead at the March 1 community meeting of the Manufacturing Industrial Council.

Significant local changes are probably doubtful due to the historic strength of the NW environmental movement, and the large layers of local environmental rules.…

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Optimism in 2016(!)

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Both candidates for Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction were well-meaning people with good qualifications. However, the winner, Chris Reykdal, brings a resume that is exceptionally well-aligned with the challenges and opportunities that abound in the highly worrisome content area of career learning.

Many assume – wrongly – that career learning is a relic of the past and “shop class” is dead.…

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Seattle Freight Plan – Just in Time Delivery

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Some are already making an argument to narrow the width of the new surface roadway that will line Seattle’s central waterfront after the Alaskan Way Viaduct is removed. Which is one reason to appreciate the business community volunteers, city staff and elected leaders who finally succeeded in enacting a City of Seattle Freight Mobility Plan.

Adopted in September, the freight plan classifies the waterfront road as a Major truck street.…

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Nowhere to Hide

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SODO businesses use to worry about “hide and ride” commuters – a term for those who parked in the industrial area, then commuted into downtown Seattle.  Like the U.S. presidential race, the hide and riders can make us pine for the good old days compared with present homeless issues.

Industrial areas loom large in Seattle as the Mayor and City Council continue their search for safe and sane approaches to homelessness.…

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Fighting the Good Fight (And, Winning It)

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It looked like a close call when the Seattle City Council voted 5-4 in May to withhold a street vacation essential to construction of a third SODO sports arena. But Seattle City Hall might be the only place where the arena vote is close.

The vote was supported by all 10 elected port commissioners from Seattle and Tacoma, representing the voters of King and Pierce Counties.…

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Manufacturing. Hip?

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Manufacturing, hip? You don’t often see those two words next to one another. And you would not see them here except for the Broadway smash, Hamilton, celebrating our most unsung founding father, Alexander Hamilton – the illegitimate immigrant who left a big footprint, by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter. It’s a musical.…

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Family-Wage Summit June 29

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Danielle Candelaria says it is difficult to overstate the value of learning she could weld. It happened through a high school welding class when she was a sophomore wondering if she would ever get a degree. “A lot of people had given up on me, I wasn’t fitting in. Welding gave me an outlet. Everything I have, I have because of it – a job, friends, a life.”

Today, Candelaria has more than six years of experience as a shipyard and pipeline welder.…

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Beyond the Junction

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The Governor’s new plan to ease traffic congestion on Interstate 405 was announced February 16 with an odd caveat from Jeff Merrill, president of the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association.  Merrill warned that in some key spots the new 405 plan fails to provide enough space to pull over errant drivers, a limiting factor for enforcing traffic laws.

According to a news account, Merrill said the Governor’s plan might make existing conditions worse.…

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Helping Kids & Burning Bridges

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If you want to bring back shop class, Randy Dorn is your guy.

As the elected Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction, he helped launch the Core Plus learning initiative based on industry-validated career skills. For this, Dorn should be remembered fondly by thousands of students, their parents, and the industrial business community as Dorn retires as superintendent at the end of 2016.…

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Core Plus: High School Matters

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Machine Shop at Rainier Beach High School

“Education” usually ranks high on lists of what’s wrong with America.  And, in some ways, that’s just plain dumb.

The nation is still home to good kids, motivated teachers and successful instructional programs. All three are part of a smart new program in the State of Washington called Core Plus.

The initiative achieved a major milestone this summer when The Boeing Company hired three dozen graduates straight out of high school.…

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James Lovelock, Gaia Guru

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Raging Grannies Raging Grandpa?

Stephen Hawking is the brilliant scientist who wrote the best seller, A Brief History of Time. James Lovelock’s scientific resume is so long and lofty he used to work with Hawking’s dad, Frank. They met in the 1940s at the British National Institute for Medical Research where Lovelock was searching for ways to help heal burn victims from World War II.…

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SODO Traffic – Look Out!

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      Not SODO

Topic? SODO traffic. Location? Corner of 1st Avenue South and Edgar Martinez Way. A TV news crew was conducting the interview when a cargo truck sideswiped a car in a nearby lane, forcing the car up over the curb and across the sidewalk where one tire ran over my left foot. The TV crew dispersed like bowling pens.…

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Getting Greener

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Emissions Reducer Emissions Increaser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less volume and more listening might help Seattle learn something from the kayactivist kerfuffle over Arctic Drilling.

Contrary to the commercial jetliner fly-in by out-of-town activists to portray Seattle as a portal to climate change perdition, our region has a very good track record for green industrial innovation.…

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Sally Jewell, Gaia & Arctic Drilling

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Jewell Gaia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally Jewell is a former CEO for Seattle’s homegrown company that sells top flight outdoor gear, REI. In that role, her work for conservation causes earned her the Rachel Carson Award in 2009 from the national Audubon Society.

When President Obama nominated Jewell just two years ago to join his personal leadership team as the U.S.…

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Seattle’s Slippery Slope on Arctic Oil

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Wonder what a mirror has to do with it? If so, join us for a spin through the Evergreen State and the Emerald City to learn about the benefits, challenges, and hallucinations induced by our collective consumption of Arctic Oil.

City Councilmembers and the Mayor of Seattle say it is a moral imperative for Seattle Port Commissioners to NOT accept revenue from companies engaged in arctic oil exploration.…

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Raise Hell, Sell Papers

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Nordstrom. The Boeing Company. The UW Athletic Department. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Republican Party. The Democratic Party. Former Governor Chris Gregoire. Current Governor Jay Inslee. Former US Senator Brock Adams.

These are among the luminaries in our universe who found reasons over the past 30 years to wob up pages of the Seattle Times newspaper and throw them at the nearest wall.…

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Small Businesses – Bigger Voice?

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During Seattle’s debate about the minimum wage, the University of Washington published a report that included compelling data that never seeped through the sloganeering.

In 2012, according to state records cited by the UW report, 75% of all Seattle employers had fewer than 10 workers each. That percentage of micro-to-small employers grows to an astounding 94% if you include firms with fewer than 50 employees.…

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15 Beast Modes

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Everybody Needs A Good Ground Game

Amid all the overwrought hype that surrounds the Super Bowl, it is sobering to remember that by some standards, the NFL really isn’t much. For instance, it generates far less money than most people think. The league and its members take in about $11 billion per year in gross revenues. That might sound like a lot, but not if you put it into context.…

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Boeing, Bertha, Billions

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$166 Billion.

That’s how much business revenue was generated by manufacturing inside the State of Washington in 2013. The number comes from the Washington State Department of Revenue from income reports that must be filed by every business for its operations within the state to calculate state tax liabilities.

To put $166 billion into context, it was more than all the in-state revenues reported in 2013 by all car and truck dealers, all grocery stores, all gas stations, all department stores, all restaurants, all bars, all theaters, all sports stadiums, all sports teams (including the Mariners and Seahawks), all software publishers, all internet publishers, all telecommunications firms (including those that are wireless), all computer service businesses, all law firms, all accounting firms, all architectural firms, all doctors’ offices, and all hospitals.…

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Summit at Safeco

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Ellis Pavilion

November 19, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Presentations, tour, social hour

RSVP to tory@seattleindustry.org

 

 

 

 

 

A New Equation?

About 670 local elected leaders possess authority to tap the property tax base of King County to fund local infrastructure and government services. Only five – that’s 5 – are primarily focused on economic development.

That tiny band is comprised of the Seattle Port Commission.Their leadership cluster could double in size to 10 members if the new Seaport Alliance is created to unify marine cargo operations under the leadership of the elected port commissioners for Tacoma and Seattle.…

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Answered Prayers

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On a recent trade mission to China, Tacoma Port Commission President Clare Petrich stopped at a shrine with a tree where visitors can post prayer offerings. She wrote one and hung it up, “praying for the success of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.”

Petrich’s prayer was amazing for at least two reasons. First, there is not much precedent for Tacoma interceding on behalf of Seattle in prayer or anything else (or vice versa).…

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Drinking Water?!?! Yikes!

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 Alki shower… the terror that waits?

It took barely one day for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to re-open the Alki Beach shower for swimmers after it was abruptly turned off in late July. The closure, which made front page news, was the result of a miscommunication between city agencies.

But the snafu also illustrated the growing complexity of environmental regulations.

The shower water is safe enough to drink – literally.…

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Meals on Wheels (along with everything else)

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Alaska trade, Asian marine cargo traffic, downtown Seattle retailers and Pacific Northwest industrial firms all contribute to the hybrid freight mix in SODO. So do regional systems for fuel distribution and garbage disposal, along with heavy gauge railroad service, Sound Transit Light Rail, and two professional sports stadiums that are sites for concerts and conventions when not hosting more than 100 major league sporting events per year.…

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