Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Audio/Video’ Category

Seattle wants takeover of mismanaged Indian commission

by September 25th, 2012

A Seattle City Council committee Wednesday will hold a public hearing and then likely approve for a full council vote soon afterward a resolution to take over the floundering Seattle Indian Services Commission. A city public development authority formed in 1972 to help facilitate delivery of social services to the city’s Native American population, the Commission has suffered a major meltdown in the last several years. Its Pearl Warren Building at 606 12th Ave. S. at the eastern edge of Seattle’s International District has $2.5 million in unmitigated water damage. Its main tenant, whose monthly rent is key to paying for those repairs and retiring $6.7 million in outstanding debt tied to bonds which got the structure and a neighboring facility built, is the non-profit Seattle Indian Health Board. The board occupies space in both the Warren building and the commission’s adjacent Leschi Center at 611 12th Ave. S., and had been threatening to move out unless it could take over the properties and fix the problem. But the pending resolution leaves open for now the exact specifics of future control. Meanwhile the city has spent upwards of $120,000 on emergency repairs and studies on solving the water infiltration problem; and the commission, which has no staff of its own at present, owes more than $75,000 in back rent.

This Is Your Land: On Lummi Mountain – The Video

by September 24th, 2012

Lummi Island is the northeastern-most of the San Juan islands in Washington State, and is reached via a small car ferry operated by Whatcom County. It’s a lovely, quiet place and public lands to visit include numerous shorelines and beaches plus several nature reserves overseen by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust. One such excursion, not to be missed, is the 1.6 mile hike – with a 1,056 foot elevation gain – on Lummi Mountain in the Baker Preserve. It goes to the scenic lookout over Rosario Strait and the San Juans. I had a chance to do that this summer. Here’s the video.

More from the Lummi island Heritage Trust on the Baker Preserve’s history.

In 2007, Lummi Island Heritage Trust, the San Juan Preservation Trust, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife succeeded in permanently protecting the 435 acre Baker Ranch on the west side of Lummi Island. This conservation partnership raised the $3.67 million necessary to complete the project with the help of Heritage Trust and Preservation Trust members, state and federal grants, and a league of private donors.

The Baker Ranch was one of the largest and most visible unprotected shoreline properties in the San Juan Islands. The Ranch includes a diverse mix of old growth and mature forest, grassy balds, wetlands, farmland, and over one mile of saltwater shoreline. Today, conservation easements limit development of the 435 acre property and ensure permanent protection of the land’s natural values. The San Juan Preservation Trust holds conservation easements on 355 acres and the Department of Fish and Wildlife holds a conservation easement on the remainder of the property.

The entrance for hikers is on Seacrest Drive on Lummi island, about one-third of a mile south of Sunrise Road. No dogs allowed on the trail.

For a meadowlands walk on Lummi Island with views of Mount Baker some sixty miles east on the mainland in the North Cascades, explore the Heritage Trust’s Curry Preserve.


Map/directions to Lummi Island Ferry; ferry schedule.

This Is Your Land: Melakwa Lake – The video,” Public Data Ferret.

Public Data Ferret is a news knowledge base program of the 501c3 public charity, Public Eye Northwest. Ferret In The News. Donate; subscribe (free)/volunteer.

“Quick Stop” Skills Key To Passing WA Motorcycle Test

by September 20th, 2012

Washington residents who’d like to drive a motorcycle have to pass a riding skills test to get the added “endorsement” on their driver’s license. The state Department of Licensing guide to the process says you can do it in one step at an approved motorcycle training school, or in two steps starting with a knowledge test that gets you an instructional permit to ride before taking the riding skills test. There are five key riding skills tested: cone weave and normal stop; turn from a stop, and U-turn; obstacle swerve; quick stop; and handling curves. DOL has been releasing instructional videos on its YouTube channel for each of the five riding test skills. Today the department posted the “quick stop” video. We’re providing it below, for the convenience of future test-takers.

You’ll find the other four episodes in the right margin, here.

RELATED: DOL’s YouTube channel.

Public Data Ferret is a news knowledge base program of the 501c3 public charity, Public Eye Northwest. Ferret In The News. Donate; subscribe (free)/volunteer.

Cuba smackdown of rights testifier to U.S. Senate backfires

by June 30th, 2012

Earlier this month in Cuba, peaceful political dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, or “Antunez,” was jailed, beaten and pepper sprayed. This took place just three days after he testified to a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the Cuban government’s repression of citizens’ free speech rights. Though for thousands of Cuban citizens such harassment has long been common, acts of repression in Cuba burgeoned last year, according to the Cuba section of a recent global human rights report from the U.S. Department of State. In 2011, The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation counted a total of 4,123 short-term detentions, a 99 percent increase over 2010, according to the State Department report. This year’s pace is even higher, with documented political arrests in Cuba at more than 2,400 since January; 1,158 in March alone, according to testimony of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) at the subcommittee hearing earlier this month.

Documenting witness intimidation by phone – legally

by January 11th, 2012

Since a Washington State Supreme Court ruling in 2008, King County Jail authorities have been able to continue legally recording phone calls made by detainees. County prosecutors say calls by those charged with domestic violence especially can yield valuable evidence. Signs near phone areas warn all detainees their calls will be recorded and potentially incriminating statements may be used against them. This does not always prevent them from instructing their alleged victims not to testify, or threatening them, as shown in a recent episode of the The Justice Files from King County TV.

One in three murders in King County are domestic violence-related, says King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

More episodes of The Justice Files here. Also see King County TV’s YouTube channel.

RELATED: King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor David Martin was part of a research team which supervised analysis of recordings of 25 Washington State felony domestic violence detainees using phone calls to try to convince their wives or girlfriends to recant. The article was published in July 2011 in the journal Social Science and Medicine and is titled, “‘Meet me at the hill where we used to park’: Interpersonal processes associated with victim recantation.” The authors conclude that detainees use a common set of emotional tactics to urge recantation and that victim advocates should work to raise awareness among victims of these tactics.

Public Data Ferret’s King County+Courts archive

Donate to our 501c3 tax-exempt parent non-profit, Public Eye Northwest.

Mercer Island High band slays ’em at the Rose Parade

by January 3rd, 2012

The Mercer Island High School marching band delivered a high-energy performance at the 123rd annual Rose Parade 952 miles from home Monday in Pasadena, capping a highly anticipated five-day trip of music and sightseeing. Several band members share their impressions of the big day on the band’s Rose Parade trip blog here. Their performance earned a warm reaction along the parade route. Video is below. Note the shot from the Goodyear Blimp at the end of the clip, as the band rounds the famous parade route corner of Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards.

Highlights of the trip before Parade Day included performances at the Rose Parade Band Fest and at Disneyland, and trips to the Getty Museum, Universal Studios and the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood – after which band members created a spectacle moshing and singing in the street. From the “Trip – Day Three” post on the band’s blog:

Hyped on adrenaline, the band was treated to Universal Studios and the city walk where we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. By far the highlight of the entire trip so far was the impromptu dance party the band had. They had a DJ in the square and we moshed like there was no tomorrow. The band tore up the dance floor and while waiting for the buses, sang all the songs in our repertoire and chanted all our favorite MIHS cheers. Even the security guards couldn’t help but smile and get caught up in the moment. I can guarantee that no other band in the Rose Parade had the spirit to come together like we did tonight. Describing today’s events is impossible to do justice and like the bus driver for bus #1 said, ”coming to the Rose Parade isn’t just an experience, it’s an adventure.” There’s no place like band!

The MIHS band played at a new year’s celebration in London last year – reported here by the Seattle Times – and also marched in the Rose Parade in 2006. The band is directed by Parker Bixby with assistance from Ryan Lane and other band directors in the district’s highly-regarded music program. Numerous parent chaperones and volunteers also assisted during and before this year’s trip.

(Full Disclosure: my son is a member of the band).

Our Public Data Ferret news knowledge base is a project of the 501c3 public charity Public Eye Northwest.

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A salmon story: Public Data Ferret on KUOW-FM, Seattle public radio

by December 31st, 2011

Dec. 30th KUOW-FM Seattle 94.9 public radio aired at 4:30 p.m. PST an interview segment with me discussing a recent story written for Public Eye Northwest‘s Public Data Ferret news knowledge base. The topic was a new comprehensive report by government researchers on some very serious troubles faced by adult coho salmon returning to spawn in the restored urban streams of the Seattle area.

Here’s the segment (mp3). My thanks to KUOW’s News Director Guy Nelson, who conducted and edited the interview.

Here’s the original story at Public Data Ferret.