Reader Editorial: Where’s the Leadership Around Planned January 2019 Closure of SR 99 in Seattle?

January 2019 Closure of SR 99 in Seattle brings nightmares

STATEWIDE MEDIA & BUSINESS ALERT- 
3 WEEK INTERSTATE HIWAY CLOSURE STATE & PUGET SOUND TRANSPORTATION NIGHTMARE. 
WHY THE MADNESS? WHY NO LEADERSHIP? 

Dear Editor:
Hello. You may or may not have seen the friendly reminder emails that state of Washington plans to CLOSE DOWN a major north-south interstate hiway 99 in the middle of Seattle for (a minimum) of 3 weeks in January 2019 (the middle of the winter) while they tear down the viaduct and open the new toll tunnel. What is truly astonishing is that there is absolutely NO help from any government agency to help emergency providers, citizens, business and transporters that drive through this state, the Puget Sound region and the City of Seattle except periodic friendly reminders and a sad list of homey tips- if you happen to subscribe to email from WSDOT-Seattle Area Traffic News.. 
Where the hell is leadership and resources to get this state’s residents through 3+ week closure Hiway 99 viadict? INTERSTATE HIWAY 99 carries 100,000 cars a day. IT’S beyoe APPALLING. NO PLANS NOR no BUDGET FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATIOM MEASURES HAVE EVEN BEEN DISCUSSED.

This is it folks: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/realign99 . See below for the list of friendly suggestions for geting through this traffic nightmare. And they promise ONLY 3 weeks? Really. Hmmm.
Where are the EXTRA BUSES that should have been brought into the region, staffed and ready to go along with the extra service and additional routes before this closure is put in place? NOTHING has been done. EXTRA TRAINS? NOPE. What’ coordination has been done with major employers to handle commuting traffic? Has the state/region/city reached out to small and medium business? How will this KILL business even further. How about small service providers. How do working mom’s get to daycare before they close? (Editor’s Note: although mom’s definitely have the toughest job in the world, ALL parents’s and citizen’s needs should be met).  What’s the EMERGENCY PLAN? What if we have THE earthquake?

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Ben Bridge Jeweler Launches In-Store

Ben Bridge Jeweler, the distinguished family-run fine jeweler with over 90 retail stores in 11 states and one province, has announced a progressive new store concept and full interior and exterior redesign. Award-winning, Seattle-based architecture and interior design firm SkB Architects was commissioned to develop an engaging, interactive environment to optimize the shopping experience. The redesign has begun with its Westfield Southcenter Mall heritage store, which is now open. The store will celebrate the official grand re-opening on September 12, 2018, and the redesign concept will roll out to additional store locations in the near future.

Ben Bridge Jeweler Launches In-Store

Ben Bridge

Ben Bridge was founded by a watchmaker and today has one of the largest cohorts of watchmakers in the country. Thestore showcases this impressive heritage in the art of watchmaking, and the new store concept capitalizes on this artisanal tradition, putting it at the literal forefront as the first thing shoppers experience when entering the store. The all new ‘Alchemy Lab’, crafted with meticulous details like the woven leather watchband door, allows customers to actually observe watchmakers at work, seeing firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into fine timepieces.

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John Oppenheimer Named to Anthony's Board

Budd Gould, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Anthony’s Restaurants, is excited to announce John Oppenheimer, Founder and CEO of Columbia Hospitality, as the newest member of the Anthony’s Board of Directors.

JOHN OPPENHEIMER Joins BOARD FOR ANTHONY’S RESTAURANTSJohn Oppenheimer

Over the past 25 years, Mr. Oppenheimer has founded successful, private hospitality-related businesses. John was a founding general partner of Seattle Hotel Group, the investment group that developed the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Seattle. In 1995, he founded Columbia Hospitality to manage Bell Harbor International Conference Center for the Port of Seattle.
“I’ve known Budd (Gould) since Columbia Hospitality was formed to operate Bell Harbor International Conference Center at Pier 66 in Seattle,” says Mr. Oppenheimer. “Anthony’s was building a restaurant at the same time and we collaborated together to help the Port of Seattle transform Seattle’s waterfront. Anthony’s is a Northwest icon that doesn’t sit still. It continues to evolve, refresh and enhance its operations. I am particularly impressed with the focus on team members, family feeling and constant attention to both team and the customer.” Continue reading “John Oppenheimer Named to Anthony's Board”

Gail Benzler Joins Seattle Tennis and Education Foundation as Executive Director

Seattle Tennis and Education (STEF) is proud to announce Gail Benzler as its Executive Director. STEF, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2017, provides athletic conditioning, tennis training and educational enrichment to under-resourced youth in Seattle. STEF recognizes that not every child and not every family has access to quality schools, a top education and opportunities to play lifetime sports like tennis. STEF aims to help level the playing field for kids across the Seattle area. Benzler is a longtime Bellevue resident and the organization has plans to expand to the Eastside in 2019.

Seattle Tennis and Education Foundation

Seattle Tennis and Education (STEF) has announced that Gail Benzler has been named its Executive Director. STEF, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2017, provides athletic conditioning, tennis training and educational enrichment to under-resourced youth in Seattle. STEF recognizes that not every child and not every family has access to quality schools, a top education and opportunities to play lifetime sports like tennis. STEF aims to help level the playing field for kids across the Seattle area. Benzler is a longtime Bellevue resident and the organization has plans to expand to the Eastside in 2019.

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WWStay and Seattle-Based RESIDE Form Partnership

RESIDE and WWStay Partner Up for Travelers

WWStay logoSeattle-based RESIDE Worldwide alternative accommodation and WWStay, a technology platform announced today a partnership that provides customized solutions to clients procuring and booking vetted accommodations for the their travelers.
“Mobility, Project and Travel managers have long been searching for a single platform for booking and procuring vetted extended stay accommodations. We are excited to now offer a complete suite of alternative accommodation tools that seamlessly integrates with legacy travel management systems including the GDS,” says Jon Wohlfert, co-CEO and Founding Partner of RESIDE.
“Combining WWStay’s booking technology with RESIDE’s access to alternative accommodations inventory and our collective supplier management processes and tools is a powerful solution to those seeking to provide a fully integrated extended stay solution.” Says Rajeev Goswami, CEO of WWStay Continue reading “WWStay and Seattle-Based RESIDE Form Partnership”

RESIDE Worldwide and WWStay Join Forces

RESIDE and WWStay Partnership to Benefit Users

Reside Worldwide logoSeattle-based RESIDE Worldwide alternative accommodation and WWStay, a technology platform announced today a partnership that provides customized solutions to clients procuring and booking vetted accommodations for the their travelers.

“Mobility, Project and Travel managers have long been searching for a single platform for booking and procuring vetted extended stay accommodations. We are excited to now offer a complete suite of alternative accommodation tools that seamlessly integrates with legacy travel management systems including the GDS,” says Jon Wohlfert, co-CEO and Founding Partner of RESIDE.

“Combining WWStay’s booking technology with RESIDE’s access to alternative accommodations inventory and our collective supplier management processes and tools is a powerful solution to those seeking to provide a fully integrated extended stay solution.” Says Rajeev Goswami, CEO of WWStay Continue reading “RESIDE Worldwide and WWStay Join Forces”

Homelessness Beware: Businesses Band Together with Pearl Jam

Homelessness Begone: Seattle businesses join Pearl Jam in calling for shared strategy to fight homelessness

Pearl Jam The Home Shows for HomelessnessIn conjunction with Pearl Jam’s Home Shows concerts at Safeco Field this week, more than 50 businesses today released a letter committing to a shared strategy toward fighting homelessness in the region.
Along with the letter, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard released this statement:
“There is simply no way to address homelessness in our region without the work of all of us. This is not an issue that government, nonprofits, philanthropy or individuals alone can solve. We need everyone — and that includes the business community. Businesses have innovative ideas, resources and employees eager to be engaged. We’ve been thrilled by the role Seattle’s business community has played in the Home Shows. We’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration as we work toward a shared strategy to fighting homelessness.”
The full text of the letter follows.

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Seattle Area Businesses Join Pearl Jam to Call for Shared Strategy on Homelessness

Pearl Jam ‘s Seattle Shows for Homelessness Cause Local Businesses to Call for Unity

Pearl Jam The Home Shows for HomelessnessPearl Jam ‘s amazing Home Shows concerts at Safeco Field this week have had a great effect already:  causing more than 50 businesses to release a letter committing to a shared strategy toward fighting homelessness in the region. It is hoped that this will be the beginning of a viable plan and solution that can be modeled all over the United States and beyond.
Along with the letter, Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard released this statement:
“There is simply no way to address homelessness in our region without the work of all of us. This is not an issue that government, nonprofits, philanthropy or individuals alone can solve. We need everyone — and that includes the business community. Businesses have innovative ideas, resources and employees eager to be engaged. We’ve been thrilled by the role Seattle’s business community has played in the Home Shows. We’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration as we work toward a shared strategy to fighting homelessness.”
The full text of the letter follows:

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Francis Montojo, Seattle Native Plays a Key Role in Unique Navy Mission

A 1998 Fairfield High School graduate and Seattle native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard Commander, Submarine Group 9.

Francis Montojo
Lt. Cmdr. Francis Montojo, a strategic weapons officer, serves at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington, not far from Seattle. 

As a strategic weapons officer, Montojo is responsible for overseeing training, operations and certification of the submarine force with expertise in strategic weapons systems matters.

“I enjoy the people I work with,” Montojo said. “They are very motivated, talented and a close-knit group of people. Submariners are a very special group of people in respect to the skills and how close we become through adversity.”

Montojo draws from lessons learned growing up in Seattle.

“Commitment, perseverance and looking out for one another has helped me to continue to push forward and ensure mission accomplishment,” Montojo said.

Guided-missile submarines provide unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, the submarine performs its mission with a much lower level of risk than what would normally be experienced when deploying this level of capability from surface or air platforms. 

The Ohio-class platform capitalizes on its existing strengths of endurance and stealth in maintaining long-term station-keeping duty while forward deployed. In addition to having the ability to deploy more than 150 tactical missiles, the platform can also be configured to support dedicated accommodations for significant numbers of special operations forces, such as Navy SEALs.

Guided-missile destroyers were converted to their present configuration from Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines. And like their nuclear-deterrent predecessors, the decades-old fleet is aging, with the oldest submarines now more than 30 years old, well past their planned service lives. A new and effective successor is critical to national security, and the Navy is well into the process of designing and fielding a more advanced ballistic missile submarine, which will provide the necessary sea-based nuclear deterrence into the 2080s and beyond.

Submarine sailors are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board. Regardless of their specialty, everyone also has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

“The men and women from across our nation who volunteer for military service embody the fundamental values of honor, courage and sacrifice that are the bedrock of our republic,” said Rear Adm. Blake Converse, Commander, Submarine Group Nine. “They protect and defend America from above, below, and across the world’s oceans. The entire nation should be extremely proud of the hard work that these sailors do every single day to support the critical mission of the Navy and the submarine force.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Montojo and other sailors know they are part of a legacy, one that will prove a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving means I’ve been able to do something to help contribute to others and do my part for my country and the rest of the world,” Montojo said. “We have such a big responsibility on the world stage and through my service I’m able to do my part.”

Utility Rent for Use of Rights-of-Way Court Rule

Utility Rent for Use of Rights-of-Way Court Rule. On August 1, 2018, King County Superior Court Judge Samuel Chung issued an oral ruling granting summary judgment to water, sewer and electric utilities that King County cannot charge the utilities rent for the use of county roads and rights-of-way. A formal order reflecting the Court’s decision will be prepared and presented to the Court in the near future.

UtilityUtility Rent for Use of Rights-of-Way Court Rule

On November 7, 2016, the King County Council adopted Ordinance 18403 purporting to authorize the imposition and collection of “rent” from water, sewer, gas and electric utilities using county roads and rights-of-way. The County anticipated the Ordinance would generate $10,000,000 per year for the County’s general fund. On December 29, 2017, King County’s Facilities Management Division adopted Rules for Determining Franchise Compensation intended to implement the Ordinance. The Rules went into effect on January 29, 2018.
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