Feb 2nd

Tukwila Pool- Candyland

By Vanessa Zaputil

Please join us at the Tukwila Pool on Sat., Feb.17 from 1-3pm for a fun Candyland themed event. There will be games, snacks, music and an Open Swim! $3.25/swimmer

Jan 23rd

Discovering the truth behind federal tax cuts

By Chuck Parrish

http://www.tukwilareporter.com/opinion/discovering-the-truth-behind-federal-tax-cuts/

Are you excited? You are likely to see an increase in your paycheck very soon thanks to the new GOP tax cut. What have we learned along the way in life? Is the devil in the details? Read the fine print? What would you say if you discovered that, while you get a few bucks in your paycheck, the majority of the tax cuts go to corporations and the rich? Will you be as excited when you learn that a good part of your paycheck increase will vanish because you cannot deduct as much from your taxes? Did you know that in 2019, when the health care mandate goes away, health care premiums are expected to jump? Don’t you just love it that for many of us, those personal tax cuts will end in about eight years while the corporate tax cuts remain?

We are patriotic. We stand for the national anthem, right? The tax cut is expected to raise the deficit by $1.47 trillion. Is that good for our country? Did you know that the Tax Policy Center, the Congressional Budget Office, and most independent economists expect a very modest bump in the growth of the economy but nowhere close to paying for the tax cut? But wait, there’s more. Congress wants to increase military spending immediately while removing defense spending from sequester rules and authorize billions for the wall and infrastructure. Do you like that Congress is already talking about cutting your Medicare and Social Security benefits? You don’t have to be an expert to see a particular trajectory here.

The economy is doing very well. Unemployment is low, the stock market is up, and corporate cash reserves are in great shape. President Trump says so and is taking full credit for it. So why the tax cuts? Sometimes things are just what they appear to be. Our self-described “like, really smart” and “very stable genius” president wanted a tax cut to help lay the groundwork for the 2018 mid-term elections. The GOP Congress expects thoughtless citizens, the “Hey, all I know is I got an increase in my paycheck” voter will send them back to Congress in 2018 before they do their taxes and see health care premiums jump.

All of the above is a cynical “throw the dog a bone then crack the whip later” strategy.

Republicans are counting on thoughtless voters to keep them in office. Democrats will not summon the courage to tell the truth about taxes because they fear that those same voters will kick them into the streets.

They are both probably right. So let’s be more thoughtful, OK?

Jan 17th

Sen. Jeff Flake's speech criticizing Trump

By Chuck Parrish

Sen. Flake compares Trump's rhetoric to Stalin 1/17/18

(CNN)Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) took to the Senate floor Wednesday to rebuke President Donald Trump for his repeated attacks on the media. Read Flake's speech as it was prepared for delivery:

Mr. President, near the beginning of the document that made us free, our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident ..." So, from our very beginnings, our freedom has been predicated on truth. The founders were visionary in this regard, understanding well that good faith and shared facts between the governed and the government would be the very basis of this ongoing idea of America.

As the distinguished former member of this body, Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, famously said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." During the past year, I am alarmed to say that Senator Moynihan's proposition has likely been tested more severely than at any time in our history.

It is for that reason that I rise today, to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, Mr. President, our democracy will not last.

2017 was a year which saw the truth -- objective, empirical, evidence-based truth -- more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government. It was a year which saw the White House enshrine "alternative facts" into the American lexicon, as justification for what used to be known simply as good old-fashioned falsehoods. It was the year in which an unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally protected free press was launched by that same White House, an assault that is as unprecedented as it is unwarranted. "The enemy of the people," was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017.

Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase "enemy of the people," that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of "annihilating such individuals" who disagreed with the supreme leader.

This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president's party. For they are shameful, repulsive statements. And, of course, the president has it precisely backward -- despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot's enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him "fake news," it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.

I dare say that anyone who has the privilege and awesome responsibility to serve in this chamber knows that these reflexive slurs of "fake news" are dubious, at best. Those of us who travel overseas, especially to war zones and other troubled areas around the globe, encounter members of US based media who risk their lives, and sometimes lose their lives, reporting on the truth. To dismiss their work as fake news is an affront to their commitment and their sacrifice.According to the International Federation of Journalists, 80 journalists were killed in 2017, and a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists documents that the number of journalists imprisoned around the world has reached 262, which is a new record. This total includes 21 reporters who are being held on "false news" charges.

Mr. President, so powerful is the presidency that the damage done by the sustained attack on the truth will not be confined to the president's time in office. Here in America, we do not pay obeisance to the powerful -- in fact, we question the powerful most ardently -- to do so is our birthright and a requirement of our citizenship -- and so, we know well that no matter how powerful, no president will ever have dominion over objective reality.

No politician will ever get to tell us what the truth is and is not. And anyone who presumes to try to attack or manipulate the truth to his own purposes should be made to realize the mistake and be held to account. That is our job here. And that is just as Madison, Hamilton, and Jay would have it.

Of course, a major difference between politicians and the free press is that the press usually corrects itself when it gets something wrong. Politicians don't.

No longer can we compound attacks on truth with our silent acquiescence. No longer can we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to these assaults on our institutions. And Mr. President, an American president who cannot take criticism -- who must constantly deflect and distort and distract -- who must find someone else to blame -- is charting a very dangerous path. And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the president adds to the danger.

Now, we are told via Twitter that today the president intends to announce his choice for the "most corrupt and dishonest" media awards. It beggars belief that an American president would engage in such a spectacle. But here we are.

And so, 2018 must be the year in which the truth takes a stand against power that would weaken it. In this effort, the choice is quite simple. And in this effort, the truth needs as many allies as possible. Together, my colleagues, we are powerful. Together, we have it within us to turn back these attacks, right these wrongs, repair this damage, restore reverence for our institutions, and prevent further moral vandalism.

Together, united in the purpose to do our jobs under the Constitution, without regard to party or party loyalty, let us resolve to be allies of the truth -- and not partners in its destruction.

It is not my purpose here to inventory all of the official untruths of the past year. But a brief survey is in order. Some untruths are trivial -- such as the bizarre contention regarding the crowd size at last year's inaugural.

But many untruths are not at all trivial -- such as the seminal untruth of the president's political career - the oft-repeated conspiracy about the birthplace of President Obama. Also not trivial are the equally pernicious fantasies about rigged elections and massive voter fraud, which are as destructive as they are inaccurate -- to the effort to undermine confidence in the federal courts, federal law enforcement, the intelligence community and the free press, to perhaps the most vexing untruth of all -- the supposed "hoax" at the heart of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

To be very clear, to call the Russia matter a "hoax" -- as the president has many times -- is a falsehood. We know that the attacks orchestrated by the Russian government during the election were real and constitute a grave threat to both American sovereignty and to our national security. It is in the interest of every American to get to the bottom of this matter, wherever the investigation leads.

Ignoring or denying the truth about hostile Russian intentions toward the United States leaves us vulnerable to further attacks. We are told by our intelligence agencies that those attacks are ongoing, yet it has recently been reported that there has not been a single cabinet-level meeting regarding Russian interference and how to defend America against these attacks. Not one. What might seem like a casual and routine untruth -- so casual and routine that it has by now become the white noise of Washington - is in fact a serious lapse in the defense of our country.

Mr. President, let us be clear. The impulses underlying the dissemination of such untruths are not benign. They have the effect of eroding trust in our vital institutions and conditioning the public to no longer trust them. The destructive effect of this kind of behavior on our democracy cannot be overstated.

Mr. President, every word that a president utters projects American values around the world. The values of free expression and a reverence for the free press have been our global hallmark, for it is our ability to freely air the truth that keeps our government honest and keeps a people free. Between the mighty and the modest, truth is the great leveler. And so, respect for freedom of the press has always been one of our most important exports.

But a recent report published in our free press should raise an alarm. Reading from the story:

"In February...Syrian President Bashar Assad brushed off an Amnesty International report that some 13,000 people had been killed at one of his military prisons by saying, "You can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era."

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has complained of being "demonized" by "fake news." Last month, the report continues, with our President, quote "laughing by his side" Duterte called reporters "spies."

In July, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complained to the Russian propaganda outlet, that the world media had "spread lots of false versions, lots of lies" about his country, adding, "This is what we call 'fake news' today, isn't it?"

There are more:

"A state official in Myanmar recently said, "There is no such thing as Rohingya. It is fake news," referring to the persecuted ethnic group.

Leaders in Singapore, a country known for restricting free speech, have promised "fake news" legislation in the new year."

And on and on. This feedback loop is disgraceful, Mr. President. Not only has the past year seen an American president borrow despotic language to refer to the free press, but it seems he has in turn inspired dictators and authoritarians with his own language. This is reprehensible.

We are not in a "fake news" era, as Bashar Assad says. We are, rather, in an era in which the authoritarian impulse is reasserting itself, to challenge free people and free societies, everywhere.

In our own country, from the trivial to the truly dangerous, it is the range and regularity of the untruths we see that should be cause for profound alarm, and spur to action. Add to that the by-now predictable habit of calling true things false, and false things true, and we have a recipe for disaster. As George Orwell warned, "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."

Any of us who have spent time in public life have endured news coverage we felt was jaded or unfair. But in our positions, to employ even idle threats to use laws or regulations to stifle criticism is corrosive to our democratic institutions. Simply put: it is the press's obligation to uncover the truth about power. It is the people's right to criticize their government. And it is our job to take it.

What is the goal of laying siege to the truth? President John F. Kennedy, in a stirring speech on the 20th anniversary of the Voice of America, was eloquent in answer to that question:

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

Mr. President, the question of why the truth is now under such assault may well be for historians to determine. But for those who cherish American constitutional democracy, what matters is the effect on America and her people and her standing in an increasingly unstable world -- made all the more unstable by these very fabrications. What matters is the daily disassembling of our democratic institutions.

We are a mature democracy -- it is well past time that we stop excusing or ignoring -- or worse, endorsing -- these attacks on the truth. For if we compromise the truth for the sake of our politics, we are lost.

I sincerely thank my colleagues for their indulgence today. I will close by borrowing the words of an early adherent to my faith that I find has special resonance at this moment. His name was John Jacques, and as a young missionary in England he contemplated the question: "What is truth?" His search was expressed in poetry and ultimately in a hymn that I grew up with, titled "Oh Say, What is Truth." It ends as follows:

"Then say, what is truth? 'Tis the last and the first,

For the limits of time it steps o'er.

Tho the heavens depart and the earth's fountains burst.

Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,

Eternal... unchanged... evermore."

 

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.

Jan 17th

Mr. President, stop attacking the press, by Senator John McCain

By Chuck Parrish

This is from the 1/17/18 Washington Post

John McCain, a Republican, represents Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

After leaving office, President Ronald Reagan created the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to recognize individuals who have fought to spread liberty worldwide. Nancy Reagan continued the tradition after her husband's death, and in 2008 she bestowed the honor on human rights icon Natan Sharansky, who credited Reagan's strong defense of freedom for his own survival in Soviet gulags. Reagan recognized that as leader of the free world, his words carried enormous weight, and he used them to inspire the unprecedented spread of democracy around the world.

President Trump does not seem to understand that his rhetoric and actions reverberate in the same way. He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing "fake news awards" upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with. Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 2017 was one of the most dangerous years to be a journalist. Last year, the organization documented 262 cases of journalists being imprisoned for their work. Reporters around the world face intimidation, threats of violence, harassment, persecution and sometimes even death as governments resort to brutal censorship to silence the truth.

This assault on journalism and free speech proceeds apace in places such as Russia, Turkey, China, Egypt, Venezuela and many others. Yet even more troubling is the growing number of attacks on press freedom in traditionally free and open societies, where censorship in the name of national security is becoming more common. Britain passed a surveillance law that experts warn chills free speech, and countries from France to Germany are looking to do the same. In Malta, a prominent journalist was brutally murdered in October after uncovering systemic government corruption. In Poland, an independent news outlet was fined (later rescinded) nearly half a million dollars for broadcasting images of an anti-government protest.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration's attitude toward such behavior has been inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worst. While administration officials often condemn violence against reporters abroad, Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets. This has provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit. The phrase "fake news" — granted legitimacy by an American president — is being used by autocrats to silence reporters, undermine political opponents, stave off media scrutiny and mislead citizens. CPJ documented 21 cases in 2017 in which journalists were jailed on "fake news" charges.

Trump's attempts to undermine the free press also make it more difficult to hold repressive governments accountable. For decades, dissidents and human rights advocates have relied on independent investigations into government corruption to further their fight for freedom. But constant cries of "fake news" undercut this type of reporting and strip activists of one of their most powerful tools of dissent.

We cannot afford to abdicate America's long-standing role as the defender of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world. Without strong leadership in the White House, Congress must commit to protecting independent journalism, preserving an open and free media environment, and defending the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression.

We can do this by encouraging our partners and allies to review their laws and practices, including the abuse of defamation and anti-terrorism laws, to better protect press freedom and ensure that they do not unduly shrink the space for free speech. We can authorize U.S. foreign assistance to support independent media outlets and programs that create greater media pluralism. We can do more to foster conditions in which freedom of expression and information can thrive, including working to change increasingly political attitudes toward journalism. And we can condemn violence against journalists, denounce censorship and support dissidents and activists as they seek to speak the truth.

Ultimately, freedom of information is critical for a democracy to succeed. We become better, stronger and more effective societies by having an informed and engaged public that pushes policymakers to best represent not only our interests but also our values. Journalists play a major role in the promotion and protection of democracy and our unalienable rights, and they must be able to do their jobs freely. Only truth and transparency can guarantee freedom.

 

 

Jan 16th

Glenn Simpson Senate Judiciary Testimony

By Chuck Parrish

I have uploaded a pdf file (under 1mg if you want to download). It is in the file section. For those of you who follow politics, Senator Grassley of Iowa and chair of this particular committee declined to release this testimony to the public even though Glenn Simpson asked that it be released In a break from normal protocol, Sen Feinstein of California and the ranking Democrat on the committee decided to release it.

Jan 9th

Tukwila businesses press city for relocation help after police station plans

By Chuck Parrish

http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2018/01/08/tukwila-businesses-push-for-compensation-after-citys-police-station-plans/71282

 

Tukwila businesses facing displacement because of the city’s police station and city courthouse plans say the city needs to increase the help it’s offering them —  or some businesses owners will go under.

 

“I hate to say it but they’ll go out of business without relocation [benefits],” said Simon Castle, paint shop manager of Heiser Body Co., one of the dozens of businesses at South 150th Street and Military Road that face displacement for a planned police station and municipal courthouse.

 

The city of Tukwila plans to acquire the property for the justice center via eminent domain, a process that allows the city to compel the landowners to sell their properties to the city at fair market value.

 

The process does not require compensation for business owners who lease the properties. Most of the affected Tukwila business owners — many of whom are immigrant entrepreneurs who have spent years in their locations — are renters.

 

Some of those businesses have organized to push the city to increase the relocation assistance it is offering. They met for the first time last month.

 

“The intent of the meeting was to figure a way that we can petition for relocation expenses,” Castle said. “Since the city has indicated there will be no or only minimal relocation costs paid to the displaced businesses, we were advised that coming together as a group would be a more effective measure than going at it alone.”

 

The group includes a 6-member “multicultural coalition” committee, a majority of which are people of color and a woman.

 

“The meeting went well… we did organize a small committee to represent the group,” said Bayview Motor Club owner Tofeek Mauda.

 

Property value and rents are rising in Tukwila. Many small businesses will struggle to survive unless they get the city to fully reimburse displacement costs such as moving costs, downtime expense, finding new property and increased rent, Castle said.

 

Castle says the body shop employs 40 union-affiliated painters and that it would cost the business $2 million to move. He said in the current economic climate, it seems unlikely that they would be able to find another appropriate location within the Tukwila city limits.

 

“Without these expenses reimbursed, there are going to be many unique businesses that will have to close up due to the fact they can’t afford to move, or can’t afford to pay higher rents in this economic climate. As such, we have had to form this coalition to fight for the rights of all the business owners involved so that we can preserve our businesses that we have all worked so hard to build,” Castle said.

 

The group has hired Pacific Public Affairs, a public relations firm, and at least two businesses are privately retaining law firms whose representatives attended the meeting for informational exchange. Castle said he hopes attorneys are not needed for the coalition and that Tukwila treats the small business fairly.

 

The group plans to submit a petition the mayor’s office and city council members at the first Tukwila council meeting in January. There’ll be two new council members, one of whom is an immigrant.

 

Castle said a coalition of business owners can mobilize their collective resources.

 

Despite public outcry during a public hearing in November, Tukwila City Council members unanimously voted in November in favor of allowing the mayor’s office to use condemnation proceedings to acquire the land needed for a voter-approved a $77 million public safety bond measure that passed last year.

 

Castle said he and other business owners are still upset that they received two weeks notice for that meeting.

 

“As a business owner, I am disappointed that we, like every other business involved, received only two weeks notice prior to the ‘rubber stamp’ vote at the City Council meeting.”

 

Other businesses owners have hired their own attorneys to push the city to help them with relocation expenses. Attorney Kinnon Williams, who represents Riverton Heights Grocery, also criticized Tukwila’s notification process.

 

Williams said other public entities, including the city of Seattle and Sound Transit, have a practice of notifying businesses and property owners months — not weeks — in advance of a possible public project that might be built on their locations.

 

“Sound Transit, they’re sending out letters years in advance, even when they don’t know exactly which properties will be affected,” Williams said. “The thinking is, ‘How are we going to do this with the least amount of harm?’ That really wasn’t done in Tukwila.”

 

But Tukwila officials say they are offering relocation assistance to the businesses — in the form of advice and other help. And officials are working on a formula to provide some monetary assistance, based on the business owners’ needs, said Derek Speck, the city’s Economic Development administrator.

 

“Currently, we offer listings of available properties for sale and lease,” he said. “We also make introductions to specific property owners in the area who might have available sites.”

 

Speck said the city is sympathetic to the business owners’ plights and is doing what it can.

 

“They are going through a very significant disruption that affects their owners, their employees, and their customers,” Speck said.  “We will do the best with the resources we have… Although we are not required by law to provide assistance to the businesses, we want to do what we can afford.”

 

Speck said the city is also trying to find a new location for the smaller affected businesses.

 

“We are researching if there is a way to partner with Forterra and Abu Bakr Islamic Center on their project to purchase and convert an old motel into commercial spaces for small businesses so that the affected businesses can move as a group into that location,” Speck said.

 

Williams criticized the city’s plans, saying that the state and federal government already have a standard, which includes paying for all of the business’ moving expenses.

 

“It’s about equity and it’s about fairness,” he said.

 

While Castle and other business owners plan to go before the city council this month to argue for increased help, Castle remains frustrated with the process so far.

 

“I am thoroughly disillusioned with the city of Tukwila,” he said. “The fact that they can state that they are not paying relocation costs, despite the fact that it’s the right thing to do and despite other city councils in the King County area that have done so.”

 

 

 

Dec 20th

Tukwila Pool- Luau

By Vanessa Zaputil

January's "Every Third Saturday" Special Event will be our popular Luau theme! Come for a swim, try out a surfboard, have some snacks and relax to Hawaiian music. $3/swimmer

 

Dec 19th

Residents should take interest, get involved in city issues

By Chuck Parrish

http://www.tukwilareporter.com/opinion/residents-should-take-interest-get-involved-in-city-issues/

 

Imagine that you are a City Council member who, after a lengthy public process, is required to make a decision. Imagine residents coming before you on decision day, telling you that they had heard nothing about it, and they should have been involved as stakeholders, and asking for a delay, a new process or a decision different than that arrived at as a result of the process.

 

The most recent example is the Nov. 6 council meeting regarding the location of the planned new Justice Center, some new fire stations and public works facilities. Many individuals and business owners shared heartfelt and legitimate concerns. Fair enough.

 

Here’s the problem. The Public Safety plan has been a slow-rolling process for almost two years. There were two open house events seeking public input prior to the Nov. 6 council meeting. All addresses in Tukwila, including businesses, were mailed notices of these events. The city also had an online open house. The city has a webpage, a Facebook account and a Twitter account. All were used to promote the events. So where were the concerned residents and business owners during the process?

 

This situation occurs too often.

 

The city is looking for better ways to communicate. There is always room for improvement. It is unlikely, however, that any new efforts will be useful if the communication continues to be one-way.

 

Here is an idea. Neighborhoods, businesses in specific areas and other groups that share a common interest could form informal networks in which, on a rotating basis, one could monitor goings-on at city hall and inform the others about matters meriting attention and participation.

 

We all naturally pursue our happiness and well being. Perhaps you are like me. I regret that I often ignore issues that affect the rest of my community but have no impact on me. I sometimes ignore mailers or put them to one side and then forget about them. I assume that someone else will take care of the issue. I get stuck in my comfort zone and patterns.

 

For some residents, Tukwila is like a train station on the way to somewhere else. I’ve been there, and I get it. It is understandable that those residents may not care about public policy. As for the rest of us who hope to raise our families, and perhaps live out our lives here, we must do better.

 

 

 

Dec 10th

Peter Kageyama: books

By Chuck Parrish

In a recent city council meeting, Kate Kruller recommended a couple of books by Peter Kageyama. For the Love of Cities and the other...   Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places.  The ebook price right now is $10. I like to use Bookbub (and Amazon for that matter) to follow authors and bookmark books so that I can catch a good deal. Still waiting for that good deal.

Nov 28th

Mary's Place: Here was the process

By Chuck Parrish

Look in the file tab for three pieces about Mary's Place. The first is the staff presentation to city council members at the CDN committee on July 10, 2017. Note: the minutes don't seem to be available. The agreement by the council members was to move it forward to the city council meeting...probably COW. The second piece is an informational memo and letter from Mary's Place bowing out of the agreement. The third piece is a letter from Mayor Ekberg's response to Mary's Place.

I have spoken with the mayor about this. He was and is favor of having Mary's Place in Tukwila.

My first impression when hearing about things like this is to be generally supportive of such a facility. That is how I generally think about things. However, I knew that the details are important. I also knew that the location was challenging as it is a sensitive area near the shoreline of the river. Evidently Department of Ecology plays a role.

The letter from Mary's Place bowing out of the agreement was somewhat strange. It placed emphasis on the point of view that Tukwila's proposal would result in children in King County being unhoused and unsafe. In fact, Tukwila's proposal was to disallow dropin use of daytime service. In other words, those people would not have been staying at Mary's Place in any case. 

If one created a sheet with pro's on one side and con's on the other, I think that the cons outweigh the pros.  I am hopeful that a better location might become available so Mary's Place or a similar organization may come into the area.