Summer Socializing

ECOSS hosted a summer social back in June at Pyramid Alehouse and Brewery.

There was a lot of talent and history in the room, including business members who’ve partnered with ECOSS since the early days and all three of our executive directors.

Current ECOSS Executive Director with the two former EDs

The ECOSS Executive Directors (from left to right): Kevin Burrell, second ED, Cluny McCaffrey, current ED & Charlie Cunniff, founding ED

Get social with us by signing up for our newsletter, making a donation or learning more about us.

The Evergreen Spirit is on Capitol Hill

Re-posted from the Seattle PI, by Paul Torres

“If everyone contributes to solutions we can make real progress,” proclaims Out for Sustainability President Gerod Rody. Their recent Winter (Green) Social gathering with fellow green-minded organization Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) at Liberty Bar (517 15th Avenue East) was a reminder that environmental issues are still a vital force in our region. The teaming of the two organizations is part of their greater goals for community cooperation and collaboration. Their successful collaboration includes Earth Day at the Duwamish Waterway Park this past April.

Out for Sustainability began in 2009 and has since been a present force for environmental issues not only on Capitol Hill and the LGBTQ community, but in the larger region. This organization, according to their website, “engages and mobilizes the LGBTQ community to advance social and environmental sustainability.”

Highlights of their organization include a Green(er) Pride and Earth Gay. With Greener Pride, they goal is for the annual Seattle Pride event to have zero waste and be carbon neutral by 2015. The cleverly titled Earth Gay is their Earth Day event and has many volunteers at service sites throughout the region building community. Thie past Earth Gay’s event included planting a garden in South Park and restoring the habitat on Beacon Hill.

ECOSS launched in 1994. It works in South Park/lower Duwamish River region and aims to build an environmentally responsible community. It collaborates with other local neighborhoods to meet this goal. ECOSS is at the forefront of sustainability for multicultural communities.

One of their many successes includes outfitting 2,000 homes with the direct installation of free energy efficient fixtures in neighborhoods and assist families with energy saving ideas through the Powerful Neighborhoods Program. These ideas save them money and also help to make a desirably environmental conscientious neighborhood. ECOSS member Elise Kross (Roberts!) wants to emphasize their commitment to offering these diverse communities their commitment in makings sure these communities are greener.

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Out for Sustainability members socialize at Liberty Bar on Capitol Hill

The enthusiastic crowd, who were enjoying drinks and sushi, are optimistic about the collaboration. Rody’s energy and passion are evident and has allowed this group to flourish. Check their website for future events like Sustainability and Society Symposium in February 2011 and the next Earth Gay in April.

$34 million down, zero to go

At 2:30 this afternoon, Mayor Mike McGinn, Senator Patty Murray, King County Executive Dow Constantine and many other community members, politicians and neighbors gathered in anticipation for what everyone hoped would be good news about the bridge. And good news it was indeed – Senator Murray announced that the remaining $34 million needed to complete the new bridge will be funded by a federal TIGER II grant. Now the project can go out to bid, with a completion date slated for late 2013.  According to King County Executive Constantine’s press release, “the federal grant clears the way for construction of a new South Park Bridge, which is estimated to cost about $131 million.”

He continues: “Senator Murray has been steadfast in her support of the South Park community and the entire Duwamish industrial valley, and today her leadership is making a real difference in the lives and livelihood of these residents and businesses,” said Executive Constantine. “Just a few months ago, some thought this was an impossible task. But we said we would rebuild the South Park Bridge. We said we would work together to secure the funds. We said we would keep this hard-working neighborhood in business. And today, thanks to the leadership and tenacity of our senior senator from Washington State – we did it.”

You can watch Senator Murray give the announcement (and hear the roar of applause from the crowd) here:

Senator Murray says: “It’s a community that deserves a victory…and to have it’s voice heard.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible – a happy day in South Park indeed.

Share the ride, get great prizes – New carpool Promo in the Duwamish

New Carpool Promotions in the Duwamish/Coffee for Carpoolers

The Duwamish TMA is offering a $5 Starbucks card for the first 50 people who join the TMA’s Network on RideshareOnline.com.  You’re eligible if you work in SODO, South Park, Georgetown, or North Tukwila and your employer is NOT affected by the Commute Trip Reduction Act.  (Ask us if you’re not sure.) There’s no required number of carpool trips – simply register at www.RideshareOnline.com, join the TMA Network, and have coffee on us!

To Join the TMA Network:  After you register at RideshareOnline.com, click “My Networks” under the Profile tab and search for Duwamish.  Use password DTMA.  To collect the Starbucks card, click on “Incentive Programs” under the Rewards tab and Submit Request.  Questions?  Contact Melanie at (206) 762-2470, melanie@seattleindustry.org.

Win an iPad or Getaway

RideshareOnline.com has a summer promotion with fabulous prizes for carpoolers and vanpoolers.  Register at RideshareOnline.com, carpool or vanpool at least 2 days/week between August 9th and September 19th, add those trips to the online tracking calendar for at least one week during the promotion period and you’re eligible to win!  Prizes include an Apple iPad, five luxury vacations, and weekly drawings for $50 gift cards.  Details are online here.

Why Share the Ride?

Carpooling can be a great option to get to work quicker and save money.

You’ll reduce wear and tear on your car and spend less on gas. Plus you can use the HOV lanes, which tend to move faster.  The ride-matching website www.RideshareOnline.com can help you find carpool or vanpool partners who have similar routes and schedules.

Important information from SDOT about road repairs in South Park

From Melanie Mayock, Manufacturing Industrial Council and Duwamish Transportation Management Association

Dear South Park Businesses,

I’m writing to make sure you’re aware that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is doing spot pavement repair in South Park over the next week in preparation for the South Park Bridge closure.

The repair work will be on the arterial route in northern South Park, following Holden Street east from Highway 99, to 5th Ave S, to Kenyon Street, to 8th Ave S.  This work involves excavating below the asphalt and is much more in-depth than normal pothole repair.  It should decrease the likelihood of future potholes in these areas.

The work is scheduled to begin right away and finish by June 30th; traffic will be reduced to one shared lane for both directions.

If you have questions about this project, please contact John Arnesen with Seattle DOT:  (206) 684-8921, john.arnesen@seattle.gov.   (To report potholes on other streets, call the SDOT Pothole number:  684-ROAD.)

South Park Bridge – the beginning of the end.

The King County Department of Transportation has this to say about the South Park Bridge: “The existing bridge was built in 1929-1931. The substandard lane width of the bridge carries approximately 20,000 ADT with 14% being truck traffic. It is severely deteriorated and vulnerable to seismic. The bridge is one of a few river crossings connecting to industrial area.”

Blogger Gurldoggie‘s insight about the neighborhood make it clear why it needs and deserves this gateway into the community: “South Park is a fascinating little neighborhood on the southern edge of Seattle, mostly built from the 1920’s through 1950’s to provide homes for the Boeing workers whose factory was in full bloom at the time. Since then the fortunes of Boeing and all of the industries that surrounded it have waxed and waned, and South Park has come through many rough patches. Statistics from the 1970’s and 80’s suggest that it was Seattle’s most dangerous zip code for quite a while, but in recent years the neighborhood has undergone a rennaisance, finally getting a long sought library and community center, and becoming the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Seattle.”

The bridge is slated to close on June 30th.

Community meetings have been held, studies have been made and at the end of the day, the bridge is simply not safe enough for continued use, and there is not enough money for replacement (estimates for this project come in at around $130 million). According to the Seattle Times, “The federal government last month rejected King County’s request for $99 million in stimulus dollars to pay most of the replacement cost for the bridge. Instead $30 million was awarded for a competing Seattle project to transform one-way Mercer Street into a landscaped, two-way boulevard.”

Notes from the Development Desk

ECOSS’ Fund Development and Event Planning Committee needs new members!

The Fund Development Committee will work closely with the Fund Development staff and Board to help with fundraising and membership efforts. With direct support from the staff, team responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting in organizing ECOSS’ two fundraising events
    • Identifying and recruiting sponsors
    • Soliciting auction items
    • Determining theme, caterers and entertainment and other event details
    • Outreach, including posting on social media sites and around the community
    • Help create signage and other decorations as needed
    • Attending and staffing events
    • Recruiting friends and colleagues to attend events
    • Ensuring that all appropriate acknowledgements to sponsors/donors have been made
  • Organizing new donor recruitment events
    • Putting together a tool kit for house parties
    • Organizing a quarterly social/happy hour
  • Maintaining momentum throughout our membership drive
    • Making phone calls to lapsed members
    • Writing letters to recurring donors

The Fund Development Committee is currently composed of two ECOSS staff members and two ECOSS board members. We are looking for additional enthusiastic, outgoing and professional individuals who are interesting gaining career experience in the nonprofit or event management field and who are willing and excited about representing ECOSS and our mission.

By volunteering with us, we hope to provide you with access to valuable experience, connection to the community, opportunities to make a difference and a gathering place for like-minded individuals. You will be provided with templates and scripts and all the support you need to make your time with us successful!

What we ask for in return is a  commitment of approximately 6 hours of your time per month (including monthly meetings) and more during event months (April and October) and the willingness to work together and be part of a team.

Email Elise or call 206.767.0432 for more information and please feel free to pass this opportunity along to your friends!

-Elise

2010: The year of connecting to the community.

I am beginning to lose count of all the events we are involved with this year through a sponsorship or partnership – and let me tell you, we are so happy to keep our calendars full with all the amazing events that will be taking place over the next year. Let me share a few of them with you:

Along with many other great environmental nonprofits and businesses, ECOSS is co-sponsoring Environmental Priorities Coalition‘s 2010 Environmental Lobby Day on Tuesday, January 26th in Olympia. Every year the Coalition organizes the community to talk with their legislators about specific environmental issues and priorities. This year, we will be working together for the passage of the Working for Clean Water bill, the Safe Baby Bottle Act, and to Sustain Environmental Protections in the Budget. If you doubt the power of civic engagement, read on! In the 2008, Environmental Priorities Coalition successfully passed all four of their environmental priorities that year. Register today and help make a difference.

A Green Carpet Event in Seattle? We love it, and will definitely attend the Seattle premiere of Mission: Sustainable on Thursday, February 11th. According to the website, “each show will feature a new individual nominated by friends and family for a sustainability makeover. Depending on the nominee’s lifestyle, three consultants will be chosen from our list of green experts to perform a makeover customized to the individual’s needs, desires, and walk of life.” The pilot features a South Seattle family – we can’t wait to see it!

On Thursday, March 4th, ECOSS will be one of the sponsors of Managing Stormwater in Washington, presented by the Northwest Environmental Business Council. As you may know, ECOSS has a strong stormwater program and we work with different agencies to offer local businesses free spill kits. Additionally, stormwater has been the focus of an ECOSSolutions session, during which changes to the new Industrial Stormwater General Permit were discussed.

ECOSS also signed on as a Community Partner and Exhibitor at the 2010 GoGreen Conference in Seattle, taking place Wednesday, April 21st. We couldn’t think of a more relevant conference for our members and supporters if we tried: the core focus of the conference is to motivate, inspire, and educate business owners to “go green” and become more sustainable. According to their founder Ericka Dickey, “As an action-oriented, non-typical conference, GoGreen ‘10 teaches tactical steps on how to “green” your business and provides actionable next steps to sustainability for business owners and decision makers. Attendees will learn from live success stories and participate in panel discussions geared to provide solid takeaways to make any size of business the most sustainable that it can be. The GoGreen Conference will feature over 45 business leader speakers and 12 different sessions on how to build sustainability into your business.”

Check out our Events page for more events, and we will keep you informed about where we will be and how we’re involved. We’re looking forward to sharing information about ECOSS events in 2010, too!

-Elise

South Park Bridge Press Conference Update

The ECOSS staff just got back from the South Park Bridge Press Conference where the bridge replacement Environmental Impact Statement was signed by Kathleen Davis, Director of Highways and Local Programs at the State Department of Transportation; Harold Taniguichi, Director of the Department of Transportation; and Dan Mathis, Washington division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration. With all plans approved, the replacement of the bridge can move forward pending funding from the federal government.

We have long heard the reasons why this bridge needs replacement. It has a sufficiency rating of four (out of 100). Truck traffic volume is between 4-10 million tons of freight per year. Over 20,000 vehicles per day cross the bridge. For those of us who work and live in South Park, we are well aware of the potential impacts of closure.

But the most compelling speech came from long time South Park resident and ECOSS supporter Geoff Belau who discussed the bridge’s symbolism to the community, and who was kind enough to let us post his speech here.

GOOD MORNING. MY NAME IS GEOFF BELAU. I AM A 10 YEAR RESIDENT OF SOUTH PARK, I’M AN ARCHITECT, AND I’VE BEEN A MEMBER KING COUNTY’S COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP FOR SOUTH PARK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT SINCE 2002.

I’D LIKE TO START BY THANKING EVERYONE WHO HAD A HAND IN GETTING THE PROJECT THIS FAR. IT IS AN EXCITING AND ENCOURAGING THING TO BE STANDING HERE TODAY TO WITNESS THE SIGNING OF THIS DOCUMENT, WHICH SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO PRODUCE. ON BEHALF OF THE SOUTH PARK COMMUNITY, THANK YOU.

I’D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT SOUTH PARK AND WHAT THIS BRIDGE REALLY MEANS TO THOSE OF US WHO LIVE AND WORK HERE.

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