Sunday, January 21, 2007

Everett Neighborhood Expo Feb. 10

Neighborhood Expo 2007
Be Informed! Be Included! Be Inspired!

Join us from 8:30 4 p.m. Saturday Feb. 10 at Evergreen Middle School, 7621 Beverly Lane, for a day of connecting with neighbors, and hear from special guests from Everett and nearby cities.


For more information:
Wendy McClure
Office of Neighborhoods
City of Everett
2930 Wetmore Avenue 9E
Everett WA 98201
425 257-8717

Keynote Speaker: Jim Diers
Catch the energetic Jim Diers for a talk about engaging our neighbors in community building and civic life. As a professor at the University of Washington, he teaches courses in architecture and public policy, He has guided Seattle residents in organizing and acquiring funding for projects such as community gardens, playgrounds, and art installations for their neighborhoods.
Jim has recently spoken to such diverse audiences as the Whatcom County Oral Health Coalition, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Livable Seoul Conference. Jim is well known and loved in the Puget Sound area and nationally recognized for his work as a neighborhood organizer/activist and former director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. He is author of Neighbor Power Building Community the Seattle Way, a must read for citizen activists, urban planners and elected officials.

The Expo includes over a dozen hands-on workshops and exhibitions on useful topics such as: how to maneuver through the planning process; how to organize your neighborhood; how to capitalize on community based assets; how to live sustainably and foster a welcoming, resourceful community in a rapidly growing region.

Information Fair:
Discover new information and resources available in our community to help you and your neighbors develop the type of neighborhoods which promote strong connections between neighbors, encourage public safety, fun, preparedness, environmental stewardship and enhance cultural awareness. Talk with representatives of social agencies, cultural and civic groups, neighborhood associations, and city services. Exchange ideas with other neighbors and obtain links to valuable resources and training.


8:30 a.m.

9 a.m.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JIM DIERS, Neighborhood Activist and Professor of Public Policy at University of Washington

10:15 a.m.
A. Grassroots Organizing—Getting Everyone Involved
B. Working with Schools—Engaging the Community in Schools: Panel
C. Everett City Planning 101

11:30 a.m.
A. Creating the Welcoming Community Across Cultures and Ages
B. Emergency Preparedness In Your Neighborhood
C. Crime Watch – Creating Safer Neighborhoods

12:30 p.m. lunch and information fair
1:20 p.m.
A. Strengthening Your Neighborhood with Newsletters
B. Bringing Parks to Your Neighborhood, Panel C. Involving All Neighbors, Panel

2:30 p.m.
A. Working with Developers to Shape your Neighborhood, panel
B. Sustainable Living/Simple Living
C. How to build Neighborhood Websites

3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.

Sponsored by the City of Everett Office of
Neighborhoods and the Council of Neighborhoods

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

State to Issue New Stomwater Rules Today

State to issue new stormwater rules today


Outside the snow is melting, sending at first rivulets and then torrents of meltwater flowing across Seattle's parking lots and streets and lawns, carrying transmission fluid and oil and pesticides and the rest of a pollution stew that is the most pervasive pollution threat to Puget Sound.

Today, in what the state Department of Ecology calls a historic step, the agency will issue new rules -- years after they were legally required -- designed to take steps toward controlling this pollution-laced concoction.

"We are here today to announce one of the most important steps that this agency has taken in many years to deal with a water quality problem that has been around for a long time -- but that hasn't been regulated or managed very well," Ecology Director Jay Manning said Tuesday in a news briefing. The new rules are embodied in water-quality permits to be issued today.

But even a state document admits that the new rules include "sometime insufficient measures" to control stormwater. Federal officials also have said the new rules aren't enough to save endangered salmon.

Citing scientific studies, environmentalists and Indian tribes stand poised to challenge the new requirements as too weak to rescue pollution-pounded Puget Sound.

Builders, too, are positioned to launch legal challenges, saying the state is going too far with new measures that could cost home buyers thousands of dollars per house. Municipal officials, meanwhile, fret that a requirement to control stormwater will discourage redevelopment in cities and spur urban sprawl.

Solving the problem will require major changes in the way cities are developed and rebuilt, say scientists who've studied the problem. But the new rules don't require any change in development patterns.

Instead they rely on cleaning up the water through various means. For example, builders might choose to build a system that runs water through a pond, allowing pollutants to settle out, then feeds the water onto a swale to soak into the ground. Cities also will have to inspect and clean out catch basins more frequently.

In a critique of this approach, many of the region's leading scientists studying stormwater said late last year that what is needed is a whole new form of low-impact development. In this system, the amount of pavement is minimized with features such as narrower roads and sidewalks, and the reduced amount of stormwater soaks into the ground instead of running off to scour out nearby stream banks.

Public Employees for Environmental Protection called the rules package "staggering in its vagueness, (with a) ponderous timeline and low expectation for ... protection of our state's waters."

The new rules package covers only new development and redevelopment, and doesn't deal with existing properties, said Sue Joerger of the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. "I can see why they'd want to ignore it, because (the cost of cleanup) boggles the mind to think about, but we've got to start in some small way."

That's what Ecology is seeking to do, Manning said. And Gov. Chris Gregoire included $26 million in her proposed state budget, half to help cities put the new rules into effect and half for demonstration projects of the low-impact development patterns experts recommend.

But low-impact development isn't mandated by the new rules.

"There's a whole bunch of momentum behind (low-impact development) and I think we can get most of what we want in (low-impact development) through incentives," Manning said. But by requiring it, "We would be biting off an even bigger controversy than we have."

Jodi Slavik, an attorney with the Building Industry Association of Washington, said the new state requirements, along with local requirements that will follow, "will impose dramatic costs on builders." Just coming up with plans and permit fees required by state and local governments, and hiring experts, she said, could run $9,000 per building lot on smaller projects.

Dave Williams of the Association of Washington Cities said local officials are particularly concerned with the requirement that a redevelopment project "would treat that already-paved, used land for stormwater purposes as if it was a virgin piece of land, prior to European development."

"We're concerned that the redevelopment standard could end up discouraging redevelopment in these cities and thwarting our attempts to do what the state is asking us to do through growth management, which is to redevelop and intensify the land use that's already in cities," Williams said.

For big cities such as Seattle, the new rules were supposed to be tightened by July 2000. For smaller cities, the announcement marks issuance of the first rules governing them. Those rules are four years overdue.

State Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, a member of a group Gregoire appointed to spearhead Puget Sound restoration, said she would like to see the rules package clean up stormwater sooner but she agrees with the approach.

"It may not be as strong as hopefully it will get to, but we have to start somewhere," Appleton said. "If it were at its strongest, people would resist. ... Push-back isn't healthy."


  • Should cities be required to meet water-quality standards?
  • Should cities have to test bodies of water to see if stormwater is harming them?
  • Should the state rules exceed federal requirements?
  • Should cities have to ensure that the volume of water is controlled, as well as the pollutants in the water?
  • Monday, January 15, 2007

    Sustainability Pays... Maltby, Washington

    What's New?

    January 16, 2007 - Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream and the Sustainable Development Task Force of Snohomish County are sponsoring an event called "Sustainability Pays". The keynote speaker will be Alistair Jackson of O'Brien and Company. Click here for more details.

    Sustainability Pays...and weather...

    The Sustainability Pays event is scheduled for tomorrow, and the forecast is for more snow overnight. Seems to be unfortunate timing, and unlikely to spur attendance. As if getting the message of sustainability out weren't difficult enough.

    On a more positive note, the temperatures are supposed to be on the rise, and perhaps the snow will be melting/melted before the program. I hope attendance is good in spite of conditions. One thing we can be sure of - those who do atend are serious about sustainability.

    Hope to see you all there.

    Green Roofs

    Green Roofs

    Green roofs, also known as vegetated roof covers, eco-roofs or nature roofs, are multi-beneficial structural components that help to mitigate the effects of urbanization on water quality by filtering, absorbing or detaining rainfall. They are constructed of a lightweight soil media, underlain by a drainage layer, and a high quality impermeable membrane that protects the building structure. The soil is planted with a specialized mix of plants that can thrive in the harsh, dry, high temperature conditions of the roof and tolerate short periods of inundation from storm events.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Built Green Conference March 13, 2007

    Built Green Conference is coming to
    Everett Events Center

    Everett, Washington

    2007 Built Green Conference & Expo will be here soon. Find our more about the upcoming conference for building industry professionals (builders, architects, designers, vendors, consultants, engineers, realators), government agencies, and students.


    A half-day of educational programs including workshops on low-impact site development, energy efficient construction and planning, green business model, green building incentives, and Built Green case studies. A special class on selling green homes for realators will be taught by Ecobroker (clock hours are pending).

    Keynote Speaker

    Hunter Lovins is the president of Natural Capitalism, Inc. and one of the world's most renowned advisors on sustainable business. A renowned author and champion of sustainable development for over 30 years, she has managed international non-profits, taught at major universities, advised citizens’ groups, governments and corporations, and created several corporations.


    Joe Lstiburek is a principal of the Building Science Corporation. He is a scientist who investigates building failures and is internationally recognized as an authority on moisture related building problems and indoor air quality. Joe has written numerous books including the Builder Guides as well as technical papers on building construction. He is considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on practical green building. To see Joe's Top Ten list of dumb things to do in the North visit

    Find out more about educational programming expo and how to register. Call (425) 460-8238 or email