MIQA Cascadia Rising 2016 Emergency Communications Hubs Drill: Thank You All

This year’s disaster response drill at West Queen Anne Playfield and West Magnolia Playfield Hubs (June 11, 2016) came off so well thanks to the commitment and participation of many members of our community:

  • Scouts and adult leaders from Boy Scouts of America Troop 72;
  • Bethany Presbyterian on Queen Anne;
  • Members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee of Magnolia-Queen Anne District Council;
  • HAM radio operators from Seattle Auxiliary Communications Services who live here and who also played at the City-level earlier the week;
  • Administrators from Seattle Pacific University (SPU) who visited and expressed a desire to build ties with MIQA and their Queen Anne neighbors;
  • And, finally, neighbors who heard/read about the drill and came out to visit, learn and play (participate) as actors and hub staffers.

As his Eagle Scout project, Angelo Alevizatos coordinated with the PTSA at McClure Middle School and organized Scout volunteers to source and assemble 30 emergency preparedness backpacks for the classrooms and 2 super packs for the administration. Congratulations, Angelo.

We learned by meeting each other and working together in a structured exercise that we can function as our own first responders when necessary.

The Magnolia Interbay Queen Anne – Emergency Preparedness Committee meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Presbyterian Church at West Dravus Street and 28th Avenue West in Magnolia.

The public is always welcome to attend, question and contribute.

Again, thank you all for being there and taking part.

Frank Gaul Chair, MIQABePrepared.org

Emergency Preparedness Committee of Mag/QA District Council



Falun Gong practitioners express thanks to local legislators

House Resolution 343, an item of legislation that expresses concern by the U.S. House of Representatives on the “persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China” was passed unanimously in the evening of June 13, with impassioned speeches on the floor by members of Congress.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who introduced the resolution, said, “this legislation is an important step in bringing accountability and transparency, to maybe one of the great crimes of the 21st century: the 17-year effort to eliminate [the] Falun Gong practice from China.”

With H.Res.343, the U.S. Congress joins the European Parliament, the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and other global bodies, who have highlighted the evidence of organ harvesting from Falun Gong and demanded that China come clean on its organ sourcing practices.

We want to thank our Representatives who cosponsored for this monumental resolution: Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Dave Reichert, Rep. Susan Delbene and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

“Commitment to human rights to people around the world is the fundamental American value and pillar of our foreign policy. So when we hear reports of horrific abuses such as state sanctioned organ harvesting, we have a responsibility to determine the scope of the problem and respond.” said Rep. Eliot Engle, Foreign Affairs Committee.

More needs to be done, but first we want to bring the attention to the public regarding this, calling the conscious of the world, and make our medical and pharmaceutical community aware of the gruesome practice, so we, the people, do not accidentally become accomplices.

Jenny Hu,

on behalf of a group of local Falun Gong practitioners


Reader raises concerns about proposed changes to Queen Anne bus routes

I wish to take exception to Metro’s proposal to eliminate the north loops of the route 3 and 4 trolleys, as described in your June 15 story. Here we go again with Metro champing at the bit to shut down the trolley bus service to the longtime route #3 and #4 north terminals. These trolley bus stops, created to replace the streetcar stops that were eliminated when the rails were torn up before WWII, have served their respective QA neighborhoods for generations. Let’s look at each of Metro’s arguments for eliminating this trolley service.

Metro says the number of riders impacted by closing these stops is only “about 1-percent of the total daily ridership on the routes.” This argument is deviously misleading because most stops on these routes each contribute a small percentage of the total daily ridership. What Metro actually wants to do is eliminate significant sections of long-established trolley routes. 

Metro says “residents have previously voiced their concerns about idling diesel buses along both routes, during times (like weekends) when Metro operates them in place of electric trolley buses.” Metro created these “residents’ concerns” about diesel noise several years ago when they shut down weekend trolley service on these routes, with the claim that construction work and wire maintenance made this necessary from time to time, or when requested by a contractor. That argument ceased to be credible long ago because Metro has simply switched weekend service to diesels on routes 3 and 4 (and 13 and 1 and 2); now it’s the norm. Why does Metro dislike the trolley system? When does Metro intend to eliminate the trolley system altogether? They are already telling us it costs more per hour to operate a trolley bus than a diesel. Maybe that’s true when they externalize the costs of diesel buses (middle east oil war, BP Gulf spill, diesel engine roar, anyone?).

Metro says the existing route 3 terminal should be “deleted” and the #3 buses sent on a longer trip to SPU “to improve connections between downtown Seattle, Queen Anne, and Seattle Pacific University (SPU).”  This argument ignores the fact that SPU, Queen Anne, and downtown Seattle are already well connected, not just by the #13 trolley but also by the #29 Express. Oddly, Metro discounted the importance of this connection previously when they decided to cancel the #29 Express due to lack of demand  It was only the city of Seattle’s vote to augment Metro’s coffers that saved this route.

Metro says their “expectation is for ridership to increase because of (proposed) improved frequency along Third Avenue West, and the ability for riders to then transfer to the University District on routes 31 or 32.” What Metro forgets is that they canceled direct, one-bus service from Queen Anne to the University District a few years ago because of what they called lack of demand. Metro doesn’t have a “formal estimate” for the supposed ridership increase, one suspect, because increased ridership is not the real reason for this proposal.

Metro says moving the longtime route 3 and 4 terminals to SPU “aligns with our need to provide operators with adequate comfort station and restroom facilities, which are not available in residential areas.” The fact is that right now the #3 bus provides the operator his/ her rest break at McGraw Street & QA Avenue, adjacent to several businesses that afford quite modern, indoor restroom facilities.

Metro suggests these changes are a “proposal,” but our faith in Metro’s good intentions is undermined by the fact that they have already installed a second, “passing wire” at SPU necessary for these changes to occur. “Proposal” indeed.

The northernmost #3 trolley stop (Rodgers Park) provides service to a steeply sloping corner of QA. Metro says “those that had used the stops slated for deletion would have to walk anywhere from one to six blocks to access the nearest route.” What Metro doesn’t say is that the more distant stops are effectively not accessible from Rodgers Park stop because of the steep slopes. The 1 ½ block walk would require navigating a nearly 20% grade on a poorly lit street without sidewalk or stairway. The 6-block walk would require a vertical climb of 90 feet, the equivalent of about 14 flights of stairs (figures based on the USGS contour map of QA). These grades are no sweat for school kids but are too much for older adults.

I would tell Metro, please leave the existing #3 (and 4) QA terminals in place. Don’t take down the existing overhead trolley wires that serve these areas. Please return regular, weekend, and quiet trolley service to Queen Anne.

Jim Sullivan