Bag fee battle – West Seattle Blog… West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 15 Aug 2018 02:42:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Join Pete Seeger’s multi-site 90th birthday bash — at The Admiral Sat, 25 Apr 2009 10:33:42 +0000

Folk-music legend Pete Seeger co-wrote “If I Had a Hammer,” but Peter, Paul and Mary made it famous. Seeger – whose impending 90th birthday will be celebrated in West Seattle and other locals nationwide – is much better known for his songwriting than his singing – this classic performed by The Byrds, also from the ’60s, is a prime example:

Here’s Seeger explaining how he wrote that:

So, after those clips, are you in the mood to sing along with songs like “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn, Turn, Turn,” along with many others? On Seeger’s 90th birthday, Sunday 5/3, a day with celebrations planned around the country, the Seattle party will be right here in West Seattle, at the historic Admiral Theater. The singalongs will be part of an evening music slate, starting at 7 pm, following a documentary screening at 4 pm. West Seattle author/historian Clay Eals is the one who came up with the idea for the historic theater to host this celebration of living history – during an interview at the Admiral last Wednesday, he explained what it’s going to be all about:

Read on for more about the celebration, more from Eals – who explains the synergy between this event and the musician-biography project he worked on for years – ahead:

First, about the documentary you’ll see at 4 pm that day: “Pete Seeger: The Power of Song” tells the story of not only his music, but also the political trouble he got into – here’s an excerpt:

Admiral entertainment director Dinah Brein-McClellan calls the documentary “a stunning summary of Pete Seeger’s long and inspiring life.” And the history of our music, the presence of music, is the essence of ALL of our lives, Eals notes:

The event at the Admiral on May 3rd, however, will not be just about watching and listening. It will be about participating – the way that Seeger so often encourages singalongs during his concerts. During the “hootenanny” starting at 7 pm, Tom Colwell and The Southbound Odyssey will play the songs you’ll want to sing.

The fact this is all happening at the Admiral Theater isn’t the only West Seattle link. Seeger visited
our peninsula in the ’40s; this HistoryLink article tells the tale, in its biography of West Seattleite Ivar Haglund, known for his folk music as much as for his fish and chips. In fact, the article says, Seeger even claimed credit at one point for teaching Ivar the famous “acres of clams” song (officially known as the “Old Settler’s Song”).

We don’t know if he visited West Seattle at the time, but we do know that Seeger was back in Seattle in 1997, performing at the Northwest Folklife Festival, which will benefit from part of the proceeds of the May 3rd event at The Admiral. Some never-before-seen footage from that concert is promised for this event, too. Whoever’s singing, whoever’s playing, when it comes to Pete Seeger, it all seems interrelated, a lot like the way this all relates to a big project Eals worked on for years:

On May 3, Seeger himself will celebrate his 90th birthday at New York’s Madison Square Garden, with an all-star lineup that includes famous folk musicians, such as Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and Judy Collins – it’s a benefit for the Hudson River preservation/protection initiative he founded. You can be there in spirit by being part of the Admiral screening and hootenanny: “For Pete’s Sake, Sing!”

TICKETS: Admission for the film only is $8; the hootenanny is $10, with a special discounted $15 ticket including both events. You can buy tickets on the day of the event, or better yet, in advance online.

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It’s official: Disposable-bag fee on Seattle ballot August 18th Mon, 30 Mar 2009 21:24:02 +0000 The full City Council just made it official: You will vote August 18th on whether to approve or reject the ordinance that would require a 20-cent fee to be charged for every disposable shopping bag you use. Without discussion, councilmembers voted 8-0 to put the referendum on the ballot (approving this item).

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Happening today: Trash/recycling changes; break; bag-fee vote Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:03:46 +0000 TRASH/RECYCLING CHANGES: Today’s the day it all starts. If you’re like us and had Monday pickup before, they’re not supposed to show up till tomorrow. An online lookup tool is here (but it’s had a few reports of glitches). The recycling changes — more stuff can go in the bin, no more glass separation, etc. — are explained here. Remember that yard waste (including food scraps) is now picked up weekly. And if you’re confused, call 684-3000.

SPRING BREAK: Reminder that Seattle Public Schools (and others) are out this week for spring break, so you’ll see lots more kids around.

BAG FEE ELECTION VOTE: During the meeting that starts at 2 pm today (agenda here), the Seattle City Council is scheduled to take a final vote on putting the disposable-bag-fee referendum on the August 19 ballot. (If you’re new to this story, council members approved an ordinance that would charge shoppers 20 cents for each disposable shopping bag they use. A petition drive bankrolled by the American Chemistry Council [financial report here] was immediately launched to force a referendum vote on the proposal, so the fee hasn’t taken effect.)

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New Year’s Day notes: Lost/found pets; food foam; bike theft Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:53:25 +0000 LOST/FOUND PETS: If you are among the many people who found WSB for the first time during the recent snowstorm coverage — you may not be completely familiar with how the site works and everything that can be found here besides the news and features on the main page. So we wanted to remind you in particular about our Pets page — which for more than a year has been the only West Seattle-specific place to find information about (and photos of, when provided) lost and found pets. There’s been an uptick in activity these past few days, unfortunately, with about half a dozen people currently working hard to find either lost pets (even a missing goat!) or the owners of pets they found. The Pets page is here. We post the information and photos – same address as everything else –

FOOD FOAM BAN YES, BAG FEE NO (FOR NOW): A note we just received suggests there may be a bit of confusion out there somewhere, even in some areas of the old-media world, about what took effect today regarding what was originally a two-part city ordinance passed last year — banning foam containers for takeout food/drink, and adding a fee for people who wanted disposable plastic shopping bags. Because enough signatures were gathered for a referendum vote, as reported last September, the bag fee is on hold till a vote later this year (expected to be during the August primary), but the foam ban takes effect today – read more about it at this page of the Seattle Public Utilities website. To see some of the “commercially approved” alternatives you might be getting with your food/drinks, go here.

STOLEN BIKE WITH “SENTIMENTAL VALUE”: DP’s had this bike since the ’60s — and now it’s gone — per this note sent to report …

… a stolen bike at corner of SW Trenton St & 32nd Ave on Monday morning 12/29. A thief took my 41 year old 10-speed (sentimental value = high) right next to two much finer bikes, which are now triple locked. Description: 10 speed with drop handlebar, bad silver paint, parcel carriers front and rear, old Huret Allvit deraillier, broken generator, new gumwall tires.

If you spot that bicycle, please alert police. EARLY FRIDAY UPDATE: In comments, Maria posted a POSSIBLE sighting not far from the theft location – DP went to check, and indeed, it was the stolen bike!

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Bag-fee battle: Opponents officially get it on the ballot Tue, 16 Sep 2008 06:14:06 +0000 bagpetitions.jpgWe told you three weeks ago that bag-fee opponents said they had 20,000 petition signatures – about a third more than they needed for a referendum vote; tonight two newspaper stories (PI here, Times here) say the county Elections Department has verified enough of those names are valid for the anti-bag-fee campaign to get what it wants. What’s next: The City Council decides whether the vote will wait for next August’s primary, or a special-election ballot sooner, and the bag fee/foam ban will be on hold pending referendum results. Side note per the P-I story – the plastics lobbying group American Chemistry Council paid almost $200,000 to help fund the petition drive. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Hizzoner is talking about this right now (9:37 am) on KIRO 710 radio (which streams online).

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Bag-fee battle: Referendum drive claims 20,000 signatures Tue, 26 Aug 2008 04:20:05 +0000 Fifteen days after we showed you the first West Seattle signature-gatherer sighting, the anti-bag-fee campaign reports 20,000 petition signatures, about 33% more than they need to make the ballot, so it looks like we’ll be voting on it next year. As for when — as mentioned here last week, that’s up to the City Council; the first “special election” opportunity isn’t till February, a month after the fee kicks in.

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Bag-fee battle: Sierra Club collecting “stories” Fri, 22 Aug 2008 17:03:13 +0000 recyclebag.jpgWe’re checking to confirm this but West Seattle leader Abby Suplizio tells WSB there’s word the grocery/chemical-industry-backed (references here and here) bag-tax referendum petition drive already has enough signatures to get it before voters next year, banbag.jpgless than two weeks after they started circulating petitions (here’s our report from the Thriftway sighting August 10th). We’ll update this item when we hear back from the organizers. The bag-fee battle was featured on National Public Radio yesterday (Suplizio gave us this link, where you can find the audio) — says the Sierra Club “is organizing a campaign about the petition gatherers misleading people all over Seattle” and asking people to send their stories to – here’s what she sent about a West Seattle encounter (followed by some other info we found):

The petition gatherer at the Jefferson Square Safeway approached me and asked if I wanted to “sign for the bag tax” so I asked what about it – he said “so it can be voted on”. (If I wasn’t already savvy that it had passed, I would have probably signed it at this point because, of course, i want it to be voted on). I said that it already got voted on and that the Council approved it. Hmmm. That’s when he said it was to repeal that. I then had about a 20 minute absolutely illuminating discussion with him -at which time he got NO other signatures :)

He confirmed that there were about 20 of them hired from California from American Ballot Co.?? He said that maybe next time I saw him it would be for something I agreed with instead of opposed to. They travel all around the country (their next stop was Nevada) for getting signatures for different referendums. This event, they were getting $2 per signature. He said his best event was when they got $10 per Republican that they got registered to vote- he said it was some place that they didn’t have many Republicans. Real nice. He said the whole signature gathering thing is TOTALLY unregulated and some people will say anything (not him of course) to get people to sign. AND it’s not illegal, because technically when people sign, they are signing a document of what they read. In most of these cases, people streaming in and out of shops, generally just listen to the people and sign away without reading. He said Oregon is the only state that has any type of regulation and that they pay by the hour instead of by the signature. Of course, if they get more signatures they get a higher hourly rate so even that is in question. He also said that one guy who did get “found out” and punished with a misdemeanor, had two petitions and was telling people that they were for two different referendums so he was able to get twice the signatures when it was really for the same referendum. That time he got caught, but what about other times??

This was all very enlightening and I hope that by sharing this, we ALL pay better attention to what we sign at grocery stores in the future!

We couldn’t find an “American Ballot” listed in online references about signature-gathering companies; the only company with “ballot” in its name that’s listed in the Seattle business-license database is National Ballot Access (bare-bones website here). Side note — On the Secretary of State‘s website, we found an initiative submitted this year by our state’s most prolific initiative backer, Tim Eyman, which would have loosened regulations on signature-gatherers, among other things (it’s not on the ballot because “no signatures were gathered” but you can still read it here).

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Bag-fee battle side note: California lawsuit Tue, 19 Aug 2008 23:04:35 +0000 This just popped up on the LA Times Twitter feed we monitor (remember, you can follow us on Twitter, at westseattleblog; we also have set up a Twitter account for our partner site at whitecenternow): The “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” has sued the Southern California city of Manhattan Beach over its plastic-bag ban, claiming the city failed to analyze environmental effects of the ban.

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Backing the bag fee: CoolMoms @ Thriftway today Tue, 19 Aug 2008 02:36:38 +0000

In the same spot where we first saw a signature-gatherer with anti-bag-fee petitions eight days ago, by the southwest door at Thriftway, co-founder Kristy Royce of West Seattle (with some help!) showed support for it this afternoon by giving out free reusable shopping bags. A group of north-end CoolMoms had something similar planned at a store in their area.

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Happening today/tonight: Bag-fee support; train-noise concern Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:55:55 +0000 Reminders about two events we’ve previewed here in recent days, both happening today/tonight: Supporters of the city’s upcoming disposable-bag fee plan to show their support for it by gathering at Thriftway in Morgan Junction between 3-5 pm (read previous coverage here); West Seattle residents concerned about train noise from Harbor Island and vicinity will meet with city and port officials at City Hall downtown, 5:30 pm (previous coverage here). Organizers of both events told us anyone interested in those issues is welcome to join in.

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Bag-fee battle: Supporters launch their counter-offensive Sun, 17 Aug 2008 08:02:04 +0000 banbag.jpgOne week after WSB broke the news of signature-gathering for a city referendum to cancel the disposable-bag fee (see last Sunday’s report here), we have word of a counter-offensive: The sustainability-oriented moms’ group coolmomgrab.jpgis planning pro-bag-fee demonstrations citywide, including one at West Seattle Thriftway in Morgan Junction – same place where we found that paid signature-gatherer with referendum petitions last weekend – on Monday, 3-5 pm. West Seattle CoolMom leader Abby Suplizio says anyone who backs the bag fee is welcome to participate; CoolMom is being joined in the citywide pro-bag-fee effort by groups including BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag), Foam Free Seattle, People for Puget Sound, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Washington Toxics Coalition, Earth Ministry, Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle Rainforest Action Group, Sustainable West Seattle, WASHPIRG, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and King County Conservation Voters. CoolMom also is suggesting its members show support by talking to management at independent grocers (whose advocacy group Washington Food Industry is partly behind the anti-bag-fee drive) such as Thriftway and Metropolitan Market, to reiterate support for the fee and the emphasis on using reusable bags. Meantime, WSB’er Diane Vincent noticed new disclosure text at the bottom of the anti-bag-fee website (which we mentioned here and here): It now says:

Paid for by the Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax.
Coalition Members:
Washington Food Industry
7-Eleven Inc.
Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council

Do 7-Eleven customers really use that many bags?

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Two bag-fee updates: Website’s REAL backer; plus, comic relief Wed, 13 Aug 2008 17:24:14 +0000 FIRST, ABOUT THAT WEBSITE: Huge kudos to Blogging Georgetown, one of our favorite nearby-neighborhood sites, for going an important step further than we did in our report last night on the anti-bag-fee website: As you can read in this BG post, he looked up the URL registration, and notes that the domain was registered Monday, to … the American Chemistry Council. No surprise, as several commenters on WSB speculated along those lines, but it is a little startling that they didn’t bother to register the domain in the name of Washington Food Industry. We have sent a note to WFI spokesperson Jan Gee asking for comment on the Chemistry Council’s relationship to her group and this referendum campaign. This section of the ACC site has links about its previous efforts to stop this bag fee (and proposals in other states), including the radio commercial BG mentions.

SECOND, ON A LIGHTER NOTE: Just got this link from West Seattle’s own “tea lady” Tracy (who closed her Admiral shop some months back to focus on her downtown Tea Gallery operation) — Her brother, syndicated comic-strip artist Keith Knight, took on plastic bags in his strip “The Knight Life” over the weekend. You can see it here.

12:51 PM UPDATE ON FIRST ITEM: Response from Jan Gee at WFI:

The ACC is a member of the coalition and was very active during the City’s public hearing process on this issue. Their membership includes the manufacturers and suppliers of many of our bags. We expect them to be very supportive of this effort including significant financial support. As an association of family owned businesses we don’t have the resources to meet all the demands Seattle places on citizen referendum. They also have an IT person and I don’t.

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“Bag the bag tax” group puts up a website Wed, 13 Aug 2008 05:26:06 +0000 banbag.jpgThough it’s not West Seattle-specific, we’re going to keep close tabs on the bag-fee-referendum drive because it’s clear a lot of people are passionate about it – on both sides. So here’s the latest: Jan Gee of Washington Food Industry, recyclebag.jpgthe grocer-advocacy organization that’s gathering signatures to cancel the bag fee/foam ban, points out that their website has gone live at Gee also confirms what we had suspected – this was the first place where the petition drive was reported; they didn’t announce it publicly before signature gatherers like the one we met just started fanning out over the weekend. If you come across anyone organizing a “defend the bag fee” effort, let us know; meantime, one of the fee’s main backers is in West Seattle tomorrow night — City Council president Richard Conlin will be a guest at the 34th District Democrats monthly meeting, 7 pm at The Hall @ Fauntleroy. (Also on the agenda, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson, who’s in a tough re-election campaign looking ahead to next Tuesday’s statewide primary.)

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Update: Who’s behind the proposal to bag the bag fee Mon, 11 Aug 2008 23:20:45 +0000 signbag.jpgWe first told you yesterday about a petition drive to repeal Seattle’s upcoming disposable-bag fee (and foam ban) by referendum, after we encountered a signature-gatherer (toting the sign you see at left) outside West Seattle Thriftway. City law does not require such referenda to be recorded or even reviewed before signature-gathering begins, so we were having some trouble finding out who’s behind it — till two people (thanks to Alcina and Diane) just posted/sent word that the Puget Sound Business Journal reported about an hour ago, it’s the Washington Food Industry, a grocer-advocacy group.

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Petition drive to bag the bag fee: West Seattle signature-gathering Sun, 10 Aug 2008 22:50:46 +0000

bagpetitions.jpgWent down the hill to Thriftway in Morgan Junction a short time ago; as we got out of our car, the gentleman you see in the photo above was a few steps ahead of us, heading for a spot outside the store’s southwest-facing door. He identified himself as a paid signature-gatherer for petitions pursuing a referendum to cancel the 20-cent disposable-bag fee (and foam ban) just approved by the City Council (original WSB report, with 60+ comments, here). He said he wasn’t sure who’s sponsoring the referendum (we’ll be looking that up shortly), just that he’s got a contract to get paid to gather signatures. And from a quick look at the petitions (photo at left) after he’d been in business just about 15 minutes, he seemed to be having a success rate of almost one signature per minute. MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Still trying to figure out how to find out who’s behind this. Found the city rules for referendums, and they note that you do not have to file anything in advance to circulate petitions – and you’re not supposed to bring them in till you think you have at least the required number (almost 15,000) – so this wouldn’t necessarily be on record anywhere.

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