Category Archives: events

We are water, part II

You might already know that I am a fan of Poetry on Buses. I’ve loved the program in all of its incarnations, but the post-2014 version is the best yet. The 2016/17 theme, “Your Body of Water,” was so timely and compelling, it motivated me to sit my non-poetic self down, write an actual poem, and submit it. I am so glad I did.

Last month, I had the privilege of reading that poem at the Poetry on Buses launch party at the Moore Theater. WOW. What a powerful celebration of art, community, and LIFE!

There were “poetry buses” parked outside the theater, where attendees could read and listen to recordings of some of the selected poems. In the lobby, there were more poems, as well as an interactive display where people could pledge to protect water. (I didn’t actually visit that display; I was too focused on being nervous about my reading.)

The poems read onstage were presented in four phases to evoke the water cycle, with the Native Jazz Quartet improvising beautiful water sounds between readings. Several local artists also performed, including the incomparable writer/rider/rapper, Gabriel Teodros, who just so happens to be my bus friend from the 48.

A poetry bus! (photo credit: 4Culture)

Poets (including me) onstage during the “evaporation” phase (photo credit: King County Metro)

The entire evening was masterminded by poet planner Jourdan Keith, whose mission in life is to remind us that “we are all bodies of water, connected to other bodies of water.” If there were ever a time when it was critical for us to understand this, it is now.

In her sobering 2010 Ted talk, Jourdan asks, “If you know you are a water body – capillaries, creeks, streams and rivers, containing runoff from farms, rooftops, airports, and driveways, your bladder, an estuary. If you knew you were as contaminated as Puget Sound, or the Orcas that swim in our waters, what would you do?”

This is the question we must urgently ask ourselves, as greed and disregard for life threaten the water all of us depend on – in Flint and Evart, Michigan; in Louisiana and North Dakota; and right here in Puget Sound.

Right now, Kinder Morgan is preparing to build a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to the Pacific Coast in British Columbia. Known as the Transmountain Expansion, it will be the second pipeline to travel this route, with more capacity than the original. The project was approved by Prime Minister Trudeau late last year, and if built, will increase tanker traffic in the Salish Sea sevenfold, further stressing our endangered Orca population and dramatically increasing the chances of a major oil spill.

And so much is at risk if the pipeline itself leaks, which they all eventually do. Thank God there are people with the courage to resist.

Would we allow corporations motivated only by profit to threaten our water if we understood that by doing so, they are threatening our lives? If we understood that the damage we inflict upon the planet shows up in our bodies? I am not confident of the answer, but I am grateful to Jourdan Keith and Poetry on Buses for reminding us of what is at stake.

Over 300 poems about our connectedness — to water and to each other — will be displayed on buses and trains throughout King County until this time next year. I hope they will inspire you to keep riding.

Upcoming events for transit types

Bus Driver Appreciation Day

What: A holiday set aside to acknowledge, celebrate, and otherwise lift up all the hard-working men and women who get us where we’re going. (Note: KC Metro drivers–and, I’m assuming, drivers of many other transit systems–are not allowed to accept gifts. But, saying something nice, like, “thanks for your hard work” or, “happy Bus Driver Appreciation Day” isn’t against any rules I know of.)
When: Sunday, March 18, all day long
Where: Public buses on planet Earth

Humanity on Wheels: An Evening of Mass Transit Tales

What: A “TriMet Diaries storytelling event inspired by Muni Diaries Live and Back Fence PDX.” I heard about this when I was wandering the streets of Portland weekend before last, and I thought it sounded fun. I’m going to have to see about making something similar happen in the 206.
When: Tuesday, March 20th, 7:30 PM
Where: Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th Ave, Portland

Perspectives on Public Transportation

What: A moderated discussion between authors Darrin Nordahl and Jarrett Walker about what will attract riders to public transit.
When: Wednesday, April 18th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Where: Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle
How much: $5

September service changes, round II

Yesterday, KC Metro revised its proposals for the September service restructure.

Metro is inviting public comment on the newly revised September service proposals during a second round of public review this month. Six open houses, 14 information tables, and more than a dozen presentations have been scheduled in neighborhoods that would see the most changes under these proposals. Please check our online calendar for a list of these events.

Open Houses (all 6-8 p.m., except as noted below)

Monday, Feb. 13 – Ballard High School
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Madison Middle School, West Seattle
Thursday, Feb. 16 – Chief Sealth High School, Delridge/White Center
Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Union Station, Downtown Seattle (12-2 p.m.)
Thursday, Feb. 23 – Queen Anne Community Center
Monday, Feb. 27 – Washington Middle School, Central Area/Mount Baker

Despite the implication that the restructuring is happening to accommodate RapidRide, it’s much bigger than that. Neighborhoods that have no connection to RapidRide (including mine) will see huge changes, including route eliminations. If you ride any KC Metro routes, you should visit the site and let Metro know how the proposed changes will affect you.

STRU, part II

The Seattle Transit Riders Union is wasting no time getting started on the (not small) task of organizing the county’s bus riders.

They’ve posted a survey on their site (there’s also a hard-copy version, which they’re conducting in person at stops) and will use the responses to inform their future work. You should take it.

Also, on November 15th, they’re hosting a public forum with King County NAACP president James Bible as the featured speaker.

What: A “public forum and inauguration of the Seattle Transit Riders Union”

Why do we need a Transit Riders Union?
■ Deep bus service cuts were only narrowly avoided in King County…
■ Public transit is under attack in cities across the country…
■ Unemployment is rising and social services are shrinking…
■ The planet is warming and natural resources are dwindling…
■ The global economy is in crisis…

As individuals we feel helpless to do anything, because alone we are helpless. But what can we accomplish when we organize, when we stand up together? The new Transit Riders Union intends to find out.

When: Tuesday, November 15, 6 – 8 PM
Where: The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave S (served by the 4, 7, 8, 34, and 48)

See you there!

Upcoming events for transit types

Feet First Neighborhood Walking Ambassador Training
What: A “free training for community members to learn how to lead walks in their neighborhood.”

Neighborhood Walking Ambassadors lead inspiring walks around their community, connecting neighbors in a unique way with their surroundings. More people walking means more eyes on the street, which creates safer and healthier places for all of us to live, play and work.>

When: Saturday, October 29, 10:30 am -12:00 pm
Where: Rainier Beach Library, 9125 Rainier Avenue South
I love walking (more than busing, in fact), my neighborhood, and Feet First. Wish I could be there. If you can, send an email to this address to register.

That’s it for October–that I know of, anyway. Next month, there are many opportunities for citizens to provide input about transportation issues.

Road Safety Summits (City of Seattle)

The Summit[s], convened by Councilmembers and the Mayor, will be a series of three meetings and a Town Hall where agencies, community members, partners and other leaders will convene to discuss the best ways to improve safety and responsibility on our streets.

The summit at City Hall has come and gone, but here’s the information about the other two:

Tuesday, November 15th, 6 PM
Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Ave NE

Monday, November 21st
Southwest Community Center, 2801 SW Thistle St

Transit Master Plan open houses

SDOT will be hosting 5 open houses this fall to share information about the TMP Draft Summary Report and to get feedback from the community. Please join us to learn about the draft plan and share your thoughts.

Here’s the information about the remaining events:

Tuesday, November 15, 6 PM
Ballard High School, 1418 NW 65th St

November 17, 6 PM
New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave S

Public meetings about service changes (King County Metro)

When Metro launches the new RapidRide C and D lines in September 2012, we will be changing existing bus service to improve the transit system and provide more connections to jobs, schools, and other destinations in Seattle, Shoreline, Burien, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Des Moines. Now is the time for community members to review Metro’s ideas and share their own.

In November, we will be sharing proposed changes to bus service and listening to public comments. We invite you to participate in this process by attending a meeting or information table and completing our online survey. The proposed changes are posted at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/haveasay.

There are some big changes in the works, so make sure you visit the site to see how your travels will be affected. Oh, and show up at one of these events.

Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 3 – Adams Elementary School, 6110 28th Ave. NW, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 7 – Catharine Blaine Elementary, 2550 34th Ave. W, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 9 – Chief Sealth High School, 2600 SW Thistle St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 14 – Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 15 – South Park Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Ave. S, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 17 – Madison Middle School, 3429 45th Ave. SW, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Families “in motion”

This weekend, I’ll be sharing what I know about busing with babies at a family transit workshop sponsored by the Squire Park in Motion Program.

What: A casual, kid-friendly workshop where parents can learn: “how to know where the bus is going; when it will arrive; how to keep kids entertained; what to carry with you for the trip; and other helpful things to know when riding the bus.”
When: Saturday, August 6, 10 – 11:30 AM
Where: Central Area Motivation Program, 722 18th Ave (served by routes 2, 3, or 4)
How much: Free!

Kids are welcome, of course, and there will be door prizes (zoo passes!) for the first 10 families to arrive. All particpants will receive a handy family transit guide to take home. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming events for transit types

The County Council is hosting some public meetings about the proposed congestion reduction charge this month. One (in Kirkland), has already come and gone, but here’s the info on the other two:

Tuesday, July 12, 6:00 p.m.
King County Council Chambers
516 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, Seattle

Thursday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.
Burien City Council Chambers
400 S.W. 152nd Street

If you can’t make either meeting, you can submit your feedback here.

Streetfilms on a big screen

I’ve been meaning to tell you about this great Streetfilms series ever since they launched it way back in February.

Moving Beyond the Automobile is a ten part video series which explores solutions to the problem of automobile dependency. It’s a visual handbook that will help guide policy makers, advocacy organizations, teachers, students, and others into a world that values pedestrian plazas over parking lots and train tracks over highways. Cars were then, and this is now. Welcome to the future.

Now, I have a really good reason: Mr. Streetfilms, Clarence Eckerson, is in town, and he wants to watch it with you. Check it.

An Evening with Clarence Eckerson
What: A “special showing of a select lineup of shorts [which] will include a first time public showing of films from [Streetfilms’] new 10-part series, Moving Beyond the Automobile, and will feature commentary and a post-film Q&A with filmmaker Clarence Eckerson Jr.”
Where: REI Seattle (222 Yale Street)
When: Friday, April 29th, 7 PM
How much: $7 (Members of sponsor orgs get a discount on advance ticket purchases.)

I’m going (absolutely would not miss it). Hope to see you there.

Upcoming events for transit types

Transportation investments: Who wins, who loses?

What: One of the many discussions that will be held at Great City’s weekend-long, event, Equitable Growth Dialogues.

Panelists for the transportation investments discussion include Mayor McGinn, TCC’s Andrew Austin, and Lynn Domingo of LELO.

When: Saturday, April 2, 3:50 – 5:00 PM
Where: Franklin High School, 3013 S. Mount Baker Blvd (7, 8, 14, 48, Link)
How much: Free!

Child care and translation will be provided at all of the events on 4/2. If you show up for the earlier discussions, you’ll even get lunch.

From Here to There

What: A community discussion, sponsored by Pacific Science Center (in partnership with the Seattle City Council and Streets for All Seattle) about “transportation challenges and opportunities.”

[This discussion] is part of a series of events that gather community input on different aspects of the City Council’s priority issue of carbon neutrality.”

When: Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Where: Seattle Vocational Institute, 2120 S. Jackson (14 or short walk from 8 or 48).
How much: Free! RSVP is required.

I’m a panelist at the event, so I’ll be there. In case that’s not enough to send you rushing to the RSVP page, perhaps these incentives will: There will be activities for kids five and older, and (most importantly) there will be food.