Clips

No fear: Seattle commuters reflect on Portland train stabbings

Crosscut

As commuters rode the Seattle Link light rail on Tuesday, still reeling from the news of the fatal stabbings about Portland’s MAX light rail on Friday, they said they won’t allow hate to define or intimidate them.
Just a few hours north, Seattle riders expressed solidarity with the community of Portland after two men were killed and a third was injured while defending two teenage girls against a man spouting anti-Muslim rants.

A solution to Seattle’s growth: Charging developers?

Crosscut

After being told to prepare for more density with the passage of the Growth Management Act 25 years ago, many Eastside cities decided that growth — if it was coming — should pay for itself. Those cities adopted impact fees, one-time charges to new development to help pay for the expansion of public facilities such as roads, parks and schools as the population grows.
Leaders there think their cities and residents are better off.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

Dan Lantz is surveying kokanee spawning grounds for the Kokanee Work Group's annual count of fish returning from Sammamish. Scientists for King County were expecting a low return of spawning kokanee this year—spawning runs are typically cyclical, with boom and bust years—but nobody expected the numbers to be this bad.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

Before emerging from the creek on a cold, sunny December morning, Dan Lantz pulled out a notebook to record a very familiar number this kokanee spawning season—zero. Scientists counted only 60 to 70 fish returning kokanee compared to nearly 6,000 a year ago.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

Scientists propose many reasons for the low return this year, such as lake temperature, disease or predation. “Something is occurring in the lake that affects the whole cohort,” said Jim Bower, a fish ecologist with King County.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

Last year, this area along Ebright Creek was stocked full of redds, but not this year. Due to drastic reductions in suitable habitat, the kokanee now only spawn consistently in a handful of creeks: Lewis, Laughing Jacobs, Ebright, Pine Lake. Today, all Lantz encountered was a partially eaten kokanee head and a redd that may have contained eggs. He marked the nest and moved on.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

In 2007, the Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group was assembled in response to the population decline that has nearly driven the kokanee in Lake Sammamish to extinction over the past 40 years. The ad-hoc group devised a two-part plan to stabilize and rebuild the kokanee population: a short-term supplementation program to increase egg-to-fry survival rate and habitat restoration projects to improve spawning grounds.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

During the fish escapement survey Lantz pokes and prods the vegetation along the creek, searching for any sign of the fish along recently restored creek bed. Using polarizing glasses, he scans the creek.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

Scientists check a nesting box along Zaccuse Creek, another strategy for the supplementation the group is experimenting with to better mimic conditions in the wild.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

In addition to restoring habitat, the Kokanee Work Group is more than halfway through a 12-year spawning program, started in 2009, to build resiliency into the population by boosting fry survival. Due to the extremely low return this year, scientists are far from their goal of collecting 60,000 kokanee eggs, leaving hatchery tanks barren.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

Despite the low numbers of returning fish, the Kokanee Work Group is forging ahead, working on other adaptive management strategies.

SLIDESHOW: Hunting for kokanee

“We may change some of our future practices with kokanee that are spawned and incubated at the hatchery to better match those of naturally produced fry,” said Jim Bower, a fish ecologist with King County. “One of the concerns we have are the (hatchery fish) are stronger and more fit when they enter the lake (than wild fish). However, because of their size, they may be more vulnerable to predation,” he continued.

A job with a view

Seattle Transit Blog

In a tight workspace with barely enough room to turn around, light rail operators enjoy some of the most unusual views of Seattle from their cabs as they traverse the city.

Whidbey locals ask: Is the drinking water safe?

Crosscut

Wearing gloves that barely fit, Garry Stone slipped two small, square-shaped bottles, one after the other, under a stream of water from his well. After packing the bottles on ice, the Whidbey Island resident took them to join samples from 40 other households also collecting their own water for testing.
They all want to know what, exactly, is in their drinking water.

In a changing Eastside, who will control the state Senate?

Crosscut

The maze of a suburban cul-de-sac with one road curving into another had Rituja Indapure slightly lost.
A candidate for Sammamish City Council, Indapure was out hitting her turf, knocking on as many doors as possible before the dinner hour began. Visiting with voters, Indapure, an Indian immigrant who has made the Eastside home for the last 25 years, also took time to talk about the high-stakes 45th District state Senate special election unfolding on the Eastside, including parts of Sammamish.

Umoja rally plants seeds, turns into Ike's protest

Capitol Hill Times

An anti-gentrification march Saturday night in the Central District ended in a brief confrontation with Ian Eisenberg, owner of Uncle Ike’s pot shop. About 100 people had gathered earlier that evening at the Midtown Center to rally in support of Omari Tahir-Garrett.
Tahir-Garrett, a longtime Central District resident and activist, was evicted three days prior from the Umoja Peace Center on the other side of the super-block located at 23rd and Union. A recently installed construction crane loomed overhead as activists called for the Midtown Center to be transferred to black ownership.

Drivers Ordered to Slow Acceleration Following Outages

Seattle Transit Blog

Link Light Rail operators have been given orders to slow accelerations to reduce stress on the system after an electrical failure at the Tukwila International Boulevard Station substation Tuesday resulted in a power outage to the southern portion of the Link light rail system, according to Sound Transit.
On Tuesday a “major electrical substation failure” at the Tukwila Station suspended service between Othello and Angle Lake stations for approximately six hours. A bus bridge, which had as many as 36 shuttle buses running during its peak, transported riders until service resumed around 4:30 pm.

Where are the kokanee?

The Issaquah Press // Sammamish Review

Before emerging from the creek on a cold, sunny December morning, Dan Lantz pulled out a notebook to record a very familiar number this kokanee spawning season — zero.
Lantz, an environmental scientist for King County, and other fish ecologists were expecting a low return of kokanee this year. Spawning runs are typically cyclical, with boom and bust years. But nobody expected the numbers to be this bad.

Frustrated by the lack of affordable housing, middle-class workers are giving up on Issaquah

The Issaquah Press // Sammamish Review

When Kat Wilkins moved to the Eastside a year and a half ago, she thought the cost of living in the area couldn’t possibly be more expensive than where she moved from, California’s Sonoma County.
But with a monthly budget of $800 for housing, almost 50 percent of her income, Wilkins never bothered even looking in Issaquah, where she works for one of the city’s largest employers.

Neighbors organize to fight development of Winterbrook Farm

The Issaquah Press

A century ago, the land along May Valley Road was dotted with dairy farms, the last of which closed in 1988 — a victim of encroaching development.
One relic from that time, the Speerstra dairy barn, still stands today, 87 years after it was built. It has long been closed but sits virtually unchanged. Despite a possible sale of Winterbrook Farm, where the Speerstra barn sits, advocates remain hopeful they can save the barn from demolition and the surrounding 80 acres from becoming another subdivision.

PFOS in new monitoring well near EFR is 31 times higher than federal safety benchmark

The Issaquah Press // Sammamish Review

Levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, also known as PFOS, will likely increase at a City of Issaquah production well, according to experts hired by the city, after high concentrations of the chemical were found in a newly drilled monitoring well.
After soil samples taken from Eastside Fire and Rescue’s headquarters at 175 Newport Way Northwest were found to contain trace amounts of PFOS, the city drilled monitoring wells north and south of EFR in early October.

The Impact of Petcoke

Medill Reports

A short documentary looking into environmental issues in Chicago's former steel belt.

Political Newcomer Beats Mayor’s Lieutenant

Medill Reports

Susan Sadlowski Garza rushed in late to her own victory party. A loud groan had already rippled through the crowd after Mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed victory for a second time, soundly defeating Garza’s supporter Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner.
Garza remained missing from her party, anxiously waiting to learn the count from four ballot boxes. Mechanical errors with the paper ballot counting machines on election night prevented a final vote tally in the 10th Ward aldermanic race.


Be Social

Multimedia reporter. Curious. Covering politics for The Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review.

I am one of thousands of Midwesterners who have trekked out to the Pacific Northwest. Covering Eastside cities, I've taken a deep dive into the Growth Management Act, affordable housing and the booming tech industry. I investigate environmental issues impacting the region and cover two city halls.

lizz.giordano@gmail.com

(773) 401-9345


Postcards from the West


In the winter of 2010 I traveled to Uganda to teach photography classes to the women and youth who live in the slums of Kampala. My goal was to give them a chance to explore their world using photography. I was interested in what they would choose to document, what they found interesting and what they wanted to share with others - specifically me, an outsider. At the same time I was also documenting what I found interesting and unusual.

A photograph can be a window into other cultures. Often these images are taken by outsiders and color a viewer's perception of reality. The power of a photograph lies with what the photographer chooses to include or not to include, which could change the conveyed meaning. This documentary, Kampala from the Inside Out, attempts to subvert the traditional balance of power by combining images captured by an outsider and insiders to tell a more comprehensive story.

Images by: Youth and Women of Kampala and Lizz Giordano

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