Category Archives: Uncategorized

Should Seattle City Light join the energy imbalance market?

Since last September, Seattle City Light has been trying to convince the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee that it should be allowed to join the California Independent Systems Operators (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). On its face, it seems like an easy decision, and if SCL had done a better job on its initial pitch to the Council it might have gone through quickly. But they didn’t, and the Council members asked for more information. As the details have emerged, the case for joining the EIM has become murkier. It’s an interesting case study on the state of the power industry, and it points to some big challenges for Seattle City Light.

Let’s unpack this.

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What’s going on with the Civic Square project?

Right across the street from City Hall is the “hole in the ground,” aka the Civic Square project.  After years of starts, stops, scandals and recessions, last October Bosa Development signed an MOU with the City of Seattle and Triad Development to take over the project, pending the signing of a new development agreement with the city. Their intent was to have the next agreement signed by December 31, and Bosa would begin construction by June 30, 2018.

Since then, silence. What’s up?

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Understanding the police monitor report on use of force

This week the court-appointed monitor for the implementation of the Consent Decree filed a report on how the Seattle Police Department is doing on its goals to eliminate excessive use of force.  There was a lot of good news, though a few areas of concern remain. Let’s dive in.

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Keystone XL resolution shifts to slow lane

Late last week the Trump administration surprised many by announcing that it had granted approval for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project. In response, activist groups and indigenous tribes immediately began organizing opposition, and locally Council member Kshama Sawant is doing some of the heavy lifting for that effort. Sawant introduced a resolution this afternoon for the City Council’s approval that would once again register its opposition to the pipeline — and direct the city not to do business with its financial backers.

While the Council’s rules allow a resolution to be introduced and passed the same day, in this case several of Sawant’s colleagues argued for taking at least a week to understand its implications.

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Murray’s State of the City Address: the “good parts” version

It was a State of the City address by Mayor Ed Murray, so there was the customary lofty rhetoric, celebration of the past year’s successes, grumbling about things that didn’t go his way, and pointed barbs aimed at the Trump administration. But there were also a handful of announcements, so let’s cut to the chase.

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Judge denies ACLU’s motion for temporary restraining order on sweeps

This afternoon U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ricardo Martinez issued an order denying the ACLU a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop WSDOT and the City of Seattle from seizing and destroying personal property without due process in cleaning up unsanctioned homeless encampments in Seattle.

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Council contemplates creating a private cause of action for bias-free policing

Last July, the City Council had a discussion of bias-free policing, and what steps it might take to hold the Seattle Police Department accountable for its biases. This morning, the Council revisits the topic.

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New page for City Council candidates

I just launched a new permanent page on the site: tracking the candidates for City Council this year.

It lists the candidates that are officially declared for Positions 8 and 9, along with contact information, financial disclosures, and other useful links on where to get more information about them.

Some of the paperwork trickles in over time, especially in the few weeks after a candidate officially files for candidacy. I’ll keep filling in the holes as things appear.

Enjoy!