Port sued again
Seattle’s Association to Defend Affordable Housing said Aug. 7 that it, too, has filed a lawsuit to stop the Port of Seattle from demolishing 162 units of affordable housing at the Lora Lake Apartments in Burien.
It’s the second lawsuit the Port has been hit with over the apartment complex, which it bought in 1998 and allowed the King County Housing Authority to operate until July 1, when its last tenants left. On July 20, after the Port refused to let the housing agency buy the property, KCHA filed a lawsuit to seize the property using eminent domain.
The Port had planned to demolish the complex to create a buffer zone for its new third runway, which opens next year. The 162 units that the two lawsuits aim to save are outside that safety zone.
City Council candidate Tim Burgess took a swipe at incumbent City Councilmember David Della on Aug. 2 at a candidates forum where he stated he’s not taking any money from predatory lenders.
The remark follows news on the web that Della, who champions the cause of minorities and the poor, has taken $800 in campaign contributions from executives at MoneyTree, which is reviled in social-justice circles for predatory lending practices that target minorities and the poor.
The website of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission confirms the donations – $500 from David Gandara, MoneyTree’s director of community development, and $300 from company President Dennis Bassford.
Della, however, sees no conflict of ideology. The donations represent “money I got from individuals that work there,” Della said after the forum. “I get donations from a lot of people who work at different places.”
Bicycle master plan mashup
Earlier this year, Mayor Greg Nickels announced the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan (BMP), promising 385 miles of new bicycle lanes and marked paths to make Seattle the “best city in the nation to bicycle.” The new bike lanes and paths are funded by last year’s Bridging the Gap levy. Now that the BMP is materializing bike advocate Eric de Place of the Sightline Institute says the city “doesn’t take [the BMP] seriously — it’s telegraphed that quite clearly.”
Six blocks of Stone Way in Fremont were not given bike lanes, deviating from the master plan. Similar lanes on California Avenue in West Seattle will be delayed until 2008.
De Place notes that this is the first problem with the BMP – and that it doesn’t bode well for the future. Recently, area cyclists responded by holding a protest on Stone Way.
The Mayor’s office will review the Stone Way lane in six months.