Dan Voelpel | Tacoma/Pierce Tribune |

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - with other public record stuff Archives

March 6, 1994

Access to Public GIS Records

In 1994, under City Attorney Mark Sidran, the issue of public access to GIS records was, surprisingly, actively being debated. That's hard to believe in this day and age - thank current State Attorney General Rob McKenna and the newspapers of this State led by Michael Fancher of the Seattle Times and their 'open government' initiatives.

At the date of this writing I was employed full time with King County and was attending graduate school in geography, as well as serving on the board of Vision Seattle. I interviewed Tom Nolan(Asterisk), head of Seattle's GIS unit for this piece, but I didn't include any quotes in this article. I don't remember the reasons why.

Besides a question of public record access I'm also 'envisioning' a future for the profession here, to some extent that does seem to be finally happening on a broad scale.

July 6, 1994

Vision Seattle Newsletter

In the summer of 1994 I was given the honor of editing the Vision Seattle Newsletter, City Watch. Here I talk a little about communications as they apply to civic and neighborhood decision making, as I take up those reins.

April 18, 2009

For your Consideration - A Light Rail oriented Transit Proposal for Tacoma/Pierce County

I must confess I was once a big transportation policy wonk - hopefully 15 years of abstinence have cured any weaknesses thereof. I have been getting active again over the last year and half here in Tacoma and hopefully can still indulge this obsession with a bit of prudence and productivity occassionally, as such, the following.

Proposed: A Sound Transit 2 Funded Expansion of Light Rail in Tacoma Integrating the Existing High Capacity Light Rail Corridor into the Currently Funded HOV Expansion of I-5 adding Bus service as per the same Design Specs as in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

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Click Here for the High Resolution PDF

Please note that although there is strong precedence for this approach including direct HOV access ramps, as at 320th in Federal Way, and strong general support for multi-modal systems I am not aware of any project that creates a direct HOV-Light Rail connection. Handling the seperation of car pools and HOT lane users from larger vehicles is not designed in this proposal, but is presumably resolvable with a minimum of risk.

November 23, 2009

Procedural Comments on the Tacoma I5 Environmental Impact Statement

Below are procedural comments on the I5 Tacoma HOV project, including a description of my own interests.

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Date: August 29, 2009

To: Carrie Berry, Tacoma HOV Environmental Coordinator

CC: Claudia Cornish, Communications Manager

RE: Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program Supplemental Environmental Assessment

The following comments go to procedural issues concerning your current Tacoma HOV environmental review. My substantive comments will follow shortly.

I have received and preliminarily reviewed the IJR report for the Tacoma HOV projects. I had assumed that a report describing the WSDOT analyses direct access HOV ramps for Freighthouse Square and Downtown Tacoma would be included, apparently incorrectly.

Additionally appendix ‘E’, the Wetland and Stream assessment is missing from both the distributed CD and the website for the NEPA assessment. Lastly, please note that although I have lay qualifications read the environmental appendices associated with this project there is too much material to reasonably review in the time allotted.

Continue reading "Procedural Comments on the Tacoma I5 Environmental Impact Statement" »

Comments on the Interstate 5 HOV Tacoma Project

Below are my comments on the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review of the current Tacoma I5 project, from August.

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To: Carrie Berry, Environmental Manager I-5 HOV Team

CC: Multiple

Re: Tacoma I-5 HOV NEPA Comments

Some 2 years ago I was walking my dog near my residence, less than 2 blocks from this WSDOT project’s stretch of I-5, and noticed the almost natural grading suitable for a bike trail on the recently completed I-5 projects just to the South. As such I was inspired to restart my civic involvement starting with the analysis of the feasibility of a local connector bike trail at the periphery of I-5 between S. 38th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Continue reading "Comments on the Interstate 5 HOV Tacoma Project" »

February 15, 2010

Slumburbia?

New York Times stringer and author Tim Egan (The Good Rain) opines in the New York Times on the steep decline of housing prices in the greater San Francisco 'sprawl' zone. Anecdotally Egan cites the case of Lathrop California, two hours from the Bay Area in the Central Valley. Housing prices there have dropped from a peak of $500,000 to $150,000.

This is an interesting phenomenon, certainly both worthy and timely. But where Egan takes his analysis of this tragedy is truly irresponsible.

First, he implies that the problem in Lathrop and surrounding communities is the model of foreclosure throughout the United States. Then, curiously, he defines such areas as slums in a typical Seattle passive aggressive manner.

Continue reading "Slumburbia?" »

February 22, 2011

Alaskan Way Viaduct
-Before the Growth Management Hearings Board of Washington State

Below the jump is a 'Petition For Review (PFR) to the Growth Management Hearings Board concerning the ramifications and processes of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The jurisdiction of this PFR extends the envelope of practice before the board, consistent with the law and appropriate to the circumstances. These circumstances include the alleged victimization of the petitioner by King County, its Courts and officers (public and private) and the State of Washington as an inappropriate growth management practice. As such, State Courts massive jurisdictional problems over the matters at hand.

Please note that petitioners academic, civic, and professional experience in these subjects is substantial, likely in a preponderance of measures exceeding that of Board members in depth and seniority. Board members Paegler and Earling have direct familiarity with this history and petitioner in fact ‘trained’ them in some regards during the professional emergence of Growth Management.

Lastly please note that there are substantive and procedural matters regarding this case that must remain confidential to the Board and Respondents.

Continue reading "Alaskan Way Viaduct
-Before the Growth Management Hearings Board of Washington State" »

March 26, 2013

THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR
A US 'Counter-Insurgency' against the American People?
A Crazy Allegation, Which Just Might be Right

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Like war in the Middle East, southern border violence has permeated the otherwise satiated and obese American mind. We have been presented a consistent set of perspectives, but is it really the truth?

Among the educated and still thinking citizenry criticism of American actions in the Middle East is well known, such as the moral hypocrisy of the state of Israel. Once the victims of a genocidal holocaust Israel has become the perpetrators of an identical atrocity against the Palestinian people.

In a recently released video the BBC's Arabic Desk, in conjunction with the Guardian website, details the counter-insurgency tactics of the US in Iraq. BBC and the Guardian allege a divide and conquer effort utilizing Shia militias to battle Sunni resistors, utilizing specialized strategies and personnel developed in El Salvador and Vietnam, including the infamous 'Death Squads'

My question for you: Is the American Military, and whomever actually controls it, is engaging in an ongoing relationship with the Drug Cartels of Mexico creating a holocaust zone of genocidal death on both sides of the US border?

Continue reading "THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR
A US 'Counter-Insurgency' against the American People?
A Crazy Allegation, Which Just Might be Right" »

April 22, 2013

ON THE ROAD WEATHER REPORT: Moab, Utah

Breaking from a week plus of frequent rain, a glorious sunset over the slick-rock, transitioning to a waxing crescent moon peeking silver through sublime cumulus over glimmering pale Navajo sandstone.

Local conditions at the Behind the Rocks area just south of Moab: predominately motorized use, though mountain bikers and hikers are still present. Thanks to the addition of designated campsites on Utah State land chalk this area as a victory for the off-road crowd, but one also still suitable for non-motorized use, especially mid-week or off-peak. Some divisive 'redneck' attitudes were present among these users, but no worse than I've witnessed from mountain bikers, as of late. Sub-surface passive aggressiveness present, but was either challenge-able through conversation and/or other members of the party.

In the growing, popular Moab this is an area to focus more intensive use upon - improving some of the main access roads which would make hiking in the adjoining areas easier, likely also is additional space for more motorcycle/ATV/Jeep Trails. All in all has the potential to be a first class example of multiple use management.

Also, the near term forecast for wildflowers is excellent.

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