In here it smells like Ivar's restaurant a few days after the power went out. The walls feel like wet broken glass. Your feet splash in cold, ankle deep water and they crunch and squish on a carpet of muscles, barnacles and anemones. When it's empty the big lock is an 800 foot long concrete fish tank. It's slippery in spots but DO NOT grab at the wall to keep your balance.

"You won't know you're cut until you bleed," says Army Corps' Dru Butterfield, giving a safety talk before the tour.


Blocked arteries: Workers scrape barnacles from one of the two culverts under the Ballard Locks. Photo by Steve Clark

I was viewing a recent meeting of the Burien City Council when everyone was discussing the viability of the environmental studies structure planned for Seahurst Park and realized that I had some concerns.

First of all, I have to say that I have known Georgette Valle practically my whole life and consider her a friend and have great respect for her contributions to local politics as a former city council member and a legislator in Olympia.


As the environment of public libraries begins to change to a more relaxed atmosphere, community interest in the Seattle Public Library system seems to be rising, particularly for the Ballard branch.

According to the Seattle Public Library's communication director, Andra Addison, the Ballard branch has always been the busiest of the 25 Seattle Library divisions.

At midday there, the information desk is a whirl of activity as librarian Ellen FitzGerald helps a young boy check out dinosaur books.


In response to "House Meets Height Law" of Nov. 2.

The new "dream house" being built by Vassil Dimitrov on the water side of the 4200 Block of Beach Drive is now blocking the view of the water for most owners of condos and apartments across the street.

Contrary to Mr. Dimitrov's statement, how could any of us be happy with this four-story house?


Ballard resident Susan Partnow is traveling to Nigeria later this month as part of a local delegation to help open a new library in the Ijaw village of Oporoza.

She will join a group of 16 others brought together by Seattle-based Global Citizen Journey (GCJ) whose goal is build understanding, peace and friendship among different cultures of the world.

GCJ delegates work on service projects, hold workshops and dialogue, and do other work while establishing grassroots relationships with the people they visit.

Last month, Partnow was in Oporoza to attend the groun


Now more than ever, West Seattle needs the monorail.

While the city's urban village scheme may have helped improve our local business climate; provided better choices for restaurants, entertainment and shopping; and increased the housing supply, it has come at a high price to our mobility.

West Seattle's streets are clogged with traffic morning, noon and night as a result of the building boom in the Junction, along California Avenue and Alki - all throughout our community.

Getting in and out of West Seattle during the commute is especially frustrating.


Burien City Council candidate Rose Clark announced last week that she has received more endorsements, including the King County Police Officers Guild.

Clark is running against Councilman Stephen Lamphear for council Position 5.

Members of the Police Officers Guild stated they "were impressed with her views and positions on public safety issues."

Clark led a successful effort to reduce crime in Burien apartment complexes.

She has also been endorsed by the Sierra Club, The Women's Political Caucus and The Madrona Institute.

The Sierra Club s


Results from a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency study reveal emissions from Lafarge Cement are the likely source of an odor that has plagued and puzzled many residents of south Seattle for years.

Since 2001, residents in Highland Park, South Park, Burien and parts of West Seattle have complained of an odd smell that most described as bleach-like.


COLOR IN PLUME. The slightly yellowish color of the LaFarge Cement plume could be high concentrations of nitrogen oxides or particles on the plume could cause a brown color depending on the angle of the sun, according to a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency official. - Matthew E. Durham

Governor Christine Gregoire said she plans create an initiative to clean and preserve the Puget Sound, causing the Metropolitan King County Council, and many other interested organizations, to discuss the possible challenges the County will face to successfully protect the natural resource.

The King County Council made the issue the topic of the day at its Town Hall meeting Monday, Sept.


Temperatures in Iraq are starting to cool down, thanks to the help of a local company.

Tukwila-based Red Dot Corp. has been working since April 2004 on special air conditioning units for armored Humvees in Iraq.

Since then, they have shipped almost 16,000 units to the heat-ridden country along with another 6,000 units for other vehicles in the field.

"This whole process has just been incredible," Bill Jewell, product marketing supervisor," said last week.



Bill Jewell from Tukwila's Red Dot Corp. stands by Humvees equipped with his company's special air conditioning units.

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