Ed. Note: This letter to the editor is in response to the March 26 article "Swedish engineer takes on union."
I've been an employee of the Swedish engineering department for 13 years and a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers over 15. I was elected shop steward for the membership over eight years ago.
Our employer, Swedish Health Services, has a contractual agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers' local chapter 286.
"The union" (in this case) consists of our engineering employees over four campuses and various other locations. Of the roughly 50 persons of varied job classifications, 95 percent are members that make up eligible voting engineers for Swedish.
The remaining 5 percent were those employee who chose not to join at the time of the contract conception but were covered under the contract between medical facility and the union just like the members.
The West Seattle Junction Merchants are sponsoring the "Junction’s Tax Free Day for All.” April 17. The event will feature tax-free purchases and discounts on products and services from 30 different merchants in the Junction. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Print out online coupons.
Look for the stores with a red balloon to find participating merchants.
Coffee to a Tea
Friends and Company
Hotwire Online Coffeehouse
Jan’s Beauty Supply
Red Cup Espresso
Seattle Fish Company
Stop and Shop
Terjung’s Studio of Gifts
The Forsythe Studio
Twilight Artist Collective
Wallflower Custom Framing
Wild Rose’s Antiques & Gifts
For the past 30 years, engineer John Olafson has been in charge of fixing water heaters, repairing electrical systems and maintaining any other nonmedical equipment at what is now Swedish/Ballard.
Swedish has been very good to him, and he said he wants to stay there until he retires. But, a disagreement with the engineers' union, which he is not a member of, over a pension plan he doesn't want is putting a dark cloud over the job he has enjoyed doing for three decades.
"I'm forced into a Central Pension Fund I don't want anything to do with," Olafson said. "I feel like I'm not being heard by the union I'm represented by but not a member of."
In 1982, the engineers at Ballard Community Hospital severed relationships with their union, Local 286. Olafson said Ballard Community Hospital took good care of the engineers until 1992 when it merged with Swedish, which is represented by Local 286.
"Not too many of us wanted anything to do with that union," Olafson said.
He said fear for his job led him to try to join Local 286. The union said he could join if he could convince a majority of his coworkers to join, he said.
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
3602 S.W. Alaska Street
Staging their first annual Sidewalk Sale.
They will have up to 50% off all winter gear. 20% off Thule, Paddlesports, and Skates.
Raffles for Atomic Sugar Daddy's, Salomon FIsh 130 Jr Skis, and lots of other prizes from Smith, Uvex, Swix, Pow, Spacecraft, and others. Proceeds to benefit the newly forming West Seattle Snowsports Council!
Open till 9:30 on Friday with a Free BBQ and Music (maybe live, maybe ipod, they need to see who shows up).
Gift Certificates available for Alki Kayak Tours, some of the best prices of the year...got any birthdays coming up?
4461 California Ave SW
Fleurt will open it's first retail location in West Seattle April 2.
We deliver fresh blooms daily throughout Seattle. Free West Seattle delivery.
Seattle Integrated Martial Arts and Limber Yoga
two new buisnesses located across from Jefferson Square on 42nd ave. SW.
On March 19, the King County Superior Court heard the case between the City of Seattle and representatives of Ballard industries over the completion of the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail. A ruling will be made in the case by April 2.
The hearing stemmed from a June 15 lawsuit filed by a group of maritime and industrial trade associations and businesses challenging the city’s decision no to conduct a State Environmental Protection Act review on the Missing Link, which runs from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Ballard Locks.
The same group of business and industry representatives filed an appeal with the Seattle Office of the Hearing Examiner over the Seattle Department of Transportation's determination of nonsignificance on the environmental impacts of completing the trail in December 2009.
The hearing examiner ruled in favor of the city June 9.
David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said neither side has an inside track on what the judge was thinking during the March 19 hearing, and the ruling could go either way.
But, the judge must give extra weight to the hearing examiner's earlier ruling, Hiller said.
The Seattle African Violet Society and Puget Sound Gesneriad Society are hosting a display and sale of their club propagated plants at Swansons Nursery this weekend.
On hand are a wide variety of African Violet varieties and Gesneriads that demonstrate the incredible diversity of these easy-to-grow plants.
There are a number of prize-winning plants on display.
"Growing plants on the inside is great because you have blooms all year," said Rohm Gustafson, president of the Puget Sound Gesneriad Society.
Swansons Nursey is located at 9701 15th Ave. N.W.
Because of recent concerns over the health of the environment and the health of pocketbooks, the federal government has been pushing for weatherizing homes and businesses to prevent the loss of energy.
Windovative Design, a Bellingham-based company expanding to Seattle, is trying to make it easier for businesses located in historical buildings, such as Divine Spine on the third floor of the Old Ballard Firehouse, to do just that.
"The government is starting to realize that this is really important – that conservation is the easiest form of energy renewal," said Van Calvez, owner of Windovative Design.
Up to 40 percent of a typical energy bill can be covering energy lost through single-paned windows, Calvez said.
Derek Strachen from Divine Spine said he wanted to weatherize his windows because he always had an interest in doing something to help the environment and keep energy costs down.
Calvez said weatherizing historic buildings can often be a challenge because people want to keep the old windows and replacement windows are often too expensive.
Exterior storm windows can also be difficult to install on taller buildings, he said.
Happy Hour Extended is a West Seattle business with a clever idea and St. Patrick's Day was an excellent occasion to hold it's first annual Admiral Pub Crawl. The business, run by Mark and Nikki Turpen offers a membership card that gives you happy hour prices anytime at selected businesses. It's not just for drinks but includes many other businesses that offer discounts through the card.
Though they had never held a pub crawl before they had a great turnout of over 40 people that began at the Brickyard BBQ where people registered and signed up to win prizes, and pay their membership fee. There was plenty of irish spirit on hand and and not just in the drinks. Angel Sorenson showed off her dance skills and there were lots of laughs.
West Seattle Nursery
5275 California Ave SW 206.935.9276 New shipments of Rhododendrons and Japanese Maples now in stock! Stop in this weekend and check them out.
Sammy Faour, Owner 4752 California Ave SW 206.407.3474 Now offering a delicious "Brunch" on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Stop in and enjoy!
Linda Green-Baskett, Owner 3400 Harbor Ave. SW #203 (ActivSpace) 206.682.9564 Now in West Seattle, former St. James Cathedral Parish Psychotherapist