The South Park Bridge, which is just as vital to South Park as the West Seattle Bridge is to West Seattle, could be damaged beyond repair in an earthquake, but there isn't enough money to replace it.

Some of the pilings that support the 75-year-old bridge over the Duwamish River were never driven deeply enough into the river bottom. As a result, the bascule piers now tilt and King County bridge crews struggle to keep the moveable span operating.


Matthew E. Durham

BRIDGE HIGHLY VULNERABLE TO QUAKE. The 75-year-old South Park Bridge over the Duwamish has crumbling piers that don't reach bedrock, a lift span that barely fits together and would cost up to $81 million to repair. Yet, it carries 24,000 vehicles a day and 10 million tons of freight a year.

The South Park Bridge is in even worse condition than the Alaskan Way Viaduct and will likely fall down during the next big earthquake, if it doesn't stop working altogether first.

The Page One story in this week's issue says the South Park Bridge gets a "sufficiency rating" of 8 of a possible 100 points, while the viaduct is rated 9 of 100.

Does this make us feel safer when we use either?

A host of top Seattle corporation leaders, including Microsoft's Steve Balmer, Boeing's Alan Mulally and Safeco's Mike McGavick have joined a host of political and business l


The Friends of Fremont Peak Park will soon enjoy the fruits of their labor when construction begins this spring on a park they have worked to create for more than four years.

It all started with the vision of a man named Jack Tomkinson, a Fremont resident and neighbor to a piece of land in upper Fremont that will be the site of new Fremont Peak Park.

Tomkinson, a development director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, was always aware of the unique property with 180-degree views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

But the privately owned land where three house



Having been a Boeing worker during the prolonged tragic strike of 1948, I remember how it felt to stand around a barrel of burning scrapwood at the Renton plant trying to keep warm, waving a picket sign at passing cars.

Each week I would go to the union hall for my weekly strike benefit. In those days it was only $10. Not much when you have a family of three kids to feed .

We lived in a tiny two-bedroom in McMicken Heights and the rent was only $31 a month.


On behalf of the city of Burien Arts Commission and the Discover Burien Association, it is my pleasure to thank all of the many people who made the Spring Stroll Art Walk so special on May 7.

This was the biggest art walk we have ever presented with over 50 businesses and craft booths, and over 60 artists on board. We were thrilled to have good weather and excellent sales throughout the day. Many thanks and congratulations to all who took part.

Once again, I am grateful to the Times/News for giving us great coverage.


Beginning Oct. 1, King County residents and businesses will be prohibited from disposing of computers, laptops, monitors, television sets and cell phones in the garbage or at transfer stations.

The county's ban on electronics disposal aims to encourage recycling of the valuable materials contained in these products, and to reduce the amount of heavy metals and other hazardous materials in our environment.

Each day in Washington, approximately 1,600 computers become obsolete.


For the past three weeks, Diane Sewell of Burien has wondered about the victims of Hurricane Katrina, whose graphic images on television display their pain and loss.

"People recovering from a disaster, even though they need the stress relief, don't have taking care of themselves at the top of their list," Sewell noted recently.

As a licensed counselor, she has many concerns about the recovery of these victims - who include members of her own family.

Sewell's daughter, Jan Horn, son-in-law Mike, and three-year-old grandson Steel, have been foremost in her mind.<



Mike, Jan and three-year-old Steel Horn felt the effects of Hurricane Katrina in Mobile, Alabama. Mike and Jan, fitness shop owners and bodybuilding competitors, helped with the relief effort in their hometown.

Members of the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce learned last week that the local business organization may merge soon with the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce.

Business communities in Burien, SeaTac and Tukwila already are represented by the Southwest King County Chamber.

But, Des Moines Chamber president Jane Ipsen stated, "It's all discussion" at this time.


Special to the Times/News

For 58 years, since 1947, our Chamber of Commerce has worked together with local businesses and residents for the community's good.

But by year's end, the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce as we have known it may close their office doors for the last time.

We're positioning ourselves to access more resources for future business growth and economic development here," Chamber President Jane Ipsen declared last week.

The Chamber's board of directors has begun discussions with the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce (


I wish to extend a sincere thanks to the folks who have been working so hard to get things ready to go to Texas to help the victims of Katrina.

Thank you to Mayor Gibb and his wife, Councilman Steven Lamphear, Councilman Jack Block Jr.

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