Join us at PSRC’s General Assembly on May 29

Registration is now open for the Puget Sound Regional Council’s annual General Assembly meeting and VISION 2040 awards dinner on Thursday, May 29, 4-8 p.m., at the Seattle Westin.

The General Assembly will meet May 29 at the Seattle Westin.

The General Assembly will meet May 29 at the Seattle Westin.

The General Assembly includes mayors, councilmembers, commissioners, and other representatives from PSRC’s members.

The Assembly will vote on the agency’s budget and an update to the regional transportation plan, and will elect PSRC’s president and vice president.

The business meeting will be followed by a reception and the VISION 2040 awards dinner to honor the outstanding work by public and private organizations to help the region sustain a great quality of life.

For more information, contact Sheila Rogers at srogers@psrc.org or 206-464-5815.

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Maritime industry fuels local economy

Check out this great Port of Tacoma video that follows longshoreman Eddie Flores around town as he spends his paycheck. Eddie is a ILWU Local 23 member.

An estimated 40% of the jobs in Washington state are related to international trade. And the central Puget Sound region is home to a thriving maritime industry, which generates about $30 billion annually in Washington state. Maritime wages average $70,800 per year.

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CityClub event to feature U.S. Reps Kilmer and Reichert

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On April 22, CityClub is hosting a Working Across the Aisle conversation with U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-6th) and U.S. Representative Dave Reichert (WA-8th) to discuss how they find common ground and produce policy solutions.

Participants will be able to hear their thoughts on building trust in (and within) the political system and ideas for avoiding partisanship. Political journalist Robert Mak will moderate the program.

The Working Across the Aisle conversation will be held at the Sheraton Seattle, from 11:30 – 1:30. You can register online.

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There’s an app for eating local in Puget Sound

A new Puget Sound Fresh app makes it easy to find out what’s in season at farms and farmers markets when you’re on the go.

fresh-appThe app was developed through a collaboration of Pierce County and Cascade Harvest Coalition, using support from student interns at the University of Washington Tacoma – Institute of Technology.

Using the app, users can find U-pick strawberries, farmers markets, local organic eggs, information on local farms, recipes, harvest festivals, classes, and more.  The new Puget Sound Fresh mobile app compiles resources available through the annual Farm Guide.

Cascade Harvest Coalition’s Puget Sound Fresh program is dedicated to encouraging residents in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties to “eat local” and support local farms and food producers.

Supporting a healthy, sustainable regional food system is a goal of PSRC’s  Regional Food Policy Council, which brings together community, government, business and agricultural interests to develop policy recommendations to strengthen the regional food system.

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PSRC recommends $5 million for Darrington, Oso, Arlington area recovery

Responding to the landslide tragedy in the Oso area, the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation Policy Board today unanimously recommended an emergency funding action to provide $5 million of PSRC’s federal transportation funds to Snohomish County.

PSRC's transportation board today unanimously recommended $5 million in emergency funding to help economic recovery of Darrington, Oso and Arlington areas.

PSRC’s transportation board unanimously recommended $5 million in emergency funding to help economic recovery in areas affected by the Oso landslide.

“As we in Snohomish County have been responding to the tragic events of the Oso landslide disaster, it is apparent that the Town of Darrington will need ongoing support for its economic recovery in the months and years to come.  This funding award will be an important first step,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick.

These funds will be awarded to Snohomish County’s North Road, SR 524 – 164th Street SW project for immediate use.  In turn, Snohomish County will use an equal amount of county funding for key transportation projects in the Town of Darrington and its vicinity to support the economic recovery of the valley.

Read the rest

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Regional leaders to consider $5 million for Darrington area economic recovery

The Oso Landslide has prompted an emergency request to the Puget Sound Regional Council for $5 million in federal transportation funds to be used to help with economic recovery within the Town of Darrington and vicinity.

Photo of National Guard at Oso landslide

Members of the National Guard assist with search and rescue. (Photo credit: Snohomish County)

A request  from County Executive John Lovick and County Council Chair Dave Somers will be considered by the transportation board tomorrow.

Final action on the request is expected by the PSRC’s Executive Board on April 24th.

Executive Lovick and Councilmembers Somers write:

“We have an opportunity to meet real needs in the Town of Darrington at this time and to set the stage for its economic recovery.”

The request would have no impact on other current projects within the region, and would help the region close an anticipated $15 million gap in overall project delivery.

“Our region has never experienced a tragedy quite like this,” said PSRC’s Executive Director Josh Brown.  “But in my experience, when our communities face challenges, our region comes together.”

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Freight Roundtable discusses maritime sector & Great Northern rail corridor

At its April meeting, the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable discussed the findings from a study of the economic impact of the region’s maritime industry.

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Direct and indirect employment from maritime is equal to 148,000 jobs, and about $30 billion in sales, resulting in about $352 million in state taxes for the period of 2007-2012.

The study found that the region has the second largest concentration of Captains, Mates, and Pilots next to Miami.

The Roundtable also heard a presentation on the Great Northern Corridor Coalition.  The coalition is comprised of the eight states crossed by the BNSF northern line connecting to the Pacific Northwest Gateway.

The coalition is studying the broader transportation issues along the entire corridor to identify areas for potential infrastructure and operational investment to improve the performance of the rail corridor.

Lastly, Amy Scarton, WSDOT Assistant Secretary of Community and Economic Development, provided an overview of challenges and priorities for the department, and outlined a plan to integrate department planning across modes and functions.

All presentations and links from the meeting are available at the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable web page.

The next Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable will be held on Friday, June 6, from 7:30 – 9 a.m., in the PSRC Boardroom.

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