County so short of cash its closing parks

King County announced that they are going to close 39 parks to cut $4.6million from the $56.4 million budget shortfall for 2010. Some of these parks had been newly upgraded such as White Center Park(2007 upgrade).

All of the 39 park land will remain open however not maintained and in December all facilities such as playgrounds, toilets, carparks will be locked or fenced off.

King County Executive Kurt Triplett called for possible proposals from cities and taxpayers to transfer the park ownership for free. Some cities have looked at annexing the parks from the county however this would often take more than 18 months.

SOURCE: King County Government

Kentucky surface mined mountains whats left behind?

Bill Estep of the Lexington Herald Leader at Kentucky.com has written the interesting article titled The plan: Plant 125 million trees which is the first in a an occasional series of stories about what happens to the land left behind after the mountains have been mined.

A group promoting reforestation in Appalachia is seeking more than $422 million to plant trees on mountains that were cleared or leveled for surface mining, a program that could have far-reaching impact on the economy and environment of the region……..

Read the first article in a series at the SOURCE:  Lexington Herald Leader at Kentucky.com - The plan: Plant 125 million trees

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – The Sierra Club

Designs on Policy – Allison Arieff Blog – NYTimes.com

A great opinion piece about a need for a Design Policy by Allison Arieff  of the NYTimes.com

Some designers I spoke to are less than thrilled with the whole design policy idea. An architect said emphatically, “Good design needs no spokesperson, needs no voice other than itself.” Yet I’m not convinced that’s always the case. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be living in, as I’ve heard one homeowner describe it, “a house with a Spanish Gothic front”, or driving Pontiac Aztecs through poorly designed intersections……..

read the full op-ed piece at the SOURCE: NYTimes.com – Designs on Policy – Allison Arieff Blog

Group presents recommendations on improving Port Angeles – Peninsula Daily News

Peninsula Daily News reports

“Creating a presence of both Port Angeles and the downtown area would be one way to create a more inviting city, a group of architects told Port Angeles leaders and citizens on Wednesday night.

Carol Mayer-Reed, Portland, Ore.-based landscape architect as a member of the consultant team.

read the full article @ the Peninsula Daily News – Group presents recommendations on improving Port Angeles

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10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2008 – APTA

American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports

“Despite falling gas prices and an economic recession, increasing numbers of Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2008, the highest level of ridership in 52 years and a modern ridership record, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This represents a 4.0 percent increase over the number of trips taken in 2007 on public transportation, while at the same time, vehicle miles traveled (VMTs) on our nation’s roads declined by 3.6 percent in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.”

SOURCE: APTA: 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2008 — Highest Level in 52 Years; Ridership Increased as Gas Prices Decline and Jobs Were Lost

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