Clay’s Corner for November 2021
Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986
One of the major events of this past month was the Ransomware attack against Sinclair. The impact was felt, locally, by their TV Stations as well as their, just sold, radio properties of KOMO-AM & FM, KVI and KPLZ. This was not a locally targeted event, but rather one aimed at the entire Sinclair operation.
Ransomware is a technique that seems to be gaining traction with online extortionists, often located overseas, attacking private industry and public institutions. If you recall, an East-Coast pipeline was hit not long ago. Major broadcast groups have been targets as well. Entercom/Audacy comes to mind. Certainly, Sinclair was an attractive target with some 185 stations in 86 markets.
With our shift to IP based everything, more and more of operational functions of organizations are vulnerable. A good example of this is the shift to VOIP telephone systems. Not long again company phone system would have been immune to such attacks.
You could feel the pain as news anchors were forced to do without many of their computer aids….In many ways, they had to do things ‘The old way’
Perhaps many have wondered why there are not back-up systems ready to be deployed that are not connected to the outside world. The answer to that may well be the fact that these systems would be expensive to set up and maintain. Perhaps now, many are reconsidering the value, and expense, of a ‘ready to go’ plan-B? It’s like insurance, you never need it…until you do.
On October 12, after interviewing US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, USA TODAY’s editorial board warned its readers about a dangerous new form of cyberattack under this eye-catching headline:
“The next big cyberthreat isn’t ransomware. It’s killware. And it’s just as bad as it sounds.”
But while “killware” sounds scary, the term itself is un-helpful when describing the many types of cyberattacks that, like USA TODAY wrote, “can literally end lives,” and that’s because nearly any type of hack, no matter the intention, can result in death. Complicating this is the fact that some known cyberattacks that have allegedly led to deaths. The term “killware” can confuse antivirus customers seeking reassurance that their own vendor is protecting them from this threat, but antivirus vendors do not stop attacks based on intent, they stop attacks based on method.
Want to read more about this? Go here –
“Killware”: Is it just as bad as it sounds? – Malwarebytes Labs | Malwarebytes Labs
As have been writing about since the outset of this Pandemic – We will likely find that things will not return to the way they were when this is over….But rather there will be a new normal. iHeartMedia’s top executives recently confirmed this by unveiling a new ‘hybrid work model’. In an announcement to the company, they stated that the pandemic has ‘provided lessons in flexibility’ and the new model will focus on increasing productivity while prioritizing a healthy work-life balance’. Here, locally, the iHM Engineers have been restructuring much of their operation that will end up reducing the need for conventional concentration of technical functions at the company studios. The writing is on the wall…Those that visit many Radio operations in the future will be very disappointed in the lack of what they have to see.
After our abnormally long and hot summer – we are now, clearly, entering a new phase – to start with – On the 12th of October we set a record for the coldest day and early October since 1899. The High was 50, the Low was 36 for an average of only 43 degrees (For our Canadian Readers, we still use F down here). Suddenly we were starting to wonder what this might mean in terms of the months to come.
A bit of digging and you can come up with some interesting data that may (or may not) point to what to expect –
First there is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)…I’ve boiled this down to the following –
- The CPC has issued a “La Niña Watch” indicating the possibility of La Niña developing in the Fall.
- Current ENSO modelshave the chances of La Niña developing by October-November-December at 67%
- The three-month outlook for Fall (September through November; SON) has equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal temperaturesfor nearly the entire state.
- Fall precipitationoutlook calls for higher chances of above normal precipitation for western WA but equal chances of below, equal to, or normal precipitation in eastern WA.
- Long-range forecasters have growing confidence that much of the Pacific Northwest — and in particular Western Washington— is set to have a winter season that is both cooler and wetter than normal.
Perhaps the last bullet point, above, says it all?
Then there is this map. Notice the blue area in the NW Corner of the U.S. (Where we live)
Then there is this item –
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its winter outlook for the United States on Thursday, calling for a cold and stormy winter from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes, but relatively warm and dry conditions elsewhere.
Therefore, if we are to believe the ‘experts’ ….We will (again) have an above average snow-pack (Great for skiers and water supplies) and – perhaps – have some white stuff for the rest of us (not so great news for drivers but great news for those that will continue to be able to work from home) Anyone want to wager on this ?
On the 24th we were hearing weather forecasts using terms like – Bomb Cyclone. At 10 AM on the 24th the Pressure in Forks was 28.89 and Falling (wow!). Then on the 27th the forecast was for us to be hit with an Atmospheric River (ala pineapple express) with a ton of rain expected.
I was recently saddened with the news that Rick Edwards had passed away at a Hospice in Marrietta, GA. at the age of 74
You may have not known Rick, but I did. I got to know him through SBE. In fact, he was one, of several, that urged me to seek a position on the SBE Board of Directors. Rick was in on the beginning of what was later called GDC, or Game Day Coordination program.
Rick and I shared our love of bit, multi-station transmitter sites. Later, when CityScape Consultants was formed to serve local governments in wireless infrastructure siting, I did some work for that firm, working with Rick. He retired from that work in 2018. He was a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE) and Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers (SMPTE). I recall Rick as being one full of energy and enthusiasm.
At long last – KOMO Radio and KOMO TV are owned by different companies. The former Fisher/Sinclair Radio group in Seattle is now owned and operated by Lotus. They are joined by two other former co-owned radio/TV operations that continue to share call letters – KIRO and KING. Despite those that feel that having the same call letters for different Radio and TV owners is a mistake….We seem to do just fine. In years past Call Letters were the primary mends of identification of a broadcast operation. Not so much these days. We have the ability to differentiate Classic-KING-FM from KING-5 etc.
Some of the KOMO’s were dropped in the process – the Boosters that operated to enhance the KOMO-FM operation in Tukwila and Centralia.
Meanwhile – KOMO-AM soldiers on as it has been doing since 1926
Another AM has ‘bit the dust’. Saga (who owns a cluster of stations in Bellingham) has surrendered the license for WJYI in Norfolk leaving Market #45 with one less station. The FCC reports there were 4,519 licensed AMs as of Sept. 30. That is a decline of 14 during the third quarter, and 41 fewer compared to a year ago.
The pandemic has had an impact on FM stations as well with 22 of them going dark this past year. Meanwhile, below 92 MHz there are 15 more non-commercial FM’s. The real gain has been with FM Translators which have increase by 432 from a year ago. Low Power FM’s is down by 62. Perhaps those that were eager to have a little radio station in their community have discovered the amount of effort required to keep them going?
Time to, once again, look at the Seattle-Tacoma Radio Ratings from Nielsen
Here are the things that stood out to me –
- Just counting those over 12 years of age, there are now 4,042,000 of us in this area.
- #1 is KIRO-FM (West Tiger Mountains first radio station)
- There are now 4-HD-2’s getting numbers. An all-time high
- KOMO and KUOW are tied at #3.
- KNKX and KEXP are tied at #9
- There are now TWO AM’s in the Top-10 (KOMO and KIRO)
Not all AM’s are doing well – 1090/KFNQ is outrated by the KNKX -HD2
Tegna (KING and KONG) are duking it out with the Dish Network. Not sure where this one will end.
The following picture comes from Dwight Small. Here a technician is working with the new audio system at the new Climate Pledge Arena (Formally Key Arena). Now home of the Seattle professional Hockey team – Kracken. I also learned that Greg Ristau has been working on frequency coordination for the venue. If you are like me, you recall this building from back in 1962 when It was part of the Seattle Worlds Fair. This time around it underwent a Billion Dollar overhaul and upgrade turning it into an amazing facility. Now the home of the areas first NHL team. Next up will certainly be a push to get an NBA team. Hard to remember back in the days when the Sonics were our only national level team. Now we have major league – Football, Baseball, Soccer and Hockey. You may have noticed hour our local TV Stations have been giving this update facility a lot of air-time.
After all the power failures and outages associated with the recent hurricane on the Gulf Coast, the FCC is ‘wondering’ if there should be back-up power requirements for some of these critical facilities…Additionally they are looking at making DIRS reporting mandatory and improved means for getting fuel for station generators. For the broadcast stations that don’t have generators this could be considered an un-funded mandate and, if so, is certainly going to result in push-back. Rightfully this this would also apply to cellular systems, many of which went down recently. (See my column from last month) All of this is part of a new NPRM. If you want more information on this item, reference NPRM (PS Docket 21-346)
With all the concern about shortages of water (In areas south of us) there are a number of options. Desalination is certainly being done all over the world. However, what do you do when you are not near a large body of salt water? Looking at this issue I ran into a company called Tsunami Products. Here’s a link to their web-site –
Tsunami Products – atmospheric water generators made in USA
What I found interesting is their location –
Tsunami Products, Inc.
1711 N. Madson St.
Liberty Lake, WA. 99019, USA
Wow!….This is near Spokane, WA. Who knew?
The Biden Administration finally got around to, formally, nominating Jessica Rosenworcel the chair the FCC. She’s been in that position since January….Perhaps, by now, proving she is up to the job? This is the first woman to head the Commission. The President also nominated Gigi Oohn to fill the other. The Senate Commerce Committee now has the job of vetting the nominees. The Chair of that Committee is Maria Cantwell from our State.
Looking for a job with WSU’s NWPB? Here are the details….. Yes this is worded like an opening for an IT person, but really it’s for a Broadcast Engineer – (Note the portions I’ve highlighted)
WSU Jobs – Workday (myworkdayjobs.com)
1137-NN – Information Systems Coordinator
Information Systems Coordinator
Administrative Professional – Not OT Eligible
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
In accordance with Washington State Governor’s Proclamation 21-14.1, as a condition of employment, all WSU employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical/religious accommodation no later than October 18, 2021. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last shot in a vaccine series. Vaccine or an approved accommodation for new employees will be verified no later than October 18, 2021. If the effective date of appointment is October 18, 2021 or later vaccine or approved accommodation status will be verified prior to first day of employment. Please reach out to Human Resource Services (HRS) at email@example.com or 509-335-4521 if you have questions regarding this.
Summary of Duties:
The Telecommunications Systems Coordinator is responsible for the development, implementation, design, operations and maintenance of information systems, network transmission, as well as desktop computers, network servers/computers and related computer technology in the Murrow College. The Systems Coordinator evaluates and establishes protocols for users of hardware, software, and other network specifications. The position independently assesses, identifies and provides analysis and procedures including consulting and collaborating with users to determine systems functionality for internal clients including academic units and Northwest Public Broadcasting. This position bears the responsibility for maintaining all associated computer systems, servers, network transmission and related equipment to meet QOS standards and current FCC guidelines.
The complex computerized systems include (but not limited to): desktop computers, servers, IP based radio studios, FM, HD (digital FM), and AM radio transmission, high-definition television studios, digital television transport and world-wide transmission uplinks and downlinks, emergency standby power, central routing and processing infrastructure, and related computer-based monitoring and control.
The position occasionally travels to support system wide initiatives across Washington State, Idaho, and Oregon. The position must independently work at a distance to manage telecommunication and network facilities, and to supervise technical staff. The position must have proven experience with, and a demonstrated understanding of, work performed by supervised staff in order to provide effective instruction and training, documentation, creation and modification of operating systems and to lead team projects with staff from other areas.
Workload, resources, projects, or other priorities may vary the position’s duties to meet objectives of the college.
The position will be on-call to respond to system issues outside of normal business hours. Work will be occasional outdoors year-round in varying weather conditions.
This position manages their region’s budget for site maintenance.
This position is based out of WSU Tri-Cities in Richland, Washington.
Required Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree and three (3) years professional experience OR a combination of education and experience totaling seven (7) years from which comparable knowledge and abilities are acquired. Education and experience may be tailored to specific need requirements of position.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Must complete a cold weather orientation course.
- Must complete a general first aid course.
- Must complete an RFR radiation hazards course.
- Must possess, or be able to obtain at time of hire, a valid, unrestricted driver’s license.
- Must work as a member of a diverse team under deadline constraints.
- Must work a flexible schedule, occasionally travel, drive long distances, and occasionally work outside normal business hours.
- Demonstrated experience with the Microsoft Office suite.
- Five (5) years of progressively responsible experience with telecommunications systems operations and maintenance.
- Advanced-level telecommunications industry certification or licensing. Examples of acceptable certifying organizations include the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), International Association for Radio, Telecommunications and Electromagnetics (iNARTE), and Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO).
- Demonstrated working knowledge of Electronic News Gathering technologies including licensed and unlicensed microwave, satellite uplinks, IP based solutions including WAN/LAN, wireless WIFI and bonded wireless telephony.
- Working knowledge of TCP/IP protocols and the open system interconnection (OSI) network model.
- Demonstrated working knowledge of radio frequency (RF) transmitter and receiver systems.
- Demonstrated working knowledge of television production techniques and systems.
- Additional years supervisory experience to include evaluating position responsibilities, hiring, scheduling, training, evaluating work/performance, and disciplining.
Monthly Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Position Term in months: 12
City, State, Zip: Richland, WA 99354
Area/College: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Department Name: Educational and Public Media, Northwest Public Broadcasting
Department Link: https://murrow.wsu.edu/ and https://www.nwpb.org/
Background Check: This position has been designated by the department to require a background check.
Screening Begin Date: Screening of applications will begin on October 11, 2021, and will continue until the position has been filled.
Application Instructions: Applicants must attach the following documents to their online application: 1) resume and 2) cover letter. Applicants are required to include contact information for professional references within the application. Application materials should clearly communicate how the applicant meets all required qualifications and additional requirements.
2) Cover letter
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.
WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Covid front –
- According to published reports, about 3% of the State workforce are now out of work as a result of the vaccine mandate – Including the WSU football coach who got a lot of press and airtime.
- Will be interesting to see how many will reflect on their decision and end up getting vaccinated.
- Like a lot of things in this country, the legal profession has been called on to attempt to change the decisions. Thus, giving the press more fodder.
- Private Industry, including many large broadcasting firms, have their own mandates
- The recent Kracken debute had a vaccine requirement which did not keep them from packing the new venue.
- Dan Bonjino (Heard in Seattle on 770/KTTH) is publicly threatening to quit because of the vaccine mandate of the network that carries his program….Westwood One, owned by Cumulus Media. I suspect that this may be an effort to gain attention. It should be noted that Bonjino is, himself, vaccinated. Time will tell.
- Cumulus lost several radio hosts because of their vaccination status.
- The fact is – Many have walked away from a good paying job over all of this. Considering the fact that there is a significant shortage of people to fill jobs these days, these may be safe bets?
- When you consider that humans are emotional creatures, and are often driven to do counterproductive things, perhaps we should not be surprised.
- Next Up – Boosters.
- At least for a while, more and more places we go will be asking to see proof that you have been vaccinated. This happened to me on the 22nd at a restaurant in Sequim. Even though I saw some grumbling at the entrance – The place was full of customers…King County is now doing the same.
- On Oct 2nd, the Washington Post ran this item about the impact of Covid on Law Enforcement personnel –
Covid was the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths last year, killing at least 182 officers, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, which tracks such deaths. That’s nearly double the number killed by gun violence and vehicle crashes combined. At least 133 officers have died of covid so far this year, according to the organization.
And finally….One of my readers submitted this one –
The best news is the number of cases of this nasty bug are falling – Fingers Crossed!!!
Meanwhile, across the Pond, we learned the UK radio industry is asking their government for protection from ‘Smart Speakers’. Really! Apparently, they are afraid that U.S. Based firms like Amazon and Google will use data from users listening habits to insert ad content (How dare they?) and, thereby, make it harder to find UK produced content.
I often like to write something about when another organization finds something nice to say about our area. In this case, Wallet Hub has named Sammamish Americas Best Small City. This is pretty cool when you consider there were 1,300 cities across the country in this category. But wait, there’s more !! There were two Eastside towns on the list. Redmond came in #12.
The study compared cities with between 25,000 and 100,000 residents and assembled rankings weighted across 43 livability factors, including housing costs, quality of school districts, median household incomes, unemployment rates and various quality of life measures.
As you may recall, I work for WSU’s NWPB as well as doing some contract work for firms that frequently has me traveling to Cougar and West Tiger Mountain. What follows are pictures from my October travels –
This one taken on the 20th. My planned trip to West Tiger Mt was cut short. Just beyond the Gate at Tiger Summit I encountered this in the middle of the road. Mitch, from IHM was there also and, like me, figured that we were not going to be going up the road on that day.
Yes, they are logging on the Mountain.
This is just one of several big machines that are being used in the process.
This is not the first time that someone tried to get some too-long equipment up that road and ended up regretting it. It’s amazing that they don’t first take a drive up the road in a pickup etc. and scout-out what the conditions are.
Later in the day, Arthur Willetts took this one showing some of the heavy equipment used to get the equipment that slid off the road moved…. The machine that was on the low-boy trailer (Yellow) is now on the up-hill side of the trailer that had been pulled back up on the road with the help of another machine, shown here on the left that was apparently brought in to help.
So, I came back on Saturday the 23rd thinking I would be able to drive up and get the work, planned for a few days earlier, accomplished.
I spoke with one of the loggers who told me they had to drive the big yellow machine, that was on the stuck low-boy, all the way up to the top of the mountain. By now they figured out that they were not going to transport it to the top with the big trailer as first intended.
I shot this on Saturday the 23rd. On the way up, I could clearly see that they had been logging the south-side of West Tigers summit ridge. The tower on the far left is what we call WTM-1 (West Tiger #1) The tower on the far-right is the First Net Tower that was erected about a year and a half ago. Please excuse the fuzzy picture, there were clouds drifting through at the time. If you look close, you can see a number of vehicles on the road to the top. The forest on this side has been cut down, the trees on the other side are next to go. Soon the Ridge will be bare.
For those that travel to transmitter sites via paved streets and road….Think of what you are missing 😊
I’ve been traveling up these roads since 1987. (Perhaps before some that travel it now were born?) I recall when we built this site marveling at the views from the summit. Around these parts trees grow rapidly and, before you know it, your views are gone and your drive is ‘through the woods’. Still hard to convince folks from afar that around here ‘Trees are a crop’.
Meanwhile, up on the ridge, in the following picture, you can see all the recently cut trees on the left of the road, those on the right will be gone in a few days. Oh yes….See that Yellow machine sitting in the middle of the road behind the white truck? This is the same one that was on the low-boy trailer that got stuck a couple of days before. Now the same machine is unable to move due to some broken part and is – again- blocking the road.
Unfortunately, this logging activity has interrupted access to the transmitter site (The towers beyond in this picture) as well as leaving the road a muddy mess for the 6 + miles to SR-18. One trip up and down changes the color of your vehicle to a nice shade of ‘Tiger Mountain Mud Brown’. The good news is that when they are done, the road will likely receive a fresh layer of gravel and will soon return to what we have grown to expect. As they say, there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’
Jared Twomey of AccelNet made it up to the site on the 25th and contributed the following picture taken from West Tiger-1 looking Northeast. For the first time since WTM-2 was constructed the forest between the sites is gone and you are able to see one site from the other!
In the distance you can see the First-Net tower on the left and the ‘Twin-Towers’ of WTM-2 on the right. To the right is Mt Si, near North Bend.
The ‘boxes’ in the foreground are PSE high-voltage metering equipment for the WTM-1 site as well as the Boeing facility on another Tiger peak to the NW of this location.
The building on the far left is operated by American Tower and houses public safety and microwave equipment for various area entities.
The overcast skies make the pictures look a bit murky.
Here are a couple of – Before & After pictures.
The ‘Before’ was taken out the windshield of my truck, backed into my customary parking place in front of the Transmitter building at West Tiger-1.
(Yes, this was taken last winter)
This was taken during a recent trip to the site, looking in the same direction (East).
The mountain you see, right of center, is East-Tiger.
Straight ahead is Rattlesnake Ridge which is south of North Bend. Amazing difference !
One of the projects I was on this past month involved installing new 5G filters on NWPB’s C-Band antennas. In this picture, you can see the shadow cast by Jason Royals, up on a ladder working on the filter installation. Note the shadow in the middle of the dish.
Here’s a close up –
It just so happened that after the new LNB and 5G filter was installed we checked to make sure that the receive signal was the same, or better, than before. As they say, timing is everything. It just so happened that we were, at the same time, experiencing what’s called a ‘Sun-outage’ This takes place when the sun and the satellite we are trying to receive a signal from are in the same direction.
Here’s a close up of the LNB and 5G Filter installed on one of the satellite dishes. LNB is short for Low-Noise-Block downconverter or a receiving device mounted on the satellite dish which collects the signal from the satellite, via the dish, and converts it to a signal sent through the black cable shown to the receiver located in the transmitter building. This is the item where you can see the word ‘DAWN’. The 5G filter is the smaller device at the end to which the cable is connected. Its role is to keep the new 5G signal from interfering with the reception from the satellite. In some installations, like those on mountain tops, this whole assembly is inside a cover to protect it from the elements.
Over the years I have been hearing many firmly state that HD Radio is fine for big cities, like Seattle, but is not meant for smaller, less populated, locations ….Like Eastern Washington. While I was in Forks recently (a very-small) town on the other side of the Olympic Mountains from Seattle (Home of Twilight). I was delighted to find a station that appears to have not read that memo. KBDB is not only running HD Radio – They are running – 4 channels of it !!. And they all sound great. To prove my point, I snapped the following pictures of my vehicles radio for you all to see –
On my way back from Forks making modifications to the satellite dish there for KNWU – (Heading to Burlington) we encountered an un-planned 2-hour delay along Lake Crescent (Between Forks and Pt Angeles) One of the large trees along the slope on the south side of the road decided that this was the time to come down. Unfortunately, there was a car in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As you can see, the Toyota Prius, got the worst of it. They apparently were hit by the falling tree (on the right in this picture) but were able to continue forward before it fell to the pavement and broke. Fortunately, the couple, from California, were un-hurt in the process.
When I got there, a few minutes after it happened, they were walking around and talking about their experience. The location was between the Lake Crescent Lodge and Ranger Station and La Poel. Not long afterward a Park Ranger showed up. He was able to use his two-way radio to contact Washington DOT who sent a truck and operator able to deal with the tree and a wrecker to deal with the car.
By this time traffic was backed up for a considerable distance in both directions and people were walking to the scene. One fellow had a small chain saw that was used to cut some of the smaller limbs. Many pitched in tossing limbs over the guard rail. The fellow from DOT had a big saw that made quick work of cutting the tree so one-lane could get through. Certainly, this couple will remember their trip to the Olympia Peninsula for years to come!
I was right behind this log truck – Note Lake Crescent on the left and the beautiful fall colors.
Interestingly the truck had its snow-plow mounted on the front which was used to move the log to the side of the road. Shortly afterward, we were on our way.
Just some of the interesting aspects of my job during this past month.
Only one person was able to name what this was from last month –
The answer – It’s a device, from long ago, for winding coils used in early day radio equipment.
Many years ago, the Weyerhaeuser Company made headlines when it moved its headquarters from Tacoma (where it had been for many years) to a brand-new building in Federal Way. It was an amazing, vine covered, structure just north of SR-18. The street it’s on was named Weyerhaeuser Way. With the reduction in size of the historic company, and the alure of Downtown Seattle, a few years ago, it was announced that they were moving to Seattle.
More recently, Downtown Seattle has changed, for the worse, thanks to the Pandemic, homelessness and crime. On the 1st of October, the Seattle Times ran this headline –
Weyerhaeuser cites crime in Pioneer Square for delay in reopening its Seattle headquarters
The Times writer explained it this way –
Concerns over crime in downtown Seattle escalated sharply this week after Weyerhaeuser reportedly delayed its return to its Pioneer Square headquarters due to neighborhood safety issues.
In an email to employees, Denise Merle, Weyerhaeuser’s chief administration officer, said the timber company won’t bring workers back to the offices overlooking Occidental Park without “significant and sustained improvements in neighborhood safety,”
Weyerhaeuser appears to be the first major employer to explicitly link its delay not only to COVID-19 but also to public safety concerns.
The Weyerhaeuser decision also comes at a critical moment for Pioneer Square in particular. Many of the iconic neighborhood’s restaurants, bars, galleries and other businesses have begun to see signs of economic recovery, driven in part by a return of tourists and fans attending Mariners, Sounders and Seahawks games.
But many fear that momentum could be stalled by the perception of unchecked homelessness and street crime, said Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis, whose district covers Pioneer Square.
So why am I including this in my Column? A couple of reasons-
- Many broadcasters have their studios downtown, or close to it.
- Weyerhaeuser is one of the landowners at West Tiger Mt with whom I’ve been associated with for the last 30+ years.
Recently, while looking for a parking space….I noted one next to a Red 4-Runner. I could not resist parking next to it (Mine is on the right). It was only after I parked I noted the license plate:
I like to include a pretty picture in my column, this month an opportunity to capture an image came on the 24th. This was a very blustery day with lots of power failures. Then, suddenly, I look out our living room window and saw the following. I grabbed my trusty S5 Cellphone and took this picture. What a wonderful way to end a stormy day!
Hope to catch you here next month –
Oh yes….Have a Happy Turkey Day!
Clay, K7CR, CPBE
A SBE Fellow
SBE Member # 714
Since March 1968