"Inter*Im's 32nd Annual Pig Roast" started Friday night with the initial turn of the pig over the spit in the Danny Woo Garden. Sally stopped in at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to give the pig a few turns with Brent Butler.
The pig roast is an annual event and helps feed the elderly and low income residents of the Chinatown - I.D. neighborhood. Sally also met with "Uncle Bob" Santos, the 2007 King Neptune of Seafair. Volunteers join Uncle Bob Santos throughout the night to baste and turn. Sponsors of the Pig Roast include: Costco Wholesale, The Danny Woo Family, International Community Health Services (ICHS), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Viet Wah Supermarket, Uwajimaya, and The Wing Luke Asian Museum.
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Trans fat regulation and nutrition detail on menus
First, let me say right off the bat that I want you to have a French fry or a doughnut if you want one (or seventeen). I just would prefer that the thousands of fries you eat over your life don’t kill you and crush the public health system.
As a member of the Seattle-King County Board of Health I served on the Nutrition & Menu Labeling sub-committee. Over the past couple of months we’ve reviewed the public health argument for regulating what kind of oil restaurants use when cooking your food and how much nutrition information chain restaurants provide you when you order. Studies show that we all eat out a lot more than our parents and grandparents ever did. In fact, in 2002 Americans spent 46 percent of our total food budgets on food away from home, compared to spending 27 percent in 1962. Almost half the time many of us do not think about how to build a healthy meal, and we don’t control how much is served to us. We rely upon restaurants to do that. We purchase convenience and indulgence, and we eat too much – too many calories, sodium and carbohydrates, and too much “bad” fat.
Last week, the Board of Health took two actions: we banned trans fats totally in King County restaurants; and required chain restaurants to tell you how many calories, sodium, carbs and fat come with the Big-Deluxe-Extreme-Bacon-Cheese-Taco-Burger you like so much. The new rules take effect in 2008.
Artificial trans fats are processed fats that do not occur in nature (also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat/oil). Used in baked goods like doughnuts, breads, crackers, potato chips, cookies and many other processed food products like margarine and salad dressings, it is a vegetable oil that has been treated with hydrogen in order to make it more solid and give it a longer shelf life. Research suggests a correlation between diets high in trans fats and diseases like atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, and the National Academy of Sciences recommended in 2002 that dietary intake of trans fatty acids be minimized.
Many Seattle restaurants (Ivar’s, for instance) have already expelled trans fats from their restaurants and some national chains are seeing the light (Burger King just announced it will kick out trans fats by the end of 2008).
No one likes government banning anything, but trans fats seem a compelling case. There are plenty of poisons we ban from our food. We don’t let people choose between fish with mercury and fish without. Trans fat seemed like a great innovation at one time. Now we know better.
The second and perhaps more controversial action from the perspective on the restaurant lobbyists is requiring calorie counts be posted on menu boards and additional nutrition counts on menus. In New York City, where posting calorie numbers on the overhead menu board just became a requirement at the start of July, the restaurant association has filed suit to fry the requirement. Critics say the calorie count makes the menu board look messy and is an infringement on the restaurant’s free speech.
New menus and nutritional content testing are real business cost, that is true. If obesity and resulting health effects (like diabetes and heart disease) weren’t such huge problems in this country, we probably wouldn’t be considering this subject at all. Under normal circumstances why should government care what’s posted on a menu board as long as it isn’t fraudulent? I believe that it is up to you to choose what you’re eating. However, because you and I eat out a whole lot more often than we used to, we need information in order to make smart choices.
We also need to match our policies to our rhetoric. If we are concerned about health, health disparities, and the crumbling health care system, we need to make changes that help keep people healthy.
I want you to have the French fry, but I don’t want the fries to kill you. Order up!
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Economic Development & Neighborhoods Committee
Neighborhood Plan Update Update
Many of you recall that I wrote a commentary for The Seattle Times opinion pages this spring asking what should be done as Seattle’s 38 neighborhood plans enter middle age; how we should grade Seattle’s experience with plan implementation after almost a decade. I’ve heard from a lot of people energized by these questions. I’m happy to say that many people in the Mayor’s Office have become energized by these questions, too!
At the July 5, 2007 Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee (ED&N), Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, accompanied by Stella Chao, director of the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) and Diane Sugimura, director of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), gave a briefing on the proposed approach and schedule for updating Neighborhood Plans.
The deputy mayor outlined a process whereby the city would be divided into six areas (perhaps sectors) with update work happening on the plans in a sector over the course of a year. The Department of Planning and Development would lead the effort with outreach help from the Department of Neighborhoods. DPD would begin by presenting a “base conditions” report on what has happened in the planning areas with respect to the growth targets and projects from the plan and other initiatives intended. No neighborhood would be forced to update its plan, but each planning area would be encouraged to standardize the elements of their plan to make the plans structurally more consistent across the city. The whole update process would take six years.
Everyone at the table agreed that updating the neighborhood plans cannot “meeting people to death” and should involve a more diverse range of participants than the ones at the table 10 years ago. This was hard work for neighborhood groups 10 years ago and will be hard work again.
I appreciate the effort that has gone into thinking out this proposal. I have sat in on two large-scale brainstorming sessions held with Mayor’s Office staff and key department staff. There are a lot of very smart and community-oriented people around the table. However, the community has been missing from this brainstorming. The Mayor’s Office is looking to build a sounding board to advise on their proposal before they build a budget for it and propose that as part of the 2008 city budget. I’ll be looking for input from all of you as we at the Council determine whether the proposal is sound.
My priority is that we ensure any neighborhood plan updates are truly community-driven; that we carry through the commitment to grassroots, democratic planning that was integral to the success of planning 10 years ago. I don’t want to “meeting people to death,” but there’s no substitute for community drive and debate.
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Beacon Hill Light Rail Station
Sally and Councilmember Jan Drago toured Sound Transit’s Beacon Hill Light Rail Station Friday, July 20. After being lowered 160 feet into the ground, Sally and Jan picked their way through concrete, rebar and plywood to watch the ongoing finishing of the station platforms. The form pictured above is a mold for concrete that is pumped between the outside of the mold and a waterproof membrane that lines the cavern. One full tunnel has been bored, and the tunnel boring machine has just started the second. Light Rail service is slated to start in 2009.
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Economic Development & Neighborhoods Committee Meetings:
Highpoint Community Center
Location to be determined
District Council Meetings:
Greater Duwamish DC 6:30 p.m.
Beacon Hill Library Meeting Room
2821 Beacon Ave. S.
Steve Louie, 233-2044
Southeast D.C. –
Rainier Comm. Center
4600 38th Ave S
Glenn Harris, 386-1924
City Neighborhood Council 6:30 p.m.
West Precinct Conference Room
Scott Minnix, 684-0270
For more information call us at (206) 684-8802
Upcoming Neighborhood Events:
CALL TO ARTISTS
Submit your work:
6/1 - 7/31
For Columbia City Gallery's 2nd Annual Juried Exhibit, “HEAT.”
$1,000 in cash prizes.
Kathy Fowells (206) 760-9843
Carni-logic -The Student All Stars
1428 Post Alley
Jay Hitt (206) 587-2414
Free Friday Family Fun Concert Series
7/6 - 8/24, 6p.m.
A series of eight free concerts from 6-9 p.m. on Fridays through the summer
Magnuson Community Garden Amphitheatre
Marc Hoffman (206)684-7026
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat
7/11-8/11, Various start times.
Tony nominated, hit Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
204 N 85th St.
$19 - $32
Taproot Theater Box Office (206) 781-9707
6/7 - 8/19, Regular Museum Hrs.
Test your skill at the computer game, Peacemakers by Impact Games.
Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue WA 98004
$7 adults, $5 students and seniors (62+), children under 6 free
Info (425) 519.0770
Prepare for Wells Fargo's Torchlight Run with Brooks Sports Nightlife Training Runs,
7/5 - 7/26, 6p.m.
The 2.8 mile loop around Greenlake starts at Super Jock ‘n Jill,
7210 E Greenlake Dr. N.
Michelle Zimmer (206) 268-2278
German language conversation group.
4549 University Way NE, Seattle
Paul Smith (206) 284-2315
The Experimental Theatre Project presents "The Blackmailer"
7/13-7/28, Fri 8p.m., Sat 3.pm. & 8p.m.
Richard Hugo House Theatre, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle
Roxanne Ray (800) 838-3006
3/2 - 12/29, Fri & Sat 10:30p.m., Sun 7p.m.
1428 Post Alley, Seattle
Jay Hitt (206) 587-2414
Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Adults
Laugh, gasp, shudder and thrill to captivating short stories from a wide range of popular and literary authors, read for you live by regional actors and librarians. 1st & 3rd Start Microsoft Auditorium, Central Branch, Seattle Public Library
David Wright (206) 386-4660
Tsimshian Historic Cultural Event 2007
Daily at 8 a.m. through August.
Tutlilap Tribe Reservation, Marysville
Terrance H. Booth, Sr. (602) 944-5389
Volunteers needed for Summer sack lunch program
6/27 - 8/17, 11:30 a.m.
We are looking for Volunteers to distribute & manage Sack Lunch Programs at Beacon Hill Playground, E.C Hughes Park, Georgetown Park, Highland Park, N. Acres Park, Peppy's Playground, Powell Barnett Park and Sandel Park.
Sosha Pifer (206) 615-0303