It’s time to vote for Josie Hazen, our nominee for 2017 FUTY Festival Volunteer Award of Excellence

Josie and her cats

We are excited to announce that Josie Hazen is Seattle Animal Shelter’s 2017 nominee for the FUTY Festival Volunteer Award of Excellence!

Josie is a volunteer extraordinaire. She joined our volunteer community in 2004 and since then has helped thousands of cats find their fur-ever homes and thousands of dogs have a blast at the annual Furry 5K! Josie is at the shelter every week serving as the lead of our Sundays 9-Lives volunteers, helps adopted cats succeed in their new homes via our Cat Adoption Follow-up Team, organizes the Furry 5K Shelter and also finds time to welcome and orient new volunteers to our program.

Josie always gives 200% to every effort. For example, although her 9 Lives shift requires only two hours a week, Josie usually works the entire afternoon (five to six hours), because Sunday is the shelter’s busiest day and she wants to ensure that our cats, the public, shelter staff and her fellow volunteers are all well-served. On the follow-up team, she was the first member to sign up for and complete the Cat Behavior and Retention Course, scoring 98 percent and instantly putting her new skills to work in counseling cat adopters. Josie has a “can do” attitude and promotes cooperation and teamwork.

Hosted by Mud Bay, the FUTY Festival is a celebration and thank you party hosted for animal welfare volunteers and staff of the Pacific Northwest. The top three FUTY Festival Volunteer Award of Excellence nominees will receive recognition during the celebration. Winners will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, and Mud Bay will make a $1,000 donation to their organization. Voting closes on Aug. 6.

Please vote for Josie at to help us show her just how much we appreciate her!

Jon Siu, PE, SE Wins National Award

Jon Siu, SDCI’s Principal Engineer/Building Official, has been named as the recipient of the 2016 International Code Council’s (ICC) Bobby J. Fowler Award. The award is one of seven handed out at the ICC Annual Business Meeting.  “I’m honored to have been named,” said Jon. “I’m really surprised although I knew I’d been nominated!”

The award is named in honor of the first chairman of the ICC Board of Directors and a visionary for the consolidation of the model code industry. It’s presented to individuals whose contributions to the buildings safety industry advance the ICC’s goals of achieving safer environments. Emphasis is placed on the recipient’s holistic view in achieving the stated goal and his focus beyond local and regional concerns to issues and activities that span the globe. Individual will have been or will currently be a leader in the industry and have a legacy of service with integrity, professionalism and compassion in furthering the noble cause of ICC.

Jon plans to attend the ceremony at the annual banquet at the ICC ABM in Kansas City. He’s also going to be hosting an ICC video crew here sometime in the next few weeks.

Seattle wins EPEAT Purchaser Award

As a publicly-owned utility, City Light has a deep commitment to our community. Part of that commitment is environmental stewardship, and we recognize that our purchasing choices can have an environmental impact. This year, our efforts to reduce that impact were honored with an EPEAT Purchaser Award from the Green Electronics Council.

Electronics are essential to operating any modern office, but they are also a source of potentially toxic materials (for example, PVC or mercury) and often waste energy through inefficient operations. To address these concerns, the City of Seattle has made it a policy to buy computers with at least a Bronze rating from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, also known as EPEAT.

In 2015, City Light purchased 370 computers rated EPEAT Gold. Over the lifetime of these hyper-efficient computers, 232 MWh of electricity will be saved and 38,600 kg of greenhouse gas emissions will be prevented. Over 3,000 lbs of municipal solid waste were prevented through the use of recycled materials in both the computer and packaging materials.

And the environmental payoff of purchasing through the EPEAT system gets better: All of our computers meet the European Union RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) criteria and are free of cadmium, hexavalent chromium and short-chain chlorinated paraffins.  Our desktop standard is even free of PVC, which the City Council addressed in a 2002 resolution to avoid purchasing Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins.

As a result of a proactive approach to reducing environmental harm in our purchasing practices, Seattle was rewarded with a 2016 EPEAT Purchaser Award at the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council meeting on May 23, 2016. Of course, the environmental benefits of sustainable purchasing are the true rewards, and the real winner is the planet.

Pianos in the Parks program wins statewide award

The Pianos in the Park recently recognized by the Washington Recreation and Park Association. Photo provided by Laird Norton Wealth Management.

The Washington Recreation and Park Association awarded the Pianos in the Parks program a Spotlight Award in Arts and Culture at a statewide Parks conference on April 30.

In July 2014, Seattle Parks partnered with Laird Norton Wealth Management, King County Parks and local arts organizations to launch the Pianos in the Parks campaign. The campaign placed 20 decorated pianos in Seattle parks, King County parks, Seattle Center and City Hall Plaza to encourage residents to explore green and open spaces and to share and enjoy each other’s art.

The pianos were donated by Classic Pianos and were stationed in the parks until Aug. 17. People were invited to play the pianos and were encouraged to upload videos of their park performances to a Facebook page for a chance to play at KEXP’s and Seattle Center’s “Concerts at the Mural.” The Facebook entries that received the highest number of “Likes” were judged by a community panel.

At the end of the campaign, the pianos were sold to the highest bidder in an online auction. Proceeds from the pianos sales benefitted art and community organizations.

The Pianos in the Parks campaign was designed to foster a sense of community, break down class and racial divides and to make summer safer by activating neighborhood parks. More than 150 people submitted online contest videos. Additionally, the campaign was featured in approximately 100 media stories.

Seattle Parks heard many stories of families and individuals who made it their summer goals to find every piano. In fact, one Seattleite completed a 59-mile urban hike over one weekend to visit all 20 pianos.

For more information on the program, please visit

Lower Mapes Creek project honored with Green Globe Award from King County

On Monday, April 20, King County Executive Dow Constantine presented the Lower Mapes Creek project with a Green Globe Award for being a leader in habitat restoration. The project was a joint effort between Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities.

The Lower Mapes Creek restoration project, completed in early 2015, re-established 440 feet of natural stream channel through Beer Sheva Park and reconnected the creek to Lake Washington to provide critical rearing habitat for juvenile chinook salmon in southeast Seattle. The project also enhanced a park in an underserved area of Seattle and was done in tandem with a Seattle Public Utilities project to reduce combined sewer overflows to Lake Washington.

The Mapes Creek restoration project was partially funded by Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8-directed grants through the King Conservation District, Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program. Seattle is a key partner with King County and others in WRIA 8 salmon recovery efforts.

Fourteen Green Globe Awards were given on April 20. The Green Globe Awards are King County’s highest honor for local environmental efforts. More information is available here.