(spot)Light: Hina Arai

Hina Arai is the Utility Hearing Officer for City Light. Born in Pakistan, her family moved to the states, with stops in New York and Massachusetts before making a permanent home in the Pacific Northwest. She grew up in Aberdeen and attended college at the University of Washington (UW), majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Women’s Studies. She attended law school at California Western University.

Hina lives in the Wedgewood area with her husband Andrew and sons Joseph (2 ½ years) and Asher (7 months). “I love love love my neighborhood,” she said. “My parents live four houses down, which is fantastic. My other neighbors have kids the same age as my oldest so we get together for play dates and special events; it just feels like we live amongst an extended family.” In this week’s (spot)Light, Hina talks about her career path, the importance of giving back and her favorite park in Seattle.

Hina with her family

“I love living in Seattle. The local parks are wonderful. Not just how accessible and clean they are, but how we, as a city, prioritize the value they add to our communities. Greenlake is my favorite. I ran it in college and, though I didn’t know him at the time, my husband also did. Naturally, when we started dating, we’d run the lake together. In fact, that’s where we got engaged and took our engagement photos. Our fist apartment also overlooked the lake, so, it’s obviously a special place for us.”

“I started my career with internships and externships in Federal Indian law. After my first year of law school, I worked with UW’s Tribal Law Clinic representing tribal members in Tribal Court under supervision. It was amazing because as a law student, you are required to take the Tribal BAR exam and get a glimpse of what real litigation is like.  The next year, I worked with the in-house counsel for the Snoqualmie Tribe and then went on to the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. to work with the Office of Tribal Justice. After law school, I took the BAR exam and worked here in Seattle for a local firm representing various Tribes in criminal and civil matters.”

“My focus at City Light is dispute resolution for customers, things like billing disputes, landlord/tenant issues, bankruptcy/foreclosure issues and helping our claims unit with property damage cases. I also serve as a strategic advisor and give guidance to business units. I’m also the privacy champion for City Light and review different projects that have potential privacy impacts, which I enjoy. In this day and age, I believe it’s important that our customers know that we value and understand how critical their privacy is.”

“I like the culture of the utility. I value the City’s RSJI initiative and City Light’s commitment to it. I enjoy working in the public sector and serving my community. I think it’s very important to feel connected to where you live. To not only feel valued, but to add value.”

Thank you, Hina, for serving the utility since October 2013 and for always putting our community first!

City of Seattle to Host Community Open House in South Lake Union

South Lake Union residents, employees and businesses are invited to a community open house and informational meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 at the South Lake Union Discovery Center, 101 Westlake Avenue North. This event is hosted by the South Lake Union Community Council and the City of Seattle.

From 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., various city departments will share information about their projects and programs that will affect the South Lake Union neighborhood.

  • SDOT will present information on changes they’re making to signal timing along Mercer; connecting the new Westlake Protected Bike Lane to the neighborhood and downtown along 9th Ave N to 7th Ave and Bell Street; upgrading bus service to the University District; extending the SLU Streetcar line to downtown; managing on-street
    parking and loading; and replacing the last timber-supported bridge in Seattle, the Fairview Ave N Bridge
  • The Office of Planning and Community Development will explain its Open Space Plan
  • Seattle City Light will explain its Advanced Metering program and the construction impacts of the Denny Substation Project
  • Seattle Public Utilities will have information about recycling and food waste collection for apartment residents
  • The Office of Housing will explain various affordable housing programs, including Mandatory Housing Affordability
  • There will be information about the city’s Democracy Voucher program

From 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Seattle City Light will also host a community information meeting about the possible sale of City Light’s property at 800 Aloha Street.

Aerial view of City Light’s property at 800 Aloha Street

The utility is considering selling or transferring the property for full market value. There will be representatives from various City departments there to answer questions about the proposal.

For more information on the 800 Aloha Street property, please visit www.seattle.gov/light/surplus.

City of Seattle to Host Community Open House in South Lake Union

South Lake Union residents, employees and businesses are invited to a community open house and informational meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 at the South Lake Union Discovery Center, 101 Westlake Avenue North. This event is hosted by the South Lake Union Community Council and the City of Seattle.

From 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., various city departments will share information about their projects and programs that will affect the South Lake Union neighborhood.

  • SDOT will present information on changes they’re making to signal timing along Mercer; connecting the new Westlake Protected Bike Lane to the neighborhood and downtown along 9th Ave N to 7th Ave and Bell Street; upgrading bus service to the University District; extending the SLU Streetcar line to downtown; managing on-street
    parking and loading; and replacing the last timber-supported bridge in Seattle, the Fairview Ave N Bridge
  • The Office of Planning and Community Development will explain its Open Space Plan
  • Seattle City Light will explain its Advanced Metering program and the construction impacts of the Denny Substation Project
  • Seattle Public Utilities will have information about recycling and food waste collection for apartment residents
  • The Office of Housing will explain various affordable housing programs, including Mandatory Housing Affordability
  • There will be information about the city’s Democracy Voucher program

From 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Seattle City Light will also host a community information meeting about the possible sale of City Light’s property at 800 Aloha Street.

Aerial view of City Light’s property at 800 Aloha Street

The utility is considering selling or transferring the property for full market value. There will be representatives from various City departments there to answer questions about the proposal.

For more information on the 800 Aloha Street property, please visit www.seattle.gov/light/surplus.

Shoreline Substation Transformer Replacement Project

Seattle City Light recently completed a transformer replacement project at the Shoreline Substation.

Crews worked tirelessly to remove the old transformer, prepare the pad for the new transformer and then assembled it. The new transformer was installed, tested, commissioned and began serving the Shoreline community in late 2016.

Old equipment being removed from the Shoreline Substation.

 

New transformer installed and operating.

Now that the work is complete, the improvements will maintain reliable power for Shoreline customers for years to come. The substation is located at 2136 N. 163rd St.

To learn more about this project as well as other electrical infrastructure investment projects, please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/light/atwork

East Union Street Underground Conversion Project Starts in mid-January

Starting in mid-January 2017, a Seattle City Light contractor will be working in the Capitol Hill neighborhood to install underground electrical conduit, vaults and associated equipment in parts of East Union Street from 10th to 11th Avenue. This work is aligned with the City of Seattle’s ordinance to underground power lines in this area.

Contracted crews will begin the first stage of work on East Union Street at the intersections of 10th and 11th avenues. Crews will be potholing and trenching in these areas.

Map of the stage 1 construction work area from January to February 2017.

There will be parking restrictions within the construction work area as trucks and equipment will be staged on site. Traffic control flaggers will be used to maintain access along the construction work area. Excavated areas will be covered over with steel plates during non-work hours. Access to businesses will be open at all times.

Daily work hours are from Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This stage of work is anticipated for completion in February 2017. Once completed, crews will transition to other stages of work within the project zone. The entire project is expected to last approximately five months.

Overall project zone depicted. Work impacts will be phased and active work areas will be updated within this footprint.

Staging information will be updated regularly on the East Union Street Underground Conversion website.

For more information, customers can contact Susan Kallies, Seattle City Light Resident Engineer at (206) 684-7265 or susan.kallies@seattle.gov.

Visit Seattle City Light’s construction website for the latest updates on this project: http://www.seattle.gov/light/atwork/release.asp?RN=377.