Letter To PPP Members (July 2019)

An update on what we’ve been doing.First off, yes, I am running for City Council in Des Moines.  And yes I did tell y’all that was not going to happen. Which already establishes my qualifications for a career in politics, right? 😀 But the reasons are pretty basic.

First off,, win or lose, the act of running gives me a chance to evangelize on this issue both to residents and all the various other electeds one runs into in this process. And we need more awareness.

Secondly, we still face intense skepticism and frankly a lack of will among pretty much everyone from electeds to activists (Quiet Skies groups), etc. Most people still spout the line that City Councils are extremely limited in their ability to improve things with Sea-Tac Airport. This is factually incorrect. And whether or not people have this attitude out of a lack of concern or a lack of information, changing hearts and minds from the outside is simply not possible at this point. But if we can get at least one person on DM City Council (and then other cities)? We have a shot. I frankly wish it were someone else, but someone has to advocate for us.

So consider my candidacy a ‘proof of concept’. If I win, I get to demonstrate what is possible. Of course, my first agenda item will be to get the City to work for your relief.

Now I know that you are skeptical as well, but I hope you’ll support my campaign. Frankly, the frustrating thing in this project is that everyone is skeptical about everything so we keep doing (or not doing) the same bullshit over and over.


I’ve recently talked with Tina Orwall and Karen Keiser about introducing legislation to change RCW 53.030. This is also a one-step-forward, one-step-back deal. Senator Keiser refuses to talk more about this until after the election–the pretext is that it’s a ‘conflict of interest’ to work with me while I’m a candidate. No, your eyes can’t possibly roll further back in your head than mine.

Representative Orwall is looking for volunteers to participate in the DOC study and has asked for your help. Which I thought might be good. However what she is looking for is to further her related interest in HEPA filters for homes. Great idea. However, i’ve tried to be clear that most of you have no interest in volunteering for any activities that don’t have a direct line to helping you with your Port Package Problems.  I believe she is sincere in wanting to help in the long run, but I’ve also heard you. You don’t want to help out with another issue with some hope it will lead to action on your issue. You’ve been down that road before and you won’t do it again. Hopefully, I’ll hear back from her soon on the direct action she has promised.

The City Of Des Moines continues to rebuff my efforts to be involved in the Department Of Commerce study. I went so far as to beg the Council to help me get your information included in the study and audit their meetings. I was told by City Manager Michael Matthias that neither Port Package Problems or mold were ‘appropriate issues’ for the study. Which is a lie. (Sorry, but ‘inaccurate’ doesn’t cover this whopper.) I’m still able to talk directly with the DOC representative so we’re not completely out in the cold. But last week the City issued a call for eight community members to be interviewed for the study and again I was not selected. Apparently there are eight better qualified people in Des Moines. What a relief! 😀


The Large Airport Noise Mitigation Comparison (we need a snappy acronym :D) continues, slowly but slowly. You can log in and see what’s what if you want to get into the weeds. We always need volunteers to help with data collection–especially while I’m out on that dusty campaign trail. Some quick results

Overall, we’re ranking the Port Of Seattle 16th out of 20 in apples to apples comparison of noise mitigation programs. We’re factoring in the criteria that have been bench marked in previous studies (ie. the number of homes they have paid to be sound insulated) with the criteria that have not been studied such as failures, effectiveness. Plus, we’re comparing airports of similar size, community density, etc.

For example, the Port has done prox. 9,500 Port Packages which, according to the FAA and the Port, places Sea-Tac Airport firmly in the ‘deluxe’ tier of noise mitigation programs. But that is only because the comparisons are with podunk airports like Mobile, AL with no noise program to speak of. When you factor for geographic size, number of homes inside the DNL65, daily operations, flights per year that warrant a noise penalty, etc. Sea-Tac starts to look not so great. And that’s even before we start comparing the quality of the noise program for those lucky few (you do feel lucky, right? 😀 ) As you know, the Port noise program suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. (That’s the technical term.)

The really tough part is collecting data on Port Package Problems. We now collect data on the contractors and the materials they used. It’s tedious, but it’s doable. What we have a lot more trouble with is collecting mold and air quality data. A slam dunk for us is when we demonstrate that Port Packages at Sea-Tac created many more mold (and other health) issues than programs run by other airports. Whether this was done through negligence, incompetence or fraud? Doesn’t matter. An alternative win? If it turns out that every airport sound insulation program created these sorts of health quality problems. We just don’t know yet.

So, Now What?

Well, you’ll be hearing less from me in the next few months (maybe that’s a good thing? :D) Regardless, Paula has agreed to put in a few more hours a week to keep the research going. Miles has some paperwork we need you to sign so look for that in yer email box.

My Recurring Nags

Please update us if your contact details change. We can’t afford to lose a single homeowner!

Please encourage your neighbors to participate. If your home has damage, your neighbor’s home probably has it too. It’s a little crazy making for me when we get one home on a street when all six of them were treated in exactly the same way. If every affected home were on board? We’d already

And for those of you who are contemplating moving: Don’t do it! 😀 Actually, what I need is for you to contact us when you put your house on the market. And when your house is inspected we need to get a copy of that report so that if (when) the Inspector finds mold and other issues with your windows and insulation we can add that to the list. If you then require remediation, we need to get that paperwork so we can continue to advocate for you even after you move. Plus, we need to connect with the new owner so we can carry forward working with them.

Have a great summer.


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