About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seattle Times Abets East Link Debacle

 One of the more disturbing aspects of this whole Sound Transit/East Link imbroglio is the complete lack of media interest. This lack of any interest by King, Kiro, and Komo news, the Seattle Times and Bellevue reporter, the local radio commentators is what prompted me to file as a candidate to use the voters pamphlet to attract attention to this blog. 

Many of the posts point out that even a cursory examination of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system would have concluded it was far superior to light rail for the bridge center roadway.  All it would have taken was one investigative TV report or one article in a paper to expose the fact Sound Transit board made an historic blunder in selecting light rail. 

Instead the media has either actively supported or at least abetted ST spending nearly a billion dollars promoting a fatally flawed light rail system.  Even worse they are acceding to ST spending additional billions construct ing a light rail system that will devastate parts of Bellevue and gridlock the I-90 bridge.

I mention this because the Sunday Times included an article by their Executive Editor defending the integrity of the paper’s decision to pay for advertising for the Governor’s race and referendum 74.  I thought if he was really interested in protecting the paper’s reputation he would be interested in my ST concerns.  I therefore emailed him the following that day.  So far, no response.    

Dear Mr. Boardman
I read your defense of the Times in today’s paper and thought you might be interested in my disappointment with your publication.  I’ve been concerned for several years that Sound Transit’s policies in general, but especially their East Link light rail program have failed the commuting public. 

For more than 3 years I’ve tried to raise these concerns with the Bellevue City council via personal appearances and many emails.  I also sent several emails to your paper as “opinion” letters as well as offer to meet with the editorial board to discuss these concerns.   The BCC ignored my efforts and your paper declined to print my “opinions” and refused to meet with me.

As sort of a last resort I filed in May for Pos No 1 in the 48th District primarily to use the Voters’ Pamphlet to attract attention to my blog http;//stopeastlinknow.blogspot.com.  I had also hoped to use my “candidate’s” interview with your editorial board to explain in more detail my concerns.  They simply were not interested and I was “excused” early.  My 9/13/12 post goes into some of the details of the interview and my concerns about the papers lack of interest.

I believe the Seattle Times could benefit commuters throughout the area by exposing problems with Sound Transit policies.  I urge you to go to my blog and read some of the posts.  The concerns they raise are too important to ignore.

Bill Hirt  Candidate for 48th District Pos. No 1.

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