A hearing has just been scheduled for 3:00 PM today Wed, August 12, before Judge Erlick of the Superior Court in Rm W 10-60 on the Save the Trees Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to stop the trees at Ingraham High School from being cut down this Friday.
The Seattle School District is further trying to stifle legitimate review of their decisions by asking that a bond of $10,000 be posted because they signed a contact with Weiss Tree Company that money be paid if the trees aren’t cut on Friday. Weiss would pay the Seattle School District $33,000 for the trees.
This contract as viewed by citizens would appear to have been written and signed by the School District to be an impediment to Save the Trees or any other group filing any legitimate appeal of their actions. In addition the School District is asking for a bond of $400,000 for inflation costs for the delay of a project that they just withdrew the building permits on from the city review process.
The TRO is being requested to halt the Seattle School District from cutting down 68 Douglas fir, Western Red Cedar and Pacific madrone trees on the west side of Ingraham High School before a hearing can be held in Superior Court to resolve the environmental impacts of the project.
Among other things the tree grove is comprised of a plant habitat that is identified by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as a rare plant community in King County. The area has also functioned as a school and community park and has been used by Ingraham High School biology and ecology classes for education purposes.
By having withdrawn their construction permits and trying to just cut the grove of trees down, the Seattle School District is trying to avoid any consideration of Washington State and Seattle environmental and land use laws. They are saying the issues will be settled by the chain saw not the rule of law. To date the environmental issues have only been evaluated by the Seattle School District which obviously has a conflict of interest. The appeal before a hearing examiner was before a hearing examiner hired by the Seattle School District. The issues have yet to reach the Superior Court. The Seattle School District is playing the school yard bully and trying to prevent the normal process by which citizen’s have a right to seek redress from actions or decisions of their government which they think are wrong.
Save the Trees
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Breaking News – Press Advisory
The Seattle School District has just informed Keith Scully, the attorney for Save the Trees, that they will not halt their decision to cut down the trees at Ingraham High School while the environmental issues are being reviewed by the King County Superior Court. A hearing has been set for Sept 2, 2008 but the Seattle School District intends to ignore it and proceed with cutting down the trees this Friday, August 15, 2008.
Keith Scully will be filing a request for a temporary restraining order before the King County Superior Court at 516 Third Ave in Seattle before the Ex Parte division at 11:30 this morning
You can check at the front desk for the location of the hearing.
The Seattle School Board obviously decided last night in their special executive session to ignore the unresolved legal issues and also the position of Mayor Nickels, the Seattle City Council, many Seattle citizens and neighbors opposing cutting down the trees at Ingraham. The School District is opposing letting this issue be resolved on its merits through a court of law and has decided instead to use the chain saw to just get its way!