Letters to the Editor, Oct. 12, 2018

Sidewalks; 8th District; PSE

Pedestrian safety

Why are there no sidewalks on Northeast 15th Street between 98th Avenue Northeast and 100th Avenue Northeast?

There are not even any strips or crosswalks painted on Northeast 15th Street.

There are three schools in this area with increased auto traffic and students and residents walking on 15th Street from 98th Avenue Northeast to 100th Avenue Northeast on their way to and from downtown Bellevue. I have encountered many walking in the middle or on both sides of the street.

With the increased traffic and darkness of fall and winter coming is Bellevue waiting for some injury to these pedestrians to occur before taking action to make this a safer place for these students and residents to walk?

George Hewitt

Clyde Hill

Flip the district

To my neighbors of the 8th Congressional District:

If you, like me, have come to believe that our great nation is in danger due the actions of an unstable, erratic and amoral president, this November you have the opportunity to make a huge difference in the direction of the country.

I urge you to vote to flip our Congressional District, which has been under Republican control for decades, to the Democratic side of the aisle.

If you, like me, believe that science-based climate change is real, that women are equal in every way and deserve to make decisions for their own bodies, that skin color or religion doesn’t make you less of an American, that we need a sensible immigration policy versus a wall, that health care for all Americans is a right, that we need to study gun violence and propose common-sense solutions, that the average citizen is every bit as important as a corporation, that our children deserve better public schools and pathways to college, that reasoned regulation is required to safeguard our environment, that we benefit from good relations with other nations, and that moderation is the only path forward, then I urge you to vote for Dr. Kim Schrier for Congress.

This is the moment we say “no more” to the embarrassment that is our current President, by voting in representatives that will stand up to this deeply flawed administration.

Steve Heinke


PSE obscures the facts

As reported in the Bellevue Reporter on Oct. 5, Puget Sound Energy’s Keri Pravitz reports that self-healing grid technology is not a suitable replacement for a transmission line. This statement appears intended to frame the project as a capacity project, that is, more electricity is needed. This, however, is simply not the case. The Lake Hills-Phantom Lake Project is a reliability project to address enduring electrical outages.

There is plenty of electricity to serve these East Bellevue neighborhoods currently. If a substation loses power, customers can get electricity from other nearby substations. The Lake Hills substation has been offline for months as PSE upgrades the substation. How then are thousands of customers served by that substation getting power? Through the distribution grid. PSE flips some switches to reconfigure the grid and connect those customers to those other substations. There are numerous existing substations ready nearby should they become necessary to provide electricity.

Self-healing grid technology makes it easy for those switches to be flipped remotely, rather than sending out personnel to do it manually. Today, this manual process can take some time since there are no critical customers in these neighborhoods and, thus, they are the lowest priority for outage recovery.

Trees hitting distribution wires during storms are the most common source of outages. A self-healing grid will provide better reliability than a transmission line. PSE has actually demonstrated this in several Bellevue neighborhoods.

Don’t let PSE obscure the facts. After these issues were raised, PSE took the part of their website down that addressed self-healing grid technology. One must ask why this information was suddenly deemed by PSE as unimportant to their customers.

Further, the transmission line will destroy significant tree canopy; any replacement offered by PSE will simply not be the same lush, mature foliage nor will it mitigate carbon dioxide like our current canopy. This is particularly significant given the recent discussion among government representatives at the recent King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (https://tinyurl.com/y8dzx9y6) meeting held last week at which the importance of our tree canopy was stressed.

The Lake Hills-Phantom Lake Project is a reliability project, not a capacity project. Self-healing grid technology is the best answer to address reliability. Unfortunately for PSE, it simply doesn’t yield the same profit margin as big infrastructure projects like transmission lines, but are the better choice for ratepayers.

David Schwartz, Ph.D.