Monday, April 11, 2011

Items Of Local Interest

A couple of items of interest mainly to people of the "Other" Washington, the one that's not along the Potomac River, from around the blogroll...

Caption: The North Portal of the Stillwater Water Treatment Project, in Bothell, Washington, under construction. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Image credit: Cujo359

First, there is a new wastewater treatment project near the north end of Lake Washington called the Stillwater Project. It's run into a few of the issues one would expect a project that builds tunnels through sand and silt would come up against. Dana Hunter tries to sort it all out:
All of you geotypes are probably shouting, "Glacial erratic!" about now. Seattle's got lots, random boulders dropped by the Cordilleran Ice Sheet during its stay. According to the articles I found, the tunnel-boring machine's been encountering quite a bit of sandy soil, which it sometimes proceeds to remove too much of. Not to mention running in to boulders. Tunneling through all of that glacial outwash, till, and random erractics has got to be an absolute nightmare, and goes a long way toward explaining why the project's run over on both time and money.

Local Geology Kicks Project's Arse
The geology of this area doesn't always lend itself to big subterranean projects, a thing that may come into play when the Alaska Way Viaduct is replaced with a tunnel.

The other story has to do with ongoing mortgage fraud, which our state attorney general seems to think is worth fighting, as Yves Smith reports:
LoanSafe reports that the Washington state attorney general, Rob McKenna, has uncovered a likely widespread violation of state law, that foreclosure trustees lack a physical presence as required and a means for borrowers to contact or visit them to submit last minute payments or present documentation. McKenna’s interest appears to result from the fact as with servicers, the foreclosure trustees are not accessible to borrowers and not responsive when there may be legitimate reasons to halt or delay a foreclosure.

Washington AG Investigates New Foreclosure Abuse Front: Trustee Non-Compliance
I'm not a big fan of McKenna's, but it's good that he's looking into this. As Naked Capitalism and others have documented, the ongoing fraud by financial institutions has cost many Americans their homes through no fault of their own. It's emblematic of what's going on in DC that a Republican state's attorney general is doing more to combat this than the federal government's Department of Justice, which is run by a supposedly Democratic administration.

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