The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Testimony for MH $$ Winds Down

About a half-dozen maritime heritage supporters, including myself, turned out last night at the King County Council budget hearing to speak in support of funding for the next phase of the Maritime Heritage Initiative. The hearing was the last in a series of four hearings on the county budget; the city of Seattle has held two of its own. Supporters asked each government to contribute $150,000 in seed money to get MHI off the ground. (The Port of Seattle and the state may also contribute, but the focus is on the city and county.)

Heritage supporters have turned out in force for the hearings. At Wednesday's county council hearing, Leon Leeds of Mercer Island drew a connection between preservation and urbanization of Lake Union, where most Seattle-area maritime heritage activities occur.

"The enhanced presence of marine heritage vessels and maritime-themed activities at both ends of Lake Union will certainly draw increased regional tourism, encourage local volunteer involvement with youth programs, and, most importantly, help maintain balance in the tilt toward runaway gentrification of the lake’s shoreline neighborhoods and revitalize that traditional marine flavor that has always characterized Lake Union," he said.

Both city and county officials are expected to make their decisions this month. The MHN Blog will have all the details. In the meantime, you can still make your views known. Here's links to web pages with contact info: Seattle City Council; King County Council.

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