NEWS ROUNDUP
6:29 am
Tue April 26, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Hazmat Team Responds to Spill at Tacoma Waterfront
  • FAA Fires Controller Who Fell Asleep at Boeing Field
  • Tacoma Boy Charged in Pt. Defiance Arson
  • Seattle OKs Taller Buildings for South Downtown

 

Hazardous Chemical Spills in Port of Tacoma

A Tacoma Fire Department hazmat crew is cleaning up a chemical spill that was discovered as workers were unloading a cargo container from a ship at the Port of Tacoma, according to KCPQ-TV.

Fire Department spokesman Joe Meinecke says firefighters were called just before 4 a.m. Tuesday to the ship Hyundai Oakland, where the leak was discovered as the container was being unloaded at the Washington United terminal. KCPQ reports it's the same ship that set off radiation detectors at the Port last month.
  
The chemical is a solvent used in the printing industry called chlorobenzotrifluoride. Because it's flammable, about 20 people on the ship were asked to stay away. Medics checked two workers who complained of eye irritation and they are okay.
  
The chemical leaked from a 55-gallon drum. Some spilled in the ship and some in the cargo container, which is now at the terminal.

 

Napping Boeing Field Air Traffic Controller Fired

The Federal Aviation Administration says a third air traffic controller has been fired for napping on the job.

The agency says the controller assigned to Seattle's Boeing Field was fired yesterday for sleeping on duty on April 11 and Jan. 6.

The FAA has been beset recently with incidents involving air controllers, including an aborted landing of a plane carrying first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden. Since March, five sleeping-on-the-job incidents in air towers have surfaced.

 

Tacoma Teen Pleads Not Guilty to Pagoda Fire

A 15-year-old Tacoma boy has pleaded not guilty to setting fire to a historic pagoda structure at Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. The News Tribune's Stacy Mullik reports that charges that include arson and burglary were related to three incidents: a break-in at the pagoda April 6, a fire April 15 that caused about $500,000 in damages and a stop last week in which an officer found a can of gasoline and matches on the teen.

 

Seattle City Council Approves Taller Buildings

The Seattle City Council has cleared the way for taller buildings to be constructed in south downtown. Structures as high as 24 stories can now be built in Japantown, north of Jackson Street – where the previous limit was 15 stories - and buildings 15 stories tall are now allowed in the Chinatown International District south of King Street and on Dearborn, where the current high limit is eight stories.

Some height restrictions will remain: the shorter buildings in central Chinatown and Little Saigon. The zoning changes also roll back some proposed height increases in Pioneer Square.

Sally Clark, chair of the Committee on the Built Environment told the Seattle Times' Lynn Thompson:

“The approach was to look at the heights and say, ‘What’s great in these neighborhoods that we don’t want to lose?’ and ‘What do we do so we get more people living here?’”

Developers will only qualify for the maximum heights if they also provide amenities to the neighborhood such as open space, street improvements and affordable housing

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