On Friday the Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma issued a press release announcing its plans to appeal of the City of Tacoma's Nov. 14 determination of non-significance respecting the group's effort to delay the Geo Group's expansion of the private immigration prison known as the Northwest Detention Center by 575 beds.[1]  --  The document quotes committee chair Tim Smith:  "This is a public safety issue and always has been.  The City of Tacoma, as the lead agency for this proposal, must insure that development not only protects the persons living and working in the building but also doesn't create a safety hazard.  The poor staff work associated with this proposal creates a liability for the taxpayer that could be avoided or mitigated with good information and factual supporting documents.  We will show in our appeal what these errors and omissions are, and we are asking the City to stop any further action until this more accurate information is included and considered." ...

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Press release

LOCAL GROUP APPEALS NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER EXPANSION DECISION

** A Tacoma civil liberties group is appealing a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) issued by the City of Tacoma for the 575-bed expansion of the privately-owned, privately-operated Northwest Detention Center. Faulty documents, errors, and mistatements have resulted in a bad decision to approve this expansion. **

Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma
November 28, 2008

TACOMA, Washington -- The Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma has filed an appeal with the City of Tacoma concerning the proposed expansion of the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) at 1623 East "J" Street on the Tacoma Tarpits EPA SuperFund Site. The expansion of the NWDC will provide housing for 575 detained citizens from other countries, expand the total bed-space to 1575, and 104,000 square feet of floor space.

The appeal is currently the last act in a failing attempt to provide input to the approval process. "The City has pretty much taken every effort to exclude citizen input from the expansion approval process," said Tim Smith, chairperson of the committee. "At this point and time we can only appeal the determination of non-significance issued by the City of Tacoma on Nov 14. We have 14 days, but as today is a city holiday, Monday, December 1st, is the last day to submit and appeal."

The appeal and supporting documents will be filed later today electronically, by facsimile, and then delivered Monday to the City Clerk's office. "We don't want to take any chances with this bunch. No excuses for not receiving the appeal in a timely manner or improper format. We'll send it by carrier pigeon if that is what it would take."

Person's wishing to witness the hardcopy submission should go to the City Clerk's office on Monday, 1 Dec 2008, before 0900.

This action comes as part of an overall campaign to halt the expansion. Following consultation this week with a variety of subject matter experts in labor, environmental, government contracting, and local development law, the decision was made to pursue this appeal as part of the overall strategy.

Smith states: "This is a public safety issue and always has been. The City of Tacoma, as the lead agency for this proposal, must insure that development not only protects the persons living and working in the building but also doesn't create a safety hazard. The poor staff work associated with this proposal creates a liability for the taxpayer that could be avoided or mitigated with good information and factual supporting documents. We will show in our appeal what these errors and omissions are, and we are asking the City to stop any further action until this more accurate information is included and considered."

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More . . .

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma formed on Dec. 15, 2003, and focuses on issues concerning civil liberties and open government.

A collection of current photos and other background material can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/6x95xj

Use bird's-eye feature to see more details.

Timothy Smith is the chairperson of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma and can be reached at (253) 219-7345 or at email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.