Tag Archives: cherie priest

Will Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker Become Reality?

Huge drilling device stuck under Seattle, can yellow blight gas and rotters be far behind…  How did Cherie Priest know this would happen, and even peg the city as Seattle?  Is Boneshaker fiction or forecast?

Massive tunneling machine stuck under downtown Seattle, fix could cost taxpayers millions

At 57 feet in diameter, it’s touted as the world’s biggest tunneling machine. It was even given a name, Bertha.

But now, after digging just over 1,000 feet, Bertha is broken down and stuck underneath Seattle’s downtown waterfront.

And fixing the massive mess could cost taxpayers millions.

The tunneling machine is the key workhorse in a $3.1 billion tunnel project aimed at replacing the Alaska Way Viaduct, a double-decker elevated highway that was damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. Bertha’s meltdown, though, has put the project in jeopardy of being the West Coast version of the biggest public works boondoggle in U.S. history, Boston’s “big dig” — which cost taxpayers $14.6 billion, nearly four times the original price tag.

“People should be very worried about what’s going on right now,” said Dori Monson, a radio host on KIRO in Seattle. “To have the state saying, ‘we’re not paying for the overruns.’ You have the contractor saying, ‘we’re not paying.’ The contractor has a provable history of making other people pay. So that means it’s going to be the taxpayers.”

The contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), already has put in for $190 million in additional pay due to unforeseen problems.

Among the issues the project has encountered are: too much groundwater; a labor dispute involving the International Longshore and Warehouse Union; and a well that Bertha ran into, damaging her massive cutter head and main bearing. The steel pipe was put there by the state, and STP thinks the state should pay.

How exactly Bertha got stuck underground is an open question. The running theory is the machine overheated when it hit the well pipe, but the issue will be argued by the attorneys.

“Who’s ultimately responsible and liable for that time and cost is going to be determined by a review of the contract,” said Chris Dixon, of Seattle Tunnel Partners.

State officials say the contractor knew about the well and hit it anyway. The Department of Transportation gave Fox News documents supporting its case.

The issue is critical, because fixing the tunnel-boring machine is expected to take until March 2015 and cost $125 million. That’s $45 million more than STP paid for Bertha.

State officials say they’re trying to protect taxpayers.

“We have written the most robust contract we could possibly write with the best experts from around the country,” said state DOT Secretary Lynn Peterson. “And we brought a team together on the legal side to make sure we’re protecting taxpayers at every step of the way.”

The state has denied a majority of the contractor’s change orders, but that doesn’t end the dispute.

A court ultimately will decide who’s responsible for the delays and cost overruns. That puts taxpayers in danger of being on the hook for a project some fear may never get finished.

Dan Springer joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in August 2001 as a Seattle-based correspondent.

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Cherie Priest At the Poisoned Pen Tonight

I met Cherie Priest at Phoenix Comic Con 2010.  I did not know who she was.  My hip was hurting, which I later found out was the bone dying (replaced this spring), and her and I noticed two open comfy chairs.  If you have been to Phoenix Comic Con, you know there are 50,000 people and maybe ten chairs.  So we sat and chatted.  She was very nice and told me she had to head to a panel, I said the same.  Turns out we were heading to the same one, her as a panelist, having had her best-selling novel Boneshaker become popular, and I as an audience member, considering retiring to write novels.

Cherie Priest

Cherie’s Latest – Inexplicables











Tonight she was at the Poisoned Pen for a book signing.  She has had several books out since then, and I now have three books out, write for ConNotations Newszine, and have published thirty-five short stories.  My wife was able to meet her this time and thought she was great.  It was a small crowd, maybe thirty in all.  With her were writers Sam Sykes, who I have met several times before, and Rhodi Hawk, who I just met tonight.

Sam Sykes – Very funny, cool author

Rhodi Hawk











While I am still navel lint in the writing world, it is exciting to see the process writers go through to be successful.  Cherie Priest talked about how she had written and published many books through the traditional agent and publishing route and felt her career had plummeted to the point she would have to start with a new name.  She had written four or five chapters of Boneshaker, and her editor asked her to do that instead of the other book she almost had done.  It took off and now she is famous in the Steampunk world.  I believe she has fourteen books now, of which I am only able to name six, and I am a big fan.

As an independent author the world is changing away from traditional publishing, but even so, I see many writers who have “been made” to use a mafia term, but still struggle even after the monumental tasks of acquiring an agent and a publisher.  Congratulations to Cherie Priest on your great writing, your perseverance, and most of all, your charming personality.  It was very nice to see you again.

Also, a shout out to Will at the Poisoned Pen.  If you stop by, tell him you want him to stock my books.  🙂  They rarely stock indies, so maybe a few of you stopping by to ask for them would help.  It couldn’t hurt…  🙂



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