Glub, Glub, Gurgle, Gurgle, Spew, Cough and Smile! (Posted 05/14/2015)
I have come up for air and, hopefully, I will be allowed to continue to breath the fresh air of my new paradise for many years to come.
You will likely notice that the posts on this blog are rather outdated and that this is the first entry since September 2013. You might know why, but I doubt it. The only people who may know why would probably not describe their actions the same way I would and will — those would be my soon-to-be ex-wife, my former landlord, and assorted “faux” elitist former “neighbors.”
My rental cottage and the area surrounding it was my former paradise for over ten years before it was destroyed by King County and Seattle City, some of it forever. I protested their actions, as did many others.
When the others gave up, I stumbled on, only to be abandoned by a disloyal second mate (“wife overboard”), and submerged to the point of near drowning by a vengeful landlord. Free speech in America ain’t free – you will pay for it with blood, sweat, and tears, and hateful retaliations. So, armor up and get that thick skin growing. And don’t forget your scuba gear. You’ll need it.
Or, to put it a whole other way “It just isn’t America unless there is a witch hunt.”
I leave this blog like it is a rotting house on an abandoned street in the middle of an intellectual desert filled with thousands of uncivilized sheep. I leave it up as a testament to how the powerful can still dump their shit anywhere they want, come reason, logic, or high water. It is a cautionary tale for any individual who may be considering taking a stand for what is right, if they don’t have what we call substantial “might.”
$300 $500 USD Cash Prize Contest to Find the Neighborhood (Posted August 12, 2013/Updated 09/05/13)
I am offering three
$300 $500 USD Cash Prizes in a Contest to Find the Neighborhood. Please see below.
What Would Martin Luther King Say (Posted January 19, 2013)
Martin Luther King, the King County, Washington, “marketing” symbol since 1986, is celebrated and honored on his national holiday every year, in mid-January. This year his day is January 21, 2013. We think he would be more than a little disturbed with King County.
As you may know, former King County Executive Ron Sims and Bruce Laing were responsible for changing the King County symbol in 1986 while both were members of the County Council. Previously, the county had adopted the name “King” after William Rufus de Vane King, a vice president of the United States in 1853.
In remarks made in 1986, Sims recalled that the county “branding” change was born out of the advocacy of community leaders and newspaper columnist Shelby Scates who believed that the county’s name should symbolize justice and equality for which the Reverend Dr. King fought. “Justice and equality” — nice words for sure, but only words and a marketing ploy if there is less than significant translation of those words into action.
With respect to what has happened to the Lowman Beach Park neighborhood of renters and the rental units they once occupied, there has been no such justice or equality. And, in that regard, I submit, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be ashamed of King County. Dr. King would have seen King County’s process of destroying 19 prime location, affordable rental units as an act of supreme injustice and cow-towing to political expediency, land-owner desires to “improve the neighborhood,” laziness and elitism. Nothing near justice and equality.
I find it particularly loathsome that King County uses the “justice and equality” brand of Dr. King’s values and behaviors to impress us, but spits in his face whenever it’s just too hard to live up to his principles. Dr. King said it best “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” Although this is seen as a bit of an exaggeration, Dr. King used that dramatic phrase to make sure we remember that not everything that is legal is moral. It sticks in your head, if you have ever heard it or read it.
For many generations of people who have not heard it, they don’t get it. In fact, the mantra of U.S. culture since Dr. King’s death in 1968 could be characterized as exactly the opposite of that principle — “get away with whatever you can get away with, and, if you can’t get away with it now, change the law so you can.”
Certainly, King County, when it comes to this neighborhood, does not come close to living up to the principles of Dr. King.
While you celebrate Dr. King, remember that everything King County does is “legal” and that although King County claims that its destruction of homes to build a sewage tank is legal, it is far from moral or rational. There is nothing to celebrate there.
Where were you when…..?
Now that you have ignored, for the most part, the process that has allowed King County to abuse its power to choose to put a 1 million gallon underground sewage tank and several above-ground structures directly across from Lowman Beach Park, what are you going to do now?
More will be written about that King County abuse of power and more will be written about the lackluster responses to the concerns of users of this recreational area by Mike McGinn, Tom Rasmussen, Dow Constantine and Joe McDermott.
Do you care what King County does now? Because, they are doing it…
They are in the process of demolishing all the homes across the street from Lowman Beach Park. They are in the process of designing substantial changes to the roadway, parking and sidewalks — changes that will seriously adversely affect access and safety for bicyclists, walkers, runners, kayakers, and other traditional users of Lowman Beach Park and the roadway leading to the north end of Lincoln Park.
What do you want now?
You may want to protect your traditional uses of this park and roadway area. Currently, the plans for the roadway fronting Lowman Beach Park are to narrow the street and to provide no safe turn around area other than driveway turn-arounds, which will force drivers to continue to back into busy pedestrian and bicycle traffic. There are no plans to widen the sidewalks in compensation for the narrowed street. There are no plans to make it easier for kayakers and other small craft users to offload equipment easily, without double-parking in the street. In other words, King County is taking but not giving anything much in return. And SDOT and Seattle Parks are right there with them.
This Blog Will Allow you To Raise Your Concerns
Please visit our Vote Here! page — Click on menu button “Vote Here!” Register your vote and make comments!
You can get up to speed on what has taken place and get information about public meetings still to be held in this matter by visiting the King County website for this project.
This blog is for you, West Seattle — to let King County know what you want and don’t want for access to and safety within the redesigned Lowman Beach Park recreational area. The area is being redesigned by King County with the passive assistance of Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation. Current plans can be found at the King County website for the Murray Pump Station 1 Million Gallon Underground Sewage Tank. I use the term “passive assistance,” because the major players in this redesign have yet to put together a plan for the area that actually addresses the needs of recreational users and residents. Either they have limited vision and just want to do the minimum, or they don’t know how to work together to produce the best outcome for access, safety, residential needs near the park, and appearance.
That’s where you come in — you will need to push hard to get the right things done for the Lowman Beach Recreational area. You will need to push hard to make sure the major players in this scenario show real respect for both recreational users and residents who contend with problematic safety, access, and parking and which current plans for the redesign are going to make much worse.
Although King County has clearly railroaded this process, you can push back and make sure your voices are heard — not just the voices of a select few.
More on KCWTD’s “Abuse of Power”
The October 12, 2010 Final Report of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) recommended location of underground tank to be underneath the south parking lot of Lincoln Park AND the two last things the CAG wanted was (1) to locate the tank directly in Lowman Beach Park, and (2) for eminent domain to be used to purchase and destroy homes on private property east of Lowman Beach Park. The last option of the CAG became the choice of KCWTD. To date, no intervention in this KCWTD abuse of power by any of our elected officials has taken place. They all signed off on this without any apparent resistance or significant questioning.
The Lincoln Park parking lot siting of the underground tank was “abandoned” on the basis of alleged “technical difficulties” after the CAG had been dismissed. No vetting of those alleged “technical difficulties” ever took place by CAG members, since the decision to abandon that site was made AFTER the CAG was dismissed. So, I am hoping you are getting this — the CAG might as well have never been involved in the first place. All their hard work was for naught.
The allegation that the Lincoln Park parking lot site was a “last minute” consideration was a total lie. On June 24, 2010, during the second CAG meeting the Lincoln Park parking lot solution was brought up by me. (See small pdf Meeting Summary by clicking here). I later tried to keep that solution on the table for consideration, but was often “censored” by KCWTD staff or EnviroIssues — in other words, it was clear there was a KCWTD agenda that the CAG was being pushed toward, NOT a CAG that had much independence. Although this biasing process was brought to the attention of our elected officials, no official ever took any serious interest or attempted to intervene.
How 3,500 Signatures Failed to Get a Formal Response
Click here to read the article entitled Lowman Beach Park neighbors protest Murray Pump Station plan. Amazingly, Pam Elardo, Director of KCWTD, is quoted as saying “Most people from CAG were very pleased when we announced the plan in December” [to use eminent domain to purchase and destroy private residences to make way for an underground tank and above-ground structures immediately east of Lowman Beach Park]. Nothing could be further from the truth. How Pam sleeps well when characterizing the CAG’s “satisfaction” in such an eggregiously incorrect manner, is beyond my understanding.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of the story is — “If you want something different, more respectful of community needs and desires, you better fight for it, and fight for it hard.”