Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nellie Goodhue School, also, RSA: Crisis of Capitalism

There is something disarming and somewhat pleasing about watching a cartoon, even if it is digging at the nature of the global financial crisis. To a great extent, on America's birthday, I think it is fitting that we have a little Marxist cake to go with the 3 decades of Capitalism's frosting.

To further the sugar/frosting metaphor, we should all look at the fat and empty American life to see if we are happy, or at least living a sustainable life. The short answer is too often "no" but we look for ways to mitigate the bad things and take steps toward individual happiness (whatever that is for you). One of the reasons that the answer is "no" is that somebody is making a lot of money off of us for their benefit, and they don't give a ratsass if we become miserable in the process.

Stick together everybody.

I hope you will watch this 11 minute and 10 second video from They have a channel with this, and other videos.

I am not about to adopt the Lesser Seattle philosophy, but I will expect that when I vote for parks and sidewalks that they actually show up in existing neighborhoods, and not in some housing development for the benefit of a billionaire.

While we are here:
Two blocks away I have 26 plots of urban blight. This gem used to be a mothballed Seattle Puble School called the Nellie Goodhue School.
1946: Opened by Shoreline School 
District No. 412 as Shoreline 
Health and Guidance Center  
1954: Annexed into Seattle School 
District on July 1; renamed 
Nellie Goodhueon 
August 13  
1954–57: Operated as annex to 
Northgate School  
1957–61: Operated as independent 
1961: Closed in June as a classroom 
1961–: Used for North (Area) 
Guidance Center/North 
Region or Region I Student 
Present: Northend Annex

"Present" on the timeline ended, and was sold two years ago to a housing developer.

Urban blight sounds bad until you know what the alternatives were for the site.
The responsible school official listed for this determination is Ronald J English. English was recently the center of another questionable environmental skirmish in the same Haller Lake residential neighborhood when he was involved with the proposed sale of a Seattle School District building - the former Nellie Goodhue School - located at Meridian Ave N and Roosevelt Way N. The school district initial determination would have opened the residential neighborhood to an onslaught of trucks because of a "determination" that it was zoned for a warehouse. The Haller Lake Community Club sued and the property has now been sold to be converted into 26 single family homes.
Majority Rules blog

To understand what having a warehouse and lots of truck traffic would mean you should know that there are more rainwater ditches than sidewalks here, more post WWII houses turning over in generations to young families that have small children, to an area with remarkably few stop signs.
In 1954 when seattle annexed this land it was on condition that Seattle provide sidewalks. Some 65 years later it was being offered a warehouse and truck traffic.
Commerce calls on our unelected officials

Application Number(s): 3004747 and 3005091

I'll tie this together, I swear.
Capitalism isn't everything.
State Authoritarianism isn't the answer.
Sometimes you have to band together, as the Haller Lake Community Club did.
A vacant lot could be worse if left to the worst combination of Capitalism and Authoritarianism.
Lastly, I might join one of these groups of people that are looking out for each other, because nobody else is.

Happy Birthday to you, America!