Monthly Archives: September 2014

Lake Union resident one of five  arrested in Everett for blocking oil train Sept. 2 tells why they, and he, did it

I am a veteran climate activist.  I have written about the climate crisis for over 25 years and for most of the last 15 worked full-time to advance climate solutions.  I have spent a lot of time trying to stop global warming sitting in front of a computer.  On September 2, 2014 it was time to sit in front of a train.

Continue reading An arresting experience…

Delta Tripod shot

In case you missed it, the Modern Love column in the New York Times a couple of weeks back features Seattle as one of its settings and Gas Works Park as the turning point for finding love or almost finding it:

A few nights later, we met again. On top of a small knoll at an abandoned gas factory converted into a park, we had a conversation I’d had a few times before.

“I like you,” I said, “but I’m not ready for a relationship.” This was my standard pain-prevention opening line.

“Me either,” Jason said. “Let’s just have fun.”

“O.K.,” I said. “Good.”

We stared out at the black water of Lake Union, our fingers casually interlace

Each Sunday the Modern Love column features a different author, a different story, about how love appears in our modern times. Rachel Newmann’s Seattle-setting story, also features rides on The No. 9 Metro bus, and The Stranger newspaper plays a pivotal role. Find out what happens. Is love lost or found? Here’s the essay: Waiting Patiently for the Wall to Crumble


Gas Works gets a nice write up on Ziptopia, a blog sponsored by Zip Car of all things. In particular it highlights how close Gas Works came to never being realized but thanks to the relentless vision of its architect:

Given that discussion of what to do with the site started in 1962 when the City of Seattle acquired it after the plant had shut down, many people strolling through the park may have no idea just how groundbreaking Gas Works Parks is. When the city ultimately decided to turn it into a public place, most people assumed that the structures would be removed.

“What was unique in this situation was a landscape architect convincing a city that an industrial site could be reused as an open space,” Brooks says.

That’s just what Haag did. He explored every nook and cranny of the site, and the idea slowly came to him to keep some of the structures of the old plant. “I had no rock outcroppings and no sacred trees. Not much there except these wonderful iron totemic structures. The more I was around there, the more I bonded with those things. And I thought, ‘Yup, I’ve got to save them,’” Haag explains in a recently recorded oral history project.

Initially, it seemed most everyone in the city opposed the idea of retaining the structures, with both daily newspapers coming out against the plan. But Haag finally won over the community.

Richard Haag also described his struggle at an Eastlake Community Council meeting last year featuring videos of Lake Union History:

The park was originally going to be named for Myrtle Edwards. The park concept was being spearheaded by her family, but the family was adamantly against saving the structures and denounced the idea at public meetings. The sentiment from the family and many members of the public was, “Save that pile of junk?  What is going on here?”

Haag had a painting commissioned to show how the park might eventually look with the gas works and revealed it at a public hearing that over 700 people attended. That helped sway public opinion enough to let the project go forward.  The Edwards family withdrew the councilwoman’s name for the park. And instead the park, the first of its kind, became most known for, as Haag referred to them, its “industrial ruins.”

Fallen cyclist was Wallingford resident

The Wallyhood blog reports that the bicyclist who was killed downtown at 2nd and University was a Wallingford resident and that a fund for her family has been set up in her honor:

We’re very sad to report that Sher Kung, who lived near the Ladybug here in Wallingford, was struck and killed by a truck while on her bicylce Friday morning. KIRO reports that she was traveling in the left side of the street bicycle lane on 2nd Ave, and that “witnesses said the bicyclist was heading south in the bicycle lane next to the truck when she was hit as the driver made the left turn.”

Sher was a lawyer at Perkins Coie law firm. She leaves behind her partner Christine Sanders and their seven month old daughter, Bryn.

Her neighbor Paul McClinton let us know that Sher was earning a living for the family at the time of her death, so a fund has been created to help the family. More information on the fund here.

A beautiful makeshift memorial featuring two white bikes and heaps of flowers has appeared at corner near where the accident happened (photo below).

memorial at 2nd ave

Catching sight of the elusive blue heron

Catching sight of a blue heron is a rare but not unheard of treat. (I know of at least one person who has been out on the lake numerous times over many years and has never seen one.)

But a blue heron occasionally makes visits to the commercial dock on the south end of Fairview Ave. and Hamlin St. where business-owner, manicurist E. Marie works. She’s been catching sight of them for years but always sans cell phone. Finally this past week she caught some pictures of the elusive bird. The grainy dream-like photos only seem to add to its mystery.

BH on dock

BH lower head


BH with sunset and houseboat

photos by E. Marie