May 2020

Seeing parks from behind the barricades

by Jean Godden

Full disclosure.

After many days spent in shelter-at-home conditions, it is important to venture -- cautiously of course -- into the outside world. For we city dwellers, there becomes an overwhelming need to leave home on occasion and get outside for mental and physical health.

Luckily, this city is well equipped. Seattle has 485 parks, large and small, a vast well-designed expanse of acreage. Our parks offer wooded green spaces, trails, beaches, dog parks, playgrounds, golf courses, ball fields, tennis courts and more.


Troy Smithmeyer selected to be Captain and Assistant Chief of the Burien Police Department

Troy Smithmeyer has been selected as the Burien Police Department’s next captain.

Captain Jessica Sullivan retired from the King County Sheriff’s Office in February. Smithmeyer has been serving as acting captain since March.

“Smithmeyer’s skill set and experience will allow us to build on our successes fighting crime, building trust, and supporting our employees in their career development,” said Theodore “Ted” Boe, Burien Police Department Chief.


LETTER: Your anti-racist effort

Dear Jayson Boyd,

            Thank you, thank you for your word to us white people.  It is a challenging process for us to see our white privilege.  Like a chick hatching – pecking through a barrier, there is a shell of unawareness, then denial, defensiveness, then dawning and questioning….  You know the drill. 

People are at all stages and many, sadly, will have no interest but many are interested and will do the work.  I suspect you will get some blow back, I hate that, but it’s the reality. 

I hope for others your column will be one more nudge to begin to look at what “white privilege” really means and how it plays out to the detriment of others.

White people have to speak to white people, and you are using your platform and talent to do that.

LETTER: How I woke up to my own prejudice

To Jayson Boyd,

(re: To whom is this street closed) I can relate, I grew up in lilly white Roosevelt area of Seattle in the mid 60s, and our high school was about 3,000 students with only about l2 black students (this was prior to mandatory bussing, or other minorities other than Asian Americans moving into the neighborhood.)

And I'm glad that you said that this issue, even subconsciously doesn't matter if you lean left or right polictially, it seems to paint all of us together, and rightfully so, even those of us who do not know it consciously.  

We were a lower middle class, both of my parents worked, we were not prejudiced toward anyone of any race or nationality, and I thought this was the way it was in most cities at the time.

Ken's View: News like life, unexamined is only one perspective

By Ken Robinson

Managing Editor

A close friend told me this week he believes the ‘media’ is responsible for amplifying lhe ‘scare’ about the coronavirus. This is a real head-scratcher for me. In some way, he said, he thinks the nation and the world would be better off if the big news network and newspapers and radio and the internet would stop telling the stories about how we are all affected by this mysterious virus.

I have some sympathy for my friend. In his household, his wife has the radio going 24/7 on conservative conspiracy theory programs. He said he gives this stuff short shrift. But it IS playing in the background of his life. His wife, he said, things Covid-19 is a fake thing. She doesn’t watch TV (or read a newspaper as far as I can tell) and they don’t have cable for TV (just rabbit ears).


Memorial Day is about more than memories

Memorial Day is normally a time of gathering, of ceremony and the way we honor those who gave their lives in service to this nation. That can't happen this year and that's too bad.

It's important to understand what it means.

The United States only officially created Memorial Day as a holiday in 1971 but since 1973 when we ended the draft, we've had an all volunteer military. People choosing to defend us, putting their lives on the line.

It's easy to take it all for granted, to treat that kind of service as just another career choice.

That would be wrong. 

Putting on that uniform means choosing to be part of a long tradition, to follow orders, to be willing to die for an idea. 


Detectives investigating several Anti-Asian bias incidents in Ballard

information from Seattle Police Blotter

UPDATE: Detectives now have an image of a person of interest from the incident that occurred at the restaurant at 20th Avenue NW and NW Market Street. This image depicts the person who was making racist remarks toward employees. Anyone with information on this individual is asked to contact the tip line at (206) 233-5000.

The Seattle Police Department is investigating at least three separate Anti-Asian Bias incidents that were reported yesterday in Ballard. 

On Saturday, May 23rd, at approximately 6:30 PM North Precinct officers responded to Golden Gardens Park for a report of a male in the park yelling at Asian park guests and chasing a female driver as she was trying to leave. 


Burien City Council votes to demolish the Annex; It will be removed starting Aug. 1

After extensive debate and consideration, the Burien City Council voted to demolish the Burien Community Center Annex (“the Annex”) at 425 SW 144th Street.

This follows six months of public process and discussion. The demolition process will occur after July 31, 2020, which is when the leases end for the remaining tenants. The decision was based on significant concerns about the buildings’ safety for the tenants, public, and staff. Many of the systems in the building are at the end of their operational life.

The Council also authorized $350,000 be transferred from other capital projects and the capital reserve to the demolition of the Annex. This means that a project aimed at addressing a non-critical landslide area in Seahurst Park and a master plan process for Hilltop Park will be delayed. The City’s Annex Tenant Support Team will continue working with Annex tenants on relocation efforts.