Morning Fizz

The Case for Lidding I-5

McDermott votes to oppose visa restrictions, Seattlish annotates Seattle Weekly, and Northwest Urbanist makes a compelling case for a central park.

By Josh Feit December 10, 2015

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I have been slammed with a fever/cough/cold this week and haven’t been able to do much reporting.

It’s a perfect excuse to resurrect On Other Blogs Today.

At The Seattle Times, reporter Jim Brunner has the news that liberal maverick U.S. representative Jim McDermott was one of just 19 U.S. house members (and the only rep from Washington state’s delegation) to oppose a bill that closes a visa waiver for people who’ve been in Syria or Iraq within the last five years traveling to the U.S. for 90 days or less.

“This legislation is the kind of unwelcome knee-jerk reaction that comes with heightened anxiety and fear,” McDermott said. “We have a responsibility in this country to be vigilant in the face of terrorist threats, but never at the expense of the rights and privileges dual citizens are afforded regardless of their national origin.”

Over at Erica C. Barnett’s blog, The C Is for Crank, she takes a critical look at the KCTC-Crosscut merger. She also, alertly, uses the news as an opportunity to focus on the lack of women and minority voices in local media.

KCTS wouldn’t field Barnett’s question on that score, but Crosscut editor Greg Hanscom noted: “There’s no denying that the old white dude factor is a little glaring around here.”

Speaking of excellent feminism. Seattlish destroys a recent Seattle Weekly article—“The Girls' Guide to Faking an Interest in Sports”—with an annotated version.

For example, in the snippet below, from about three quarters of the way through the Weekly’s sassy tips on how to make nice with guys, Seattlish writer Hanna Brooks Olsen sputters:

Powered with passion, a dude will enthusiastically convey everything you want to know—and more—about a player, team, or game. Let him. [HBO: The fuck year did this article fall out of.] You might learn something about his personality and, possibly, his values. [HBO: …………… me…….]

And then there’s this: The definitive case for lidding I-5 by recent UW urban planning school graduate Scott Bonjukian.

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 It begins:

Amid Seattle’s rapidly growing inner neighborhoods remains the urban scar of Interstate 5, a massive concrete and steel ribbon that is the lasting legacy of 20th century transportation engineers. It helps move thousands of people and tons of freight every day through the biggest city in the Pacific Northwest, but it gives little to those who don’t drive and to people who live and work around it. The problems are obvious: noise, traffic, and poor urban design that makes people on the street feel isolated and wastes valuable urban land. The solution is equally clear but admittedly ambitious: lidding the freeway to mitigate its sights and sounds while simultaneously transforming the public realm of downtown Seattle.

Bonjukian prefers a park and commercial development (like galleries, coffee shops, and small grocery stores) to housing, arguing that there is enough existing land for housing to be built affordably and functionally. To create a common green at this price, he argues, we should build things that don't pencil out on the existing available areas.

And finally, The New York Times picks up the story of Hamza Warsame, the 16-year-old Somali American who died near Seattle Central Community College, where he had been taking advance placement classes.

The police are still investigating his death, he fell 60 feet from a building near Summit and Thomas on Capitol Hill, for any possibility of foul play or a hate crime. Capitol Hill Seattle has been all over the story.

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