Every column or reporting beat gathers its share of leftover merchandise in time.
Those are the odds and ends, the sidebars, the updates, the bits and pieces cut off to make a story fit its space.
Now, and for a limited time only, here are our own mix-and-match, inventory-reduction items.
One of Sound Transit’s two parallel tunnels from Broadway to Convention Place is now all dug. The big digging machine was sent back to Capitol Hill in parts, has been
and is now ready to start creating the second east-west tunnel.
Meanwhile, two other machines are digging north-south tunnels, moving slowly under Montlake, on their way to the Broadway transit-station site. They’re giving Montlake residents a taste of the potential rumbling and ground-vibrating sure to come when the state Route 520 construction happens.
In ground-level transit, the First Hill/Capitol Hill streetcar line is set to begin construction in the new year, running from the International District to the transit-station site. The city and Sound Transit have been negotiating a deal to extend the line’s southern end, along South Jackson Street into Pioneer Square.
But, with all governmental agencies facing limited funds, would a southern extension mean no northern extension, up Broadway six blocks to Aloha Street? That seems to be the case right now.
Broadway businesses sure could use the trolley connection. The streetcar line itself sure could use the recreational/tourist traffic to Volunteer Park.
Occupy Seattle’s campout protest was removed from the Seattle Central Community College campus, on orders from the college administration.
Right now, Occupy holds regular planning sessions at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center (yes, the very target site of the “Battle of Seattle” protestors in 1999).
Some people at St. Mark’s Cathedral have proposed inviting a smaller Occupy camp to the church’s grounds. Even if church
leadership approves the plan, it’s difficult to imagine it having the same public impact that the previous encampments had. There’s a lot less foot traffic on 10th Avenue East than there is on Fourth Avenue and Pine Street.
Lately, I’ve gotten to see a lot of the still-booming South Lake Union neighborhood.
The once-quiet blocks of warehouses and light industry are now almost totally taken over by retro-modern office buildings. Thousands of office workers in these buildings will seek nearby places to live, shop, eat and share happy-hour drinks.
In the matter of nearby living spaces, you can expect the Capitol/First Hill housing market
to recover faster than that of the region as a whole. For those other things, expect increasing pressure to redevelop every last
commercially zoned block on the Hill.
With that in mind, the Seattle City Council has put a little teeth (in the form of zoning brownie points) behind its Pike/ Pine preservation drive. Property owners in the area who keep “character structures” (pre-1937 buildings) standing can get “unused air-rights” they can sell, so developers can put up higher buildings elsewhere. The city has identified 10 such buildings that could be saved under the scheme.
What the legislation doesn’t address is how the saved buildings would be used. Art studios and community service organizations could still be ousted in favor of upscale bistros. But at least Pike and Pine streets won’t become unbroken canyons of midrise projects.
Another area I’ve passed through a lot lately is the southern end of 12th Avenue, between Boren Avenue and South Jackson Street.
That stretch of 12th still has overhead wiring, held up by traditional-style telephone poles. Every morning, those wires are inhabited, virtually to the inch, by masses of crows.
Volunteers with the Seattle Audubon Society held their annual bird count on New Year’s Eve day. Last year’s count found some 9,000 crows in town, down by almost half from 2009, but still way above the long-term average.
In keeping with the traditional name for groups of those birds, you could call it a “murder spree.” But in keeping with today’s au courant nomenclature, I’d like to think of them as occupying the wire.