May 2016


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(nothing about anyone on my f-list, just things that are really starting to tick me off...)

I went to a small Alternative school from third grade on that allowed all 13 grades in one school. The idea was originally to have kids learning not only from the teachers, but each other and the community at large. The older kids, especially. It had already been going for about 4 years as a high-school when it finally went K-12, and it was placed in a tiny elementary that didn't have enough space for all of us. We were across the street from a High School with a bad reputation, and there were times when they would have to lock the doors to keep "dangerous kids" out.

After our second year there, the program went through a revamp, and we were moved to an older school further down in the same area of the district, but with an actual play area, and further away from the high schools in the area. It still wasn't quite big enough for us, but bigger. But this was when the downhill slide began. Suddenly the Seattle school district began to question our community plan. They wanted us to be more like "normal" schools, and so many of the programs that made my school unique were cut out.

We stayed in that building for five years, but then the plans for a hyperspace bypass broadened freeway had them insist we move so they could knock down the school. The building was saved eventually, and has since (and very recently, after many battles on their part) become an African American Museum. The first in the area.

Still, we moved again. Far from the original area the school had started in. People complained that the program wouldn't be diverse enough because it wouldn't reach the South end and Central area students. To a Middle School building that had been deserted for some years. Across from another High School. This time, though we had enough space for our whole school. A track. A gym. Just tons of space.

But again, the program changed. We weren't holding up our end. We weren't different enough. Why did they need to fund us at all? There were other Alternative programs in the city, after all. (Never mind that most of them were being questioned as well.) Still, we managed to hang on. Refurbished the school. And flourished.

When I graduated in 1987, there were 16 people in my graduating class. Last I heard, the numbers were close to 30. But apparently, that's not good enough. Never mind that the school is always the first on the cutting block because it "doesn't live up to potential." So apparently, sending all these kids to a new school where they're going to be the odd ones out will work better for them?

I can't tell you how angry this makes me. We were never a great school, but we were sort of the nerd to every other high school's jock. We were the weirdos. The ones who likely would have dropped out. The ones whose parents were "hippies" or strange. It wasn't perfect. But then, what is? But then, it's always easier to drop something you never really liked than to try and let it have it's head and maybe, finally, grow into its potential?

RIP Summit K-12. You will be missed.

Ice. Snow. Rain. And now wind. I don't know how people can seriously suggest that global climate change isn't happening. We haven't had three consecutive days of snow in Seattle proper in my lifetime. Granted, I don't really remember the first few years, but the recorded weather tells us that much, at least.

So when the city shut down for the week leading up to Christmas, surely it could have been a surprise to no one? So why are people blaming the city for the small details? Yes, the streets were icy, and snowier than usual when we have snow. We had more snow than we'd had in 40 years! No, that doesn't mean we need to use salt. No, that doesn't mean we need to invest in machines that will likely not be needed more than once in the next 20 to 40 years. And will be completely defunct or broken down by the time we have this sort of snowfall again. Seattle City simply doesn't get enough snow of this kind to make that sort of purchase worth it. And yes, what we have is usually plenty. It just so happens that in this case, it wasn't. Because it was extreme. And extreme things don't happen often enough to plan for them. And no, it's not equatable to an earthquake, which you can take preventative measures for.

However, that said, I'm in no way defending our Mayor. He's an idiot and a dupe. And if this gets him out of office, all the better. But that doesn't mean he's at fault for the icy side-streets, either. Granted, I'm sure things could have been handled better, but you really can't blame a catastophe of weather on him. No matter what the idiot deserves.

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