By Linda Wallace

Author's thoughts on the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Vandals destroyed some of the beauty in our lovely new White Center Heights Park. In June, Starbucks donated $550,000 and massive amounts of volunteer labor for the seven-day extreme makeover of the small community park. I worked six of the seven days and feel both pride and a sense of ownership. One of the things I love most about the makeover is the inclusion of art. Now part of the art is gone.

The bare posts say it all. Don Haig, Acting Supervisor III of Park Operations for King County, told me at a meeting for Friends of Hicks Lake volunteers that the glue on the post caps didn’t set properly. The vandals pulled the beautiful glass caps off and smashed them. The caps the vandals left in place were removed by King County to prevent them from being broken, too. Ironically, security cameras scheduled to be installed before the vandalism occurred were put in place just a week after the glass caps were destroyed. Not that the cameras would have prevented the destruction, but catching and punishing the culprits might have prevented future problems.

When I volunteered for a Lakewood Park cleanup in September, Geraldine, another King County employee, told me Parks Operations plans to replace the caps with new ones made of some kind of material less likely to be broken, i.e. plastic or metal. I’m guessing the replacements will not be as beautiful as the original glass caps. So sad not everyone shares in the desire to improve our White Center community.

Some time ago, my sister and I rode on the subway during a visit to Hollywood. We sat, outraged but silent, watching a vandal use a knife to scratch a message on a window. We both wanted to stop him but were afraid—after all, he had a knife. Now, I’m asking you to do what I say, not what I did. If you see someone degrading our shared public spaces, do something. You don’t need to put yourself in danger. You probably carry a cell phone; go where you won’t be seen and call the authorities. Everyone who loves parks will thank you.

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At 1:06 PM, Blogger Oberon said... are fabulous.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Linda Wallace said...

I can return the compliment. Your blog: important subjects, beautiful poetry, beautiful photography.


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