Support Crosscut

Midday Scan: Reading 50-year-old time capsule for good news? We didn’t get nuked

Jeff Wright, Chairman of the Space Needle Corp., signs an enlarged reproduction of the original Eddie Carlson 'napkin design' for the Needle. Credit: The Space Needle

The ghosts of City Council past are speaking to us. Or, at least, they wrote us a letter, which was recently unveiled in a time capsule dating back to 1962. The letter — which can be found on Publicola along with some commentary from Erica Barnett — reads somewhat awkwardly, like an alien visitor in a strange, foreign land. It details some happenings of the time, comments on how their garb probably looks funny to us, and, more hauntingly, predicts that Seattle today would either be a thriving metropolis or a “charred, deserted relic of a fearful age of nuclear warfare.” Thankfully, we opted for the former, and not the post-apocalyptic Mad Max scenario. (No Thunderdome here … yet.)

Barnett gives us a quick, blunt rundown of what Seattle has looked like since: “Since 1962, of course, traffic has gotten worse, the first floating bridge across Lake Washington, I-90, has been expanded, the second floating bridge is about to be replaced, Seattle Center is being renovated, and the city hall that seemed so new and modern in 1962 has been demolished. We still haven’t had another female mayor, and we still don’t have flying cars.”

If anything, the Stranger-sponsored debate at the Spitfire grill was an exercise in pointing out the obvious: A liberal is going to win the seat in the 36th district. Seattlepi.com columnist Joel Connelly, who was present, reminisces and laments that the 36th district used to have a competitive market that produced standout lawmakers.

There is an inherent danger in today’s candidates, who, as Stranger blogger David “Goldy” Goldstein points out in a follow-up, have positions that “couldn’t be separated by a putty knife” — they might have trouble communicating with those outside the city. Connelly writes, “The fear, from Monday’s debate, is that the 36th ends up with a marginalized state representative who makes a lot of noise but shows no inclination for coalition-building.”

Eatonville’s last-chance school levy is passing, according to a report by the Dispatch: “In early, unofficial returns after the close of voting Tuesday in a special election, Proposition 1 had a 52.3 percent yes vote, nearly 10 percentage points higher than an earlier levy attempt received in February.”

While this is good news for kids, it does raise the question of why a district is so dependent on a local levy for funding (it provides about 20 percent of the school’s total budget, or $4.5 million per year, which is a lot in ruralite bucks). Certainly, this case highlights at least somewhat the declining respect and seriousness which the Legislature has for education in the state. 

For the NFL nerds out there, you may now feast your eyes on the season schedule. Or, if you can’t make sense of that gobbedlygook, Seattle Times beat writer Danny O’Neil has a good guide to some of the highlights for the Seahawks. Of note is an early prime-time home game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. If the Seahawks somehow manage a win — which isn’t too far-fetched, with a new quarterback, “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch, and a rather promising young team — Seattle could be put in the national spotlight as a competitive team (which in turn is mucho good for our economy). And if they don’t win … well. Nothing new, right?

Yes, the Space Needle is indeed turning Galaxy Gold, albeit only the top of it, and rather slowly, as quick progress has fallen victim to the Seattle drizzle. Seattlepi.com has details and pictures of the first strokes of paint. For those wondering more about the original colors, and some history about the decision, Crosscut’s Mossback and Space Needle expert Knute Berger has got you covered.

As commenters pointed out in yesterday’s Midday Scan, it would be nice if they reverted the color of the whole Needle as opposed to just the top. And bring back the gas flame! Hear, hear!

More Reading

Publicola, “From 1962, a message to the City Council of the future

Seattlepi.com, “Seattle liberals’ insular world: the 36th District House Race

Slog, “Sahar Fathi wins Stranger 36th LD forum as frontrunners mutually self-destruct

Dispatch, “Second time the charm for Eatonville schools levy

Seattle Times, “Seahawks’ Monday night game against Green Bay highlights home schedule

Seattlepi.com, “Space Needle returns to its original color

Support Crosscut