Why Seattle badly needs White Center
The Seattle City Council has put the White Center annexation on the slow track to consummation. Think of these next years as some casual dating, possibly leading to something more serious if both parties do a little better on the income front.
One thing in the White Center dowry is casinos, whose revenue for the city of Seattle might be $1 million a year, by council estimates. Card rooms are illegal in Seattle, but the legislature has arranged things so that White Center gambling would be grandfathered in. Whether that passes legal muster is another matter: a ban might be a ban.
But it got me thinking that maybe White Center ought to become the part of Seattle where you can do things that are frowned on in the city proper, a kind of Safety-valveville. Lots of forbidden pleasures come to mind: smoking in parks, pushing bicyclists off the road, aggressively talking back to aggressive panhandlers, waving American flags, toting guns, making jokes about Swedes, eating bad food, tossing the flossing, putting tomato-sauce-stained pizza boxes in the recycle, breaking wind very loudly, voting for Republicans.
It could get better. With Montlake threatening to secede from the city once again, over the Highway 520 bridge, maybe we should try a swap. We'll take White Center as a politically incorrect zone and let Medina annex Montlake. Mayor McGinn, who likes bold thinking, can take any or all of these ideas — no charge.