Friends of the Market Newsletter
One can almost tell what month it is in the Market by walking the Main Arcade’s aisles or Pike Place Street's sidewalks. This is the winter wonder of being in the Market in January; ease of transit and transactions with semi-idle merchants who are chatty again and glad to see you. So, Friends, come on down to the Market for shopping, breakfast, lunch or dinner. The 'winter wonder' of the Pike Place Market awaits you. (This ends the community service bulletin.)
In the real news, last week the Friends of the Market made an enormous impression on the Market Historical Commission. The only agenda item was the long awaited formal application from the PDA for Use and Design approval of the entire $73 million MarketFront project. (That one item resulted in a four-hour and five minute meeting. The longest in this reporter's memory going back to 1986.)
Before the meeting, there had been a challenge from City Hall to FoM's two Commission representatives, Christine Vaughan and John Ogliore, to recuse themselves from voting. It was resolved "after consultation with the City's law department". The only recusal came from Murad Habibi, a commission resident of the Leland Hotel, who objected to the proposed project donor recognition embellishments.
FoM’s board was well-represented during public comments. Several members spoke eloquently about the application issue facing the commission and the basic principles of free speech and democratic representation which are the covering fabric of all ordinances, charters, and guidelines in the Pike Place Market's 'governmental structure'.
In the audience were Jerry Thonn and Ed Singler, original authors of the 1971 people's initiative which created the Market Historical District and Market Historical Commission. Jerry spoke directly to first principles and refuted arguments calling for recusal because FoM representatives belonged to and voted for an advocacy resolution. Also speaking to the issues were President Sara Patton and Joan Singler. Jill Ryan was present, as was Peter Steinbrueck and Paul Dunn.
Use Approval passed with a 7-0 vote. Design Approval passed with a 6-1 vote. MarketFront can now go forward with groundbreaking to be scheduled very soon.
In a few weeks, the entire meeting’s minutes will be posted and can be read by clicking here. Readers will also find a longer summary in next month's FoM newsletter.
And now, for something completely different: January "Passages".
Post Alley Passages
A fan is a person "with an unreasoning enthusiasm or zeal."
I was born in Detroit, a de facto Tiger fan. As a kid, a nickel streetcar ride to Brigg's Stadium and fifty cents for a bleacher seat got me over centerfielder Doc Cramer, my favorite Tiger. Doc had a rifle for an arm. Long, high flies would disappear below the bleacher railing, and so would a racing Doc. Then, like an arrow, the ball would rocket to the right base; once he threw to home plate to beat a runner from third. Wow!
In 1962, when I arrived in Seattle, Doc Cramer was managing the Pacific Coast League Rainiers in Sicks' Stadium. I had a new home team.
Part of fandom is to keeping the memories, remembering the history and marking the continuity of the team and the greater game. My memories of many games in the Kingdome and at Safeco Field, from good seats and bad, have survived.
I also remember seeing some spirited AA and AAA contests with the AquaSox at the field in Everett and the Rainiers at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma over the years.
I saw a lot of great games at the now demolished Kingdome. From a 300-level seat above home plate, I watched the legend-to-be Gaylord Perry pitch his 300th win in 1982. (A few years later, on a New York trip in 1985, I saw Tom "Terrific" Seaver also pitch his 300th win as a White Sox player, from the upper level left field at Yankee Stadium.) I was in the Kingdome in 1992 when Nolan Ryan stopped in mid-count and walked off the mound holding his elbow. It was his last major league pitch. With two of my grandsons at field level, down the third base line in 1995, we saw the M's beat the Angels for a playoff slot on the last day of the regular season.
There were many great games at Safeco Field, too, especially when a baseball buddy had corporate seats up thirteen rows over the M's dugout on the first base line. Seats from which you could see the thrown ball drop and dip, close enough to see Lou Piniellas's face get red over bad calls on the bases. At most other games, we had single tickets in the bleachers on sunny days.
It's hard being a baseball fan without daily coverage from the home town newspapers. Baseball fans are nurtured by a daily paper. Real fans don't ask about the redundancy of statistics, they just study the box scores.
Before television, there was only the radio. In Detroit, that meant Harry Heilmann, a Hall of Fame Tiger from the Ty Cobb era on WXYZ. Harry's voice was steady, calm and full of authority, and he knew the game. He was the sound of the Tigers, and he called bad plays on home and visiting teams alike. He was a reporter, not a cheerleader.
It's been hard not to be a Seahawks fan lately. But baseball and football media coverage have different rhythms. The dailyness of the game of baseball requires reporting with little space for analysis.
The only people listening to baseball on the radio are shut-ins, truckers, or those suffering long commutes. The teams contract with television and radio airways for games and put two or more announcers in the booth. Television has at least five analysts for each football game. Few are honestly critical of the home team. Football coverage often has a dozen people in the press box and on the sidelines, all telling the viewers what they just saw.
The billions of dollars from television contracts for football results in an intended parity on the field because the money is equally divided among the teams. Turnovers decide as many games as offensive plays or stalwart defense. Blowouts are infrequent.
Last October, when major league baseball presented a very excellent World Series between two deserving teams that went seven games and was decided by pitching. We Mariner fans were excited to the very end when our team missed the playoffs by one game. It created cries of "Wait til next year," as baseball fans often do, paying their loyalty forward.
If the Hawks can win another Super Bowl or three more after that, I'll be glad for them and happy to see so many of my Seattle friends happy, too. All I want is for the Mariners to get into the playoffs.
I've been a fan of professional baseball since I arrived in Seattle, first the Rainiers, then the Pilots, then the Mariners. So although I wasn't born here, I support the Mariners. It's my home team.
Although professional football is a recent enthusiasm, I feel like I'm an observer only. My abiding fan energy goes to the Mariners, my home team.
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training the second week in February. The "next year" is here.
Post Alley Passages written by Paul Dunn, firstname.lastname@example.org