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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Extremely Depressing Makeover

Posted by on March 29 at 10:14 AM

One of the former owners of the blue house wrote this in the comments thread in response to my earlier post…

i owned that house along with its current owner from 1996-2001 (sold out and left the country in 2001). last saturday, the press contacted me in south america…looking for the current owner (who was also out of the country). I felt like i was punched in the stomach when I heard what happened; I vomitted shortly thereafter. I lived in that house with several friends (including a year with both sisters) and we hosted numerous parties there ourselves. I built that bathroom on the top floor where the women hid…and painted the walls that saw these horrors. I know each corner of that house so intimately that even though I know longer own it, I’m filled with sadness as it had always been such a happy place and now is stained. I spoke with the current owner yesterday…he’s in shock. Also filled with grief for the families, and has not even thought about his investment yet; that seems to be the least of his current worries.

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My heart is so saddened but comforted to know that house will soon be a memorail that stands for love. It is no longer simply and investment to be bought or sold. The owners will donate it to our community.

We in Seattle cherish commnity deeply and Capital Hill especially has never been just about real estate values. Our real investment is in the kindness we share, the dancing and great spirits of individuals.

The love of those lives lost will remain in that place, in the memorial soon to be built there and the color bright flowers that will embrace the community garden.

"The owners will donate it to our community."


I'm just curious... have you heard, or has the owner made a commitment to you, that the property will be donated to the community?

I think that the outpouring of compassion from the community should be enough to ward of the evil repurcussions of this tragedy. If a memorial is to be built, perhaps it should be done in a public place away from this neighborhood... I would think some respect also needs to be shown to this neighborhod and the owners, who were violated. Why the insistence that evil permanently poisons a location? I thought love conquers all.

I would hope the owners did not donate the house. If something besides a house is to go on the site, the owners should be fairly compensated—and that doesn't mean the 350Kish figure people have been tossing around. Homes in that area are going for well over 500K—well over their assessed value.

There are enough victims here already without the rightful owners of that home being guilted into losing their investment. If a memorial or a garden is constructed, the city should buy it the house at it's current market value, not its assessed value.

Surely no price can be put on the lives of these six young people. Their memories must be honored without thinking about money. Our community values the lives of it's members more that the houses they live in our the land they own. That's what makes Capital Hill such a special place to live.

We need only ask, and my guess is the owners will gladly make a donation to our community for a park and p-patch.

It's cruel to be thinking about real estate values while the wounds of this tragedy are still fresh on our gentle spirits.

Honoring the lives of our community members in the end will matter the most.

"We need only ask, and my guess is the owners will gladly make a donation to our community for a park and p-patch."

Are you high? Seriously? You think an investment property owner will just gladly give up an investment worth roughly a half million dollars out of the goodness of their heart?

They may be perfectly nice people. And from the communication we've heard from a former co-owner, it sounds like they probably are. But I can't imagine that they'd just casually hand over an investment worth $500,000.

They've undoubtedly spent a bucket load of money buying it, maintaining it, and paying taxes on it. They likely owe a substantial mortgage on it. It may sound cruel to be thinking about real estate, but get real.

It is easy for the rest of us to be talking about a memorial or pea patch or whatever, when we aren't the one's who own the property.

As the aunt of Jason Travers, I believe the best memorial to him would to be loving and generous to everyone else, just as Jason was and will always be in my memory. Sure, a garden would be nice as a living memorial to all of the victims (including those who survived the nightmare of March 29), but remembering him and his spirit is much more important than a memorial. The only other thing people in your state could do would be to outlaw semiautomatic pistols and pistol handled sawed off shotguns, which as quoted by your chief of police are "...for hunting people."
I am not going to get into "gun control" issues except to say those guns designed solely for "killing people" should not be out in the public.

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