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Monday, August 18, 2008

City Sets Deadline for Seattle’s Last Newsstand

posted by on August 18 at 14:53 PM

The Seattle Department of Transportation has set a firm deadline for the man working to save Seattle’s last newsstand. SDOT has given Ben Gent until August 27th to apply for permits so he can continue operating his newsstand at 3rd and Pike.

Gant’s been battling with the city for over a year now.In November 2007, SDOT cited Gant for failing the maintain and regularly operate the newsstand. Gant filed an appeal with the city’s hearing examiner, and was told he’d need to get the stand re-permitted before he could renovate it and officially reopen.

I wrote about Gant’s fight to save the nearly-90-year-old newsstand, and last week the LA Times picked up the story.

If the city does not receive an application from Gant in the next nine days, SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan says the city will refer the matter to the city attorney’s office, which would likely get a court order to remove the stand. “At this juncture, it’s been several months since the hearing examiner ruled against Mr Gant,” Sheridan says. “We feel we’ve been patient with him.”

Gant says he’s nearly ready to move forward with his permit applications—he’s waiting to hear back from a few architects and engineer.

RSS icon Comments

1

I'm sorry, but this guy is a dope. He keeps calling it a "newsstand" but he doesn't sell any newspapers or magazines? His stand died a long time ago, and what he needs isn't architects and engineers, it's an ass in the seat 12 hours a day, and some FRICKIN' NEWSPAPERS. Nostalgia is great and everything, and it would be nice if this was real, but it's NOT REAL. He needs to sit in there all day, and if he doesn't want to do that, and doesn't want to hire someone else to do it, then he's got nothing.

Posted by Fnarf | August 18, 2008 3:07 PM
2

if he sold porn magazines thatd be freaking awesome. get a duvet at ross and a club at the stand

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 18, 2008 3:20 PM
3

I agree with @1.

In substance, but especially the tone, the rhetorical stance, the use of caps and use of "frickin.'"

Posted by PC | August 18, 2008 3:38 PM
4

Jonah - this is not "Seattle's Last Newsstand". Please stop referring to it as such. First of all, it is a kiosk. Second of all, his "newspaper" stock consists of free local rags and the SGN for 25 cents. Third, and most importantly, there is a rockin' newsstand at the entrance to the Market. That place rules, and their foreign magazine and newspaper section is the best in the city.

Posted by rb | August 18, 2008 3:50 PM
5

I don't understand all the attention and love this stand is getting on here. It's gross, it doesn't really sell anything, and I think I've only seen someone actually running it about 3 times in the last two years.
This week I noticed the big magazine store over by Yesler(4th or 5th Ave. I think) is closed. When did that happen, and where was the LA times feature then, huh?

Posted by A | August 18, 2008 4:02 PM
6

Not once have I seen that shit-hole open. If you want a newsstand got to the corner of Pine & First at the Pike Place Market.

Posted by elswinger | August 18, 2008 4:04 PM
7

That stand has been closed at least 95% of the entire time I've lived here (if not the entire time) until Gant perked up his movement to keep it a short time ago. Maybe if he wanted it to stick around, he should have kept it open. This isn't exactly Gus Hellthaler fighting for the survival of his Blue Moon Tavern: at least Blue Moon's open for business everyday.

Posted by Gomez | August 18, 2008 4:16 PM
8

Ben Gant should give up the newstand dream and pursue voice-over work or become an auctioneer. You can't really tell from this video but he's got a great voice.

Posted by blargh | August 18, 2008 6:37 PM
9

This guy seems mildly mentally ill, in a charming sort of way.

Posted by Andy | August 18, 2008 7:27 PM
10

First of all the rags I sell (The Facts,SGN,and Russian world news) are not available anywhere else downtown. The other FRICKIN PAPERS will not let me carry them.
SMC code says I must be open 1 1/2 hours a day and I have done that since 4/16/07 after I was granted a restraining order against the city.
I would love to put the whole story out there, but it would be counter productive. Secondly I did think of selling just porn and calling it The Smut Peddler. The city would love that.

Posted by Ben | August 18, 2008 8:22 PM
11

it is utterly amazing what effort has been made to close this little operation down

city admin sucks big time - and all the so called liberals are forced democrats - in any other city they would be the R;s

go ben, kick back, mark one for the really little guys

in a city that mostly shits on everybody but gates and allen

Posted by Jesus Tree Lover | August 19, 2008 6:43 AM
12

I'm a bit surprised that Gant isn't selling The Seattle Times or the P-I, as they tend to allow anyone with a valid business license, permit and taxpayer I.D. number to buy papers wholesale and sell retail.

That he doesn't sell those papers -- along with his "I'm gonna keep this open the bare minimum hours I have to" attitude tells me just how seriously he takes this. What a lame, tired grudge match.

Posted by DB | August 20, 2008 4:43 AM

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