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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wildrose Owner Burned in Gas Fire Gets a Little Love

posted by on September 24 at 14:44 PM

After spending three weeks in the hospital with severe leg burns, Martha Manning, co-owner of Seattle’s only lesbian bar, the Wildrose, is being released later today. Manning was at a gas station on Capitol Hill September 4 when an SUV careened into a gas pump that blew up upon impact.

“She had to have skin grafts on both ankles, her lower legs, and feet,” says Wildrose co-owner Shelly Brothers. Manning’s right leg is also in a cast to protect her damaged Achilles tendon.

Before medics could rescue her, Manning first rescued her Chihuahua, Honey, who was sitting in Manning’s car before flames charred the pumps and the surrounding vehicles. The unscathed, five-pound pooch now stars in the poster for Manning’s benefit concert next week:


Poster via.

The all-volunteer lineup for the October 1 show at Chop Suey includes Leslie and the Lys, Team Gina, Precious Moments, and several DJs. If you can’t attend the benefit but still want to contribute to Manning’s recovery fund, you can drop off a check at the Wildrose or make a deposit to the “Martha Manning Fund” at any Bank of America location. The show will also feature a silent auction, including karate lessons and a gift bag from Babeland. Bidders should bring a cash or a checkbook.

Proceeds from the benefit will go toward Manning’s medical bills and other expenses while she is unable to work. “It is such a huge bill that insurance won’t cover it all,” Brothers says. “We have no idea how long it will be before she can get back to work.”

In the meantime, Wildrose staff have been shuffling their schedules to make up for Manning’s absence at the busy bar, Brothers says. “We all miss her.”

RSS icon Comments


Man, it is awesome the way people have come through for her.

Posted by Greg | September 24, 2008 2:53 PM

Shit happens. This is not a story.

Posted by Dubcek | September 24, 2008 2:53 PM

Insurance won't cover it all? Isn't the whole point of insurance to cushion us against financial ruin from unexpected stuff like this? That insurance company is bullshit. I WANT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!

Posted by east coaster | September 24, 2008 2:56 PM

Dubeck, you think it wouldn't be a story except;

A. The Stranger has strong ties to the music/bar/food community
B. It's a concert.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 2:58 PM

this gets into moral hazard and ambiguity territory east coaster;

should universal health care cover catastrophic incident that could have been avoided? and if so, do sports/activity related injuries qualify? My step brother broke both his legs in a kayak incident when he plunged 40 feet down a waterfall. the doctors bill was in the hundreds of thousands. What happens in universal health care tries to legislate risk to citizens?

the universal health care now meme needs more thought.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 3:08 PM

and seriously, what happened to her really sucks and its neat to see the community rally around her but she also didn't have to rescue the dog. she took on risk that no insurance company would have insured for; ordinary citizen dog rescue from fire. you're saying that her action of putting the dog before her own safety and wellbeing is the kind of thing the government should pay for?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 3:12 PM

The post states that the incident was not her fault, that an SUV ran into a pump and causing an explosion. It sounds like a freak accident, and yes, insurance ought to cover freak accidents.

Posted by Emily | September 24, 2008 3:14 PM

Indeed. I was talking more about the accident itself and the fact that that is only a story because this woman is gay. Lesbian bar owner hurt in Oklahoma is a story, in Seattle it is not.

Posted by Dubcek | September 24, 2008 3:17 PM

Dubeck @ 8. It's a story because a) a fucking gas pump exploded, b) the victim was in the hospital for three weeks after getting skin grafts from the knees down, c) she provides a hub for a community that is coming to her aid in a time of crisis. Shit happens, but this is some very bad and unusual shit. When that sort of shit happens, it's called news.

Posted by Dominic Holden | September 24, 2008 3:25 PM

@8 - I think it's just old fashioned community coverage.

The local news broadcasts often have stories about random people injured/sick/robbed/whatever and ways to help them cover their $$ losses. Why shouldn't the Stranger post something similar about a member of the community they serve?

Posted by genevieve | September 24, 2008 3:29 PM

omg some people are evil.

can someone at the stranger or one of her friends please spend 5 minutes and set up a paypal or amazon donation link? with the stranger's reach that would probably be at least a couple thousand dollars extra for her.


Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 3:33 PM

bellevue ave, universal health care is not new. pretty much every single 1st world country has it except ours.

every insurance coverage has a billion stipulations. they can easily add a little footnote saying "does not cover extreme kayaking!!" if it becomes too costly.

god, i'm sure rescuing the dog didn't cause any of her burns (since the dog was unscratched), and watching your beloved dog burn to death is something that would be more costly in the long run for someone's health/mental health.

aren't libertarians supposed to be for human rights, like HEALTH for example?

Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 3:40 PM

btw, if your step brother was uninsured, it would have cost the government and health care system and general economy a lot more when he filed for bankruptcy because of his insane medical bills.

Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 3:43 PM

jrrrl, i'd prefer a private company turning me down for benefits than the american government , which is what I'm more paranoid about happening if universal health care was instituted. at least with private health care i have a choice albiet one between poor and worse.

I'd hate to be coerced into paying for something that denies me benefits because some bureaucrat that was appointed deems it and they have the legal authority to take that money.

and pretty much every 1st world country is about 2/5ths our size or smaller

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 3:45 PM

Some of my friends have also put on a benefit show at the Wild Rose this Saturday, with local bands Event Staff, A.B.L. and The Isms playing. $6, starts at 9.

That bar has done a lot by giving bands and DJs a chance to play even if they may go against the crowd sometimes, but has often provided an amazing experience.

Posted by Tom C. | September 24, 2008 3:47 PM

jrrrl, by how much? even with universal health care that's money taken from somewhere and given to someone else. And how does catastrophic universal health care for risky activities translate to net cost on the aggregate?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 3:52 PM

bellevue ave, obama's plan doesn't require you to sign up for any specific health care plan. you can still get private insurance.

i don't see how the size of this country has anything to do with universal health care. china and india both have at least some sort of universal health care and they're much larger and much poorer than us.

Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 3:55 PM

bellevue ave: $793,573.48, 17, 42%, 19.3mil, pi*r^2.

Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 3:59 PM

it has a lot to do with it actually. Theres a reason that small, homogeneous countries are better able to function with greater socialist governments, and it's because homogeneous populations within close proximity have more commonality and values they share.

socialism works if everyone goes along with the ends it aims to achieve.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 4:02 PM
I'd hate to be coerced into paying for something that denies me benefits because some bureaucrat that was appointed deems it and they have the legal authority to take that money.

That's what we have under a private system except it's much more expensive.


Canada, Great Britain, and France are not homogenous.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 24, 2008 4:10 PM

besides china and india, the EU has its own health care program (supplemented by member countries, just like ours would be supplemented by member states to tailor policy specific to each individual state).

if you're talking about physical size, russia and canada have working universal health care. brazil and australia do too.

is there one example that supports what you're saying?

Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 4:19 PM

in comparison to the united states they are homogeneous and densely populated. and with the exception of great Britain, those other countries in comparison to one another are very homogeneous. And consider that there is a lot of political unrest and strife in Great Britain.

and you really think russia is an example of A. functional democracy AND functional universal health care
B. a state that takes care of minority interests?

and what is working universal health care? catastrophic coverage?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 4:27 PM

kesh, you're not obligated to pay for health insurance.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 4:33 PM

and employers only offer it because they have a government tax incentive to do so.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 4:35 PM

see for yourself each country's different universal health care plans:

not catastrophic coverage only, usually basic and illness coverage at least. specialists are usually not covered universally in poor countries.

i'm not saying russia is a great country, but even they manage to provide universal health care.

most of the countries mentioned define access to health care as a basic human right, usually in their constitutions.

Posted by jrrrl | September 24, 2008 4:52 PM

now, I would be more for universal health care if

1. the administration of benefits was fulfilled by a ngo and non elected or appointed people to prevent religious/personal views influencing decision
2. it explicit in what is covered and what isnt
3. there is availability for private health insurance
4. you can recoup unused benefits up to a certain amount as a deduction on your taxes.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 4:55 PM

ammend 4. or a rollover to next years medical benefits.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 5:12 PM


I pay taxes and so do you presumably. When poor people go to the emergency room, either the hospitals pass on the cost to the government or they pass off the cost onto the patients who can afford to pay. Another factor in increasing health care costs is people putting off getting treatment. Getting treatment later, when a disease has progressed, is more expensive than getting it earlier. All of this gets passed onto taxpayers and consumers. Additionally, the government spends a few pennies on the dollar administering Medicare. Private insurance companies spend 15 to 30 cents on the dollar administering their bureaucracy. That doesn't even take into account the huge amounts of money doctors and hospitals have to spend on paperwork and dealing with insurance companies; something that's not an issue with Medicare. Who do you think gets to bear those increased costs? You're the fucking economic expert.

BA, you claim to oppose policies that don't work. Well, the private health care system in this country doesn't work. It costs more to administer and has worse outcomes. The Cuban system has better health outcomes than the system here.

It's really cute how you think you know jack about how the health care system in this country works.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 24, 2008 5:15 PM

and i stated i'd be for universal health provided it had something more substantive behind it than words. like guarantees and unflappable independence from social ideology.

details kesh. you're smart as a whip so come up with something that wows me. part of me just wants better government by forcing people to think about the implementation instead of thinking about the mantra.

you wont get an argument from me about how flawed private health insurance is; i worked in the industry in the secondary market for my first few years. I understand that the system we have in place need a major overhaul but i want to proceed with caution because i don't want a false sense of security with what we do, nor do i want something inflexible and catastrophic to befall the country later on (like what we face with social security and it's lack of reform)

i like the dutch system personally.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 24, 2008 6:56 PM

maybe bethany will contribute, considering the very stupid write-up of Poppy in which she joked about a woman's pants being on fire. doubtful!

Posted by d | September 25, 2008 10:49 AM

Why is no one mentioning the fact that she's the owner of a profitable Capitol Hill bar.

I feel bad for her, but she's in a far better position than most to pay for her recovery--or at least that's what my bar tab would have me believe.

Aren't bar owners upper middle class?

Posted by octaviastkid | September 25, 2008 10:55 AM

Let's clear a few things up.

1) She sustained injuries in the initial explosion, when she was ENGULFED in flames, not when she rescued the dog. That she rescued the dog after being injured, some might think was admirable.

2)She was ENGULFED in flames.

3)Insurance doesn't cover all the expenses of a 3-week hospital stay with surgery...your an idiot if you think it does.

4) You seriously think that the only lesbian bar in Seattle is amazingly successful? Why do you think there is ONE lesbian bar in Seattle?

So, to all the jerks that posted shitty comments about someone who's life is forever changed...I hope the next time YOU pump gas you are engulfed in flames.

Posted by yourridiculous | September 25, 2008 5:09 PM

stop the whining and let's all go to chop suey wednesday!!!

Posted by tommylove | September 29, 2008 3:15 AM


To expand on comment 32 a bit and in response to 31 - no, the ladies who own the Rose aren't exactly upper middle class (and certainly not in this town!!). I don't know of any city where owning a lesbian bar is a cash cow. In fact, some, if not all, of the owners have second jobs.

Also wanted throw out some thanks re: the folks who responded with positive comments as to why this is news.

Posted by mikeislove | September 29, 2008 6:08 PM

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