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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

South Park vs The Schrammie

posted by on June 18 at 17:30 PM

Normally, I ignore KOMO’s resident editorial curmudgeon, Ken Schram. He’s a poor man’s Andy Rooney, but sometimes he means well. The rest of the time, the S.S. Schram seems adrift in a sea of crazy.


Not one to disappoint, Schram’s latest column again proves he’s too blustery for his own good:

Maybe it’ll happen.

Maybe it won’t.

But just the fact that somebody’s even considering the idea is just nuts. So if Tim Croll would stop digging for castaway treasure, I’d like him to come on down. Tim’s the Solid Waste Director of Seattle Public Utilities.

He’s right in the thick of it when it comes to spending about $115 million to rebuild and expand Seattle’s two garbage transfer stations.

Now, aside from the resident artists that have been hired to spruce things up; aside from the notion of opening a “used-goods” store because one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, the piece de resistance is the idea of opening up...A TRANSFER STATION CAFÉ!

Ah yes, nothing like a finely cooked meal with all the accompanying ambiance - including the possibility of watching a large TV monitor with a live feed from the disposal pit.

Special of the day waiter?

Depends on what went into the pit last night, sir.

Tim, Tim, Tim: It’s just so ridiculous, rancid, revolting and really, really dumb, which is why you should take a bow, because this “Schrammie” is for you.

And Tim, let’s not do lunch.

Well, I’m not sure what kind of research Schram did before he wrote/recorded his piece, but the Transfer Station cafe wasn’t the city’s idea.

Several months ago, I wrote a short piece about a scrap over the upcoming rebuild of the city’s dumps. I met with Tim Croll to talk about the city’s plan for rebuilding Seattle’s north and south end dumps, and he did indeed bring up the idea of a cafe.

Like Schram, I was puzzled by the idea, but Croll explained that the cafe would be several hundred yards away from the actual garbage dump, near the edge of the property, just off Highway 99 on 5th Ave South.

Croll also told me that the cafe was actually something neighbors in South Park had come up with as one of many potential neighborhood benefits to offset the unpleasantness of rebuilding and expanding the south end dump. Finally, the cafe was primarily going serve coffee, rather than the full meals Schram seems to have dreamed up.

Well, neighbors in South Park caught wind of Schram’s latest tangent and, of course, fired off an email to set the record straight:

Hi Ken, My name is Wendy, and I live in South Park. I’ve been participating on the citizens advisory board for our new transfer station. I’m saddened to see your Schrammie for the café idea at the new south end station, since I’m the one who proposed it in the first place. What neighborhood do you live in? Wherever it is, I’m taking a WILD guess that you have a café within walking distance to your house. Well, in my neighborhood, there are no cafes. There are no grocery stores. There is no Laundromat. There is no breakfast place. There is, however, one failing school. There is a bar where you can get any type of prostitute or drug you want. There is a dump. There is a river with several superfund sites on it. There is air traffic from two airports. And, we have the poorest air quality in the entire state of WA. Oh, and we are likely going to be the recipient of Seattle’s first jail. So, what’s so stupid about a café in a recycling center? Ken, I hope you are beginning to understand that if we are lucky enough to get such a thing, it will be a community AMENITY. Have you ever watched the action at a transfer station from above the tipping floor? It is actually quite amazing - you can try it sometime at the Shoreline transfer station. To be able to get a latte while seeing live feed of the tipping floor sounds like a ‘destination dump’ to me, plus it is in walking distance to my house.

Wendy Woldenberg
South Park resident
Chair, South Park Arts

If I didn’t know better, I’d say something like “maybe Ken Schram’s the one who needs a Schrammie.” But I won’t. Because that would be retarded.

Photo by Geeb via Flickr.

RSS icon Comments


Kelly O and Ari Spool give Ken Schram can of Rize, Ken Schram drink Rize, freak out, Hulk out, KEN SCHRAM BECOME HULK!


And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | June 18, 2008 6:30 PM

Most of the Schrammies are like this. They are normally based on .1% of information for any given topic.

Posted by la | June 18, 2008 6:45 PM

What a great response by Wendy. That was lovely!

Posted by tomasyalba | June 18, 2008 7:08 PM

Go Wendy! Your cafe sounds totes fun. I hope it happens for you and I hope they serve kick-ass coffee.

Posted by Jimmy Jackhammer | June 18, 2008 7:21 PM

Give me the table with a view! The dump rules. Not only would it be great if people paid a bit more attention to the ol' garbage stream, but a dump cafe would be boy birthday headquarters! The guy in the bomb-proof bulldozer could sign bits of scrap.

Posted by ROAG | June 18, 2008 7:27 PM

Ken Schramm is Will in Seattle with a bigger megaphone. Set to ignore.

Posted by Fnarf | June 18, 2008 7:37 PM

Anyone who has waited (and waited and waited and waited) in line for the transfer station can appreciate how this might be a good idea - if for nothing else than the bathroom.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | June 18, 2008 7:54 PM

No kidding.

In Denver they dug a huge pit for the foundation of a new skyscraper, and it drew crowds so large to watch the workers down in the bottom of the hole they put up bleachers to accommodate them.

Is there really a bomb proof bulldozer? What's it like?

Posted by elenchos | June 18, 2008 8:13 PM


I appreciate the tribute.

Posted by Charles_Mudede_Is_A_Latent_Racist | June 18, 2008 8:55 PM

Who doesn't love infrastructure? One vanilla latte', please, and let's watch a compactor!

Posted by P to the J | June 18, 2008 8:57 PM

Who doesn't love infrastructure? One vanilla latte', please, and let's watch a compactor!

Posted by P to the J | June 18, 2008 8:58 PM

I don't get the Schram segment at all. Who at KOMO thought it was a good idea to give that loon a microphone? It's like listening to someone read the PI Soundoffs.

Posted by rb | June 18, 2008 9:17 PM

Ha, Fnarf. I thought that too, but not right away. "And Tim, let’s not do lunch" is priceless.

As far as the photo goes, my guess is that Spanganthal ran across Schram's Sunday horseshoe game at about 4:30 in the afternoon.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | June 18, 2008 9:54 PM

You've never seen the transfer station bulldozer?! It's like the caged tractor scooping up golf balls at the driving range -- times a million. You can throw shit at it and the driver doesn't flinch. Very Idiocracy.

Posted by ROAG | June 18, 2008 9:56 PM

@6 - exactly.

He's usually right, and upsets those who rely on "what everyone knows" as if it were the truth.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 11:47 PM

(oh, and @8 ... no, there is no such thing as a bomb-proof bulldozer, not when we have the MOAB ...)

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 19, 2008 1:09 AM

"Who at KOMO thought it was a good idea to give that loon a microphone?"

Every World-Class City needs an Andy Rooney

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | June 19, 2008 6:42 AM

We can make it part of the city's Municipal Services Tour. Go see the trash compactor from the live feed at the South Park Cafe! Watch the Garbage Train set off from behind Greg Kucera gallery! Thrill to see line workers separate recyclables at the transfer station! Then, if you still have energy, go up north to the Brightwater Interpretive Center and you can see (but not smell) the wastewater treatment process.

I'm thinking about putting together a map for tourists. Anybody know a good print shop?

Posted by Greg | June 19, 2008 8:27 AM


He's usually right

Holy shit, Will, you never cease to amaze. You're a fan of Ken Schramm. That's just classic.

Posted by Fnarf | June 19, 2008 9:14 AM


I do not understand your strange sense of humor. Please explain.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | June 19, 2008 9:24 AM

You know you miss my show.

Posted by Town Meeting | June 19, 2008 10:29 AM

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