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1
This argument has a very strong vibe of "throw everything against the wall to see if something sticks".
Posted by gloomy gus on February 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM · Report this
2
Sounds like this levy is predicting dense urban development. Count me in for a "YES" vote.
Posted by Faber on February 8, 2013 at 2:36 PM · Report this
3
Gee, you only want them to give a single reason to oppose the levy? I look at the pro side and see laundry lists. Do you object to them, or is your objection here just a smokescreen?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
4
They need to get on this sooner. I voted two weeks ago I think.
Posted by Mugwumpt on February 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
5
My god does that ever sound like nimby-ism taken to the max. It's always about the children(tm); when it isn't about density and overloading the infrastructure, and/or ruining the character of our carefully preserved neighborhoods, and/or etc. etc. on and on. It seems to me if you have that many children going to school and the classrooms aren't big enough or numerous enough you should build some classrooms. I attended overcrowded schools and it was hard on the students, hard on the teachers, and hard on the parents when the district went on a split-day schedule while figuring out where and how many new schools to build.
Posted by Calpete on February 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Pick1 6
You obviously didn't work with the right people on using language to be more convincing.

"Mega Schools" sound awesome and I would love to send my kids(if I had any) to one.
Posted by Pick1 on February 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
7
wait, a 650-seat school is huge? the one I went to had over 3,000... 650 is about 110 per grade, so maybe 4 classrooms per grade level. That doesn't sound so huge.
Posted by Cow on February 8, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Rotten666 8
Those are really bad reasons for not building a new school.

$100 question: do Carole and Polly have elementary school aged children?
Posted by Rotten666 on February 8, 2013 at 2:57 PM · Report this
9
This is quite possibly the single dumbest collection of words and sentences I've ever read in my life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRr…
Posted by d.p. on February 8, 2013 at 2:58 PM · Report this
10
Wow, effing over new school construction in support of NIMBYism? Really? How low will NIMBYs go?

The single-family neighborhoods are out-of-scale with the city. Get with the times, not the Seattle Times.
Posted by SHUT UP NIMBYs on February 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM · Report this
11
I agree about the NIMBYs needing to shut up about the coal trains.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
12
Wow, I knew NIMBYism was bad, but this is totally insane. They want schools to be overcrowded and kids to sit in old buildings because doing anything else offends their aesthetics? Wow, appalling.
Posted by motown philly on February 8, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
rejemy 13
"20 years ago, Seattle made a mistake closing down old schools when there were fewer children. We should punish the current school board for that past mistake by not allowing them to build new schools."
Posted by rejemy on February 8, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
14
The Stranger naturally picked the weakest opposition arguments to publish. The basic reason to vote "No" is that the Seattle schools perform terribly, and are administered and operated by some of the more incompetent thieves in this area. Most parents arriving in the Seattle area take one look at the schools here and either go private if they can afford it, or opt to live in the suburbs.

The way to reform Seattle's schools would be to cut off their money, and then watch them scramble to get things in order as a result. Defeating those levies would also scare the shit out of the sluggards at city hall. But it's not going to happen. Voters here are complete suckers. Always have been, always will be.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 3:32 PM · Report this
15
When I heard that some of my Wedgwood neighbors opposed Prop 2, I did my due diligence to search out and read the opposing arguments. I was disappointed to find exactly this kind of argument. You have to wade through specious arguments about mismanagement and unnecessary costs to taxpayers just to find the substance of the argument, which amounts to:

-- do something else; you figure it out
-- I think 650-student schools are too big
-- I am overlooking, ignoring or rejecting SPS's data about enrollment projections, so
-- NIMBY

Sending in my ballot today with "yes" on both.
Posted by Meat Weapon on February 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
16
They should also return to the pure neighborhood schools. They'd save a ton of money on buses, and they'd involve the parents and the communities to a much greater degree. They have also made some terrible choices on curriculum, especially in math and reading. Frankly, I've pretty much given up on them, which is why I've stopped voting for any school levies here.

I used to be pretty much a knee-jerk school levy voter, but not anymore. The Seattle schools are a classic black hole money pit. The more you throw at it the more they demand, and we get nothing for it.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
17
@8 Carole Martens is 76 years old.
Polly Aird is not a registered WA State voter, but she lives in Seattle.
Posted by You crowded schoolkids get off our open space! on February 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
18
#17, just remember: those old people have nothing else do to but sit home and vote.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 19
@18 Except for Polly Aird, obviously.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Rotten666 20
@17 No kidding? Shocked I am, shocked.
Posted by Rotten666 on February 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
21
True, but if half of that team votes, their rate of participation would be double that of the hipsters of Seattle.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 22
@14) You claim that "The Stranger naturally picked the weakest opposition arguments to publish."

But you're wrong.

I offered this op-ed on Slog to Chris Jackins (who authored the voters guide statement opposing Prop 2) and Carole Martens (who's been outspoken in opposing the levy along with Jackins). I said they could decide what to write and who would write it, and this is the piece they submitted to me.

Thanks for playing Slog!
Posted by Dominic Holden on February 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
23
#22, can't argue with that answer. The used weak arguments. But it won't matter one way or another, because the levies will pass. With few exceptions, Seattle's voters are suckers for their corrupt local government.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
24
Great article. I read and considered the arguments presented, and was persuaded that I should vote yes on school levy 1 and 2, because we all need to band together to provide the funds needed to properly educate our kids! Thank you Carole and Polly!
Posted by Mr John on February 8, 2013 at 6:46 PM · Report this
25
Can someone tell me why it's a good idea to put a thousand elementary school kids in two schools crammed into a piece of property without enough space so that everyone can have recess and call this a good plan?

I agree that the Levy is probably a done deal, and Seattle is a wonderful and better place than anywhere else for supporting its schools.

But it would be nice to have better planning all around. Whatever happens at Thornton Creek, there are schools with mold and leaking roofs and rat droppings that are at the back of the line when it comes to getting repairs and/or new buildings.

And, there are more environmentally-sound, cost-effective, and faster ways to create good classroom space.

Too bad. We could get a lot more for our money.

Posted by Ifnotnowwhen on February 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM · Report this
26
The way to reform Seattle's schools would be to cut off their money, and then watch them scramble to get things in order as a result.

Right. So, while kids are getting bussed all over the place because the north end schools are all catterwampus in terms of size, while Eckstein is way over capacity and it's only going to get worse as this next pulse of kids from the northeast floods in, while the APP program gets shuffled from school to school because there's just not a building to put them permanently, the best answer is to SHOW THEM BURRYKRATS YOU KNOW WHAT GOOGLERONPAUL!!!!!!!11!!

And oh, kindly remove your mouth from the dick of vouchers or charters solving the capacity problem, because even if you tossed in the parochial school capacity AND threw in a few charters you STILL would not be able to solve the Eckstein capacity problem, not without unseating Jane Addams, moving a few hundred kids... where? Olympic View, Rogers, Sacajawea, they're all over capacity.

I mean, seriously, what is the problem with you anti-tax freakouts? Are you incapable of understanding that slapping duct tape on is NOT a viable long-term solution? OH LET'S NOT GIVE EM MONEY AND THEN THEY WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE RITE DECISIONS YESSIREE. Man, if anything, you are proof positive our school system cannot produce people who can think critically, only how to suck off some demagogue while giving the proper reacharound.

You have a problem with how SPS is run? FIRE THE SCHOOL BOARD. But stop fucking playing chicken with our schoolkids and go back to cashing your disability check for booze, you sad waste of precious oxygen.
Posted by dw on February 8, 2013 at 7:03 PM · Report this
27
I understand your anger, @26, because most anti-school-levy people are misinformed, and some are just morons.

But as far as firing the school board, that's been done over and over and over, (and also superintendents have come and gone repetitively) and nothing gets any better. So by this time, I can sympathize even with the morons' frustration.
Posted by sarah70 on February 8, 2013 at 7:24 PM · Report this
28
As for the actual No piece... these aren't good arguments at all. They're easy to swat down.

650 seat schools? There are already multiple schools in the Northeast that are at 100% capacity or above, with kids strewn out in portables. The Northeast and Northwest are getting flooded with kids, and they will be for years to come.

Thornton Creek... quick, name me another plot of land in the Northeast that the district owns that they can drop a school on. Wilson-Pacific? Sorry, that's getting rebooted as middle school. Pinehurst? That's where Jane Addams K-8 is moving once the Jane Addams building gets revived as a middle school. Oaktree? Sure, if you have $50-100M just to cancel the lease, deal with the court actions, evict all the tenants, and level the shopping center. Maple Leaf? They sold that years ago.

Your options are a) Thornton Creek or b) expand everything in the Northeast. And remind me, how many overflow schools are there in the Northeast? One. Sandpoint. Which is getting rebooted after its remodel.

Thornton Creek isn't an ideal solution, but it's a workable one.

"It'll generate 840 additional car trips a day..." as opposed to what? Buses dumping those 840 kids into portables with no bathroom or running water? And all things considered, given how strewn out everything is, the trips will become a lot shorter, I would bet. Wilson-Pacific getting rebooted means the school run from home goes from 4 miles to 1 for me, just outside the range where they'd bus.

Lake City being lacking in schools is pretty close to utter hogwash. Yes, there's no school in the "heart" of the LC (125th/LCW), but it's way closer to a school than most of the Aurora corridor is.

Ditto the having to reopen schools red herring -- that was a shit decision by Goodloe-Johnson that wasn't based in the facts on the ground. Hell, they even admitted they didn't hire a demographer or even consult the city's, who himself was flabbergasted they'd close schools in the north when there was a clear baby boom. That has nothing to do with this bond issue.

Should SPS held onto their properties? Sure, but University Heights? Really? I mean, you going to scold them for not holding on to Phinney? Or Maple Leaf? Or hell, the original Bagley? We had a baby bust in the 70s and 80s. Property is inelastic -- it's either used or not -- and sitting on all that vacant, unused property for years would have been an immense cash drain. Hell, they had to put a roof on Viewlands while it was closed -- that's a few mil that could have gone into any number of other projects.

And yes, we need more open space, and we've done a terrible job as a city in holding on to open space. That's a civic problem. Rejecting a bond issue because playfields are getting wiped out for needed capacity isn't exactly smart, given those fields would likely get filled with portables (just as they were in the 1950s).

In short, the "no" campaign's argument is "don't build schools, because one day they may have to close them, then sell them, and then we'll have to build schools."

I say vote yes, expand capacity, get things moving the right way, then fire the crap out of the school board.
More...
Posted by dw on February 8, 2013 at 7:29 PM · Report this
29
I have an internet crush on dw right now.
Posted by Meat Weapon on February 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM · Report this
30
@16 - School selection is based on neighborhood. Has been for several years now. And school start times are staggered to help reduce busing costs.
Posted by Action Slacks on February 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM · Report this
litlnemo 31
"quick, name me another plot of land in the Northeast that the district owns that they can drop a school on."

Does the huge lower playground at John Rogers no longer exist? (Maybe it doesn't. I grew up half a block away from there, but I haven't driven down 105th in years.) That place was big when I went there, though -- big upper playground, then a lower playground that was part paved and part grass.

I went to Decatur (now Thornton Creek) too, and that is a big property, but perhaps a Rogers expansion could also help.
Posted by litlnemo http://slumberland.org/ on February 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM · Report this
32
@29, me too. Hubba hubba.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
33
I grew up here, and I always dreaded recess. Damp, rainy, cold. Those stupid jump ropes and tether balls. Dodge ball! Thank god for the library. Yes, I voted yes.
Posted by Wunda Wunda on February 8, 2013 at 9:32 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 34
@26 Thank you for the best laugh of the day!
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on February 8, 2013 at 9:38 PM · Report this
35
So by this time, I can sympathize even with the morons' frustration.

Look, you're going to win this. As for who's the moron, that's a matter of opinion.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 8, 2013 at 10:25 PM · Report this
36
Don't spend any money on the children, throw all your money at brand new stadiums so that Seattle can have basketball and hockey, you guys!!!
Posted by treehugger on February 8, 2013 at 11:56 PM · Report this
37
Oh, and I already sent in my ballot with 'yes' for both levies. School levies are always an automatic yes for me.
Posted by treehugger on February 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM · Report this
38
@35 Mister G, your stupidity is documented fact. Even if you block your activity and change your name.
Posted by CbytheSea on February 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
39
My suburban elementary school was about 650 students. Call that a "Mega School"? You make me laugh.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on February 10, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
40
There's a big difference between "yes, we need to spend money" and "yes, we need to do whatever the District thinks is wise" given the District's historical inability to make good decisions. And no, I'm not about to argue with sales from the '70s and '80s - I don't need to go back that far. In the last ten years alone the District has made incredibly bad calls. Closing TT Minor, then putting a roof on the building, leasing it out - and now needing to reopen it again. Selling the MLK property in a highly dubious process that resulted in a lot less money than could have been gained, if money was indeed the overriding value. We won't go into Goodloe-Johnson's general incompetence, the MAP testing fiasco, the ridiculous waste of resources carried on by the 'small business development program', and let's not forget the 'Death Star' aka bureaucracy central at the Stanford Center.

Seattle's kids deserve a lot better than they get. Individual schools often do incredibly well, but at the levels above that we do not. The _Times_ had a lot of IMO very valid questions about the expenses in this construction levy; just saying 'it's for the kids' should not be a blank check.

I wonder how many of you are really aware of just how badly our Central and SE cluster schools perform. If you're a parent of kids in the North End, sure, it's easy to vote yes for more capacity - and say 'let's fix the School Board'. But as sarah70 pointed out quite aptly, we've 'fixed' the School Board many times. Haven't seen a whole lot of evidence of how well that's working out.
Posted by CDParent on February 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
41
See also Lynne Varner's great column here. http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/201…

The District really does have a problem managing taxpayers' money. Nothing I've seen makes me believe that's changed. Accountability matters.
Posted by CDParent on February 11, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
42
# 14. What is your evidence that Seattle schools perform terribly?
Here are the facts http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary

Last year the average performance on the State tests in Seattle Public Schools was 3 % higher than the State average in all grades except 10th grade for reading, 5-9% higher in math, 5% higher in Science, and higher in writing.
Posted by Nextweek on February 11, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
43
So let me get this straight...people from Wedgwood, which is a neighborhood that is still shitting itself that the 65 bus goes through there from OMG ONOZ LAKE CITY are going on endlessly about how schools aren't being built in Lake City...guess they're scared we're gonna send our little brown kids there.

Sucks to be y'all, but this is a city which requires regionalism. You're stuck with us because Maple Leaf got rolled in with something else.

So look out, us brown people are coming for you. We might, like, support your businesses and bring money into your community!
Posted by hoodratz on February 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
44
So let me get this straight...people from Wedgwood, which is a neighborhood that is still shitting itself that the 65 bus goes through there from OMG ONOZ LAKE CITY are going on endlessly about how schools aren't being built in Lake City...guess they're scared we're gonna send our little brown kids there.

Sucks to be y'all, but this is a city which requires regionalism. You're stuck with us because Maple Leaf got rolled in with something else.

So look out, us brown people are coming for you. We might, like, support your businesses and bring money into your community!
Posted by hoodratz on February 11, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
45
Thanks for publishing this. I'm so glad people are taking time to oversee what the district wants to do with our money. Buying books would be more useful than covering up land and sky. Give the kids some room to breath! I vote NO!
Posted by Fern Alley on February 12, 2013 at 7:10 AM · Report this

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