Planet Hollywood abruptly closed its downtown Seattle tourist eatery September 5, six years after then-Mayor Norm Rice and the local mainstream media proclaimed the corporate chain, whose very name contained a statement of cultural imperialism, to be the savior of downtown retail and the new heart of the city. In recent months, the place turned to weekend DJ shows to try and drum up business.
Jennifer Jeanne Volpe, 37, was a Seattle-based fundraiser and grant-writer for Greenpeace, the Sea Shepherd Society, Eco-wisdom, Cougar Rescue, and other environmental groups. She also made silk eye-pillows and fabric hats, organized yoga retreats, and worked with the Cirque de Flambe fire-performance troupe, and also the Bureau of Artistic License at the Oregon Country Fair. She often participated in the Fremont Solstice Parade, Folklife Fest, and the Burning Man festival.
She died August 22 from complications of Marfan syndrome, a heritable disorder of the connective tissue. According to her brother Cliff, "Despite being born with a genetic disorder, she had an indomitable spirit that did not allow her physical limitations to shape her life. She was a loyal friend who cared deeply about her family and other people. Jennifer's friends, of all colors and ages, appreciated her nonjudgmental and accepting attitude. Many will remember Jennifer for her often silly or goofy sense of humor-such as whistling with her toes, or galloping down the hillside while howling and scratching like a monkey."
The Burger King at NE 50th Street and 12th Avenue N.E. closed September 4, adding to the University District's growing inventory of vacant storefronts. The building was originally part of Herfy's, an Everett-founded, now-defunct burger chain noted for a photo-realistic cow's face as its logo. (A few scattered burger stands still operate under the Herfy's name, but are all independently owned.) In the late '70s, the U-District Herfy's provided your obituary writer's first job, which dissuaded him from ever desiring to work in the fast-food milieu again.