What went on behind the yellow mesh

One month after the yellow mesh came off the remodeling project at Cal-Mor Circle (which we first mentioned in May), the cylindrical Seattle Housing Authority building in Morgan Junction, details of what happened inside as well as out are discussed in the latest issue of “The Voice” (see page 11).


26 Replies to "What went on behind the yellow mesh"

  • Jan October 9, 2007 (9:02 pm)

    am I the only one having a problem with the link to “The Voice”…I get a blank page…:)

    hmmm…maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be – lol…as in…nothing was really done?

  • chas redmond October 9, 2007 (9:11 pm)

    The blank page is a redirect issue – use this URL instead of clicking on the link:
    it’s a big file – took about 1/2 minute to download.

  • WSB October 9, 2007 (9:19 pm)

    sorry, will fix now!

  • The House October 9, 2007 (11:00 pm)

    Interesting. I hope everyone in that building hangs a sign out their windows thanking all of us taxpayers for their newly renovated, subsidized housing.

    $73 million dollars budgeted for housing vouchers in 2007 (that’s more than half of their operating costs)….if you ever wonder why your property taxes are are so high or why we can’t fix the roads/viaducts, here’s one of the reasons.


  • Jan October 9, 2007 (11:29 pm)

    hey…House…I suppose if that doesn’t sit with you, then instead of pointing these things out to us, do something to change it. So…there should be no public housing? And if there is, it should be run down? disgustlingly ugly slums? never to be repaired…because , after all, it’s housing a bunch of lazy, good for nothing ne’er-do-wells that simply would be home owners if they had done the right things in life like you did?

    You are a very lucky man…you may never, ever have anything happen in your life that will take away the good things that you have now in your life….but , then again, one never knows what the future holds, does one?

    Save the time it would take for you to answer this…it’s not needed. I’m sure that in some ways you’re an extremely nice man…you’re intelligent, you have a sense of humor, you’re a good planner, definitely a good provider….why do I think that we’d never be friends in real life? Oh, yeah…it’s black and white for you…and I see shades of gray sometimes…

  • Jan October 9, 2007 (11:31 pm)

    And…the best thing about you…you picked West Seattle to live in :)

  • Dis October 10, 2007 (1:05 am)

    My mother lived in public housing the last three years of her life. A widow, she had worked for an employer who did not provide a pension and her social security was scarcely enough to sustain her, as she retired many many years ago. She was a strong woman who raised four kids after the early death of her husband. She came from a farming family in Eastern Washington and did not go to college, so her jobs were not well-paying. If I have any complaint about SHA, it’s that their frontline staff members often exhibit House’s ignorant attitude, which robs clients and tenants of their dignity. A civilized society is defined by how it treats those without privilege, power or capital – and amongst developed countries, the United States is woefully deficient in that regard. The House’s comments above are not only false, but frankly obscene.

  • Cruiser October 10, 2007 (7:40 am)

    Hi Jan, Well said.

    In my view it’s a lot better way to spend $$ than send kids who are too young to have a beer over to Iraq to die so we can have cheap gas. So we can then illegally park our cars,eh House:)

  • The House October 10, 2007 (7:57 am)

    Jan and Dis,

    How was my comment obscene and ignorant. I simply stated that they should thank taxpayers. If I called the tenants that live there vagrants (which I did not and don’t believe) that would be obscene. The fact that I stated that they should acknowledge that taxpayers are the reason they have a roof over their heads is not ignorant, it’s a fact. Taxpayers do pay for their home.

    You’re both commenting/debating from emotion and not facts. I’m not asking for the residents to be indebted to taxpayers for the rest of their lives. Like it or not, taxpayers do pay for subsidized housing and people that take advantage of this could at least thank them for doing so.

    Same holds true for Food Stamps/EBT.

    I don’t know about friends, but I’m always willing to meet for coffee (just keep in mind that I do work….:). One of these days I’m expecting a WSB party so that we can put faces to the names.

  • miws October 10, 2007 (8:02 am)

    My comment has nothing to do with the fact that Cal-Mor is Public Housing.

    I’m just very surprised and dissapointed in the new look. When the project got underway, I seem to recall that they said they would be putting some kind of sealer on the outside. So, I expected it to look pretty much the same, except for maybe a slight color variation due to the sealer.

    I was very sad to see the brickwork go, as I’ve always liked brick buildings, and still, after almost 40 years, thought Cal-Mor looked cool because of the brickwork, and unique round shape.

    If I had never known what the building looked like before, I probably would not dislike the look as much, but I doubt I’d think it was a great look.


  • WSB October 10, 2007 (8:26 am)

    House, you can bet we are going to have one whale of an WSB party one of these days. Probably to coincide with going public. We have jokingly debated whether we would do that on the site “in x hours we will post a real ‘about us’ page …” and do a countdown, or just say “if you even care, show up at x place at x time.”

  • Cruiser October 10, 2007 (8:30 am)


    Great idea….we could play spot the WSB competition:) You’re my hero just like Zorro!

  • evan October 10, 2007 (9:03 am)

    I can’t wait for a WSB party!

  • old timer October 10, 2007 (9:04 am)

    It looks like it’s not finished.
    I’m sure there is some reason the top 2 floors are of a different color, but it looks unfinished to me.

    BTW, I’m sure that the occupants have their moments of gratitude, as should we all, since we all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. None of us could last for long on a deserted island.

    I am grateful that I can pay taxes, and that at least some of that tax is spent in a spirit of community and sharing.

  • coffee geek October 10, 2007 (10:58 am)

    House: People who live in subsidized housing pay taxes too.

  • Dis October 10, 2007 (11:00 am)

    What is obscene is your request that people in public housing hang signs from their windows thanking the public. Is it kinds like people wearing yellow stars in gratitude for their right to breathe? Your statement (made twice, now) about speaking from logic rather than “emotion” says more about you than you likely intended to reveal. You are a young guy, and you have had to endure some difficult circumstances. It’s not ever possible to divorce the thinking from the feeling in the human organism, and arguments are strongest that incorporate the two. Having said that, in the city of Seattle, the bulk of your property taxes go to the school district, for operations, maintenance and construction, also another good chunk to the families and education special levy. Other recipients of the property tax: fire, parks, Seattle Center, Medic 1. The 2002 (implemented 2003) housing levy for $86 million over seven years is dwarfed by the fire levy (167 million), library levy (195 million) parks levy (198 million) and Families and Education levy (117 million). Most of the street maintenance funds come from gasoline tax and the 2002 levy lid lift (365 million!!) that costs the average citizen roughly $150 a year. The reason Seattle streets are in disrepair is because street maintenance has been deferred for so long, a backlog of necessary repairs tops $530 million dollars. The challenge for elected officials is to accomplish street repairs without special levies and assessments; the challenge for Seattle voters is to elect leaders who can do it, and stop returning those who can’t. And I’m with old timer: I’m HAPPY to pay taxes that improve the lives of those in need. I’m honored to be in a position to do it.

  • Kayleigh October 10, 2007 (11:18 am)

    The SHA budget (from above) says that around 8400 of their residents are children, 3100 are elderly, and 6800 have a disability. Average household income is around $11,500.

    Helping any and all of the above sounds like a damn fine use of my tax dollars.

    Dis, maybe you could help the kids and people with disabilities in SHA housing make signs for House so he feels better.

  • k October 10, 2007 (12:17 pm)

    as much as i would love to put faces to the WSB folks, i enjoy the mystery. i love when i speak of the blog with folks around town and people try and guess who you are. it adds something to the whole experience. i think the mystery is what makes you so successful. staying incognito has it’s perks for sure. i had a blog for quite awhile and actually used an object as my profile. made it easy to review and comment freely. my vote is to stay anonymous, but would support a public “outing” if you desire!

  • JW October 10, 2007 (12:23 pm)

    I too miss the bricks, simply because that building reminded me of the hospital where I was born in my hometown in Kansas. Now…not so much.

  • I Don't Mind Taxes October 10, 2007 (4:22 pm)

    Wow – after reading yet another rant by Home, I was thrilled to see the comments of folks like Dis and Kayleigh – thanks for taking the time to get some facts out there. I tell a lot of folks the same thing that Dis said – I don’t mind taxes because I feel fortunate to be able to contribute to my society in a variety of ways – taxes included. It’s just too bad that so many of us don’t understand how good we have it.

  • The Velvet Bulldog October 10, 2007 (8:00 pm)

    I would prefer to have our subsidized sports teams put up “thank you taxpayer” banners…

  • A October 10, 2007 (10:08 pm)

    OMG! I look for the WSB at every public outing around West Seattle… always wondering if they are there. Then I’ll go home and read about the event that they attended and think “I knew it! Who was it?!” I like the show up at x place at x time idea. But as I write this my husband says “wouldn’t you be disappointed to know who they are?” I do like the mystery and always wondering and guessing but I also want to know!

  • add October 10, 2007 (10:08 pm)

    Just make sure none of those banners hang over the WS bridge pedestrian overpass, that could be a problem…

  • A October 10, 2007 (10:13 pm)

    Another comment now… suggestion from my husband. We should have a competition to guess who the WSB really is…you live in the Gatewood neighborhood, parents of school age children. Male? Female? I think you share the responsibility for the blog at this point. Ok, that’s all I have. Love this site!!

  • The House October 10, 2007 (11:29 pm)

    Dis, You’re going to find this hard to believe but I agree with you on your last post. You’ve spelled out alot of the issues that this city has…..mismanagement of taxpayer money. I don’t think for a minute that subsized housing is the ONLY reason why their are issues in this city but it is one of them. Our school system could run much more efficiently (fiscally) than it does today.

    It goes without saying that I’m in favor of cutting social programs significantly, but not completely. I do understand that things happen that force folks to fall on hard times. I’ve been through tough times myself, but CHOSE NOT to utilize public assistance because I felt that it is wrong to burden others for my issues.

    Your judgement on what is obscene and what is not is clouded though. If you want obscence, do a Google search for Japanese Fetish….you’ll find tons of truly obscene things there. Otherwise, my opinion is just that…an opinion and although we may disagree, you can rest easy that I will get up tomorrow and continue to work for all of those residents in that building and other public housing residents around Seattle.

    You’re Welcome!

  • s October 11, 2007 (6:56 am)

    Casa, we all pay taxes for services that we do not use. A childless person in low income housing may pay taxes to send your kids to school. A person who makes more money than you do contributes more money than you to maintain the roads you drive on. So let’s just all be grateful to each other, eh?
    As for WSB, my guess based on a previous post is that you live within a couple blocks of Thistle and California, on 40th, 41st, or 42nd south of Thistle, or on the west side of California, perhaps on Northrop…

Sorry, comment time is over.