Update: New West Seattle location for “Nickelsville”

(photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 9:47 pm)
8:27 PM: From WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, who’s been at the “Nickelsville” homeless encampment at 2nd SW/Highland Park Way: While law enforcers could have moved in at 7 tonight to clear out the campers, they’ve been given till 9 tomorrow morning to move. Meantime, we talked this evening with State Rep. Sharon Nelson, who said she’d been in a meeting regarding the situation, and that she’s learned the Church Council of Greater Seattle has some possible new locations for the encampment.

(photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 9:52 pm)
8:50 PM UPDATE: One-line update just in from the encampment’s spokesperson, who says: “Nickelsville has relocated to Terminal 107 Park.” That’s still in West Seattle – 4700 West Marginal Way SW – and it’s property owned by the Port of Seattle. 9:25 PM UPDATE: At the new encampment site, we just talked with one organizer who indicated this is not a site for which they obtained permission in advance – they had to leave, she told us, so they packed up and headed “down the street.” They’re still unloading property moved from the 2nd SW/Highland Park Way site, and say they’ll be totally cleared away from there within a few hours. As for where exactly they’re setting up – it’s an open area south of the parking lot.

10:31 PM UPDATE: That’s video of one of the trucks pulling up to the Terminal 107 Park site just before dusk. However, they might not be there for long. KOMO reports that “Port of Seattle officials” already have gone there to tell them they can’t stay. We’ll be heading down a little later to get an update.

11 Replies to "Update: New West Seattle location for "Nickelsville""

  • WSM July 23, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    How exactly is Mayor Nickel’s responsible for these people being homeless? Or is the continued use of the rhetorical “nickelsville” an endorsement of their cause by local media?

  • WSB July 23, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    Deciding when to use terminology chosen by organizations and when not to is always difficult. Just one example that comes to mind from my career — I have rather quixotically insisted on using terms other than “pro-life” and “pro-choice” for both sides of the abortion debate (not that it comes up on WSB much – this is mostly in my former big-media lives) in favor of simpler, more descriptive terminology like “abortion opponents” or “abortion-rights supporters.” However, if you are reporting on a group which for example has Pro-Life or Pro-Choice in its name, that’s its name and it’s hard to avoid using it. Same goes in this case. While I have been including terminology such as “the encampment that calls itself Nickelsville” the fact is, that’s the name they use, and that’s the name they have become known by, after 10 months in operation. As the style guide developer and keeper in more than half a dozen newsrooms over the years, I can verify there are a million ways to go about it. In this case, I’m not going to omit the name, but on second and subsequent references it will generally be “the encampment.” Always up for further discussion and appreciative of people who care enough to discuss … TR

  • Holden July 23, 2009 (9:50 pm)

    Thanks for the awesome & nuanced info on journalistic practices, WSB. Please don’t be shy about continuing to post stuff like this; it’s endlessly fascinating, and I think it helps everyone here to recognize and create more thoughtful postings, too.


  • Michael July 24, 2009 (2:02 am)

    I personally have no problem with WSB using the name in its stories. As they said, it’s the name they chose to give themselves, for better or worse.
    The point I’ve been trying to make is that the “homeless advocates,” who not only call their encampment by a politically charged name but use that name so often in their communications that it’s not even good writing, are actually harming the homeless by its use.
    In “Winning Public Support 101,” this would be an example of how not to do it.

  • West Seattle July 24, 2009 (5:59 am)

    Why not just call it the ‘Traveling Circus’?

  • wsperson July 24, 2009 (6:23 am)

    Keep moving them sooner or later they will just go to a homeless shelter and start to get their lives together.

  • thejunctionhobo July 24, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    Nickels way of doing things is that he thinks eventually if you don’t provide enough services for these folks they’ll leave the city and move on to another city that can help them. That’s at least what Nickels is thinking. And there aren’t enough shelters to support everyone so what are they going to do?

  • ugh July 24, 2009 (1:15 pm)

    It’s going to be a nice sunny weekend. That park is beautiful. Maybe a few neighbors should get together, pack up the kids, pitch some overnight tents, break out the grill and have themselves a staycation.
    Let’s see if the Port Authority will take time to “assess the situation” then. Does anyone think that there would be equal treatment with kid gloves if average citizens, rather than these political activists ignored previously posted “NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING” signs?

  • Jenava July 24, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    @ugh, I find the comparison of the two sets of people to be less than fair, to say the least.

    I find the whole situation to be very sad, and I wish there was something we could do to fix it.

    I also wish that people with homes to live in would withhold their judgment, since they probably cannot say that the really know or understand all the ways in which people can end up in these types of situations. In most cases random chance is at work. Why does our culture seem so ready to blame people, rather than circumstances, in cases such as this?

  • Bob July 24, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    Well…I have a home and happen to know that without regard to how people end up homeless, there are more productive ways to get housing than making a political statement (the name of the camp) and just waiting for someone else to solve the problem. Of course I’m sure some or most of these people are doing something to solve their problem…but as long as they engage in the political theater, they are subject to commentary by all.

  • Jenava July 24, 2009 (7:18 pm)

    Oh, I see, so what you’re saying is that these people could just pack up and find a house to live in using due processes, except that they insist on being nuisances in order to make a political statement?

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