Tacoma Urbanist

Jan. 5, 2011 at 12:01am

King 5 News Coverage of Tacoma's Battle to Save the Washington State History Museum




Here's the article:


TACOMA  The Tacoma City Council voted unanimously on a resolution asking the state to keep the Washington State History Museum open. Our resolution obviously is symbolic, says Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, but there is a huge economic development impact in closing this museum.Governor Chris Gregoire recently proposed cutting funding to the museum to reduce the state deficit. The museum, on Pacific Avenue, has an annual budget of $4.7 million. Is hard for me to reconcile, says Washington State Historical Society Director Dave Nicandri, Its valuable enough to maintain, an effort ought to be made to continue.




A disappointing and misleading quote was taken from (yes Seattle area based Legislator) Hunter:


Its tough to say it is more important, than say Basic Health Coverage or the Disability Lifeline, says new House Ways and Means committee chair Ross Hunter, (D) Medina. Were going to make some painful cuts.


No mention of the nearly endless Seattle state funded pet projects which could be shaved a little to save the Washington State History Museum like the Burke Museum to name one.  Hunter misleadingly makes it looks like the only option to save the WSHM would be to take food out of babies' mouths. 


From Rep Ross Hunter's website:


I'm proud to represent Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Yarrow Point and a little bit of Issaquah in the Washington State House of Representatives. 



Also openly posted on Rep.Hunter's site:


WSDOT requests proposals for SR 520 floating bridge

Three teams compete for $600 million to $750 million contract

SEATTLE  The clock starts today for three prequalified teams who want to design and build the new SR 520 floating bridge, estimated to cost $600 million to $750 million. The new bridge will replace the existing vulnerable floating bridge with a six-lane facility that will help improve travel between Seattle and Redmond.


Yet, the WSHM only needs a few million to stay open. A small pittance in Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland/Medina dollars.   

comments [48]  |  posted under tacoma


by cisserosmiley on 1/5/2011 @ 5:43am
...and after the cheney stadium updates the rainiers are moving to bellevue?

by Urban E on 1/5/2011 @ 5:52am
What I noticed about the King5 coverage was that shiny new ring on Mayor Strickland-?. Rumor has it that Santa brought her a husband for Christmas. As far as the museum goes, the last time I went to the WSHM was when it was still up by Stadium and from what I'm reading that's when it actually had history.

by fredo on 1/5/2011 @ 7:32am
There's a hint of irony in the citys appeal to keep the WSHM open.

Just a month ago library patrons from various neighborhoods around Tacoma were appealing to have their neighborhood branch libraries spared from the Tacoma budget cutting exercise using the same criteria and reasoning that Mayor Strickland is now using to keep the museum open. Nevertheless the city looked at attendance figures and decided to close MLK.

Chalk this one up as a win for the government labor unions. Workers pay will not be cut even if it means serving up our wonderful libraries and museums that the taxpayers bought and paid a dear price for.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/5/2011 @ 8:02am
Museum pay gets cut alllll the time. Usually, it's just your hours that get cut back to starvation levels, but sometimes your advanced-degree required positions get "downgraded" (in lieu of "eliminated") to lower and lower pay scales, until you finally find yourself bumping minimum wage territory while still paying the loans off on your masters or doctoral degree.

No one works in the museum field for the pay. If money was the issue, they would simply get jobs as meter readers in the city of Tacoma for $52K a year. And none of that pesky education requirement, either!

The museum field is a labor of love.

by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 8:03am
I'd rather have libraries. Gregoire closing down the WSHM is just a happy coincidence. With Dave Nicandri out of the picture, getting rid of the fence will be much easier. Sometimes you must cut off your face to spite the nose.

by fredo on 1/5/2011 @ 8:07am
Sorry, I wasn't clear in my earlier posting regarding government labor unions. I wasn't really referring to museum workers pay specifically. I was referring to government workers in general, including meter readers. Some of these jobs pay inexplicably high salaries for no apparent reason.

by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 8:18am
NPR had a story about cracking down on fancy pedestrian streetlights in Seattle that electrocute little dogs to death because they're too complicated to install correctly by utility workers.

Maybe education IS the answer

by fredo on 1/5/2011 @ 8:40am
nachos, well that story could just easily relate to nepotism. unqualified people who get utility jobs just because they are related to other city workers. maybe education ISN'T the answer. fair hiring practices IS the answer

by Erik on 1/5/2011 @ 11:20am
Update from Tacoma Daily Index:

The resolution was introduced by Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who argues the museum, which opened in 1996, draws 105,000 people annually, is the anchor of Tacoma's museum district, enhances Tacoma's ability to attract conventions, and supports local retailers who have invested in small businesses. "It contributes to the economic, cultural, and educational vitality of Tacoma," wrote Mayor Strickland in documents supporting the resolution, and "is a massive archive of Washington State history, making it like no other history museum in the Pacific Northwest. [It] is a showcase of our collective heritage, plays a key role in educating the City's youth with extraordinary exhibits, and is a key link in the latest revitalization of downtown Tacoma. [It also] maintains a permanent exhibit of Pacific Northwest history and supports local retailers who have invested in small businesses, making it an immense contributor to the economic, cultural, and educational vitality of Tacoma."


by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 11:34am

by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 11:44am
Washington State History Museum Bridge of Glass Hostage Crisis Update! Free the Public Bridge of Glass trunc.it/dipjw
#tacoma #WSHM

by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 11:49am
in the words of Julie Anderson:

The Fence is petty
The Fence does NOT boost History Museum visitorship
The Fence does NOT provide safety
The fence does NOT protect property

by Nick on 1/5/2011 @ 3:16pm
Ok, how about closing the WSHM and opening a new (or move the existing) downtown Tacoma Public LIbrary?

by The Jinxmedic on 1/5/2011 @ 3:35pm
Nope. The Carnegie library is a treasure on its own.

by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 4:40pm
tellin ya, model train museum... solid gold! between LeMay and Model Train museum you'd have the old white people market licked !

by Erik on 1/5/2011 @ 4:42pm
@RR: Julie Anderson wrote a Tribune Op Ed on the WSHM wall. A free Amocat Coffee for anyone that has a link to it.

by fredo on 1/5/2011 @ 4:47pm
" between LeMay and Model Train museum you'd have the old white people market licked !" nachos

just yesterday you were bragging about the quilters, what are they, hispanic muslims?

by NineInchNachos on 1/5/2011 @ 4:51pm
I bet those quilts would be extra cozy

by fredo on 1/5/2011 @ 4:54pm
i can image how impressive a display of quilted burqas would be.

by jenyum on 1/6/2011 @ 12:21am
Oh hey now, a quilt is a canvass, it can say whatever you want!

by Erik on 1/6/2011 @ 12:44am
Could Tacoma find an ally in Spokane who is also struggling to keep their Washington State History Museum open as well. Here is Tacoma's opportunity:


by fredo on 1/6/2011 @ 7:48am
We could lessen the expense of the museum (and the libraries as well) if we would have people who are drawing welfare checks run the places in exchange for their government benefits. It would be good light duty work for people on L&I disability as well. How hard is it to tell people where the bathrooms are and when it's closing time? These people would see an improvement in their lives by getting out of their houses a couple of times each week.

by jenyum on 1/6/2011 @ 8:03am
Fredo, workfare has been in place since 1997.

by fredo on 1/6/2011 @ 8:14am
I didn't know all the workers at the museum and libraries were "workfare" people. I thought they were paid employees. My bad. If we don't have any payroll expenses, then why does it cost $5M per year to run the museum?

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/6/2011 @ 8:18am
And furthermore, good fences make good neighbors.

by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 8:30am
Librarians get no respect.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/6/2011 @ 9:01am

by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 10:01am
ha they wish.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/6/2011 @ 11:05am
nor do libertines.

by The Jinxmedic on 1/6/2011 @ 11:08am
Or Liberians.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/6/2011 @ 11:13am
WorkFare, surely that was something our Dear Leader, Ronald Reagan came up with. You make it sound like that radical, tax and spend liberal, Bill Clinton came up with such a thing.

by fredo on 1/6/2011 @ 12:20pm
I want to save the museum and am willing to give constructive advice.

But first let's see how we got here. The person who proposed closing the museum is the office holder most of you voted for, Christine Gregoire. Had she told us in 2004 that her unsustainable spending spree would result in the closure of the WSHM I doubt if she would have been elected.

by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 12:28pm
Libertarians are just wimpy Anarchists

by tacoma1 on 1/6/2011 @ 12:34pm

Maybe the length of the recession is a small factor here.

And maybe the inability of the average voter to associate a correlation between voting for tax cuts, and then the pending service cuts of govt services.

by fredo on 1/6/2011 @ 12:41pm
"a correlation between voting for tax cuts, and then the pending service cuts of govt services".

what tax cuts?

by The Jinxmedic on 1/6/2011 @ 12:49pm
That's me. A wimpy anarchist.

by tacoma1 on 1/6/2011 @ 12:57pm
What tax cuts...........we could start way back with I 695 which put the state ferries in the hole they are in now. Ironically, the island counties voted strongly in favor of I 695 not realizing that they were cutting off funding to their own life line.

by fredo on 1/6/2011 @ 1:02pm
" Ironically, the island counties voted strongly in favor of I 695 not realizing that they were cutting off funding to their own life line."

Haha, when the voters selected Gregoire they were showing their intelligence, when they voted for I-695 they were showing their stupidity. Those dang stupid voters keep interferring with our wonderful utopia.

by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 1:06pm
I don't believe it!


by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 1:17pm
I get the feeling "museum is a key part of our downtown core, as well as employing citizens and offering a vast array of programming activities for Tacomans." is just an overly-nice way to say "we don't want another M.T. building downtown."

by tacoma1 on 1/6/2011 @ 1:18pm

I actually don't know who the island counties voted for Governor in 04. Maybe you do. They could have easily voted for Dino.

I'm not a huge fan of our Governor, but regardless of who our Governor is, I don't believe that they would have had much ability to prevent the this recession.

In spite of voting for I-695, our voters still wanted ferries to run, which caused State Govt. to siphon off $ from elsewhere. Those diverted funds, would be handy to have right now, along with the taxes from soda pop and candy. I know that not one of these taxes amounts to enough to fix the budget hole that we are in, but the cumulative effect, plus the current recession is the making of the perfect economic storm.

btw, nice cartoon link NIN

by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 1:23pm
things would be different with GoodSpaceGuy. Hindsight is -20/-20

by cisserosmiley on 1/6/2011 @ 2:02pm
it is untrue that the gov could do nothing to prevent this. many have warned her for several years. it was a gamble by state D's to keep services fully in place then lose them if it goes to heck, instead of slowly realing in services over the past 6 years. i don't know which is better? maybe this way? but if people are not satisfied about this way there were LOTS of "warning" candidates. heck, even jessica smeall in the 2008 campaign-almost 3 years ago-warned us all about multi-billion dollar problems on the horizon. goodspaceguy, mikethemover, willbaker, jessicasmeall, ???

by NineInchNachos on 1/6/2011 @ 2:09pm
ADD RR_Anderson to that list brother! he wanted to destroy the tacoma dome as a warning!

by fredo on 1/6/2011 @ 2:20pm
yes cissero, the warning signs have been there for a long time. and many predate the recession.

back to I-695, it has nothing to do with gregoire.

The tim eyeman initiative I-695 was passed by 56% voter approval in 11/99. It was subsequently declared unconsitutional. Democratic governor Gary Locke and the legislature put the provisions of I-695 into law anyway recognizing the will of the voters. So i-695 was not just Island approved, it was statewide voter approved and Democratic leadership approved.

All this talk about the candy tax defeat causing our budget problems is ridiculous. The governors attempt to close our museum is what vindictive people do when their ideas are rejected. She's basically taking a big dump on Tacoma and you supporters don't even recognize it.

by cisserosmiley on 1/6/2011 @ 2:27pm
good thing RR_Anderson did not destroy the dome, we could display the WSHM collection around the walkways and concession areas. lady gaga, neon art, and ezra meeker's boots

by The Jinxmedic on 1/6/2011 @ 2:42pm
This is starting to sound like Yahoo comments...

by cisserosmiley on 1/6/2011 @ 2:57pm
non-yahoo comment: in addition to the before mentioned tax provisions, in the mid 2000's there was a "one time" 700 million rebate to wa state that was accounted as "year over year" income (enron sized accounting fraud). the hope was to hide this under ever increasing tax revenue. now we all pay, but the governor, speaker, and senate maj. leader still sit with their cushy jobs. if we are to have hope for the future of museums etc. we probably need to turn responsibility onto ourselves for all phases of planning through daily operations. by tacomanians, for tacomanians, out of towners welcome