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After 100 years, Shanty Café says goodbye


I had lunch (a French-dip with fries) at the Shanty Café last week and said a sad farewell.  By noon, every seat was occupied– even the lunch counter stools — and there were more than a dozen devoted customers still waiting outside, also intent on saying goodbye.

The Shanty, the buff-shingled diner on Elliott, the one that occupies its own tiny triangular block, is closing its doors for the last time on Monday, Nov. 28.  Closure comes after 102 years of serving hearty comfort foods – hash browns and scrambles, Reuben sandwiches and hand-cut fries, chicken-fried streaks and apple pie — to the working stiffs of the city.

In its century of life, the café has had only a handful of owners, all of them women.  … Continue Reading »

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Milkshake goodbye to Dick Spady

Family and friends, all of us, drank a hearty milkshake toast in honor of the late Dick Spady following a recent memorial service at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. Dick, the namesake of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants died in January at 92, last surviving co-founder of the iconic 62-year-old chain.

The service, warm, touching and at times humorous, said a lot about the man. He was the eternal optimist, a hard-working entrepreneur whose philosophy in business was to keep customers happy, while making money and supporting his employees. He was a man of faith, a staunch Methodist and a passionate apostle for  civic empowerment.

As we learned at the service, Dick served in the Navy during World War II as part of a Seabee Construction Battalion. After the war, he used the GI … Continue Reading »


Women Win in Seattle’s Budget

womenFor once, women were the big winners in the 2016 Budget. If this were a football game, you could say that women rallied to produce solid gains few would have predicted.


While many may have missed most of the plays, I’ll replay the hard-fought wins:


  • First, we will plan and build a new daycare center at, or near, City Hall.  The project had the unanimous backing of all nine of the Seattle City Councilmembers.  This program is important since lack of affordable daycare continues to be a barrier to women participating in the workforce.


  • A second win for women was the promise by city planners to develop an “infants-at-work” pilot study. This was a suggestion from the Seattle Women’s Commission after … Continue Reading »
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domestic violenceToday is #PurpleThursday, a day to wear purple to raise awareness around domestic violence. Domestic violence impacts us all – families, friends, co-workers and communities. And, sadly, it is the leading cause of injury to women, although everyone along the gender spectrum too, can be victims.

This #PurpleThursday though, I’d like to also raise awareness about the support available to victims of Domestic Violence as well as workplace violence. Let’s talk about paid leave from work through Seattle’s Safe Time ordinance.

Seattle made national headlines in 2011, when the City Council passed and the then mayor, Mike McGinn, signed into law the Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST for short).

Under the law, Seattle workers who have … Continue Reading »


Artists at Play

photo 2Today I am excited to announce it was the grand opening of Artists at Play. This is a unique, interactive playground that children of all ages can enjoy at the Seattle Center. This playground includes a 35-foot Climb Tower, listening stations, sound swings, a colorful labyrinth and more. By many measures, this playground will prove a great benefit to Seattle. In particular, it will enrich the lives of both parents and their children. Parents will be able to bring their children to a safe and vibrant playground while children will have a creative and imaginative environment to play in. As an avid advocate for parks, I believe parks are essential in the health and happiness of our communities. … Continue Reading »