Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is why we can't have nice things (in South Everett)

So, I have written before about our gritty little neighborhood, beyond the garden.  It is shabby in places, run down and dirty.  Known for drugs and  generalized petty crime. Saying "it's a South Everett kinda day" does not really convey gentility, to say the least.  The highway our street veers off of has many signs of brokenness.  Dilapidated and empty buildings with tarps in place of windows. Garbage strewn.  Not much done for appearances, except for maybe when  somebody with a can of spray paint and a (real or aspired to) gang affiliation decides to dress the place up.

But we are vested and rooted here.  17 years of home ownership,  four kids through the schools.  Many good neighbors, just trying their best to get by.

And there are bright spots.  Good changes.  A new restaurant around the corner.  Young families buying homes and fixing them up.  People walking their dogs and saying hello.  

One of those bright spots was seeing the empty building behind the bus stop turn  into a fun and funky little shop.  Vintage wares, antiques, clothes.  Trash cleaned up and the windows decorated.  We stopped by when it opened, and Chris, the owner, was very excited to show us around.  It was beautiful inside, clean and pretty, and you could see the pride he took in the place.

Today we stopped in to visit "Check it out Again", and found Chris very, very upset.  There were buckets and puddles all over the place.  Seems that the landlord never bothered to properly repair the roof, choosing a dab of caulk here and there, and what looks to be a ceiling full of plastic sheets and duct tape.  We had a run of dry weather, but the rains have returned.  And it is raining inside.  Like steady drops in the buckets.  The pictures show bulging from the weight of the water, and if you listen to the video you can hear the drops hitting.

Items in the store have been ruined, and he has asked and asked for the owner (who we are told owns a higher end business in the nicer part of town) to fix the roof.  Nothing done about the problem,and Chris said that the landlord is threatening eviction in two days for complaining.  He has two months left on his lease, though, and I hope that is considered.

THIS.  This is why we can't have nice things.  The people with money own this strip and don't care.  They get to live in their nice little neighborhoods, with the roofs fixed and the garbage picked up, and everything clean and tidy.  But their property here gets to sit and rot, and we get to live with it.

I am hoping so much for a decent resolution, and wish Chris all the best.  Hopefully  we still get to have a cute little shop by our bus stop.  

Monday, January 07, 2013

I did have a great time at my cousins, but just a word (or 300) about my ride home, as posted in Yelp.

I wish I could give 0 stars to Northwestern Trailways. When I buy a ticket for a seat on the bus, I assume that means a SEAT on the bus. Not standing in the cold and snow of Leavenworth, expecting to take the last bus out of town (to Everett), and having a bus driver get out of a FULL bus with a smirk on his face and announce "Well, I got bad news for you people, this bus is full and there isn't another one coming, don't blame me, I am just the driver" (earlier the info desk said there would be one at 1.15 and one at 6.45pm). It also does not mean having the driver relent and say "if you want a ride, it's standing room only." Yeah, I wanted a ride. I needed to get home, and it was cold, and no guarantee it won't be the same situation on the next bus, which may or may not be coming, depending on who answers the phone at any given time. So myself and ten other people stood in the middle of the bus all the way over the pass and to Everett Station. Some of these people even had online reservations, which, according to the driver, "don't mean anything." I am sore and exhausted, and had rolling panic attacks from the crowding. My husband called their office to complain, and the person on the phone informed him that he didn't sell the ticket, not his problem. I looked online, and this company has a contract with the Department of Transportation, who will be hearing from me tomorrow. I have several pictures that may be of interest.


I called their complaint line today and was met with extreme rudeness and arrogance. The person answering the phone took no responsibility for my issue at all, used terms such as "what's done is done,nothing can be done now" "our booking agents over booked us," and "Amtrak overbooked their bus in Spokane, and dumped their passengers on us." He actually said that no other bus company dispatches other buses in cases of over booking, which I know is not true, because I have heard of other cases in which that has been done. Guess what? "what's done is done" is NOT done until I say it is done. I am getting a refund, or at least he took my mailing address to send me one, but was overall very curt. Actually said the driver should have left us there. No apologies.

I have someone from the licensing agency they are under, the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, sending investigators out to check on the trip records, as well as these pictures which clearly show no straps or holders.  THAT is when "what's done" will be done.