Monday, December 19, 2005

05-0237, As Amended (Kenmore Bans Card Rooms)

Please note that Skor Grimm is reporting this news before any of the other local news outlets. Booyah.

At a special meeting this evening attended by over one hundred fifty citizens in a standing-room-only meeting hall in Kenmore, the city council voted 5-1-1 to ban "social card games," effective December 29th. This will have the effect of forcing the 11th Frame card room to close. Owner Frank Evans claims that the Kenmore Lanes bowling alley loses tens of thousands of dollars each month, and he will be forced to close the bowling alley and restaurant in addition to the card room, putting roughly two hundred people out of jobs. From the mix of comments, it appeared that nearly half of those employees were present at the meeting. Here are some comments from the public testimony from each side:
    Anti Ban (Pro Card Rooms)
  • "How can you [the city council] sleep at night?"
  • [sarcastically] "This must be the Christian & neighborly thing to do."
  • One man predicts 25% divorce rates, children on the street, homelessness and more if the city forces the 11th Frame card room to close.
  • "Where is our compassion?"
  • "It's not the American way [to close the card room], that's dictatorship."
  • "It's not fair, it's not just." (Frank Evans, 11th Frame & Kenmore Lanes Owner)
  • "It embarrasses me to come from the city of Kenmore." (Former Councilwoman)
  • One woman pointed out that Kenmore Lanes paid for her brain surgery, the same kind George Clooney had, and he was on Oprah.
    Pro Ban (Anti Card Rooms)
  • "It's not about the bowling alley, its about the future of the city"
  • The damage from gambling can be "equivalent to hurricane Katrina."
  • "There are jobs out there, you just need to swallow your pride." (speaking to those who will be out of a job when the 11th Frame closes)
The public comment period lasted from approximately 7:00 PM to 9:15 PM, and roughly 75 people made comments before the council. A reporter from 710 KIRO was in attendance, but left around 8:00 PM. No other attendees were obvious members of the media. At 9:39 PM, the vote was taken. The votes were cast as follows:
  • Steven Colwell, Mayor: Yes
  • David Baker, Deputy Mayor: Yes
  • Jack V. Crawford: Yes
  • John Hendrickson: Abstain
  • Bob Hensel: No
  • Glenn Rogers: Yes
  • Allan Van Ness: Yes
Immediately after the vote was taken, ~95% of the 100-strong Kenmore Lanes constituency (loudly) left the room, leaving their empty Starbucks cups and their "Save Kenmore Lanes" signs where they sat. Roughly thirty-five people remained through the end of the meeting. After taking a few budgetary votes, retiring councilmembers Jack Crawford and Steven Colwell each gave a farewell speech of sorts, which was received with warm applause. The meeting adjourned at approximately 10:00 PM.
Categories: News, Local, Politics


Blogger Ron said...

Good for you, sitting through such a meeting. And I like the outcome. I live not far away in LFP.

10:58 PM, December 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When all of the moral majority had spoken, I had the feeling that the entire community had been overtaken by gambling, all they really succeeded in doing was eliminating an excellent bowling alley and pro shop. And what of the youth bowlers and leagues that they also eliminated? Apparently that never entered into the thought process. How limited I find your scope of vision and lack of concern for all of the former employees you displaced. I shall miss going to an excellent bowling alley to bowl and get coached by Bill.

11:26 AM, January 24, 2006  

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