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Clown House crisis update

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 27th, 2005 at 11:31 am

[see this post for background on this issue]

After much back and forth, it seems the City has ultimately succeeded in destroying the soul of the Alberta community. I met with Dingo at the Clown House a few days ago and things seemed to be "OK". Much of the random parts and bikes were gone but there were still enough tall bikes, circus props and other things in the yard that it felt like potential for a re-birth was possible.

However, in the most recent update, the City has said, "everything must go". The stage, all the bikes, everything but "the lounge chairs," according to Dingo. This is a huge shock to me because I thought there was a chance for everyone to get on the same page and figure out a more amicable solution. I had a productive (I thought) conversation with the head of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Jimmy Brown.

Last Thursday on Alberta will never be the same.

Questions remain:

Who is behind this complaint?
Why can't there be some mediation before such a rich cultural asset is destroyed in the name of yuppification?
What can we all do to save the Clown House?

I hope there is still hope we can somehow save one of this city's true cultural treasures. Please let these people know how you feel about this situation:

Don't forget to stay in touch with Dingo's blog for all the latest...and stay tuned to this space for more info as it becomes available.

Click here to see all my Clown House coverage.

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Comments
  • Peter W October 27, 2005 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, I'm glad the city is so efficient in dealing with complaints of "eyesores". I'm sure you realize, as do I, that this means we need only file complaints about the eyesores known as Starbucks and Ford/GM/etc Car Dealerships, and the city will surely act swiftly to remove them!

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  • pdxrocket October 27, 2005 at 3:49 pm

    When did bike culture become so connected to hipster culture. You certainly won't find me fraternizing a Starbucks, but at least they keep themselves in order, am I right?

    I have several neighbors who find it OK to keep their yards unkept, vehicles are abandoned, and shopping carts sometime sit for over a month at a time. What's the difference between MY neighbor's house, and the Clownhouse? Really nothing, that's what. I do however think that rebuilding bikes is a great thing to do, but it doesn't have to mean you need to keep a lot that's an eyesore.

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  • Peter W October 27, 2005 at 4:23 pm

    The point I was trying to make is: who defines "eyesore"? Sure, I'm too lazy to go see if there is a legal definition of it, but it basically seems like it is defined by the businessmen and enforced by the politicians funded by them. To me, starbucks may be orderly but that doesn't make it less of an eyesore, and giant car dealerships may be orderly as well, but they are definitely an eyesore! How disgusted I am to see literally miles of cars parked along Canyon Rd / TV Hwy at car dealers' lots, but in this case there is no way the authorities would ever take action against them; not when big business is at stake.

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  • pdxrocket October 27, 2005 at 4:27 pm

    I see your point Peter. There most certainly are different categories of "eyesores", and there really needs to be something done about both of the situations. I live close to 82nd and that is a huge strip mall of cars, but then...where do they go if not there? It's a touchy situation all around.

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  • Jonathan Maus October 27, 2005 at 4:27 pm

    Funny this has come up. The head of the ONI said to me, "it's a complaint driven system". So I immediately thought...what would happen if someone complained about how some posh, new restaurant was an eyesore and was a detriment to the community.

    I think it's ironic that the Willy Week named Alberta the "Street of the Year" in the restaurant guide the same week all this is going down.

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