The Art Inventory

FCC Highlight Reel: Celebrations Of Barrier & Beer

by Kirby Lindsay, posted 12 September 2011


The George Washington Memorial Bridge, on 14 May 2011, with the new safety barrier installed. Photo by K. Lindsay

Fremont likes to celebrate, and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce (FCC) enjoys it so much that they’ve occasionally helped orchestrate more than one at a time – like this month!  The monthly FCC Board of Directors meeting on August 31st, according to meeting minutes taken by Chamber Executive Director Jessica Vets, gave details on two major celebrations planned in the final weekend of September 2011.

To Celebrate the Safety Barrier, Finally

Ryan Thurston announced the official celebration, scheduled for Saturday, September 24th, from 5p – 7p, at History House, of the completion of the safety barrier installed on the George Washington Memorial Bridge, also known as the Aurora Bridge.

A close-up view of the safety barrier on the 'Aurora' Bridge - Fremont will celebrate the installation on 24 Sep 2011 Photo by K. Lindsay

Thurston thanked the Chamber for supporting the project, which he and a group of determined volunteers, called Seattle F.R.I.E.N.D.S., fought for locally as well as in Olympia.  They lobbied for a deterrent against suicide attempts at the bridge – and a way to keep people below the bridge, in Fremont, safe from trauma, both physical and emotional, experienced whenever someone jumped from the deck.

A Fremonster, Thurston worked tirelessly toward a solution, he helped develop the barrier solution. After the project received funding, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) went forward with building it (their contractor completed the barrier on February 15, 2011,) Thurston went to M.I.T. to obtain a graduate degree.  Now graduated, he has returned to the Center of the Universe – and given us yet another reason to celebrate!

It is to be hoped - and celebrated - if the new safety barrier on the 'Aurora' Bridge eliminates the need for emergency responders (like pictured here) to spend hours beneath the structure (here in October 2009.) Photo by K. Lindsay

FRIENDS, supporters of the fence, and some of the high-profile people that championed the project – including King County Councilperson Larry Phillips and State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles – will attend.  Everyone who knows the relief at having accomplished this proactive effort to protect ourselves, and those who cannot protect themselves, will be welcomed at the party on September 24th at History House.  The celebration will take place as part of the Fremont Oktoberfest, for a respite and a sigh of relief that the barrier is done!  Finally.

On An (Almost) Related Note

At the August meeting, the Chamber Board also discussed the planned closure of SR 99 (the roadway on the Aurora Bridge) south of Downtown Seattle, from October 21 to October 31st, as part of the demolition of the viaduct.  This segment of roadway lies well south of Fremont, but this closure and rerouting may significantly impact our traffic.  For more information on this project visit the official website.

To Celebrate Oktoberfest

Enthusiastic volunteers staff the merchandise booth at the 2009 Fremont Oktoberfest. Photo by K. Lindsay

At the meeting Phil Megenhardt, of Bold Hat Productions, marked 24 days to go as he gave a status report on plans for the 16th Annual Fremont Oktoberfest – and the strong musical line-up scheduled for the two stages, in the free Village area and in the ticketed tasting garden.

The Oktoberfest always includes nearly a dozen other, associated activities including the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving, and an Oktoberfest 5K (previously called the Brew Ha-Ha.)  Megenhardt reminded the Chamber Board that while volunteers are needed to pour beer in the tasting garden, they also need monitors for the 5K from 8a – 11a on Sunday, September 25th.

A volunteer Oktoberfest 5K team in training, back in June 2011, at the Fremont Fun Run. Come see how they do on September 25th! Photo by K. Lindsay

Megenhardt and Vets urged all Chamber folk to promote, and talk up, Oktoberfest to friends, family and acquaintances.  Volunteers can sign-up on-line, through the Fremont Oktoberfest website, but tickets sales have also, already, begun.

The meeting notes also announced Stacey Fujimura, of 509 Wines, as new chairperson for the Chamber Marketing Committee – now meeting on the last Wednesday of each month, at 5p in the 509 Tasting Room.  Also, Chamber Board President Marko Tubic has asked Seattle Police Department Community Policing Officer Loren Street for ways the community can encourage troublemakers – aggressive panhandlers, chronic loiterers, street drummers pounding after midnight, etc. – to move along.

Find out more on these matters, or bring your own, to the next Fremont Chamber monthly Board Meeting.  These meetings take place on the last Wednesday of each month, at 8a at History House.  Everyone is welcome, and fun is nearly always somewhere on the agenda…

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©2011 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.


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