A missing element of today's columns and news stories about relocating a city skate park at Seattle Center is that City Hall could have had

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Wipeout

The 'foundation' of the City Hall skate park story.

A missing element of today's columns and news stories about relocating a city skate park at Seattle Center is that City Hall could have had enough money to build hundreds of skate parks.

But King Greg and the Council Jesters blew a $50 million opportunity when they sold off the former Center skate site to the needy Bill Gates.

Rather than dispose of $72 million in city property at its valued price, the mayor, with the City Council's acquiescence, opted to give the world's richest man a break so he could use the site - mostly a vast parking lot and the skate park - to build a new headquarters for the world's richest foundation.

The Fifth Ave. N. plot went to the Gates Foundation for $22 million in 2005, and nobody got arrested.

Even a lousy $49 million break could have at least provided $1 million dedicated for a grand new skate park somewhere, with enough left over to fill a few city potholes.

Now the forgetful council has proposed shoehorning the skate park into a site north of KeyArena - and tearing out the much-liked DuPen fountain and sculptures (the decision is on hold for another week).

After two years, this is the only site the council could come up with - ultimately because of costs. Actually, with that expensive grand entry of unused steps and plazas, City Hall itself would make a fine skate park. I hear the building is mostly vacant anyway. 

 
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