Schrammie: Wasting $485,000 on viaduct museum

SEATTLE -- What's the difference between mitigation and aggravation?

I think it could be when the bill to taxpayers is half a million dollars.

And so I'd like to invite Paula Hammond, the Secretary of the State Department of Transportation, to take off her reflective orange vest and come on down.

Secretary Paula spent some time with me explaining why the state DOT is opening a museum in Seattle's Pioneer Square. She says its focus will be on providing a history of the neighborhood as well explaining the tunnel project that will replace the viaduct.

Secretary Paula says the federal government is the real culprit in all this.

She says it's the feds who require "mitigation" when a project could impact a historic neighborhood like Pioneer Square.

But it wasn't the feds that concluded that throngs of people would be inextricably drawn to Pioneer Square to visit a $485,000 museum code named "Milepost 31."

Nope, it was Secretary Paula who ultimately decided how much mitigation money would actually be spent, and what it would be spent on.

Which is why we're getting a half a million dollar museum with all the appeal of a snuggy infomercial and why Secretary Paula Hammond should take a bow, because this "Schrammie" is for her.

Have something to say to Ken? Login or signup below to post a comment. Just be sure to read the rules and keep things civil. You can also e-mail him at You can also hook up with Ken on Facebook.