Digging up the truth on NE 112th
We have a saying in the newsroom “A good Neighbors story is a DONE Neighbors story.”
For you e-readers (we’re still waiting for your donations, btw), that’s the cover story for our weekly Neighbors section. The duty to write it rotates among reporters.
My latest ran last Wednesday, about plans to eventually improve NE 112th, with a graphic of the cross-section at Evergreen Memorial Gardens. The city council approved the plan Monday night.
Well, we don’t have the technology to reprint graphics provided to us as they are; our graphics team remakes them.
In a bad choice of clip art, our designer placed several trees on the Evergreen property, and did not include a small (unlabeled) headstone from the original graphic, that apparently denoted the fact that no bodies would be dug up as part of this plan.
Apparently this was enough to send some people into a tizzy, saying that the city is planning to exhume graves in the name of progress.
Here’s the line from the plan: “The 112th Avenue frontage at Evergreen Memorial Garden presents a unique challenge. Grave sites begin at approximately 12 feet behind the existing face of curb. Therefore, location of any future sidewalk on that portion of the corridor would be subject to a strict constraint. Any change to the frontage would have to maintain or enhance the existing character of Evergreen Memorial Gardens in order for Evergreen to fulfill its solemn commitment to the deceased and surviving to provide a serene environment. The roadway sections in this plan identify a simple 5 foot attached sidewalk and buffer sufficient to maintain Evergreen Memorial Garden’s environment. Specific cross sections provide potential design options to preserve a respectful space between the burials and any future sidewalk.”
And here’s an email from Evergreen’s president, Brad Carlson:
“We have worked with staff many months on this project and they have been a pleasure to work with and very respectful of our unique situation. No graves will be disturbed during this effort to enhance 112th Ave. In fact, we feel the end result will only improve our 112th Ave. frontage. We intend to hold the City of Vancouver accountable on this matter and we will hold ourselves to the same standards.”
So there you have it.