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Wednesday, April 10, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Letters To The Editor

Viretta Pak -- Site Was Used As A Play Area

I read with interest your editorial on the Viretta Park issue. I grew up in a house which used to be next door to the Schultz home. Previous owners of the Schultz home divided the lot in two and built a second house in between.

I have two points to make. The first is that before Howard Schultz moved into the home and remodeled, Viretta Park was used extensively by neighborhood children. I remember many a long summer evening when the neighborhood bunch would gather for games of red rover, kick soccer, hide and seek, etc., on that nice green grass. These were not country club members; these were kids, some from single-parent families, with little income. In the late 1960s and '70s, the neighborhood was not nearly as expensive as it is now, given the Boeing bust and the central location (the Seattle office of the Black Panthers was less than a mile away). The park had a lot of use, and the various owners of the home were tolerant of the children playing on what would appear to be their front lawn.

The second point is that it would have been possible when the house was remodeled for a driveway to have been built which did not cross city park property.

I think that the citizens of the neighborhood are right to be outraged at the behavior of Howard Schultz and his total disregard of city property and the citizens of Seattle. Viretta Park should be considered with an equal footing to any other city park in Seattle.

Just because Howard Schultz is the CEO of a major company and presumably has a great deal of money does not give him the right to blatantly disregard the law. He should be held accountable for his mistakes, and should be required to build a new driveway which does not infringe on the use of Viretta Park. Carol Hegstrom Seattle

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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