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Dori: Sound Transit spent $250K of your money on steel octopus

"Gertie's Ghost" now greets Sound Transit riders in Tacoma. (KIRO 7)

How do you feel about $250,000 of your money going to a giant steel octopus outside the South 25th Street light rail station in Tacoma?

The art installation is called “Gertie’s Ghost” because the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was nicknamed “Galloping Gertie” when it came down in 1940 in that huge windstorm.

As you know, Sound Transit, the most criminally corrupt public agency in the nation’s history, spends one-half of one percent of our money — attained through its illegal calculation of car tab fees — on art.

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This is an organization that is tens of billions of dollars over budget. They are 13 years behind schedule on their promise of bringing light rail to the U District (no, Husky Stadium is not the U District).

So what do they do with all of that money they collect from us?

They gave it to two artists in Oakland. The artist’s concept was that there were rumors of an octopus that lives in the remains of the fallen Tacoma Narrows Bridge’s steel girders in the sound … so they built this 40,000-pound sculpture of an octopus. All it is is a bunch of steel girder arches that are planted in the ground. It cost you and me $250,000.

According to the Tacoma News-Tribune, the artists would love to know what the public thinks of this.

Oh, I’m glad you asked.

If artists can sell their works in a free market, I admire that. They create something, they put it in a gallery, and people choose to give their money to that gallery and artist. I have great respect for these private artists.

I think that public artists who live off of coerced tax dollars are among the biggest grifters around. I think they are nothing but leeches.

And why in the world are you giving these deals to artists in Oakland? Why not at least give it to a local artist who is contributing to your high taxes?

You wanted to know what the public thinks? I’m just one member of the public, but I think that it reeks. When we’re talking about an agency that is tens of billions over budget — half a billion over budget getting to the Eastside, $700 million over budget getting to Lynnwood — and can’t get a project done on time, I think it is a continuation of the criminal enterprise that is Sound Transit.

I think it stinks, I think you’re a bunch of grifters in the public art world, and I think that Sound Transit continues to be the most criminal enterprise of any public agency in the history of the United States of America.

I’m really glad you asked.

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