The news was shocking: 50 metal spikes had been discovered in the shallows of Green Lake, a popular park in Seattle. The Seattle Parks Department suggested it was a malicious act. Now...
The Parks Department now says... oops... we are to blame for the fear and hysteria the spikes have caused local residents. The newspapers and TV stations ran interview after interview of people saying they would be reluctant to swim or boat in the lake ever again.
Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter had said they suspected sabotage. I have had many dealings with her while working as a reporter for a local Seattle weekly and know here to be a true professional -- friendly, helpful, and reliable. So, you wonder where things went so horribly wrong.
However, unlike the long forgotten time capsule that occasionally creep up in the news, spikes in the shallow areas of the lake seem like something you may want to keep track of. Call me crazy... but a spike in the foot seems like a serious matter -- which is how these spikes were discovered in the first place.
The Parks Department says the spikes were placed in the lake more than 20 years ago in an effort to hold down plastic sheeting in an attempt to control water plants. Apparently, the spikes originally had curved tops that rusted off, leaving sharp points. Metal + water = rust. What a shock!
The Seattle Police spent man hours (ie. tax dollars) on their investigation. The Parks Department invested a lot of their own time and money as well. According to a July 25, 2008, press release, the Parks Department planned to hire professional divers to augment the volunteers already combing the depths of Green Lake. Let's hope the Parks Department puts a little more planning in their future improvements to our treasured local parks.
Source: The Seattle Times