It's turning into a banner day for press coverage.
Peggy Sturdivant of the Ballard News Tribune goes deep with an extensive interview with former Lockhaven owners Earl and Denise Ecklund. The bottom line is they never expected the Lockhaven community to be destroyed by John Goodman and Goodman Real Estate:
The Ecklunds knew of John Goodman, his Ballard roots, his home nearby. Knew, “he has a charitable side and an aggressive business side.” They recall his words, “I will be a good steward for the property.”They offer a truly chilling analogy (italics mine):
What’s happening with the tenant evictions prompted Earl to tell me a story about a middle manager he’d encountered who was called Neutron Dave, for his impersonal tactics. The nickname referred to the effects of the neutron bomb, which left buildings standing but the inhabitants dead.
What makes this piece particularly heartbreaking is the picture it paints of the Lockhaven's history as a family-oriented, people-first business. It also explains how we got our gorgeous rhododendrons:
On-call every day. Earl Sr. would arrive in his suit, and change into his work clothes as needed. Earl’s mother Ruby kept the books and did the clean-outs of apartments between tenants. After she was widowed Earl’s sister lived above the property management office. Earl’s older brother Ralph was a botanist and horticulturist who turned the grounds into his rhododendron species garden, but ‘allowed’ his brother to mow the grass.
We can only repeat what we've said before: We believe John Goodman does indeed have a charitable side, and that it can co-exist with the need to turn a profit. It's not too late to pull back from the brink. Don't kick us out of our homes. Do it for the Ballard you love, Mr. Goodman. Be the good steward you promised you would be. Make your legacy one you can look back on with pride.