The date had been set: On Nov. 22, the Duwamish tribe would have had a ribbon cutting to welcome people to its longhouse, the tribe's new cultural center. But the ribbon, and the scissors, will be put away for the short term, now that the opening of the center has been put on hold.
Duwamish Longhouse Director James Rasmussen hopes that the center's inauguration will occur some time in early 2009, but even that's a maybe. While the longhouse sits on W. Marginal Way SW., unexpected street improvements to SW. Alaska St. are behind the delay. Or more precisely, the cost of those improvements. He says the tribe has been in touch with King County Councilmember Dow Constantine, in hopes of opening a dialogue with the city to keep costs reasonable.
Cecile Hansen, tribal chair, says that tribe had only budgeted $12,000 for road paving. Instead, the improvements may total $40,000. That's money, says Hansen, the tribe doesn't have.