July 29, 2011 Aberdeen, Washington – It’s official: no bridge will be named after Kurt Cobain–but he will get the Landing. We reported recently that there was a proposal to rename the Young Street Bridge after Cobain, as well as the park next to the bridge. Cobain made the bridge famous in his song Something In The Way as he wrote about sitting underneath it. The area next to the bridge has been fixed up by neighbor Tori Kovach, who named it “KC Memorial Park”.
The proposal to rename the bridge flopped this week in a 10-1 nay vote in an Aberdeen City Council meeting. The Tacoma News Tribune reported its amused surprise that there were actually 11 people still living in Aberdeen, and contemplated the idea of Tacoma taking a shot at naming a Cobain site since he was there before. Humor aside, I couldn’t help but wonder who the one person was that voted Yes.
I spoke to Kovach who was present at the proceedings and explained the controversial scene as Cobain bridge supporters were joined by descendants of the pioneer whose name is currently on the bridge. Kovach said, “A small but well informed and vocal crowd showed up at the city council meeting. Fifth generation Young family descendants came and stated the original bridge, named for their ancestor Alexander Young, has always been the Young Street Bridge and shouldn’t be changed.” Young built the first saw mill in Aberdeen and is regarded as an important and influential pioneer in the area.
“Another person showed up with a state map that shows the bridge’s name as the North Aberdeen Bridge,” Kovach explained. “Others simply didn’t think the bridge should be renamed for Kurt Cobain. A city council person, whose area includes the bridge, came armed with a petition by 30 people to not rename the bridge.”
He continued, “A vote was taken and all but one city council member voted the proposal down. The lone aye vote was by the member who is on the Park Board, where the proposal originated. Speaking at the meeting, I mentioned that Kurt earned notoriety for a lot of reasons, but none that merited naming a bridge in his honor.”
Kovach was vocal with his own opinion: “To me, it is silly that they felt it necessary to rename the park as (KC) Memorial Landing. I mentioned to one of the council members that “park” had become the second four letter word to be banned from the site.”
Kovach is talking about the fact that the word “park” had to be removed officially because it is not listed as a “Park” on the city maps, and that was going to cause alot of bureaucratic headaches on the books. The first “four-letter-word” removed from the area (soon to be Kurt Cobain Memorial Landing) was the word you might guess. It was engraved in a placque that contained many of Kurt’s quotes, one of them being “Drugs are bad for you, they will….you up.” The word was cut out of the placque.
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