Let's get rid of old, useless phone booths


by By / KING 5 News


Posted on September 16, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 29 at 11:37 AM

Video: Let's get rid of old, useless phone booths

What's a phone booth without a phone? It's usually a nasty, dirty eyesore.

Here's the problem: The people responsible for them are from out of town, so they don't have to see their mess.

Theo Dzielak has been the owner of Couth Buzzard Books, a fixture on Greenwood Avenue in Seattle, for decades. After losing his lease at his old location, Theo found a new place to nest just down the street.

"It was a used book store and we had a tremendous following in the neighborhood. We wanted to stay in the neighborhood and we found a great space," he said.

Crowding Theo's space just a few feet in front of his storefront is an 8-foot-tall piece of garbage - a phone booth without phone.

"There it is in all of its graffiti and dirty glory," said Theo. "It's dirty and it's got moss on it, it's got graffiti. Every morning I'm pulling garbage out of it. It's a garbage receptacle and a graffiti trap."

Theo's tried for weeks to find out how to get rid of the thing.

"I think it's an eyesore and a disrespect to the community, and this is a big blight and no one is taking responsibility for it," he said.

The phone booth in Seattle was owned by US West, which was acquired by Qwest in Denver. Qwest sold the phone booth business to FSH Communications in Chicago.

So I gave them a call. By 10 a.m. in the morning, it was already gone.

It seems FSH Communications really wanted to get this booth off its list, and that got me thinking: What about the useless phone booths all over the city? Maybe we should do something about it.

Do you think we should get rid of these for the rest of the city?

So here's the deal: If you see a phone booth without a phone in it, give me a call. I'll need to know exactly where it is. Let's see if we can clean up our sidewalks.

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