Sorry, Andrew Jackson, Seattle should rename its street named after you

In 1986, Ron Sims, the first black person to be a member of the King County Council, introduced a motion to repair his county’s recognition of history by changing its namesake from an obscure, pre-Civil War United States vice president and slaveholder to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The motion passed, barely, 5-4. With history’s twists as knotted as ever this Presidents’ Day 2017, CHS wonders if another namesake change is in order.

Today, Jackson Street runs from the Central District to the International District and honors the nation’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson:

King Street was named by David Maynard in his 1853 Plat of the Town of Seattle, one of the first three plats laying out the street grid. (The other two plats, north of Maynard’s, were filed by Carson Boren and Arthur Denny). Maynard, a staunch Democrat, named many of the streets in his plat for Democratic leaders, including Andrew Jackson, John B. Weller (Governor of California), and Joseph Lane (Oregon Territory’s Congressional delegate).

As was William Rufus Devane King, Jackson was also a slaveholder. Beyond his battlefield prowess, he is remembered for The Indian Removal Act. His populism and, apparently, temper have also become a historical model for the Trump administration. Continue reading

McDemolition: First Hill fast food franchise set to make way for 700-Big Mac-tall apartment tower

It’s been a long time coming, but the slow path to the development set to replace First Hill’s most well-known fast food restaurant will reach a sad milestone for Big Mac fans in coming weeks.

The City of Seattle has approved the demolition permit for 1122 Madison — the Madison McDonald’s. The plan is for the nearest Capitol Hill-elevation location for the global fast food franchise to be razed in April. “Assuming acquisition of the appropriate permits in a timely manner,” the construction report filed for the address reads, “demolition of the existing structure is expected to begin April, 2017 and continue through April, 2017, at which point shoring wall and excavation will begin.” Continue reading

Police search for suspect in ‘coveralls’ after another Broadway hold-up

A suspect wearing a surgical mask and what was described as blue coveralls threatened that he had a gun and robbed the Broadway Rite Aid Monday morning.

Police were called to the area around the store at Broadway and E Olive Way around 8:20 AM after a report that the suspect had left the store with around $100 in cash and fled southbound on foot.

The suspect was described only as a black male around 6′ tall. He was reportedly wearing a white surgical mask and a blue, full-body mechanic’s suit with a hood, and told the cashier he was armed with a gun.

Police searched the area around Broadway including Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill Station.

The incident follows a string of robberies along this stretch of Broadway including a Valentine’s hold-up of the Chase Bank, and a series of robberies at the same Rite Aid, a restaurant, and the Bank of America in mid-January.

Why you should stop by the new drug drop box on Broadway

It comes nowhere close to the costs of addiction but big drug companies are funding a small program in King County to put “secure medicine return” boxes in locations where it easier for residents to get rid of unwanted pharmaceuticals.

Officials were on hand last week at the Broadway Market QFC to announce the program and show off one of the new drop box locations.

“Working on secure medicine return, I’ve truly seen the community spirit here in King County. These drop boxes are run by volunteers. All of the locations have volunteered to have drop boxes. And the program is supported and operated by drug producers whose medications are sold in King County,” King County Council member Joe McDermott said Thursday morning with the soft rock of the QFC sound system and beeps from the nearby checkouts in the background. “I look forward to the success of this producer supported program.”

A map of medicine return boxes around the county is below. You can also find drop sites at the Country Doctor clinic on 19th Ave E and at the Capitol Hill Group Health campus.

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The Murder of Tyrone Love

Margarita Quevedo-Walker and Tyrone Love

Margarita Quevedo-Walker and Tyrone Love

By Sakara Remmu/Special to CHS

Since 2007, Sakara Remmu has been a reporter and commentator covering social and political issues for KBCS Radio, The Seattle Times, and a number of regional and national news print and online outlets. She is the Founder and Managing Editor of BOMBCo; Black Owned Media Broadcasting Company, and Executive Producer of the podcast series Under the Redline, currently featuring the story of the Killing of Tyrone Love.

Innocent
In the late 2000s, shootings and murders — particularly of young black men — seemed almost common on the streets of Seattle. The Central District murder of Tyrone Love was different.

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(Image: CHS/Source: data.seattle.gov)

When the Seattle Police Department confirmed the identity of the man gunned down near 27th and Cherry February 15th, 2009 it was unlike anything most had seen or felt before. A city, across neighborhoods, race, religion, class and age, collectively knocked down, and stunned into disbelief, despair, and anger.

The bullets that killed Love hit his family, friends, his neighborhood, and the city at large. The funeral was standing room only. It was one of the few times the mayor himself, and not a delegate, attended the funeral of a homicide victim, specifically a black man. The mainstream media, quick to report such incidents as gang-related violence, initially did the same with Love’s murder, casting him an unsympathetic victim, blaming assumed yet inaccurate self-created circumstances. As far as the media was concerned, if Love was murdered because of gang affiliation, then in a way he was responsible for his own death; it’s a narrative we see time and time again.

Love was none of the things Seattle typically associates with shootings and murders of black men. He wasn’t a gang member or criminal. He didn’t have a criminal record. At 26, he was part founder and owner of a successful business with friends and business partners Jamar Jones and Bruce Williams. He was the provider for his family, including his mother, sisters, and girlfriend. Love had a seemingly stellar reputation in Seattle, with no known enemies. The night he was murdered, he was doing what he did countless times, going home from work. There was no particular incident leading up to the murder that provide clues about motive, or suspects; he didn’t argue with anyone and was thought to be alone as he walked. He was simply gunned down on the sidewalk, just blocks from his home.

His girlfriend, Margarita Quevedo-Walker, dropped Love off at work the night he was murdered. She was also the one who realized, hours later, that something was wrong. Love had not come home. In an interview with me in 2009, she recalled waking up around 4:30 in the morning and realizing his side of the bed was empty. She sent out texts to those closest to him, who sent out texts to their networks. No one knew where Love was. By 9:00 AM, the unimaginable was at the front door. Continue reading

Sawant leads protest against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Kshama Sawant has turned her power to raise a crowd and bring activists into the streets of Seattle onto a new target: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — I.C.E.

“The movement’s demands are clear: Free Daniel! No Ban! No Wall! No Raids! Not One More Deportation! Free those in detention! Shut down the private prisons used by ICE, including the Northwest Detention Center! Full Civil Rights and Legalization for All!,” Sawant said in a statement released before a Friday protest and march organized by the City Council member and District 3 representative for Capitol Hill and the Central District.

The protest drew around 200 people to the downtown federal courthouse where hearings have been underway in the case of 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina, a participant in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program whose detention by I.C.E. has drawn widespread criticism and concern. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Time for pizza

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 34,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line.

I can see myself in a Maserati
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We don’t know what’s next for the Volunteer Park stump tree…

But we like it. We’ve asked Seattle Parks about the cutback tree that has become a “natural” play structure near the Volunteer Park amphitheater but we’re pretty sure they have something better to deal with on a Friday than the latest CHS goose chase. All we know is the tree was clipped weeks ago and we assumed it would be fully removed. It’s still there. We’ll update when we hear more about the park’s strange (and fun) new feature. In the meantime, along with the jade vine and the last few days before a long closure for the Seattle Asian Art Museum, you have a few reasons to gather up a few friends and visit Volunteer Park this weekend.

UPDATE: Yay for Seattle Parks. Here’s what they told us about the tree — and its future:

This is a large cedar tree that was damaged and blown over as part of the snow we recently experienced. Crews will likely leave some of the tree in place, but will probably need to cut some of the tree further back to make it safe for the long term.

Fur-ther? Nice one, Parks.

Olive Tree bringing Mediterranean flavors — and ‘amazing vision’ — to 15th Ave E

1294585_169476753243091_555668481_oSince 2009, Zana Abdulaziz and his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar have been serving up Mediterranean cuisine in Kent. Soon they’ll be feeding kebabs, gyros, and hummus, and falafels to hungry Seattleites on 15th Ave E.

For a while now Abdulaziz and Rebwar have been wanting to open a second Olive Tree location — on Capitol Hill in particular.

“I like how there’s a lot of restaurants here. I really, really like the vibe,” Abdulaziz said.

They chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood and they hope to find staff members that are oriented that way and will be like family at Olive Tree. They hope to the new restaurant — their second location — open in March.

“We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz said. “We have an amazing vision of what we’re trying to do. If Olive Tree is to take off, Capitol Hill is the place to make it happen.” Continue reading