CHS Pics | Why are you topless in Cal Anderson?

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

With reporting by Alex Garland
Last Sunday, Seattle’s major media salivated over coverage of Go Topless Day events in other cities around the country — and the world — but skipped over a small gathering right here on Capitol Hill.

Getting partially nude in the middle of Cal Anderson to show “women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public” (and with the blessings of “spiritual leader” Rael), a few women and their male supporters exercised their freedom in the summer sun Sunday.

“If I should cover up, make everyone cover up. Gender equality is very important,” Kaleena Anderson told CHS. She made the trip from Bremerton for the event. While breastfeeding at a salon, Anderson said she had someone cover her and her baby physically with a salon drape. “It’s your issue not mine,” she said.

“There’s worse things in the world to focus on than who’s showing their nips,” Kayla Goullaud told CHS.

The organizer of Sunday’s event who identified himself as Joe M — in the Hard Rock t-shirt, above, told CHS the group decided to move the event to “a more friendly location” and chose Cal Anderson after being hassled by police last year in Westlake Park.

 

 

Cal Anderson hosts ‘Go Topless Day in Seattle’

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 4.34.32 PMAn event seeking to demonstrate “that women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public” is planned for Cal Anderson Sunday as part of a national Go Topless Day:

We are a U.S.-based organization founded in 2007 by spiritual leader Rael and we claim that women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public.

“As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests” Rael, founder of GoTopless.org and spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement (rael.org)

FREE YOUR BREASTS! FREE YOUR MIND!

The Seattle event is planned to run from noon to 3 PM near the fountain in Cal Anderson Park. Skies are predicted to be mostly sunny with highs in the 80s so make sure to put on the sunscreen if not your top.

The Seattle Municipal Code doesn’t mention the word “nudity” or variants and nothing apparently in the code prohibits it but watch out if Washington State Patrol troopers or the feds show up.

You can learn more at gotopless.org.

If that’s not your speed, how about The Second Ever 22nd Ave Play Street Great Zucchini Races!11873406_10154126712758696_5806860549404925114_n

Cancer fighters will Relay For Life at Cal Anderson Park Saturday

Relay For Life Capitol Hill 2014 with the Nintendo-sponsored inflatable colon (Image: Relay For Life)

Relay For Life Capitol Hill 2014 with the Nintendo-sponsored inflatable colon (Image: Relay For Life Facebook page)

cv_69_4119447635190819508For 30 years, the American Cancer Society has been holding Relay For Life events nationwide to celebrate cancer survivors and raise money towards finding a cure. At least 300 people, including 20 cancer survivors, are expected to gather Saturday at Cal Anderson Park for another Capitol Hill version of the event.

Teams participate by raising funds and then walking or running around a designated path for 12-24 hours. The Cal Anderson Park relay will go from 10 AM – 10 PM. You can sign up a team here, but you’ll have to come up with a name to rival Pimpalicious Cancer Fighters.

So far, participants have raised over $30,000. The event will include a candlelight ceremony, as well as food trucks and a station for hair donation.

“The Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all,” said Curtis Thomas, Relay For Life community manager. “This is our community’s opportunity to fight back against cancer, and create awareness of prevention and early detection in the Capitol Hill community.

To sign up and get more information, visit caphillrelay.com

Gunfire may be up but robbery is down on Capitol Hill, according to SPD stats

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While the gunplay on the streets of the East Precinct has apparently become a large enough issue to justify ATF surveillance cams in the Central District, Seattle Police appear to have another summer crime initiative more firmly in hand.

Reports of robberies and pickpockets on Capitol Hill are down 34% through July compared to the same period last year.

SPD’s federal boost, by the way, is probably also at play here. In April, newly returned to the East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh and city officials briefed a group of Pike/Pine business representatives on plans for renewed emphasis patrols in the area as concerns of a return of summer street violence was flaring up. A representative from the mayor’s office told the group about a new “drug market initiative” effort set for a downtown emphasis area and said the area around Cal Anderson was planned as one of the next area’s for SPD to tackle after it makes progress at 3rd and Pine. Five years ago, we were reporting on the so-called “open air DMI” emphasis at 23rd and Union in the Central District. The Seattle Times reported on the start of the emphasis push in downtown in late April. Continue reading

What the Float ‘floating dance party’ hits Capitol Hill

(Image: What the Float)

(Image: What the Float)

Capitol Hill Block Party has come and gone but an event planned for the streets of Capitol Hill Friday night will give you another excuse to boogie down on E Pike.

The What the Float “floating dance party” is bringing its NYC-born concept to Pike/Pine.

“It’s all about the music and the landscape,” Wesley Fruge of Forward Flux Productions tells CHS. “A lot of thought went into the route.” Continue reading

Seattle Fire stops overdose in Cal Anderson from joining awful King County heroin trend

Monday night last week in the late evening sun in Cal Anderson, Seattle Fire medics arrived near the playground where bystanders were trying to save the life of a 24-year-old female suffering a drug overdose. Unconscious and not breathing, the woman was brought out of the OD with an injection of naloxone.

Far from a miracle, the overdose fortunately won’t be added to the disturbing trend of spiking heroin deaths:

Death from opiates in King County in 2014:

  • Heroin-involved deaths totaled 156, a 58% increase from 99 in 2013.

  • Heroin deaths involving no other drugs are most common among young adults.

  • Prescription-type opiate-involved deaths have decreased from a peak of 164 in 2009 to 98 in 2014.

In the study from the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, heroin deaths were up across all age groups. As in past UW studies, researches say a mix of heroin with other drugs is often part of the overdose — but 2014 totals reveal a new recipe. “Historically, many heroin deaths have involved cocaine, and this continues to be the case,” a report on the study notes. “However, over the past three years, many more deaths have involved heroin and methamphetamine.”

Heroin’s high, however, is at the core of the region’s addiction problems. “The number of treatment admissions with heroin as the primary drug doubled from 2010-2014 and are higher than any drug since at least 1999,” according to the study.

While it doesn’t address addiction, access to naloxone improved earlier this year with the passage of a new law allowing pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to first responders, homeless shelters, and family members and permit them to administer it across the state. The antidote can’t, of course, save everybody. In April, one man died in an overdose in Cal Anderson while two others were taken to the hospital.

Heroin is also taking its toll on the homeless and mentally ill population in the county:

  • Among those admitted to drug treatment, approximately one-third were determined to have serious mental health issues.

  • Among people who died of drug-overdose, approximately 20% had an antidepressant detected in their body — indicating that the decedent had a serious mental health condition and that they had seen a healthcare provider in the recent past.

  • Mental health and substance abuse commonly overlap and exacerbate one another.

You can read more about the 2014 edition of the study here.

 

CHS Crow | Non-Block Party edition — Jacob, Chris, and Maggie

Not everyone who traveled to Capitol Hill this weekend came for Block Party. Some came to get their sport on. CHS Crow stopped by Cal Anderson Park and a met skateboarder, a bocce ball champ, and a hooper all out doing their thing within earshot of the music festival, and learned a bit about their respective scenes and routines in the process.

  Jacob

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What brought you out tonight?
I was going to go to Block Party, but then, I brought my skateboard and I figured it probably wouldn’t be too cool to be bashing my way through the crowds with a board so I just came out here to skate at Cal Anderson.

So you paid for a ticket but bailed?
I actually got a free ticket through the local skateshop.

 … did you see anybody play today?
No, I’m terrible. I didn’t even look at the lineup. I saw a couple of DJ’s playing on the stage, I wasn’t even sure who they were.

What kind of work do you do?
I deliver pizzas for Pagliacci Pizza.

DSCF1357aDo you skate a lot around the Hill?
All the time, yeah. The other day we over at Jefferson Park, because there was a Fallen footwear demo, with Jamie Thomas. He’s an old skater, 40 years old, still shredding. So yeah we’re always out here on the Hill. Continue reading

District 3 candidates differ on ways to reduce homelessness

When asked about the most important issues facing Council District 3, CHS readers have twice put homelessness near the top the list. Focus on the issue is well deserved: There has been a 21% increase in King County’s reported homeless population this year. The number of people camping along I-5 is also believed to be on the rise.

One comment in response to the CHS Council District 3 candidate forum earlier this month drew considerable attention for laying out solutions for addressing homelessness, specifically in Cal Anderson Park. But as many who work day-to-day on the issue will say, simple answers are few and far between.

“Causes for rise in homelessness in Seattle and in the nation at large are complicated and difficult to pinpoint,” said Katherine Jolly, spokesperson for the city’s Human Services Department. “In Seattle, the cost of housing has not kept pace with wages, this combined the with effects of the dismantling of mental health and substance abuse systems over the past 30 years contribute to the increases in homelessness. Any solution to the homelessness crisis in Seattle must take these issues into account.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Bobby Morris weekend sports report

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For the second year, organizers of two of the sportiest LGBTQ fundraisers of the summer put their events in the middle of the action around Capitol Hill Block Party over the weekend.

And a good time was had by all.

Saturday, the annual Jockstraps and Glitter kickball game played out on Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson to raise funds for the Seattle Quake rugby club and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Abbey of St. Joan.

Sunday, dignitaries were on hand for first pitch in the annual battle of Dykes vs. Drag Queens in the Seattle Bat ‘n’ Rouge softball game benefitting SASG. CHS reported earlier this summer on SASG’s capital campaign to fund a move from their longtime home at 17th and Thomas.You can learn more and give at sasgcc.org.

View of the Field, Bat n' Rouge 2015 (1)Team Drag Queen (4)

Only two of Seattle’s 85 pot tickets handed out in East Precinct

Seattle Police issued 85 tickets for public marijuana use in the second half of 2014 — but only two in the East Precinct including Capitol Hill and the Central District. Meanwhile, males and blacks were disproportionately cited for public pot violations.

The statistics were discussed in a Monday morning City Council briefing with Chief Kathleen O’Toole as the department continues to study the public safety impact from I-502’s legalization of retail marijuana. The trends match the first half of 2014 when it was revealed that one downtown bicycle officer had written nearly 80% of Seattle’s pot citations.

The numbers area also important for advocates seeking to create new venues for people to consume marijuana. CHS has reported on the renter’s paradox under I-502 in which apartment dwellers may have nowhere to go to smoke pot due to lease restrictions.

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Of the 85 tickets issued from July through December 2014, only two were handed out in the East Precinct — 94% of Seattle’s citations were handed out downtown.

The citation totals do not, however, include SPD traffic stops and contacts for suspected marijuana use. An SPD dispatch dataset shows five different marijuana related incidents handled in the East Precinct in the past week, each of them in the Pike/Pine core or near Cal Anderson, three initiated by a “suspicious stop” by the officer. None of the five, by the way, resulted in a citation.

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Here are the other breakdowns for the 2014 dataset including the racial component showing 27% of citations were issued to African Americans.

The dataset also reveals one additional aspect of enforcing public marijuana consumption laws — only 9.4% of the 2014 tickets have been paid.

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