Africatown calls for Central District to ‘rewrite the script’ for future


Africatown CEO K. Wyking Garrett (Image: CHS)

Black Central District residents and business owners concerned about the gentrification of their neighborhood gathered on Monday to learn what the organization Africatown is doing to preserve and develop the historically black community.

Africatown CEO K. Wyking Garrett told the group he didn’t see himself in Seattle’s draft 2035 comprehensive plan, so the community needs to take action to make sure black people have a future in the city.

“We need to rewrite the script,” Garrett said.

Part of rewriting that script is for the community to take ownership of different construction and development projects in the Central District. Continue reading

Black Seattle 2035: How to get involved with the Liberty Bank Building

14520369_1217202578337650_3173024166505919646_nAt 24th and Union, the project to create the Liberty Bank Building is hoped to become a template for inclusive development in Seattle with a respect for history and the empowerment of the African American community. Monday night, you can learn more about the project and other developments being planned in the Central District:

Black Seattle 2035 – Imagine Africatown Update
Monday, October 17, 6 PM – 8 PM
Washington Hall 153 14th Ave, Seattle
Learn what’s happening with development projects to preserve and develop the Black community in the CD including and find out how you can plug in. Current project updates for:
*LIberty Bank Building*
*Firestation 6*
*Midtown Center*
*YK Building*

– Opportunities for Black Contractors and Workers
– Opportunities for Artists
– Sign up for Housing Opportunities in New Developments
– Commercial Space & Business Development Opportunities
– Assistance with Saving and Developing Properties in CD


With big winds expected Saturday, wet Friday knocks down trees, knocks out power around Hill, in CD

This is just the calm before the storm. City of Seattle work crews, Seattle Police, and Seattle Fire have a busy Friday ahead as a series of three storms slams into Western Washington with predictions of a significant windstorm to finish it all off Saturday night.

Friday around 11:30 AM, power went out around 23rd and Union after a series of explosions and transformer fire near 21st and Marion. Seattle Fire responded to a report of a utility pole on fire and down wires sparking at the scene.

Friday morning's outage

Friday morning’s outage

Earlier, overnight soaking rains and wind guys to 30 MPH knocked down branches and damaged trees across Capitol Hill but there were few significant incidents and no widespread power outages. One old tree near the new patio of Ernest Loves Agnes toppled onto E Mercer just off 19th Ave E and blocked traffic until crews removed it Friday morning.

Power was reported out for more than 3,000 customers across the Central District with nearly 20,000 out across Seattle at one point just before noon. UPDATE: A big portion of the outage was taken care of by early afternoon, according to City Light.

Seattle Central was evacuated at one point after fire alarms were triggered by a surge during the electrical issues in the area. The Garfield Community Center was also closed due to power loss at one point in the day.

National Weather Service forecasts call for the drenching to continue and winds to peak above 30 MPH Saturday night. Officials are recommend people put together simple “survival packs” including food and water in the event of widespread damage. It is also recommended that you avoid areas with large trees during the worst of the storm including driving through tree-lined areas.

Black ownership, Black identity, Black residents: Liberty Bank Building’s one-of-a-kind ‘memorandum of understanding’

Inside the old Liberty Bank (Image: Africatown)

Inside the old Liberty Bank (Image: Africatown)

The affordable housing development known as the Liberty Bank Building is set to begin construction early next year with a goal of opening by summer of 2018. With an agreement announced this week between the project’s nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing and a group of Central District community organizations, advocates hope the development’s framework of respect for history and empowerment of the African American community will spread across the street from the site where the region’s first Black-owned bank once stood and well beyond 23rd and Union.

“This is just the first project that embodies the vision and values of Africatown and inclusive development,” Wyking Garrett tells CHS about the memorandum of understanding announced this week by his organization, Capitol Hill Housing, The Black Community Impact Alliance, and Centerstone.

The memorandum lays out eight agreements between the organizations including what could amount to a massive milestone in strengthening the black community around 23rd and Union — ownership of the building. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Squirrel Chops adds another layer to E Union coffee scene

Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss (Images: CHS)

Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss (Images: CHS)

Change can begin with a good haircut. A good cup of coffee can also help. You can now get both at the latest cafe to open along E Union, Squirrel Chops.

CHS spoke with owners Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss about their plans for the hybrid cafe+salon earlier this year just as construction was getting underway on their space at 22nd and Union inside The Central building, the first of what will be a wave of four-story-plus apartment buildings set to rise around 23rd and Union. Squirrel Chops debuted Sunday after they typical “longer than expected” buildout. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Sawant, McGinn talk activism at Peloton Cafe and Bike Shop

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant and former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn spoke to a captivated audience at a packed Peloton Cafe and Bike Shop Friday evening about activism.

“What matters is where you stand at the end of the day,” Sawant said about her efforts on the Seattle City Council. Continue reading

Openings: Wanderfish poke, Dueminuti on Broadway, Squirrel Chops in the CD

This is a good week for knocking off the roster entries on our list of food and drink openings still to come on and around Capitol Hill in 2016. Monday started with the first look inside the new Harry’s Fine Foods at Bellevue and Mercer. The week ends with a handful of other new joints to check out.

  • Squirrel Chops: The Central District salon + cafe concept in 23rd and Union’s new The Central building will celebrate its grand opening Sunday with coffee samples and snacks. CHS stopped by the corner Squirrel Chops calls home at 22nd and Union before summer started to talk with Shirley Henderson, a barista who runs the cafe side of the business, and hair master Sharon Blyth-Moss who runs the two-chair salon side of things. “We’re all about community and building community, and I thought why don’t we just do a place that does that. We wanted to start making that our business instead of our hobbies and pastime,” Henderson told us this spring. Squirrel Chops neighbors electric bike concern and 20/20 Cycle sibling Electric Lady. The building will also eventually be home to a new restaurant project on 23rd Ave. More on that… soon! Continue reading

Firefighters struggle to control ‘fully involved’ 19th Ave house fire

Firefighters battled a “fully involved” house fire on 19th Ave just south of E Union overnight. One occupant was treated at the scene for minor burns.

Seattle Fire arrived in the 1100 block of 19th Ave to find the one and a half story, single family home engulfed in flames with smoke visible for blocks around.

The blaze was reported knocked down quickly but the fire picked up again and the fight to completely extinguish the flames lasted into the early morning as SFD used “defensive” tactics to keep the fire from spreading to nearby structures. After it was finally brought under control. fire crews remained on the scene through the night to watch for additional flare-ups.

The 1904-built home suffered heavy damage. KIRO reports one occupant suffered minor burns attempting to enter the burning home to rescue a pet.

Seattle Fire is investigating. UPDATE 10/10/2016: SFD reports that investigators have not yet determined a cause of the fire that did an estimated $410,000 in damage.

Police search area after one shot at 23rd and Union

(Image: @drewgillett via Twitter)

(Image: @drewgillett via Twitter)

Police were searching for a suspect who fled the scene on foot Thursday night after a male victim was shot near 23rd and Union.

911 callers reports gunfire near MidTown Center just before 7 PM. Police arrived to find a male victim down inside a business in the shopping center.

The man in his 30s late 20s was initially reported to have been shot in the leg. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Seattle Fire.

Police were searching for a suspect described only as a black male with possible braids and wearing a red sweatsuit seen fleeing the area eastbound on Union.

UPDATE 10/7/16 12:35 PM: Police say Thursday night’s shooting stemmed from a dispute between to men outside Earl’s Cuts and Styles:

Detectives Investigating After Man Shot Following Argument
Gang Unit detectives are investigating after a man was shot overnight following an argument outside a Central District business. Continue reading

Friends raising funds to help after minivan crash destroys 23rd Ave apartment

Imagine coming home to your apartment looking like a minivan crashed into it… because a minivan did. Central District resident Stephen Nocentelli arrived at the 23rd Ave building he calls home to find news crews and a scene of vehicular carnage after getting a call from police following last Wednesday night’s crash. The driver and the occupant of the ill-fated Dodge fled the scene. Continue reading

Tai Chi for Seniors

Wise Orchid Tai Chi & Qigong Tai Chi for Seniors

Beginning Monday, October 3rd, Wise Orchid Taijiquan & Qigong will be offering a new class, Tai Chi for Seniors.

In this class we will work fundamentals and a short form to bring better health and vitality, improve structure and strength, reduce blood pressure and stress. Each class will begin with a longevity joint lubrication qigong, followed by form practice and fundamentals. This class is open to beginners and those with some experience interested in starting or returning to their practice.

Mondays, 10:15am – 11:15am, October 3rd through December 5th
at Wise Orchid Taijiquan & Qigong, 2002 E. Union St., Seattle, WA 98144
Cost $120, or $15 drop-in per class

Follow this link for registration and information.