Panel: Ending youth detention starts with making new 12th/Alder facility adaptable to other uses


Conceptual sketch of the approved Children and Family Justice Center.

Controversial plans to replace the crumbling youth jail at 12th and Alder may be moving forward, but officials are already anticipating the day when it won’t be used for youth detention at all.

In a report reviewed by City Council members Monday, members of an expert panel said the best way to stem racial disparities in the new King County Children and Family Justice Center would be to work towards ending the practice of youth detention altogether. That means building a new facility that could one day serve other uses.

“In its place, government should focus on community-run and neighborhood-based alternatives for youth that are adequately resourced to address youth needs …” the report read. Continue reading

‘One of the last remaining large developable sites’ in Seattle hits market at 23rd and Union

Developments planned and in motion around 23rd and Union (Images: Kidder Mathews)

Developments planned and in motion around 23rd and Union (Images: Kidder Mathews)

You’ll have to call to find out an asking price, but 23rd and Union’s hallmark property is officially for sale. Last week, realtors for longtime MidTown Center owner Tom Bangasser released some slick marketing materials with sweeping aerial photos solely dedicated to selling the property.

“We have unprecedented interest around the world on this site,” said Jason Rosauer, partner at realtor Kidder Mathews. “I anticipate it will be a record setting price.”

(Image: Kidder Mathews)

(Image: Kidder Mathews)

The 106,000 square-foot MidTown property currently includes a downsized U.S. Post Office, a handful of small businesses, a liquor store, and Smash Putt (until July 31st, anyway). The materials call MidTown “one of the last remaining large developable sites” for sale in Seattle and make a big pitch for the block’s potential given its central location in the city:

For the first time in over 70 years, the MidTown Center property, one of the last remaining large developable sites in Seattle, WA, is on the market for sale. This offering includes more than two acres of flat land on a full city block in the center of Seattle.

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One victim shot in chest in Central District shootings

Seattle Fire responding to victim with gunshot wound left outside Swedish Cherry Hill (Images: Alex Garland)

Seattle Fire responding to victim with gunshot wound left outside Swedish Cherry Hill (Images: Alex Garland)

With reporting by Alex Garland

A male victim with a gunshot wound to the chest was left in the parking lot of the Swedish Cherry Hill hospital following a night of gunfire around 23rd Ave.

All details on Thursday night’s shooting incidents in the Central District are preliminary. SPD has confirmed that one male has been shot and that police are investigating. UPDATE: SPD says the victim is a 31-year-old man. Continue reading

Electric Lady revs up plans for bike shop to serve next generation of ‘city trekkers’ at 23rd and Union

ElectricLadyFINAL2bigAlex Kostelnik says you should think of his plans for two bike shops around 23rd and Union like an old school Sears — but with a bike lane, not an escalator.

“Think of it like a department store,” Kostelnik tells CHS. “Only you go down the street to get to another department.”

This winter, Kostelnik will open Electric Lady, a new store inside the currently under construction development on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union. Where his 20/20 Cycle tops out with used bikes around $400 to $600, Electric Lady is set to address a riding market that Kostelnik believes is finally ready for business in Seattle.

The Central with 92 apartment units and 4,500 square feet of commercial space is set to complete construction at 23rd and Union before the end of the year

The Central with 92 apartment units and 4,500 square feet of commercial space is set to complete construction at 23rd and Union before the end of the year

“99% of my biking has been spent commuting by bike,” Kostelnik said. “I’m 47 and never owned a car.” Plus, Kostelnik is a new father — so he has a growing interest in the cargo end of a cargo bike.

Electric Lady*, inspired by and named in the glow of amazement Kostelnik felt as his wife gave birth to his first child 10 months ago, will feature electric cargo bikes, a full line of new bikes, kits, gear including handmade bike bags and panniers, “and the best touring rack selection in Seattle.” The Lady will also sell Kostelnik’s handmade Kalakala bikes and he’s working on which folding bike and single-rider electric bike brands to feature. The new bike section is set. Italian classic Bianchi, the oldest bike manufacturer in the world, will house its line inside the coming Central District store. *Kostelnik is also a recording engineer so the name is also inspired by Electric Lady Studios, of course, the legendary Greenwich Village studio constructed for Jimi Hendrix.

The star attraction will be the cargo “city trekking” bikes designed to carry commuters, and families, and dogs, and cats, and Christmas trees, and sometimes more than a 100 pounds of stuff plus a rider. On Saturday, you can check one out at a pop-up event at 20/20 Cycle featuring the new Xtracycle Edgerunner. Continue reading

No Walmart, but developer plans to split Red Apple Market property at 23rd and Jackson

A vision of a pedestrianized 23rd and Jackson

A vision of a redeveloped, “pedestrian zone”-friendly 23rd and Jackson

Long-expected redevelopment plans around 23rd and Jackson appear to be getting underway as the area’s biggest landowner has applied to break up one of the corner’s two major properties.

Weingarten Realty is seeking to subdivide its Red Apple Market property into three parcels, though the existing supermarket building is slated to remain standing, according to city permit records. The subdivision will allow the property owner greater flexibility to secure retailers, a Weingarten spokesperson told CHS.

“We believe this subdivision will help us preserve and enhance long term value for the property as we continue to weigh the different options to eventually remodel or redevelop the property.” said Weingarten’s Carrie Murray.

Subdividing the plot comes as welcome news to groups like the Central Area Land Use Committee, which have been advocating for smaller-scale development around 23rd and Jackson. Continue reading

Police search for Lyft driver accused of demanding sex for lost phone

Police are looking for the Lyft driver identified as  Kevin Jun Chau (Image: SPD)

Police are looking for the Lyft driver identified as Kevin Jun Chau (Image: SPD)

Detectives are searching for the man identified as the suspect in the Saturday, May 30th incident in which a woman was dragged by a Lyft ride share car after she said the driver attempted to extort sex from her and would not return her phone.

Kevin Jun Chau, 38, has been charged with second degree robbery. The Pioneer Square resident is wanted on a $100,000 warrant.

King County prosecutors say Chau committed the crime “with sexual motivation.” “The defendant abused the victim’s trust as a car service driver by not only withholding her property but insisting on sexual services and later assaulting her,” they write.

Continue reading

Throw your own $1K Capitol Hill block party

Why let these guys have all the fun! You should throw a block party — like the ones pictured here from around the Hill in 2014. And you should consider using the city’s Small Sparks Fund to help pay for it so you can invite everybody:

If your neighborhood needs funding to participate in the 31st Annual Night Out on August 4, the Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to apply now to its Small Sparks Fund because the deadline is Monday, June 22 at 5:00 p.m.

The Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement. Community groups can request up to $1000 to help fund Night Out planning efforts and activities such as outreach efforts, educational fairs, bike parades, and neighborhood cleanups, to name a few. Even though the deadline for applications is June 22, you’ll need to register first in our web-based application system by June 19.

You can learn more about the fund here.

Meanwhile, if you live in the Central District, you can also get help turning your street into a play street:11400997_10206947173856502_6145360084459798473_n

We could not be more excited to get TWENTY FOUR of these Play Street boxes out in the Central District this summer as part of SDOT’s “Play Street Program”.

Get your FREE box of great outdoor equipment by following these easy steps:

1. Live and host a play street in the CD, which we are defining as north of I-90, (but including that little wedge of Colman Triangle), south of Madison, East of 12th or Rainier, West of 30th.

2. Apply for SDOT Play Street Program.

3. Take approved SDOT permit for your play street to Centerstone at 18th/Cherry.

4. Get FREE PLAY STREET BOX! for a whole bunch of fun and games on your CD street!

Can’t host a play street in the CD but know someone who might? Please share! Questions? Drop us an email: Thanks to Swedish for lending us a hand to make this possible.


Upbeat on Jackson

Upbeat on Jackson continues its captivating concert series this month with the sounds of African drumming. Join us on Sunday, June 21st at 7pm for Thione Diop & Yeke Yeke. They will perform at the Low Income Housing Institute’s Ernestine Anderson Place at 2010 S. Jackson Street in Seattle.

Thione Diop is a percussionist from Senegal, West Africa, is widely recognized for his powerfully expressive Djembe performances. He is descended from an ancestral line of Griot drummers in Senegal, West Africa, and is a master of the djembe, sabar, tama, and djun djun.

In 1998, Thione moved to Seattle to teach and perform; a year later he formed Yeke Yeke, a percussion ensemble that has performed the traditional rhythms of West Africa to delighted audiences for the last ten years.

This concert is a celebration of, and recognition of, the importance of African Music to US culture. African rhythms form the foundation of nearly all popular music in the world. African traditions of integrating rhythm, song, dance and improvisation are key to many forms of American music and world music today. As a proud part of the Central District community, and rich history of great African-American music that has come from the Central District, Ernestine Anderson Place honors African music roots with this special performance by great West African rhythm masters, Thione Diop and Yeke Yeke.
Please join us for this upbeat and energetic performance on June 21st at 7pm (doors at 6:30). The show is free and open to the public.

Officials investigate reports of groping, drinking on Garfield High School student trip to New Orleans

Seattle Public Schools officials are dealing with the fallout from allegations of improper conduct on another Garfield High School student trip. One teacher at the school has been placed on paid leave as the district investigates the allegations, according to a statement from SPD sent Wednesday morning.

The district announcement said “Seattle School Board policies, procedures, and protocols were violated” on a Garfield student field trip to New Orleans in March:

During this field trip a male student is alleged to have groped two female students at night in a New Orleans hotel room and on a bus, students observed their teacher and chaperones drinking alcohol, a teacher and chaperones drank alcohol at night on other occasions, a chaperone was visibly incapacitated and had to be helped back to their hotel room one night, and a chaperone was alleged to have engaged in inappropriate contact with a student while under the influence of alcohol.

A group of Garfield students announced they are staging a walkout to protest what they say is a termination recommendation for a music teacher at the school. “The District is sacrificing the well being and education of its students, and attempting to rob Garfield of yet another teacher in one year,” a statement from the students on the walkout reads.

Earlier this school year, SPS backed down from a plan to cut a Garfield teacher as part of an annual budgeting process after protest from students and staff at the 23rd Ave school that serves thousands of students in the neighborhoods around the Central District and Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, the school has been embroiled in a series of controversies related to student trips. The most serious case involved the investigation of a sexual assault during a school trip on the Olympic Peninsula in 2012.

UPDATE 6/15/15: The Friends of the Garfield Singers parent booster group has released a statement on the situation and letters of support for teacher Carol Burton. Here’s a portion of the statement:

The District issued a press release on Tuesday, June 10th, containing summary allegations about the events surrounding the suspension and potential termination of Ms. Burton, but provided few specific facts. The District’s statements caused many inaccurate news reports, based on speculation rather than facts. With information known to parents and students involved with the choir program and the New Orleans field trip, we want to provide some important background and key facts that the District has neglected to disclose to the public.

“This student group traveled to New York and performed at Carnegie Hall last year, and has had one or more overnight trips for many years,” the statement reads. “There has never been a reported incident of sexual misconduct in the 14 years of Ms. Burton’s program, managing thousands of students, until the report on the last day of this year’s field trip.”

The group’s statement refutes many of the allegations made by the district and provides additional details that the group said the district left out of its account of the activities. The parent group also says that the allegations of inappropriate sexual activity by a chaperone were leveled by the same student who had been accused on inappropriate sexual activity in a separate incident. The group writes “we are confident the District’s investigation will find no credibility to the allegation, and are shocked that the District published it.”

The full document is here (PDF).


Mixed-use project planned for another block of E Union as auto repair shop is shuttered

(Images: CH)S

(Images: CH)S

The redevelopment of E Union continues and the change means a neighborhood auto repair shop is going out of business.

Lopez Auto Repair closed last week. Owner Daniel Lopez has owned the auto shop for almost six years, he said, and spent the week cleaning out his business. He declined to discuss specifics citing legal issues but noted the body shop was not relocating.

“I’m going out of business,” he told CHS.

Lopez said he had agreed to hand the keys over June 4. On the morning of June 3, he was scrambling to move equipment out of the building on the site and find a tow truck to move vehicles.

The property at the corner of 21st Ave E and E Union adjacent to Chuck’s Hop Shop was sold for $1.05 million in November to Mount Baker, LLC. State business records list the company “lessors of residential buildings and dwellings.” The company is owned by Ian Eisenberg as the owner of Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop continues to invest in real estate in the area around 23rd and Union. Uncle Ike’s is a CHS advertiser.

Eisenberg said he bought the property with an eye toward redevelopment. Continue reading