50 years ago, the Seattle Freeway Revolt kept the Central District from being ripped apart

Seattle ARCH (Activists Remembered, Celebrated, and Honored) has plans for a “Ramps to Nowhere” memorial (Image: Seattle ARCH)

(Image: Seattle ARCH)

Priscilla Arsove remembers sitting in her family’s living room as her father called hundreds of volunteers and city officials throughout the evening on their house’s single landline telephone to stop freeway projects that he saw as troubling throughout Seattle. Now, she’s working to maintain that legacy as the work of her father and hundreds of others celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

On Sunday September 23, a 50th anniversary celebration of their work will be held at the Central Area Senior Center.

Maynard Arsove was pushed to action by the construction of I-5 which effectively separated Capitol Hill and First Hill from downtown.

The “Freeway Revolt” began in 1960 when voters approved the Bay Freeway, which was set to be a link between I-5 and Seattle Center, and bonds to fund the R.H. Thomson Expressway, a 15-mile roadway that would have stretched from Duwamish to Bothell, thus setting in motion the creation of a transportation system that would have a greater freeway density than Los Angeles.

The R.H. Thomson Expressway would have destroyed up to 3,000 homes and displaced as many as 8,000 people. The Bay Freeway would have walled off South Lake Union from the rest of the city. These possibilities fostered a public outcry that resulted in a public outcry from affected residents which saw the citizens suing the city two years later. Widely-attended public hearings on the future of transportation in Seattle ensued before Citizens Against the RH Thomson (CARHT) and Citizens Against Freeways (CAF) formed in 1968.

“An arrogant disregard for the needs and the interests of the people that lived in the area,” Anna Rudd, a former anti-freeway activist, said of the city’s plan. Continue reading

‘Person of interest’ in Central District shootings reported arrested

As activists criticize Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle Police Department’s decision to patrol the Central District with SWAT and K9 units in response to last week’s homicide and a wave of gun violence, the increased police presence may already be downshifted.

CHS reported Monday on the deployment SWAT officers on the streets of the Central District and outreach to civilian representatives SPD calls “violence interrupters” after the murder of 25th Ave S resident Marshall Bennett.

In a message to residents of the neighborhoods near the 25th Ave S homicide, SPD Lt. Paul Leung said Wednesday it is too early to know if SPD has its man but a “person of interest” has been arrested in Federal Way: Continue reading

As man dies in Central District shooting, neighbors call for SPD to do more to quell spike in gun violence

(Image: SPD)

Neighbors are pushing for more to be done by police in the Central District following Friday’s murder of Marshall Bennett after the 38-year-old was gunned down at his 25th Ave S residence in continuing gang violence and what police say are personal vendettas driving an ongoing wave of shootings.

Bennett is being remembered by family and residents of the area who knew him as a neighbor and a man who had lived through serious run-ins with the law while paying a major price along the way. When he was convicted of drug charges in 2013 after being arrested with crack cocaine after a fight in a Capitol Hill alley, prosecutors said Bennett had already served more than a decade in jail for a 2001 robbery conviction. Bennett was sentenced to 13 more months in jail in the 2013 case. This summer, Bennett was released from jail in July after being jailed during another drug investigation, according to King County Superior Court records.

Friday’s homicide remains unsolved and detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying a green sedan seen fleeing the area following the shooting. You can call (206) 233-5000 if you have any information that might help. Continue reading

Victim dropped outside Harborview after 24th and Yesler shooting — UPDATE

A man reported as unresponsive and with gunshot wounds to his stomach was dropped off outside First Hill’s Harborview after a round of gunfire near 24th and Yesler Friday afternoon.

Police were responding and in pursuit of a vehicle carrying the victim which arrived at 9th and Jefferson around 3:20 PM outside the hospital. The victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the belly, according to police radio dispatches. Seattle Fire was reported performing CPR on the victim in the street outside Harborview in the middle of a chaotic scene amid friends and family of the victim. His condition is unknown at this time.

UPDATE 9/15/18 8:25 AM: The victim was identified on police radio updates as a male in his 30s and a 25th Ave S resident. UPDATE 9/16/18 9:00 AM: Friends and family say the victim in the shooting died and police are investigating the case as a homicide. Neighbors identified the victim as Marshall Bennett. He was 38. Police have yet to confirm the death publicly. UPDATE 9/17/18 2:33 PM: Police have confirmed the death but have not released any new information in the case.

The victim later died at the hospital. This remains an active and on-going investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the tip line at (206) 233-5000.

Continue reading

No injuries but large police response after gunfire at 21st and Union

Thanks to Aubin Spitzer for the pictures from the scene (Image: Aubin Spitzer — Sparks Film Studios)

Another bout of gunfire left shell casings and bullet holes Wednesday night near 21st and Union.

There were no reported injuries and damage reports were limited to vehicles parked in the area in the incident first reported to police just after 8 PM Wednesday. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, callers reported around 10 shots along with two vehicles possibly involved in the incident and a possibly involved male fleeing the area on foot. Police describe the incident as shots fired from a moving vehicle.

Police closed the street in the area as officers looked for shell casings in the gutter, on sidewalks, and in the parking lot near the corner’s busy taco truck as customers and neighbors looked on. Police were also seen knocking on doors of residences in the area. The Seattle gang unit was called to the scene. Continue reading

The Postman delivers ‘mail and business’ plus family pride in the Central District

A family with a deep connection to the Central District — and the United States Postal Service — has opened a new business at MLK and Union that is hoped to give the community a place to pack, ship, and get their mail through the ongoing changes in the neighborhood.

“It’s bigger than us. It’s about everyone you see here,” D’Vonne Pickett told CHS last week at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of The Postman, a mailing services and mailbox rental business in The Valley development on MLK Jr. Way. Continue reading

One hit in shootout at 15th and Union — UPDATE

One person was reported hit by gunfire in a shootout involving at least one vehicle Monday afternoon near 15th and Union.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 1:45 PM to treat the victim who, according to East Precinct radio reports, was hit in the crossfire. We do not have further victim information at this time. Continue reading

$82.5K grant will help Africatown continue Midtown Center art and activation project

Kids set about painting Midtown Center this summer as part of the Africatown art project (Image: CHS)

Central District community organization Africatown will receive a $82,500 grant from the city to continue its work creating an artful installation celebrating the block’s history and marking the coming redevelopment at 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center.

The grant was part of some $900,000 in funding awarded across the city announced Wednesday through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund. Continue reading

SPD responds to ‘7 in 72 hours’ Central District gun incidents with increased presence, arrests

Following CHS’s report on a spate of gun violence in the Central District. a Seattle Police official said Thursday night the department is making progress quelling the uptick in shootings and has made arrests in connection with some of the recent incidents.

At Seattle University on Thursday, the monthly East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) meeting was attended by a standing-room only crowd as anxious community members hoped to hear about SPD’s plans to stunt the recent spate of shootings in the Central District.

SPD Deputy Chief Marc Garth-Green announced that three arrests have been made in connection with the recent shootings. Continue reading

‘We are going to keep raising the bar’ — Chief Best finishes day of ceremony in the Central District

With a group hug from Mayor Durkan and Judge Crawford-Willis, Best can now get on with leading SPD

The city’s new police chief finished a day of celebration and ceremony in the Central District Tuesday as the Seattle Police Department’s first Black leader was sworn-in at the Northwest African American Museum.

“We can not think that the work and the sacrifice of those who came before us is something just for the history books or the museums,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said addressing the crowd of officials, supporters, and family before the ceremony with Seattle Municipal Court Judge, the Honorable Anita Crawford-Willis. “We are still writing history today.” Continue reading