Organizers say Central Area Senior Center fundraising near key mark to enable crucial grant

Organizers were closing in on a $55,000 fundraising goal Friday that will help enable the Central Area Senior Center to move into community ownership and open the doors to much needed investment and upgrades.

As of Friday morning, organizers for The Central said they were within $5,000 of the goal to meet a bank balance requirement to receive a $1.5 million grant from the county to move forward with the group’s planned acquisition of the city property so it can continue to manage the facility and provide services and programming to the community. Continue reading

National ‘art machine for social change’ finds a home in the Central District

You’ve seen the posters. They feature a woman with a stars-and-stripes dotted hijab, a dreadlocked kid, or Helen Red Feather of the Lakota tribe protesting at Standing Rock. Perhaps you know that they were part of the “We The People” poster campaign that swept the nation after the election of Donald Trump and his inauguration in January 2017. Or that Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena designed them.

But did you know that a Seattle-based nonprofit called Amplifier was responsible?

“That was a historic moment in our American history, and creating imagery that represented the demographics the Trump administration was most violently attacking (…) really shook people. You could tell it awakened them. It resonated and went viral around the world,” says Isabella Sisneros, Amplifier’s operations manager.

A Kickstarter campaign to print and distribute the posters raised more than 1$ million in a week thanks to over 23,000 donors.

“We broke a Kickstarter record for the most small donors,” says Amplifier’s deputy director Cleo Barnett, sitting in one of the brand-new looking couches of Amplifier’s recently opened Central District art lab and offices.

Describing what, exactly, Amplifier does is tricky, because it can easily sound vaguely artsy. Take their website language: “A design lab that builds arts experiments to amplify the voices of grassroots movements”  and “art machine for social change.”  Continue reading

Liberty Bank Building’s rooftop music series will go on despite ‘once wonderful peaceful neighborhood’ complaints

Organizers of a weekly music party on the rooftop of the new Liberty Bank Building say the shows will go on despite a neighbor’s social media messages and complaints to police about the noise and the “terrible nuisance” in the “once wonderful peaceful neighborhood” around 24th and Union.

“Our team looks forward to continuing to serve the community with this live music series on the next three Thursdays 7:30-9:45pm.,” the producer of Level R Events said in a statement sent CHS. “We are listening to neighbor concerns, and will proactively work with our para-technicians to ensure that volume levels are within city ordinances.” Continue reading

Suspect in custody after reported knife attack at MLK/Union Grocery Outlet

Police took a suspect into custody minutes after an employee at MLK and Union’s Grocery Outlet was reportedly slashed in the face with a knife in an assault just before 1:30 PM

Police were called to the scene Friday afternoon to a report that a clerk had been cut on the face by a suspect who attempted to flee but was being held down by multiple people, according to East Precinct radio.

Details of this report have not yet been confirmed with SPD or Seattle Fire.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene to treat the victim’s injuries. UPDATE: SFD reports the clerk’s injuries as “minor.”

 

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One injured in another bout of gunfire at 29th and Alder — UPDATE

Monday night gunfire at a Central District corner with a history of shootouts and gang activity including a shots fired incident Friday afternoon sent a 27-year-old man to the hospital in stable condition but with serious injuries, a Seattle Fire spokesman said.

Seattle Police were called to an address at the corner of 29th and Alder just after 6:30 PM Monday to a report of gunfire and a vehicle speeding from the scene. Continue reading

Feed Co., last of a Capitol Hill-Central District family of restaurants, getting new owners, new concept

From a growing set of Capitol Hill and Central District food and drink joints to zero — Scott and Heather Staples, creators of Quinn’s, Sole Repair, Zoe, and Feed Co. are saying goodbye to Central Seattle.

“We’ve loved being in the CD & CapHill all these years and will miss the communities! However, now we will enjoy the neighborhoods as supporters!!” was the super enthusiastic response when CHS asked Scott about the planned sale of 24th and Union’s Feed Co., the couple’s final holdings in the area. Continue reading

Police investigate gunfire incident near Central District park — UPDATE

Gunfire sent visitors at Powell Barnett Park scrambling after a shooting incident at 29th and Alder Friday afternoon.

According to East Precinct radio updates, witnesses reported eight or nine gunshots and multiple cars leaving the area around 2:40 PM near the MLK Jr. Way park.

Arriving police found bullet hole damage to a vehicle just east of 29th and Alder and began investigating the shooting scene.

It’s not clear if there were any injuries. A Seattle Fire dispatch sent aid units to the scene but there was no reported victim information. Police were headed to area hospitals to look for possible victims. UPDATE: SFD says its dispatch was canceled so no victim was found at the scene.

Gang detectives were called to the scene.

With vision for ‘African American communities and spaces of the future,’ Africatown Plaza will be next to take shape in the Central District

The coming Africatown Plaza at Midtown

23rd and Union’s Africatown mural (Image: Africatown)

Community members met this week for an all-day design symposium at Washington Hall in the Central District to plan “African American communities and spaces of the future” around the Puget Sound.

The event follows a major development in the Central District with the opening of the Liberty Bank Building and comes as the early design process for Africatown Plaza at Midtown, another fully affordable development around the 23rd and Union core, is about to begin.

“Overall, working to make sure that we still have a heart and soul and a place of unity and community,” the Africatown Community Land Trust’s K. Wyking Garrett said Saturday, before giving a shout out to last weekend’s Umoja Fest Parade, a Central Area staple since the 1940s. He wants Africatown, however, to be more than just these major celebrations, but places “where we can experience Black culture, Black music, Black culinary genius from throughout the diaspora.” Continue reading

‘Community preference’ — A new anti-displacement policy could have big impacts for the Central District and Capitol Hill

The Liberty Bank Building in the Central District

Antonesha Jackson still remembers riding bikes near the three-bedroom Central District apartment she shared with her sisters and mother growing up. From there, it was just a brief trip to her grandparents’ house and an even shorter walk to Garfield High School.

But when she tried to return to the neighborhood after 12 years studying and working in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, finding a place to rent in her now-gentrified neighborhood proved nearly impossible. She looked for an affordable apartment for months.

Until acquaintances told her about a then-new affordable housing development right here in her neighborhood: Liberty Bank Building, an equitable development project led by Capitol Hill Housing and Africatown. She moved in this March, finally returning to the area she’d grown up in and now operated a fashion boutique out of.

“A lot of the people that live in my building, I have seen around growing up. [They] are from this community,” Jackson said. “It’s beautiful to me.”  Continue reading

About those Sunday afternoon booms you heard on Capitol Hill…

(Image: @primaseadiva via Flickr)

The booms you heard Sunday afternoon across Capitol Hill and the Central District? That was the central city’s surprisingly robust power grid doing what it needed to do to keep service intact even when faced with the greatest electricity infrastructure scourge known — the mylar balloon.

Seattle City Light said there were no prolonged outages but that many callers reported “mylar balloons in the lines.”

CHS had one report of balloons in the wires on 15th Ave E.

Residents reported loud booms from electrical utility gear throughout the early afternoon. The utility also made a District 3 endorsement — of sorts. City Light says D3 candidate Logan Bowers’s Twitter explanation of what was causing the booms was, ahem, “bang on” — Continue reading