Fake FBI agent busted for $130K Central District robbery and string of crimes pleads guilty

A Lake Stevens man charged in a string of fake FBI agent robberies including a $130K rip-off in the Central District pleaded guilty last week to seven federal felonies and now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Investigators say Steven Fisher “used fake credentials in the names of fictional characters or famous fraudsters” to commit his crimes. In a January 2017 robbery reported on by CHS at the time, investigators say Fisher claimed to be a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent investigating a suspicious transaction at 23rd and Jackson’s Red Sea FinanceContinue reading

CHS Pics | Africatown art project shows ‘what’s possible’ in the Central District

The Central District’s Midtown Center got a new paint job over the weekend as hundreds of volunteers came together, brushes and rollers in hand, to paint a massive mural to demonstrate what the neighborhood could look like before the property is redeveloped in 2019.

“What we’re doing is trying to make a statement in the last few months of this property, to talk about history and the potential future of the neighborhood,” said Sara Zewde, a past Africatown board member. “The future redevelopment retail should incubate small, black-owned businesses from this neighborhood and we’re going to demonstrate the potential for that in this market space.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Machine House Central District makes winning debut

That guy who is probably not really Steven Gerrard seemed to be having a grand time. His pal Zlatan Ibrahimović? Less so.

What’s it like opening Machine House Brewery’s new Central District neighborhood pub as your home nation’s team is playing its biggest World Cup game in more than a decade?

“It’s extremely stressful,” UK-born Bill Arnott tells CHS. “We had a health inspection a half an hour before the last game — and then that went to penalties.”

We think Arnott is talking about England’s Round of 16 victory over Colombia on Tuesday — but maybe the health department does things differently when it comes to tap houses serving English-style cask conditioned ale. Continue reading

Machine House Central District pub ready for Wold Cup debut on E Jefferson

(Image: @machinehouse)

Just as the World Cup gets really serious, Machine House is ready to debut its new Central District pub:

🚨MHB Central District is opening this weekend at 1315 E. Jefferson St.🚨 Doors open 7am this Friday 7/6 for the start of the World Cup Soccer Quarter Finals! Enjoy $4 imperial pints of the Cambridge Bitter during matches on Friday and Saturday as a part of the celebration!

You might expect a bit of a crowd at the new venue from the Georgetown-born brewer of English-style cask ales Saturday morning as England takes on Sweden.

CHS first reported on the E Jefferson tap room project in January as Machine House co-founder Bill Arnott told us a big part of the drive behind creating the pub was making sure the brewery’s prized creations are receiving the pours they deserve. “Very few pubs can serve it properly,” Arnott told CHS earlier this year. “We’ve found we need to control the experience. We need bartenders who can explain and present it.”

Arnott and co-founder Alex Brenner’s new venture is tiny compared to the massive and spartan factory setting of the Machine House brewery in Georgetown — just 1,000 square feet — so expect close quarters with some good new friends down the rail and plenty of good beer.

At least one person shot as gunfire rattles Central District’s Midtown Center

(Image: @sdottraffic)

At least one person was shot in the leg and bullet casings were found spread across the intersection after a volley of gunfire from a vehicle that quickly sped away from 23rd and Spring Tuesday night.

Police and Seattle Fire rushed to the area just before 6:40 PM after multiple reports of shots fired on a night when most of the booms reported to 911 are fireworks. Continue reading

At Midtown Center, community hopes for Central District culture in redevelopment’s design

23rd and Union

The Central Area Land Use Review Committee hosted a meeting last week for developers and neighbors to discuss the ongoing Midtown Center project at 23rd and Union with the community. And while the meeting was ostensibly focused on the design of the project, neighbors and advocates at the meeting reminded developers of the block’s importance in the African American community’s past — and future — in Seattle.

The community meeting was a preview for an upcoming design review meeting that will take place July 18th at Seattle University that could be the project’s final step in the review process for the much watched development:

Design review: 2301 E Union

The project moved forward in the design process in January as many community members said they hoped to see more thought given to design that highlighted the corner’s place in African American culture in the city. Continue reading

Rise and shine: Raised Doughnuts now open in the Central District

Mi Kim

If the test run was any indication, mornings are going to be a little brighter and more delicious on 23rd Ave starting Saturday.

Raised Doughnuts, transformed from the old Collins Gold Exchange and mini-mart at 23rd Ave and Spring, officially opens this weekend with raspberry holes, maple bars, apple fritters, sugared mochi, and good ol’ plain glazed doughnuts for its new Central District neighbors.

“The community right away was embracing us,” I-Miun Liu, a prolific Seattle food and drink entrepreneur and business partner in the project tells CHS. Liu said the opening was eased by advice and help from “businesses in the neighborhood who have come by and supported us.” Continue reading

Victim says thousands ripped off in 23rd and Union mugging

(Image: @sdottraffic)

Seattle Police are investigating a mugging at 23rd and Union Wednesday night that reportedly netted a group of three thieves thousands in cash.

Officers were called to the southeast corner of the intersection at the Midtown Center shopping center around 9:15 PM to a report that a group of three males was seen pushing another person to the ground before fleeing in a vehicle last seen headed south.

Police found a man who appeared to have suffered a serious knock to the back of his head and who told police he had just been mugged of $4,600 in cash, according to East Precinct radio dispatches.

Police were searching for a vehicle described as a tan or beige four-door sedan and the three suspects. Police did not have specific descriptions of the suspects and there was no indication of why the victim was carrying so much cash in the SPD report on the incident.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene to treat the victim’s injuries.

Remembering DeCharlene Williams, Central District celebrates Juneteenth ‘freedom day’

The Buffalo Soldiers Of Seattle, 9th-10th Cavalry (Image: Karen Toering)

With reporting and photography by Alex Garland

Seattle is marking Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom and the end of slavery in the United States, with parties and events again in 2018 though it has lost one of its driving forces behind the holiday.

The King County Council issued a proclamation this week recognizing the importance of the celebration. “Juneteenth is now the closest occasion for there being a true ‘freedom day’ to celebrate in this country for people of African descent,” said council member Larry Gossett, the sponsor of the proclamation. “Now, more than ever, people of Martin Luther King, Jr. County should understand the significance of Juneteenth.” Continue reading

True Hope Village, a tiny piece of Seattle’s big homelessness and affordability problem, moves forward in the Central District

Employees of Vulcan gathered for a day of community service to construct the 30 homes destined for the Central District’s True Hope Village (Image: Vulcan)

Monday afternoon, the Seattle City Council is set to approve the legislative underpinning to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “bridge housing” plan creating a $9.5 million a year program for shelter and “tiny house” encampments. So-called bridge housing is the rare cog in Seattle City Hall’s engine that still seems spinning forward for solutions to the city’s intertwined homelessness and affordability crisis. And, despite pushback from within and from beyond the neighborhood, a new tiny house village planned for the Central District might be the most solid effort at this point to build something new to help put more people in shelter.

CHS reported earlier on plans for the encampment and a set of community meetings about the project. The vision has withstood the process. True Hope Village is being constructed at 18th Ave and E Yesler Way.

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), which is leading the project, has learned from past skepticism and opposition to the village projects, organizing community meetings earlier in the process to give a space for nearby residents to voice their concerns and create transparency, Josh Castle, director of advocacy and community engagement for LIHI, said. Continue reading