Five residents displaced after two-alarm apartment fire near 27th/Cherry

Seattle firefighters battled roaring flames and sweltering temperatures to put out a two-alarm apartment fire near 27th and Cherry Thursday evening.

SFD responded to 540 27th Ave at 4:40 PM, where flames had engulfed the front of the building. No injuries were reported, but SFD said five people will be displaced from the blaze. 

The fire was accidentally caused by improperly discarded smoking materials on the building’s front porch, according to SFD. 

Crews managed to rescue three cats and a dog from the building and treated the pets for smoke inhalation. Misting fans were brought out to cool off firefighters working in 92+ degree temperatures.


#fire #nobueno


A video posted by David Knirk (@senorfrijoles) on

Hack the CD hopes to help shape the ‘New Economy’ for Seattle’s Africatown

34de56e0-6153-4875-9785-c36ef0b7c342A “Cultural Innovation Conference” focused on Seattle’s Central District and Africatown returns to 17th Ave S’s Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute this weekend.

Hack the CD invites entrepreneurs and creators new and established to come together to collaborate on ideas, projects… and a party:

The 2015 Hack the CD Cultural Innovation Conference is a three day, all ages event held in Seattle’s Africatown – Central District, that convenes the brightest minds to participate in the New Economy through design, entrepreneurship, and technology.

Do you own your own business or thought about starting one? We’re calling all all artists, authors, chefs, developers, designers, hustlers, and tastemakers to an entrepreneurial jam session!

In one weekend, learn marketing and branding secrets from the pros, tips for new technology tools, and automation of your workflow to free up your time. Come with a new startup business idea or an existing venture.

  • 7pm – Friday, July 24th Network, Pitch Ideas, Form Teams, Begin Work

  • 10am – Saturday, July 25th Continue Work, Meet Coaches, Attend Workshops

  • 9am – Sunday, July 26th Finish Work, Present, After Party

Geekwire covered the first Hack the CD event held last fall.

For more information on attending, sharing experiences from your established Central District-area business, or volunteering, check out

Upzone the Central District: 23rd Ave Action Plan calls for 65 feet at Union, 85 at Jackson

It’s not exactly a preview of what is coming when the Seattle City Council’s select committee on affordable housing meets for the first time on Monday to begin the road to implementing the mayor’s HALA plan. But the plan to upzone three key areas along 23rd Ave and require the inclusion of affordable housing in the Central District fits right into the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda puzzle but with almost none of the buzz.

Monday is the deadline for public comment on the Department of Planning and Development’s approval of the early environmental review phase for three proposed upzones in the city’s 23rd Avenue Action Plan:

  • 23rd and Union: Increase height limits from 40 to 65 feet in the immediate blocks around 23rd and Union. Increase height limits from 30 to 65 feet on the block of Union between 21st and 22nd. Increase limit from 30 to 40 feet between 20th and 21st. InfoScreen Shot 2015-07-17 at 9.59.13 AM Continue reading

‘Take back the neighborhood’ — Officials plan response to Central District gun violence — UPDATE

A wave of shootings and street crime will bring city and police officials to the Central District’s Powell Barnett Park Thursday night for a community meeting to “take back the neighborhood” and “stop the violence.”

Mayor Ed Murray and SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole are expected to attend the gathering planned for 6 PM in the south end of the park along Alder.

UPDATE: The mayor and chief will also be part of a media conference “to address gun violence” Thursday morning at 14th Ave’s First AME Church:

Mayor Murray, Chief O’Toole, and faith leaders from across Seattle come together this morning to speak to gun violence, its impacts and the community’s response.

UPDATE 12:00 PM: Thursday’s media conference inside the First AME Church at 14th and Pine began and ended with a prayer in a session that brought together black leaders from Seattle’s spiritual and business communities with city officials.

IMG_6106“If you can’t get it right in Martin Luther King County, you not gonna get it right in any place in the nation,” activist and community leader Charlie James said.

Mayor Murray and Chief O’Toole said police will only be part of the solution.

“Policing is part of the answer,” Murray said. “Better policing is part of the answer.”

“But that’s not going to be good enough.”

But there is apparently more to do on the policing side. The officials announced that SPD has begun the process to reassess the use of surveillance camera technology as an avenue to reduce street violence in Seattle.

Chief O’Toole said that community and business groups in the Central District and International District have asked for the technology.

“We are open and we are looking at it,” Murray said. Continue reading

2015 Body Basics drive collects ‘often overlooked’ donations

bodybasicsThis week kicks off the 2015 edition of a unique donation drive focused on collecting items “often overlooked” for the Downtown Emergency Services Center, Lambert House, North Helpline Food Bank, and Mary’s Place.

The Body Basics drive organized by the Sissy Collective seeks “items like pads, underwear, and razors to benefit homeless and low-income women and trans*folks.”

Drop-off locations in our area include Summit Ave’s Analog Coffee and E Union’s 20/20 Cycle. Thursday night, E Union’s Hollow Earth Radio is hosting a benefit show to get the 2015 drive started. To get in, organizers ask that you bring a donation of “tampons, pads, diva cups, otc pain relievers, bras, underwear” or “etc etc.”

You can learn more at

Tampons. Bras. Condoms. Many of these items are often overlooked as donations, but for many they’re necessary to basic health, hygiene, and wellness. From July 15 to July 31, Sissy Collective will be collecting items like pads, underwear, and razors to benefit homeless and low-income women and trans*folks.

Drive drop-off locations include Analog Coffee in Capitol Hill, Community Fitness in Roosevelt, Hollow Earth Radio and 20/20 Cycle in the Central District, Brown Paper Tickets in Fremont, and Patty Pan Cooperative in Shoreline.

Items will be donated to Downtown Emergency Services Center, Lambert House, North Helpline Food Bank, and Mary’s Place.

Sissy Collective will also be hosting a kickoff/fundraising event to get the drive started on July 16 at Hollow Earth Radio, featuring Lilac, Mikey Nike and Hoop. Details to follow.


* Pads

* Tampons

* Bras (new or gently used)

* Underwear (new)

* Socks (new)

* Over-the-counter pain relief

* Diva cups

See the full list of donation items at


Sissy Collective exists for nerds, geeks, outcasts, wimps, weaklings, survivors, gender deviants, People of Color, queer folks, trans folks, and anyone who has ever felt on the outside. We hold ourselves accountable to continually grow, change and evolve in our goals, events, and community building.

Car with mom and kids peppered by bullets after 4th of July wrong turn near I-90

Seattle Police are investigating a July 4th shooting incident near 25th and Massachusetts that left a Mercer Island mother and three teens shaken and their car peppered with bullet holes.

The incident was described in a post this week in the popular Madrona Moms group.

Hi MM – I want to make you aware of additional shooting that occurred in the neighborhood.

A friend was driving my son and her two boys after the fireworks show Saturday night. She was headed towards eastbound I90 and stopped briefly on Massachusetts near Colman park, calling a friend that had been following her who had missed a turn. As she was providing the friend directions, someone from a group of people celebrating the 4th across the street starting shooting at her car. This was completely unprovoked.

She immediately drove away, but five bullets hit her car. Three of the bullets penetrated the driver’s side door, shattering the window and created an outline around the driver. There is another bullet hole near the headrest in the rear seat. If any one of the bullets would have been six inches closer it would have hit her or one of our boys.

According the SPD report on the incident, after the shooting, the driver sped through the streets and onto I-90 where the driver’s side window fell out as she crossed the bridge. In the panic, a teenage male in the car said he had been shot in the shoulder. The driver pulled to the side and called 911. Continue reading

Sawant considers Central District for city-owned gigabit Internet pilot program

48% of Seattle Internet subscribers said they would switch to municipal gigabit Internet at $75/month, according to a recently released study.

48% of Seattle Internet subscribers said they would switch to municipal gigabit Internet at $75/month, according to a recently released study.


“We have a good starting point in terms of a mandate from the people of Seattle.”

When it comes to creating a city-owned and operated super-speed Internet utility in Seattle, there are still many unanswered questions. How does it get paid for? Is it a pure public utility or a public-private partnership? How does it reach apartment buildings? Will it utilize the city’s existing electrical and telecommunications infrastructure?

City Council member Kshama Sawant thinks rolling out a small pilot program, possibly in the Central District, could help answer many of those questions on the way to providing the service citywide. To do that, the District 3 candidate is considering inserting around $5 million into this year’s budget to fund the pilot program. She is also planning a town hall forum later in the year to help drum up more support.

“We have a good starting point in terms of a mandate from the people of Seattle,” Sawant said.

Executing the plan, she said, will come down to political will — an indirect rejection of how the Office of the Mayor interpreted a study on the initiative in June. Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘Seattle stands with Charleston’


“Who stands with Charleston? Seattle stands with Charleston” (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

1,000 rallied and marched Tuesday night from 14th Ave’s First AME Church to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park in solidarity with the Charleston 9.

Organized by the Seattle King County NAACP and the United Black Christian Clergy, the three-mile march from Capitol Hill through the Central District came as communities across the country continue to react to the June murders at the South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In South Carolina, lawmakers are debating the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol. Elsewhere, states are grappling with the elimination of monuments, symbols, and even city names with a Confederate history. Locally, a Confederate memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery was targeted with a message against “white supremacy” over the weekend.

Tuesday’s rally and march was mostly about healing and growing the Black Lives Matter movement against racism and ongoing inequity issues like police violence. The march ended in MLK Jr. Park with the group holding hands and singing about love.


More pictures, below. Continue reading

East Precinct Advisory Council gets a new leader amid SPD changes and summer violence

The SPD gang unit was on the scene of the July 2nd shooting death of Torrence Phillips (Image: CHS)

The SPD gang unit was on the scene of the July 2nd shooting death of Torrence Phillips (Image: CHS)

Troy Meyers says he’s as liberal as it gets in Seattle, including on issues of police accountability. But one life-changing experience gave Meyers a deep appreciation for just how difficult and dangerous law enforcement can be.

In 1998 Meyers’s father was killed in the line of duty while working as a Kansas City police officer. The tragedy eventually led Meyers to the Seattle Police Foundation, where he’s volunteered for a number of years. Meyers is now preparing to combine those experiences with his years of neighborhood activism in Squire Park to lead a Central Area group that some members say is too often overlooked by the community it serves.

This month, Meyers took over as chair of the East Precinct Advisory Council — the community sounding board for public safety issues in the Central Area and official conduit between East Precinct neighborhoods and SPD. With one meeting as chair under his belt so far, Meyers said he’s particularly interested in addressing gang issues around the Central District.

“Almost all of the shootings we see are gang related,” he said. “I really just want to see an improvement in relationships between the police department and the community.” Continue reading

Three giant new murals grace E Pike, Central District, First Hill walls


A new face at 23rd and Union (Image: Mohamed Adan for CHS)

Two new murals are joining the streetscapes in the Central District and on First Hill with a third popping up on a familiar E Pike canvas.

The new Sorrento Hotel parking garage mural is the work of Ellen Picken, an artist originally from Spokane. Picken’s black and white geometric design triumphed in a competition with 40 submissions from around the world, an impressive feat for a novice with only one public mural under her belt.

For the past two months, Picken has been working diligently on the mural with her assistant Phyllis Austin. Picken is passionate about transforming the space, which was formerly a hideous concrete wall, into something worthwhile and inclusive.

“I want to provide a space that let’s people feel the way they want to feel, and that’s why I don’t put in any figure work or anything with too much symbolism,” Picken told CHS.

Weirdo's work on E Pike as of July 1st (Image: CHS)

Weirdo’s work on E Pike as of July 1st (Image: CHS)

The mural was expected to be completed this week and was funded by by a joint public-private partnership between the City of Seattle, the non-profit Seattle Mural Projects, and and Magnetic/ERV, the company that operates the Sorrento.

On E Pike, the latest mural on the north side of Neumos is a work from artist Weirdo depicting musician Shannon Perry of Seattle band Gazebos as part of a project with Capitol Hill Block Party producers and the Capitol Hill Arts District to bring attention to the neighborhood’s visual artists at this year’s three-day music fest starting July 24th.

Meanwhile at 23rd and Union, a new mural outside Uncle Ike’s and The Neighbor Lady was completed by artist Joey Nix. Nix’s murals are found all over Seattle and he told CHS he enjoys doing large-scale projects. The mural is 2 1/2 stories high and 20 feet wide and is a full-figure portrait of Amanya, a bud tender at Uncle Ike’s. Nix took a photograph of the woman at the Arboretum and based his work on the image. The t-shirt she’s wearing has the word “Uhuru” on it, Swahili for freedom. Nix says his satisfaction comes from the hope that a lot of people will see and enjoy his work. “I hope they enjoy it, it’s for them, it’s for the public,” he said.

Mural in progress by @joe.nix #seattle #artprimo

A photo posted by @artprimo on

UPDATE: There is another…