Blotter | Harvard/Pine gaybashing charge — Plus, conviction in 2008 Central District murder

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  • Gaybashing charge: A 22-year-old Auburn man arrested in the Sunday night, August 10th alleged gaybashing at Harvard and Pine has been charged with malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute. Ivan Prokhorin faces the charge for his role in allegedly sparking an attack on two men he saw holding hands on Harvard Ave. According to police, Prokhorin, who was with two other males, yelled “Fucking faggots” and followed the two victims to their vehicle carrying an empty Corona bottle. The men told police they grabbed a baseball bat from their own car to defend themselves. “Is there a problem?,” one of the victims asked. “Yes, because you are a fucking faggot,” Prokhorin is alleged to have yelled as he attempted to strike the victims with the bottle but missed and hit the car, shattering the glass. Police say one of other suspects then wrestled away the bat and hit one of the victims several times on the back. The victim was not seriously injured. According to police, the attackers fled in a car but officers located the BMW near 9th Ave and E Alder. There are currently no charges filed against the men who were with Prokhorin. Continue reading

The Banhs share details on meaty E Jefferson 7 Beef steakhouse: whole cows, primal cuts, parking

Eric Banh is ready to put his recent butchery training to work with a new E Jefferson project that will feature “classic” as well as “primal” cuts of beef that utilize “whole,” local cows.

CHS reported in July on a trio of new projects from brother and sister restaurant partners Eric and Sophie Banh including the debut of the expanded 19th Ave E Monsoon. Monday’s announcement confirms details of the largest of the new ventures that will create a steakhouse near 13th and Jefferson replacing an architect’s office.

“7 Beef will receive whole cows from local purveyors and break them down into primal cuts and ground beef,” the announcement proclaims.

The 7 Beef name refers to “the traditional Vietnamese seven-course beef dinner called Bò 7 Món, where diners sample a variety of small beef dishes.” Continue reading

Ferguson protests take to the streets of Capitol Hill and the Central District


The tensions around the police shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri have inspired protests and rallies in Seattle. At 23rd and Union, a group has been rallying daily at 4:30 PM to raise their signs and voices on race issues and police violence. Demonstrations in the Central District and on Capitol Hill have been relatively small and almost wholly non-violent — though Friday night, attendees at the rally reportedly dragged a large planter into the intersection at 23rd and Union and briefly disrupted traffic. Saturday night, a small group of 20 to 30 demonstrators met at Seattle Central before braving Broadway for a brief march up and down the busy street chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Meanwhile, criticism of the Ferguson police shooting and response has been nearly universally negative. “Don’t tear gas nonviolent and not-threatening protesters. And for God’s sake, don’t bring dogs out … It’s a throwback to the ‘60s and Bull Connor. The imagery sucks. It was really painful to see the images I saw from Ferguson,” former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper told the LA Times. Stamper oversaw SPD’s response to the 1999 WTO riots.

CHS Pics | First Hill scrabbles for park space — Next: Hopscotch CD returns

IMG_4175Public park space. Consultant. Release. Report. Blah blah blah. Let’s talk giant street Scrabble. Tuesday night, the tri-way intersection of University, Union, and Boylston hosted an oversized Scrabble tournament in the middle of the street smack in between Pike/Pine and First Hill.

Hopscotch CD returns

Hopscotch CD returns

The tournament designed to bring attention to First Hill’s lack of public spaces pitted four two-person teams head to head and attracted onlookers and plenty of second-guessing. City officials are hoping to hold future tournaments in other areas of Seattle in need of a creative though temporary mini-park. Maybe this dude from Portland will come.

For more gaming fun on the streets of Central Seattle, get ready for the second annual Hopscotch CD event on Saturday, August 23rd. The Jackson Commons community event creates 2.9 miles of hopscotch play areas across the Central District. Included in the fun, Centerstone’s parking lot at 722 18th Ave will host the grandmamma of all hopscotch games in an attempt to break a world record.


24th and John’s Starbuds stands confident on medical marijuana’s shaky ground

Braeutigam and Ibarra (Image: CHS)

Braeutigam and Ibarra (Image: CHS)

One local collective remains unworried facing medicinal marijuana’s uncertain future in Washington.

As I-502 ever-so-slowly makes its way into reality, so does a host of questions about what might happen to the medical marijuana structure that’s existed since voters approved Initiative 692 in 1998. While the state determines whom to license for recreational marijuana and the legislature decides whether it wants to reconcile the two industries, a lot of uncertainty exists in the future of medical marijuana.

1385068_212948782213770_350961081_n Starbuds on E John and 24th Ave E has only served marijuana patients for about 10 months, but the business has found committed customers, a sense of community involvement and a healthy attitude about that might come.

“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing until we’re told not to,” Steve Braeutigam, manager of Starbuds tells CHS. “Things are great right now and the rest of the country is looking to us as pioneers.”

For Braeutigam, a line in the sand exists between collectives and the coming recreational stores. Continue reading

Lake Chad Cafe ready to prosper at 17th and Jackson

Africa’s Lake Chad feeds 30 million in the four countries it borders. Felix Ngoussou, owner of the Lake Chad Café on Jackson and 17th, hopes to feed his neighbors, too.

As the lake shrinks due to climate change. Ngoussou said he also wants to remind Seattle of the social implications environmental change can cause. He also wants his new cafe to play a connective role in the Jackson-area community.

“My coffee shop has another objective,” Ngoussou said, “I want to open a community place where all these small businesses around can come and meet… Now everyone is coming here.”

Continue reading

Capitol Hill Housing to purchase Squire Park building at center of affordability fight — UPDATE

Tenant-leader Linda Johnson (Image: Tenants Union)

Tenant-leader Linda Johnson addressing the media in July (Image: Tenants Union)

Squire Park Plaza at 18th and Jackson (Image: Central Area Action Committee For Affordable Living)

Squire Park Plaza at 18th and Jackson (Image: Central Area Action Committee For Affordable Living)

Last month, tenants at 18th and Jackson’s Squire Park Plaza were joined by two Seattle City Council members to protest the sale of their building to a private company — a move tenants feared would reduce the number of affordable units currently offered by their nonprofit landlord.

Their calls for a new nonprofit building owner were answered on Friday when Capitol Hill Housing announced it would partner with Jonathan Rose Companies to purchase the 60-unit workforce housing building and even “enhance the existing affordability guarantees” at the building.

UPDATE: In a statement released Monday, a Squire Park tenants group said they were still highly skeptical of the sale and the private-nonprofit partnership. The group Central Area Action Committee for Affordable Living: Squire Park Plaza Tenants said the building’s current nonprofit owners, Central Area Development Association, failed to ensure CHH/Jonathan Rose would agree to a seven-point covenant drafted by tenants for a new owner.

Without a commitment for a 50 year affordability covenant, the property could be resold for a windfall as soon as 3 to 5 years, as the real estate market continues to climb. Neither CADA nor CHH gave us information on who is controlling the partnership between CHH and the Rose Companies. Nationally, there have been many examples of nonprofit and for-profit partnerships that do not serve the interest of low- and moderate-income tenants.

Continue reading

Taste of the Caribbean ready to share the flavors of Jamaica at 12th and Jefferson

Dwane Blake (Image: CHS)

Dwane Blake (Image: CHS)

Friday at 12th and Jefferson will be like a day at the beach in Jamaica. Taste of the Caribbean will host its monthly fish fry – another step in the changes at the former home of Waid’s and, the restaurant’s owners hope, another moment to further connect with the surrounding neighborhood.

“There’s a lot of building fences, credibility — and really being infused in the community so this can be good for us,” co-owner Carlene Comrie tells CHS. She and Dwayne Blake have operated a restaurant in the shadow of Waid’s since 2013 but with the troubled night spot closing in June and plans to revive a nightclub there apparently ended, the entrepreneurs are now making 1212 E Jefferson theirs with plans to “take over the establishment” as a full-fledged, true-to-Jamaica restaurant.

“We see a lot of folks offering jerk and Jamaican but it’s not really authentic,” Comrie says. “The spice level is traditional, You’ll taste the pimento. You’ll taste the habanero.”

Ready to put the Waid’s chapter behind them and get back to their goal of creating a successful restaurant business, Comrie and Blake are investing in the space with plans to expand hours and offerings. Coming soon will be a liquor license with Caribbean rums and Jamaican beer. The partners want Taste of the Caribbean to have a life of its own.

“Music will be part of the offering,” Comrie said. “There has to be a balance that is struck so that we can do business and offer our customers a taste of the culture.”

Friday’s monthly fish fry is part of what she hopes helps Taste connect with the community.

“In Jamaica, it’s a big thing,” Comrie said. “We go to the beaches and have a nice fish fry.” You can stop by from 11 AM to 9 PM to be part of it. Comrie said they’ll keep the fry events to once per month to help you keep your beach bod.

Taste of the Caribbean is currently open 11 AM to 9 PM on Tuesdays through Saturdays and 4 PM to 9 PM on Sundays. Keep track of changes and learn more on the Taste Facebook page.

Stuff the Bus to help new Westside Baby/St. Joseph’s Baby Corner team help families

(Image: WestSide Baby)

(Image: WestSide Baby)

St. Joseph’s Baby Corner on 18th near Cherry and WestSide Baby merged into one organization in an effort to help Seattle families make ends meet. Sunday, there’s an opportunity to help the new team.

“We have kept the heart of serving local children in need and are excited to bring our expertise and watch it blossom and thrive in Capitol Hill,” WestSide Baby executive director Nancy Woodland said. “We actually modeled ourselves after St. Joseph’s Baby Corner and are excited to come in and increase services.”

The two organizations collect second hand items for babies and children that providers such as social workers or other agencies distribute to families in need.
Continue reading

Tenants petition mayor to stop sale of Central District affordable apartment building

Squire Park Plaza at 18th and Jackson (Image: Central Area Action Committee For Affordable Living)

Squire Park Plaza at 18th and Jackson (Image: Central Area Action Committee For Affordable Living)

Tenants fearing they could one day be forced from their affordable Central District units are fighting to stop the sale of their building to a private company. On Wednesday tenants of the Squire Park Plaza Apartments gathered outside their 18th and Jackson building to call on Mayor Ed Murray to intervene.

Using a mix of tax credits and federal loans, Squire Park Plaza was built seven years ago as a workforce housing project through an agreement between the city and current nonprofit owner, Central Area Development Association. The city has recommended that CADA sell the building in a competitive bid.

“If Squire Park Plaza were sold to a for-profit developer, there is no question that many of our families would be displaced,” said a statement from the group. “Gentrification and displacement have a long and accelerated history in the Central Area and across Seattle.”

While a new private owner would initially have to keep half of the units open to those making under 80% of the area median income, tenants say that over time, the number of below market units would drop. They want the city and CADA to look for a nonprofit buyer to assure the building’s low-to-mid income residents can continue to live there.

The residents have organized under the Central Area Action Committee for Affordable Living: Squire Park Plaza Tenants. The group began a petition in June to submit 400 signatures to the mayor to ask his administration to not sell the building. As of Thursday morning, the group was around 55 signatures short of its goal.

CHS recently wrote about soaring rents throughout the central Seattle area.

Washington’s first marijuana stores open with lines, short supply

Marchers at this year's Cannabis Freedom March across Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Marchers at this year’s Cannabis Freedom March across Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Anybody planning a road trip to be one of the first people in Washington state to purchase legal marijuana better hustle. The lines are already formed.

With 24 official state retail licenses issued — including one in Seattle — Tuesday marks the planned first day of sales at the few shops around the state ready for business and stocked with inventory:

Barring some 11th-hour business catastrophe, 10 pounds of marijuana will line these shelves Tuesday, a quantity Lathrop expects will sell out that day at $15 to $20 per gram. But until he officially receives his retail license from the state Monday, it’s only glass paraphernalia and small label plates that read “Fine Jewelry,” remnants from when the cases lived in a Sears department store.

4th Ave S’s Cannabis City and its 10 pounds of first-day-of-business pot joins 23 other stores in the first wave of Washington retailers.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 7.56.13 AMMeanwhile, the owner of Mello Times, the only retailer within walking distance of Capitol Hill to make it through the state’s license lottery with a permit opportunity secured, told CHS his 24th and Union concern won’t be operating until later this summer at the earliest as he prepares the business for the long haul. Despite a pot-friendly, dense population, the various intertwining local and state rules around retail marijuana have conspired to keep Capitol Hill proper a legal pot shop-free zone. The black market will continue to thrive, of course, and the gray market, so far, is also making a game go of it. Capitol Hill’s thousand of apartment dwellers, unless the have a forward thinking building manager, might find it difficult to overcome the renter’s pot paradox. One solution to avoid the smoke — edibles. You can buy and possess 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused products like brownies and candy. Use it wisely.

Marijuana legalization in Washington began rolling with the passage of I-502 in 2012 legalizing the purchase and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Advocates are now moving forward to protect medical marijuana in the state and to introduce legalized homegrown pot. Meanwhile, other states are watching Washington and the only other state in the union that has so far approved the sale of retail pot — Colorado.

If you do go shopping this week, expect some disappointment here and there as shops work out issues with supply — and demand.

With fundraising victory, Cappy’s Boxing Gym not going down without a fight

 Ravel Scheiner eyes her rival during a training session at Cappy’s Boxing Gym. (Photo: Peter Allen Clark)

Ravel Scheiner eyes her rival during a training session at Cappy’s Boxing Gym. (Photo: Peter Allen Clark)

After nearly 15 years of supporting Central Seattle’s boxing community, Cappy’s Boxing Gym asked for some online help in return. This summer, they go it.

After facing some recent financial setbacks, owner Cappy Kotz said his 22nd and E Union gym had joined a long line of businesses which have found the raised rents and changing social dynamics of Capitol Hill and the Central District difficult to weather.

So, in order to expand the business and prepare for the future, Cappy’s Boxing Gym began an Indiegogo fundraising project on June 1. The campaign asked for $15,000 to help “continue to produce Olympic caliber athletes and transform lives,” with much of the money going towards marketing. Last week, donors answered the call, raising just over $15,000 well before the July 1st deadline. Coach Ann Bailey said she was overwhelmed with the response.

“We kind of knew something special was happening,” Bailey said. “We were really moved by what people had to say about our gym.” Continue reading