Youth jail construction site targeted in overnight ‘molotov cocktail’ attack — UPDATE

An attempted arson attack early Tuesday morning on the under construction expansion of the county youth jail facility was thwarted by a Seattle Police officer at the 12th Ave site and “molotov cocktails” that failed to explode.

All information in this report has not yet been confirmed by police and is based on East Precinct radio dispatches. UPDATE: SPD confirmed the investigation and said more details will be released soon. UPDATE x2: An update from SPD is below. Continue reading

Plans underway for new Yesler Tiny House Village in the Central District

A tour of the 22nd and Union village in 2016

People living near 18th and Yesler will gather Tuesday night to learn more about a plan to bring more neighbors to the area in a new Tiny House Village project from the Low Income Housing Institute.

“This new village will shelter homeless families, homeless students, seniors, veterans, singles and people with pets,” the announcement from LIHI says. Continue reading

Central District’s Williams remembered as business — and neighborhood — leader

Williams in a Juneeteenth parade (Image: CHS/Central District News)

DeCharlene Williams, one of the most visible advocates of preservation and inclusive growth in the Central District in her decades heading the Central Area Chamber of Commerce, has died, her family announced this weekend.

“This morning at 9:06 AM I lost one of my best friends, my mom DeCharlene Williams to uterine sarcoma cancer,” her daughter Rita Green posted Sunday. Continue reading

It’s harvest time for Capitol Hill and Central District ideas for urban gleaner City Fruit

With warmer days, those neighborhood blossoms will soon be neighborhood plums. But City Fruit, the urban fruit gleaning community dedicated to putting the bounty of Seattle’s edible forests to good use, is coming to the area later this month to harvest something else.

City Fruit reps are coming to a May 29th meeting at the Central District’s Douglass-Truth Library meeting space to and learn more how to get the word out about their programs, neighborhood trees ripe for the picking, and ideas on where its bounties could be best put to use in the area.

City Fruit: Harvest Advisory Forum – Central District and Capitol Hill

“Do you know of some public trees in the neighborhood that never are harvested? Want to be involved with a Harvest Hub? Let us know,” organizers write.

CHS wrote here about the many flowering trees found around Capitol Hill — many of them bearers of fruit. Happy harvesting.

CHS Pics | A New Seasons opening in Ballard ripples into the Central District

Here is a preview of 23rd and Union sometime in 2019 when the neighborhood’s newest grocery store, New Seasons, is slated to open in The East Union mixed-use development.

Protesters targeted the grand opening of the Portland-based chain’s new Ballard store Wednesday with a list of anti-labor, union-unfriendly grievances:

Employees say corporate managers retaliated against Portland workers who spoke up about working conditions, even hiring a notorious Trump Hotel union-buster to intimidate and silence them.

Continue reading

With new manager, new energy for strengthening Seattle Police’s increasingly important Demographic Advisory Councils

The East Precinct no longer has a Crime Prevention Coordinator to attend community meetings and talk with residents and local businesses about safety issues in their neighborhoods. But Felicia Cross has a new, bigger role to play at the Seattle Police Department.

Cross recently transitioned into a new role as SPD’s Community Outreach Program Manager taking over for Maggie George who held the position for 30 years.

Cross has advocated to bridge the gap between the police and community members as former chair of the African American Advisory Council where she redefined the importance of the group’s meetings. In her new job, Cross aims continue this effort. “I want to energize, revamp, and revive all the demographic councils,” she said. “I want to learn about each council and their needs, and I want to be a resource with each one of the councils.” Continue reading

After 37 years, Flowers Just 4 U opens on a new corner of 23rd Ave

Mary Wesley is ready for the next step in 37 years of flowers along 23rd Ave (Images: CHS)

In 1981, Mary Wesley moved her flower shop to a corner space on 23rd and Jackson. She renamed her shop Flowers Just 4 U, hoping a friendly name and two windowed walls would establish a community-centric atmosphere, drawing foot traffic in. 37 years later, Flowers Just 4 U has found a new home on the corner of Cherry and 23rd.

Wesley and her longtime employees Patricia Ross and Emily Steele are looking to continue their shop’s legacy as the store relocates to make way for the construction of a new, six story affordable housing development on its former site. Despite initial difficulties involving the lighting, floor plan, and moving flower fridges into the new space formerly home to 701 Coffee, the crew at Flowers Just 4 U is optimistic about the move considering their close proximity to Garfield High School, Garfield Community Center, residential homes, and other new shops and development opening in the surrounding area. Continue reading

23rd Ave road diet continues with year-long south project ready to dig in, bus-only lane cut from Montlake plans

23rd Ave south of Jackson

The process to overhaul 23rd Ave from one end to the other between 520 and I-90 is preparing for the next stages as construction is prepared to begin next month in the southern stretch of the corridor while a big change is being made to the plans in the north.

Wednesday night, the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a “pre-construction open house” for the southern Phase 2 of the 23rd Ave Vision Zero project:

Phase 2 construction will happen along 23rd Ave S between S Jackson St to Rainier Ave S. While we don’t yet know an exact start date, we anticipate Phase 2 construction beginning as soon as May 2018 and lasting approximately one year. We will share more details about the construction schedule and phasing once the contractor is on board.

Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, 2401 S Irving.

This summer, SDOT will also dig in for a few weeks on slimming down the 24th Ave E end of the corridor through Montlake. But a big component of the plan has been dropped:

In another unfortunate setback for Vision Zero and the Move Seattle Levy, SDOT has elected to remove the dedicated bus lane planned for 24th Avenue to give more space to cars. 23rd/24th Avenue, home to the 43 and 48 routes and used by over 6,000 bus riders daily, is one of Seattle’s supposed “transit priority corridors” (a phrase that grows ever more meaningless), slated for RapidRide buses in 2024.

“The 2015 Transit Master Plan called for bus lanes from Thomas St. to Roanoke St., almost all the way to the Montlake bridge,” the Seattle Transit Blog reports. “As the plan has evolved, neighborhood opposition has increased and the bus lanes have been walked back, until this month, when they were scrapped entirely.” Continue reading

Seattle set to give Central District its own design review board

In an effort to preserve and grow the historically Black culture of the Central District, Seattle is creating a new Design Review Board for the area. The proposal passed out of committee April 4, and will  go before the Seattle City Council for a vote scheduled for Monday afternoon, April 9th. UPDATE 3:20 PM: In a unanimous vote, the council approved Rob Johnson’s legislation creating the new guidelines and board. Johnson thanks Central Area activists for their  “several decades of work” to make the new process possible. “I’m really proud to be playing a small part here in the end to help get this across the finish line,” Johnson said.

“The creation of a Central Area Design Review District and Board will support equitable and inclusive community engagement and process specific for those most impacted by displacement, maximize the effectiveness of the Central Area Design Guidelines, and help guide future development to respond to the unique Central Area historical character and identity,” according to a report prepared explaining (PDF) the legislation.

The proposal sponsored by Council member and planning and land use committee chair Rob Johnson (District 4) would make a new, eighth design review district by carving it from Capitol Hill’s East District Review Board and the Southeast district. Continue reading

A ‘Brutal’ landmark? East Pine Substation the Central District’s unlikeliest candidate for preservation

Tuesday is the deadline for you to weigh in on what might seem to be one of the more unlikely candidates to become a neighborhood landmark — Seattle City Light’s Brutalist, brick-walled East Pine Substation.

The E Pine at 23rd Ave facility will go in front of the  Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board Wednesday “to determine the historic status of the property prior to a SCL proposal to increase the substation’s capacity, security and reliability for the surrounding Central Area, First Hill, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods,” according to the department’s nomination document (PDF) on the property.

The nomination document describes the era of City Light’s investment in architecturally significant infrastructure: Continue reading