Central District church burglary, graffiti investigated as hate crime

Sunday as its congregation prepared to celebrate the church’s 67th anniversary, leaders at the Central District’s Curry Temple CME arrived to find a terrible mess inside the 23rd Ave house of worship and hateful messages spray painted across the walls.

“Our church has been vandalized & items were stolen,” a message posted to the church’s Facebook page reads. “We had worship service we also had our 67th anniversary celebration at 3 o’clock the Devil is a Lie we should not be defeated and no weapon formed against us will ever prosper.”

Police are investigating the burglary and vandalism as malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute. The damage and messages are similar to the destruction that happened last month at the Africatown Center. In that investigation, police said a volunteer had been arrested in connection with the case.

At Curry Temple, the church is vowing to overcome the damage. A donation page has been set up and parishioners and the community are planning to gather Saturday at 10 AM for a prayer vigil and “call to action.”

“We are calling for Faith based leaders and Community leaders & Members to come together, stand with Curry Temple in Solidarity in [the] the Central District,” the announcement reads. “We are like a tree planted by water we shall not be moved.”


Why did Ingrid Lyne’s killer choose the Central District?

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Friends and family of Lyne have come together to mourn her passing and raise money for her three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 7. A GoFundme campaign has raised more than $240,000 for the girls.

Friends and family of Lyne have come together to mourn her passing and raise money for her three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 7. A GoFundme campaign has raised more than $240,000 for the girls.

In the two weeks since remains of Ingrid Lyne were discovered in a recycling bin at 21st and Pine, police have arrested a suspect and offered a gruesome outline of what they believed happened to the Renton mother of three.

Still, details on how the 40-year-old’s killer ended up on this residential block remain unclear.

John Charlton, 37, is suspected of killing the Swedish Medical Center nurse in her home, stealing her car, dumping her body in Central District recycling bins, and eventually making his way to Snohomish County where he was arrested.

The 1600 block of 21st Ave appears to have only been a random stop on Charlton’s way to Lake Stevens where he was eventually arrested. Police say the neighborhood bears no other connection to the case.

The handful of available details on Charlton’s whereabouts that weekend offer some insight into a possible timeline of events, but no definitive answers as to why he chose the Central District. Continue reading

Happy 4/20? Protest again targets Central District’s Uncle Ike’s

With Bryan Cohen and Alex Garland reporting

Protesters targeted 23rd and Union’s Uncle Ike’s I-502 marijuana shop Wednesday afternoon, disrupting business on 4/20, the biggest stoner shopping day of the year.

“The most important thing he could do, and I know this is harsh, is move,” performer Draze told the large assembly of media as groups met at Garfleld Community Center for the march a few blocks north to Uncle Ike’s.

Draze’s recently released album features Irony on 23rd, a scathing rap about Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg and the history of segregation and heavy anti-drug policing in the area.

Draze tells CHS that he has been told accounts of the impact of increased marijuana use on students at Garfield High. “We have seen an uptick in marijuana use since he’s been there,” Draze said he has been told.

“That directly ties to the issue we’re talking about.”

As he watched a few dozen protesters link arms to block of his 4/20 party entrance Wednesday, Eisenberg was mostly nonplussed.

“Hey, it’s 4/20, everybody should be having fun celebrating,” Eisenberg told CHS. The business owner and real estate investor has made I-502 retail a major part of his recent investments as a new Capitol Hill shop is set to open in a building Eisenberg owns on 15th Ave E. Continue reading

Where should we put a new ballot drop box on Capitol Hill?

(Image: Fecki via Flickr)

(Image: Fecki via Flickr)

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 10.09.16 AMScreen Shot 2016-04-19 at 10.09.32 AMA plan to boost sagging voter turnout numbers by quadrupling the number of ballot drop boxes around King County is beginning to take shape — with public libraries at the center. The only question on Capitol Hill is where, exactly, the new box would go.

King County Council committee will consider the proposal for 43 ballot drop locations next week. Of the locations deemed feasible for 2016, 24 of them are located at public libraries.

The proposal utilizes a variety of factors including equity and turnout rates in determining which locations to prioritize. In the Central District, a proposed box at the Douglass-Truth branch library made the cut but won’t be installed in time for 2016 votes. The Montlake library, for example, did not. Capitol Hill qualified for a new drop box but there are two locations under consideration — one on Harvard Ave E at the Capitol Hill library branch, the other at Seattle Central. Here are the scorecards for the Hill proposals and the Central District box:

Continue reading

Developers announce PCC Natural Markets to anchor mixed-use set to replace City People’s

(Image: Velmeir/Studio Meng Strazzara)

(Image: Velmeir/Studio Meng Strazzara)

Velmeir, the Michigan-based “full service commercial retail development company” poised to purchase the longtime Madison Valley home of City People’s to develop a new mixed-use building on the property has announced that Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets will anchor the project:

The Velmeir Companies today announced that PCC Natural Markets (PCC) will anchor a proposed new mixed-use development in Madison Valley. PCC, the country’s largest member-owned natural foods market, will occupy 25,000 square feet in the new building. The project will include 75 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments above the grocer and an underground parking garage.

Developers are slated to start construction at the beginning of 2017 with PCC opening in early 2018. While PCC will occupy most of the building’s ground-level retail space, there is a small, 2,000-square-foot space that may be used for a cafe-style business. The project’s 75 residential units will likely be market-rate, though a spokesperson for Velmeir said the company would “explore options” for including affordable housing using Seattle’s tax incentive program. The underground parking garage is slated to have 157 spaces — 81 for residents and 76 for retail.

Early designs call for some portions of the development to go to three stories while other portions will rise to four stories in response to existing zoning on the block. Developers are not planning to ask for a departure from the zoning heights, a spokesperson said, and are proposing wider setbacks from the sidewalk than those currently required.

PCC CEO Cate Hardy told CHS the co-op was drawn to the location by the surrounding neighborhood’s high demand for sustainable, organic food. “Madison Valley is definitely at the hub of a lot of neighborhoods that our concept resonates with,” Hardy said.

Hardy told CHS the Madison Valley location will be similar in concept to the Columbia City market. Prepared grab-and-go foods account for a significant portion of PCC’s business and will be part of the Madison Valley market. The mix of food stations has not yet been solidified, but Hardy said PCC’s pizza and taqueria stations are likely to included.

CHS broke the news in March that the garden store and nursery was preparing to close by the end of the year as City People’s founders planned to sell the property. “We had high hopes for the business, and we also hoped that many years hence our investment might become the cornerstone of our retirement. As we now know, the gamble paid off,” the owners said in an announcement on the plans.

The PCC announcement comes as opposition to the planned development has taken the shape of a new Save Madison Valley group. The group met earlier this month to discuss the development.

Continue reading

John Charlton charged with murder, suspected of dumping victim’s body parts in a CD recycling bin


The recycling bin where Lyne’s head and other remains were found. (Image: CHS)

King County prosecutors charged John Charlton with first degree murder Wednesday for allegedly killing a Renton mother of three, whose body parts were found in a Central District recycling bin on Saturday. The 37-year-old Snohomish man is suspected of dismembering Ingird Lyne, 40, in her home then dumping her body parts at 21st and Pine. Friends of Lyne, who worked as a nurse at Swedish Medical Center, said she had been dating Charlton for a short period of time after the two met online.

“The tragic murder of Ingrid Lyne has left a family and community in a spiral of grief and anguish,” said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in a statement. “We may never understand why she was killed … but the police and prosecutors working on this case have done a tremendous job of piecing together a solid case against the person we believe to be responsible for her death.”Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 4.32.26 PM

Lyne was reported missing on Saturday. She and Charlton planned to go on a date the night before, which included seeing the Mariners home opener. After Lyne’s dismembered body was discovered on Saturday at 21st and Pine, detectives searched her Renton home and found bits of flesh and a 15-inch pruning saw in her bathroom.

Charlton also faces a charge for stealing Lyne’s car, which he allegedly used to transport her remains to the Central District. The vehicle was eventually recovered in Belltown.

The body parts found by a Central District homeowner were officially identified as belonging to Lyne on Wednesday, though SPD officials said Monday they were certain of the victim’s identity. Officials said the Central District property was only a dumping location in the case and that Charlton had no other known connections to the area.  Continue reading

Project to electrify the 48 bus is underway on 23rd Ave


Red sections indicate where overhead wires will go up. (Image: SDOT)

Red sections indicate where overhead wires will be installed. (Image: SDOT)

Amid the massive overhaul of the 23rd Ave corridor and the uproar it’s caused with local merchants, another project on the street has quietly got underway: building the infrastructure necessary to transition the route 48 diesel hybrid busses into a fleet of all-electric trolleys.

Connecting the U-District to Mt. Baker through the Central District and Capitol Hill, the 48 is the workhorse of 23rd Ave transit, shuttling riders the entire length of the corridor. Much of 23rd Ave has overhead wires to accommodate the 4 and 43, but the 48 has to run diesel hybrid busses due to gaps in the line.

There are currently 1.7 miles of missing overhead wires needed to run electric trolleys on the 48, with gaps from John to Cherry, and Dearborn to Plum.

The Seattle Department of Transportation, which is handling funding and construction for the King County Metro line, estimates the project will cost $14.6 – $17.5 million, with $9.4 million already secured through federal grants. Construction will include installing trolley poles, overhead wires, and traction power sub stations. The second phase of the project is expected to get underway next year, setting up the 48 to go electric in 2018.

“The Electric trolley bus is the really tried and true transit wet have here in Seattle,” said SDOT’s transit deputy director Bill Bryant at a recent city-county joint transportation meeting. “It is particularly well suited for our hilly environment and lots of starts and stops.”

There are clear environmental benefits, too. With its 4 miles per gallon busses, the 48 route uses roughy 185,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. Electric trolley bus technology was found to be $3.7 million cheaper annually than diesel hybrids, according to an SDOT study. Electric trolleys will also significantly reduce noise along the busy corridor.

In 2023, the 48 will also be the only transit line to directly connect non-downtown stations on all three Link lines: Central Link (Mount Baker Station), East Link (Judkins Park Station), and North Link (Brooklyn and UW stations). Continue reading

Jimi Hendrix Park finally ready to open this summer in the CD

plan_11-21After 10 years — longer than his meteoric music career — a park to honor Seattle native Jimi Hendrix is finally nearing completion. The fully designed Jimi Hendrix Park will open August 27th.

The 2.5 acre green space at 25th Ave and S Massachusetts was established in 2006 on the site of the former Colman School. A large fence had cordoned off much of the area as plans have inched forward to add facilities, design elements, and historic identifiers.

Thanks to a fundraising campaign and a $200,000 award from King County, The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation has funded the last phase of construction of a shelter and Hendrix-inspired design elements. The park, which is adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum, will remain fenced off to allow grass to grow throughout the spring and summer.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 5.22.51 PMThe park’s rock and roll design is inspired by Hendrix, who grew up near the area. The entrance and main path will be alongside a long guitar-like structure. The Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation also hopes to host music events at the park and “beautify Seattle, motivate youth and others to achieve in music and art, and strengthen the cultural pulse of the Emerald City,” according to the group’s website.

Hendrix t-shirts are now for sale to help sustain the park foundation.

Once the park is complete, it will only be a comparatively quick seven years until light rail arrives just steps away at the Judkins Park Station. Construction on station is slated to begin by mid-2017. It will be the western-most station on the 10-stop East Link line which will connect to the Link line at the International District/Chinatown Station.

(Image: Murase Associates)

(Image: Murase Associates)

With Cloud Veil rising above, celebrate the new 12th Ave Square Park

Felipe says he and Leeloo pass through the park at least twice a week (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Felipe says he and Leeloo pass through the park at least twice a week (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Dustin works nearby

Dustin works nearby

Ellen Sollod had been involved in designing the new 12th Ave Square Park from the early stages. At about 7,300 square feet and wedged between mixed-use housing, a cafe, and a restaurant, it’s on the smaller end of the park spectrum. So while everyone involved in the design wanted some central identifying feature, Sollod, an artist by trade, knew it shouldn’t be something that would “interrupt” the park, like a big sculpture might.

And so “Cloud Veil” was born, and installation of metal mesh and mirrors that hangs over the park space.

“It has a kind of a big top quality,” Sollod said, and along with the pillars which support the mesh, it helps define the space as being a room.

Thursday night, Seattle Parks will celebrate one of its newest open spaces with a ribbon-cutting and music.

The park sits on the corner of 12th Ave and E James Court, across from Seattle University’s sports complex. It had been an empty lot until the land was transformed into a plaza-like park which opened in February at a cost of about $1.06 million.

From the early stages, neighborhood residents, in particular the 12th Avenue Stewards group, had wanted to take a collaborative approach to the park’s design. The idea was for art to be integrated into the fabric of the park, rather than just tacked on at the end. Continue reading

Murder arrest in Central District body parts investigation, victim tentatively ID’d as missing mother


Police investigators at the scene of Saturday’s grisly find (Image: CHS)

Chief Kathleen O'Toole announced the murder arrest Monday evening. (Image: CHS)

Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced the murder arrest Monday evening. (Image: CHS)

Seattle Police have arrested a 37-year-old man for homicide in connection with body parts that were found in a Central District sicycling bin Saturday afternoon. John Robert Charlton of Snohomish County was arrested Monday morning and booked into the King County Jail.

Although SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole declined to identify the victim, she said evidence was clear that the remains belonged to a woman who was reported missing in Renton that evening. Ingrid Lyne, a Swedish Medical Center nurse and mother of three, was reported missing after going on a date that included attending a Mariners game on Friday, according to friends who have posted about the 40-year-old woman’s disappearance on social media.

“We have no reason to believe that there is any question as to the vicim’s identity,” O’Toole said. “We’re very confident the victim is the one that has been identified in the media.”

UPDATE (4/13): King County Medical Examiners positively identified Lyne as the victim in the case on Wednesday.

UPDATE (4/12): Charlton made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, where King County prosecutors said they believe he murdered Lyne in her Renton home and transferred her body in her car to Seattle. Bits of human flesh were found in Lyne’s bathtub along with a pruning saw, according to probable cause documents filed in court by SPD Tuesday.

The judge found probable cause to keep Charlton in jail and set bail at $2 million. Charlton stood still and remained silent during the brief hearing.

According to the probable cause documents, the Central District homeowner discovered the body parts after emptying his bin which he thought was unusually heavy. After he called 911, investigators found a human head, an arm, part of a leg, and a foot. Since the face was intact, investigators were able to match it with Lyne’s photograph. The garbage bags used to wrap the remains matched an emptied box of bags at Lyne’s home, according to detectives.

A neighbor later told investigators that Lyne had been dating a man named John and that she was going to the Mariners game with him on Friday. Police found a ticket to the game on her computer.

The documents also shed light on what transpired in the day after Lyne’s disappearance. On Saturday, Lyne’s ex-husband arrived at Lyne’s house with their three daughters — ages 12, 10, and 7 — and found Lyne’s wallet and keys, but not Lyne. He called Lyne’s mother, who came to the house where she found Charlton’s number on Lyne’s phone and began texting him to ask about her daughter’s whereabouts. Charlton acknowledged the two were dating, but stopped responding after this text:

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 4.38.34 PM

After his arrest, Charlton told police he and Lyne returned to her house but that he was too drunk to remember what happened afterwards. He said Lyne likely drove him back to Seattle, where he slept on a sidewalk. Detectives observed abrasions to his face and scratches to his hand and chest.

Charlton’s criminal history stretching back to 1998 includes violent crimes committed in multiple states.

Ingrid Lyne (Image via Facebook)

Ingrid Lyne (Image via Facebook)

King County Medical Examiners will make the final determination on the victim’s identity.

Investigators used forensic evidence, including a photograph, call records, and cell tower information to connect to the missing woman in Renton to the body parts found in the Central District, according to SPD. Police converged on Lyne’s Renton home early Sunday, the Seattle Times reported.

SPD did not provide any details on where the alleged homicide may have taken place. Assistant Chief Robert Merner said the recycling bin appeared to be a “dumping location” for the remains and that there were no other known connections to the Central District.  Continue reading