With recommendations from the city and Seattle Police, these Central District neighbors are battling gun violence with a mural and a food truck

Following a deadly shooting at the corner earlier this year, neighbors decided it was time to do more than emphasis patrols and increased policing. Some pundits made fun of a push for better environmental design as part of the answer to gun violence in the Central District. But neighbors are pushing forward. After welcoming the El Costeno food truck, the former Shell gas station parking lot on the corner of Union and 21st is becoming home to a new community mural as part of efforts to make the corner safer for everybody.

“Although it’s not written explicitly, my mural will make the statement that people who live here care about their neighborhood and are making efforts to maintain it,” said Gabrielle Abbott, the artist commissioned for the mural. “The artwork occupies the space so people don’t feel like it’s a space they can use for illegal or unwanted activities.”

Efforts to improve the corner are a result of surrounding area residents’ concerns of illegal activity after multiple instances of gun violence and the deadly shooting. Healthy Youth Central Area Network (HYCAN), a Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative supported by Seattle Public Schools, joined efforts to make positive use of the corner by supporting the mural project. The organization aims to support a community mural on a yearly basis. Continue reading

Sawant brings her City Council committee to CD for meeting on embattled 12th Ave restaurant, gentrification

Council member Kshama Sawant was in the Central District on Monday as the city council committee she chairs discussed gentrification in her district while a local business sits on the frontlines of displacement.

At the center of the fight recently has been Saba, an Ethiopian restaurant on 12th Ave that has served the neighborhood for nearly 20 years. Saba is emblematic of broader change many longtime residents in the Central District see in which small businesses have increasingly been displaced. Organizer KL Shannon, who says she grew up in the area, said that she can’t think of one black-owned business anymore in the Central District due to rapid development.

“We want the kind of development that would allow small businesses of every origin to thrive here and for working families, regardless of income, to find affordable housing in our city because we go to work everyday and we make our cities run,” Sawant said. “We have the right to our city.” Continue reading

The Paoli Mejías Quintet

Carlos Santana’s conga player, Paoli Mejías, is a Latin Grammy nominee, and a distinguished master percussionist from Puerto Rico, ranked among the best in both Latin Jazz and salsa. His charisma and energetic Afro-Caribbean rhythms are notorious for bringing audiences to their feet.

As a bandleader, Paoli fuses straight-ahead jazz with African, Mediterranean and Caribbean folkloric rhythms to create a new dimension of Latin Jazz that is global, energetic and modern. Mejías has performed and recorded with some of the most celebrated artists of Latin Jazz including Carlos Santana, Chick Corea, Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, Luis Enrique, David Sanchez, La India, Seis del Solar, and Eddie Palmieri.

Tickets are $25 for general admission and $35 for front-row seating.

Design reviews include First Hill Trinity Parish condo tower, microhousing project set to replace Central District’s Chateau apartments

The future of The Chateau in the Central District

Design reviews this week for new multifamily housing development on First Hill and in the Central District will feature projects that have also raised issues around displacement in Seattle.

Thursday night, the Central Area Design Review Board will take up its first look at the four-story, 70 or so-unit apartment building planned to replace The Chateau apartments on 19th Ave.

Design review: 119 19th Ave

City Council member Kshama Sawant said residents of the former Section 8 subsidized apartments won an “unheard of concession” thanks to advocacy work this spring after the building was purchased by developer Cadence Real Estate. Continue reading

Tai Chi for Beginners Drop In Class

Wednesdays, 6:30pm, July 17th to Aug. 28th, 2019,  $15-20 sliding scale drop-in per class.

Intro to Tai Chi SUMMER 2019

Looking to begin your Tai Chi practice? Wanting to improve your fundamentals of movement, balance, flexibility and coordination? This is a great class for beginners and experienced to learn and improve their fundamentals.

This class will focus on learning and practicing the Joint Lubrication Longevity Qigong, Tai Chi walking, Silk Reeling, and some introductory form work.

Join Senior student Myles Conley at Wise Orchid Taijiquan & Qigong, 2002 E. Union St., Across from Chuck’s Hop Shop at 20th and E. Union., 206-321-0613

CHS Pics | YWCA celebrates 125 years in Washington, a century in the Central District

With a party in Powell Barnett Park Thursday night, the YWCA held a community gathering to celebrate its long history in the Central District as part of a greater celebration marking 125 years since the organization first established a location in the state when it opened a small storeroom with a cafeteria and a lounge in Seattle at 3rd and Columbia. Continue reading

City seeks feedback on plan for EV charging station in the Central District

After Seattle City Light’s previous efforts to install an electric vehicle charging station on Broadway were curbed, the organization is proposing to build a similar EV charging station in the Central District.

The charging station would be implemented on East Olive St between 21st and 22nd Ave as part of the City of Seattle’s pilot program to add EV charging stations throughout the city. The pilot program is part of the Drive Clean Seattle Initiative, which hopes to provide more EV charging stations as an incentive for people to drive EVs, aiding the city in meeting its carbon neutral goals. 

If the chargers are built, two fast chargers will be located along the curb while two existing street parking spots will be converted to “EV charging only” spaces.

The average EV charging session lasts between fifteen and thirty minutes, so drivers would be limited to an hour of parking at these spaces.  Continue reading

Why you might want to give a dollar or two to a fundraising campaign to help a Central District barbershop move

With reporting by Emily Piette

A Central District community centerpiece — and a great place for a haircut, Earl’s Cuts and Styles is looking for fundraising help as it moves to a new location in the inclusively planned affordable housing development, the Liberty Bank Building, named to honor the region’s first Black-owned bank that once stood at the corner of 24th and Union.

For owner Earl Lancaster, the fundraising effort is about being able to handle the pile of costs that stack up when running a small business and trying to pull together a move to a new location after years of business at the soon to be demolished Midtown Center.

“The fundraising campaign will cover the odds and ends, helping with some new equipment since a lot of my equipment is older and making sure I have enough running capital for the move to go right,” Lancaster said.

The campaign has so far raised around a third of its $5,000 goal.

For Wyking Garrett, CEO of Africatown who helped manage the effort to recruit Black-owned businesses to the Liberty Bank project with Capitol Hill Housing, the fundraising isn’t a sign that inclusive development at 24th and Union isn’t working.

“It’s a great opportunity for the community to really support and invest in a community treasure,” Garrett said.

But the leader of the nonprofit dedicated to economic development and maintaining and growing a Black presence in the Central District said more, indeed, needs to be done for small businesses facing displacement, and Black and minority business owners facing soaring costs.  Continue reading

Birds of a cask ale feather will flock together as Machine House’s Central District taproom becomes the Capercaillie Pub

Celebrate the 4th of July by drinking English ales

Capercaillie Pub will continue Machine House Brewery’s quest of serving English beer on E Jefferson. The new project is a result of a shift in ownership, and the pub will be taking over the brewery’s bar space, making a few smaller changes in addition to the name change and change in ownership.

“Our vision is the Capercaillie will be a neighborhood pub featuring cask ale, and a place where people can hang out and feel comfortable,” said Alex Brenner, the pub’s owner, “I really like the layout of the space, the staff are great with customers, and the beer we serve is spot on.” Continue reading

City Council comes to Central District to talk taking on gun violence with cops on foot, SDOT improvements, economic development

Flowers and a memorial left for Royale Lexing along E Union (Image: CHS)

A slide from the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New
Americans, and Education Committee meeting

One-third of the Seattle City Council, half a dozen city department officials, and the deputy chief of the Seattle Police Department met with a crowded room of Central District residents Thursday evening as they outlined the city’s holistic approach to addressing the recent spate of gun violence in the neighborhood that has left citizens worried.

Lorena González brought herGender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Committee committee to the CD for a special meeting In collaboration with the African American Community Advisory Council at the Seattle Vocational Institute in what has been the most significant official response to concerns about gun violence and a deadly shooting in the neighborhood.

On a Friday afternoon in mid-May, 19-year-old Royale Lexing was found dead by police outside Swedish Cherry Hill where he was rushed by private vehicle after multiple shooters exchanged fire in a chaotic scene along E Union. This was the first fatal shooting in the community in the first six and a half months of a year since 2014, according to SPD. Continue reading