SPD responds to ‘7 in 72 hours’ Central District gun incidents with increased presence, arrests

Following CHS’s report on a spate of gun violence in the Central District. a Seattle Police official said Thursday night the department is making progress quelling the uptick in shootings and has made arrests in connection with some of the recent incidents.

At Seattle University on Thursday, the monthly East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) meeting was attended by a standing-room only crowd as anxious community members hoped to hear about SPD’s plans to stunt the recent spate of shootings in the Central District.

SPD Deputy Chief Marc Garth-Green announced that three arrests have been made in connection with the recent shootings. Continue reading

‘We are going to keep raising the bar’ — Chief Best finishes day of ceremony in the Central District

With a group hug from Mayor Durkan and Judge Crawford-Willis, Best can now get on with leading SPD

The city’s new police chief finished a day of celebration and ceremony in the Central District Tuesday as the Seattle Police Department’s first Black leader was sworn-in at the Northwest African American Museum.

“We can not think that the work and the sacrifice of those who came before us is something just for the history books or the museums,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said addressing the crowd of officials, supporters, and family before the ceremony with Seattle Municipal Court Judge, the Honorable Anita Crawford-Willis. “We are still writing history today.” Continue reading

‘7 in 72 hours’ — burst of gun violence in the Central District — UPDATE

A spike of gun violence in Seattle including a burst around the Central District has residents asking city officials to do more to quell the outbreak.

Neighbors have tallied “7 in 72 hours” as they tracked gunfire incidents and shootings over social media after two people were shot in an apparent “road rage” assault at 22nd and Pine Wednesday night.

Six more would follow into the weekend including three more bouts of gunfire — near Midtown Center, 28th and Cherry, and 28th and Yesler — in the hours following the 22nd/Pine shooting and a drive-by shooting Friday just before 5 PM near 24th Ave S and Washington in which a teen was reportedly grazed on the backside by a bullet.  Continue reading

On 22nd Ave, listening in on Seattle’s new design review community process

The community meeting was held at the site of the planned development (Image: CHS)

Seattle has a new design review process designed to add more community time and discussion as developers continue to reshape many areas of the city. Hybrid, a Capitol Hill architecture firm located on E Pike, held one of Seattle’s first early community outreach meetings as mandated by the new design review process last week.

As CHS reported last month, an ordinance passed last year that went into effect July 1st requires developers to “actively solicit community input before beginning the design review process” if the project begins its development permitting process after that date.

This new rule allows Seattle residents early opportunities to shape local developments and, hopefully, create more transparency and community engagement in the design process.

The meeting on 162 22nd Ave dealt with the demolition of an existing blue single-family home that sits on this property to create room for the construction of three new townhouse units and one single family residence. Five neighbors from the surrounding houses attended the outreach gathering hosted by three members of the Hybrid team.

“What are your guys’ main concerns about it? Is it the fact that it’s here at all? Is it the density? Is it the parking? Is it the building form?” Continue reading

Development at MLK and Union has created new housing, a new restaurant, and space for a longtime Central District boxing gym

A new home for Cappy’s

With renewed community support and now space for a proper fighting ring, Cappy’s Boxing Gym is welcoming clients new and old to use their facility. They provide one-on-one fitness classes as well as a youth boxing program for children between 8 and 17 years and a competitive team that goes up against other local teams and clubs.

“Cappy’s is a welcoming community,” said coach and office manager Ara Jane Olufson. “It’s welcoming. It’s open. It’s encouraging.”

Olufson, who became the gym’s office manager in November, also coaches boxers at the gym. Before that, she was a customer at Cappy’s for more than 11 years.

“I remember my first class,” Olufson said. Continue reading

Still meaty, Central Smoke rises on E Jefferson

Eric Banh and chef Mike Whisenhunt (Images: CHS)

A rush of red meat in the Seattle restaurant scene has settled out with a transformation of E Jefferson steakhouse Seven Beef into a new concept centered on more accessible but still meaty offerings — Central Smoke.

With fried rice and pickled cucumber on the menu alongside ribs and brisket, Central Smoke now brings Texas-style smoked meats and a unique combination of Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese flavors to E Jefferson. Headed by owner Eric Banh and chef Mike Whisenhunt, who together carry more than 40 years of experience in the kitchen, the new bar and smokery replaced Seven Beef on the corner of E Jefferson and 13th Ave last month.

“What we do is multicultural. I would call it very eclectic,” Banh said. “I want to do something that is very soulful and really feed our creativity and passion.”

Continue reading

With increased call for community say in redevelopment, mayor helps kick off Umoja Fest with ribbon-cutting at 23rd and Union

Mayor Durkan joined K. Wyking Garrett of the Africatown Community Land Trust at a Saturday ribbon-cutting (Image: City of Seattle)

Mayor Jenny Durkan joined with Africatown for the official ribbon cutting on the Imagine Africatown Pop Up Plaza and Art Installation to kick off Saturday’s 2018 Umoja Fest parade march in the Central District:

The Imagine Africatown Pop Up Plaza and art installation is located at Midtown Center on 23rd and Union, a longtime hub for African American small businesses that is slated to be demolished for redevelopment in 2019.

“Before the existing Midtown Center meets its fate with the wrecking ball, we are partnering to transform the site into a vibrant community activation space to host a wide range of events and activities aligned with the rich African American and African diaspora heritage of the neighborhood,” landscape designer and project lead designer Sara Zewde said. “The goal is to capture the community ideas about the potential for the future development at 23rd and Union, including space for gathering, Black and African diaspora identity, culture and Black-owned businesses.” Continue reading

Police investigate MLK/Union drive-by shooting — UPDATE: Suspect arrested

A male victim was shot in the leg in an apparent drive-by on E Union near MLK Monday afternoon.

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire were called to the nearby Grocery Outlet where the 22-year-old victim was found around 12:45 PM after the shooting along the street near the store. According to East Precinct radio reports, the gunshot wound victim was conscious but we have no further details on his condition. UPDATE: Police say his injuries were not life-threatening.

UPDATE 8/7/2018 10:15 AM: Police say they have made an arrest in the case:

Gang Unit detectives identified the suspect. The suspect and his vehicle were located yesterday late afternoon on First Hill. Detectives conducted surveillance as SWAT arrested the 28-year-old suspect and detectives served a search warrant on the suspect’s residence and vehicle. Two handguns were recovered. The suspect was later booked into the King County Jail on a number of gun-related charges. This remains an active and on-going investigation.

Continue reading

With Twilight Exit’s new thing on Rainier, there’s only one Union

Dark and drinky inside the Twilight Exit (Image: CHS)

Fans of Capitol Hill food+drink drama, settle down. Thanks to Central District classic joint the Twilight Exit, there won’t be any litigative battle over the name chosen for Capitol Hill’s newest gay bar.

Commenters on CHS and social media have asked about whether there might end up being confusion between Capitol Hill’s new Union and Union Bar in Hillman City.

We can happily report there will be very little to no confusion — Union Bar is becoming Twilight Rainier.


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Twilight owner Stephan Mollmann confirms that the five-year-old Hillman City bar is now in the Twilight family.

The original Twilight Exit moved from E Madison to E Cherry in 2008. Today, a six-story apartment building stands at the original site across from the 22nd/Madison Safeway. Mollmann also opened The Neighbor Lady at 23rd and Union in 2011.

Central Area Design Review Board ready for first project: 23rd Ave S microhousing

The first project in Seattle history to be examined by a design review board dedicated to the city’s Central District is an aPodment project slated to replace a south-of-90 23rd Ave retail strip.

The review for 2000 23rd Ave S will come before the newly formed Central Area Design Review Board Thursday night.

While the 23rd Ave S microhousing will get the first look from the new board, last week CHS reported that the group is likely to get involved with the much higher profile project at Midtown Center that started the permitting process before the new body was formed but is now facing community pressure to be part of a more conscious review.

Earlier this year, CHS reported on the creation of the new review board, splitting off the Central District neighborhoods from the East region in an effort to preserve and grow the historically Black culture of the Central District.