Sawant picks fight over displacement at Central District’s Chateau Apartments

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant Thursday rallied with supporters and residents of the Central District’s Chateau Apartments, a 21-unit Section 8 subsidized building purchased by a Seattle developer two years ago and slated to be replaced by a new microhousing project with 73 “small efficiency dwelling units.”

“The story of the Chateau Apartments is the story of Seattle and indeed every metropolitan region around the United States where we see sky high rent driving out working class people, low income seniors, community members who belonged to the immigrant community, the LGBTQ community, the disabled community,” Sawant said Thursday at the press conference in front of the neighborhood’s Good Neighbor Cafe. “And we are seeing Seattle increasingly becoming a playground for the rich.”

Sawant, who told the crowd she lives near the area of the apartments, called on developers Cadence Real Estate to “ensure that every Chateau resident can continue to live in affordable and accessible homes in their neighborhood” and urged the company  to meet with the residents as part of a Seattle City Council meeting next month.

In a statement sent to CHS and media Thursday, Cadence did not take Sawant up on her offer but said development of the property would not begin for “three to five” years. Continue reading

‘This is Zero Hour’ youth march for the environment crosses the Central District

Saturday’s national wave of demonstrations and marches for climate action led by a Seattle teenager included a march through the Central District.

Zero Hour, founded last year by Seattle teen Jamie Margolin, organized Saturday’s rally and march from Garfield to Pratt Park:

Enough is enough. We, the youth, believe that #thisisZeroHour to act on climate change. We cannot afford to wait any longer for adults to protect our right to the clean and safe environment, the natural resources we need to not just survive, but flourish. We know that we are the leaders we have been waiting for!

Continue reading

Remembering DeCharlene Williams, Central District celebrates Juneteenth ‘freedom day’

The Buffalo Soldiers Of Seattle, 9th-10th Cavalry (Image: Karen Toering)

With reporting and photography by Alex Garland

Seattle is marking Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom and the end of slavery in the United States, with parties and events again in 2018 though it has lost one of its driving forces behind the holiday.

The King County Council issued a proclamation this week recognizing the importance of the celebration. “Juneteenth is now the closest occasion for there being a true ‘freedom day’ to celebrate in this country for people of African descent,” said council member Larry Gossett, the sponsor of the proclamation. “Now, more than ever, people of Martin Luther King, Jr. County should understand the significance of Juneteenth.” Continue reading

Two in custody after shootout in Pratt Park

Two people were taken into custody and fortunately there were no injuries after gunfire in Pratt Park just around 7 PM Monday night.

Calls flooded 911 some with the dispatcher reporting the sound of gunfire in the background just after 7 PM as residents and passersby in the area reported the situation to police. One witness described two groups of people moving through the park and shooting at each other, according to East Precinct radio dispatches.

There were no reported injuries.

Seattle Police arriving on the scene took two people into custody, according to the department but no further details were available. According to police radio, handguns that showed signs of being recently fired were recovered. Police continued to collect evidence and look for information following the incident including at a nearby E Yesler building where a fresh bullet hole was found in an apartment’s window.

UPDATE: SPD has posted its report on the incident and confirmed one arrest:

Police caught a 21-year-old convicted felon and recovered a stolen pistol last night after officers responded to reports of gunfire at a Central District park.

Witnesses called police around 7 PM last night and reported two groups of men were firing guns at one another in Pratt Park, near 19th Avenue South and South Main Street.  No one was injured in the incident. Continue reading