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With sunny and dry days ahead for repainting of Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural, rain is not a risk — but the return of smoke season is — UPDATE

E Pine was stripped of its BLM mural last week as part of a project to recreate a more durable version (Image: Alex Garland)

The project to remake Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural as a permanent feature of E Pine should move forward this week with a forecast for dry weather making the pavement a suitable canvas for the effort.

A Seattle Department of Transportation representative tells CHS that artists are planned to be on the street starting Wednesday to begin the process of repainting the 16 10-foot-tall letters. SDOT is planning a four-day window for the project but they’re expecting the work might wrap up early. E Pine will be closed to traffic during the painting and sealing work.

Even before the botched preservation job, the original paint quickly faded under the rough conditions of a busy Capitol Hill street (Image: CHS)

CHS reported on the city and the Vivid Matter Collective working with the artists who created the original mural during the CHOP occupied protest to form a new plan to recreate the mural as a permanent part of the street after a botched preservation attempt left the original worn and faded.

Last week, SDOT crews went about peeling away the original to prepare for the new paint job. E Pine remained without the popular symbol of this summer’s BLM protests as the weekend’s weather forecast was too uncertain, the SDOT spokesperson said.

While there was a risk the mural would be removed and Seattle wouldn’t see another dry day until July, this week’s forecast started with calls for sunshine and dry days. But, because 2020 just won’t quit, there could be a new wrinkle to contend with. The National Weather Service is warning that wildfires in Northern California could bring another bout of unhealthy smoke to the city’s skies in the worst Seattle smoke season in years. The smoke forecast right now is unclear but the area could see and smell the first signs of any return to less healthy air quality soon:

Smoke forecast models depict that some of this smoke will drift north overhead into the area by Tuesday night and Wednesday. Uncertainty remains in the details and whether this will have any impact at the surface on air quality so it`s best to stay tuned to the forecast.

Fortunately, even if the smoke ends up heavy enough to be a problem, winds are predicted to shift again starting Thursday or Friday.

UPDATE 9/29/20 9:40 AM: The National Weather Service says the smoke is, indeed, coming but should stay high enough to not create unhealthy conditions at the surface: “At this time, air quality agencies do not expect a major impact at the surface. Most sites should remain in the ‘good’ air quality category.”


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Jojo
Jojo
5 months ago

The priorities of this city are absolutely insane. the Department of Transportation could be fixing some potholes which are actually a health hazard. This city and all sorts of ways is in catastrophic shape. But they spend massive time effort and money to promote political propaganda with no interest in whether or not the community it’s located in actually wanted. Who’s calling the shots? Very very few of them actually live in the neighborhood. This is being imposed on us by the same crowd who complains about colonization and claims to be promoting respect for communities and neighborhoods.

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Jojo

I want the BLM mural. You can have both pothole fixing and BLM mural.

Glenn
Glenn
5 months ago
Reply to  James

I want lots of stuff. Most of them cost money. The city is facing a dramatic revenue decline. Can I have my things please? Cleaning up Cal Anderson would be a start.

LinkRider
LinkRider
5 months ago

I personally think this is beautiful, and as long as the new materials have the same vibrant colors as the original painting, I think it will be good to have on the street. For me, it would be a reminder of our connection to other BLM marches in cities across the country.

As mentioned by the previous commenter, I can also feel for other members of our community who were perhaps personally affected by the protests/violence in a particularly negative way, or who were told that their pov didn’t matter because they were too “privileged” despite any personal struggle. I would hate for this to be a constant reminder of a time when they felt othered.

Probably the only way to eliminate this is to seek healing, to help restore the damage and work together to keep our people healthy, housed, and fed through Covid. May this become a reminder of the start of a beautiful and restorative time in our history, when millions of people came out on the streets peacefully to express our love for our Black neighbors, and when a shift in trust occurred so that people of all colors can go to school, get medical care, and even call 911 with the confidence that they are being treated fairly and professionally by people who only want to see them be healthy and prosper.

hb
hb
5 months ago
Reply to  LinkRider

i appreciate this comment

Frankie
Frankie
5 months ago

As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I can say that the violence has been really scary and stressful at a time when a lot of us feel like we cannot take anymore stress in our lives.

And then it becomes infuriating when you see the that the perpetrators of the violence include rich, privileged, white teenagers like Jacob Greenburg who are too young to understand what it’s like to be a small business owner, property owner, and adult with a full time job who has been forced to deal with bombs going off several nights in a row thanks to their actions. I hate living in constant fear that my own place could be burned down or targeted and that we may be forced to evacuate because some nineteen-year-old rich white boy decided it’d be fun to co-opt a vital movement to play out his vigilante fantasies knowing that his legislator mommy would bail him out.

I don’t blame BLM for that. I want the mural. I also want the violence to end. And I resent that now every time I hear a protest I don’t feel hopeful, I feel dread about how it could end in more bombs.

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Frankie

Violence will end when the cops stop being violent.

Frankie
Frankie
5 months ago
Reply to  James

So never, then? Great plan you got there.

Maybe you can spend your time doing something that actually makes a difference, like registering people to vote. And educate yourself about how well those violent protests worked in the late 60s, leading to both the election of our last “Law and Order” President AND the creation of a whole new law enforcement agency.

p-patch
p-patch
5 months ago

I like the mural – It’s proximity to the park, the police station and the surrounding businesses gives a nod to a very important issue without monumentalizing any specific event. It also utilizes a “canvas” that doesn’t interfere with or co-opt existing spaces, unlike the proposed changes to Cal Anderson Park. Of course the money could be spent on other priorities, but it seems like relatively low-cost gesture the city can make to #BML, while they work to get this neighborhood back to something resembling “normal”.

John
John
5 months ago

Is there any word on whether this project will restore the bike lanes on Pine? Every since the mural has been blocked off, cars and buses now have to drive in those lanes.

jo
jo
5 months ago
Reply to  John

Yes exactly. honestly not a pragmatic idea for bikes, fire trucks, paramedics. I would have liked to see them move it off the road.