One year: What did you see during the pandemic?

This week marks one year since the first CHS headlines about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “Though global by definition, pandemics have local impacts,” local officials warned. “Pandemics can cause absenteeism, alter patterns of business and travel, interrupt supply chains, and affect the daily operations of your business.”

They were not kidding.

The crisis has been devastating across the country — and here in Seattle and King County. And it has been life changing well beyond your new masked fashion habits and pandemic era hairstyles. Continue reading

One year: ‘Inside a Covid I.C.U., Through a Nurse’s Eyes’

We can see, hear, and taste it. The “end” of the pandemic. As we mark one year of lockdown in Seattle, here is a harsh, tough to watch reminder of why we wore the masks, why restaurants and stores were closed, and why we needed to turn life upside down to get through this. Please watch the New York Times report and share it.

500,000 deaths is a terrible milestone — the journey there includes a swath of unimaginable collateral damage, stress, and trauma that will be repairing for long after.

In King County, new hospitalizations have fallen to eight or less a day. But the math is relentless. Here, around 1.7% of those hospitalized will die. And in the last year, King County joined most of the rest of the world in becoming a deadlier place. Overall, the death rate here jumped 12%. Death during a pandemic is different, lonely, and terrible.

With growing evidence that vaccination efforts are working and the impatient reopening of the economy bursting forward, it is tempting to relax. But, as this video of death through the eyes of a nurse shows, while we can see the end, we cannot yet be done.

CHS’s full COVID-19 coverage is here. Start here if you want to see it from the beginning.


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Pike/Pine newsstand Big Little News is now open with bottles of champagne and 250+ ‘foreign and domestic magazines, newspapers and zines’

Big Little News, a Capitol Hill-appropriate newsstand and bottle shop from Pike/Pine LGBTQ nightlife entrepreneur Joey Burgess and Tracy Taylor, the general manager of nearby Elliott Bay Book Co., opened this week on E Pike.

How did two of the neighborhood’s leaders in civic and business issues come up with their plan for a first-time collaboration launching a new Pike/Pine business?

“It seemed like in the midst of a pandemic,” Taylor said, “why not get into print and open a small business in Capitol Hill?” Continue reading

Washington reaches level with more vaccinated than infected as teachers, law enforcement, and more essential workers added to eligible ranks

Washington’s phased expansion of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility might be a little hard to follow but it is making progress. For the first time, the state’s totals of those vaccinated has overtaken the number of currently infected — and important new categories of workers including teachers, police officers, firefighters, and public transit employees will soon be eligible for the vaccines.

The advances come as the nation marks one year of pandemic and more than 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths nationwide including more than 5,000 in Washington.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday an expanded second tier within the state’s first phase of vaccine rollout that will allow essential workers including vital grocery, agriculture, and food processing workers to join the week’s earlier addition of educators and child care providers among those eligible to received the vaccine in the state:

Phase 1b Tier 2 – opening March 22
• All critical workers in certain congregate settings (change: no longer tiered by age; list of qualifying congregate settings has been expanded)
• People age 16 or older who are pregnant (new qualification)

• People age 16 or older who have a disability that puts them at higher risk (change: moved up from a later tier) Continue reading

Artists Behind Glass: a small, masked taste of live music in Pike/Pine

(Image: Artists Behind Glass)

If you miss live music and you miss art, there is a gift for you on first and second Fridays at 11th Ave’s Vermillion. The Artists Behind Glass series brings a live show to the sidewalk of the Pike/Pine art bar designed for masked, socially distanced enjoyment. This month, you can see Dr. Quinn and The Medicine Woman rock the street. If you show up and things are looking too crowded for comfort, take a walk and enjoy the live stream: Continue reading

9’s | Pike at Boren

The intersection of Pike and Boren on the western slope of Capitol Hill is almost as busy with pedestrians and bicycles as it is with cars and buses. Connecting downtown to Capitol Hill, the intersection hosts Plymouth Pillars Park where four Doric pillars stand rescued from Plymouth Congregational Church, salvaged after the 1965 Puget Sound earthquake damaged the structure beyond repair. The intersection also is home to the historic Hotel Avondale now known as the Villa Apartments and Zaika, the Salvation Army Food Bank and shelter, and, toward downtown, Pike Grocery and the Homewood Suites.

9’s is a regular photo series with a simple premise. CHS visits a corner of the Hill twice — once at 9 AM and again at 9 PM — to capture the scenes of the neighborhood in motion. Have a space you’d like us to feature? Let us know in comments.


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New and old at 23rd and Union: Neighbor Lady secures new location, Cafe Avole coming to Liberty Building

The Neighbor Lady

Many of the best stories in Seattle food and drink are taking place in the Central District where some of the earliest strong “reopening” energy after months of pandemic restrictions appears to be surfacing with plans for a new cafe — and a new lease for a neighborhood nightlife favorite.

First, an area old timer has solidified its plans for a move across the street to be part of the new, under construction Midtown Square development. The Neighbor Lady has secured a new home and a new lease (PDF): Continue reading

Reported racially motivated hate crimes nearly doubled last year in Seattle

Where racially motivated hate crimes were reported in the city in 2020 (Source: SPD Bias Crimes Dashboard)

A terrible aspect of the COVID-19 crisis seen early here in Seattle has only gotten worse during the pandemic. Bias crimes and race-based hate crime jumped in 2020 and prosecutors say the trend appears to be continuing this year.

The national issue has raised issues in International Districts around the country on policing and how best to respond to the bias crisis.

Here, Seattle Police Department records show a 93% jump in reports of racially motivated hate crimes in 2020 with 405 incidents reported through September, the most recent month available for public reporting. Overall, reported hate crimes were up 72% in the city. Continue reading

City has few answers in neighborhood meeting over Miller Playfield encampments

(Image: CHS)

When an encampment at Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park was swept in December, nearby parks saw a growth in tents as some unsheltered people looked for new places to go. One of those growing campsites is 19th Ave’s Miller Playfield.

Now with the district making plans for students to return to the adjacent Meany Middle School and the kids at nearby St. Joseph’s School already back in the classroom, neighbors met virtually Wednesday night with Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller and other city officials. The meeting organized by the Jesuit parish was set ostensibly, organizers said, to hear the city’s plans for interacting with the encampments over the next couple weeks and implore the city to prioritize removing individuals from Miller and find housing options for them.

“We invite you to join us, but want to make clear this will not be an open forum where anyone can speak,” the invite read. “We want to be very focused on getting concrete responses from the Deputy Mayor.”

“It’s an emergency, so if the city isn’t up to it, we need to know that,” one attendee said, summing up the tone of the night’s conversation.

The meeting came amid growing complaints about trash and disorder blamed on the encampments even as the COVID-19 crisis continues and limits safe options for shelter during the pandemic. It also fell only hours after Seattle Police officers and parks employees cleared about 20 people from Denny Park earlier Wednesday. Public health guidelines advise against sweeps during the COVID-19 crisis if there are no safe shelter alternatives available.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration has taken to touting the pounds of trash collected under a “Clean City” surge program set to end in April that has been focused on “removing trash to begin to set Seattle up for clear road to recovery—for our businesses, schools, neighborhoods, and residents.”

“Our challenges here at the city are not just about CDC guidance,” Sixkiller told the attendees of St. Joseph’s online session Wednesday night. “It is about access to services, it’s access to housing… We don’t have places for people to go and so as a result folks have found other ways to survive through the past year.” Continue reading

More allegations of abuse and civil rights violations added to Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters lawsuit

The roster of plaintiffs has ballooned to nearly 100 and the driver in the deadly crash that killed an activist during a protest on I-5 has been added as a defendant in the sprawling personal injury, wrongful death, and civil rights lawsuit brought by protesters against Seattle and Olympia.

The lawsuit now names 55 parties including the estate of Summer Taylor, the Capitol Hill activist hit and killed by a speeding driver as Washington State Patrol closed I-5 during the July protest, plus another 40 anonymous “Doe” defendants.

“The BLM/George Floyd protests continue to this day, and have resulted in additional injuries not just to these Plaintiffs but countless others, including other individuals represented by the undersigned counsel,” the legal team for the plaintiffs writes. Continue reading