‘It was a realization that we had an opportunity’ — After months of protest, Seattle’s moment to defund its police force is here — UPDATE: 43%

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A massive march continued the call to defund Seattle Police Wednesday

UPDATE 8/6/2020 8:30 AM: The City Council’s budget committee Wednesday set the groundwork for a near halving of what Seattle spends on policing with a plan for layoffs, cuts, and new approaches to be implemented in the coming weeks and months.

“We’ve outlined and identified possible transfers, cuts and reductions in the fall budget to get to a 43% cut to SPD,” public safety and human services chair Tammy Morales said following Wednesday’s budget committee votes. “We look forward to working with community in the upcoming weeks to get us to the guiding principle of defunding SPD by 50% and reinvesting in community.”

As the council committee deliberated Wednesday, thousands marched from the King County youth jail and justice facility on 12th Ave to City Hall in a show of support for the defunding effort. Organizers of the Every Day March vowed Wednesday to continue their efforts to protest and rally in the streets.

With the time needed to meet requirements around most of the planned layoffs, actual savings to the city this year will be minimal. But other pushes forward to reducing the city’s dependence on police will move more quickly. The plan calls for moving around $14 million in early funding to begin building the network of city and nonprofit resources required to move forward on social and community programs hoped to provide non-police solutions. Continue reading

RIP Nate’s and its family of good eats at 13th and Jeff

Nate’s in happier times

Nate’s Wings & Waffles, Happy Grillmore, and the Central District Ice Cream Company — a trio of joints co-owned by Darren McGill that made 13th and Jefferson a busy spot for soul food and good eating — are permanently closing up shop as the COVID-19 crisis drags on, adding to the list of Capitol Hill and Central District businesses unable to recover amid the pandemic.

When the coronavirus hit and companies like Amazon and Redfin pulled out of office catering orders, the 13th and Jefferson sister restaurants could no longer stay afloat.

“it was like one thing after another,” McGill said. “It wasn’t just because of COVID — that was the main underlying cause but rent increase, food cost increase, everything was going up and then this happened and it was like the last straw.” Continue reading

In effort to ‘memorialize CHOP’ and improve Cal Anderson, community talks gardens, art, and lighting

(Image: CHS)

Following the central role Cal Anderson Park played in this summer’s Capitol Hill protest zone, Seattle Parks and Recreation is working with design firms to make some long term changes to the park — changes that could include a permanent home for protest art, a community garden program and a revival of CHOP’s “Conversation Cafe” in some form.

Wednesday night marked the first of a series of public meetings held by Seattle Parks in concert with DLR Group and HBB Landscape Architecture to narrow down how the park will change.

“The protests of the past couple months have required that we begin a conversation about how Cal Anderson can better service the community and more firmly speak to our values,” Andy Sheffer of Seattle Parks said at the zoom meeting. “The 2020 Cal Anderson project is about receiving ideas, developing ideas and piloting ideas for new programming elements.”

A second, daytime session is planned for Thursday starting at noon.

The project has a three part process with public meetings and surveys intermixed. While the first and current step is about “setting the stage and collecting ideas” according to Sheffer, September’s part two will focus on testing ‘the viability of ideas based on site constraints, opportunities and interests,” and October’s part three will revolve around “potential implementation of pilot projects and long term strategy around bigger action items.” Sheffer says Seattle Parks plans on designing and rolling out these pilot projects in late October or November.

In the hours after the July 1st police raid and sweep that cleared the protest camp and the area around the East Precinct, Mayor Jenny Durkan said she intended to “memorialize” CHOP with art and permanent features in Cal Anderson.

Although the City of Seattle is facing a $300 million budget deficit this year likely to continue into 2021 and the budgeting process for this project has yet to begin, Seattle Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin told CHS that Seattle Parks is “committed to making it work.”

Seattle Parks and the design consultants put forth three initiatives up for preliminary live polling at the meeting: a gardening program in line with the Black Star Farmers garden plots, retaining CHOP artwork, and forming a “conversation corner” reminiscent of CHOP’s “conversation cafe.”

Other things CHS heard at the meeting: Continue reading

Murder charge filed in killing of 19-year-old at CHOP as search for suspect continues

The King County Prosecutor has filed murder charges in the June 20th shooting of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson on the edge of CHOP as a search for the suspected killer continues.

Prosecutors say 18-year-old Marcel Long shot and killed Anderson at 10th and Pine in a fracas after what witnesses said was a night of gambling and fireworks on the edge of the CHOP protest camp.

Continue reading

August Primary results: Lascelles will face Chopp in race for 43rd

(Image: Sherae for State)

Sherae Lascelles, an activist who put aside more traditional campaigning efforts to focus on their work with Decriminalize Seattle and securing emergency housing for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis will take on incumbent Rep. Frank Chopp in the race to represent Capitol Hill and the rest of the 43rd District in Olympia.

That result was one of the few unknowns sorted out in the first ballot counts in Washington’s August Primary Tuesday night. Now, we also know which Republican will take on incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee in November. Continue reading

Police release new information in 11th and Pike shooting outside CHOP

SPD is asking for help identifying these “persons of interest” in a June 20th shooting at 11th and Pike (Image: SPD)

Seattle Police says its investigation has thrown a shooting victim’s story into question and that detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying “several persons of interest” in the incident that took place on the edge of the CHOP protest zone in June

The new information is related to the second shooting on June 20th, the night 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson was gunned down at 10th and Pine.

Another victim from that deadly night was reportedly found shot at 11th and Pike. SPD reported the incidents as a single shooting and media outlets included that information in their reporting. KIRO later broadcast new details from the second victim in his account of a previously unreported second shooting perpetrated by group of men a block from the first shooting just off E Pike. “I’m not sure if they were Proud Boys or KKK,” the 33-year-old victim told KIRO. Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s E Olive Way — Capitol Hill’s fourth pot shop — is now open — UPDATE: Friday protest

(Image: Uncle Ike’s)

You now have four legal cannabis shops to choose from on Capitol Hill.

The E Olive Way expansion of the Uncle Ike’s pot chain is open and celebrating its debut with $1 joints just weeks after the shop was targeted and damaged by protesters.

Ian Eisenberg opened the original Uncle Ike’s, the city’s second ever legal pot shop, at 23rd and Union in 2014, and added the first Capitol Hill Uncle Ike’s on 15th Ave E in late 2016. Ruckus beat everybody to the punch on the Hill when it debuted just off 15th Ave E as the neighborhood’s first ever legal cannabis shop in late 2015.

The new Uncle Ike’s will create a second Capitol Hill pot cluster after The Reef opened just up E Olive Way in the former Amante Pizza location in August 2018. The Reef’s new home made the old pizza shop nearly unrecognizable after a redesign of the interior by architects Olson Kundig. Its presence has since spread across the street where the pot shop has stepped up to sponsor a clean-up and upgrades to the Arcade Plaza pavement park. Continue reading

911 | Yesler Terrace crane rescue, 12th and Thomas naked man crash, reported Capitol Hill ukulele threat

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • Crane rescue: A woman discovered at the top of a 205-foot construction crane Tuesday morning was cooperative with the Seattle Fire crew sent to rescue her and deliver her safely back to the ground. SFD’s rescue units were dispatched to the Yesler Terrace construction site in the 200 block of 12th Ave S around 7:15 AM Tuesday to the reported construction site trespasser. According to Seattle Fire radio updates, the woman was lowered by its crews to a lower section of the massive crane where she was able to safely return to the ground after the 45-minute rescue. According to SFD, the woman was no injured but was transported to the hospital for evaluation. Seattle Police was also called to the scene and work at the construction site was halted during the response. Continue reading

Reopening: Capitol Hill’s Office Nomads leads way in figuring out what COVID-era coworking means

(Image: Office Nomads)

The new world of COVID-19 brings drastically changed landscapes for many Capitol Hill businesses. Born on Boylston 13 years ago, “Seattle’s original coworking community” Office Nomads has left its street behind and transitioned online after closing its office space at the end of July.

“The thread that binds all of our members is that they can work from anywhere,” Office Nomads co-owner and founder Susan Dorsch said. “All of our members prefer to work together and to work in a shared workspace, I do as well, but what we’re doing right now is not about preferences. What we’re doing right now is about safety.”

Office Nomads has long served as a hub for remote workers seeking a communal working environment — including students, entrepreneurs and freelancers — at its Boylston Ave spot. Since the business began in 2007, a burgeoning scene of coworking spaces has emerged on the Hill. But coworking’s day appears to have been a short one. COVID-19 has snuffed out thousands of jobs here and sent thousands more into a semi-permanent “working from home” lifestyle. Office space and social distancing just don’t mix. Continue reading

Council proposal would call on SPD to punish any officer who targets media at protests

Seattle needs to sort out what crowd control tactics it will allow its police force to use and what ones like tear gas and flash bangs it will not. After many of those same tactics used on protesters were also turned on journalists, medics, and legal observers during protests across Seattle and on Capitol Hill, citywide Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda wants her city to make a statement that it supports a free press and won’t put reporters, camera crews, live streamers, and bloggers in further danger with cops looking to settle a score or legal demands to turn their work into possible criminal evidence.

“Members of the press should never be seen as an extension of the police and must always be seen as separate and free from the government,” Mosqueda said in a statement on her proposed resolution that would “affirm the free press’ right to cover protests in the community.” Continue reading