Seattle deploying ‘hygiene trailers’ with reservable showers

With the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to smolder in the Seattle region, officials are ready to deploy a new resource to help people living unsheltered and hopefully further slow the spread of COVID-19:

The City of Seattle is set to deploy two shower trailers in locations across the City to support the hygiene needs for homeless residents within their communities. Beginning Thursday, King Street Station will host a shower trailer five days per week, and a mobile shower trailer will be hosted in Lake City and Seattle Center, with more locations under consideration. King Street Station will also receive a hygiene station. In addition, a hygiene map, located on HSD website, that represents all open and available facilities was launched with this effort.

The city says its new shower trailers include three shower stalls each plus a toilet and sink. Hours of operation are 10 AM to 4 PM, excluding holidays, as the trailers are deployed on a schedule around the city: Continue reading

With Seattle U Homeless Rights Advocacy Project roots, Third Door Coalition emerges as alternative to ‘Tax Amazon’

A coalition to address homelessness in the Seattle region announced a proposal Tuesday to build 6,500 units of permanent supportive housing in King County in a five-year, $1.6 billion effort.

The Third Door Coalition was founded in 2018 “with focused conversations at Seattle University” and includes a group representing the restaurant and hotel industries, academics, and homelessness service providers and advocates including Chad Mackay of Fire & Vine HospitalityProfessor Sara Rankin of Seattle University School of LawDaniel Malone of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, and Paul Lambros of Plymouth Housing.

“The plan calls for a public-private partnership to fund an estimated capital cost of $1.6 billion over the next five years,” a Seattle City Council announcement on the launch of the effort reads. “The Coalition also identifies ways to drive down the currently high costs of building permanent supportive housing.” First-year council member Andrew Lewis says he will announce “specific policies to advance the goals of the Third Door Coalition’s recommendations” in coming weeks. Continue reading

Faced with roadblocks in Seattle City Hall, Sawant plans rogue committee meeting on ‘Amazon Tax’ proposal

Stymied at Seattle City Hall so far on her quest for an Amazon Tax and watching political alliance forge in the run-up to her reelection last fall dissolve, City Council member Kshama Sawant says she will make a bid this week to take back control of legislation to create a COVID-19 relief fund and a new tax on Seattle’s largest businesses to pay for affordable housing.

Sawant announced she is taking up discussion this week of the relief funding and new tax in the council committee she controls, a rogue move in defiance of council President Lorena Gonzalez’s decision last week to table the tax over concerns about violations of public meeting laws during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The argument that our virtual, open, filmed, broadcast, recorded council meetings are not open enough, justifying cancelling those meetings in a backroom deal, and claiming this is in defense of open public meetings, is truly Orwellian,” the announcement of Sawant’s planned Thursday night meeting of her Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee reads: Continue reading

Happy Face Mask Day, Seattle

More good news: “Vivace will open its Brix location at 532 Broadway Ave. E. Monday morning at 7 AM for coffee to go. In addition, Alley24 will be open at 10 AM both of which close at 5 PM. 321 Broadway,our sidewalk bar, will open on Saturday.”

Reminder: Monday brings the start of required face masks around Seattle and King County.

The May 18th start of the directive requires King County residents to wear “a cloth face covering in indoor public spaces or confined spaces where it could be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing.”

Examples of where the coverings are required include “stores, restaurants, farmers markets, banks, and public transportation.”

“Deaf hard-of-hearing and other individuals who rely on face and mouth movements to communicate are not required to comply with this directive,” the county says. Continue reading

CHS History Classic | The Julia’s building, past to present: groceries, Ileen’s, and Ernie Steele’s

Ernie Steele's, 300 Broadway E, 1962

Ernie Steele’s, 300 Broadway E, 1962 (Washington State Archives King County property records, parcel 600350-2080)

This CHS History Classic first ran in 2016. With many of our favorite Capitol Hill spaces facing an uncertain future, let’s look again at this important block’s place in the neighborhood’s history.

By Robert Ketcherside

Julia’s has become one of the most venerable nightlife spaces in Seattle. The drag-bar-restaurant has been open for 15 years now, and I think you qualify as a Capitol Hill old-timer if you remember further back than that.

The building’s time as Ileen’s and Ernie Steele’s is worth going over again for the newcomers. And hey, it seems the first few decades of the building need to be covered for the first time.

In the beginning

The Seattle Public Library’s online 1907 real estate map shows that things were quite different for Julia’s lot. There were just a couple of tiny buildings here along Broadway that didn’t even deserve addresses. There was a house on Thomas Street. Continue reading

FDA fast-tracked new COVID-19 rules but Seattle blood banks may take months to implement new policy for gay, bisexual men

(Image: Bloodworks Northwest)

By Dan Facundo, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

King County blood centers estimate it will take months to implement a new FDA policy for gay and bisexual male blood donors, leaving many otherwise eligible people unable to donate during the COVID-19 crisis.

As thousands of blood drives around the country have been canceled due to COVID-19, the FDA rushed out new guidelines for male blood donors who have sex with men, lowering the 12-month deferral period from their last sexual contact with a man to three months.

Despite the urgent need for blood donations, gay and bisexual men who fall under the “men who have sex with men” (MSM) umbrella will have to remain celibate for a year before they can donate blood, effectively barring them from donating and potentially turning away upwards of 345,400 pints of blood, according to a 2014 study by the Williams Institute. With modern testing able to detect HIV within as soon as 10 days of infection, many public health officials and HIV researchers think the deferral period can be reduced further. 

“We think that the window of time is enough to provide the ongoing safety of the blood supply right now where it is, without increasing risk,” said Dr. Kirsten Alcorn, Medical Director of Blood Services at Bloodworks Northwest. “It’s a very calculated risk level that needs to be backed up by lots of data.”

Under the best conditions, a policy change like this might have taken two to three months, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may take four to six months for blood centers to implement these changes as computer systems and procedures need to be updated, according to Alcorn. Continue reading

Set to become permanent part of neighborhood, here’s how people are using the Central District’s Stay Healthy Streets

(Image: City of Seattle)

What does a lot of civic energy and a few signs do for creating safe neighborhood streets? As Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced the routes will be a new permanent part of the city’s infrastructure, early numbers for the Central District’s stretch of “Stay Healthy Streets” show some promising results for walking, running, and biking.

Seattle Bike Blog reports that, just to be clear, the new Stay Health Streets are not “closed” — they’re repurposed:

Traffic volumes are down 91% on the Central District SHS compared to 2017 levels after the neighborhood greenway was installed. That 91% decrease far outpaces the the 57% decrease in overall car traffic since the outbreak began, a sign that the signs are working.

Durkan announced last week that “at least 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets” will become permanent. In addition, 3 more miles of Stay Healthy Streets were added in Rainier Valley and 1/3 mile of Beach Drive SW in Alki. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | E Union homicide, Cobain mural removed, Capitol Hill Block Party adds third day

Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:



Multiple victims including one dead in Central District shootout — UPDATE: More shootings overnight

The daddy of Capitol Hill kink shops, Doghouse Leathers has new home with a lot of history on E Pike

Continue reading