It’s not clear if there will ever be a “snow” day with Seattle Public Schools in online remote learning mode during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. But Mother Nature managed a “school’s out” day of another type Wednesday as the district canceled online instruction during widespread power outages. Continue reading →
With 2021 so far taking a “hold my beer” approach to outdoing 2020 in the stress over things you can’t control department, the comfort of a hot pizza from a neighborhood joint should not be overlooked.
A Capitol Hill architect with progressive and urbanist bona fides is launching a longshot campaign to lead the city.
Andrew Grant Houston — known as Ace — announced his campaign for Mayor of Seattle Tuesday morning:
His decision to run comes after years of advocacy for more housing at all income levels and a lack of response to the climate crisis this past September, when the Puget Sound registered the worst AQI score the region has ever seen. Andrew is a queer Black and Latino Architect, small business owner, and activist with a vision of transforming Seattle into one of the most vibrant, sustainable cities in the world: a city where no one has to sleep outside, where local businesses and culture thrive, and where orcas start to visit once again.
United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) received a positive COVID-19 test result tonight after being locked down in a secured room at the U.S Capitol where numerous Republican lawmakers recklessly refused to wear masks in the moments after the January 6 attack. Dr. Brian Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, advised representatives and Congressional staff on Sunday that those in the secured room could have, “been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.” The duration in the room was multiple hours and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.
“While I am isolating per the Capitol Physician’s instructions, I will continue to work to the best of my ability because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount,” Jaypal said in an update on her situation. “I share the outrage and anger of those across America who have watched Trump fail to combat this raging pandemic and refuse to take care of Americans who are suffering, dying, and devastated.”
Jayapal, 55, has served as U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district since 2017. She cruised to easy victory in her race for reelection in 2020.
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Company officials have confirmed to CHS the Central District store in the new mixed-use development at 23rd and Jackson will be part of the company’s first Amazon Fresh groceries to open in its home state of Washington.
We are proud to be bringing hundreds of good jobs with benefits to the Seattle area as we prepare to open the first Amazon Fresh grocery stores in our home state of Washington,” Roetta Greene Elton, district manager of Amazon Fresh grocery stores, said in a company statement on the openings. “We’re excited to provide customers with new, low-priced grocery stores in their neighborhoods and look forward to contributing positively to the community.”
Amazon’s big message about the big new store that has risen where the neighborhood’s Red Apple grocery used to stand focused on one important component: jobs. Continue reading →
Today, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that $2.17 million in direct cash assistance is now available for hospitality workers who live and work in Seattle who have lost jobs or income due to COVID-19. People in need of assistance can visit this website to learn if they qualify and apply for resources. This funding is part of the Mayor and City Council’s December announcement to provide up to $5 million in new financial assistance for small businesses and hospitality industry workers impacted by the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. More than 1 million people have collected unemployment benefits in Washington state since the pandemic began. In Seattle alone, more than 600 restaurants and bars have been forced to close for good due to the pandemic.
“Across the country and Washington state, so many people have lost their jobs and had their livelihoods profoundly disrupted – more than 1 million people have collected unemployment benefits in Washington state since the pandemic began. In Seattle alone, our most loved small businesses have been forced to close their doors for good, including more than 600 restaurants and bars,” said Mayor Durkan. “These emergency grants are intended to provide a lifeline to hospitality workers most recently impacted. While these grants are a necessary aid, ultimately, Congress must finally pass a COVID-19 worker relief package that actually meets the scale of need in our communities. Every day they fail to act, more small businesses close their doors for good, and more workers lose their jobs.” Continue reading →
Seven years later, $15 Now has raised the minimum wage across the board in Seattle
A marcher at a 2013 rally for the $15 minimum in Seattle (Images: CHS)
The seven-year plan to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 has finally come to fulfillment, and local small businesses, beleaguered by the pandemic, are rising to meet the new benchmark.
Unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council in 2014, Chapter 14.19 required businesses in Seattle to incrementally raise their minimum wage each year until reaching $15 per hour over seven years. At the beginning of this year, Seattle’s minimum wage increased to $16.69 per hour for large employers with more than 500 employees. Small businesses with less than 500 employees are required to pay $15 per hour only if they pay $1.69 per hour towards medical benefits, or the employee earns $1.69 per hour in tips. If neither conditions apply, the small business is required to pay $16.69 per hour. Going forward, minimum wage increases will be in keeping with inflation. Right now, Seattle’s minimum wage is the second-highest in the U.S., just 15 cents behind Emeryville, Calif.
The $15 minimum wage was a central part of Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s campaign in 2013. At this time, Sawant has not replied to CHS’s requests to discuss the milestone.
Mark Rosén, acting president and CEO of the GSBA, pointed out that the wage increase was initially approved in a very different time. No one could have anticipated COVID-19 and the precarious position Capitol Hill retailers and restaurants would endure. Continue reading →
As reports emerge of police, firefighters, and active military personnel from across the country participating in the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol in an unsuccessful bid to stop the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden, the Seattle Police Department announced it is placing at least two officers on leave as an investigation is launched into their participation in the deadly day of protest, riot, and sedition in Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, further SPD fallout from Wednesday’s deadly clashes includes a call for the head of the city’s police union to apologize or resign for his comments about the event. And, in Olympia, Washington National Guard troops have joined the State Patrol in barricading the state’s Capitol grounds over security concerns as legislators meet Monday to adopt rules that will allow them to meet virtually during the rest of the session.
In Seattle, SPD interim Chief Adrian Diaz said the city’s Office of Police Accountability is conducting a “full review of any SPD employee activities at the U.S. Capitol.” Continue reading →
The other day I found myself aimless and waiting. Any other winter, I probably would have plopped down at a cafe with a book or journal. We’ve all had a bit more time and fewer options than we’re used to in this time-starved existence. It was time to dwell on how absolutely terrible 2020 was and then move on. Time to start baking bread. Time to finally clean out that storage closet. Time to get outside. I chose the latter, and found myself poking about in the Washington Park Arboretum.
As a sometime arborist who grew up installing garden designs for my mother’s business, I’ve always appreciated arboretums. They may be entirely contrived spaces, but they are also spaces for people who live urban existences to be in dialogue with trees and plants and everything they support (By the way, did you know that Bigleaf Maples in the Olympics can support upwards of 77 pounds of epiphytic organisms in their canopies?!). I found myself not only picking along paths gawking at specimen trees and in equal appreciation of unkempt corners, but spinning my head to watch Red Crossbill take off from the top of a Douglas Fir and noticing how well the layers of green muffled the external sounds of traffic and construction. And the internal noise of my angst about life, the world, and well, everything.
How lucky is it that this kind of place exists at all? I can say this without contradicting my sincere support of the LANDBACK movement (knowing I stood on Duwamish territory) and knowing that arboretums are not natural spaces. That people bothered to devote spaces in the city to growing plants, just for the sake of growing them, the same way that we house libraries, floors me. And while I know that arboretums are more than just tree libraries, I am deeply grateful that they exist. Continue reading →