Activists call for big ‘Protect Mueller’ protest starting in Cal Anderson — UPDATE: Thousands march

Gov. Jay Inslee was first to address the crowd (Images: CHS)

UPDATE: A few thousand filled the grass bowl at Cal Anderson and then E Pine for a march to the Federal Building Thursday night in a rally and protest against the Trump administration’s latest moves to thwart an investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

The night’s protest was part of actions across the country as some 100,000 reportedly marched in various cities across the U.S.

Flags were a common sight Thursday night as the march made its way off the Hill (Images: CHS)

“I’m Jay Inslee and I’m the governor of a state of seven million people who insist on the rule of law to protect the United States Constitution,” Washington’s governor said as he spoke to the crowd just after 5 PM inside Capitol Hill’s central park.

“What we are doing tonight is speaking out early against a repeated unconstitutional fearful acts of a president who feels cornered,” Inslee said. “Because what we have seen in the last several days is the Americans speaking out to a United States House of Representatives that will finally hold him accountable.” Continue reading

Sexual assault survivors speak out against Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination at Cal Anderson vigil

(Images: Nick Turner for CHS)

“I grew up believing that being female was weak. That my tears…meant I was weak, and that I should be able to take it…And so, when I was assaulted and when I was raped, I didn’t tell because I thought it was my fault for my weakness, or because I went out, or because maybe I wore something, or maybe I had something to drink. Somehow, it was going to be my fault…I think that it’s time that we stopped thinking that taking it is somehow a positive thing. I think that it’s time we stopped buying the idea that, if we speak up, we’re bitches or pushy broads or battle axes or any of those pejorative comments that people use to describe strong women.”

Those were the words of a woman, one of many, who spoke at a vigil held in Cal Anderson Park Wednesday night to protest the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and respond to the allegation that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford and others.

“Our tears might look like weakness on one level but they are part of our strength, because being strong doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad,” the woman continued. “There are lots of other people who have been oppressed for a very long time and I’ve done my best to try to use whatever privilege my white skin gives me to stand up and speak for other people and be a decent ally. Today I’m here for myself as well, and I hope that we all will put value on ourselves as well and stand up and, if anyone’s getting treated like that, don’t take it.” Continue reading

Pro-choice groups holding #StopKavanaugh Vigil in Cal Anderson

Fortunately, President Trump’s text to millions of Americans did not involve MAGA. Unfortunately, it also did not announce the removal of Brett Kavanaugh from consideration for the Supreme Court. Wednesday night as Washington D.C. braces for a vote on the troubling nominee, groups led by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Seattle Indivisible will hold a #StopKavanaugh Vigil in Cal Anderson:

Seattle #StopKavanaugh Vigil

The vigil is part of gatherings planned across the country “to demand that the U.S. Senate stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

Capitol Hill’s central park continues to be a gathering point of resistance against the Trump administration. Earlier this year, tens of thousands rallied there before marching to the Seattle Center for women’s rights. Next year’s Womxn’s March Seattle is being planned for January but organizers are hoping to coordinate the event with annual MLK Day celebrations and actions with a start planned for the Central District.

Seattle’s writers and creatives find Capitol Hill home again at Hugo House grand reopening

Maria Semple, best-selling author and screenwriter, speaking at the opening event last Saturday

There once was a Hugo House here / We loved its old crazy quilt cheer / This house, it would seem, an architects dream / But the spirit of quirkies still near

This poem was recited by Dick Gemperle last weekend at the grand reopening of Richard Hugo House, a beloved community workspace for writers and a home for Seattle’s “literary heartbeat.”

“This is a wonderful time for Hugo House. Everything is coming together in September. On the 4th of September we closed the transaction to purchase this space. We’re almost done with construction, almost done with our capital campaign, tonight is our grand opening, and next week classes start,” said Gemperle, board president of Hugo House. “It’s all coming together.”

The new Hugo House offers more space for readers and writers with more classrooms, along with a dedicated performance space for readings, and a front parlor space with desks and bar that will be open during events. Continue reading

Plans coming together for 2019 Seattle Women’s March — UPDATE

MLK Day 2018 marchers

Some of the thousands who marched for women in 2018

UPDATE 9/26/18 1:55 PM: Organizers from Womxn’s March Seattle say they are working with the groups that hold the city’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march and rallies to coordinate on an event in 2019 that brings the two efforts together with respect for both and without overshadowing either cause.

CHS reported previously on a 2019 plan for a Sunday march starting in Cal Anderson but that event does not have the support of Womxn’s March Seattle which has been key in driving the past events. To eliminate confusion, CHS has removed details of the un-supported Sunday march. We apologize for adding to any confusion around the 2019 march.

Liz Hunter-Keller tells CHS that the weekend is still being shaped but that a “super group” of activists and organizations has been working on the plan and will announce participants and details soon. As it did in 2018, Womxn’s March Seattle is planning a Saturday of workshops and activism before next year’s event planned for Monday, January 21st in conjunction with the annual MLK celebrations and march. Continue reading

‘A gift’ — first look inside Capitol Hill’s new Hugo House

Boards from the old Hugo House — complete with the graffiti encouraged at a goodbye party before its demolition — live on in the new Hugo House

The new Hugo House will be open to the public for the first time Saturday but the staff moved in Wednesday and the space has already hosted its first event — an opening preview for the more than 300 community donors and public officials responsible for the one-of-a-kind writing center across from Cal Anderson Park.

“We’re in a time right now when words really matter,” State Representative Nicole Macri said at Monday night’s pre-opening reception in the new center.

“I’m so grateful that the state came through.”

Rep. Macri inside the new Hugo House Monday night

Continue reading

CHS Pics | DeafThrive Day in Cal Anderson Park

Sammy Ruiz Jr. performs magic for the crowd

Saturday night, bar patrons around Pike/Pine may not have noticed some of the groups hanging out in neighborhood venues. The sense of revelry and energy wasn’t different at all with their hands busy and fully in the motion of American Sign Language.

The after-parties followed a day of celebration of deaf culture in Cal Anderson as the annual DeafThrive event brought performances and speeches to the park. Continue reading

Seattle Parks says Cal Anderson experiment with cork-filled field a winner

With Seattle kids swarming playfields for fall soccer, Seattle Parks and Recreation tells CHS the department’s experiment at Cal Anderson using a new more environmentally friendly cork base for its turf fields has been enough of a success to roll the solution out at more locations in the city.

“We will be using the same synthetic turf system that we installed at Cal Anderson at Brighton and Soundview playfields and are in the process of updating our specifications for future synthetic turf conversion and replacement projects,” a Seattle Parks rep tells CHS. Continue reading

New Capitol Hill story ready to begin at Hugo House

A rendering of the soon to open new Hugo House

Construction of the new 9,600-square-foot Hugo House writing center at 11th and E Olive St. is fully imbued with the creative process — right down to the burning spirit that drives any author, poet, or journalist: a deadline.

“Construction always take longer than they think it will and there have been some unavoidable delays,” Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson tells CHS. “They say they’ll be ready.”

Like a publisher awaiting that final draft, Swenson is planning for Saturday, September 22nd — the planned official grand opening of the new Hugo House inside the six-story mixed-use apartment building that stands at the site the old Hugo House previously called home.

Opening Celebration: New Hugo House

“The celebration will be a chance for everybody to explore the whole space in a design that invites creativity,” Swenson said.

Designed by the architects at NBBJ, the new Hugo House is centered around a 150-seat auditorium but Swenson said the first thing any visitor will see from the 11th Ave entrance is the front salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage. Continue reading

Skater protest can’t stop removal of rogue ramp in Cal Anderson

No ramps, please (Image courtesy Seattle Parks)

Skateboarding is not a crime. But building a rogue cement ramp in a Seattle park is.

Police were called to the busy courts of Cal Anderson Wednesday morning to a report of a group hindering a Seattle Parks work crew trying to remove a rogue ramp installed on the basketball court on the park’s western edge.

A Parks representative tells CHS somebody was lying down on the ramp prompting the call to police.

Police arriving to the callout around 10:30 AM reported that things had worked themselves out. There were no arrests. Continue reading