CHS Pics | DeCharlene’s Beauty Salon celebrates grand re-opening and overhauled home for the Central Area Chamber of Commerce

The Central Area Chamber of Commerce’s Lawrence Pitre takes Mayor Durkan on a short tour as new development rises along E Madison (Images: CHS)

Friends, family, and community members joined city officials and political candidates Saturday for the grand re-opening of E Madison’s DeCharlene’s Beauty Salon, a Central District culture and commercial hub revived with a cosmetic overhaul and a reinvigoration of spirit following the death of DeCharlene Williams last year.

“We are preserving the legacy and history that  DeCharlene established. All the great things. We need to preserve this,” said Lawrence Pitre, head of the Central Area Chamber of Commerce that Williams founded. Continue reading

Sawant scores a Human Services win vs. Durkan, next tangle over Central Area Senior Center transfer develops

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan may have practical reasons to withdraw the nomination of Jason Johnson to head the Human Services Department, the city’s frontline in its homelessness response, but she chose to make the announcement into a political attack on District 3 representative Kshama Sawant.

“Led by Council member Sawant, the City Council has politicized and failed to act on the confirmation of one of the most important roles in Seattle today,” Durkan said, “the person who oversees our City’s day-to-day work to prevent and respond to homelessness.” Continue reading

‘Conceptual’ — SDOT says now is the time to shape E Union’s 2020 plan for protected bike lanes

E Union from above 18th Ave — just add PBLs (Image: CHS)

Tuesday night, Seattle Department of Transportation officials will be at Washington Hall as part of a series of “conversations” in neighborhoods across the city about — and, yes, we know the Seattle is Dying crowd loves this — the plan for implementing Seattle’s bike plan.

SDOT Bike Master Plan cafe-style conversation

One topic newly installed SDOT head Sam Zimbabwe’s crew knows will be on the minds of neighbors and business representatives in this plan for the plan is a pretty solid embodiment of Seattle’s increasingly modest bike projects circa 2019: new, semi-protected bike lanes on E Union hoped to be under construction by the end of the year and, some advocates say, disappointedly compromised by a City Hall unwilling to take on a serious commitment to new bike infrastructure.

First, SDOT wants you to know the whole bike riders can ride on the sidewalk thing at the busy intersections of E Union and 23rd and E Union and MLK is only an idea right now — one of many planners need to sort through, SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells CHS.

“We realize because there is a gap, people could potentially ride on the sidewalk. One potential thing is widening the street but with all the development that probably isn’t possible,” Bergerson said.

“This is all conceptual.” Continue reading

One victim, vehicles and buildings hit in 23rd and Jackson shootout — UPDATE

At least one person was reported shot and witnesses reported multiple shootout scenes Saturday night near 23rd and Jackson.

According to Seattle Police radio reports on the 8 PM incident, police identified at least one shooting scene in the parking lot between the Starbucks and Walgreens in the shopping center at the corner of 23rd and Jackson. There was a report of blood and shell casings found at the parking lot scene, multiple shell casings on 24th Ave S, and bullet damage to a car reported near 24th and Main. A resident at 24th and Yesler reported a bullet had gone through their window.

Police were also responding to Harborview where a victim arrived following the shooting. We do not have information about their condition at this time.

UPDATE 4/22/2019: Police tell CHS the victim that arrived at Harborview was a male with a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

The gunfire follows a shootout investigated Wednesday afternoon in the same area. There were no reported injuries in that incident.

Early Saturday morning, a person was also reported to have been shot in a Pine parking lot popular with Capitol Hill nightlife crowds.

UPDATE 4/22/2019 11:20 AM: SPD has posted a brief on the shooting. We’re checking with SPD regarding the discrepancies in the location of the shooting:

In the second incident, witnesses called 911 around 7:45 pm Saturday to report a fight at Judkins Park. As officers were arriving on that call additional reports of shots fired at 24 Avenue and East Yesler Street began coming in. Officers quickly converged on the area and found a pool of blood but no victim. Minutes later, a 25-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his shoulder arrived at Harborview Medical Center. Gang Unit detectives are investigating both cases and ask anyone with information to please call the Violent Crimes tip line at 206-233-5000.


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Dozens of shots but no reported injuries in shootout near 23rd and Jackson

There were no reported injuries as bursts of gunfire rattled the area around 23rd and Jackson and put nearby schools in lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

Seattle Police rushed to the reported shooting scene near 23rd and Main just after 2 PM after a report of dozens of gunshots. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, police were searching for two to three suspects reportedly armed with handguns seen by witnesses as the melee broke out. Some witnesses reported that the shooters appeared to be juveniles and at least one possible suspect was reportedly riding a bicycle as he fled the scene. Police were also looking for vehicles possibly involved in the shootout. Continue reading

Central District, Hill part of Seattle neighborhood economic development grants

Seattle’s Office of Economic Development has detailed $1.3 million in support for neighborhood businesses — including $215,000 for the Central District and $90,000 for Capitol Hill — as part of the Only in Seattle program.

The city says the recipient “local business communities in 17 neighborhoods” are working on “comprehensive, multi-year strategies” for economic vitality and small business stability. Continue reading

USPS to hold meeting on East Union post office ‘relocation’

Long gone — but maybe coming back? (Image: CHS)

After telling customers their best bet was to head to Capitol Hill for mail services, the United States Postal Service is now talking relocation when it comes to a post office near 23rd and Union.

USPS officials have scheduled a May 2nd public meeting to talk about a new Central District location. USPS real estate specialist Greg Shelton will be in attendance to discuss options.

The session appears to represent big change from the beginning of the year as the post office made way for coming redevelopment at Midtown Center. “We will return once the re-development has concluded,” a spokesperson told CHS at the time. “In the meantime, we are suggesting that our customers go to the Broadway Post Office for their mailing needs.”

It isn’t clear if that timeline has changed but District 3 representative Kshama Sawant, with the 2019 race for her City Council seat heating up, is calling on supporters to join her at the May 2nd meeting. Continue reading

No injuries reported in 23rd Ave shootout

A shootout involving multiple vehicles brought a large police response to 23rd Ave early Sunday but there were fortunately no reported serious injuries.

Police were called to the AMPM at 23rd and Cherry just after 4 AM to a report that a man had been shot in the leg in a nearby gun battle. Arriving officers found the silver Cadillac at the service station had been shot up but that the reported victim was not hit.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the shootout involving the victim vehicle, a back SUV, a possible third car, and a possible person on foot started around 23rd and Jackson with multiple shots and the sound of speeding vehicles reported.

Police were searching the area for vehicles involved in the incident but there were no immediate arrests.

An ‘unheard of concession’ in the Central District at The Chateau apartments

A resident at The Chateau and the building’s long-broken lift
(Image: CHS)

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant was back outside The Chateau apartments Wednesday to announce victories for the building’s tenants and what she says is a tenants movement in Seattle inspired by the work of her City Council office and her Socialist Alternative political group.

Sawant’s Wednesday rally also included an unusual finale — a four-member team from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections there to follow-up on a massive roster of repairs identified in what has become a staircase by staircase, frayed wire by frayed wire, and missing and or defective smoke detector by missing and or defective smoke detector battle pitting the city councilor against developer Cadence Real Estate.

Calling the 19th Ave building and the Central District the “core of Seattle” and the “epicenter of the crisis of economic evictions,” Sawant announced that her efforts to shed light on Cadence’s acquisition and planned redevelopment of the Section 8 building had “forced” the developer to meet with residents and make several concessions including allowing the Section 8 tenants to remain in their units in coming years until the building is eventually demolished to make way for a new microhousing project with 73 “small efficiency dwelling units.”

Sawant also announced what she said was an “unheard of concession” — $5,000 from Cadence to every household living in the building on top of legally required relocation assistance. The small group of tenants and representatives from groups like Be:Seattle that have also been working with the building’s interested residents gathered with Sawant cheered at the notion of the $5,000 checks. Sawant said the agreement with Cadence, as of Wednesday, still needed to be written down. Continue reading

LoJack: Why police and the Sheriff’s helicopter were searching for a parked Lexus in the Central District Saturday night

Saturday night, Seattle Police were searching through the streets just south of E Madison as the King County Sheriff’s helicopter roared above. The search went on for 30 minutes as officers combed the area, street by street. They must have been looking for somebody — or something — very important.

They were. They got a LoJack hit.

“We want to find stolen cars,” an SPD spokesperson tells CHS.

Details of how exactly the system works are a bit of a secret — “We don’t want people working around it,” the SPD representative says — but here are the basics. Continue reading