Here’s how you can help these Central District schools have bands that look more like their student populations

(Image: Jazz Up Jackson Street)

By Audrey Frigon, CHS Fall Intern

The Earshot Jazz Festival is again underway in Seattle and, included among the great performers like Cécile McLorin Salvant and Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá, will again be students from across the Central District and Capitol Hill performing with their Seattle Public Schools music programs. But this year’s appearance by the award winning Garfield High and Washington Middle School bands is about more than great jazz.

Along with jazz greats, the festival will be featuring Seattle students in a fundraising effort. Washington Middle School and Garfield High School students are tuning up to perform a benefit concert called Jazz Up Jackson Street. The goal of Thursday night’s performance? To raise awareness and funds for Seattle’s Central District schools’ music programs as they embark on a daunting new initiative — giving every single student an opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

Arlene Fairfield, an organizer of the event, said the music program does not reflect the diversity of Washington and Garfield’s demographics.

“School music programs in the Central District have a long history of excellence that has been recognized both regionally and nationally,” she tells CHS. “However, the student musicians in these programs have historically underrepresented the diversity in our schools.” Continue reading

19th Ave homeless youth facility PSKS to close as Seattle City Hall pushes away from shelter funding

(Image: PSKS)

Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets, the mouthful of a name, year-round, overnight youth shelter on 19th Ave just off Madison must close before the end of the year.

“The Board of Directors of Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS) has spent the past two years investigating the best possible future for our programs serving youth and young adults experiencing homelessness,” the PSKS announcement reads. “After in-depth conversations with partner service providers, the City of Seattle, and private funders, we have come to the very difficult decision that PSKS must close its doors no later than December 31.”

The Seattle Times was first to report the decision in an in-depth look at what the loss will mean for young homeless people who depend on the shelter’s 25 beds in a city cutting back on emergency shelter spending in favor of “enhanced shelters” and what city officials say will be longer term housing solutions.

“I would consider PSKS to be the canary in the coal mine,” PSKS board member and former board president Andrea Vitalich tells the Times. “Because the entire service-providing model is not sustainable.”

The decision to close the shelter comes three years after CHS reported the sale of the property by longtime owners Mount Zion Baptist Church and the few years remaining on its lease. Continue reading

With redevelopment process rolling forward, deal will give low income residents opportunity to stay in the Central District

The future of the Chateau

Thursday night, the development process set to replace the former Section 8 subsidized Chateau Apartments in the Central District will grind forward with another early design review but residents of the old building got some welcome news earlier in the week with a plan that will provide them with new housing opportunities in the neighborhood thanks to the Low Income Housing Institute.

Developer Cadence Real Estate announced what it called a partnership with the Low Income Housing Institute “that will enable all Section 8 residents at the Chateau Apartment building in the Central Area to stay in the neighborhood.” Continue reading

Feed Co.’s new owners read the CHS comments: Central District joint sticking with burgers, adding booze

Don’t read the comments. Unless you’re the new owner of a favorite neighborhood restaurant exploring a concept change. Then, you might want to tune in, and work with the feedback.

“The area loves feed co so much, we can’t change that. :),” new owner Thanh Nguyen tells CHS about the decision to simplify planned changes to the 24th and Union restaurant after a new group of investors got together to take over Central District burger joint Feed Co.
Continue reading

Organizers say Central Area Senior Center fundraising near key mark to enable crucial grant

Organizers were closing in on a $55,000 fundraising goal Friday that will help enable the Central Area Senior Center to move into community ownership and open the doors to much needed investment and upgrades.

As of Friday morning, organizers for The Central said they were within $5,000 of the goal to meet a bank balance requirement to receive a $1.5 million grant from the county to move forward with the group’s planned acquisition of the city property so it can continue to manage the facility and provide services and programming to the community. Continue reading

National ‘art machine for social change’ finds a home in the Central District

You’ve seen the posters. They feature a woman with a stars-and-stripes dotted hijab, a dreadlocked kid, or Helen Red Feather of the Lakota tribe protesting at Standing Rock. Perhaps you know that they were part of the “We The People” poster campaign that swept the nation after the election of Donald Trump and his inauguration in January 2017. Or that Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena designed them.

But did you know that a Seattle-based nonprofit called Amplifier was responsible?

“That was a historic moment in our American history, and creating imagery that represented the demographics the Trump administration was most violently attacking (…) really shook people. You could tell it awakened them. It resonated and went viral around the world,” says Isabella Sisneros, Amplifier’s operations manager.

A Kickstarter campaign to print and distribute the posters raised more than 1$ million in a week thanks to over 23,000 donors.

“We broke a Kickstarter record for the most small donors,” says Amplifier’s deputy director Cleo Barnett, sitting in one of the brand-new looking couches of Amplifier’s recently opened Central District art lab and offices.

Describing what, exactly, Amplifier does is tricky, because it can easily sound vaguely artsy. Take their website language: “A design lab that builds arts experiments to amplify the voices of grassroots movements”  and “art machine for social change.”  Continue reading

Liberty Bank Building’s rooftop music series will go on despite ‘once wonderful peaceful neighborhood’ complaints

Organizers of a weekly music party on the rooftop of the new Liberty Bank Building say the shows will go on despite a neighbor’s social media messages and complaints to police about the noise and the “terrible nuisance” in the “once wonderful peaceful neighborhood” around 24th and Union.

“Our team looks forward to continuing to serve the community with this live music series on the next three Thursdays 7:30-9:45pm.,” the producer of Level R Events said in a statement sent CHS. “We are listening to neighbor concerns, and will proactively work with our para-technicians to ensure that volume levels are within city ordinances.” Continue reading

Suspect in custody after reported knife attack at MLK/Union Grocery Outlet

Police took a suspect into custody minutes after an employee at MLK and Union’s Grocery Outlet was reportedly slashed in the face with a knife in an assault just before 1:30 PM

Police were called to the scene Friday afternoon to a report that a clerk had been cut on the face by a suspect who attempted to flee but was being held down by multiple people, according to East Precinct radio.

Details of this report have not yet been confirmed with SPD or Seattle Fire.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene to treat the victim’s injuries. UPDATE: SFD reports the clerk’s injuries as “minor.”


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One injured in another bout of gunfire at 29th and Alder — UPDATE

Monday night gunfire at a Central District corner with a history of shootouts and gang activity including a shots fired incident Friday afternoon sent a 27-year-old man to the hospital in stable condition but with serious injuries, a Seattle Fire spokesman said.

Seattle Police were called to an address at the corner of 29th and Alder just after 6:30 PM Monday to a report of gunfire and a vehicle speeding from the scene. Continue reading

Feed Co., last of a Capitol Hill-Central District family of restaurants, getting new owners, new concept

From a growing set of Capitol Hill and Central District food and drink joints to zero — Scott and Heather Staples, creators of Quinn’s, Sole Repair, Zoe, and Feed Co. are saying goodbye to Central Seattle.

“We’ve loved being in the CD & CapHill all these years and will miss the communities! However, now we will enjoy the neighborhoods as supporters!!” was the super enthusiastic response when CHS asked Scott about the planned sale of 24th and Union’s Feed Co., the couple’s final holdings in the area. Continue reading