Despite a boom in cannabis revenue for many in the industry, Seattle’s Uncle Ike’s has had a rough go through the pandemic as the chain of pot shops saw its sales fail to keep up with competitors as its Capitol Hill and Central District stores were targeted with vandalism during equity and anti-police protests. Things didn’t get any better in a set of Tuesday, March 2nd incidents in which Ike’s management said a disgruntled employee did some $60,000 worth of damage to two of the chain’s shops and caused the loss of more than $75,000 in sales.
According to the SPD report on the incidents, police say Ike’s security video shows the suspect enter Ike’s flagship store at 23rd and Union just before 5 PM where he began laying waste to the retail space with a hammer, pushing down counters, breaking shelves. and damaging merchandise. Continue reading →
Cafe Avole is hard at work building out their second location in the Liberty Bank Building, joining other Black-owned businesses like Earl’s Cuts and Communion in development around 23rd and Union.
Ethiopian-owned, Cafe Avole sources, roasts, and sells high-grade coffees from Yirga Ch’Efe and Guji. Cafe Avole launched their flagship store in 2016 at the corner of Rainier Ave S and S Holly in Seattle’s Brighton neighborhood. The cafe offers Ethiopian food, community pop-ups, and, in pre-pandemic times, jebena, a central part of the coffee ceremony for Ethiopian and Eritrean households. The second location in the Liberty Bank Building is slated to open in May or June, depending on the progress of the buildout.
“We started our initial conversation [with the Liberty Bank Building] in 2018, right before the building was complete,” said Solomon Dubie, co-owner of Cafe Avole along with Gavin Amos and Getachew Enbiale. “We were supposed to try to get in there shortly thereafter, but things got held up, and then COVID hit. It was postponed for a little while.” Continue reading →
Many of the best stories in Seattle food and drink are taking place in the Central District where some of the earliest strong “reopening” energy after months of pandemic restrictions appears to be surfacing with plans for a new cafe — and a new lease for a neighborhood nightlife favorite.
First, an area old timer has solidified its plans for a move across the street to be part of the new, under construction Midtown Square development. The Neighbor Lady has secured a new home and a new lease (PDF): Continue reading →
Puget Sound Energy is blaming the city’s electrical infrastructure for last week’s natural gas fire that burned through the pavement in the Central District, sending flames shooting out of the street and sidewalks around E Cherry.
Though there were no reported injuries and damage was limited to city streets, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant is calling for a deeper investigation into the incident, the dangers “for-profit energy companies unilaterally impose on our communities,” and “the risks of continued reliance on climate-harming fossil fuels.”
“Last Wednesday, February 24, the lives of thousands of residents and workers in Seattle’s Central District were disrupted because of a dangerous underground gas leak and fire, involving pipes controlled by the for-profit PSE,” the City Council representative for Capitol Hill and the Central District writes in a February 27th letter (PDF) to David Danner, chair of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission. “But for the rapid and expert work of the union workers at the Seattle Fire Department (Firefighters Local 27) and PSE (Electrical Workers Local 77), who put themselves in harm’s way when they responded to this dangerous situation, stopping the leaking gas and extinguishing the fire, we might have seen a catastrophic disaster in our city.” Continue reading →
Seattle needs to push in 2021 to catch up on its plans to create new, safer routes for bicyclists including its plans for new protected bike lanes on E Union connecting Capitol Hill and the Central District.
A representative for the Seattle Department of Transportation tells CHS that there is no official schedule yet for the project but construction will start before summer.
“We anticipate construction may happen as soon as late March or at late as May,” the department rep said. “We will be sure to inform neighbors at least two weeks ahead of time to coordinate any construction-related impacts.” Continue reading →
South Jackson’s celebration of its jazz legacy returns this weekend with a virtual version of the annual Jackson Street Jazz Walk.
“One of the hottest jazz spots in the country in the 1940s was along Seattle’s Jackson Street, with clubs that saw early performances from then-local stars Ray Charles, Quincy Jones and Ernestine Anderson,” KNXK says about the street’s history.
Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy the Jackson Street Jazz Walk from home as the event returns following its 2020 postponement. 2021’s performances will include the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Eugenie Jones Jazz Band, a Lewis vs. Lewis Drum-off with David Lewis, D’Vonne Lewis, and Donovon Lewis), Alex Dugdale, Julio Jáuregui, Rafael Tranquilino, and the Darrius Willrich Trio.Continue reading →
2700 Blk. of E. Cherry St.: this is confirmed to be a natural gas leak, the gas has ignited and melted through asphalt. One block in each direction from MLK Jr. Way and E. Cherry St. evacuated. pic.twitter.com/ua5TlnE7nZ
Fire shot from utility covers and burned through asphalt Wednesday as a natural gas leak ignited in the Central District.
Seattle Fire and Puget Sound Energy were responding as homes and businesses in the surrounding blocks were evacuated out of concern about the burning gas. Streets in the area were also closed to traffic.
Power has been turned off in the area affecting about 2,000 customers.
The incident began around 11 AM according to 911 logs.
A large police response filled the area around 23rd and Yesler’s Catholic Community Services building Tuesday afternoon after a report of an armed man at the facility filled with dozens of people.
Officers located several employees inside the Randolph Carter Center building and were evacuating them from the area after finding the possible gunman down with a gunshot wound, according to East Precinct radio reports. UPDATE: Police were continuing to search for a possible suspect. It’s not clear at this point if the downed man is a victim or the suspect. UPDATE x2: Police have determined the downed man is the shooter.
UPDATE 2:51 PM: Police say the gunman is dead — shooting himself after trying to shoot a woman at the facility:
A man fatally shot himself after attempting to shoot a woman at a housing services program in the Central District Tuesday afternoon. Around 1:15 PM, the man met with the woman in a courtyard of a building in the 100 block 23rd Ave and made threatening statements to her. He then pulled out a gun and fired at the woman, who managed to get away uninjured. The suspect then fatally shot himself. Police surrounded the building, confirmed the suspect was deceased, and searched floor by floor. They located one person who had sustained minor injuries while fleeing from the sounds of gunfire.
UPDATE: In a letter to the community, Archbishop Paul Etienne described the gunman as “a distraught individual.”
“This afternoon, a distraught individual came to the headquarters at the Randolph Carter Family and Learning Center,” Etienne writes. “He threatened the life of a staff member before taking his own life. Mercifully, no one else was harmed and all of the staff were able to safely leave the building.”
In his letter, Etienne expressed his gratitude for the employees and management “who quickly followed all safety protocols and took control” of the situation and thanked the Seattle Police Department and emergency responders.
“Events like this remind us of the stress and pain that unrelenting poverty can bring. Events like this remind us of the real suffering and frustration that coincide with untreated health conditions, Etienne writes. “Events like this remind us of the desperation and hopelessness people feel before taking their own lives — a tragic trend that is exacerbated by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Tents are up tonight at Miller Playfield’s sport courts where the pickle ball players usually rule. It’s a COVID-19 vaccination pop-up just off 19th Ave E for the city’s deaf and blind communities.
Last week, CHS watched as seniors from the Central District traveled to 14th Ave’s First African Methodist Episcopal Church for another vaccination effort to reach a community that has so far been underrepresented in the state’s totals.
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Seattle and across Washington hasn’t been exactly equitable but efforts in the city to help reach vulnerable communities are helping to address the inequities one pop-up at a time.
BIPOC elders gathered at FAME last week to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine administered by Seattle Fire at one of the pop-up vaccination clinics being hosted across the city.
Alesia Cannady was one of the group of grandmothers who came in together for the Thursday session. Continue reading →