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

Tired of baking French pastries on the Hill, Mariela Camacho brings pan dulce to the people

“It’s also about food justice,” Mariela Camacho says. “I want to give this to a community that doesn’t have a lot of food that is healthy and accessible to them.” (Image: Margo Vansynghel for CHS)

The sky is invariably dark, the atmosphere eerily quiet when Mariela Camacho gets to the commissary kitchen at 3 AM. No buzzing of mixers yet. No butter sizzling in pans, radio in the background, or cooks chopping onions, or bakers kneading dough. Usually, it’s just her and her diablitos (smoked paprika croissants), conchas (sweet bread rolls with crunchy toppings) and roles de canela (cinnamon rolls). One by one, Camacho loads them onto trays that go on top of the warm oven for proofing, the final rise before the final bake.

While the pastries rise, Camacho mixes the dough for sweet buns and bread, assembles pink cakes and alfajores, and chops up queso oaxaca for empanadas.

“And that’s just a regular day,” Camacho says. It’s 11 AM, and she’s worn out after a Sunday morning of baking. Her cheeks rosy from the work and oven heat, she’s loading up big boxes with bread, sweet buns and pastries to be whisked off to her wholesalers across the city: La Marzocco Cafe, Elm Coffee Roasters, Resistencia, Little Neon Taco, Addo, Bait Shop and Damn The Weather. Her wholesaler’s list has been growing quickly since she started her on-demand and pop-up bakery Comadre Panadería last spring.

Her pastry pop-ups, at Little Neon Taco, Dorothea Coffee or Broadcast Coffee, are increasingly popular as well. During her next pop-up, planned for Sunday, January 27th at Broadcast Coffee’s Jackson roasting house, Camacho will be selling cardamom orange conchas and a raspberry/beet niño envueltos.

Comadre Panaderia Pop-up

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Central District council says SDOT went rogue with community-driven street improvements

The Judkins Park Community Council says its solution for the stretch of Jackson SDOT focused on would cost $500 (Image: Judkins Park Community Council)

A Central District neighborhood group had the strange experience earlier this month of asking the city to stop work on improvements Seattle Department of Transportation claimed it asked for.

“It is heartbreaking as we were so excited to get a grant to have improvements in the Jackson Street Business District,” organizers for the Judkins Park Community Council posted about the situation. “But this project, which we may not be able to actually stop at this point, being done in our name with our hard work on getting the grant, is not acceptable.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Jackson’s Lake Chad open ‘until they force me to close’

Felix Ngoussou isn’t going down without a fight. The owner of S Jackson’s Lake Chad cafe tells CHS he’s staying open “until they force me to close.” Saturday night, CHS stopped through a party at Lake Chad with the Jim O’Hollaran Trio and an effort from friends and neighbors to try to boost business.

CHS wrote about Ngoussou’s efforts to keep Lake Chad open last month. The entrepreneur and community leader tells CHS he hopes to keep Lake Chad open as a cooperative-style coffee shop that can serve as a community meeting and work space. Our report wasn’t all bad news, Ngoussou tells us. In it, he got first word his Seattle Business Education Hub nonprofit was tabbed for $164,000 in funding from the city.

In the meantime, Lake Chad remains open and ready for Central District neighbors around 23rd and Jackson to stop in. You can find it at 1712 S. Jackson. Learn more at facebook.com/lakechadcafe.coffee.

Two Central District cafes facing closure point finger at Seattle City Hall

They both have become familiar faces whenever Central District small businesses are being discussed — usually in the context of the next big development or the next big infrastructure project promised to bring change to the neighborhoods their cafes have called home. Neighbors are now saying their goodbyes to Felix Ngoussou’s Jackson St. Lake Chad Cafe and Sara Mae’s 701 Coffee.

The 23rd and Cherry cafe owner Mae said she takes personal responsibility for 701’s closure but said she also lays blame with Seattle City Hall and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant for what she predicts will be a wave of Central District closures:

701 is just one in a line of real small businesses in the Central District that have been forced to close. We aren’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last. I firmly believe this trend will continue. There’s certainly no elected official—Kshama—that is going to give two shits about the plight of Central District Small Businesses. We have an elected official in the Central District who isn’t willing to devote some of her time and political capital to assuring that there is prosperity on the horizon for Central District small businesses. Instead she has created a movement that is based on resentment, and divisive political rhetoric that serves no purpose but to hold power, and keep people who are struggling trapped in a cycle of spinning their wheels, waiting for her precious cake. Frankly, all we have received in the aggregate from Kshama in all of this is Central District small business circumstances that has worsened under her reign.

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After ‘nightmare’ arson fire, Med Mix returns to the Central District

Tuesday, we found out just how many people love tacos and broke some news about the future of food and drink at 23rd and Union. Today, CHS has good news on a sad part of 23rd and Union’s restaurant past. Five years after an arson fire destroyed its 23rd and Union shop, Med Mix is open again in the Central District.

Owner Otmane Bezzaz dropped CHS a note earlier this week to announce that, “after years of trying to come back,” his new location just off 23rd and Jackson is now open. Continue reading

Design review: Pratt Fine Arts Center development in the CD, ‘upscale’ small efficiency project on Capitol Hill

A development set to create market-rate housing and reshape a key block of Central District arts and culture and a project that proves Capitol Hill microhousing is not dead will both take their debut bows in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

1900 S Jackson
The plan announced in spring to create a full-block expansion of the Pratt Fine Arts Center in conjunction with a six-story, 160-unit mixed-use will move forward Wednesday night as developer Daniels Real Estate brings its proposal up for early design guidance.

CHS reported in April on the Pratt project as the Central District cultural center that serves more than 4,000 art students a year marked its 40th anniversary by announcing the venture with Daniels Real Estate. The art center today has 19,000 square feet of studio space in its two existing buildings, which will remain open during the expansion. The expansion will grow the campus by adding 75% of the block between S Jackson and S Main and 19th and 20th Aves. Underground parking will have space for 100 cars. Continue reading

Pratt Fine Arts Center plans expansion in mixed-use development

(Image: Pratt Fine Arts)

(Image: Pratt Fine Arts)

Pratt Fine Arts Center’s plans to expand are moving forward with designs in progress and money in the bank to anchor a six-story, mixed-use development on the block it calls home at 20th and Jackson.

“In order to achieve Pratt’s long term vision, we have worked tirelessly to find the best way to accommodate Pratt’s growing need for additional facilities to better serve art students and independent artists,” Steve Galatro, Pratt executive director said. “This multifaceted development will expand our capacity, unlock new potential, strengthen the connections to our neighborhood, and ensure that creativity thrives in a dynamic urban campus for many years to come.” Continue reading

Police chase down Grand Am after reported Central District drive-by

Two people were taken into custody after a swift and heavy response from Seattle Police to a reported drive-by shooting Monday morning near 25th and Jackson.

Police were called to the area just after 11 AM to a report that two people had been shot at by a passing vehicle near 25th and Jackson. With no reported injuries at the scene, police began searching for the gold Pontiac Grand Am reported to have been involved in the shooting.

The car was spotted by police headed north on Rainier and was chased to MLK before the Grand Am was eventually ditched near 31st and Bayview and at least three occupants fled on foot.

According to police radio dispatches, officers were able to quickly surround the area and begin searching backyards on the block where the car was ditched. Around 11:20 AM, an officer reported he had one person held at gunpoint. Officers soon reported two people were taken into custody. A K9 unit and the Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter were also searching the area for a possible third person who may have been in the vehicle but that female suspect was not found. Police said two people were detained after the incident.

The incident comes amid increased concerns from community members and businesses about Central District gunfire incidents.

UPDATE: SPD has posted a brief on the incident:

Officers chased down two suspects Monday following a drive-by shooting in the Central District. Around 11:15 AM, police received reports that someone in a gold Pontiac had fired at two men walking on the street near 25th Avenue and Jackson Street. Officers spotted the suspects’ vehicle and followed it to 23rd Avenue and South College Street, where two suspects ditched their car and took off on foot. Police caught up to the men and took them into custody. No one was injured in the incident. Officers attempted to contact the victims following the incident, but they declined to provide statements to police. The SPD Gang Unit is investigating and asks that anyone with information call (206) 684-4585.

 

Sorry, Andrew Jackson, Seattle should rename its street named after you

In 1986, Ron Sims, the first black person to be a member of the King County Council, introduced a motion to repair his county’s recognition of history by changing its namesake from an obscure, pre-Civil War United States vice president and slaveholder to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The motion passed, barely, 5-4. With history’s twists as knotted as ever this Presidents’ Day 2017, CHS wonders if another namesake change is in order.

Today, Jackson Street runs from the Central District to the International District and honors the nation’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson:

King Street was named by David Maynard in his 1853 Plat of the Town of Seattle, one of the first three plats laying out the street grid. (The other two plats, north of Maynard’s, were filed by Carson Boren and Arthur Denny). Maynard, a staunch Democrat, named many of the streets in his plat for Democratic leaders, including Andrew Jackson, John B. Weller (Governor of California), and Joseph Lane (Oregon Territory’s Congressional delegate).

As was William Rufus Devane King, Jackson was also a slaveholder. Beyond his battlefield prowess, he is remembered for The Indian Removal Act. His populism and, apparently, temper have also become a historical model for the Trump administration. Continue reading