CHS Pics | The corner of 34th Ave E and Douglas Q. Barnett Street

E Union at 34th Ave E has a new honorary street name. Now, to find the former home of Seattle’s Black Arts/West Theatre, just look for Douglas Q. Barnett Street.

The new designation was celebrated last week before the Thanksgiving holiday with a ceremony at the corner where Barnett founded and led the theater from 1969 until it lost funding and was closed in 1980. Barnett passed away last year at the age of 88.

“I had none,” said Tee Dennard tells CHS of his acting experience before finding Black Arts/West Theatre. “I came out here on a bet — on an audition. And I got the part.” Denard eventually became artistic director and has enjoyed a lifetime as a working actor. Continue reading

Mapping Sawant’s 2019 win shows continued strength of District 3’s political divide

Sawant again performed strongly in the southwest core of District 3

It was a tale of two districts.

To the east and north were the wealthier homeowners of North Capitol Hill, Madrona, Montlake, and Broadmoor, where voters picked the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce-backed Egan Orion.

Meanwhile, in the more densely populated Broadway and Pike/Pine cores and the Central District, residents sided with the re-election of socialist Seattle City Council incumbent Kshama Sawant.

While the path to victory in 2019 included a dramatic shift from Election Night totals, Sawant’s win, in the end, looks extremely familiar.

To Erin Schultz, a consultant that worked on the Orion campaign, the voting distribution of District 3 looks like what Sawant saw in 2015 as she defeated Pamela Banks for the seat.

“The mapped results are similar to results Sawant has gotten in every election, but we were obviously hoping to close the narrow gap, especially after the Primary performance,” Schultz said in an email. She believes that Amazon’s late $1 million contribution turned the election into a “referendum on corporate influence in elections rather than solutions to addressing homelessness, improving affordability, and the many other issues our city is struggling with.”
Continue reading

Soaring Jewish population has nucleus in Seattle’s new inner city

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The 2014 Light the Night celebration at Gay City’s Calamus Auditorium brought out some spectacular holiday finery

Each dot represents 10 Jewish households. The dots are placed randomly within each zip code (Image: Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle)

Each dot represents 10 Jewish households. The dots are placed randomly within each zip code (Image: Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle)

Seattle’s central neighborhoods have the densest population of Jewish households in the metropolitan area, and the numbers are growing.

According to a recent study (PDF), the number of Jews in greater Seattle has increased 70% since 2001, the last time a similar study was conducted. The Jewish population boom is outpacing Seattle’s overall growth. The city’s roughly 33,000 Jews now outnumber residents claiming Norwegian ancestry. The Seattle Times reported on the trends last week.

According to the report, much of the growth has come from Jewish individuals and families moving into the city — only 23% were born in the area. Seattle’s availability of skilled jobs, progressive culture, and well educated population appears to have been a main driver in the Jewish population boom. 89% of Jewish adults surveyed had a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree. Researchers estimated the total Jewish population in the greater Seattle area today to be around 63,400. Continue reading

President Obama makes another Madrona visit

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Expect the usual peculiarities around the neighborhood when POTUS visits the area — hopefully without those Madrona booms. President Barack Obama arrives in Seattle Tuesday for a double-header of fundraising events including a return to the Madrona home of Bruce and Anne Blume.

With the traffic armageddon from I-90 construction work so far yet to materialize, the presidential motorcade will likely tie up 520 and area roads here and there through the day before and after the afternoon event in Madrona.

The stay will be a short one. Obama is slated to spend the night in San Francisco before a day of California events.

UPDATE: The West Seattle Blog reports that Obama is slated to touch down at Boeing Field around 3 PM and head directly for Madrona before heading over to the Eastside for a fundraising dinner. The route from 405 to 520 to Lake Washington Blvd Lake Washington Blvd to 520 has been busy with security preparations — we found no parking signs all through the Arboretum. There are no public appearances scheduled as part of the fundraising stops.