Congresswoman Jayapal holding Madison Park, Madrona, the Central District, and Capitol Hill town hall

Jayapal marked Earth Day by helping the Washington Trails Association (Image: Jayapal office)

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will hold a neighborhood town hall Wednesday night for Madison Park, Madrona, the Central District, and Capitol Hill.

The federal leader for the state’s 7th congressional district represents voters from across the area from Vashon Island to Shoreline and has held town halls in other areas in recent years. Wednesday night, Jayapal will address and hear from her Central Seattle constituents:

The location of Wednesday night’s appearance is under wraps. To take part, attendees have been asked to RSVP for the Wednesday, April 24th, 5:30 to 7:30 PM town hall. “Registrants will receive a confirmation email with the location on Tuesday, April 23,” Jayapal’s office promises. Continue reading

‘National Alert’ — Integrated Public Alert and Warning System test will have phones buzzing around Seattle Wednesday morning

(Image: FEMA)

Get ready for a cacophony at 11:20 AM. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced a Wednesday morning, October 4th national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System:

The national test will help ensure that Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) continue to be effective ways to warn the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. All major U.S. wireless providers participate in Wireless Emergency Alerts and will transmit the national test to their subscribers. If your mobile phone is on and within range of an active cell tower from a participating wireless provider, you should receive the national test. Wireless providers will transmit the national test for 30 minutes, but your phone should only receive it once.

In addition to buzzing phones, the EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions. Continue reading

Excessive force and community trust: Seattle Police Department’s 12 years of federal oversight ends

A recent Coffee with a Cop event (Image: SPD)

After “full, sustained and lasting compliance,” the federal consent decree has been lifted from the Seattle Police Department, ending 12 years of controls and oversight after a civil rights investigation found evidence of excessive force and biased policing.

“This is a day to celebrate. The judge highlighted the hard work of the officers,” The Seattle Times reports Chief Adrian Diaz said after the decision this week by U.S. District Judge James Robart issued his key ruling lifting the decree.

“Judge Robart’s ruling is a critical milestone in our efforts to reform policing. It recognizes the significant changes in our approach to crime, behavioral health incidents, and professional standards,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement that also raised three key issues identified by the court as priorities for further reform — “use of force in crowd management, the effectiveness and sustainability of the accountability system currently in place, and the results of collective bargaining with the Seattle Police Officers Guild.”

The city’s agreement with the guild remains under negotiation in a protracted labor battle that continues to flare publicly with disputes over how many sworn officers the city needs. SPOG has been operating without a contract since 2020. Continue reading

‘American issues’ — New federal initiative to address homelessness in cities across nation will include a focus on Seattle

The Biden administration announced a new plan on Thursday to help reduce homelessness in five major U.S. cities including Seattle. The plan will provide federal assistance — but not direct funding — and support to help cities get unsheltered residents into permanent housing.

Seattle is one of the cities that will receive federal help under the All Inside plan. Officials say city has the third-highest population of homeless residents in the country after Los Angeles and New York. In 2022, there were more than 13,300 homeless people in Seattle, according to a one-night count required by the federal government. But local officials say different methods show there are four times as many living homeless in King County.

The federal plan will provide Seattle and the other cities as well as the state of California with help to secure existing Washington D.C. funding to build more affordable housing, provide rental assistance, and offer other services. The plan will also provide Seattle with technical assistance to help the city coordinate its efforts to reduce homelessness. Continue reading

Saying reforms have worked, officials call for end of federal oversight of the Seattle Police Department

(Image: City of Seattle)

The U.S. Justice Department and city officials say Seattle’s police reforms have worked and it is time to lift the consent decree put in place in 2011 after a civil rights investigation found evidence of excessive force and biased policing.

Officials asked a federal judge Tuesday to end most of the federal oversight of the Seattle Police Department saying the department has made “far-reaching reforms” over the past 12 years and is now a “transformed organization.”

The filing says SPD has made reforms in key areas including use of force policy and increased community participation and civilian oversight from the city’s community policing commission.

“We know there remains work to be done to reduce disparities in policing, and we are committed to doing so as a learning, growing organization, with a department culture where accountability, continuous improvement, and innovation are always at the center,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement on the filing.

But the fallout of the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations, CHOP protests, and subsequent anti-police marches and property damage still shadows the department. The filing recommends continued federal oversight of SPD’s crowd control measures including “improving the use, reporting, and review of force in crowd settings” and improved accountability for its chain of command. Continue reading

Speaking of that guerilla Capitol Hill crosswalk… federal cash comes through for Seattle ‘Safe Streets’ projects including replacing rogue E Olive Way crossing

(Image: @flyguy84)

When you look at it from the corner of Harvard and E Olive Way, it might feel a little like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly but Seattle City Hall has the money needed to paint official crossings at the site of Capitol Hill’s rogue crosswalk.

Monday, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, announced a round of grants to communities across her state including a $30 million ask from the City of Seattle that includes a line item to fund the E Olive Way crosswalk work.

The $25.6 million grant comes from the Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets for All program created by Cantwell to “help local governments carry out Vision Zero plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, including for cyclists and pedestrians.”

“Fatalities on our roads are increasing at a historic rate,” Cantwell said in the announcement. “This Safe Streets for All award for Seattle will help improve 117 intersections where 60 percent of the fatal and serious pedestrian collisions occur, create 1.4 miles of new sidewalks, and four miles of protected bike lanes.”

The city said it plans to improve “the most intersections in southeast SODO where the highest number of serious pedestrian and bicycle accidents occur.”

The federal funding will also boost SDOT projects to add new ADA ramps and bumpouts to the E Olive Way crossing, new ramps and bumpouts, a pedestrian island, and new crosswalk markings at Harvard at Seneca, new ramps and bumpouts to join the new 4-way stop at 10th and Pike, and another set to join the new 4-way stop at Belmont and Pike.

Seattle’s full funding proposal including a roster of planned improvements can be found here (PDF).

 

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The Sunshine Protection Act can’t save you, Seattle — It is time to fall back

(Image: CHS)

All the leaves are brown and the Amanitas are popping. It’s time to fall back on Capitol Hill.

Sunday brings the 2 AM end of the Daylight Saving Time cycle that started in spring. Most clocks these days fall back an hour automagically but this post is here to help make sure you aren’t deceived by your microwave come Sunday morning.

There have been increased efforts to stay permanently on DST. The so-called Sunshine Protection Act was supposed to save us from the twice a year jolt to the human nervous system of flip-flopping the hour of the day but has stalled out in Congress.

For now, you’ll need to find a way to keep in synch. CHS recommends a quiet mushroom walk in the leaves.

(Image: CHS)

 

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Sen. Murray points way to a ‘hometown shop’ with a stop at Capitol Hill’s Analog Coffee

(Image: @MurrayCampaign)

Her Republican opponent Tiffany Smiley couldn’t find coffee on Capitol Hill. Patty Murray had no such difficulties Wednesday in her visit to Seattle’s most caffeinated neighborhood.

Murray stopped through Summit Ave E’s Analog Coffee for an afternoon pick me up with King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay and State Senator Joe Nguyen. Continue reading

‘So much crime that you can’t even get a cup of coffee from the hometown shop on Capitol Hill’ — Republican Senate candidate takes on Murray over E Olive Way Starbucks closure

 

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On the Capitol Hill, Seattle curve of E Olive Way where Democratic incumbent Patty Murray claimed 90% of the vote in August’s primary, her MAGA-friendly Republican challenger is hoping to make a stand over a shuttered coffee shop.

“These doors are closed because it’s too dangerous to ask employees to work here
anymore,” Senate challenger Tiffany Smiley says in the ad while standing — thanks to apparent computer wizardry — in front of the E Olive Way Starbucks that was controversially closed by the company this summer citing crime concerns in the area.

“Think about that. For decades, Patty Murray has spearheaded reckless policies that lead to shortages, inflation and so much crime that you can’t even get a cup of coffee from the hometown shop on Capitol Hill — even if you could still afford it,” Smiley concludes.

CHS has reached out to the Smiley campaign to ask more about the candidate’s “visit” to the neighborhood. Continue reading

Uvalde shooting memorial appears in Capitol Hill’s Seven Hills Park — UPDATE

Thanks to Tricia in the CHS Facebook Group for sharing this image of the memorial

A memorial to the Uvalde shooting victims has been set up by a neighborhood effort in Capitol Hill’s Seven Hills Park. Later in June, a national day of protest in support of gun control reform will include a march beginning in downtown Seattle.

The small and stark memorial of 21 crosses and children’s toys appeared in the 16th Ave at E Howell park last week following the Tuesday, May 24th Uvalde, Texas shooting, the second worst school shooting in the nation’s history. The dead include 19 children.

Earlier in the month, ten people were shot and killed in a mass shooting at Buffalo, New York’s Tops Friendly Markets, a grocery store at the center of the city’s Black community. Continue reading