Central District’s ‘Soul Pole’ to be taken down and, hopefully, restored

(Image: City of Seattle)

Another landmark of public art is set for work officials hope will help to keep it part of its neighborhood. The Soul Pole, a 21-foot wooden sculpture that has stood outside the Central District’s Douglass-Truth Branch of the Seattle Public Library for nearly 50 years, must come down for work to figure out how best to save the creation:

The 21-foot wooden sculpture, gifted to the Library in 1972 by the Seattle Rotary Boys Club, was carved by six young community artists in the late 1960s to honor 400 years of African American history and the struggle for justice in the United States. The Library will work with Artech Fine Art Services, an organization with extensive experience in the restoration and preservation of artwork, to deinstall the piece and transport it to an art storage facility, where an extensive assessment will be performed.

The library is also trying to learn more about the creation of the 23rd at Yesler pole: Continue reading

Police respond to armed man reported at 23rd and Yesler Catholic Community Services building — UPDATE

(Image: Alex Garland)

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.”

Continue reading

Teen injured in late August Central District shooting has died

Seattle Police announced that the 17-year-old dropped at the hospital with gunshot wounds following gunfire at 23rd and Yesler two weeks ago died Monday night from injuries suffered in the incident.

CHS reported here on the August 26th shooting. The teen has not yet been publicly identified.

The death comes amid a rash of shootings across Central and South Seattle and marks the sixth homicide in the East Precinct so far in 2020. There were five murders investigated in the precinct in all of 2019, and three in 2018.

Citywide, there have been 26 homicides reported so far this year. 28 were murdered here in all of 2019.

In the Central District, a deadly shooting at 23rd and Cherry in late July claimed the life of 17-year-old Adriel Webb. Another shooting at that intersection a few nights later left another victim dead. CHS does not know the identity of that person.


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Police investigate gunfire and bullet through apartment window at 12th and Yesler

A round of gunfire sent a bullet into a nearby apartment and left at least one car riddled with bullets but there were no victims in a shooting late Wednesday night near 12th and Yesler.

Police and Seattle Fire were called just after 11 PM to the scene for reports of gunfire and a male down on the pavement. Police arrived to find bullet damage to homes and vehicles but there were no victims found at the scene. Continue reading

SPD investigating 23rd and Yesler shooting

A gunshot wound victim was dropped at Harborview Wednesday night just minutes after a round of gunfire from a vehicle was reported at 23rd and Yesler.

Seattle Police were collecting evidence at the Central District shooting scene and the hospital where the victim was delivered via private vehicle.

According to East Precinct radio reports, 911 callers reported seeing a shooter open fire just before 9 PM from inside a vehicle at 23rd and Yesler where police found multiple shell casings.

Police were working to determine if the shooting victim at Harborview was related to the 23rd and Yesler incident.

SPD assistant chief Adrian Diaz and Mayor Jenny Durkan said last week the city has seen a major increase in shots fired incidents since June 1st, a trend also seen in other major U.S. cities.

UPDATE 8/27/20 5:30 PM: SPD reports that a 17-year-old is in critical condition:

Detectives are investigating after a 17-year-old was shot and wounded Wednesday evening in the Central District.

At 8:48 PM, officers were called to 23rd Avenue and Yesler Way for a report of gunfire. Police arrived and spoke with witnesses, and learned a 17-year-old male with a gunshot wound had arrived at Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

SPD’s Gang Unit is investigating. If you have any information about this case, please call the Violent Crimes Tipline at 206 233 5000.


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Spurred by Seattle protests, city says will finally transfer Central District’s Fire Station 6 to Africatown — UPDATE

(Image: Joe Mabel/City of Seattle)

Seattle’s crises of 2020 have caused major disruptions, delays, and postponements. But they have also accelerated and unstuck some changes that should have happened in the city long ago.

Friday, the City of Seattle announced it will transfer the Fire Station 6 property at 23rd Ave and Yesler to community ownership, clearing the way for an Africatown-led redevelopment plan after more than seven years of process over the decommissioned facility.

“We at the City of Seattle understand the urgency behind making bold investments in the Black community and increasing community ownership of land in the Central District,” the brief announcement reads. “The City believes in the vision behind the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation and we remain committed to making the transfer of Fire Station 6 to the community a reality.” Continue reading

E Yesler gunfire locks down Douglass-Truth library

An afternoon bout of gunfire involving at least one vehicle sent people diving for cover Tuesday in front of the Central District’s Douglass-Truth library branch. There were on reported injuries.

Police were called to the area near 24th and Yesler around 1:40 PM to a report of shots fired, at least one vehicle leaving the scene, and others apparently involved in the gunfire fleeing on foot, according to East Precinct radio updates. Arriving officers found spent shell casings in the street but there were no reports of significant damage or injuries. No immediate arrests were reported. Continue reading

Seattle Bike Blog: With Pike bike lanes going in, city also making it easier to get to Broadway bikeway

CHS reported Wednesday that the Seattle Department of Transportation is ready to lay down paint to begin a major transition of Pike from the edge of downtown to Broadway to add new bike lanes. Seattle Bike Blog has news on even more bike-friendly changes coming to the streets of Capitol Hill’s core and some important safety changes near the First Hill Streetcar route.

By the end of the year, bicyclists, scooter riders, skaters, and more will find a new, special turn lane at Denny designed to make  the start of the Broadway bikeway easier to get to, SBB reports:

As noted in the fact sheet (PDF), “Southbound cyclists often miss the entrance to the Broadway protected bike lane.” The idea here is that people biking south in the general purpose lanes on Broadway will have two options for getting into the two-way bikeway on the left side of the street starting at Denny Way: Wait in the existing two-stage turn box on the right side of the intersection until the signal changes or merge into a bike-sized left turn lane. People already make this maneuver today using the painted buffer area, but this will make it more official.

The city says the new enhancements at Broadway and Denny will have four components: Continue reading

‘Emmett’ — Family remembers man found dead in 14th/Yesler apartment fire

The young man who died in early Monday morning’s two-alarm fire inside a 14th at Yesler apartment unit has been identified by family as 23-year-old Emerson “Emmett” Davis.

“To whom have met him, know him and loved him, it’s a devastating loss in the world,” his family wrote about the young man. “Our angel left too soon! His passion for life, friendships and living through experiences was contagious. He’s laugh and smile….well you know what it brought to a room of friends and family.”

The family is raising money to help take care of expenses. You can learn more and give here. Continue reading