See something others should know about? Email the tips line.
Rash of Seattle U street robberies: Seattle University is warning students about a rash of crime in the past few days around the campus on the southern edge of Capitol Hill. In the most serious incident, two suspects beat their victim and stole his car near 13th and Jefferson early Monday morning. According to the report on the incident, the two assailants stole a gold Honda Civic in the 1:25 AM attack. The suspects were described as two dark skinned males in their 20s, both around 6-foot tall and both had what the victim believed to be East African accents. Seattle Fire Department medics were called to the scene to treat the victim who was bleeding from the mouth.Later that day around 5:25 PM, a SU student waiting near 11th and E Marion was approached by two men who asked her if she had cigarettes. “After the student gave the unknown men cigarettes, one of them put their arms around her, reached into her jacket pocket, and unknowingly stole her Iphone,” the report states. The men then left on 11th Ave. through campus as the victim realized her phone was missing and sought help. Both suspects ”appeared to be East African in their early 20’s. One was wearing a dark colored light weight hooded jacket with dark jeans, approximately 5’ 8” tall. The other was wearing a light weight black jacket, dark jeans, cornrow braids, and approximately 5’ 10”,” according to the report.Meanwhile, late Saturday night “two SU community members” were robbed as they waited for a taxi in the area of 21st and E Jefferson:
A person described as being a dark complexion male, in his early twenties (21-25) of average build and height, wearing a black hoodie approached them and grabbed onto the victims clutch wallet. The wallet strap was around the victim’s wrist so she was pulled to the ground and dragged several feet before the suspect freed it from her and fled the area. SPD responded to the location for a report, and the victim was treated for minor injuries by SFD. No weapons were seen or mentioned during the incident.
Close shave on S Main: The report on this 12th/Jeff hair cut gone very, very badly is pretty much one of a kind:
We reported last month that the MK Fish Building at 18th and Yesler, the current home of the Samarya Center’s yoga school, sold to a new owner.
That new owner is the Washington Community Action Network (CAN). The grassroots advocacy organization plans to use it as office space, relocating their current offices from Georgetown to the Central District.
Rachael DeCruz, Communications Director at Washington CAN cited several reasons for the move, the most significant of which is tied to the organization’s very mission.
“We’re advocating for racial, social, and economic justice,” DeCruz says. “A big piece of our work is organizing with low income communities and communities of color, and insuring that the people most impacted by the issues we’re fighitng for are front and center in the fight. We’re excited about the opportunity to move back to the community. It will feel like we’re coming home.”
DeCruz noted that the Georgetown location is also sometimes hard to find and isn’t centrally located.
Washington CAN plans to renovate the space and be settled around mid-March.
Meanwhile, the Samarya Center is still raising money for the purchase of a new space at 17th and Jackson for their yoga classes. Their online campaign has raised nearly $24,000 of the $50,000 goal so far.
Swedish Medical Center – Cherry Hill Campus will be holding a free public session to help those who are signing up for new healthcare insurance through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. It’s scheduled for Thursday, December 12 from noon to 8 p.m. in the Casey Room at Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill Campus 500 17th Ave Seattle WA 98122. If you are not able to attend, please call 206-386-6996 to set up an appointment.
The dilapidated former gas station and auto repair shop sitting at 17th and Yesler will soon be replaced by seven four-story “live-work” units.
That means there will be 3,200 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, facing East Yesler Way. Each residential unit will have its own enclosed parking space, located behind the retail area.
The project is still in its design review phase, so we don’t have pictures of the architecture just yet. Those details are the responsibility of Caron Architecture, the same architects who designed the building at 23rd and Madison that houses Safeway. Caron has not responded to emails requesting more information.
Self-described as an “indie rock power trio” with “monster riffs, pop vocal hooks, deep grooves, and an explosive live show,” the Seattle band Stereo Sons recently recorded its upcoming album at Push/Pull Studio in the Central District.
I caught up with band member Chris Klepac to talk about the new album and life in the Central District.
CD News: Tell me about your new album. When is it coming out and what can listeners expect?
Stereo Sons:We’re All Friends Here is the second Stereo Sons album, and it will be released online on Jan. 7th 2014. It’s very different from the first album, Our Own Devices. That record was recorded and mixed in three days. We were a very different band, we had a different bass player (Marty Lund) and we were sort of hard-rock oriented, with a lot of very stripped-down arrangements of electric guitar, bass and drums. By contrast, We’re All Friends Here was recorded over a much longer time span. It’s the first full set of songs we’ve written with our new bass player, Carlos Tulloss, and he’s had a lot of influence on our style. In fact, I can’t really just call him our bass player. He plays bass, and keyboards, and samples, while Mike O’Doherty (the drummer) also has a sampler, and I play both guitar and keyboards. We’ve become less of a straightforward rock band and more a band that makes songs out of a lot of layers of different sounds and styles, from dirty 1970s prog-synth sounds to things you might hear on a more “modern” record like electronic beats and loops. But while we’re changing in this way, there’s still this impulse to keep the level of intensity right where it was when we were rocking out at the beginning of the band. So I think this record is partly about that process, how do we become this entirely new thing while still maintaining that energy and focus.
Content-wise, I always sort of think of every album as a concept album. The idea for this one came out of an experience I had going to a wedding about two years ago and seeing a bunch of childhood friends. It brought up a whole bunch of ideas and emotions about how relationships change over time and what friendship really means when you’re an adult, and how we deal with all these changes. Some of it is kind of dark but overall I think it’s hopeful.
photo courtesy of Stereo Sons
CDN: You recorded it in the Central District?
SS: Yeah, at Frank Mazzeo’s Push/Pull studios, which has recently moved, but when we were there it was based out of an artist space called the Hiawatha Lofts, his studio overlooked that Shell station on Rainier next to the weed dispensary that used to be Stan’s Fish and Chips. We actually recorded all the drums in this big open area with a piano on the ground floor of the Hiawatha building, which is mainly used for community events (I’ll send some pictures). Frank ran cables down the stairwell from the fourth floor where his mixing gear was, and was talking to us on headphones, and constantly running downstairs to adjust microphones. It was kind of an awesome nightmare technically, but he got some really great sounds out of that space.
When we were doing overdubs there we’d always run down the hill to this Peruvian place called San Fernando Roasted Chicken, and I still go there a bunch, I think we all got addicted to the green sauce.
CDN: What aspect of the new album are you most proud of?
SS: Well the obvious answer to me is just the raw sonic quality, the audio production values. Frank worked with us on these songs for a long time, and he really knocked it out of the park. We’ve all talked about how this is the best-sounding thing any of us have ever made.
Less obviously I can say the songwriting means a lot to me. Writing songs in a band means making a collaborative art project, and the quality of the finished product is totally dependent on how well the band works together. Everyone takes a turn steering the boat, everyone fights for their ideas sometimes, everyone compromises sometimes too. I think the best bands have members who can work together well, but also have slightly varied tastes and strong opinions about those tastes, so there’s always this friction that keeps everyone pushing each other a little bit. When you respect the musicians you work with, you want to bring your A-game all the time, and I think we did that here.
CDN: What about life in Seattle or the CD has influenced your music?
SS: The CD is a great microcosm to walk around in and understand the city. I was talking about the Hiawatha, that’s this really modern-looking artist loft complex, overlooking Rainier Ave, which hasn’t changed much in twenty years. Up the hill behind Hiawatha you have both old family homes from the 50s and modernist cube houses that are less than five years old, plus institutions like the Franz bakery. The CD is like Seattle in that it’s a patchwork quilt of different eras of development, and it all has to do with where money is flowing at any particular time.
Our music isn’t really political in the traditional punk sense, but a lot of our songs are about how big systems interact with ordinary people’s lives, and how that can be randomly positive and terrible. There’s a song on Our Own Devices called “One Block” that was written specifically about Ballard but could apply to Seattle in general. It tells the story of a group of millionaires who are charmed by the neighborhood so much that they decide to move in, knocking down all those musty old brick buildings in order to put up anonymous condo towers. We saw the same thing in Capitol Hill a few years ago, when developers were so enraptured by the Pike/Pine corridor that they obliterated it.
Of course, that reaction provokes the opposite reaction: should everything just be kept in a bubble and not get the economic benefits of new development? And obviously that’s not right either. So you have this patchwork of compromises in which some good things happen to a neighborhood but some of the essential character is lost, and maybe that’s just the same story as the corporatization and blandification of America and the world in general.
As for Seattle’s influence, I should note that the house on 16th Street where Stereo Sons first practiced is the house that I still live in, and has supposedly been a notorious musician hangout for decades. There’s a Spin magazine photo somewhere that features our old practice space, many years before we moved in. Anyone in a band here who rents space or plays shows or hangs flyers is constantly brushing up against grunge-era ghosts in all kinds of ways. It’s a mixed thing, you’re inspired by that legacy and you want to make something as real and direct and visceral as the music that made Seattle famous, but at the same time that’s a vanished age, and surviving as a band is a very different proposition now.
photo courtesy of Stereo Sons
CDN: Any favorite CD hangouts or businesses?
SS: I’m not far from a few landmarks that are pretty influential on me. A few blocks away you have Washington Hall, which is a fantastic building that was a Danish social hall and an important venue for the classic jazz scene that happened here, also near there is Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, this huge old stately dome from the era of real solid civic investment in the arts.
I also admitted I’m fascinated by “Pill Hill”, from the old brick chimney of Cherry Hill Swedish to the kind of seedy sprawling mass of Harborview, it’s this whole culture and environment that I’m kind of immersed in daily when I pass through on the bus, there are a thousand stories I catch little glimpses of, people passing through this massive multi-hospital system. Again it’s this constant interplay between giant impersonal systems and real people, sometimes it works and sometimes not so much.
As for hangouts: I’m sad to admit I still haven’t found a neighborhood bar to call my own. I usually end up on 12th to quench my thirst, but really you’re most of the way to Capitol Hill by the time you get there, so why not just keep walking? We need a pub up between 16th and 20th. .I can’t complain too much though, because I’m only a stone’s throw from both Ezell’s (best fried chicken in town) and The Barbeque Pit on Cherry (best ribs in town) so I should count my blessings. Broadcast Coffee across from the park is another reliable weekend destination, and I’ve heard good things about both Moonlight Cafe and Cheeky Cafe. There’s lots to explore in the CD!
About Fordie Ross:
Even at nearly 100 years old, Fordie’s life revolves around service to others. It gets him up and out to Y’s Men’s meetings, to church and out on his 2-mile walks. He is a living example of how a life focused on giving keeps you alert, active and fully alive.
Where did you and Thelma live in the Central Area?
On 32nd Avenue, north of the Madrona Presbyterian Church. In the early 1950s, we lived in a house that had a dirt basement. Every week I would go and get concrete. I finished that floor. I have to ask what you have heard of me?
You’re spoken of very fondly as a very smart, very kind man. Mr. Zimmerly told me you’re a good man with a long history with the church. I also saw an article on your walking program in the Seattle Times.
I have a long history of service both in Seattle and the Church. Also, I do walk every day. One day a reporter from the Seattle Times asked to walk the two miles with me. When we arrived back home, he said, ‘Hey, let me get inside because I have to sit down.’ He was tired.
Can you begin with the Grace Church?
The Grace Church (formerly on Cherry & 22nd, building still extant) would be about the same size as the living room of my house. Before that though, my wife and daughter were born in Oklahoma City, OK. I lived there and worked at a Baptist Church. One day, I met a Seattle Minister who found out I was well versed in Sales. He told me about a newspaper in Seattle. Then, the owner of the paper called and asked me to come to Seattle to take a test to become the Editor of the paper. His name was Noodles Smith, the richest black man ever to come to Seattle.
I came to Seattle, as did five other black men from around the country. We were all given a test, which I won. Two weeks after I moved here, Noodles Smith dropped dead. I didn’t have the money to keep the newspaper going and his family couldn’t agree on what to do, so the newspaper was closed. That meant that I was out of a job. (long pause) I pause because if I tell you what happened immediately, I would kill the magnificence of the whole story. I won’t tell you right at this minute.So, let me tell you that my wife, child and I had come to Seattle and we arrived on a Sunday. On that same Sunday we found Grace Presbyterian Church. I was born a Presbyterian, my father was a Presbyterian Minister. We not only joined the Church, we pledged and we never missed a pledge from 1952 until today.
Cuba Johnson stands proudly on her porch with Rebuilding Together volunteers. (photo courtesy of Rebuilding Together)
Some six million low-income families nationwide live in substandard housing, with broken heating and plumbing, holes in walls and windows, roach and rodent infestation, falling plaster, crumbling foundations, insufficient fire prevention, and leaking roofs.
Rebuilding Together Seattle volunteers at Cuba Johnson’s home (photo courtesy of Rebuilding Together Seattle).
Rebuilding Together recently worked on the home of Cuba Johnson, a Central District resident and 74-year-old widow of a veteran living alone. Her home is frequented by her children and grandchildren.
But Johnson has trouble moving around because of an arthritic knee, and her home was in need of several repairs. Last Saturday, November 23, volunteers from Madrona Ridge Residential and Security Properties spent a day at her home and rebuilt her back steps, removed clutter and broken appliances, replaced roofing and siding, and repaired gutters.
The project was part of Rebuilding Together’s inaugural Safe at Home Impact Day, which included 10 projects around Seattle with 100 volunteers from 65 local businesses providing free home restoration to low-income families. Johnson’s home was also the 1,000th house restoration project since Rebuilding Together Seattle’s founding in 1989.
Rebuilding Together is a national nonprofit that performs home rehabilitations for low-income residents at no cost to the homeowners.
Members of local nonprofits, customers, and YWCA GirlsFirst participants were treated to an intimate concert by none other than superstar Mary J. Blige at the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks yesterday.
Blige flew to Seattle for the day to sing for 60 inside the store and to meet participants of the GirlsFirst program. The program was recently named a community partner of the Starbucks store and will receive a portion of sales.
The Seattle Times was at the concert and captured some priceless photos. Here’s a preview, courtesy of the Times.
Photo by Erika Shultz, Seattle Times. Reprinted with permission.
A resident checks out the Jackson site (Image: Nickelsville Works)
Central District residents around 22nd and Cherry will get some new neighbors today as a third Nickelsville encampment moves to the Central District. Neighbors in the area received notices at their doors this weekend informing them of the relocation of the Skyway Nickelsville Neighborhood Encampment to 612 22nd Avenue.
In August we reported that the West Marginal Way Nickelsville encampment was moving after five years at that location. The group split into three, with two encampments settling in the CD. A third moved to Skyway.
The Skyway encampment will be hosted by the Cherry Hill Baptist Church, located across East Cherry Street from the lot where the group will now camp. The notice says that the encampment will have about 35 residents, with the potential for up to 70 people to stay on site. The notice also says that the residents “will be moving to other property within three months.”
Nickelsville residents must obey strict rules to live at one of the encampments. Residents agree to nonviolence, treating property respectfully, foregoing the use of alcohol, and generally acting as good neighbors. The notice encourages neighbors to stop by for a visit and take a tour with a Security Worker.
Seattle Police responding to reports of an armed man in an apartment window near 23rd and John early Friday morning shot and killed the suspect as he opened fire on officers with a rifle, SPD says.
The area around 23rd an John remained blocked as the investigation of the incident that began unfolding around 4 AM continued.
The incident began around 4:10 AM when 911 callers said there was ”a male up in the window” hanging out the 22nd Ave side of the building with a gun in his hand “looking for somebody.” Police arrived moments later and set up outside the building. A “shots fired” report was broadcast by SPD radio around 4:20 AM. The suspect was reported down by police seconds later.
The initial response was reported at 109 23rd Ave E in the Elizabeth James House, a Capitol Hill Housing building. Continue reading →