Mayor’s alternative justice pilot program being rolled out in East Precinct


(Image shared with CDN by permission)

Remember the two young men recently arrested for a drunken graffiti spree that left Broadway’s Jimi Hendrix statue defaced in blue spray paint? What if instead of sending the alleged taggers through an expensive criminal justice process, they were given the option to sit down with those directly and indirectly affected to discuss what they did and come up with a mutual resolution?

That’s just one example of where a process called restorative justice could come into play, according to the director of Mayor Mike McGinn’s latest public safety initiative. The Restorative Justice Initiative pilot program is currently being rolled out in the East Precinct in an effort to keep low level offenders out of the criminal justice system and to foster better community relationships. Continue reading

Social services candidates forum comes to the Central District as City Council races heat up

Sawant speaking at a fast food workers rally at Pillars Park in August (Image: CHS)

Sawant speaking at a fast food workers rally at Pillars Park in August (Image: CHS)

With 50 days left in the Seattle City Council race, 15-year incumbent Richard Conlin and Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant are going head-to-head in a candidates forum Tuesday at 5:30 PM in the Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St.

Seattle Human Services Coalition’s 2013 Candidates Forum

September 17th
5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Garfield Community Center
2323 East Cherry Street
Seattle, WA 98122
Metro Transit Routes 3, 4, 48, 84

Invitees include candidates for:
King County Council Position 1, King County Executive, King County Sheriff
Seattle City Attorney, Seattle City Council and Seattle City Mayor

Moderated by Professor David Domke from the University of Washington

Free and open to the public!
Voter registration on site
Light refreshments will be served
Sign language and language interpretation and
child care services available upon request with RSVP.

For more information, visit:

Three other incumbents also face challengers heading into November. Council members Mike O’Brien, Sally Bagshaw, and Nick Licata will be making their case for reelection in the coming weeks. O’Brien and Conlin both came out ahead in the August primary and face the stiffest competition heading into the general election. Bagshaw and Licata only faced one opponent each going into August, thus bypassing the primary.Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 11.41.41 AM

Position 2 – Conlin v. Sawant

Conlin appearing at a 2012 community meeting to discuss development around the Capitol Hill Station (Image: CHS)

Conlin appearing at a 2012 community meeting to discuss development around the Capitol Hill Station (Image: CHS)

Conlin is a 16-year incumbent who was behind the city’s plastic bag ban and one of only two elected officials to cast an opposition vote to a new SODO arena. Challenging Conlin is Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant, who’s running a campaign with strong ties to the Occupy movement. She advanced to the general election after coming in second in the August primary with 35% of the vote. Conlin took home 48%.

Sawant, who has has picked up endorsements from The Stranger and a handful of unions, has made supporting the $15 minimum wage the cornerstone of her campaign.

According to numbers from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Sawant has raised $36,982 for her campaign, while Conlin has raised $177,732. Sawant is the first socialist candidate for city council to advance to a general in 25 years. The Seattle Times reported that in 1991, Yolanda Alaniz, a Freedom Socialist Party member, lost to incumbent Sue Donaldson.

Position 8  – O’Brien v. Shen
Albert Shen also poses a threat to unseat an incumbent this season. Shen picked up 34% of the vote in the August primary to O’Brien’s 59%. Shen is also currently the only incumbent to out-fundraise an incumbent. So far he’s amassed $149,498 to O’Brien’s $113,123.

Shen is a Capitol Hill resident and engineering consultant who calls himself a “back-to-basics progressive.” He served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee and on the Seattle Community College Board.

O’Brien is running his first reelection campaign since being elected to council in 2009. The former attorney and Sierra Club leader was the only council member to join mayor Mike McGinn in opposing the Alaskan Way deep-bore tunnel.

Positions 4 and 6
Bagshaw and Licata each face challenges from local rabble-rousers that pose less of a threat than challengers in the Conlin and O’Brien races. Sam Bellomio is challenging Bagshaw at Position 4. Bellomio is a local political activist described as a loud and combative presence at city and county public meetings. He is also vice president of StandUp-America. In the Position 6 race, Socialist Workers Party candidate Edwin Fruit is challenging Licata. Fruit is married to fellow socialist candidate for mayor, Mary Martin.

Bellomio and Furit have not reported any funds raised for their campaign, according to PDC numbers. Bagshaw has raised $99,726 and Licata has raised $88,844.

Schools says community issues at Mann being sorted out, renovation moving forward

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Community groups that had staged a 8211324068_7efed61763grassroots takeover of a temporarily mothballed Central District school building have moved aside allowing the school district to move ahead with millions of dollars in planned renovations and opening up the path to a $14.2 million renovation and re-opening of a public middle school on Capitol Hill, officials say.

Despite recent uncertainty about the future of the Horace Mann building and community groups that call it home, the Nova Alternative High School is on track open in the E Cherry Mann building next year, Seattle Public Schools says. That move puts Meany campus near Miller Community Center at 19th and Thomas, which currently houses Nova, on track to reopen as a Capitol Hill middle school in 2017. Continue reading

UPDATE: Suspect shot by SPD dies after he shot Metro operator downtown on First Hill-Central District bus line

UPDATE: The man who allegedly shot a Metro bus driver Monday morning has died from  injuries he sustained when he was shot by Seattle police, according to SPD. The suspect shot the bus driver multiple times in the face and body this morning on 3rd Ave. near Benaroya Hall. After shooting the bus operator, the suspect reportedly boarded another bus at 2nd and Seneca, where Seattle police officers shot the man through the bus windshield. He died several hours later at Harborview Medical Center.

The bus driver is in stable condition at Harborview. After visiting the hospital, King County Executive Dow Constantine told the Seattle Times that the 64-year-old operator is “remarkably upbeat.” No passengers were seriously injured in either shooting.

UPDATE: Harborview confirmed that the injured driver is Deloy Dupuis, reported the Seattle Times. Dupuis has worked for Metro since 1999 and has a clean record, according to Constantine.

KIRO 7 reported witnesses saw three men board the No. 27 bus without paying the fare around 8:50 AM. When the driver asked them to pay, the suspect, who was not one of the three, yelled “war” and started firing. The No. 27 bus line connects First Hill and the Central District with downtown.

The suspect then rushed into a No. 120 bus. That’s when police opened fire, hitting the suspect and putting several bullet holes through the bus windshield. Police have not yet identified the suspect, but the Seattle Times reports the man is 31-year-old Martin Duckworth.

UPDATE: Constantine joined Mayor Mike McGinn and acting SPD Chief Jim Pugel at a 2 PM press conference today to discuss the incident. Pugel said SPD officers shot the suspect when he raised his gun while inside the No. 120 bus. Officers fired again when the suspect appeared to raise his gun a second time. According to Pugel, officers were on the scene within minutes, and the incident was over seven minutes after police were called. Pugel said SPD would review security camera footage from both buses, as well as cell phone videos taken by witnesses. Constantine said that during his hospital visit the driver immediately asked if any passengers were injured in the shooting. The King County executive said he would not release the name of the driver until the driver’s family members were notified first.

“There are a lot of people out there with guns who shouldn’t have them,” Constantine said. He later added “I hope the next time you board a bus you will thank a Metro driver.”

At an earlier news briefing, Seattle police Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh acknowledged the danger that the officers posed by opening fire on a still-boarded bus, but said they made the right call.

“The officers are trained to make life and death decisions,” McDonagh said. “This was very dynamic situation, dangerous and dynamic.”

Southbound 3rd and 2nd avenues are closed between Pine and Seneca streets. Nearby businesses were also closed. Metro says expect delays on downtown routes as the police investigation continues.

Constantine, Mayor Mike McGinn, and acting police chief Jim Pugel are slated to hold a press conference today at 2 p.m. to talk about the shooting.

From Garfield to City Hall, Harrell makes CD-based run for mayor

Bruce Harrell - Seattle Mayoral Candidate 2013Bruce Harrell will be on home turf tonight as he joins six other mayoral candidates for the Juneteenth Mayoral Candidates Forum. Recent polls put Harrell in a four-way race with incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, Peter Steinbrueck, and Sen. Ed Murray.

CDN sat down with Harrell this week at his 23rd and Union corner office to talk about the Central District and his candidacy to unseat McGinn in November.

First, the basics. Harrell’s background is the sort a novelist would conjure for a homegrown Seattle politician. He was born and raised three blocks from his campaign office. As a child he walked to the now-closed T.T. Minor Elementary and Meany Middle schools. He was valedictorian at Garfield High School, and then went on to win a Rose Bowl as a leading defensive player for the University of Washington.

After a decade in corporate law with telecommunication company US WEST, now Qwest, Harrell went into private practice. In 2007 Harrell was elected to the Seattle city council, where public safety has been his number one issue.

“I grew up in a city where you can walk during the evening as a young person and feel safe,” he said. “Now I walk in many areas and I don’t feel safe. That’s unacceptable.”

Inevitably a discussion of public safety in the Central District turns towards Justin Ferrari, the 42-year-old father shot and killed in the crossfire of two teens at the intersection of East Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Harrell said Ferrari’s death last year is Seattle’s worst nightmare, but that the city has failed to address the underlying causes of the tragedy. Harrell has criticized McGinn for not including more civic and religious groups in the fight against street violence, and vows to do more on that front.

Harrell’s most concrete public safety initiative is to equip police officers with body cameras.

He also wants Seattle to “set the precedent of what strong gun control should look like.” First, the state legislature would have to allow cities to set their own gun control ordinances. Harrell said once that happens, he wants police to have the authority to confiscate weapons if they suspect someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He would also mandate all firearms are stored in a lock-box and require background checks on every firearm transaction.

While the debate over the size and pace of neighborhood density continues on Capitol Hill, Harrell said he wants to see more density in the CD. He’s mostly in favor of apodments – the small, dorm-style apartments – and getting aggressive on allowing for higher buildings.

What he doesn’t want is big-box retail, which he said would lead to gentrification.

“You want small businesses here, you want home based businesses here. That’s how you avoid a completely gentrified area.”