Swedish Cherry Hill unveils possible expansion plans

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Last week’s community meeting.

Swedish Medical Center unveiled possible plans for future expansion of their Cherry Hill campus during a community meeting last week.

About 40 community members attended, and most voiced opposition to the various construction proposals. The plans could see the hospital spread into 18th Avenue’s privately owned residential area and expand their presence on 16th Avenue.

In 2009, Swedish Medical Center’s MIMP (Major Institution Master Plan) expired, creating an opening for potential expansion. A booklet handed out at the meeting says the new proposed construction is in anticipation of future space needs. Swedish representatives anticipate an “increased need for specialty services” as baby boomers continue to age.

The first scenario presented looks at opportunities without additional expansion. The representatives said this plan will provide “no logical growth opportunities.” From the SMC plan (posted in full below): Continue reading

Residents and business owners talk about the future of the 23rd and Union area

Residents, business owners and property owners met Wednesday evening to discuss the future of 23rd and Union and the entire Union Street Business District, which stretches from Madison to Cherry and 18th to MLK. Among topics of discussion were potential changes on the southeast corner, which includes the Post Office and Midton Centre.

“There is a lot of room for growth in this area,” said Dan with the Organizational System Renewal Program of Seattle University. The student lead group is working with the Central District Association on ways to advance the community and took comments from local business owners on the best way to do it.

Though not structured how you would typically expect a community meeting, the OSR group lead the 30 or so attendees through two exercises with the meeting objective “To engage in a conversation about community values, to inform the CDA’S work going forward,” according to a marker inked placard. Continue reading

Carnival of Liberation parade temporarily reoccupies Autonomia

A group of activists took to the streets Sunday to protest a wide array of societal issues. The Carnival of Liberation, as it was dubbed, had close to 150 attendees accepted to attend on Facebook but upon arriving was only met by a small few. As the start time (1:30 p.m.) came and went, only three or four activists were present. Soon after, a troop of ten bicycle cops descended down the Hill from the East Precinct into the Central District. Squad cars and blacked-out Suburbans circled the block as the gathering started to grow.

People in pink dresses, clowns, and people in street clothes began to envelop the concrete corridor outside of Earl’s Cuts and Styles at 23rd and Union.

“We’re here to support everyone and their viewpoints,” said General Malaise with the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, who have become commonplace in many Seattle marches.

By 2:30, about 30 activists had accrued and began taking to the streets, walking southbound on 23rd Ave. One person on a bike bumped a portable stereo while riding in circles around the crowd. The police officers kept a wary one-to-two block distance while following. Traffic delays were minor.

The Clowns whom I spoke with began picking up trash during the march, filling two or so bags. One man began debating with General Malaise that he was contributing to gentrification of the Central District by picking up trash.

The relatively small group drew looks of confusion from passersby, thumbs up from an elderly woman in an old Toyota and cheers when passing a “garage band garage sale” (bands play and sell garage sale stuff, what a concept!). A man on the sidewalk yelled, “Celebrate god, happy birthday,” to a chorus of cheers. The march eventually ended at the former site of anarchist house and community center Autonomia at 24th and Lane.

The group was greeted by a few people clad in masks and a microphone as well as a large table of free food and began an impromptu block party. The speaker talked about how the community center was closed and spoke of a society “without an economy, without capitalism.”

The police, who had so diligently followed the march, backed up and more or less disappeared. A neighbor at this point began arguing with the protestors, who suggested he speak with the cops up the street.

One question that I asked attendees was, “What specific reason are you here for?” The responses I got covered a wide spectrum of societal issues from bringing the community together, protesting social inequality and gentrification. But none indicated a singular issue for the carnival.

While leaving a block away, tucked in the corner of a parking lot was two police Suburbans and a SPD van presumably filled with riot clad officers.

Attendees from the event tell CDNews that everyone dispersed peacefully without any intervention by police (here’s the version of events from anarchist paper Tides of Flame).