Meet our new Capt. Davis and Nightclub discussion at February 27 EastPAC Community Meeting

EastPAC-LogoThere has been a lot of activity recently focusing on the liquor license renewal for Waid’s Haitian Lounge at 1212 East Jefferson Street.  Waid’s features live and recorded music seven nights a week. According to the Seattle Stranger, Waid’s is “A Haitian bar and neighborhood hangout with tasty food, strong drinks, and DJs and dancing on the weekends.” Although several citizens enjoy this nightclub, for several years the surrounding neighbors have stated concerns about late night noise, violence and other unsettling activities in and around the establishment.

Our EastPAC February agenda will feature an update about Waid’s (and other nightclubs, should you have questions) and the opportunity to voice your concerns and ask questions.  We have invited Officer David Stitt, the Washington State Liquor Control Enforcement representative for our area, and Bill Reddy, who coordinates the City of Seattle Nightlife Premises Regulatory Enforcement Unit. Also present to brief you on the City’s activity relating to this matter will be the East Precinct City Attorney Liaison, Matt York.

Also, as many of you know, we have a new Captain!  Come and meet Capt. Pierre Davis, who is very interested in your Precinct-wide concerns.  Please join me in welcoming Capt. Davis!  I have spoken to him and he is very committed to working with us! Operations Lt. Bryan Grenon and CPT Sgt. Jay Shin will also be present.

And, as always, there is plenty of room on the agenda for Community and Neighborhood Concerns!See you next Thursday!

East Precinct Advisory Council Community Meeting

Thursday, February 27, 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Seattle University, Chardin Hall, Room 144

1020 East Jefferson

Enter campus at 11th and East Jefferson – Park free in the lot in front of the building


All the Best,

Stephanie Tschida, EastPAC Chair

Expect I-5 delays, ramp and lane closures this weekend

WSDOT has put out a traffic advisory for motorists using I-5 this weekend as crews work on a $2.8 million project to replace the left half of ten aging expansion joints on the southbound Interstate 5 collector-distributor to Interstate 90. That area will be reduced to one lane through the weekend and the James and Spring Streets on-ramps to the collector-distributor will also be closed.

More information from WSDOT:

The lanes and ramps will close by 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24. Drivers will still be able to exit southbound I-5 to eastbound I-90. The collector-distributor, which runs parallel to I-5 just south of the Washington State Convention Center, provides southbound access to I-90, Dearborn Street, Airport Way and Fourth Avenue South. All of those exits will remain open.


What we saw last weekend

Although the closure is not on the main southbound lanes of I-5, through-traffic will experience congestion in downtown Seattle as exiting drivers merge into one lane on the collector-distributor.  During Feb. 16-18 weekend work on I-5, southbound traffic backed up to Northgate and drivers experienced delays of up to 90 minutes. To prevent similar backups commuters are urged to:


·       Use alternate routes such as State Route 99 or I-405 for southbound travel.

·       Take earlier downtown exits.

·       Carpool or use transit

·       Reschedule or delay discretionary trips

·       Call 5-1-1 for traffic updates

·       Know before you go by checking the Seattle area traffic map

·       Check travel alerts before heading out the door

·       Get traveler information on your mobile device

·       Follow WSDOT on Twitter: @wsdot_traffic


The I-5 express lanes will operate southbound from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day.


This is the fourth of nine weekend closures to replace 26 deteriorating expansion joints on elevated sections of I-5. After this weekend’s work is complete, the next closure is scheduled for March 8-9 on the northbound collector-distributor.


Expansion joints help maintain a smooth driving surface by allowing the highway to expand and contract with changing weather. Replacing old expansion joints not only helps preserve I-5 well into the future, it also saves drivers hours of unexpected delays caused by emergency highway repairs.

This $2.8 million project will wrap up in spring 2014.

Contingent faculty at Seattle University files for union election

Seattle University’s contingent faculty (i.e. adjuncts, postdocs, TAs, non-tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, part-time teachers, lecturers, and instructors) have today filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to form a union with Service Employees International Union Local 925.

These instructors have stepped into a national movement of contingent faculty organizing, joining unions, and working to increase their job security — all with an aim towards improving the future of higher education.

“This is a step forward in addressing the inequities that adjunct and contingent faculty face each day,” said Nancy Burkhalter, a contingent professor in Languages and Culture Bridge at SU, in a press release this morning. “We’re part of the national movement to ensure quality education is a priority. I stand proudly with contingent colleagues, tenured colleagues, and our incredible students who have shown such wonderful support.”

More from Seattle U:

Seattle University relies on a large group of highly trained contingent faculty to teach at their campuses. These university faculty members typically face tenuous employment, little to no benefits, and low income – making it difficult to fulfill their mission of providing high quality education to students.

Adjunct and contingent faculty are coming together at universities across the country to address improving their education services. Today, contingent faculty account for almost half of the academic workforce across the United States. Forty years ago they accounted for only one-fifth of faculty jobs.

Now that SU adjuncts have filed, the NLRB will decide on a date to hold a secret ballot election in which contingent faculty decide whether to form a union for quality education.

Seattle University contingent faculty have urged administration officials to remain neutral regarding their freedom to choose a union.

Corporate housing fund, incentive zoning floated at affordable housing forum

Anti-gentrification protestors block the a Microsoft shuttle (Image via Tides of Flame)
Anti-gentrification protestors block the a Microsoft shuttle (Image via Tides of Flame)

Following a year in which Seattle saw the largest increases in rent costs in the nation, the Seattle City Council is now taking more visibly public aim at the issue of affordable housing after a City Hall forum held last week to examine strategies to make Seattle an affordable city once more.

“Right now, there’s a lot of job growth happening, which is great, but people who aren’t participating in Amazon-level paychecks are feeling the squeeze in this city, and that’s not a good thing,” said council member Mike O’Brien.

But in some cities those corporations are apparently helping to create more affordable housing. One tactic discussed at the forum is to solicit help from local corporations to create a housing fund that would operate similarly to the city’s current housing levy — a strategy employed by cities like San Francisco and Minneapolis.

Recently, the influence that businesses like Microsoft and Amazon have in gentrifying popular neighborhoods like Capitol Hill has been under increased scrutiny following a protest of Microsoft’s Connector bus on Bellevue and Pine. Protests like this have become increasingly common in San Francisco, with anti-gentrification activists claiming that the numerous private commuting services utilized by tech companies leaves less incentive to improve upon mass transit options.

But according to O’Brien, big-name corporations like Microsoft stand to benefit by helping to make the city more accessible to people of all-income levels by broadening their pool of potential employees.

“It’s acknowledging that the future success of these companies is in part dependent upon them being able to recruit the type of talent they need,” said O’Brien. “Companies are trying to recruit a lot of talent, and at the scale that they’re trying to do that, affordability issues in places like Silicon Valley is a serious constraint and obstacle to their ongoing success. So companies there recognize that they have a financial interest in making housing is affordable, and they’re going to put their money where their mouth is.”

The forum, which saw over 200 people in attendance, drew together numerous experts on housing from across the country in order to compare how other cities have tackled the issue of affordable housing while also presenting information showing how mixed-income communities are of greater benefit to the city as a whole. Additionally, the forum also served as a means of scrutinizing the success of existing measures in Seattle in order to determine what steps must be taken to help increase the number of affordable units across the city.

“The forum was about recognizing that people are coming from different angles and we all have some personal needs to meet that are pretty powerful and important,” O’Brien said. “To work through this as a community, we wanted to get on the same page around some shared values, and also get some shared knowledge around the data to see what we know and we don’t know, and where people’s priorities are.”

At the forefront of the forum’s efforts to increase affordable housing was a review of Seattle’s Incentive Zoning program. The program, which is currently only used in areas like South Lake Union that have been up-zoned, allows developers to increase the height of their buildings if low-income housing units are also constructed. If the developers choose to opt out of providing low-cost housing on-site while still using the incentive program, developers can instead pay a fee to the city.

12th Avenue Arts, which recently broke ground, will have 80+ units of affordable housing

12th Avenue Arts, which recently broke ground, will have 80+ units of affordable housing.

Results of a Council led study of the program were presented to the forum, showing that in 12 years an estimated 400-750 low-cost units have been created under the program. Approximately 40 percent of developers had chosen to take advantage of the incentive program while 60 percent chose not to build the higher height to avoid build affordable housing.

These results garnered a mixed reaction from the forum’s attendants, some of whom viewed it as a sign of success while others criticized that the majority of developers were choosing not to take advantage of the incentive program. While the low number of units has been partially attributed to the current restriction of the program to up-zoned areas rather than for the entire city, the analysts examining the program’s results suggest that other factors may be at work.

“It’s possible that the bonus is worth less than the incentive that affordable housing provides and that it just doesn’t make financial sense,” said O’Brien. “It could be that at the time a developer started a project we were still coming out of the recession, they could only afford to put 200 units online, and that project could only work for them. So over the next few months we need to get some better detail on why people aren’t accessing it. Is the program broken, or are there a whole host of other reasons for it isn’t working?”

Aside from program suggestions like these, the housing experts from other cities also offered an outside perspective on one of the central issues surrounding affordable housing in Seattle and on Capitol Hill in particular: the ongoing debate over increasing density.

“It’s often framed as a trade-off; that if you ask for affordable housing, it’s going to put a limit on density, and if you focus on density instead of affordable housing, you can get a lot more density.” O’Brien said “But folks from around the country said that this is a unique conversation to Seattle. They say that developers in their communities are not nervous about density, and the way that developers convince the public to accept density is to aggressively bring on affordable housing. I think that we’ve done a good job of convincing people in Seattle that density is a good idea, but that’s had the unintended consequence of making people think that we don’t have to do affordable housing. I worry that dichotomy may start to undermine some of our goals, and I would love to see the two working hand-in-hand.”

Ten year dream culminates in new Madrona shop


Former interior designer Erin Krohn had a dream: to obtain an outlet for her long-held obsession with retail and fashion — especially when it comes to accessories. So when she came across a space for lease at 33rd and Pike in Madrona over the July 4th weekend last summer, Krohn knew this was it.

“I was told that finding a space would be the catalyst for everything and it definitely was a whirlwind from there,” Krohn says. “Opening my own shop is something I had been thinking about for over ten years. But, it was always on just a thought as my career as an interior designer occupied my life.”

HammerAwl044Hammer + Awl offers boutique goods — mostly men’s accessories like ties, watches, hats and bags, all carefully sourced by Krohn. Her shop occasionally sells outerwear and shirts, too.

“The idea evolved over the years from women’s to men’s to specifically men’s accessories. I have always been a fan of how accessories can help define one’s style and thought there are plenty of places like this for women, but not so much for men. Hence, Hammer + Awl was born,” Krohn says.

Krohn’s shop reflects her own aesthetic, and she hunts for items with one-of-a-kind details, colors, or patterns. These are accessories you won’t find mass-produced in a department store.

“My starting point in sourcing is finding brands and crafters that are US made and whose aesthetic and quality aligns with what has been created with the shop,” Krohn says. “Acting with that as a baseline, from that point it is all about searching for the unique. Finding items you don’t see everywhere and bringing them to my customers in a setting specifically created the product. In a way, what I look for when curating is how I see accessories individualizing one’s style – unique, interesting, special.”

As for the ladies, Krohn says she’s pleased when women can occasionally find an item or two for their own wardrobe.

The People of the Central Area: Yosh Nakagawa, Retired President of Osborn & Ulland

This post is part of a series of profiles of Central District residents, part of “The People of the Central Area” project developed and written by Madeline Crowley.

Photo by Madeline Crowley

About Yosh:

Yosh’s love of sports not only introduced him to towering figures like: Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe and Billy Jean King and a career but cemented a sense of fair play that drives him to pursue social justice and understanding even today.

Yosh on his life:

I was born in 1932. My name is Yosh Nakagawa. The story I will share with you is the story of the Japanese-American, the Nikkei community and their incarceration in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II (WWII). We were born and raised in America where we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Yet, it is only as good when it is abided by, that paper is worthless when citizens lose their freedoms. In wartime, I lost my freedom because I looked like the enemy.

That’s the central question in my story. When I look at this in context of today, in the very church building that was boarded up and closed in 1942, because all its congregants were removed physically, against their will, to be interned without due process of law by Executive Order 9066 signed by President Roosevelt.

On Executive Order 9066 

It is ironic that 120,000 Japanese-Americans living west of the mountain ranges from Alaska to San Diego were physically removed from their homes. When in the (then) territory of Hawai’i 160,000 similar people were never removed [from their homes] despite the fact that they lived where the bombs fell in Pearl Harbor. If I had lived over on the other side of the mountains, I would have been free. How do I know this? When I was in Camp Minidoka, the American Concentration camp, I had a friend who looked like me, who lived in that area (Idaho) could come into the camp to visit me but I could not leave to visit him.

If we had lived in Washington D.C. or New York City or anywhere else, our jobs would have been considered key (to the war effort) and never would have been threatened. This isn’t in the history books, so the educated American knows little, by intentionality, of this story. My story of my community is not just a Japanese-American story; it is an American story. It does not simply belong to my people; it belongs to American History. The Eurocentric model must come to include that Columbus did not discover America, nor did this city begin when settlers founded Seattle, in both cases the indigenous people were already there.

My story is part of what I call the awesomeness of America.

Today I have found that if I do not speak about what happened to people, our freedoms as citizens will soon be challenged. 9/11, the bombing at the Boston Marathon are instances where people are subject to looking like the enemy. We must be very careful for it might not be me [this time] who will be incarcerated or interned but it may be my neighbor.

Click here to read the rest of the story.


IMG_1044UPDATE: He has been returned to his family. :)

Min Pin, Male, Found at 29th and Jackson on 2-18-14

Has some distinguishing marks. Please reply to this post to confirm it’s your dog. We want to get him to his home! :)IMG_1041

Seattle Bike Blog | City cuts safety out of 24th Ave plans + 2 chances to weigh in on high-budget street remake

Editor’s Note: This post is a reprinting of former CD News Editor Tom Fucoloro’s blog post on his Seattle Bike Blog. We found it relevant to our readers and wanted to share it with you.

This is not a complete street.

This is not a complete street.

Despite having a $45 million budget and being billed as a “complete streets” project, the city has proposed no safety improvements for the stretch of 24th and 23rd Avenues connecting the Montlake neighborhood to Capitol Hill and the Central District (north of Madison).

Instead, the current proposal — which project heads will present to the public in two upcoming meetings — includes four lanes, with curb lanes wider than lanes on many freeways: 14.5 feet. Wide lanes are proven to encourage speeding, a leading factor in traffic deaths and injuries. In fact, the city’s own Road Safety Summit Action Plan notes, “Reducing speeding can be accomplished by ensuring that our travel lanes are not overly wide” (page 20).

The city’s proposal is not a complete street and does not belong in any neighborhood, especially not one with so many people of various ages and abilities walking and biking.

You will have two chances coming up to hear from SDOT officials and give feedback on the project: A community meeting at 6 p.m. today (February 18) at the Miller Community Center and a project open house 5 p.m. February 26 at Thurgood Marshall Elementary.

You are needed at these meetings to speak up for walking and biking safety in Montlake, Capitol Hill, Miller Park, Madison Valley and the Central District.

Outreach about this project has been rather confusing, so I will attempt to break it down into a couple easier-to-digest sections.

Phases 1 and 2

23rdAve_ThreePhases-phase1The first section of 23rd Ave to be constructed runs between E John Street and S Jackson Street. During early outreach, this was the only stretch discussed (Phases 2 and 3 were added to the project well after an open house last year, confusing people who attended that open house). This is the phase that requires the most immediate feedback, since it is approaching final design.

The sidewalks through this stretch are in dismal shape and are rather skinny. The road is also skinnier than other stretches of the street. So planners decided to widen and rebuild the sidewalks and convert the street to a safer three-lane configuration. While I pushed for a protected bike lane on 23rd, the planned design will increase safety and make it much more comfortable to cross this neighborhood barrier of a street.

I especially urge planners to include safety improvements for people crossing at non-signalized streets (median islands, curb bulbs, etc). Today, 23rd Ave is the neighborhood’s most dangerous street. This is the city’s chance to allow neighbors to walk across 23rd at every street, which would revolutionize walkability and bikeability in the Central District.

This is also a chance to improve transit efficiency by making sure buses stop in-lane so they are not delayed by people illegally passing as it tries to pull away from the curb (a violation so ubiquitous, it must be planned for).

The plan for Phase 2 (Jackson to Rainier) is roughly the same as Phase 1.

Phase 3

23rdAve_ThreePhases-phase3Unlike Phases 2 and 3, the city does not plan to improve safety for Phase 3 even though this northernmost segment has nearly identical daily traffic levels and has more road width than the other two phases.

Essentially, Phase 3 aims to preserve the highway-like feel the road has today. Unlike with Phase 1 — where planners presented a handful of options at an open house to study the pros and cons of each option and gather community feedback — Phase 3 has had no clear community outreach process.

Phase 3 also does not appear to have gone through a complete streets analysis (which it would surely fail). A city ordinance mandates that projects receiving significant investment consider the needs of all road users.

At a recent “drop-in session” about the projects, planners included this board to explain why they planned a design change for parts of 23rd:

IMG_2325The city’s 2012 traffic counts show 24th Ave had 18,000 vehicles per day, only 500 more than 23rd Ave through the Central District and well below the 25,000 threshold where a redesign would begin to have some significant impact on traffic flow. The city’s board also lists a bunch of benefits of a safer street design: Fewer collisions, less speeding, less stressful turning, easier to cross the street, and on and on.

If a redesign is good for the Central District (which it is), why is it not good for Montlake, Madison Valley, Miller Park and the eastern edge of Capitol Hill?

When I asked SDOT what kind of complete streets process Phase 3 went through, they sent me an unfinished checklist that references improvements made in Phases 1 and 2 (the checklist was described as “a work in progress”). A safety improvement made in the Central District a mile up the road does not help people crossing the street in Montlake.

The good news is that Phase 3 has a long way to go, and there is time to change the design.

“While we’ve been fortunate to expand the scope to include improvements in Phase 3, it is the last phase of the project and therefore not as far advanced in both design and outreach as the other two phases,” said SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan in an email.

Image from the ITO road fatality map (2001-2009)

Image from the ITO road fatality map (2001-2009)

The bad news is that the city is already talking about Phase 3 as though the four-lane design is final.

“Between E Roanoke Street and E John Street (Phase 3), the road will remain four lanes,” reads a press release announcing the February 26 open house.

This is our chance to reconnect neighborhoods long split by a very dangerous and wide street. Maintaining it as a neighborhood highway is not acceptable, but people will need to speak up to change the project’s direction.

Unlike many other city projects, there is a wealth of budget and road width in Phase 3, leaving a huge number of options for safety on the table. In the city’s Road Safety Action Plan, the city made it clear that safety is the city’s top transportation priority, a desire also clearly voiced in Seattle resident surveys.

People need to speak up for the right to cross the street, and demand an end to dangerous streets in the neighborhood. Complete streets are about everyone, including people in cars. We will not accept any more senseless deaths and injuries on our neighborhood streets, big or small. Traffic can flow and be safe at the same time. We cannot wait any longer to act.

Central Area Neighborhood Greenway

The last aspect of the 23rd Ave project is the Central Area Greenway, an attempt to build a route on parallel neighborhood streets that are optimized for biking and walking. Working with Central Seattle Greenways, the city has developed some quality route options between the I-90 Trail and Miller Park.

However, extensive research, including community rides led by Central Seattle Greenways and members of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (spearheaded largely by the wonderful Merlin Rainwater) have come up empty-handed in trying to find a reasonable parallel route at the north section of the project (south of the I-90 Trail could also be difficult). All options are either too steep or too circuitous to be considered a “parallel” route.

And a nearby neighborhood greenway — even if a reasonable route did exist — cannot make a street “complete.” A parallel neighborhood greenway does not reduce collisions between cars, and does not make it easier or safer to cross the street on foot or by bike.

Central Seattle Greenways has presented a preferred route for the greenway, but the group has also heard from residents upset that their side of the street will not see improvements. This is the folly of trying to build a neighborhood greenway as an alternative to making a main street safe: It only helps one half of the nearby residents. A neighborhood greenway on 25th Ave does not help someone at 21st and Yesler cross the street or get to Douglass-Truth Library. A greenway on 22nd Ave does not help someone at 24th and Madison cross the street or get to Safeway.

Between John and I-90, the planned road diet and neighborhood greenway combo seems mostly workable. But the north section will likely require an actual complete streets design on the main street due to a lack of connected and gently-graded options nearby.

Conclusions (tl;dr)

Phases 1 and 2 are close to having a workable solution, but Phase 3 is miles away from a plan that adequately addresses safety, walkability and bikeability. It’s a bit insulting that the city even presented this four-lane option with freeway-width lanes through a dense neighborhood that includes parts of Montlake, Capitol Hill, Madison Valley, Miller Park and the Central District.

Putting this four-lane proposal forward suggests the city was not actually serious when they said safety was the top transportation priority (a statement Mayor Murray agreed with during the mayoral race). Residents need to attend the upcoming meetings and voice support for safety and reconnecting these neighborhoods.

Ending traffic violence means taking action whenever we have the means. Here, we have the means. Let’s do it.

The final last* community meeting before work begins on $46 million+ overhaul of 23rd Ave

The Miller Park Neighbors group invites you to a community meeting with Seattle Department of Transportation planners to discuss the planned changes to 23rd Ave:

MPN - SDOT meeting (1)

You can study up on the issues and opportunities in the planned changes in our recent coverage:

*About that last one… apparently, it wasn’t actually the *last* community meeting, after all.

Leadership Legacy Awards honor Central District’s K. Wyking Garrett of Umoja P.E.A.C.E. Center

This year’s 9th Annual Leadership Awards from the Center for Ethical Leadership will present honors to three local individuals, including the Central District’s own K. Wyking Garrett.

Garrett founded and directs the Umoja P.E.A.C.E. Center whose mission is “to inspire and empower youth through Positive Education, Art, Culture & Enterprise (P.E.A.C.E.) from our African-American and Central Seattle roots.” Garrett is a lifelong Central District resident. He was recently involved in the More 4 Mann youth program efforts at the Horace Mann building.

Garrett will be honored at the 9th Annual Legacy Event, Thursday, March 27, 6:30-8:30P at the Lake Union Café. The other honorees include Tita Begashaw, Community Activist & Laughter Therapist; and Linda Park, Co-Founder, Sustainable Path Foundation.

More on the event:

The Center for Ethical Leadership has selected the recipients of the 2014 Leadership Legacy Award.  This award identifies and celebrates Puget Sound individuals or groups whose vision, leadership, and commitment advance the common good in local communities.  The Center is particularly interested in celebrating those who are often out of the traditional spotlight.

Richard Woo, CEO of the Russell Family Foundation, is the keynote speaker.

Tickets are $60 and include dinner.  Tickets must be purchased in advance online at