Tag Archives: Seattle

Seattle earmarks funds for camping pilot program

by Amy Roe

The Seattle City Council’s proposed 2012 budget contains some good news for those living in their cars.

The budget package includes $20,000 to fund case management services for a Safe Parking Pilot program at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Ballard.

The money will pay for an outreach worker to help car campers get connected to resources, including permanent housing. Continue reading

Sister street paper in Seattle is shunned by neighborhood association

March 29, 2010

Real Change, Street Roots big sister paper to the North in Seattle is being targeted by a neighborhood association not to move into their neighborhood. A letter from the Pioneer Square Community Association received by Real Change.

The Honorable Mike McGinn, Mayor City of Seattle, Seattle, WA 98104

Dear Mayor McGinn:

Thank you again for taking the time to tour Pioneer Square on March 18th. Pioneer Square community members were encouraged by your comments and perceptions of the opportunities and issues facing our neighborhood. We look forward to working with your office on an ongoing basis to help revitalize the District.

As we discussed, Pioneer Square has been a generous host to numerous social service providers in our community. However, the neighborhood is extremely under resourced and a “fair share” saturation point of services was exceeded years ago. This fact has been acknowledged and a moratorium on new or additional services has been in effect since 1998 with the publication of the Neighborhood Plan. Unfortunately, Pioneer Square finds it must defend this position time and time again.

Presently, Real Change is planning to relocate to the Historic District. There are heightened concerns within the neighborhood that representatives of this organization have not approached the Pioneer Square Community Association nor have they conducted any outreach within the District.

We realize there are enormous needs, especially in this economy, and further we recognize that many clients may not have any other resources at their disposal. We have strong relationships with service providers in our neighborhood who work with community members to address problems when they arise. That said; Pioneer Square’s economic vitality is impacted by the publics’ perception of safety issues which are exacerbated by line queuing for social service organizations.

The Office of Economic Development, with numerous community stakeholders, is conducting a review to find ways to revitalize this Historic District. In 2002, Urban Preservationist and Principal of PlaceEconomics, Donovan Rypkema, visited our community after the Mardi Gras reveling resulted in a murder the previous year.

At that time, several points were made by Rypkema that referenced street disorder and the neighborhood suffering significant negative perceptions regarding public safety. In December of 2009 Rypkema returned and reiterated the 2002 summary and questioned the lack of progress.

Within the past few years, the neighborhood was tapped to accept the expansion of existing service providers and to absorb the expansion of services at the Morrison Hotel during the construction of Fire Station #10’s Command Center. Legitimate assessments of the projects predicted long term, negative impacts in the neighborhood. As a result the overall perception of safety in the square has diminished.

The moratorium of the Neighborhood Plan needs to be upheld in this case. We feel it is imperative that service providers seek out other neighborhoods of Seattle that have not exceeded their “fair share” of services. We urge you to respect and support our position on this matter.

We would like to work with your office on this issue by setting up a meeting with Real Change, MaKensay Real Estate and our neighborhood organization to provide assistance to Real Change to find other suitable offices outside the District. As the proposed move of Real Change is on a fast track, we hope to hear from your offices as soon as possible.

Sincerely, Leslie G. Smith Interim Executive Director Pioneer Square Community Association

CC: Darryl Smith, Deputy Mayor Neighborhoods Phil Fuji, Deputy Mayor Operations Sally Bagshaw, Council Tim Burgess, Council Sally Clark, Council Richard Conlin, Council President Jean Godden, Council Bruce Harrell, Council Nick Licata, Council Mike O’Brien, Council Tom Rasmussen, Council Steve Johnson, Director, Office of Economic Development John Diaz, Interim Chief, Seattle Police Department Stella Chao, Director, City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Frank Buchanan, MaKensay Real Estate

Posted by Israel Bayer

Is Seattle kicking Portland’s booty?

While Portland City Council debates sit-lie citywide, baseball stadiums, parking lots and signage – Seattle’s appears to be kicking our collective butts.

Portland continues to struggle with a debate over a past hero (Cesar Chavez Blvd.), while Seattle appears to be looking to the future and is backing an immigration platform.

Portland continues to sift through a Housing Bureau transfer with no concrete examples of how exactly the transfer will benefit the affordable housing stock in Portland, specifically in places like South Waterfront and now possibly Lents.

Seattle was far enough ahead of the curve to put a  Affordable Housing levy worth $142 million on the ballot. It’s projected to pass.

You decide.

Posted by Israel Bayer

Seattle’s tent city to move to permanent location

NickelsvilleSeaOfTents-fullNickelsville, the Seattle tent city that cropped up last year in protest of Mayor Greg Nickels’ policies on homelessness, will move to a permanent location on June 5, according to its organizers.

Though they haven’t announced what the new location will be, Nickelsville’s organizers say the new site will have ten times the capacity of the church lot they’ve stayed on for the last three months.

The cluster of 155 bright pink tents first formed in September in South Seattle. The tent city has moved several times as the city and state have evicted them from public lands.

Last week, the city dropped criminal tresspassing charges against 23 people who were arrested at Nickelsville in October. Read more on the Real Change blog.

Street Roots’ most recent coverage of Dignity Village, Portland’s only permanent tent city, is now online here and here.

– Mara Grunbaum

Officer’s shove puts Seattle man in coma

A Seattle man is in a coma  with a fractured skull after he was forcibly knocked into a wall by a sheriff’s deputy, who mistakenly thought the man was involved in a nearby bar fight.

The Seattle Times reports that Christopher Harris, 29, was pursued by officers in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood on May 10 because a witness identified Harris as having been involved in a bar altercation. Officers later determined that Harris had not been part of that incident.

To stop Harris, Sherriff’s Deputy Matthew Paul, 26, shoved him toward a concrete wall eight feet away. A surveillance video shows Harris’ head hitting the wall and Harris slumping over, unconscious.

The King County Sheriff’s Office says the force used on Harris was within legal boundaries, and the outcome is “a tragic accident.” A spokesman said officers had identified themselves to Harris, but Harris pulled a hoodie over his face and ran from them.

Harris has been unconscious since the incident and is listed in critical condition.

The sherriff’s office will continue to investigate whether the incident violated protocol, and the county prosecutor will decide whether it warrants criminal charges.

In Portland, the District Attorney recently declined to prosecute the officer who roughly tackled 42-year-old James Chasse during a stop in 2006. Chasse died in police custody with 26 fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

Posted by Mara Grunbaum

Judge rules in favor of Tent City 4 in Seattle

From the Seattle Times