Recap: First Hill streets to get a makeover, contempt of the homeless is thinly veiled by hygiene concerns, and SPD protest tactics deepen mistrust of police

01.25.15

This overdue post brings you a smattering of recent projects that I’ve produced or worked on in some capacity over the past three weeks:

  • My photography was published alongside several nimby stories in the January 14th issue of Real Change News: one on the ACLU condemned attempt by the City of Burien to criminalize poor hygiene, and the other regarding Ballard residents squawking at the prospect of having low-income or homeless people frequenting a under construction urban rest stop in the area. Both articles were written by RCN staff reporter Aaron Burkhalter.

  • On January 12th the Seattle city council brought in SPD Chief O’Toole to answer questions from regarding the department’s excessive and counter-productive response to the recent Black Lives Matter protests. Council member Kshama Sawant led the questioning charge, highlighting the “intimidating” and “chilling” effects of deploying officers in riot gear and undercover SPD photographers at overwhelmingly peaceful protests. The Stranger’s Heidy Grover covered the meeting, with her article featuring my shot of Kshama raising her hands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition, Real Change News recently published my feature piece on the council meeting and the general controversy over SPD’s tactics employed at protests. There were a few typos, and here’s one correction: there were 17 not 18 (as was printed) separate protests between the November 24th Ferguson grand jury ruling and the January 12th city council meeting. The piece doesn’t include more recent events, namely SPD’s crackdown on the MLK protests and arresting 19 people. This reporter is still working getting specifics on the nature of these arrests (many stories have surfaced of trumped-up SPD charges being used against protesters).
  • More stuff on the CHS Blog: The Northwest Film Forum hosted a community discussion on the closing of the Harvard Exit and the state of independent cinema (hint: small-time theaters are having a rough time), with one panelist – Charles Mudede – saying struggling theaters with cultural significance should be financially supported by public money, noting the federal government bailouts of national banks during the financial crisis. Also, the SDOT and Department of Parks & Rec want to revamp First Hill streets to create more ‘public green space‘, seeing as streets can be “social” according to Susan McLaughlin, project manager for the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan. I reported on both subjects Read about it!

Shots from last week’s MLK day march and protests will be uploaded soon – havin’ space and storage issues.

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