Recap: Burien ordinance 606 meets opposition, the lingering effects of marijuana criminalization, and #Blacklivesmatter at UW

03.13.2015 This one is a long recap of recent work and projects – spanning around five weeks or so – covering news and events in and around the Seattle area. Settle in.

  • Rainier Beach: a South Seattle neighborhood with multiple faces, realistic nuance, and humanity that rarely gets conveyed or even explored in Seattle’s broadcast television news coverage of the area, which usually is limited to sensationalizing a shooting or robbery. Check out my feature piece for Real Change News which attempts to scrape the surface of what Rainier Beach might actually be behind Komo and Q13 Fox’s headlines, such as the actual crime rates in the neighborhood and the south end (which are relatively low), neighborhood unemployment, differing attitudes on how to address crime, and the looming threat of gentrification as developers eat up what is left of Seattle.
Co-owner Davie Hay in front of Rainier Beach's famed King Donut Espresso, Teriyaki restaurant, & laundry

Co-owner Davie Hay in front of Rainier Beach’s famed King Donut, a combination bakery, teriyaki restaurant & laundry mat

Kebede, an immigrant from Ethiopia helps plant strawberries at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands project

Kebede, an immigrant from Ethiopia, helps plant strawberries at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands project

Rainier Beach

Rainier Beach

A bus stop on Rainier avenue south in Rainier Beach

A bus stop on Rainier avenue south in Rainier Beach

  • Following the gentrification thread, read my piece about The In NW Arts collective – located on rapidly changing Capitol Hill – and the resident’s fears of potential displacement via the owner [Pete Sikov] of the house selling the property. The Summit Inn, another property owned by Sikov which housed artists, has already been sold off to a developer, CHS’s Bryan Cohen reports.
The In NW Arts collective

The In NW Arts collective

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  • On Febuary 23rd, a Burien City Council meeting was interrupted by around 100 people from both the local Burien community and Seattle proper to protest ordinance 606, passed by the council last fall, which enacted a trespass law preventing public facilities and property from being used “improperly,” which includes brushing one’s teeth in a public restroom or “unreasonably disruptive behavior” in parks or plazas. The ACLU already condemned the ordinance last year, and critics then and now call it out for what it is: anti-homeless. Real Change reporter Aaron Burkhalter has been covering this story from the get go, so read his reports. At the meeting, protesters with – tooth brushes in hand – laid down a vow of “We’ll be back.” Below are photos taken at the event.
Protesters march on Burien City Hall with tooth brushes in hand

Protesters march on Burien City Hall with tooth brushes in hand

Protesters inside Burien City Council chambers

Protesters inside Burien City Council chambers

Protest organizers amp up the assembled crowd

Protest organizers amp up the assembled crowd

Protester & Burien police officer have a humored debate.

Protester & Burien police officer B.R. Howard have a humored debate.

Protester reads statement condemning ordinance 606 to Burien City Council while others brush their teeth behind.

Protester reads statement condemning ordinance 606 to Burien City Council while others brush their teeth behind.

Projected by protester onto exterior of Burien City Hall

Projected by protester onto exterior of Burien City Hall

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  • Last week I wrote a story on Bernard ‘Buddy’ McArdle – a Boston native with a distinct accent to match – who was arrested for Marijuana possession prior to the passing of I-502, and still faces a hefty $900 dollar fine or the equivalent in community service, despite the irrelevance of the charges in modern changed times. And it seems that fixing situation’s such as Buddy’s aren’t an immediate priority for those in power in both Seattle and State government.
  • On Febuary 26th students walked out of classes at University of Washington campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell for a #Blacklivesmatter protest and to declare a “state of emergency” for black students on campus, and the black communities of Seattle in regards to systemic and institutional racism. They issued lists of demands to various sectors of the UW conglomerate, ranging from reinstating affirmative action to establishing a center for the cross-discipline critical studies of race. Some of my photos were published on Slog, and more are featured below. More recently, members of the UW black student union have raised accusations against the UW branch of SAE fraternity, members of which they allege called black student protesters “apes” from their house as they marched past. The incident comes in the wake of the disgusting video which went viral depicting white members of the SAE University of Oaklahoma chapter chanting “you can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me, there will never be a n**** in SAE.”

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