PONGO POETRY | Where I’m From


Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special bimonthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. To partner with Pongo in inspiring healing and relief in youth coping with mental and emotional turmoil, register for Speaking Volumes 2022, its fall celebration.

Where I Come From

by a young person, age 14

I’m from a street where a lot have died
for little to nothing

I’m from faith in drugs, guns, and street runnin’.

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Beat the Heat︱A Cool-Off Guide for the South End

by Patheresa Wells


Last week, Seattle temperatures reached into the 90s, a sweltering indication that the long-awaited summer had arrived. And for many, it was already too much. But, all complaints aside, the increase in temperature can turn dangerous quickly if safety is not kept in mind. Cooling centers throughout the area are designated to protect people from heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. With extreme heat continuing to become common “with more than two weeks of 90 degree (F) days likely each summer,” according to the City of Seattle’s Projected Climate Changes, the need to provide resources to beat the heat is a matter of public health. 

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Weekend Reads | Mapping Environmental Health Disparities

by Kevin Schofield


Last month, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an updated “Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map” for the state. It calculates the environmental risks for communities throughout the state, in terms of the potential negative impacts to their health.

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Fifth Annual Refuge Outdoor Festival Brings Healing and Connection for BIPOC Outdoors

by Amanda Ong


The fifth annual Refuge Outdoor Festival will be hosted in Tolt MacDonald Park from Friday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 14. The festival is hosted by Golden Bricks Events, which also hosts events like Sundaes Outside. Refuge is a camping experience that centers around BIPOC but is open to anyone interested in the outdoors, whether that means people with years of experience mountain biking, or someone who simply enjoys their local park. The event still has tickets available through the Refuge Outdoor Festival website leading up to its opening on Aug. 12. 

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Sound Transit Will Do More Study Before Recommending Where to Build Second CID Light Rail Station

by Chetanya Robinson

(This article was originally published on the International Examiner and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


The Sound Transit Board deferred recommending a preferred location for a second light rail station in the Chinatown-International District (CID) during a July 28 meeting, opting to conduct months more study and engagement with the community first.

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Julie Pham’s ‘7 Forms of Respect’ Explores New Ideas of Respect at Work

by Amanda Ong


Seattle-based writer and businesswoman Julie Pham recently released a new kind of leadership and management book, 7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work. 7 Forms of Respect derives from Pham’s own experiences with culturally relative respect, from growing up as a refugee and living abroad, as well as working in business as a Woman of Color, and it charts out how coworkers can better practice respect in the workplace.

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OPINION | In a Climate Emergency, Is Seafair Obsolete?

by Jill Freidberg


As I write, we are exiting the longest heat wave in Pacific Northwest history. Last year, we watched freeways buckle from the heat. BIPOC elders died in South End homes with no air-conditioning. Millions of shellfish cooked to death at low tide. In four short years, we’ve added “Fire Season” to our calendars, witnessed historic and devastating floods across the state, and watched an endangered Southern Resident killer whale carry her dead calf for 17 days. With each occurrence, the City, County, and State have issued declarations about the urgency with which we must respond to climate change.

A tradition built around fossil-fuel-guzzling, exhaust-spewing jets and boats is not in line with those declarations.

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Columbia City’s Polar Cleaners Laundromat Faces Closure

by Sarah Goh, photos by Jaidev Vella


In South Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, Polar Cleaners has made its home at the southwest corner of Rainier Square Plaza for almost 50 years. As the only safe laundromat in the area, Polar Cleaners has become a community lifeline and place for neighbors to gather.

Owner Bonniejean Crone worked at the laundromat for over 30 years and took over the business in April of last year. Today, she is fighting to keep her neighborhood business after Kimco Realty, a real estate corporation headquartered in New York that recently bought the property, abruptly terminated her lease and threatened to move in new tenants. News of this sudden termination spread throughout the community, with many neighbors sending flowers, writing letters, and protesting the removal of their beloved laundromat. 

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NEWS GLEAMS | Initial Primary Elections Results Are In, Monkeypox in Washington, & More

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


🖋️Letter From the Editor🖋️

Primaries are over, and election results are coming in! As we wait for votes to be finalized, we offer a high-level summary of races that are important for South Seattle voters.

In San Francisco, the mayor has declared a local health emergency for monkeypox. King County, thankfully, has not reached such a point, but confirmed cases are rising and vaccines are rolling in rather slowly.

Lastly, Refuge Outdoor Festival is this weekend, for those who might want a respite from the heat or are looking to enjoy nature in great company.

—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS | Initial Primary Elections Results Are In, Monkeypox in Washington, & More

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