by Marti McKenna
When Luis Rodriguez and Leona Moore-Rodriguez put out a call for help on Oct. 13, they knew their community would answer that call. But they couldn’t have imagined all the ways their neighbors would rise to the occasion. A few days later, the GoFundMe a friend and customer set up for them has raised over $25,000, and members of the community have found a host of creative ways to help keep their favorite coffee shop from closing.
It wasn’t easy for Luis and Leona to ask for the help they needed. “For me it was humbling, a little embarrassing,” Luis told the Emerald. “To have to ask to your community like, ‘Yo, we’re struggling, we’re going through some rough times, we need your help, we need your money, we need people to donate …’”
“It was a little hard to ask for help,” Leona agreed, “but at the same time, I know we have a beautiful community that’s willing to stick their necks out and help those in need. And we just happen to be one of those businesses, like so many other businesses in Seattle, struggling through COVID.”
Continue reading Community Comes Together to Save The Station
by Gus Marshall
Seattle-based jazz pianist Overton Berry has passed away at the age of 84.
The cherished hometown musical icon had a full and illustrious career that transitioned through numerous degrees of critical acclaim, artistic recognition, and financial success. He leaves behind an enormous legacy and will be dearly missed.
Continue reading Local Jazz Legend Overton Berry Passes Away
by Ronnie Estoque
Chen Dien, owner of Coffeeholic House in Columbia City, knew something was wrong when he received a phone call from his mom last Saturday morning notifying him that the store’s front door had been opened before the business day had begun.
“My heart just dropped,” Dien said. “The key box was destroyed and the key inside was gone. The cash drawer was broken, and all the money was gone.”
Continue reading Community Ramps Up Support for Vietnamese-Owned Coffeeholic House Robbed Last Saturday
by Jasmine M. Pulido
She was my mentor.
Not in an ethereal, vague way. But in a literal way. She was assigned to me through the Alphabet Alliance of Color’s summer institute where experienced local QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community organizers pass down their skills to newer ones. We were prompted to pick our top three choices for mentors and, I’ll be honest, Constance Blakeley wasn’t in my top three. My top pick — an Asian American columnist writing about social justice, culture, and equity with a focus on marginalized communities. I thought the best pick for me would be someone with a similar background, in profession or in identity, or both.
Continue reading In Memory of Constance Blakeley: A Transcestor Too Soon
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Trivia fans, this is your night to shine! Join the nonprofit City Fruit online Sunday, October 25 at 5 p.m. for a virtual gala with a hard cider tasting, a Halloween costume contest, and trivia hosted by Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings, plus Senator Rebecca Saldaña and family in attendance. Trivia teams of up to five people can play for a chance to win a grand prize $500 gift certificate to James Beard-award winning restaurant Canlis, as well as other prizes. You can buy tickets and sign up for the cider tasting, trivia, or both here.
Continue reading City Fruit’s Virtual Gala to Feature Cider Tasting, Costume Contest, and Trivia Hosted by Jeopardy! G.O.A.T. Ken Jennings
by Joseph Shoji Lachman (ACRS), Derek Lum (InterIm CDA), Velma Veloria (EEC), Tweetie Fatuesi (UTOPIA Seattle), and other AAPI Candidate Forum planning committee members
For many of us in the South Seattle area and in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, 2020 has been a tough year in unprecedented ways. Events such as wildfires, presidential election politics, and of course above all else, the outbreak of COVID-19, have undoubtedly transformed our lives. Many of our community members are experiencing discrimination and economic distress that we haven’t felt in decades, and countless small businesses and organizations are struggling to survive. These difficulties are only magnified further for AAPIs without many of the protections that come with American citizenship and English fluency.
Continue reading Eighth Annual AAPI Candidate Forum: Opportunities for Local Democracy in a Tough Year
by Alexa Peters
In August, Governor Jay Inslee announced his recommendations for the 2020-2021 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Similar to the phased reopening of businesses throughout the state, Inslee let local county health departments and school districts decide how they’d like to proceed, while strongly recommending districts consider virtual learning alternatives.
Continue reading Tutoring Programs Support Families During COVID-19
by Ronnie Estoque
Seattle resident Achil Obenza regards Pho Bo in Columbia City as her go-to spot for Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, when her newborn daughter was merely 3 days old, she brought her there alongside her husband for their first family outing. Now the restaurant space is under the threat of being demolished to make way for 71 luxury apartments by a company referred to in the design review documentation as CP Rainier LLC. Construction is projected to begin in spring of 2021 once the design review process is finalized by the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections.
Continue reading Pho Bo’s Proposed Demolishment for Luxury Apartments Raises Community Concerns
by Marti McKenna
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include information about a GoFundMe fund benefitting The Station.
For 10 years, Beacon Hill coffee and community hub The Station has been known to many in the South End as a place to get great coffee and snacks, meet friends, work, and hold community discussions. In that way, it’s like a lot of small, neighborhood cafes, though The Station has been a particular haven for People of Color and the space itself is a vehicle for activism on behalf of marginalized people. Luis Rodriguez and Leona Moore-Rodriguez have created an entity in The Station that extends beyond its walls and into the community itself. And now they’re turning to the community they’ve helped and asking for help to stay open.
Continue reading The Station Hopes to Avoid Being ‘One of the Closing POC Businesses’
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City’s movie theater, launched a GoFundMe on September 19 with the goal of raising $750,000. It’s an ambitious first step in the Ark owner David McRae’s long-term hope of raising $3 million overall, enough to buy the almost 100-year-old Masonic building and securing the theater as the “Gem of Columbia City” for years to come. In addition to the GoFundMe, the Ark launched a capital campaign to attract bigger investors, with rewards ranging from limited edition T-shirts to opportunities to rename the Ark’s screening rooms. In almost two weeks, the GoFundMe has raised close to $40,000, and at least one of the capital campaign rewards has been claimed.
Continue reading Ark Lodge Cinemas GoFundMe Asks for Community Support To Become “The Gem Of Columbia City”