Category Archives: News

Reports of an Armed Man at Beacon Hill’s VA Hospital Inaccurate, Under Investigation

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Seattle Police Department received a report of an armed person at VA Puget Sound Health Care System on Beacon Hill at around 10:15 a.m. today. The medical facility immediately went on lockdown, with no one allowed to enter the building. An hour later on Twitter, @SeattlePD stated: “It appears this was a case of mistaken identity on the part of the witness. Officers will be clearing the scene shortly.”

Continue reading Reports of an Armed Man at Beacon Hill’s VA Hospital Inaccurate, Under Investigation

Congressman Smith Rejects Trump’s Call for Military Intervention

by Emerald Staff


Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA 9th Congressional District, including South Seattle), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, answered questions from journalists at a press conference on Tuesday about President Trump’s call to utilize the U.S. military to intervene to stop the “insurrection” of demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers. According to Trump, states have been weak in handling demonstrators and he said he would call in the military if states don’t bring order to their cities soon. Many legal experts and communities are concerned about the constitutionality of Trump’s proposal to use the military in a domestic situation.

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Vote for Access: New Video Series Addresses Obstacles Facing Disabled Voters

by Mark Van Streefkerk


If disabled people voted at the same rate as non-disabled people, there would have been 2.3 million more votes in the November 2018 elections. Breaking down barriers to access and getting votes counted is not a partisan issue; it’s part of a healthy democracy, and it’s the law. A new video series “Votes for Access,” hosted by writer and disability advocate Imani Barbarin, takes a look at the hindrances disabled citizens face when it comes to voting, and how accessible voting should be a priority for everyone, especially in the new normal of COVID-19 life. 

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SPD Officers Only Required to Display Last Name and First Initial, Despite Potential Name Overlap

by Carolyn Bick


Police officers are allowed to cover their badge numbers, when in mourning, because they are required to wear their names on the left side of their uniforms, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a press conference on June 1.

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A Tale of Two Protests

by Elizabeth Turnbull

Editor’s Note: This post was updated after publication to include information about the protesters who marched to I-5 and successfully blocked traffic in both directions, for at least an hour, on 5/30/20.) You can also read how community members came together to take care of each other, the following day, with many going on the record to say the previous day’s protest was hijacked by vigilantism.


Seattle activists and protesters responded to the murder of George Floyd in distinct ways on Saturday in downtown Seattle. Activists at the main gatherings expressed anger and a need for police reform, with an emphasis on peace, while some protestors later in the day looted buildings and burned police vehicles, leading to 27 arrests for charges ranging from assault to arson.

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King County Will Apply June 1 to Move Into Modified Phase One, Plans to Increase Testing in South End

by Carolyn Bick


King County will apply for a modified Phase One with eased disease benchmarks under Washington State’s new Safe Start guidelines, which Gov. Jay Inslee announced at a May 29 press conference. King County officials said in a later press conference that they will also increase access to testing in South King County in tandem with the move into the modified Phase One.

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Mayor’s Office Refuses to Budge on Encampment Removals as Nearly Six-Hour Meeting Ends in Stalemate

by Erica C. Barnett 

(This article was previously published on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.) 


If you’re looking for a takeaway from last Wednesday’s nearly six-hour hearing on legislation that would place some limits on the city’s authority to displace homeless people from encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s this: Nothing is going to change. Representatives from Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration made it abundantly clear, loudly and repeatedly, that the mayor does not consider policies governing encampment sweeps to be a matter that can be legislated under any circumstance, and that now is also not the time for discussing non-legislative solutions, such as changes to the administrative rules governing encampment sweeps in general.

Continue reading Mayor’s Office Refuses to Budge on Encampment Removals as Nearly Six-Hour Meeting Ends in Stalemate

State Institutes More Protections for Agricultural Workers, Considers Creating Relief Fund for Undocumented Workers

by Carolyn Bick


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press conference on May 28 that the state will be instituting additional protections for agricultural workers, and that his office is looking into the possibility of creating a relief fund for undocumented workers who do not have access to unemployment benefits, despite paying taxes.

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Rats, Moldy Food, and a Dearth of Staff: Community Demands Better Conditions, Options at Othello Safeway

by Carolyn Bick


The last time Michelle Timson visited the Othello Safeway was when the novel coronavirus pandemic first broke out.

“I won’t go to the Othello Safeway. It’s way too crowded. There’s no social distancing at all being enforced from what I have seen from the one time that I went,” Timson said.

But the lack of social distancing was just the rotting cherry on top of a fermenting sundae for Timson. Like many of her fellow Othellians, the South Seattle resident had had enough of the store, which many in the neighborhood have complained about for years, citing everything from rotting produce, expired packaged food and rat sightings to an overworked, understaffed employee base and an unsafe parking lot. Because of this, Timson and more than 1,500 others have signed a petition started by local activist and 37th District legislative candidate Chukundi Salisbury calling for better store conditions.

Continue reading Rats, Moldy Food, and a Dearth of Staff: Community Demands Better Conditions, Options at Othello Safeway