South Seattle – An SUV crashed into the Carol Cobb Salon located on Rainier Avenue South and S. Ferdinand Street at around 1:25 pm this afternoon, injuring six people. City officials were quoted as saying that the two- story building is in serious danger of collapsing.
Emergency responders arrived to discover the entire SUV inside the hair salon, with stray debris all around it.
Komo News is reporting that four family members were inside the SUV and some of them ended up trapped by the debris. Firefighters quickly removed piles of debris outside the building to pull them free.
Everyone in the SUV sustained injuries, along with two others who were working inside the hair salon. The extent of their injuries has not yet been determined.
Officials have confirmed that the woman driving the vehicle had a stroke while operating it and that was what led to the accident.
All lanes of Rainier Avenue South and S. Ferdinand Street are currently closed in the surrounding area while a structural examination of the building is being conducted.
As Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s “Find It, Fix It” walks continue across the city, so to does the commotion amongst South Seattle residents surrounding their effectiveness at addressing crime in the city’s south end after an uptick of violence in recent weeks, including a drive-by shooting and multiple armed robberies, has flared community anxieties once again.
The walk series- announced in June as a part of the mayor’s effort to address public safety concerns and improve collaboration between communities and Seattle area law enforcement by direct engagement between city officials and local residents- have been concentrated in areas around the city designated as high frequency crime zones, or “hot spots” and got underway last month.
Three of the walks have been held in South Seattle neighborhoods- two in the Rainier Beach Area and one in the Othello neighborhood- and appear to have made good on the mayor’s insistence that they would act as a platform for residents to actively express community needs to the city, as they have been punctuated by frequent stops, so that urban blight- including graffiti, safety hazards and derelict buildings- could be brought to official’s attention.
“These walks are really important. We can’t sit behind a desk in headquarters and get a sense of what’s happening in the community. It’s important to get out and see it first hand and it’s important to meet people and hear their perspectives.” Said Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who along with City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, and City Attorney Pete Holmes has been a consistent presence at the majority of South Seattle walks.
“People really take pride in their neighborhoods in this city, and South Seattle is no exception.” She added. “We want a plan in place for this community that comes from the bottom up, instead of dictating to the various neighborhoods here what their priorities should be. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we feel that this approach will help get us there.”
It is one that seems appreciated, and long overdue, by many south end inhabitants who have become accustomed to what they feel has been habitual inattention to their concerns from the city.
“These events are very good. They’re really once in a lifetime as far as I’m concerned.” Said Mohammed Keemo, owner of a local clothing store in the Rainier Beach area. “(City officials) being here in South Seattle means that they can now know the reality of our street. They can finally see what’s really going on. I love to finally have them here and I hope they continue to come.”
“This are the types of events we need more of, were the community comes together and takes a stand. It’s like I tell people, don’t just complain about the violence and the crime, come up with a solution. This is a solution.” Echoed Rev. Don Davis, who participated in a walk held at the Rainier Beach Link Light Rail Station.
Though the south end area walks have been fairly well attended as dozens of curious residents have flocked to them in order to gain an audience with local officials – despite the 7:00pm weekday start time for most of the walks -not every participant has held such favorable impressions as they have questioned the city’s actual intentions behind them.
“While I think it’s important that the media is out here, I think a lot of (the walks) are being done so that (city officials) can look like they’re doing something in this area, even though I don’t know if they actually are. Having media out here keeps them accountable. I hope.” Said Jacob Stuiksma, who is blind and who took part in a Rainier Beach neighborhood walk.
“I don’t understand why it takes walking around pointing out graffiti, even though it’s been here forever, to finally get it taken care of. When someone who is blind can tell you what’s going on with graffiti and trash because they’re tripping over it, and have been tripping over it for a long time while the city has done nothing, there remains an awful lot that needs to be addressed.”He added.
City officials say they are mindful of much of the criticism that residents of South Seattle have had in regards to the walks and are doing their best to address it.
“Most of the people who have come out to these walks in this area are very positive, but to be honest, yes we’ve run into people who are skeptical because, let’s face it, Mayor Murray has only been in office for a few months, so there’s still a feeling out period. But, I think people will begin to see that these walks are taking the community in the right direction.” Said Mayoral Aide Jacob Chin.
Though skepticism over the walks from South Seattle residents seems a long way from dissipating – unsurprising for an area that has seen its fair share of deflated expectations as a result of limited follow-through after promises of community improvement from past mayoral regimes- there remains many who are willing to be optimistic as to their impact.
“I know that some people are bagging on the mayor for the walks, but the guy isn’t out here kissing babies for a couple of seconds and then hopping into his Rolls Royce to hob knob in Magnolia. The officials out here are really listening to what the community has to say.” Said Karl De Jong who has gone on two of the South Seattle walks.
A woman was robbed less than an hour ago at a Metro bus stop on the corner of Beacon Ave S and 57th Street in the Rainier View neighborhood.
Seattle Police are looking for the suspect, identified as being an African-American male in his late teens.
The woman had just finished her in home caretaker shift and was waiting for the 107 bus when a young man brandished a gun – pointing it directly in her face- and demanded that she relinquish her purse. He then fled without further incident once the woman obliged.
The suspect is still at large and it is advised that you contact the Seattle Police Department immediately should you have any information as to his whereabouts.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw announced new funding for three Rainier Valley neighborhood projects today: The Columbia City Gateway, the Ethiopian Community Center Kitchen renovation and the Orca K-8 School Playground renovation. $100,000 will go to each of the projects via the City of Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Large Projects Fund.
“I’m delighted to see these projects receive funding, all of which were initiated and implemented by community members,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the City Council’s Neighborhoods Committee. “This is a shining example of true neighborhood empowerment, where community volunteer hours and community fundraising are leveraged into additional support.”
Mobilize the community in transforming the unsightly and neglected Northeast corner of the Columbia School property into a signature streetscape and mini-park as a welcoming “gateway” to the neighborhood.
Renovate and update approximately 900 sq. ft. commercial kitchen and bring it fully up to code. The project aims to create a vibrant hub of community building, healthy eating, learning, celebration and sharing.
Improve site entry, acquire new playground equipment, expand all-weather surface area, a natural outdoor classroom “Council Ring,” running track, renovated play field, pole and ramp course (for all but especially highly disabled individuals), ADA accessible textile nature path, expanded seating and garden beds and safety improvements.
Recipients of the Neighborhood Matching Fund match their awards through a combination of locally raised money, donated materials and expertise and volunteer labor. A Citywide Review Team consisting of community volunteers reviewed applications and selected these Rainier Valley projects, amongst others, for funding. Council approved their recommendation on Monday, August 11th.
Two South Seattle area non-profits have received “People Helping People Awards” from Boeing Employee’s Credit Union (BECU).
Both City Fruit – which is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood and harvests fruit from residential trees to donate to those who are food insecure – and the Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition (RBCEC) received $5000 apiece as a part of BECU’s Community Benefit Award program.
The program asked BECU members to vote for their favorite area non-profits that they felt had made a profound impact within their communities.
City Fruit and the RBCEC received enough nominations to beat out over 500 other Puget Sound area non-profits to be recognized as 2 of only 16 total organizations that were honored for that distinction.
Votes were tallied over a three month period beginning on May 1st and recipients were honored with a ceremony at the Museum of Flight.
“The People Helping People award from BECU will help City Fruit harvest additional fruit from residential properties and Seattle parks, and in turn, help feed more of our neighbors in need. On an average day, City Fruit harvests around 500 pounds of fruit – pears, plums, and apples – that will go on to feed more than 2,000 families throughout Seattle.” said Catherine Morrison, City Fruit’s Executive Director.
SEATTLE — Police say four men pistol whipped, beat and robbed a woman inside a Seattle library Monday evening, and the attack may have been related to a recent shooting.
The 21-year-old woman was inside the Rainier Beach Library just before 5:45 p.m. when four men attacked her, according to police. One of the men pistol whipped the woman while the other three kicked and punched her.
A library employee saw beating and began pounding on a nearby window. The noise spooked the attackers, who grabbed the woman’s purse and took off on foot, according to police.
Less than a day earlier, the victim was inside a Rainier Valley home when an argument spiraled into a shooting that left one man fighting for his life. The woman spoke to police about the shooting, and she told police she had received several threatening messages in the hours since.
One Facebook post said, “You better not let us find you,” according to police.
Medics arrived at the library and treated the woman for cuts and bruises.
Police have not released any information about the suspects.
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