Skyway Breaks Ground on New Library

Skyway_Library_Groundbreaking_1Community members celebrated the Skyway Library groundbreaking last Wednesday afternoon Wednesday, July 9. As the crowd gathered, 25 children from the Skyway Boys & Girls Club’s summer music program entertained the crowd with songs.

KCLS Interim Director Julie Acteson welcomed the community to the event to celebrate the start of construction for the new 8,000 square foot library.

“The new library will be within walking distance from the Boys & Girls Club, Dimmitt middle school and several elementary schools,” said King County Library System (KCLS) Interim Director Julie Acteson.

A number of dignitaries addressed the crowd, including KCLS Board Trustee Jessica Bonebright, Friends of Skyway Library President Theresa McLean, West Hill Community Association President Bill Bowden, King County Sheriff’s Office Captain Ted Boe and King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian Barnes.

“We appreciate the voters in the community who supported this project,” said KCLS Board Trustee Jessica Bonebright. “This is going to be a great resource for the community.”

Project architect Matt Aalfs highlighted the design process, which incorporated input from the community. He said the new building will have almost twice the space, materials and computers.

“We tried to make a building that’s beautiful, that’s inspirational and it feels open and welcoming. We met with (community members) here,and thought a lot about the kids who live here who might need a place to go. We wanted them to feel comfortable and safe here, with whatever it is they need.” Aalfs said.

With gold shovels in hand, local dignitaries were joined by children with small shovels to break ground. “This Space is going to be great.” Said West Hill Community Association President Bill Bowden. “It’s just an awesome centerpiece for revitalizing the community!”

Special thanks to the King County Library System for assistance with this article

Rowland Martin: I’m Not Afraid to Challenge Orthodoxy

Editor’s Note: This is the second in our series of interviews with the candidates- 5 Democrats and 1 Republican- who are vying to replace retiring State Senator Adam Kline in the 37th District. The top two candidates chosen in the primary election- held on August 5th- will continue on to the general- which takes place on November 4th. The winner of which will represent the 37th District in the Washington State Senate. The 37th currently comprises almost the entire South Seattle area.

 

 

Rowland Martin
Rowland Martin

It’s enticingly easy to dismiss Rowland Martin’s candidacy to represent the 37th District as its State Senator. As the only Republican running in the deeply blue district – that has yet to come marginally close to sending anyone other than a Democrat to Olympia in the past 20 years- to say that the odds were heavily stacked against him would be an understatement’s understatement.

However, unlike the majority of his predecessors who have attempted to wage a legitimate battle in the traditionally progressive stronghold, Martin is equipped with the belief that he can win. When taking into account that over 20 percent of the district self-identifies as conservative, the low voter turnout inherent in non-presidential year elections, and a throwback brand of republicanism that excuses itself from divisive social issues, while attending to economic growth and civil liberties – that belief may just prove warranted.

Emerald: Historically the 37th District has overwhelming supported Democrats at almost every level of government. Why did you decide to run as a Republican for State Senator? Many people, for lack of a better term, perceive any Republican candidacy in this race as a “fool’s errand.”

Rowland Martin: I think that there are a number of people who by their nature are more conservative. I think that we have an incredibly diverse community, politically as well as ethically. I was recently talking with a vietnamese man in the area – who was literally a boat person- and he asked me what party I was affiliated with and I said, “I’m a Republican.” He said, “Good! Otherwise I would’ve been really upset.” (laughter)

I talked to another man in Bryn Mawr last week. I came into his living room, and we spoke for a long time and he agreed with me on most of my points. I think that at the root there’s a lot of people who are conservative, and I just don’t think they’ve had anyone who can articulate a rational, conservative message in this district. I think that some headway can be made here. Maybe people look at me as the guy just trying to get the message out, but you have to start somewhere. I’m here to give people that alternative, let these so called progressives know, that not everyone is completely satisfied to the point of a no opposition district, and that message needs to be heard loudly.

Emerald: A lack of good, quality jobs is a huge concern amongst South Seattle residents, as its unemployment rate is higher than in any other portion of the city. If you were elected state senator how would you address that concern?

Martin: I would do my best to get rid of what I think are barriers to getting businesses started, along with barriers to young people entering professions, and what I think is a broken education system that doesn’t give them many initial opportunities. So, what specifically am I talking about?

I’m talking about a state that rejects new businesses, that agonizes over whether they’re going to allow coal or oil that’s brought here from a train, and is opposed to even shipping these things,. Right now the Panama Canal is being expanded, ships are already built, they’re going to be able to fit through this larger canal, and we already know that the amount of shipping traffic coming into Puget Sound is going to drop -because if you can ship it directly via boat to the large population centers along the East Coast or Europe, you’re not going to bring it into Seattle or Tacoma, and put it on a train and ship it across the country.

We just keep saying no, even to little neighborhood projects. There’s some little neighborhood project up by the Home Depot, where Sick’s Stadium used to be. For some reason, there seems to be controversy about building it. I look around at the businesses in that area, and a lot of it is in really old buildings – that frankly needs to be rejuvenated or torn down. We can’t keep making it hard to do that, by making permitting difficult, by agonizing over whether you’re going to change the character of a neighborhood, or going to tear down some building that is way out of date.

The other thing is, we are subsidizing really ineffective technologies with this green energy focus. Windmills, are not high tech. There’s some technology that obviously goes into the blades, but putting a generator on a pole to generate electricity, there’s a bunch of things wrong with it. Foremost being, your subsidizing tax dollars to pay for it and the ratio of energy produced to tax dollar subsidy is really bad, with wind energy.

You’re taking people’s money out of their pocket, to say: “We’re going to subsidize a few little jobs to do these technologies that aren’t efficient.” There’s a technology this state used to believe in, nuclear power, we need to start doing that again. I do believe that we should start subsidizing our energy production and distribution, because that’s the kind of thing that’s going to bring industry in and create jobs.

Emerald: This area has not sent a Republican to the State Senate in quite some time, and is associated with being a progressive area. That being the case, why should someone in the 37th, who traditionally votes left of center chose you to represent them?

Martin: I’d ask that person, how many decades have you voted for a Democrat? And then I’d ask, what’s their bottom line for their families and themselves? Democrats are telling you all these nice, wonderful things, but has any of it really been delivered to you? What’s your bottom line? Why are you continuing to listen to the same party? The same group for decades has been saying, “Oh! We’re going to solve all these problems,” and they’re not solving them.

What have they shown you? Why do you keep voting for the same thing? Why do you keep identifying with them? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. If you look at a chart of wealth disparity since 1947, it’s been the same straight line up to more disparity. It’s not been solid Republicans since 1947, and it doesn’t go dropping down when there’s a Democrat in charge of things. It’s the same trend, and they aren’t solving the issue.

You have to let people have more of their money. You have to have less crony capitalism, and you have to get the government out of the way. You also have to expect that people are going to have to make their own opportunities, and we’ve gotten away from that. Again I’d ask them what’s their bottom line? Are you really getting anything out of it, or is it just enough to barely get a place to live and have a television?

Emerald: Education is another prominent concern of area residents. Many people have been very vocal about the inadequacies of some South Seattle area schools. At the college level, you have many complaints about higher education becoming more and more cost prohibitive. How would you address this at the state level?

Martin: I’m going to say that I think it’s so bad that we’re going to have to start trying much more radical solutions. When I say radical, let’s go over the facts. Young men are faring worse now. Hooray for women getting the opportunities to go into careers. That is great, absolutely! But, you look around the world and where you have serious social problems is where you have young man who are not educated, not brought into the civic society, and don’t have opportunities. It’s going to be a really bad problem in our own area unless something really radical is done, so what is that?

I think that we’ve come this kind of credentialistic society – we focus a little too heavy on do you have a college degree or not? Frankly, a lot of degrees aren’t necessary. The figure is 45% of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed, many are working a job that they don’t need a degree for.

You have too many young people thinking that they have to go on this college track, and then they get into college and maybe they get a liberal arts degree- something that’s in high demand, and then they think, “Well maybe I have to get my master’s degree.” So that’s more time, and more debt, and they become stuck in this escalating battle, thinking that they have to get all this stuff before they’re worthy of getting a job, and I say no! This credential escalation has to end.

At the pre-college level, we used to take students who came out of High School and let them teach the younger students. They would look and they would say who’s the smartest kid who just came from our school, and they would put them to work as the teacher for the lower grades. They would eventually get better and better they’d move up. I think this allows students to relate better to their teachers as they’d be closer in age. You listen to your peers a little more.

I’m also supportive of a voucher system, as I think parents should be given some choice and variation of education. It would be much more cost effective than what people think. We currently spend $12,000 on each child, so for 20 kids that’s over a quarter of a million dollars. The max teacher salary is about 65,000- add in benefits and you’re at 100k, I think that you could find a teacher pretty easily for your voucher school at that kind of pay rate, and I don’t think it’s going to cost another $150,000 to find a class room to rent.

Emerald: As you’ve been branded the extreme underdog in the 37th District Senate race, you haven’t garnered the same level of media attention as many or your counterparts. What do you hope, besides being the only Republican in the race, that people identify you with?

Martin: I’d share that I’m not afraid of challenging the orthodoxy of opinion. I’ll state things as truthfully, and as accurately as I can see. I’m willing to compromise, but on the other hand I think that some better solutions than just more of the same are necessary. I think that people need to understand that I will articulate some new ideas and I think that I’ll be able to explain how those kinds of ideas will give them a better bottom line, which will lead to more individual liberty, and more choices in their lives. I’m practical, I’m pretty well read in American history. I know what kind of country we’ve been- in terms of growth and opportunity, and building wealth for every body who wants to put the time in.

Emerald:There’s been a lot of conversation, of late, in regards to our state’s tax structure. As many with lower incomes pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes than a more affluent person, such as Bill Gates, does. What would you do to fix that discrepancy?

Martin: I think I would say to people who think that, “Okay, my burden is relatively higher than someone else’s burden,” I would say to them, “You know, this mutual navel gazing about how much this person has, and how much that person has, was caused by having an income tax. So, we’re now all so focused on, is this person better off, is this group better off? We’ve gotta get out of that mode.

I’d also say that if you want to be a citizen, you should want to pay some, even if it’s not a large share. You should want to say that, “I paid some, and I’m participating as a citizen. The whole government service equation isn’t just flowing to me, but that some of my work does contribute to what should be, a minimal government.”

In terms of income disparity, it’s grown since we’ve implemented the income tax, it hasn’t shrunk, it’s gotten worse. The income tax resulted in a separate society, into people who are very wealthy and people who aren’t, and we’re starting to lose our middle class. The people who you hurt the most are the ones that are striving to get from the lower side of that equation to the higher side, and the thing is the very wealthy will always be able to use political power more effectively than the lower income people, the thing about the income tax is that it tends to wipe out the people who are trying to make that transition. You’re never able to get quite enough saved up to move into a place that you can focus on politics or public service. I would tell people that see that that this whole problem has been caused by the solution we put in place, that gets us all so focused on envy, and makes it hard to get to where we want to be.

Emerald: If elected, what would you want someone to be able to say about you at the end of your term?

Martin: That he at least did his best job to tell them the truth about what was going on, and that the information that he presented back to them was accurate and easy to understand, so that they’d know where the money was coming in and where it was going out.

Emerald: We’ll end with a softball. South Seattle is obviously known for its diversity, which extends to its restaurants. What is your favorite place to eat in South Seattle and why?

Martin: I absolutely love Maya’s in Rainier Beach. The food there is amazing. Whenever I want to take my wife out for a night, that’s the place I go to!

Sunday Stew: The Nap

by Drew Sutherland

I woke myself this morning, wound me good and tight,
I wound myself this morning lookin’ for a fight,
I had some things to clear up, some things I had to say,
I was going to stir the pot- make things right my way.

Slippers on, caffeine in hand, I went to the back door,
I do it every morning, to think of peace not war,
and as I opened up the door, saw the sparkling dew,
I felt your presence all around, and then I entered you.

I slept a half an hour and dreamt 100 years,
The changing of the seasons, happiness and tears.

And as I sat by naked trees, the early buds of Spring,
It hit me like a bolt of truth, “I do not know a thing.”
A wash of peace fell on me then unfurrowing my brow,
My plans, my wrath melted away, I remembered an old vow.

I’d spent a year in solace, meditation, and some grace
I spent that time in silence, thoughts slowing in their race.
I’d figured out that being wound was causing misery,
Enslaving all I thought I loved, I caged what should be free.

I slept a half an hour and dreamt 100 years,
The changing of the seasons, happiness and tears.

I went and taught a class at school, forgot about my fight,
I said, “Hello?”, “How are you?” and noticed the sunlight.
I trundled to my office and shed my teaching gear,
My tummy was on “Grumble” and a sandwich shop was near.

Friend in tow I ventured forth to forage for my food,
I needed me a gyro for I was “in the mood”.
As I ate I wondered at springtime on the fringe.
My little gyro sandwich felt like such a binge.

Then back to home at 5:00, my knitting in my lap,
My eyes were dry and my bed called for a little kitty nap.
Up narrow stairs to my large bed, cloaked in downy white,
Window open, snuggled up, a slice of daytime night.

I slept a half an hour and dreamt 100 years,
The changing of the seasons, happiness and tears.

In 30 minutes I had gone across a vast landscape,
Surveying all the beauty, confused by all the hate,
I woke from this extended trip sure I’d overslept,
A half an hour’s all that passed, my cheeks were damp- I’d wept.

Slippers on, caffeine in hand, I went to the back door,
This time it wasn’t morning, evening just off-shore,
And as I opened up the door, I thought of what was true,
Without my seated happiness, I can’t share me with you.

 

 

Activists Call For More Investment in Education, Not Incarceration

EducationTwo rallies this morning, both organized by the Alliance for a Just Society, will issue powerful calls for more government investment in education – not incarceration.

At least 300 community leaders, and activists at each gathering will call for freedom from crushing student loan debt, and freedom from jailing children.

The rallies are part of the Alliance’s Power from the Roots Up conference being held this week on the University of Washington campus. Organizers, grassroots activists, and small business owners from 14 states are attending the conference.

Nationwide Seattle is often seen as ground zero in the movement to combat income inequality and to build power through grassroots activism.

The first rally today will be held from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Federal Building, Second Avenue and Marion Street, to demand that the Department of Education, Sallie Mae and corporate bankers stop profiting off the backs of college students.

Speakers will talk about their student loan debt, the crowd will help “grade” the Department of Education on a giant report card, then several participants will deliver petitions to the DOE office in the Federal Building.

“As an educator, what I see my students experiencing is extremely troubling,” said Louisa Edgerly, an adjunct instructor at Seattle University, and one of the speakers at the rally.

“Schoolwork is suffering because of the long hours and multiple jobs students are working to afford college,” she said. “I’m concerned about the potential narrowing of career options due to their debt load upon graduation, and the urgency to take any job so they can make their payments.”
The second event Friday, calling on the King County Council to scrap plans for a $210 million juvenile detention center, starts at 11 a.m. outside the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue. Experts say community-based restorative justice programs have much higher success rates than simply jailing children.

“Young people today need more positive people in our ears reminding us what to do and what not to do. I feel like there should just be more mothering and fathering and mentoring instead of a new youth jail,” said Rashaud Johnson, with EPIC – End the Prison Industrial Complex – one of the organizations participating in the rally.

 

What’s Happening in South Seattle The Weekend of July 11th- July 13th

WeekendEvents this weekend in the South Seattle area

 

Friday, July 11th

Community: VFW Meat Raffle from 4 to 7pm @ Skyway VFW Hall 7421 S. 126th St Seattle, WA 98178. More Info: email persimmon1859@gmail.com

Movies: Opening of Dawn of The Planet of the Apes  showtimes 11:00am, 1:15pm, 1:45pm,  4:45pm, 7:15pm, and 9:45pm @ Ark Lodge Cinemas 4816 Rainier Avenue South Seattle , WA 98118. More Info: http://www.arklodgecinemas.com

Music: D’vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition show starts at 8:30pm @ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com. Cost: Free

 

Saturday, July 12th

Community: Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands Work Party from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm @ 5513 S. Cloverdale St.  Seattle, WA. More Info: http://seattletilth.org/about/rainier-beach-urban-farm-wetlands

Toddlers: Tot Gym ( Gym will be filled with lots of toys, along with a few bounce houses for each and every toddler’s enjoyment) from 10:00am to 1:00pm @Rainier Beach Community Center 4600 38th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 More Info: Carl.Bergquist@seatte.gov

Wellness: Cierra Sisters presents The 2014  Community Wellness Festival, from 9:30am to 2:00pm @ Rainier Community Center 4600 38th Avenue South Seattle, WA 98118 More Info: http://www.cierrasisters.org

Community: Seattle Tilth’s Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. More Info: http://seattletilth.nonprofitsoapbox.com/-community-events/event/389

Music: Jazz Night School Summer Session Performance begins at 7:00pm @ Rainier Valley Cultural Center: 3515 S Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98118. More Info: http://www.rainiervalleyculturalcenter.org

 

Sunday, June 13th

Community: Brunch at the Beachcomber from 10:00am to 12:30pm @ Beachcomber  12623 Renton Ave S Seattle, WA 98178. More Info: (206) 772-5183

Civics: Seattle Gun Violence Prevention Summit from 1:00 – 4:00pm at Bethany United Church of Christ: 6230 Beacon Avenue South Seattle, WA 98108  More Info: email Andrea Carey at andrea@wagunresponsibility.com

Music: Columbia City Beatwalk: Prom Queen/ The Pornadoes,  Performance starts at 7:00 pm @ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 981178. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com. Cost: Free

 

If you have an event to post, please email events@southseattleemerald.com

 

 

Cierra Sisters Presents: The 2014 Wellness Festival

Cierra Sisters’ Wellness Festival & Block Walk is a free health and wellness event serving the South Seattle community. Highlights of the event include: breast cancer screenings – via the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Mobile Mammovan, diabetes screenings, free dental cleanings, educational speakers, and door-to-door information delivery in the community.

Speakers will include Dr. Patricia Dawson from Swedish Medical Center and Drs.Beti Thompson, Scott Ramsey and Kerryn Reding from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The speakers will discuss breast and colon cancers, mammography, the value of cancer care, and the latest research in diet and exercise.

Event Details

Date:    July 12, 2014

Time:   Mobile Mammovan: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Wellness Festival: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location:Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118

For mammogram appointments, please call 206-288-7800. Funding is available from the Breast, Cervical, and Colon Health Program and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to provide exams for women without insurance. Please inquire about a sponsored mammogram when scheduling your appointment.

Cierra Sisters, Inc. is an African-American breast cancer survivor and support organization that offers knowledge and power against the effects of breast cancer to our African-American women and men, members, and survivors affected in our community by various types of cancer and illness. Our community outreach is designed to increase awareness and importance of early detection and treatment for breast and other cancers in order to save the lives of our sisters and community members.

To learn more visit www.cierrasisters.org, or call – 206-505-9194.

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