COVID-19 Cases Surging in King County, With South End Continuing to Be Hardest Hit

by Andrew Engelson


In an online press briefing on Friday, Nov. 20, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle and King County (PHSKC) reported that cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations across the county have spiked in the past two weeks. In response, the County’s top health official made an urgent plea to residents to strictly limit social gatherings in advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

Continue reading COVID-19 Cases Surging in King County, With South End Continuing to Be Hardest Hit

The Morning Update Show — 11/20/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Friday, Nov. 20

Today on the show:

#FeelGoodFriday; Guest Host Bobbie Stills!!; Ayron Jones | LIVE; Shaina Shepherd | LIVE; WA Black Trans Taskforce | LIVE; and Tony B of Rainier Avenue Radio | LIVE.

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 11/20/20

Legendary Children Takes the Virtual Stage, Celebrating Ballroom and QTBIPOC Culture

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


The fifth anniversary of Legendary Children, a celebration of QTBIPOC art, performance, and ballroom culture, takes the virtual stage this Saturday, November 21. Featuring the work of 25 creatives, including six houses, the star-studded event spotlights the creativity and fierceness of queer and trans Black and Brown communities in the Pacific Northwest. Hosted by CarLarans and Aleksa Manila, Legendary Children will include live house music from DJ Riz Rollins and video content from Seattle Public Library (SPL) artist-in-residence Momma Nikki. Last year the event was held at the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with SPL and other community partners. Due to the pandemic, this year the glitz, glamor, and talent will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube with production help from Michael B. Maine. The free event begins at 8 p.m. this Saturday, and those wanting to participate in the virtual runway are encouraged to RSVP for a Zoom link here.  

Multi-disciplinary artist Dakota Camacho and performer and artist Adé are co-curators of the event, with guidance from curator-at-large and icon Dr. Stephaun Wallace (Blahnik). Through the unique opportunities of an online platform, Wallace encouraged Legendary Children to reach beyond the spectacle of ballroom culture to its foundation of QTBIPOC community care. The artistry and resilience of ballroom has sustained queer and trans Black and Brown communities for decades, including during the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, adverse political administrations, and now COVID-19.

SPL’s Public Engagement Programs Manager, Davida Ingram, said, “Stephaun Wallace asked us to consider, ‘What’s the substance of house and ball culture?’ Yes it’s fashion, yes it’s fierceness, yes it’s bold, and at its essence is about radical care and love and nurturing.” 

Continue reading Legendary Children Takes the Virtual Stage, Celebrating Ballroom and QTBIPOC Culture

Newly Elected Legislator David Hackney Hopes to Bring Change to the 11th District

by Chetanya Robinson


David Hackney’s victory over 18-year incumbent Zack Hudgins to serve as a representative in Washington State’s 11th Legislative District was decisive, with Hackney earning 61% of the vote. 

For Hackney and his supporters, it signalled that the 11th District — which encompasses Renton, Tukwila, part of Kent, and a slice of South Seattle that includes SoDo, the Industrial District, Georgetown, and South Park — wanted new leadership. “I think they were ready for change,” said Hackney in an interview with the Emerald. “I think they saw in me the energy of an organizer — someone that was going to be fighting inside and outside of Olympia on critical issues.”

Continue reading Newly Elected Legislator David Hackney Hopes to Bring Change to the 11th District

New Test Site to Open in Highline, As Cases in South King County Skyrocket

by Carolyn Bick


A new, free walk-up COVID-19 testing site will open in South King County’s Highline College, Public Health – Seattle & King County announced in a press release on Nov. 19.

Continue reading New Test Site to Open in Highline, As Cases in South King County Skyrocket

West Seattle Bridge Will Be Repaired

by Tracy Record


(This article originally appeared on the West Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

The suspense is over.

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced this morning that the City will repair the West Seattle Bridge, eight months after she announced its shockingly sudden closure.

While the alternative — replacing its damaged midsection with a shiny new steel span — was appealing, she and SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe acknowledged in a pre-announcement media briefing that covering its cost and achieving a “rapid replacement” timeline seemed out of reach. So, to get West Seattle moving again as soon as possible, she decided that repairing the bridge is the way to go.

Continue reading West Seattle Bridge Will Be Repaired

The Morning Update Show — 11/19/20

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Nov. 19

Today on the show:

COVID-19 Updates; City of Seattle Budget Watch; Sade Smith — Civil Rights Attorney | LIVE; Tomo & Eva — SMASH | LIVE; plus #TBT.

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 11/19/20

Cortona Cafe Will Close at the End of November, to Be Replaced by Melo Cafe

by Jack Russillo


When Isolynn “Ice” Dean, the owner of the Central District’s Cortona Cafe, made the decision to close her coffee shop, she wanted the space to continue to be a hub for the community even after she locks the doors for the final time on November 29.

Continue reading Cortona Cafe Will Close at the End of November, to Be Replaced by Melo Cafe

Shawn Kemp’s 5% Stake in Shawn Kemp Cannabis Highlights How Far Seattle Is from an “Equitable Industry”

by Luna Reyna


Last month cannabis media was enthusiastically reporting about the first Black-owned cannabis dispensary in Seattle, owned by one of Seattle’s heroes: Shawn Kemp, also known as the Reign Man, a six-time NBA All-Star and former Seattle SuperSonics Power Forward. The rub is that at the time of this announcement Kemp had no stake in the company that bears his name. Matt Schoenlein and Ramsey Hamide — two co-founders of Main Street Marijuana — owned the dispensary. A dispensary named Shawn Kemp Cannabis.

Unfortunately for Schoenlein and Hamide, activists and hopeful Black cannabis entrepreneurs who have been shut out of the business quickly called their bluff, revealing that Kemp’s application to join the existing license had not yet been approved and he would ultimately only have a 5% stake in the company. This hardly qualifies as “Black-owned.” “It was a blatant attempt to manipulate the public,” says Aaron Barfield, president of Black Excellence in Cannabis (BEC). A BEC press release called the claim that the dispensary was Black-owned “ethically reprehensible,” considering there are 50 cannabis dispensaries in Seattle and not one of them is Black-owned. But that is not for lack of trying.

Continue reading Shawn Kemp’s 5% Stake in Shawn Kemp Cannabis Highlights How Far Seattle Is from an “Equitable Industry”

“We Admitted 10 Patients in Five Hours”: State, Hospitals Rapidly Approaching Critical Case Counts and Hospitalizations

by Carolyn Bick


The dire warnings the state’s top health officials shared with the public just last week appear to be coming to pass. 

In a Washington State Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 briefing on Nov. 18, DOH Health Officer Kathy Lofy shared several charts that show what Lofy called a “dramatic,” exponential growth rate in cases of COVID-19 and “sharp increase” in hospitalizations in Western Washington. She also said that the effective reproductive number — also known as the R-naught or R0 number, which is the number of people one person will infect — has continued to rise. It now stands at 1.7 in Eastern Washington, and 1.8 in Western Washington.

Continue reading “We Admitted 10 Patients in Five Hours”: State, Hospitals Rapidly Approaching Critical Case Counts and Hospitalizations

Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle

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