Tag Archives: Ben Adlin

Mural of MLK Vandalized Over MLK Weekend to Be Restored by Original Artist

by Ben Adlin


A Central District mural of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was crudely defaced over MLK Day weekend is expected to be restored in coming weeks with the help of the community, the mural’s original artist said on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The iconic mural of Martin Luther King Jr. was first put up in 1995 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr Way and East Cherry Street, on the exterior wall of the building that’s now home to Fat’s Chicken and Waffles. The artwork has since become a landmark and source of inspiration to many in the historical heart of Seattle’s Black community.

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New State Laws for 2022 Expand Voting Rights, Create Capital Gains Tax, and More

by Ben Adlin


Expanded voting rights, limits on disposable plastic utensils, and increased access to attorneys for young people questioned by police were among the changes to state law that took effect with the new year. While most laws passed during the last legislative session took effect in July, a number of notable changes didn’t take place until 2022.

Other newly effective laws include a ban on the use of Indigenous names and symbols for most school mascots or logos, the establishment of a new capital gains tax, and planned increases to the minimum wage both in Washington and the City of Seattle.

Here are some of the biggest new changes to Washington State law:

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After a Disaster, South Seattle Will Be on Its Own — Emergency Hubs Are Here to Help

by Ben Adlin


After working for more than 30 years for Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods, Ron Angeles understood the importance of community ties. But he worked in West Seattle while living in Rainier Beach, and after retiring, he wanted to get to know his neighbors. 

The first thing that came to mind was the Seattle Police Department’s Block Watch program, under which residents are supposed to alert law enforcement to suspicious activity. “I wanted to do something a little bit more positive,” Angeles said. “Block Watch — you know, crime — it’s kind of negative.”

So he got in touch with Cindi Barker, a West Seattle–based emergency preparedness organizer he knew from his old job, and launched an emergency communications hub instead.

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Rainier Avenue Radio to Host Holiday Bazaar at Columbia City Theater

by Ben Adlin


Rainier Avenue Radio will host a family-friendly holiday party and bazaar this Saturday, Dec. 11, at the historic Columbia City Theater.

The station’s first annual holiday bazaar will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the theater, at 4916 Rainier Ave. S., between South Ferdinand and South Hudson streets, and will feature handcrafted art and other creations from a dozen local vendors. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Tony Benton — known widely as “Tony B.” after more than two decades on the air locally, including on KUBE 93.3 and Sports Radio 950 KJR — says the event is meant to showcase the creativity of local makers and give artists an economic boost during the holiday season.

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State Supreme Court Returns Redistricting Issue Back to Legislators

by Ben Adlin


The Washington Supreme Court decided Friday, Dec. 3, that district maps approved last month by the Washington State Redistricting Commission can proceed to lawmakers for review despite the commission missing a key deadline by 13 minutes.

The court, which by law is supposed to adopt its own redistricting plan in cases where the redistricting commission misses its deadline, punted the redistricting issue back to the commission. In an order signed by all nine justices, the court said that “the primary purpose of achieving a timely redistricting plan would be impeded, not advanced, by rejecting the Commission’s completed work.”

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Mount Baker Community To Meet With Officials Over Latest Fatal Shooting

by Ben Adlin


Following a deadly shooting last week next to the Mount Baker light rail station, a group of South End residents are set to meet privately with City and County officials on Wednesday, Dec. 1, to discuss how to prevent future violence in the area.

Residents say they’re frustrated with the lack of progress by Seattle, King County, and Sound Transit officials to address their safety concerns. The director of a nearby preschool, for example, said the situation has gotten so bad that she’s hoping to install ballistic fencing around the school’s playground.

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Shape Our Water: Pah-tu Pitt

by Ben Adlin

Shape Our Water is a community-centered project from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and KVRU 105.7 FM, a hyperlocal low-power FM station in South Seattle, to plan the next 50 years of Seattle’s drainage and wastewater systems. Funded by SPU, the project spotlights members of local community-based organizations and asks them to share how water shapes their lives. Our latest conversation is with Pah-tu Pitt, a small-business owner of Native Kut, course instructor at the University of Washington, and member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.


When smoke from wildfires turned skies in the Pacific Northwest an otherworldly orange last summer, many of the region’s longest residents knew that more than climate change was to blame. Pah-tu Pitt, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, recognized that the fires also symbolized a rejection of Indigenous wisdom of how to care for the land.

“We really saw, on a large scale, what removing traditional fire practices from landscapes can lead to,” Pitt told the Shape Our Water project. Prevailing forest management practices [particularly in dry landscapes] relied on the idea that minor fires should be extinguished before they could spread and grow, while Pitt’s tribe had long understood that the smaller fires actually cleared underbrush — reducing the likelihood of larger blazes.

“My tribe has been a leader in using fires to reduce fuels within the system, to make it so fires tend to not be so catastrophic,” Pitt explained. Pitt, who currently lives in Seattle, expressed a sense of disconnect when she reflected on the many ways tribal lands benefit from traditional fire practices and how devastating wildfires have now become to their ecology and regional air quality.

The observation underscored Pitt’s belief in the need for Western institutions to better respect and incorporate the knowledge embodied in traditional place-based practices. As an educator and small business owner who has a background in environmental science, she now works to amplify the voices and perspectives of underrepresented groups. 

“Just because you don’t see yourself reflected in the field doesn’t mean that your people didn’t do science,” she said. “White supremacy just plays such a large role in excluding and dismissing our ideas. I don’t think that there are sustainable futures without us being able to reclaim those spaces.”

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State Supreme Court to Draw Redistricting Lines After Commission Misses Deadline

by Ben Adlin


Washington’s redistricting process has entered uncharted territory following a State commission’s failure to approve an updated plan before its final deadline on Monday, Nov. 15. The task of deciding political boundaries for the next decade now falls to the State Supreme Court.

It’s the first time ever under the State’s redistricting process that the role will be played by justices, who have until April 30 of next year to adopt a new plan. Normally, the boundaries are set by the Legislature.

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Seattle’s Divide on Public Safety Is Fueling a Fight Over Next Year’s Police Budget

by Ben Adlin


After an election that largely snubbed progressive candidates, advocates calling for cuts to police budgets are working to convince Seattle leaders to follow through with promises to reform law enforcement and fund alternatives to dealing with the city’s problems.

A revised budget proposal out of the Seattle City Council this week would make about $10.8 million in cuts to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed 2022 funding increases to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Projected revenue for Seattle’s general fund has fallen by about $15 million since Durkan released her proposed $7.1 billion City budget in September.

Durkan has said the investment in police is needed to address higher-than-normal officer departures in recent years and ensure fast response times to emergencies. But councilmembers and community advocates have challenged that idea, arguing that investments in services such as housing and education do more to improve public safety and improve the resiliency of vulnerable communities.

A rebalanced budget package introduced last Tuesday, Nov. 9, by City Council Select Budget Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda would reduce Durkan’s proposed $365.4 million police budget to $354.6 million. Overall, Mosqueda’s budget would amount to an $8.3 million (2.3%) cut to SPD funding compared to this year’s budget, while Durkan’s plan would expand police spending by $2.5 million (0.7%).

Meanwhile, the Seattle Solidarity Budget coalition, which represents a number of local groups focused on improving public services and investing in Seattle’s BIPOC communities, is calling for an additional $29 million to be cut from next year’s police budget. The group sees the final weeks of the budget process as a chance to cement popular calls for police reform that took center stage during widespread community protests last year, following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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White Center Community Frustrated by Delayed Response to Fires

by Ben Adlin


White Center community leaders and small-business owners say they’re disappointed with King County officials’ response to a string of fires, break-ins, and vandalism that in recent months has devastated the area’s commercial hub

They describe the situation as yet another example of how unincorporated parts of the county lack sufficient services and government support. But County officials say they’re responding to White Center fires and have made progress addressing the community’s concerns.

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