Tag Archives: Featured

South Park’s Multicultural Latino Market Celebrates Mexican Independence Day Saturday

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The South Park Multicultural Latino Market, a recurring weekend pop-up hosted by the South Park Merchants Association (SPMA), will host a special celebration of Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic American Heritage Month on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the South Park Plaza. Fiestas Patrias will feature DJs spinning salsa, cumbia, merengue, banda, and quebradita sonidero music, and vendors will sell authentic Mexican and Latino foods like tacos, empanadas, elotes, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, as well as clothing, jewelry, and collectibles. The celebration starts at 1 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. or later. RSVP and find out more at the Fiesta Patrias Facebook event page

Mexican Independence Day took place on Sept. 16, but other Central and South American countries celebrate their independence days around the same time, kicking off Hispanic American Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Fiestas Patrias is an inclusive Independence Day celebration for South Park’s diverse Latino community and everyone is welcome. 

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Mexican American Family Restaurant — and Only Gay Bar on Beacon Hill — Making a Comeback

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


Baja Bistro is coming back. For almost 25 years it was North Beacon Hill’s longest-running neighborhood Mexican restaurant — and eventually became its one and only gay bar. But Baja was forced to close last summer during the pandemic. Now they’ve secured a new location: the ground floor of the new Colina Apartments. “The ball is rolling,” said owner Oscar Castro.

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The Morning Update Show — 9/17/21

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 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, Sept. 17

#FeelGoodFriday | County Announces New Vaccine Mandates | City Installs BLM Mural at City Hall | Support Black Business — True Motivation | FAST — Fathers and Sons Together

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New Maritime High School Offers Project-Based Learning for Ninth Graders

by Chamidae Ford


On Sept. 2, Maritime High School opened its doors to its first class of ninth graders. The new project-based-learning high school is located in the Highline school district and is a recent addition to the five other career-focused high schools in the district. 

At Maritime High School, “Student learning will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers working on or near the water,” as stated in the school’s mission

Although the high school is just now opening its doors, it has been in discussion and development for nearly two years, having been slowed down by the pandemic. Maritime High School is a partnership between The Port of Seattle, Northwest Maritime Center, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and Highline Public Schools.

Stephanie Burns, the program director at Maritime High School, mentioned in an interview with the Emerald that the school was a long time coming, given our region’s vibrant maritime community. 

“There’ve been conversations in this region for a long time about the need for a maritime high school. And a couple of years ago, one of the commissioners for the Port of Seattle, Ryan Calkins, started driving the idea of creating a maritime high school,” Burns said. “It would be committed to supporting workforce development for the maritime industry. It would be committed to equity and access to the maritime industry because historically it hasn’t been very representative. Then also really addressing some of our big challenges and problems around climate change and environment and those sort of aspects of our communities.”

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King County Will Require Proof of Vaccination at Outdoor Events, Indoor Restaurants

by Alex Garland


In late August, King County began reaching out to “cities, small businesses, chambers of commerce, labor unions, trade associations, sports teams, venues, community groups, and faith-based leaders throughout the county” to attempt an equitable arrangement on a vaccine verification policy for businesses and residents. 

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Seattle’s Newest Department Aims to Change the City’s Response to Crisis Calls

by Paul Kiefer


(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

The last time the City of Seattle launched a new department — Seattle Information Technology, which brought IT staff from across the city under one roof — the consolidation took years. “In contrast, we had about eight months,” said Chris Lombard, who leads the City’s newest department: the Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC), which began work at the beginning of June.

In some ways, creating the CSCC involved fewer moving parts than the infamously messy set-up of the massive citywide IT department. When plans to move the parking enforcement unit to the CSCC fell through this spring, Lombard was left overseeing a single, crucial service: Seattle’s 911 call center. The center, historically a civilian unit inside the Seattle Police Department, will play a key role in the City’s efforts to shift away from a police-centric approach to public safety, and the City’s decision to house the 911 call center in the new department was one of the first concrete steps in that effort.

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NEWS GLEAMS: Local Sightings Film Festival, New Grants, Jobs at KC Elections, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


A youth volunteer helps hand out free food donated from local restaurants.
A youth volunteer helps hand out free food donated from local restaurants at a summer mutual aid pop-up led by Emerald Youth Organizing Collective (EYOC) and Youth Voices for Justice (YVJ). (Photo: Chloe Collyer)

DEEL’s New Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant Applications Open!

From the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL): “This week, DEEL opened applications for a new Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant that will invest up to $100,000 toward youth-led social justice projects to address hate and bias toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI); Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities. Grants of $500–$8,000 per applicant will be awarded through a non-competitive process.

“The Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant was first announced in March 2021 by Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle City Council in response to increased hate crimes and bias that continue to harm Seattle’s AAPI community. This grant will invest in and amplify the voices of passionate youth leaders in Seattle advocating for anti-racism, anti-discrimination, and positive change.

“DEEL worked closely with the Seattle Youth Commission and other Seattle youth to advise on the application’s design and outreach strategy to ensure the grant is accessible, transparent, and inclusive.

“All Seattle youth ages 12–24 are eligible to apply. Applications are open to individuals, youth-led groups such as school clubs or community-based groups, as well as community-based organizations who can demonstrate that projects will be led by youth. Applicants can choose to submit their application in either a written or video format.”

Deadline to apply is Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and the application timeline, and to apply for this mini-grant, visit DEEL’s Youth-Led Social Justice Mini-Grant webpage.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Local Sightings Film Festival, New Grants, Jobs at KC Elections, & More!

Beacon Hill Restaurants Baja Bistro and CheBogz to Reopen at Colina Apartments

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Family-owned Beacon Hill restaurants Baja Bistro and Kusina Filipina were known for more than just their delicious, authentic recipes. Their customers and neighbors were welcomed like family when they came to dine. That was partly why the loss of both restaurants was so painful. After a change in building ownership led to a rent hike, the Paraiso family closed Kusina in 2017, and Baja shuttered after 25 years in 2020 due to the pandemic. The closures also reflected the decades-long trend of displacement and gentrification in Seattle. With the support of the Beacon Business Alliance (BBA) and a community-minded developer, these two legacy restaurants are planning to reopen in the same neighborhood they were previously forced out of. 

Baja and CheBogz — the latter is owned by Paraiso family sisters Trixia and Paula — are returning to Beacon Hill, splitting a storefront space in the new Colina Apartments

“It’s almost kind of like a fairy-tale story for People of Color,” Trixia said when reflecting on moving the restaurant back to Beacon Hill. “You don’t really get this opportunity to have a landlord say, ‘We want you guys here so that we can keep this community as diverse as it was before.’” 

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The Royal Room Announces Grand Reopening September 15

by Elizabeth Turnbull


After 18 months of closure, the South Hudson Music Project announced the reopening of the live music venue, The Royal Room, this Wednesday, Sept. 15. The reopening signals a reawakening of musical and artistic life in the South Seattle Area.

The Royal Room’s first event “Piano Starts Here” will showcase the work of great pianists, including Duke Ellington, Carla Bley, Cole Porter, Earl Hines, and others, all played by local Seattle-based pianists and improvisers. Local composer and performer Alex Guilbert is the host of the series. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event as they will not be sold in-person.

Events will continue through the weekend. On Thursday, Sept. 16, local jazz vocalist Elnah Jordan will perform. Jordan is an accomplished singer with a singing repertoire including gospel, jazz, blues, and R&B. 

On Friday, Sept. 17, people who want to welcome back live music on the dance floor will get not one but two opportunities to attend “The Royal Room Grand Reopening Dance Party.” Tickets will be available for both an early show at 6:30 p.m. or the late show at 9:30 p.m. Local musicians will be covering classic artists such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Lake Street Dive, Amy Winehouse, and The Staple Singers. 

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