by Mark Van Streefkerk
In an effort to increase access to journalism for BIPOC youth in the Duwamish Valley, journalists and community storytellers Bunthay Cheam and Jenna Hanchard are launching the first-ever Duwamish Valley Youth Storytelling Project. The project is in collaboration with the Port Community Action Team and sponsored by the Port of Seattle.
A series of four workshops, the project will help youth shape a story of community interest that will ultimately be featured in South Park Roots, on the Port of Seattle communications website, and on Hanchard and Cheam’s own storytelling platforms, Lola’s Ink and TnouT, respectively.
Continue reading Tell Your Story: Apply to the Duwamish Valley Youth Storytelling Project
by Rayna Mathis
Interloper (n) — a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.—Oxford English Dictionary
Interloper is a network of art exhibitions, community engagement events, and a conversation podcast all centered around rotating themes of controversial topics. Interloper’s current show, “THIS IS(NT) FOR YOU,” which premiered on March 29 in the Ravenna neighborhood, is a pairing of two solo exhibitions, each with an artist making work for their own community — communities alienated in different ways by language, location, and class expectations. By constructing the exhibitions using language and coded signifiers of the communities the work is for, each artist creates dual viewing experiences that immediately confront the viewer with a sense of (not) belonging.
The show asks the following questions: Who controls the narrative? Who is art for? Who is left on the outside looking in?
Continue reading ‘Interloper’ Explores (Not) Belonging With Pop-Up and Online Art Installations
by Paulina López and Troy D. Abel
Recently, legislative debates turned from carbon pricing to the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL) uplifting environmental justice (EJ). This is important legislation, but what we really need are bold solutions and different laws addressing a persistent form of unjust and ongoing pollution. Air toxic exposure disparities and their impacts on communities like the Duwamish Valley are still being ignored by politicians and industry. This inattention continues even as new research suggests that higher air pollution may increase COVID-19 vulnerability and deaths.
Many environmentalists in our region not only overlook decades of toxic air pollution injustice, some even gloss over the problem. In January, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Seattle office announced that industrial toxic releases declined in the Northwest. Pollution dropped 12% in 2019 for 752 facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. They further asserted “that U.S. companies that use and manage chemicals and metals continue to make progress in preventing pollution.”
But we knew that regional averages likely obscured trends in our heavily polluted Duwamish River Valley neighborhoods of Georgetown and South Park — often first documented by our community. EPA analysts lumped air, water, and land pollution together. When viewed separately, air and water pollution went up in the Northwest. Surface-water discharges increased by 1.17 million pounds and air pollution by 610 thousand pounds between 2018 and 2019.
Continue reading OPINION: Clean Air Everywhere, for Everyone in Washington
by Jack Russillo
A bill that could reduce Washington’s most commonly-charged crime is making its way through the state Senate.
The bill would provide relief and opportunity to thousands of residents who have been impacted by the state’s driver’s license suspension policies. “Driving While License Suspended in the Third Degree,” or DWLS3, is the least serious crime for driving with a suspended license. The misdemeanor can be charged in a variety of contexts. The most common occurs when a driver receives a ticket for a moving violation, but does not follow through by paying the ticket or showing up in court to contest it. DWSL3 is the state’s most frequently-charged offense, affecting tens of thousands of residents every year solely for not paying a citation.
Continue reading Bill To Replace ‘Driving While Poor’ Law Moves Through State Senate
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Georgetown’s Jules Maes Saloon reopened under new ownership on January 12, but don’t expect much to change — owner Raché Hemmelgarn loves the historic saloon just as it is. Built in 1888, the watering hole on Airport Way hails from a time when Georgetown was the sixth-largest beer-producing district in the world, well-known for its gambling and vice. Sandwiched between the Duwamish Waterway and the train tracks, Georgetown’s outsider attitude (it was annexed by Seattle in 1910) remains largely intact. According to Hemmelgarn, what’s not to love?
“I’m not surprised by any of it,” Hemmelgarn said about the neighborhood’s infamous history. “I’m super excited to be in Georgetown. You can’t box anybody in here. Everybody’s welcome. You get everything from blue collar to white collar to punk to whatever. You walk in [Jules Maes] and it pretty much looks exactly like it [always] did.”
Continue reading Jules Maes’ New Owner Preserves Legacy of One of Seattle’s Oldest Bars
by Mark Van Streefkerk
The Georgetown Liquor Company (GLC) is one of a few long-standing pillars of Seattle’s meat-free eateries, so when the GLC announced its closing in September, the city’s plant-based community collectively lamented another loss — but not for long. Alan Threewit, co-owner of Capitol Hill’s vegan metal bar Highline, took over. He renovated the interior and debuted an all-vegan menu and selection of craft cocktails, officially relaunched on December 4 for takeout only.
Continue reading Co-owner of Vegan Metal Bar Resurrects Georgetown Liquor Company
by Bunthay Cheam
On March 23, the City of Seattle closed the West Seattle Bridge due to rapidly expanding cracks that rendered it unsafe for vehicle traffic.
The bridge will be closed until at least 2021 and may not be repairable according to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director Sam Zimbabwe. SDOT is still working to assess the full cost and timeline of needed repairs.
The city-owned bridge is vital to people living on the West Seattle peninsula, serving as the main route of access to the rest of the city, serving about 100,000 vehicles per day.
The main detour routes offered by the city take drivers through the Duwamish Valley, and through the communities of Georgetown, South Park and along West Marginal Way.
Continue reading West Seattle Bridge Closure Exposes Inequities in Duwamish Valley Communities
by Alexa Peters
In South Seattle, those who are uninsured, face housing instability, or are undocumented immigrants have few places to turn other than sliding-scale neighborhood clinics like Neighborcare. With South End locations in Columbia City, Rainier Beach, and Georgetown, Neighborcare typically provides vital medical, dental and behavioral care to South King County residents as well as those who have been pushed out by gentrification and come to the clinic from as far away as Kent and Tukwila. Continue reading South Seattle Neighborcare Response to COVID-19 Exposes Health Care Inequities
How will communities of color be served?
by Carolyn Bick/InvestigateWest
Giving the small, lithe trunk of a baby conifer a gentle shake, Georgetown resident Andrew Schiffer looks up and says in a concerned tone, “See? These aren’t getting water.”
Continue reading Will Seattle Finally Protect South End Trees? A Leafy Promise Left Unfulfilled
“Here, smell this,” Tom Fasnacht said, holding up a bright chartreuse mineral up to Susan Murphey’s nose.
“Ugh!” Murphey exclaimed, as she jerked away.
“It’s sulfur,” Fasnacht said, and they both chuckled, as he put the fragrant mineral back into its box at the mineral stall.
Fortunately for Murphey and the thousands of other people who filtered through the 14th annual Georgetown Carnival, the smells that wafted along Airport Way South on the afternoon of June 8 were that of decidedly more appetizing festival food. People feasted on spiraled, fried potatoes on sticks, savory sushi burritos, and smoked meats, washing it all down with lemonade, homemade horchata, and beer. Artists’ stalls dotted the side streets, the vendors selling everything from bone jewelry to minerals to woven art.
Continue reading PHOTOS: The Sights and Smells of the Georgetown Carnival