After almost seven months of in-person closure, Cafe Red in Othello reopened its doors for service in April. The return of the beloved neighborhood café comes with a new all-vegan menu, plenty of goods from local companies, and a renewed commitment to community.
On a recent tour of the new Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) in Othello, artist Ari Glass came to see his own colorful work inside.
Along with creating a multistory mural for the clinic, Glass is also a father whose 4-year-old son is a patient at the existing clinic on Yesler. The new site operated by Seattle Children’s will open gradually over several weeks, with the first patients arriving on March 7.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
Excessive Heat Warning for Seattle Through Saturday
From Alert Seattle: “The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Seattle due to forecasted high temperatures above 90 degrees. The warming trend will begin Wednesday and continue through Saturday. Cooling centers will be available across the city, and outreach teams are on the ground working with our most vulnerable residents to prevent heat illness in these extreme conditions. You can find a map of locations here.”
Last Sunday, organizers from the Black Action Coalition and Morning March Seattle celebrated their successful “Black Joy Festival,” an event they had planned to conclude Black History Month. The event began at noon and lasted until 5 p.m. at Othello Park and created vendor opportunities for local Black-owned businesses to showcase their products to the South Seattle community. Black culture was also an emphasis of the event, which featured music and performances from local artists and poets.
The last time Michelle Timson visited the Othello Safeway was when the novel coronavirus pandemic first broke out.
“I won’t go to the Othello Safeway. It’s way too crowded. There’s no social distancing at all being enforced from what I have seen from the one time that I went,” Timson said.
But the lack of social distancing was just the rotting cherry on top of a fermenting sundae for Timson. Like many of her fellow Othellians, the South Seattle resident had had enough of the store, which many in the neighborhood have complained about for years, citing everything from rotting produce, expired packaged food and rat sightings to an overworked, understaffed employee base and an unsafe parking lot. Because of this, Timson and more than 1,500 others have signed a petition started by local activist and 37th District legislative candidate Chukundi Salisbury calling for better store conditions.
The Rainier Valley Community Development Fund will no longer be a partial owner in HomeSight’s Othello Square Project.
Though the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (RVCDF) originally signed a letter of interest with HomeSight to become a partial owner of Building A in the mixed-use development, when it came to the capital call, RVCDF Board President Doug Cargill said that they “couldn’t square the circle,” and had to prioritize the nonprofit lending firm’s capacity to continue serving clients.
Ilyas Abdis jumped up and down excitedly, as he waited in line for hot, fresh popcorn.
“Popcorn! Popcorn!” he exclaimed, pointing at the stall.
Beside him, his younger brother Idrees gazed hungrily at the puffy, yellow clouds falling from the popping pot inside the machine. The pair were two of thousands of children who, along with their families, trooped through Othello Park on Aug. 11 for the annual Othello Park International Festival.
Nickelsville’s Scott Morrow has spent his days in the kitchen tent of the tiny house village on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Othello Street. At night, he sleeps on a table in a nearby canopy tent known as “Fisher-Price Suite,” where residents store toys for children living there.
Lefty-leaning magazines like Dissent layer table tops, while amateur surrealist paintings adorn the walls, and acid jazz hums through the air. Mix in the comfy sofa with the nostril-tickling aroma from java beans, and the site could be most any South Seattle living room.