Alert and engaged, I sat in the second row at the Othello-UW Commons, on the evening of Thursday, April 13, with ears sharp and eyes focused on one of the most popular athletes and coaches in the state of Washington. Will Conroy, the associate head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Washington — or as we know it, UDub — allowed us to explore his life and spoke about his thoughts on “The Future of the Student-Athlete.”This was one of the many topics presented by University of Washington’s“Louder Than Words 2023,”a series of monthly conversations that cover the influences that divide our communities, with a focus on finding what unites us and building a better tomorrow.
Children at the Tiny Tots Development Center preschool in South Seattle’s Othello neighborhood have some new ways of learning after the center created a “nature” playground designed to stretch their imaginations. The center was dedicated Sept. 8.
This Sunday, Aug. 14, the Othello Park International Festival is back after a two-year pandemic-related break. For 14 years, this event has offered community members the chance to share their stories and cultures, coming together to celebrate the neighborhood. The festival features food, games, vendors, and yet-to-be-announced performers in a family-friendly atmosphere. The free event will be at Othello Park and Playground, one block east of the Othello light rail station, at 4351 S. Othello Street from noon until 6 p.m.
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.