by Lizz Giordano
For more than a decade, light rail trains have whizzed through the Rainier Valley, but the development along the corridor that many expected would follow has lagged behind.
The 2008 recession combined with a negative perception of the South End by developers are both blamed for some of that lethargic growth around the South End stations. Though the pace of development has picked up in recent years, swaths of land still lie vacant near many stations. Meanwhile, frustrations over Sound Transit’s decision to build the line along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South at street level linger because of increased safety concerns.
“The big story with light rail is that some parts of the corridor saw the kind of development that was anticipated and some didn’t, notably Rainier Beach,” said Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales. “The things that were anticipated were delayed substantially, but they are coming.”
Continue reading Light Rail in the Rainier Valley, 10 Years Later
by Lizz Giordano
As Steven Wayne and Emoke Rock crossed the light rail tracks near the Columbia City Station last summer, they were unaware a light rail train was barreling toward them about to hit and kill the couple, according to a recently completed investigation of the July 2 collision.
“At no point does either pedestrian make any movement to get out of the path of the train or acknowledge its presence,” concludes the “Final Accident Report” written by King County Metro Transit. The bus agency is contracted by the light rail agency to operate the trains.
The report is sparking renewed discussions about pedestrian safety along the light rail corridor, a critical conversation for Rainier Valley residents.
Continue reading A Light Rail Train Was Bearing Down on Them — They Had No Idea.
by Lizz Giordano
In 2016, after a successful push to add a station to the light rail system at Graham Street, between the Columbia City and Othello stops, the community in South Seattle quickly developed a neighborhood vision to guide development and prevent displacement. But skyrocketing costs for light rail expansion, which could delay or scale back projects, have suddenly left the future of this neighborhood ambition murky.
“We’ve been going after the station for the last 15 years,” said Abdi Yussuf, an organizer at Puget Sound Sage, a social equity organization. “The community has been waiting a long time.” The station should have been built when the line was constructed more than a decade and a half ago, he added.
Continue reading Graham Street Station Light Rail Unknowns Frustrate Neighborhood
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 — Wednesday, April 14
Derek Chauvin Trial Update | Officer who killed Daunte Wright charged | PCC protests over Board vote | Amazon eyeing Rainier Valley County | Exec calls for Sheriff resignation
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 4/14/21
by Luke Schaefer
Where there once stood a historic Seattle ballpark, land that’s now home to the Rainier Valley Lowe’s hardware store may soon be leveled once again to make way for an Amazon distribution facility.
Despite being re-zoned to accommodate dense, affordable housing and small businesses, concept documents filed with the City this week suggest that the Lowe’s property on Rainier Avenue South could soon host a 68,000 square-foot distribution center and a small ocean of parking spaces. The Pepsi plant north of Lowe’s is also part of the proposed reconstruction and it appears as though a deal with Amazon would involve the use of both properties.
Continue reading Amazon Eyes Site of Rainier Valley Lowe’s for New Distribution Center
by Ari Robin McKenna
This week, the Seattle Public School (SPS) District and the Seattle Education Association (SEA) resumed bargaining about when the return to in-person education for pre-K to first grade — as well as students enrolled in moderate to intensive special education service pathways — will happen and what it will look like. In a pandemic month that also featured a failed coup and the inauguration of our country’s first Black, Asian, and female vice president, SPS has already seen a school board member abruptly resign and the staff of a South End elementary school announce that they will refuse to return to in-person learning until it’s safe for their community to do so. With pressure mounting to reopen SPS as soon as possible and bargaining already strained, there is mounting evidence that suggests white families stand to benefit more and that their communities will face fewer impacts from a return to in-person learning.
In a Facebook message posted on Jan. 7, SPS board representative Eden Mack announced her resignation. Mack, who represents District 4 (which includes the neighborhoods of Magnolia, Queen Anne, and Southern Ballard) mentioned a “dysfunctional culture” and also stated, “The massive gap between the true cost of providing basic education in an urban school district and what the State provides is not imaginary.” Mack then went on to ask the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) of the state of Washington for an “intervention.”
Continue reading As Seattle Public Schools Negotiates Some In-Person Classes Resuming, Equity Questions Loom
by Susan Fried
The Holidays, like everything this year, have been changed by COVID-19, and one of the annual programs affected by that change is Toys for Tots, an organization with over 70 years experience distributing toy donations to the community. Traditionally, Seattle fire fighters partnered with the Marine Corps by collecting donated toys at Seattle fire stations, but due to COVID, this year the Marines and the Seattle Fire Department held two drive-through drop-off events: one on Saturday, December 5 at University Village in North Seattle and one on Saturday, December 12, in the QFC parking lot on Rainier Avenue South.
Carol Slosberg, who lives in South Seattle, said, “when my kids were young we picked gift requests off the tree at U Village. This year I decided to stay closer to home and this toy drive fits that. The need feels especially overwhelming this year.”
Continue reading Toys for Tots Adapts to Increased Need in Pandemic Times
by Emerald Staff
Organizer, promoter, entrepreneur, computer scientist, father, and community gardener — Chukundi Salisbury has amassed several titles since moving to Seattle as a 5-year-old boy in 1975. He’s looking to add at least one more come November: state representative for Washington’s 37th Legislative District.
Continue reading Chukundi Salisbury Wants to Bring a ‘Wealth of Real-World Knowledge and Lived Experience’ to Olympia
by Jack Russillo
A string of fires around South Seattle’s Rainier Valley during the month of August has been determined to be intentionally set, and the causes of some other prominent fires in the same area and time period have been deemed “undetermined” by the Seattle Fire Department.
Continue reading Bradner Gardens Fire Among Dozens of Fires Around Rainier Valley With Undetermined Causes