Last Sunday, the Seahawks cheerleaders, local activists, and graffiti artists gathered along Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Angeline Street in Columbia City for one purpose — to bring a youth achievement center to that block of South Seattle.
The building proposal for the center consists of a north and south site which will provide permanent and emergency housing and amenities for different age groups, in addition to space for commercial businesses. Both sites are located next to each other along Martin Luther King Jr Way South adjacent to the Columbia City light rail station.
Emoke Rock, 76, and Steven “Skip” Wayne, 66, both involved community members, died July 2 after being struck by a Sound Transit light-rail train near the Columbia City Station.
The couple were crossing the street at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Alaska Street in the Columbia City neighborhood in South Seattle at roughly 6 p.m. They were hit by the train while walking during a “Don’t Walk” signal, according to a Seattle Police Department (SPD) statement. Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad are investigating the incident.
Both Rock and Wayne were recently retired real estate agents — Rock at the Edmonds Windermere office and Wayne at the Seattle-Mount Baker Windermere location. They were known for being community-minded, cheerful, and for their love for each other by many who knew them.
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.
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Legislation that would make it easier for Sound Transit to adopt a fare enforcement system that does not involve the court or criminal justice system is coasting through the state Senate after passing the House on a near-unanimous bipartisan vote.
House Bill 1301, originally sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34, Seattle), gives Sound Transit the authority to create an “alternative fare enforcement system” that could include resolutions other than fines for people who fail to pay their fare. The State Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to move the bill to the Rules Committee, the final step before a floor vote.
Seattle officials are urging residents to prepare for a series of winter storms expected to bring snow and sustained below-freezing temperatures to the region this week, warning that the severe weather could cause power outages, create problems for drivers, and put vulnerable populations at risk.
“We have to check in with our neighbors at times like this, especially our seniors and disabled neighbors,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “And also remember, you have the responsibility to shovel that sidewalk in front of your property.”
Agencies around King County are gearing up for the severe weather — preparing to clear roads and adjust bus routes, for example — but leaders at Wednesday’s press conference acknowledged the ongoing pandemic will complicate some efforts, such as expanding emergency shelter for people without housing.
On Thursday, the Port of Seattle hosted a virtual media briefing to update the community about their efforts in support of a regional public awareness campaign around human trafficking prevention. The event was timely as Human Trafficking Prevention Month is in January, and the campaign has led to higher call volumes to the National Trafficking Hotline from Washington State.
Following years of local advocacy and heightened scrutiny by the movement for Black lives around enforcement practices, Sound Transit has announced a new approach to fare enforcement on public transit: the fare ambassador pilot program. This pivot from a punitive system to a supportive one is long overdue. Sound Transit and other agencies must see this process through and fully divorce its transit fare system from the court system. Failure to pay for a transit ticket — whether due to poverty or misunderstanding — should never place transit riders at risk for devastating legal, financial, or physical harm.
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’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Friday, Oct. 23
Today on the Morning Update Show:
Happy Birthday, Hiram Salisbury!; Sound Transit Transfers Properties; “The Talk” With Mike Davis and Julia Jessie; Rainier Avenue Radio Gets Out the Youth Vote; Zapata Murals on Beacon Hill; and Almost the Weekend.
It wasn’t so long ago — just 2018 — that Seattle could be proud of its status as the only city in the nation where transit ridership was actually going up, and the number of people commuting to the center city by car was going down. COVID-19 didn’t just reverse this trend; it obliterated it. Ridership on King County Metro buses is down about 73%, while ridership on Sound Transit’s light rail line has shrunk an estimated 70%. In an attempt to protect drivers from riders who might be COVID-positive, both agencies eliminated fares, and Metro implemented back-door-only boarding, in March. Both agencies also cut service, which has led to overcrowding on popular routes, such as the Route 7, that serve essential workers getting to and from the center city.
South Seattleites who depend on King County Metro and Sound Transit services to get around may have to adjust their schedules starting on Monday, March 23. The two public transportation systems will be scaling back trips and hours, due to a significant drop in ridership, as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.