Death Penalty, Israel And Golf: Live From Columbia City, It's Week In Review!
Is it time for Washington state to abolish the death penalty? Should Seattle Mayor Ed Murray think twice about a trip to Israel? Is Southeast Seattle the next Ballard? And what is up with Republicans and golf?
Bill Radke debates these stories and more of the week's news with Crosscut's Knute Berger, state Sen. Pramila Jayapal and former Washington state GOP chair Chris Vance.
This show was broadcast in front of a live audience at the Columbia City Theater as part of Week In Review's summer tour.
We also asked audience members to tell us why they love Columbia City. Here's what they told us:
“We bought our house in 1990. It was under construction and there were still occasional gunshots in the park across the street. It's changed drastically in the last 25 years.
“It's been subtle, the gentrification process. There's been a lot of growth ....
“I don't know anybody who could afford their house now. We joke about it. It's likely slipped in under the tent flap there, and here we are downtown Columbia City. We couldn't buy that same house now.
“You go to Lowe's hardware and stand in line and there’s a sticker on the cash register or language assistance available in 140 languages. I didn't know there were 100! In the north end, everybody’s dressed like ordinary people. You come down here and it’s like a UN fair, you know. There are sarongs, Ethiopians, Indians and South Islanders – and you know, the occasional white people here and there.
“They're going to have to drag me out. I go to other parts of the city and I haven't seen another part of the city where I would actually rather live.”
"I think (Columbia City) is one of the most beautiful areas. My favorite thing about it (is) that it is culturally mixed. It feels like a small town.
"When you're here, you don't feel like you're in Seattle necessarily, but you're 10 minutes away from central Seattle. Ballard is of course the other end of the universe from here. But the light rail makes getting in and out of Columbia City really easy and convenient.
"The cost of living is going up and I'm noticing the impact on small businesses. It's been tough. Some building owners are pushing their rents up, and I understand why, but it's hurting some of the smaller businesses.
"The other thing is that we have a safety issue. On Rainier Avenue, there have been many serious accidents in the last two years. About once every five or six months there's a very, very serious accident. Our business community is working hard to figuring out solutions for that. If that means people slowing down or just more police presence, I'm not sure. It makes no sense that there should be that many accidents."
"One thing that I noticed now is it's so nice to see so many families late at night strolling with their children in strollers. I remember probably when I first started coming here over eight years ago, you didn't see as many people at night. And now it's very lively. There's a lot of community spirit here.
"Tutta Bella (a pizza restaurant) had some visitors from Naples, Italy. When they walked around Columbia City, they said, ‘Oh, this is how I imagined a true American city -- the buildings, the people.’ They also compared it to the warmth of their own city. And I thought that was the ultimate compliment."
Tammy Morales (candidate for City Council in District 2)
"I do think that the South End is affected more acutely by policy decisions.
"I'm excited about seeing how we balance really local neighborhood issues with making sure that we're moving the city in a progressive way, that we're addressing the income inequality in the city in a progressive way -- especially for the south and making sure that we're doing all we can to stem the displacement that's happening. And making sure that folks are able to stay in the city."
"Transportation is the biggest issue for me because I work for Metro.
"But also for me, bicycle infrastructure is a big thing, especially here. MLK and Rainier Ave are extremely bike unfriendly. You've got to find different ways to get around it or take your life in the hands of the road or take your life in the hands of hitting a pedestrian in the sidewalk.
"In December I started seriously looking to buy a house. Of course the East Lake was completely out of my price range, and so I basically just kind of started looking at neighborhoods that were within a six-mile radius from the Central Metro Base."