Two years since it closed its Pioneer Square storefront restaurant, Boomtown Café is gone for good.
After a series of financial disappointments, treasurer David Hill says the board concluded that “This was a business model that’s not sustainable in Seattle at this time.”
“It was as simple as not being able to realize our fundraising goals,” says board vice-president Laura St. Germain.
The decision wasn’t unanimous; St. Germain and a few other boardmembers plan to search for other non-profits who can carry out the mission Boomtown upheld since its creation in 1996: provide affordable meals with dignity to the city’s low-income and homeless people.
Journalist Michael Hood, a longtime boardmember who left in 2004, says of Boomtown’s demise that “The idea was terrific, and everyone loved it, and nobody had the management skills to set it into stone.”
Capehart: done deal
Add another 66 homes to the ash heap.
The Seattle City Council voted Monday to tear down Navy housing in Discovery Park, replacing it with open space, and adding the number 66 to the estimated 4,000 units lost to demolition or condo conversion since 2005. Housing advocates’ last-minute campaign to preserve those duplex homes, which included testimony before two council meetings, fell short.
In a sop to Capehart’s defenders, the council promised to put replacement housing at the nearest available surplus property. Located on the east side of the park, the former grounds of the Army Reserve is “a better site,” said councilmember Tom Rasmussen. Capehart, he said, is “probably the most isolated neighborhood in the city.”
“People trying to get back on their feet need to be close to jobs, to services, to transit,” he continued. “We can’t just move homeless people into housing in the middle of a very large park and expect it to work.”
Foster care: in court
Back to the courthouse goes the State of Washington, defending its track record in meeting the legal requirements of settlement that mandated more stability and better service for the state’s foster children.
Advocates for children hoping to enforce the Braam settlement have employed a new survey by the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University of foster families’ experiences with the Department of Social and Health Services.
The survey shows that, while the state was required to send social workers to meet monthly one-on-one with 70 percent of its foster kids one year ago, only 30 percent report getting such meetings. Meanwhile,17 percent reported their social workers never showed up once.
The WSU survey, thought to be the most comprehensive inquiry of foster families in the country, will be issued annually.