Real Change Blog
Earlier today, while Real Change Vendor, Robert Surles, stood selling papers at his usual spot on 1st Ave and East Yesler Way, he noticed something very, very wrong.
What exactly was so wrong on a calm, Monday morning in Pioneer Square?
Well, it happened to be an 18
A homeless couple prevented a robbery from succeeding last week in Georgetown on the corner of Airport Way South and South Lucile Street.
The couple noticed a man dragging two 3’ x 6’ tin sheets, the kind usually used for roofing, from a metal scrap yard. The husband, who is a part-time employee of the scrap yard, approached the suspect and told him to return the sheets to the metal yard.
This bold and courageous move was met with hostility as the suspect’s temper rose, screaming, “This is my shit!” He then dropped the contents in his hands and began throwing large rocks at the couple. These rocks had been placed nearby by the railroad company for railroad track stability. The police report notes that, “The suspect had an infinite number of these rocks available and he was throwing them at the victims wildly.”
The woman received a compound fracture from the rock throwing. The SPD report indicates that her “right arm appeared to be broken at the forearm and it was bleeding from where a portion of the bone appeared to be protruding from the skin.” Her husband sustained some head wounds as well. He indicated to the police that in the tumult he had begun throwing rocks back in defense.
Once the rock throwing ceased the suspect yelled at the wife, threatening to take her life the next time that he sees her, and then fled on foot without the two tin sheets. Police were unable to find the suspect and Seattle Fire Department treated the couple.
While the names of this couple have not been released let’s congratulate them on stopping a robbery-in-progress. How many of us would have the courage and awareness to stop something like this ourselves?
Thanks to Paul Holmes from the Stranger’s Slog for originally reporting this. Article found here.
- Andrew Shahamiri, Vendor Services Intern
This week is Real Change’s First Annual Vendor Appreciation Week. Our vendors make up a group of 350+ individuals who have spent their lives in a series of odd jobs and careers, ranging everywhere from construction and carpentry to Alaskan fishing boats to military service. Most of them have faced homelessness at some point in their lives; many of them continue to work against these odds. They have now all come together as a part of the Real Change community, and each have become important parts of our individual communities throughout the Greater Seattle Area. This week is the time to show our appreciation to them for all of their hard work!
The issue hitting the streets today is a Vendor Appreciation Special Edition. Pick it up to learn more about our vendors and the work they do. And ask your favorite vendor about another special treat today- an “I Love my Vendor” sticker, for customers like you to wear to show your support! Other appreciation activities this week include buying a coffee and saying thanks to your vendor tomorrow (Thursday 8/4), and writing a small note of gratitude to pass onto your vendor on Friday (8/5).
Thank you for your support and kindness to our Real Change vendors, and I hope that this week you will join us in thanking them!
- Adrienne Brown
Vendor Services Intern
This story was emailed to us by new reader Alicia Winski
, a writer living in West Seattle. Thanks for taking the time to share your Real Change story Alicia. And thanks to Kathy for being such a great vendor.Alicia In Wonderland aka Reality Check
Like so many others these days, I’ve been living dime to dime, hoarding what little I have and trying to make it stretch. So it was a good day, indeed, when I found myself with a few dollars to spend at the market. Checking prices and weighing brand names, I combed the aisles for good bargains, then smugly sashayed out of the store, bags in hand, change, and three cans of the favorite tea I splurged on.
Like many Seattle residents, I use public transportation; gas is pricey and parking ridiculous, so I headed out to the corner to catch my ride. Nearing my bus stop, I had to walk around what I assumed to be the obligatory homeless person, complete with sign and hopeful look that seems to be the “norm” these days. Avoiding her eye, I mouthed, “no change” and proceeded to settle down onto the stop. Eagerly pulling a precious can of tea out of my bag, I glanced at the woman and suddenly realized that the sign I thought she held, was in fact, a small paper that she appeared to be selling. Again, making assumptions, I guessed she had probably emptied the newspaper rack out and was trying to resell them for unsavory reasons. But still, it WAS a hot day
This post was written by RC vendor Reggie Thompson, a writer for the Poor News Network. Reggie is Vendor of the Week in this week’s paper. You can read more of Reggie’s writing on the INSP Vendor-Powered Blog.
Ha, Ha, Ha! Rumors, Rumors, Rumors on television, internet; spilling over like the Niagara Falls. May 21, 2011, the apocalypse, the end of the world. Where did all that false information come from? It’s the middle of June, I’m still selling Real Change paper because people want and need trust-worthy news. So come on people, break out the barbecue grill and put on some hamburgers hot dogs or maybe a big juicy steak or Alaskan salmon. What is life without ice-cold lemonade?!
Life is real, no time for false information, that’s why I sell Real Change paper. I encourage all of the people to read the whole paper because it give them the whole picture of what is really going on and also what is about to go on if we stay silent.
Maybe it’s not the end of the world for false information media. But as street vendors we keep it real with real information, we got a lot of work to do. We got to give the people what they need, real information, hot off the press. Just like we did last summer!!!!
For almost a year, Real Change vendors have had the opportunity to contribute to a blog set up by the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) here at the Real Change office. Real Change is endeavoring to get more vendor voices heard through social media. This blog post was written by a Real Change vendor, Cat Condeff, along with other participants of the Community Journalism class taught by members of the Poor News Network.
The Real Truth: John T. Williams
By Cat Condeff, E Duplessis, Pesha and Lola Bean
Two days before he passed away he gave me a couple DOLLARS, HE SAID “I BELIEVE IN HELPIN FOLKS OUT.” Yes those were the last words he spoke to me. He handed me two dollars the last time I saw him.
PNN correspondent, street and museum artist, loyal street vendor and friend of John T. remembers John T. Williams as he was, transforming ordinary to extraordinary. He was a creator, red sun in the Montana sky, moon rising up from the eastern horizon, the sound of crashing water, brought things to life that appeared dead, resurrection, sound of justice/a cloud of rain. He still rains down on us today and that’s how we know he’s still here/an eagle of art and justice. He carved the silence away from wood to set free stories. His knife brought beautiful things into the world.
To see more posts by Real Change vendors on the INSP Vendor-Powered Blog, click here.
It is amazing how you can live in a city your whole life yet still discover places you never knew existed. Last night was such a night for me as I made the rounds through Noise for the Needy (NFTN) locations to drop off Real Change swag and information. First stop: The Bus Stop, a small bar on Olive Way where DJ Toast would later that night spin at the NFTN Preview Party. Next Stop: the Christmas tree light bedazzled Crescent just down Olive Way from the Bus Stop. I have lived in Seattle since I was a small child but never knew about this little spot, which boasts 7 night a week Karaoke. There I found hundreds of cupcakes and jello shot waiting to be sold at Karaoke for the Needy, a new event for NFTN this year. Last night, all proceeds from PBR, cupcake and jello shot sales went to NFTN and of course, all proceeds from this year’s NFTN benefit your own Real Change. I spent my time mostly up at the Bus Stop chatting with Noise for the Needy volunteers and I had to get home somewhat early on a school night. Which is really too bad, since I apparently missed the best of the karaoke, including NFTN Artistic Director Jeff Henry.
With such a full sound emanating from such a small crew, it’s no wonder the Austin trio Girl In A Coma comes with the stamp of approval from punk legend Joan Jett. The band signed on with Jett’s Blackheart Records in 2006.
Since then, they’ve played shows with an eccentric range of musicians, from experimental underground acts like Xiu Xiu to big-name alt-rock pioneers like Frank Black and Morrissey—who’s The Smiths track “Girlfriend In A Coma” inspired this Austin band’s name.
See them at the kick-off show of Noise for the Needy Tuesday at Neumos at 925 E. Pike Street. And expect a dynamic range of sounds and influences, from driving Jett-inspired punk anthems to gentler ballads. You can buy tickets here. Proceeds of the entire NFTN festival go to benefit Real Change.
In just a day, Noise for the Needy (NFTN) starts a 6 day music festival with all of the proceeds this year coming to the work of Real Change. The NFTN ad that is in this and last week’s issue will get you $2 off the ticket price for the 2 shows at the Underground Events Center:
Friday, June 10: Soft Metals, Ononos, The Tempers, Sports, Spurm, USF, Fly Moon Royalty, DJ’s Gin & Tonic, DJ Up Above, and DJ Floyd Beastie
Saturday, June 11: Akimbo, Wildildlife, black Queen, Princess, Vultures 2012, Smooth Sailing, Whiskey Tango, What What Now, DJ Blazon Stone and DJ Nik C
For the full list of events check out the calendar of all 21 shows here.
Real Change would like to thank everyone at Noise for the Needy, which is an all volunteer endeavor, for setting this up and picking Real Change as this year’s beneficiary.
Stay tuned to this blog, as all this week guest blogger Aaron Burkhalter, will be blogging about the various bands playing for NFTN.
The Seattle Housing Authority’s board of commissioners voted last night to approve a $300 million plan to reinvent the old Yesler Terrace housing project as a mixed-income, high-rise community of up to 5,000 units.
The final plan, however, adds 100 more very low-income units than SHA previously identified.
The housing authority had already said it would replace all 561 of the public-housing units that stand on the 30-acre First Hill site today. But SHA Commissioner Kollin Min, who works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, asked SHA staff for more. All 661 units will all serve renters in the income bracket that Yesler Terrace serves today—those at or below 30 percent of area median income, or $25,700 for a family of four in Seattle.
SHA won’t build the extra 100 units itself. Instead, the agency expects nonprofit housing developers to. SHA spokesperson Virginia Felton said the housing authority will sell them the land at a discount and provide 100 rental vouchers to help support operating the additional units. (HUD pays two-thirds of a voucher recipient’s rent.) Look for more details on the possible downside of that in the next issue of Real Change.
The 100 extra units are a nice gesture, Yesler Terrace Community Council member Kristin O’Donnell said. But the commingling of classes that was supposed to benefit the poor at SHA’s other mixed-income redevelopments—Holly Park, High Point and Rainier Vista—hasn’t happened, she said.
In the meantime, O’Donnell told the commissioners during public testimony, the residents of Yesler Terrace want to see SHA put a solid plan in place for building the replacement units before it moves residents out and tears down their beloved community.
“It’s kind of special to be six blocks from downtown and have a backyard,” said O’Donnell, a Yesler Terrace tenant for 38 years. “We are a neighborhood, we are a family, and we are going to miss it.”
newer posts older posts