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I’ve added my Nirvana artwork to my online shop! You can...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 5:53am in

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Seattle

I’ve added my Nirvana artwork to my online shop! You can find these and more here:

https://wardsutton.threadless.com/designs/in-bloom

This Seattle Affordable Housing Project Is a Transit Rider’s Dream

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 6:00pm in

When Mary found out she’d be living in the newly built Station House apartments, right in the heart of Seattle’s booming Capitol Hill neighborhood and directly atop a light rail station, she felt like she’d won the lottery. 

Mary, who asked to be identified by only her first name, has lived in Seattle for 40 years, the last few in Capitol Hill in an older apartment with leaky pipes that had flooded her home on several occasions. In late 2019, her building manager told her the rent would increase by $400 a month, something Mary absolutely couldn’t afford as a ticket concierge at the Seattle Symphony.

“I was worried about finding somewhere I wanted to live,” she says. “I was looking into housing in areas adjacent to Seattle, like across the water in Bremerton. But with that you’re adding the time and cost of commuting and losing the convenience. Luckily, I didn’t have to make that choice.” 

At Station House, Mary has traded a leaky roof for a rooftop garden plot with a view of Mount Rainier. The weekly farmers market is held at a plaza right next to the building. She’s a half-block from a huge park and within easy walking distance to all the shops, grocery stores and bars one could need. To get to work she walks 50 feet from the front door to the Capitol Hill Station, takes the train two stops to symphony hall, and walks upstairs to work. If she has what she calls “good train karma,” her commute takes all of six minutes. 

station house seattleStation House has become a model that Sound Transit plans to replicate, using other surplus land near future stations to build more affordable housing. Photo courtesy Community Roots Housing

It’s the kind of apartment that Seattleites pay through the nose for. But the 110-unit Station House isn’t expensive. It was built as affordable housing on land previously owned by Sound Transit, the regional transit agency that runs the area’s light rail system. That land was left over from when Sound Transit built the Capitol Hill station in 2016 — as is often the case with transit construction projects, once the station was completed, the agency was left with surrounding land it no longer needed. 

Sound Transit leased 75 percent of that land for market rate apartments and sold the remaining 25 percent to an affordable housing developer called Community Roots Housing — at a deep discount. Rents at the complex are subsidized to be affordable for people earning 30 to 60 percent of the region’s median income, or $27,800 to $55,500 a year for a two-person household. At Station House, a one-bedroom is $1,267 a month. In the market-rate building next door, one-bedrooms go for between $2,700 and $3,300 a month. 

Now that it’s complete, Station House has become a model that Sound Transit plans to replicate. In fact, it’s required to — shortly before Station House broke ground in 2018, the Washington State Legislature mandated that the agency repurpose the majority of its unused land for housing, and that the majority of that housing have subsidized, below-market rents. It’s a policy that ensures new transit projects will benefit low-income renters rather than pricing them out of the neighborhood.

seattle station houseThe rooftop common area at Station House. Photo courtesy Community Roots Housing

“A world-class public transit system is useless to you if you can’t afford to live near it,” says Katie Wilson, general secretary of the Seattle Transit Riders Union, an activist group fighting for better transit for poor and working people. “In Seattle, low-wage workers and communities of color are pushed out to suburbs where bus service is often unreliable and infrequent. They’re forced to absorb the costs of car ownership, or they have to spend hours commuting to work by transit. That’s why we need transit agencies like Sound Transit to do everything in their power to site affordable housing near transit hubs.”

Transit is for everyone

The mandate for Sound Transit to use the bulk of its surplus land for affordable housing came amid a growing affordability crisis for Seattle and the surrounding region brought on by booming population growth.

“One of the fundamental human rights is to have a home, for God’s sake,” says State Representative Frank Chopp, whose district represents northeast Seattle. “We need transit-oriented development that doesn’t contribute to displacement of poor people. It’s already happened too much in Seattle.” 

Chopp played a key role in crafting the legislation that compels Sound Transit to use its surplus land for affordable housing. Specifically, he helped create the law’s “80-80-80 policy,” which requires Sound Transit to use 80 percent of its surplus land for housing, and ensure 80 percent of that housing is affordable to people earning 80 percent or less of the area’s median income. 

To accomplish this, the agency sells that land at a deep discount — or transfers it for free — to affordable housing developers like Community Roots. It’s a win-win-win concept that gives affordable housing developers access to pricey neighborhoods, mitigates the gentrification that flashy new transit projects can cause, and even helps bolster transit ridership in the process. As the agency builds out its second and third phases of light rail expansion over the coming years, it will have many more opportunities to replicate the work above the Capitol Hill station.

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According to U.S. Census Bureau data, median rents in Seattle jumped 63 percent over the past decade, from $945 a month in 2011 to $1,544 today. Median home values rose from $378,000 in 2011 to $838,000 today, according to data compiled by Zillow. Meanwhile, the 2020 one-night count of homeless residents in Seattle and King County found 11,751 people experiencing homelessness countywide.

Seattle Office of Housing director Emily Alvarado says some of the surplus sites have let the city build affordable housing in neighborhoods they might not otherwise have been able to, and build project types that are typically harder to fund.

For instance, Sound Transit provided land at no cost for a 17-story project with approximately 112 units for formerly homeless seniors and 250 units for low income individuals and families. The First Hill site is directly across the street from one major medical center and a few blocks from a major hospital. “It allows for a health care connection that might not be able to be made in different neighborhoods,” says Alvarado. 

seattle capitol hillThe Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Credit: Matthew Rutledge / Flickr

Similarly, at the Roosevelt Station in north Seattle, Sound Transit provided land at a deep discount for 254 units of affordable housing, including 87 two- and three-bedroom units and an early childcare center. Larger units like that are harder to come by in affordable housing. By including family-sized apartments, the project will provide low-income families access to the expensive Roosevelt neighborhood and its high-ranked schools. 

In addition to providing shelter, some of these projects are helping to reconcile long-standing injustices. For example, in southeast Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Sound Transit gave the city 12 small sites that it used for construction staging along the first phase of its new light rail line. The Office of Housing plans to fund development of at least 100 homes that people earning less than 80 percent of area median income can purchase. 

The Rainier Valley was historically home to Black and immigrant communities barred from living in other parts of the city by racially restrictive covenants. Now, gentrification is leaving those communities in the real estate lurch once again. Though the area remains the city’s most diverse, Census data shows that in the last five years, whites became its largest racial group for the first time in generations. Alvarado says for the affordable homes, they will try to identify buyers who were displaced from the Rainier Valley or live there currently and are at risk of being displaced.

As part of the 80-80-80 policy, Sound Transit adopted a policy committing to “inclusive planning and decision‐making processes” for their surplus public land projects. In practice that has meant Sound Transit, the Office of Housing and the affordable housing developer have done significant outreach to try and create projects that meet the communities’ highest needs. In the Rainier Valley, communities wanted affordable homeownership opportunities. At the Roosevelt project, the two- and three-bedroom apartments came from a community desire for family housing.

“The problem with a lot of government action is they come in and say, ‘We’re the government and this is what we’re going to do,’ and that doesn’t go over very well,” says Rep. Chopp. “When the community is engaged they feel like part of the process and feel very proud about the project.”

Affordable housing, better transit

Sound Transit’s policy isn’t just good for the people lucky enough to snag a unit in one of these developments — it benefits the transit system itself. 

There is evidence to suggest that affordable transit-oriented development helps boost ridership. In 2017, researchers from North Carolina State University and Denver’s Regional Transportation District surveyed residents’ market rate and affordable housing within a 10 minute walk of transit stations in Denver. They found that 69 percent of market rate residents most frequently used a personal vehicle to travel, while 66 percent of low-income residents most frequently used transit. They also found that 91 percent of market rate residents owned at least one vehicle, while only 47 percent of low-income residents did.

Alvarado says another reason Seattle has had success with 80-80-80 is that the opportunity to build is backed by funding from the city’s Housing Levy, a tax that provides affordable housing funding. “Free land in and of itself doesn’t make the project work,” she says. “You need to be intentional about creating additional housing resources and partnering those with funds that can invest in community spaces, and cultural spaces, and parks, and early childhood centers so we can bake community wellness into our urban landscape.” 

Sound Transit isn’t alone in its effort to build affordable housing on surplus land. The Bay Area’s BART system has been building affordable housing at some station sites, including on surface parking lots at two stations in Berkeley. And Los Angeles Metro has a policy that 35 percent of the joint developments it builds on the land it owns must be affordable housing. Rep. Chopp says Metro’s policy was actually an inspiration for 80-80-80.

In 2016 voters approved a $54 billion funding package to expand Seattle’s light rail system. Over the coming decades, Sound Transit will build more than 35 new stations, creating dozens of new opportunities to build affordable housing like the Station House.

“Please tell them to build more, more and more,” says Mary. “I truly feel blessed to live in the Station House. … I think it’s paramount that we support building housing adjacent to transportation hubs.”

The post This Seattle Affordable Housing Project Is a Transit Rider’s Dream appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

****1996 Pearl Jam in Rome/Milan concert poster for...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/06/2021 - 10:34am in

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****1996 Pearl Jam in Rome/Milan concert poster for sale****

****25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONCERTS****
I was commissioned to design this poster in 1996 by Pearl Jam and Ames Bros for their concerts in Rome and Milan.

This was the second poster design I created for Pearl Jam. I think getting the chance to design for such a high profile band whom I respected and liked made me push myself artistically, and this is one of my favorite poster designs that I’ve created.

Copies of this poster were sold at the show, but they were not signed. This is a copy I was given, hence it is an “Artist Proof” (AP) which I’ve signed, making it an exceptionally rare copy of this poster.

As the 25th anniversary of the concerts approaches, I decided to part with one of my personal copies and sell it via auction on Ebay.

Thanks for bidding and best of luck!

Here is the link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/194184391789

****1996 Pearl Jam in Rome/Milan concert poster for...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/06/2021 - 10:34am in

Tags 

Seattle

****1996 Pearl Jam in Rome/Milan concert poster for sale****

****25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONCERTS****
I was commissioned to design this poster in 1996 by Pearl Jam and Ames Bros for their concerts in Rome and Milan.

This was the second poster design I created for Pearl Jam. I think getting the chance to design for such a high profile band whom I respected and liked made me push myself artistically, and this is one of my favorite poster designs that I’ve created.

Copies of this poster were sold at the show, but they were not signed. This is a copy I was given, hence it is an “Artist Proof” (AP) which I’ve signed, making it an exceptionally rare copy of this poster.

As the 25th anniversary of the concerts approaches, I decided to part with one of my personal copies and sell it via auction on Ebay.

Thanks for bidding and best of luck!

Here is the link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/194184391789

The NFL Logo Embraced by the Indigenous People Who Inspired It

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/04/2021 - 6:00pm in

There is no such thing as a seahawk. 

This may come as a surprise to some Seattle football fans who, while dialed into this weekend’s NFL draft, may be unaware of the origin of their home team’s logo. Some might even assume that, as an Indigenous design, it falls under the banner of “problematic” logos, like those of a handful of other sports franchises, such as the Atlanta Braves or the Kansas City Chiefs. 

But unlike those teams, whose logos are founded on stereotypes (as opposed to any specific aspect of one of Native America’s 574 federally recognized tribes) the Seattle Seahawks’s logo is that rarest of birds: a culturally accurate sports icon directly inspired from an Indigenous masterpiece — and embraced by the Indigenous People it is borrowed from.

Anatomy of a logo

Ornithology experts theorize the term seahawk refers to a combination of an osprey, which is a bird of prey native to coastal North America, and a skua, which, in the Pacific Northwest, we normally call a seagull. So if there isn’t an actual “seahawk” found in nature, then where did the inspiration for the Seattle Seahawks’s logo come from?

seahawksThe Seattle Seahawks logo in 2005. Small changes have been made over the years, but the logo is much the same today as it was when it debuted in 1976. Credit: Duncan McAlynn / Flickr

The general consensus is that in 1976 the NFL commissioned a logo for the newly formed Seattle football team. Then-General Manager Ted Thompson wanted the Seahawks’s logo to reflect “Northwest Indian culture.” He and his team of concept designers must have been Native culture enthusiasts who stumbled across a truly remarkable piece of Indigenous Northwest Coastal art. That artwork in question was a Kwakwaka’wakw (pronounced: KWA-kwuh-kyuh-wakw), a transformation mask from northeastern Vancouver Island. 

Exquisitely hand carved from the finest local wood, it’s easy to imagine the team of contracted designers becoming infatuated with the ceremonial mask depicting a mighty eagle with bold black and red formline accents unique to the traditional Coast Salish region. In its closed form, the eagle appears to be in motion with its wings spread, as if it’s ready to soar.

seattle seahawksCarved in the late 19th century, the Indigenous mask that inspired the Seahawks logo remained a mystery for years. Photo courtesy Tulalip News

According to curators at Seattle’s Burke Museum, long before the Seahawks took the field at the old Kingdome, this hand-carved mask played an important role among the Kwakwaka’wakw people. Transformation masks represented rights owned by individual leaders, often depicting family origin stories or an ancestor’s supernatural encounters. When this mask is danced in ceremony, a pivotal moment in the song calls for the mask to be opened, revealing a stunning human face inside.

Carved in the late 19th century, the mask was purchased by the Fred Harvey Company before 1910 and later came into the collection of the German painter Max Ernst. Ernst, Picasso and other Surrealist artists were fascinated by the aesthetic power of Northwest Coast masks, which they saw as direct expressions of human instinct and unconscious thought. After Ernst’s death in 1976, the mask was acquired by a private collector. Eventually the privately held art collection came to be displayed publicly, but always in its open position — meaning its likeness to the Seahawks logo was hidden from view. 

In September 2014, the Burke Museum, located on the University of Washington campus, learned of the mask’s whereabouts and launched an online fundraising campaign to bring it back to the Northwest Coast. It didn’t take long to raise the money needed to conserve, insure and ship the mask across the country. Within weeks of arrival the hidden history of the mask was unveiled and the origin story of the Seahawks logo went public.

While the details behind the origin story of the Seahawks’s logo remained a mystery for decades, what has always been certain is its positive celebration by local Coast Salish tribes. All along the Salish Sea, tribal people have embraced the Seahawks logo and re-appropriated it into our culture.

seahawksA train on Amtrak’s Cascades route sports the Seahawks logo. Credit: Washington State Dept. of Transportation

“Great things inspire imitations. In the same way that so many Native people and white people and Asians are inspired by hip-hop, an artform created by Black people, many people are inspired by our beautiful art,” says attorney and Seattle resident Gyasi Ross (Blackfeet). “Native people have some beautiful artwork, and of course it inspires people to want a piece of it. The Seahawks logo is a perfect example of that. And we love it.”

“But also, the Seahawks are actually active and respectful of the huge Native community here in the Pacific Northwest,” he adds. “From speaking at graduations to speaking out against the [Washington] Redskins mascot, the Seahawks have a great relationship with the Native community here, both urban and Reservation-based.”

A team that uplifts

Their commitment to Native communities is what distinguishes the Seahawks from so many other organizations that claim to honor Native culture with their logos and mascots, yet contribute little or nothing to their local tribes. The Seahawks have a history of making significant impact to the Tulalip Tribes in particular.

Back in 2008, Seahawk Bobby Engram collaborated with Home Depot, the Kaboom! Program, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County to build a 50-by-50-foot playground at the reservation’s ‘Club.’ In 2014, following a shooting at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School, the Seahawks hosted tribal member Nate Hatch, who was shot and survived, along with his family at CenturyLink Field (now Lumen Field), where they received the VIP treatment from players and coaching staff.

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Then in June 2019, Seattle Seahawks legend Michael Bennett hosted a once-in-a-lifetime football camp for Tulalip community youth. Nearly 250 participants ages 7 to 18 had an opportunity to catch a pass from and do drills with the Super Bowl champion. Afterwards, Bennett stuck around to sign autographs and take photos with every single one of his adoring fans. Most recently, in October 2019, former Seahawks Cooper Helfet and Jermaine Kearse landed a seaplane right in Tulalip Bay before spending an afternoon with 30 Tulalip youth. 

A history of positive impact. Countless moments to uplift Tulalip youth and inspire them to always dream big. Promoting healthy lifestyle choices and physical fitness as a means of self-discipline to achieve long-term goals. The reciprocal nature of Seahawk respect and appreciation for local tribes and the proud Native fandom they’ve received in return continues to manifest itself in truly imaginative ways.

For starters, it’s common to see the Seahawks’s logo reimagined via Coast Salish designs in all possible mediums. Native artisans have reproduced it as blankets, clothing, beaded jewelry, eye-capturing medallions, wooden panels, furniture, flags, face masks and even six-foot-tall chainsaw carvings that celebrate the Seahawks’ Native roots. These items and more can routinely be found at powwows, all-Native basketball tournaments and other Native vendor-friendly events around the region.

seahawksAerial view of Lumen Field, with the Seahawks logo visible at the 50 yard line. Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives

“The Seahawks have given back to our community in so many ways and really made a difference in the lives of our youth,” says lifelong fan and tribal member Josh Fryberg, whose family of eight buys new Seahawks jerseys representing their favorite players every year. “As for the connection between the Seahawks and Coast Salish art, the roots definitely run deep. For my family, we have a lot of Seahawks-themed artwork created by very talented Native artists, both from Tulalip and other tribes. More than the art though, the Seahawks mean family togetherness. Every Blue Friday we rock our jerseys and every game day we gather as a family to cheer on our Seahawks.”

Whether the Seattle Seahawks make it to this year’s Super Bowl or not, in the hearts and minds of thousands of Coast Salish tribal members, they will always be champions. Not because of a Vince Lombardi Trophy, but because our football team respects their local Native communities off the field — where it matters most.

This story originally appeared in Tulalip News. It is republished here with the permission of the author.

The post The NFL Logo Embraced by the Indigenous People Who Inspired It appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.