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September 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM
Tentative agreement: An announcement this morning could come as bad news for Seattle School District students who thought they might get an extended summer vacation as teachers and the district squabbled over labor issues.
Seattle School Superintendent Jasa Banda and Seattle Education Association President Jonathan Knapp have announced that the school district and the teachers’ union succeeded in reaching a tentative agreement early this morning.
If teachers approve the agreement at a general meeting Tuesday, school can start on time as scheduled on Wednesday.
Moving on: The Nickelsville homeless encampment on West Marginal Way is scheduled to move on and multiply today, scattering to three different sites with the help of local churches and housing advocates. About 100 Nickelsville residents are expected to move to three church-sponsored sites — one at 20th Avenue South and South Jackson Street in the Central District, another in Skyway, and the third in a yet-unrevealed Seattle neighborhood.
More Bumbershoot: Tegan and Sara, the Zombies and Death Cab for Cutie highlight the Labor Day music festival playing on today at the Seattle Center. The music continues on Monday, and then . . . we hesitate to mention this . . . the holiday weekend is over and it’s back to work.
Husky opening: It wasn’t just the season opener for the University of Washington football team. It was the opening of the remodeled Husky Stadium, and the Dawgs did it up right with a 38-6 win over 19th-ranked Boise State.
Most-read stories on seattletimes.com:
August 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Nickelsville, the 5-year-old homeless encampment currently on West Marginal Way, plans to move to three different sites this weekend. The Seattle City Council directed the mayor to clear the current site by Sunday.
The group won’t say where it is going. Tim Harris, a homeless advocate, said one of the sites is in the Central District on South Jackson Street and 20th Avenue South, on land owned by the Low Income Housing Institute. Private property owners can apply for a temporary permit to have an encampment on their property, but Harris said the long-term plan is to find a church that will host. The city can’t stop a religious institution from hosting a homeless encampment.
Nickelsville has moved many times during its history. The move saves Mayor Mike McGinn from a problematic campaign photo op he would have faced if he had to clear Nickelsville from its site in a confrontation.
“We were aware they were looking for another site,” said spokesman Aaron Pickus.
July 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM
By a narrow majority, the Seattle City Council Monday rejected a proposal to expand locations for homeless tent encampments in the city and provide a regulatory framework for the health and safety of residents.
Over the pleas of some homeless people and their advocates, five council members voted down a proposal by Councilmember Nick Licata that would have added city and private land to areas where a tent encampment could be located. Currently, only faith communities are allowed to host tent encampments.
Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Richard Conlin, Jean Godden and Tom Rasmussen all voted no, saying tents didn’t provide an acceptable alternative to permanent housing. They noted that the city invests $30 million to $40 million a year to provide homeless services, including emergency shelters.
The most immediate question now is what happens to Nickelsville, the illegal tent encampment on West Marginal Way. In June, the council voted to shut down the trouble-plagued encampment Sept. 1.
The council also approved $500,000 to provide relocation services to residents. Since then, the number of residents has risen as homeless people hear about the funding and seek help finding housing.
A motion by Licata to put off Monday’s vote until a report on relocation efforts at Nickelsville was completed also failed.
June 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM
The Seattle City Council voted today to spend $500,000 to house Nickelsville residents. In September, the council plans to evict Nickelsville from the Marginal Way Southwest property where residents have been camping for nearly two years.
Nickelsville’s fate is coming to a head after a long civic discussion about what to do. In the end, concerns about safety and environmental contamination prompted the council to ask Mayor Mike McGinn to act. McGinn had been working with Councilmember Nick Licata to give Nickelsville more options, but the majority of the City Council does not believe encampments are “an acceptable response to homelessness,” according to a city news release.
Instead, the city will use the $500,000 to help Nickelsville residents find treatment and housing. The city already has been in talks with the Union Gospel Mission about sheltering Nickelsville residents.
“Our goal is to provide safe, secure housing to anyone at the West Marginal Way SW location who is willing to accept it,” said Council President Sally Clark.
On June 25, the council will host an evening hearing about alternatives for encampments in the city.
June 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM
The federal agency that works on solving homelessness has written a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn supporting the end of Nickelsville. A seven-member majority of the Seattle City Council on Monday ordered the mayor to clear Nickelsville by Sept. 1. They pledged to help the more than 100 residents of the encampment find shelter, but said the encampment could not stay at its location on West Marginal Way.
The mayor and Councilmember Nick Licata were pursuing a new location for Nickelsville, and at a meeting Wednesday, some members of the council still indicated a willingness to consider supporting an encampment in the city.
The federal government has never supported encampments. But while that’s not new, their letter offers support to the council as it makes a politically challenging decision.
June 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Seattle City Council members are the target of a protest planned for this afternoon by leaders of Nickelsville, a homeless encampment the City Council announced this week it will shut down in September after two years on city property.
In a letter to council members, Nickelsville residents wrote that the letter council members wrote to Mayor Mike McGinn “pretty much talked about us like some dogs in a kennel.”
“Humans have a basic right to stay together and safe,” they wrote. “In Seattle the majority of the City Council has chosen to ignore and disrespect that basic right … Please understand that Nickelsville is sticking together.”
It’s likely more than 100 homeless people will turn out for today’s 2 p.m. housing committee meeting and a planned “die-in” on the steps on City Hall at 2:30 p.m. As we detailed in a story last week, many of the protesters at events like this are told they must participate or risk being kicked out of their encampment. (more…)
June 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM
Seven Seattle City Council members today plan to deliver a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn asking that the Nickelsville homeless encampment be closed by Sept. 1
The council members plan to authorize up to $500,000 from the city’s general fund to pay for housing and services for the residents, and the letter asks that the mayor directs the city’s Department of Human Services to provide “immediate targeted outreach and engagement services to Nickelsville along with immediate provision of shelter, housing and other services.”
Council members are in discussion with Union Gospel Mission to provide the housing, a source said.
“No one wants to simply displace campers,” the letter reads. “We can provide a route to safe, decent and supportive housing to anyone and everyone at Nickelsville.”
The letter has not been signed by Councilmembers Mike O’Brien or Nick Licata. Licata has been working with the mayor to find a new location for Nickelsville.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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