Which Seattle small businesses are in developers’ crosshairs

Yasuko Connor doesn’t really want to talk about why her teriyaki shop on Broadway closed after more than twenty years.

“Employees were not honest,” she said, “business was declining so I sold the building.”

Her business partner Danny Rubin says rising property values didn’t play a role in the decision to close up shop and sell.

“We owned that building for years,” her Rubin said. “We almost owned the whole block.”

But he says he’s seen other business owners around them on Capitol Hill struggle with rapid development and related cost increases.

“It’s true, small businesses are having a hard time,” he said. “Rents are pretty high. It’s just the demand.”

Yasuko’s joins a growing list of shuttered Seattle small businesses — many of them minority-owned — that once shaped the city’s diverse culture.

We dug into thousands of new property appraisals by the King County Tax Assessor and found a surprising trend: Double and even triple digit percentage increases in assessed value await hundreds of commercial property owners going into the next tax year. (Click here to see the full map and dataset here)

It’s a positive sign for a growing city. But the huge year over year jump calls into question the pace of growth and whether “old Seattle” can keep up.

Continue reading Which Seattle small businesses are in developers’ crosshairs

‘50,000 people have seen me naked:’ A story of ‘revenge porn’ and the lawyers who are trying to stop it

Tara Dozier stared at the image on her screen, paralyzed with shock. It was a naked photo she’d sent to her boyfriend that had just been posted on the internet for everyone to see.

Her ex-boyfriend, with whom she had just ended a brief online relationship, contacted her on Twitter to send a message — he wanted to destroy her life.

“I bet I can get your attention real quick,” he wrote her at 12:36 a.m. on Nov. 5.

Throughout the night, he posted image after image, nude photos she had intended for his eyes only, tagging her for the all the world to see.

“Probably 50,000 people or more have seen me naked,” Dozier said. “It’s my new normal.”

Continue reading ‘50,000 people have seen me naked:’ A story of ‘revenge porn’ and the lawyers who are trying to stop it

Victoria veteran clinic among worst for delayed care

Hundreds of veterans relying on the Victoria VA Clinic for care have had appointments delayed by at least 31 days, according to an analysis of Veterans Administration records from September to January.

Moreover, of the 940 VA facilities across the nation, the Victoria outpatient clinic ranks among the 100 worst in terms of delayed care.

Jeremy Pena, a 26-year-old Army veteran in Victoria, said he is one of the lucky ones.

Continue reading Victoria veteran clinic among worst for delayed care

Landowners urge river authority to maintain rivers

TIVOLI – At the end of what’s left of the San Antonio River, logjams are changing the landscape.

The mighty San Antonio flows as wide as a creek across the bottom of Fagan Ranch, where a three-mile logjam grows daily, backing up water, changing the course of the river and turning the nearly 200-year-old cattle ranch into a wet bog.

“This is the dumping ground for the San Antonio River,” Ginger Fagan, a former county judge known by some as The Iron Lady, said. “We have refrigerators, tires, bowling balls; it’s a dumping ground.” Continue reading Landowners urge river authority to maintain rivers

Victoria police officer investigated for tasing driver, 76

A Victoria police officer is under investigation after a 76-year-old man accused him of using excessive force during a traffic stop.

The officer, Nathanial Robinson, 23, was placed on administrative duty Friday pending the outcome of an internal investigation into whether he violated the use of force policy when he tased Victoria resident Pete Vasquez, said Chief J.J. Craig. The officer was hired after graduating from the police academy two years ago.

The incident happened Thursday after Robinson saw an expired inspection sticker on the car Vasquez was driving back to Adam’s Auto Mart, 2801 N. Laurent St., where he helps with mechanical work. Continue reading Victoria police officer investigated for tasing driver, 76

Victoria’s 706-acre annexation plan raises concerns

Going fast are the days where neighbors were at least an acre away and the rules, too, were few and far between.

Longtime property owners at the end of Mallette Drive, where new neighborhoods juxtapose ranchland and cattle, are finding themselves in the crosshairs of development as Victoria looks to extend its boundaries.

When Schorlemmer Elementary School opened in 2009 on Mallette Drive, David Bosart knew development in the area was coming.

Five years later, his prediction is coming true. Continue reading Victoria’s 706-acre annexation plan raises concerns

Goliad officials attempt to collect on $32,000 loan

GOLIAD – Goliad city officials expect repayment for an economic development incentive given to a company that never opened.

Goliad’s economic development board, the Municipal Development District, voted Monday to send a second demand letter to Alvin and Stephanie Welch, who were awarded a $32,000 loan in March.

The loan was intended to be used to purchase a forklift, equipment and supplies along with display fixtures and renovation of the store location. However, there is no store location, and none of the materials have been purchased.

Continue reading Goliad officials attempt to collect on $32,000 loan