October 8, 2015 – With the recent launch of the Legacy of Hip Hop exhibit at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) the city has been buzzing with debate about who should top the list of Seattle’s most iconic artists to have represented this genre over the years.

What was most amazing to me as I walked through the MOHAI exhibit was that I saw the names of Bboys that I knew about based on recent performances. Yet, the exhibit had information on them dating back to the early 1980’s.

Because of the vibrant history of NW Hip Hop there will always be heated debate about who was/is/will be the greatest in any one of the 5 elements (Breakdancing/DJ’ing/Rapping/Graffiti/Knowledge). Believe me, it is easy to get pulled into that conversation. However, for purposes of this article I would like to focus on something else; the eternals of NW Hip Hop.

This column lists 10 artists who I feel have never left the game. But have represented the genre for the past 4 decades. I felt like I needed to share the list; because there just isn’t anyone writing about Seattle Hip Hop that actually has any roots in the community.

So here is the list. These are the realest of the real.

Coolout Network. Copyright by Dave Narvaez/Studio Narvaez.

10. Gordon (Music Inner City) Curvey and Georgio (Coolout Network) Brown (1990 – Present)

Knowledge (1 Element)

Two hip hop historians documenting the going-on’s in the hip hop community for a quarter century. Definitely two different personalities; with Gordon engaging in semi-regular public arguments with just about everyone on Facebook. Usually because they haven’t bought advertising time on his cable show. Meanwhile, Georgio Brown keeps it cool. Constantly building bridges and giving local artists stage time at his annual Coolout events (the 25th of which will be celebrated in 2016!) Georgio recently helped design and promote the MOHAI event; while Gordon (as expected) went on the attack of event and the curators.

9. Greg (Funk Daddy) Buren and Derrick (Vitimin D) Brown (1988 – Present)

DJ/Producers (1 Element)

Are these two the same person? Both broke out around 1988. Both hit the ground running; putting out some major beats and haven’t taken a break in almost 30 years. These two have to share the spot, because both are legendary producers in the Northwest. Funk Daddy (aka Greg B) from Seattle and Vitimin D from Portland.

 8. Ishmael (Butterfly) Butler (1988 – Present)

DJ/Producer/Rapper (2 Elements)

Founding member of Digable Planets. Grammy winner. Currently performing with Shabazz Palaces.


Copyright Dave Narvaez/Studio Narvaez.

7. Derrick (Silver Shadow D/Derrick X) Seals (1985 – Present)

DJ/Producer/Rapper/Knowledge (3 Elements)

Member of the seminal Seattle rap group DURACELL. 30 year history of active performances and musical releases. Vast knowledge of Seattle’s music and hip hop culture from the 1990’s. Current member of 206 Zulu.

Copyright Michael Johnson


  1. Michael (Edwag) Johnson (1983 – Present)

Bboy, Rapper (2 Elements)

Edawg was a founding member of the Gail Place Rockers (aka Horton hand-spinners) before launching his music career as a member of the Mixalot posse. Edawg has over 30 years in the hip hop game and is a platinum selling recording artist. Currently hosts E’s Way Radio and regularly preforms both past and current hits.

 5. Carter (Fever One) McGlasson (1983 – Present)

Bboy, DJ/Producer, (2 Elements)

Founding member of the 1983 Seattle Circuit Breakers as well as a current member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew. Fever still performs in Bboy contests and also currently DJ’s at multiple clubs in Seattle.

Sire One. Copyright by Nathan Hivick.

4. Nathan (Sire One) Hivick (1990 – Present)

Bboy, Graffiti Artist, DJ/Producer, Rapper (4 Elements)

One of the few artists to represent all 4 of the original elements; Sire One has over 25 years of producing music and visual arts that is as fresh today as it was when he began. Still competing in (legal) graffiti art competitions as part of BAM crew, and performing with both North City Rockers and 206 Zulu.

Coolout 20. Copyright by Dave Narvaez/Studio Narvaez.

3. Dave (Pablo D) Narvaez (1984– Present)

Bboy, Rapper, Knowledge (3 Elements)

Founder and current manager of the North City Rockers; a multi-generational breakdance group in North Seattle. Recognized as one of the Northwest’s most knowledgeable hip hop historians and widely respected for his photo documentation of the hip hop community over the last decade via Studio Narvaez. Currently working on music production with Specs Wizard and Sire One.


DJ Mr. Supreme. Copyright by Danny Clavisilla.

2. Danny (DJ Mr. Supreme/Supreme La Rock/Preme) Clavisilla (1983 – Present)

Bboy, DJ/Producer, Knowledge (3 Elements)

DJ Mr. Supreme (along with RSC legend DV One) is the current DJ for the Seattle Seahawks. Founding member of the 1983 Seattle Circuit Breakers. Regularly produces music scores for movies & television. Widely considered one of the foremost experts on both NW music and NW hip hop in the world.

Specs Wizard. Copyright Michael Hall.

1. Michael (Specs Wizard) Hall   (1979 – Present)

Bboy, Graffiti Artist, DJ/Producer, Rapper (4 Elements)

Currently produces a line of comic books for Capstan Media/Healthy Bunch. Regular music releases and performances throughout 2015. Featured artist at the MOHAI exhibit.

 Thank you for taking time to read.  I hope you enjoyed the list! 

10 Biggest Seattle/Tacoma Celebrities

Originally posted at http://seattle.about.com/od/artsevents/tp/biggestcelebs.htm.

Seattle may not be a magnet for entertainers like New York or Hollywood, but with its high quality of life, strong arts culture, and uber-educated populace, Seattle generates more talent per capita than anywhere else.

Let’s count down the biggest names in arts and entertainment (sorry, Bill Gates) to call Seattle home. People like Ray Charles who spent on a brief—but formative—period here are disqualified. These people all came from the Seattle area or spent a large portion of their life here.

10.  Terry Brooks

You probably won’t recognize Terry Brooks in line for coffee, but he’s a rock star of the fantasy publishing world. With 22 New York Times bestsellers and several robust fantasy series to his name, including The Sword of Shannara, he is one of the most successful living writers. Brooks lives in West Seattle, routinely holds book readings in town, and has set large portions of his Genesis of Shannara series in Seattle and the Northwest. With the fantasy genre “hot” in Hollywood today, several of Brooks’ works have been optioned by major studios and may soon make their way to the silver screen.

copyright RollingStone.Com9.  Ann and Nancy Wilson

While these sisters were born in California, their family soon settled in Bellevue. The talented sisters were associated with a few now-defunct Northwest bands before finally forming Heart, the most successful female-led hard rock band of all time, with hits like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda.” After a hugely successful heyday in the ‘70s, the sisters went their separate ways musically a few times, but eventually officially reformed Heart and now tour regularly. The Wilsons have remained an active force in the Seattle music scene and greater community.

8.  Dave Matthews

Although the alterna-crooner was born in South Africa and earned his musical chops in Virginia, he’s called Seattle home for over ten years now, and is probably Seattle’s most frequently sighted celeb. He’s a regular at certain restaurants near his Wallingford home (no, I can’t tell you which ones) and his twin daughters attend school here. While many years have him on the road with his band-mates he has stated unequivocally, “This is my home now.”

7.  Frances Farmer

Her name may not ring any bells among younger readers, but for a few brief years Farmer was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Farmer was born in Seattle in 1913 and went to West Seattle High School before becoming a sensation at the University of Washington School of Drama. She quickly became a major star in the late 30s, appearing in such hits as Rhythm on the Range (with Bing Crosby) and Come and Get It. Despite her breakaway success, Farmer always bristled against the Hollywood lifestyle. Soon she became more famous for her struggles with mental illness and her precipitous fall from grace (for a time she worked sorting laundry at the Olympic—now Fairmont—Hotel in Seattle).

6.  Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones may not be thought of as a Seattle musician, but the all-time great composer, producer, and arranger grew up in Bremerton and attended Seattle’s Garfield High School. Jones went on to have one of the most broadly successful careers in music history, receiving Oscar nominations for films scores, and worked with a “who’s who” of 20th century pop music, including Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and, most famously, Michael Jackson. While his musical career has taken him away from the Northwest, Jones has returned numerous times, accepting awards from his alma mater and the Northwest African American Museum.

5.  Kenny G

This titan of smooth jazz was born Kenneth Gorelick in Seattle and attended Franklin High School. After graduating from the University of Washington, Kenny G quickly became a successful jazz instrumentalist (playing with Barry White on tour) and eventually recorded his own work. His massive, multi-platinum success was unprecedented for an instrumentalist, Kenny G not only dominated but expanded the audience of smooth jazz. While his slick sound has inspired innumerable detractors, he has sold over 70 million records and continues to be a popular performer.

Copyright RollingStone.com
Copyright RollingStone.com

4.  Kurt Cobain For an entire generation, Seattle and Kurt Cobain are almost synonymous. The Grunge movement Cobain led in the early 90s shot Seattle to a cultural prominence it had never enjoyed before. Cobain grew up in the logging town of Aberdeen, and was drawn into the burgeoning 80s punk-rock scene in Olympia and Seattle. Cobain formed Nirvana with fellow Aberdeener Krist Noveselic, and soon channeled his uncanny command of melody and adolescent rage into huge rock hits like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and radically transformed rock music in the process. After marrying fellow grunger rocker Courtney Love, Cobain moved to Seattle where he lived with his wife and child until a struggle with depression, stomach pain, and heroin led to his suicide at 27.

3.  Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix’s three years of stardom are among the most influential in the history of pop music. He was born in Seattle and attended Garfield High School. His first gig was in the basement of a Seattle synagogue, Temple De Hirsch. Hendrix later toured with the Isley Brothers and then went to London, where he became the singer-songwriter-guitar-phenom that launched him to worldwide fame. Hendrix ushered in a heavier guitar sound into the psychedelic rock world, and also inspired R&B acts to incorporate more rock elements into their sound. After his untimely death due to alcohol and sleeping pills, Hendrix was buried in Renton, Washington. Seattle’s Experience Music Project was largely built to honor Hendrix’s legacy.

2.  Bruce Lee

Those only casually familiar with the martial arts great may assume Lee was born in Hong Kong or China. In fact, Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco and spent seven critical years (from age 19 to 26) in Seattle. He worked in a Chinese restaurant on Capitol Hill (now since demolished), attended Seattle Central Community College and the University of Washington, taught his unique brand of martial arts in various city parks and at his own studio in the U-District, met and married his wife Linda Emery here, and was ultimately buried here. Indeed, Bruce’s well-tended grave in Capitol Hill’s Lakeview Cemetery is a major destination for his enduring legion of fans.

 - © Bing Crosby Enterprises1.  Bing Crosby

38 number one singles. The top-selling musical act for two straight decades. A break-out movie career that followed. Over a half a billion records sold. Who could this be? Michael Jackson? Elvis? No, it’s Tacoma’s own Bing Crosby. Bing was born in Tacoma in 1903 and later attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, where he formed his first jazz band. While he spent most of the rest of his life in Hollywood, Crosby always held a fondness for the Pacific Northwest and returned here numerous times.
Bing Crosby in Vancouver. © Bing Crosby Enterprises


Originally posted at http://seattle.about.com/od/artsevents/tp/biggestcelebs.htm.



October 3, 2015, Saturday evening drivers entering Seattle’s CD and Rainer Valley were greeted with hundreds of warning posters alerting them to dangers in Seattle’s Central District and South End of town.  The large red print on a black background shouts “Warning!  Entering the Central District!” and “Warning!  Entering Rainier Valley!”

While on the other side of the posters; drivers leaving these areas were greeted with a bright and colorful sign reading “Welcome! Now exiting the Central District/Rainier Valley!”


Members of Equal Representation Now say that the problem of youth on youth violence in the area is being overlooked by city officials and are asking for equal representation in regards to city policy.

In the summer of 2014 neighborhoods in these areas saw an unprecedented rise in youth on youth violence and murders, with almost daily reports of gun fire and nearly 20 youths murdered at the hand of other children.  Summer 2015 we saw the continuation of this violence with multiple murders, and much like the previous summer most going unnoticed by local media.

The organizers of tonight’s event note that in other areas of the city our leaders react differently to violence and threats of violence.  “On Capitol Hill the reaction to threats of violence was to put together a task force, engage LGBTQ leaders, and even go as far as to paint crosswalks to show solidarity and that (the threat of) violence would not be tolerated.”  We applaud the City’s quick action in this case of the verbal threats and harassment on Capitol Hill. However, the African-American community in Seattle is actually losing lives; and we are being told that the find-it-fix-it campaign is enough.”

The East African community in Seattle has community leaders that represent themselves and hold advisory positions in the Mayor’s office.  The LGBTQ community has leaders from the LQBTQ community that hold advisory positions in the Mayor’s office.  Yet when it comes to the African-American community we are told that adult AA males who were born and raised in these very neighborhoods are not best suited to advise on African-American youth in the area.

In 2014 the Mayors Office was presented with a proposal for the creation of an Office of Inner-City Affairs to help address the problem of youth violence Seattle’s CD and Rainer Valley.  The proposal was rejected as City Hall felt that there were adequate programs in place to address the issues; despite the evidence that youth-on-youth violence was escalating.IMG_20151003_185739

Organizers of tonight’s event hope that this display will be the catalyst to start people asking why there is not equal representation of communities in the Mayor’s Cabinet; and that maybe the Mayor will take another look at the previous proposal.

“We posted these signs because people need to know what they are driving into.  These neighborhoods are not safe.  There is a much greater chance of being shot and killed in this area than in any other part of Seattle.  Especially if you are a young, African-American male.”

“There are a lot of things that City Hall deals with on a daily basis; but few are truly a matter of life and death. When we see true leadership in the area from grassroots community groups such as Rose Prayer Ministries, B.U.I.L.D., and others it gives us hope.  But these voices need to have the Mayors ear!“

Reaction to the signage has been mixed, with mostly positive support for addressing the issue of youth violence and the loss of life in the African-American community.  However, there are some who disapprove of the message and have started their own campaign of removing the posters.


Phoenix Jones - Guardian of Seattle Streets!
Phoenix Jones – Guardian of Seattle Streets!

September 23, 2015 – When Seattle police approached a suspect with their guns drawn over the weekend, it wasn’t random. And it wasn’t related to race, as bystanders alleged.

Seattle’s superhero Phoenix Jones can verify that. He was there for the whole thing. In fact, he is credited in the Seattle Police Department’s crime blotter for describing the scene, which the victim refused to do after he was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Phoenix recalled the story for KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz.

Just one day after his first MMA victory, Phoenix was patrolling Capitol Hill when he came across three suspects viciously beating a victim, with one repeatedly pistol-whipping and kicking the man. After alerting police, Phoenix ran into the man with the weapon, knocking the gun away.

“I sprinted out as fast as I could and hit him with a right hand,” he said. “The gun popped out, only the scary part was he didn’t get knocked out.”

At that point, the other two guys went for the gun and Jones knew he was in danger. Not wearing his traditional Kevlar suit, Phoenix fled briefly for safety.

That’s when Seattle police officers arrived, which prompted the suspects to disperse into the crowd, trying to blend in.

It didn’t work. Phoenix cornered one of the trio until cops arrived, and the other two were apprehended.

The suspects, all African American, are 21, 29 and 30. During a pat down, Officer Nic Abts-Olsen found a handgun on the 30-year-old suspect. The suspect claims it’s not his gun.

Phoenix told Rantz that the 30-year-old man was casually walking away from the scene when police drew their guns on him. Without any context, someone witnessing that scene would think it was stereotyping or think police were using excessive force. The thing is, the man had a gun in his pants and blood on his clothing.

Mixed Martial Artist with World Series of Fighting coming off a big win on 9/19/15.
Mixed Martial Artist with World Series of Fighting coming off a big win on 9/19/15.

During the arrest of these three suspects, Phoenix was shocked to hear passers-by jeer at the officers, suggesting they were only hassling the men because of their race.

This didn’t sit well with Phoenix.

“All black people are about to get mad at me but stop with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crap,” he told Rantz. “Stop it. All lives matter.”

Phoenix said witnesses were “standing on the sidewalk, with these cameras, yelling at [the cops], telling me not to get close. There’s a difference between cops abusing their power and cops doing their job. Get your facts right and let the cops do their job. The last thing we need is an impotent police force.”

Without any context, people were making assumptions, but they didn’t know what was actually happening, he said. These men were trying to blend into a crowd. Police were not stereotyping or using excessive force. Bystanders didn’t have all the details.

“Later, they pat him down and find out he’s a felon,” Phoenix said.

And let’s not forget, Jones watched the man cave in the head of another with the butt of a gun.

People have to start taking context into consideration, Rantz agreed.

“There is a lot of assumption that the cops are always bad,” Rantz noted. “Cops are not arresting people simply because they are not white.”

Had the police been more aggressive toward the guy, Phoenix would have taken issue with how the situation was handled. But for knowing that the man had a gun, they were gentle, he explained. They even apologized while they cuffed one of the suspects, just in case they had the wrong guy, he continued.

The incident is an example of why Phoenix says he is frustrated with the Black Lives Matter movement. People are taking things out of context and using that against police.

“Crime is just crime,” Phoenix said. “There’s not a color that goes with it.”

The beating is something that the superhero seemed to foreshadow recently when he said crime in Seattle is evolving.

Originally published at http://mynorthwest.com/992/2814472/Phoenix-Jones-helps-stop-murder-rails-against-Black-Lives-Matter.


Mohia 2September 23, 2015 – The Legacy of Hip Hop at the Museum of History and Industry (HOHAI) will run September 19, 2015 through May 1, 2016. This trip through NW hip hop history is a fun way for elder b-boys to take a walk down memory lane, and for the younger generation to learn about those that came before them.

It’s well worth the $14-$17 entry price to see some of the once-in-a-lifetime artifacts which include championship dance trophies won by Seattle’s own Massive Monkees, 30 years of cd’s, tapes, and records from iconic rappers and Dj’s such as the Emerald Street Boys, Sir Mixalot, B-Mello, DJ Mr. Supreme, Specs, and more.  Also on display are iconic jackets from Nastymix Records (the Seattle label founded by Mixalot and Nasty Nes), Macklemore, and Mecca wear.

The event features a “tag wall” (pen & paper) for visitors to “get up”, as well as a series of live performances from both established and up-and-coming artists (Dumi, Nya, Specs, and more).

MohaiNoticeably missing from the display is the contribution of Seattle’s first breakdance groups “the Emerald City Breakers” and “Seattle City Breakers” and their founding members Junior Alefaio and Carlos (Slamalotte) Barrientes; as well as multi-generational hip hop icons Dave (Pablo D) Narvaez, Rafael Contreras, Donald (Ziggy) Puaa, and Nathan (Sire One) Hivick.  However, even with these stars omitted the display is still very comprehensive in it’s presentation and has received very favorable reviews from many in the old school community.

Curators Jazmyn Scott (The Town Entertainment) and Aaron Walker-Loud (Big World Breaks) freely admit that there are major gaps in the exhibit and that the amount of hip hop history and artist contributions is just too big to include everyone; but they hope that the exhibit will at least shine a spotlight on some of the talent that has existed here for the past 30 years.

It’s not even that it’s my (or our) version of the story. It is an attempt to put into historical context, something that has been widely overlooked for years. We have acknowledged from day one that there are gaps; there is no way to tell the entire story. With this, we hope to give a glimpse into SOME of the people, places and things that make up this very rich culture in our town. It is only a starting point. Maybe someone else will pick up the torch or support us in making it even more comprehensive.” ~ JS.

The program features an interactive exhibit with historic audio recordings, photography, artwork, and more.

For more information on NW Hip Hop including artists not featured in the MOHAI exhibit please visit the following link:

VP 2




September 22, 2015 – Autism is a brain disorder that is characterized by difficulties in some social interaction, difficulties in motor coordination, and sometimes repetitive behaviors.  But children with autism often excel in other areas; such as creative arts, visual skills, and mathematics.

Ava J. Clark, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2 1/2 is one of those gifted children, and along with her mother Alicia Coleman-Clark have decided to release a line of children’s books to encourage families who are also dealing with autism.

The “Ava Goes” series follows Ava on various adventures such as a trip to the dentist and to the beach.  These wonderful beginner books are fun to read aloud and makes a great bedtime story. We believe this series will soon to be a favorite among parents, beginning readers, teachers, and librarians.

Ave Book Tour

Alicia says that it’s her hope that Ava will continue to write these books and keep the series alive long after Alicia is gone.  Hopefully with Ava’s own children one day.

Ava and her mother are currently on a local book tour which most recently included the West Seattle Barnes & Noble.

Alicia is also working with families, teachers, and education systems as an advocate with hopes of developing lasting partnerships that involve bringing the Ava Goes series to elementary schools.

Recently, Ava also made an appearance in the “LOVE YOURSELF” anti-bullying song by KHARI (video link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21LHPg57nxg&feature=share)


Alicia Coleman-Clark (and Miss Ava) can be reached at ARCC22@Aol.com

“Ava Goes” books can be ordered from http://www.avagoes.com/ and at bookstores everywhere.

Amazing list of honorees at the Robert Stephens, Jr. Awards ceremony

Awards winnerss June 20, 2015 Seattle’s Central District came together to celebrate long time advocates for youth, arts, social justice, and stronger neighborhoods; honoring some of Seattle’s most legendary names.

“We selected men who personally impacted us. The men in the room are the ledges whose shoulder we stand on.” Said Garfield Community Center Director Andre Franklin. Another member of the advisory committee stated that seeing so many true community leaders in one place left them “in awe”.

The event was birthed from a partnership between B.U.I.L.D. (Brothers United In Leadership Development), Unified Outreach, and the Garfield Community Center Advisory Board; along with Seattle Parks, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and 4Culture.

The event featured a full buffet spread with home style chicken, macaroni, greens, and corn bread. An incredible meal that in itself was worthy of celebration.pic food

Vicious Puppies Black and Blue Sammy Tekle Seattle2
Vicious Puppies aka Dog Pound

Music and MC duties were provided by DJ Surreal (aka George Yasutake), and guests were treated to a gravity defying performance from one of Seattle’s hottest breakdance groups, the Vicious Puppies (aka Dog Pound). Last month the Vicious Puppies brought their dramatic stage presentation of “Black and Blue” to the Neptune Theatre. The play brings social conscience and race relations to the front lines with a true-to-life story based on actual events. The play has received great reviews and the group is looking to expand the touring calendar throughout the summer. The Puppies have also played the main stage at the Sasquatch tour and other large venue events and are quickly becoming one of Seattle’s most in-demand groups.

Award Hampton
James Hampton receives his award.

Award honorees included well known community leaders who have served the people of Seattle for decades; as well as shining stars actively making a difference today.

The event recognized Mike Yasutake, John Yasutake, Gregory Davis, Aaron Dixon, Elmer Dixon, Bishop Ray Rogers, Steve Sneed, James Hampton, Reco Bembry, Guy Davis, and Larry Evans.

Each award recipient was introduced by someone who had a personal story of how the award winner had impacted their life.  The microphone was then handed to the award winner who then shared their own story about who had most impacted them.  The ceremony was full of humor and laughter, as well as somber moments and tears of gratitude.

IMG_20150620_115319 The afternoon culminated with the honoring and awarding of the new Robert Stephens, Jr. Community Service plaque which will hang in the Garfield Community Center.

Robert Stephens, Jr. has been a fixture in Seattle’s Central District for over 35 years. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Mr. Stephens, Jr. began serving the community after completing his tour in 1968. Mr. Stephens, Jr. has a Masters Degree in Education Psychology, is a K-12 teacher and school counselor, and has worked with Seattle Public Schools, Langston Hughes Cultural Art Center, Neighborhoods House, and Washington State Reformatory.

RSJ award
Robert Stephens, Jr.

Mr. Stephens, Jr. has been involved with a number of non-profit organizations and governmental advisory committees over the years; and has had a hand in the establishment of Odessa Brown Health Clinic, Madrona Dance Studio (now Spectrum), Medgar Evers Swimming Pool, and dozens of other programs that are now an established part of the community.

Mr. Stephens, Jr. has served as the President of the Central Area Neighborhood District Council; founded the Seattle Central Area Cultural Arts Commission, and helped in the creation of Homer Harris Park.IMG_20150620_115407

When presenting the award, Garfield Community Center Advisory Council Member David Toledo stated “When we began searching for someone that exemplified the community spirit; someone who was a true advocate for our youth, for the arts, and for the neighborhood; we all knew right away that it was time to honor Robert Stephens, Jr.”

Dramatic Leap for Local Dance Crew as “Black & Blue” Debuts at the Historic Neptune Theatre

Black and Blue Dan Haile Vicious Puppies Seattle  June 11th, 2015 Writer/Director Maximilian Meador-Stockstill brings the real-life police/teen interactions of Seattle residents to the stage in an entertaining combination of drama, suspense, humor, and dance.

Sammy Tekle shines as the main character who (although recently deceased) walks the audience through a series of emotional flashbacks which start with him hanging with his crew (which include some spectacular dance performances) and end with him being shot during a routine traffic stop.Vicious Puppies Black and Blue Sammy Tekle Seattle2

Dan Haile has the audience in tears as he delivers the eulogy for his fallen friend; and Vicious Puppy (aka Dog Pound) members (Jonathan Higuchi, Binh Nguyen, Robert Eyerman, Justin Law, John Pham, Quan Nguyen) deliver a passionate back-and-forth debate regarding the role of police and how we as citizens should interact with them.Vicious Puppies Black and Blue Sammy Tekle Seattle

Black & Blue received a standing ovation and extremely positive feedback during the question & answer period following the performance. Writer/Director Maximilian Meador-Stockstill stated he would be interested in expanding the tour and all actors showed an interest in an extended run.

The Vicious Puppies (aka Dog Pound) continue their meteoric rise to celebrity status by expanding their already impressive resume which includes performances at the Paramount’s “Dance This!” and main stage performances at this Summer’s “Sasquatch” tour.


David Toledo’s “Cartooning with the Candidate” Draws Positive Reviews at Local Library

GW David Toledo Seattle City Council Cartooning with the Candidate 2
David Toledo and “Votey” talk issues.

June 14, 2015, City Council hopeful David Toledo continued his “Cartooning with the Candidate” speaking-tour of North Seattle’s public libraries with a visit to the Greenwood Library. The family-friendly event has been a big hit with residents of District 5 who are enjoying the creative approach to voter outreach. What makes these meet-and-greets unique is that they are kid friendly; providing free coloring books and art supplies to keep children engaged while parents have the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts with the candidate.

GW David Toledo Seattle City Council Cartooning with the Candidate 4
Thinking outside the box is encouraged!

Lori is a District 5 resident and single mother who attended the June 7th event at Green Lake.  Lori says that she would be even more engaged in the political process if she were able to bring her two children to more events.  Lori says that it speaks highly of Mr. Toledo that he thought of parents with young children when he organized the function. “I think this is a great indication of how he will govern, putting people first”.

LB David Toledo City Council CB 1
Young artist hard at work!

If you’re a resident of District 5 you’ve undoubtedly already had a chuckle at some of the ultra-creative campaign literature put out by the Vote David Toledo campaign. Drive down North 105th and directly across the street from the historic Rickshaw Restaurant you’ll see a large Vote Toledo billboard featuring Toledo and his daughter, enjoying a hamburger while standing in front of a wall of very artistically designed David Toledo caricatures in various styles.

Additionally, Toledo’s campaign has also released a web based trivia challenge and several fully animated cartoon commercials.

https://wevotetoledo.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/david-toledo-brings-pop-culture-trivia-to-the-city-council-race/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVMUAhtkzb8

In accompaniment to Toledo’s artistic side is a wealth of experience dealing with real-world issues. Toledo is a Housing Specialist competent in all areas of affordable housing; working in the field for nearly a decade who says he “knows what’s needed to stabilize rent and increase housing options without rent control or rezoning of residential neighborhoods.”

Toledo is also one of the co-founders of Unified Outreach which provides free volunteer services to elder care centers, transitional housing facilities, and youth mentoring programs. GW David Toledo Seattle City Council Cartooning with the Candidate 3But Toledo says the most important thing he brings to the table is a 40 year history of living in North Seattle. “Community roots matter. I have a responsibility to you based on neighborhood loyalty and shared history. When I make promises I will keep them. Sidewalks for North Seattle, expanded public safety funding, affordable housing solutions, small businesses growth and a job training wage, improved roadways for commuters and commerce, and best of all a clean and swimmable Green Lake!”

Toledo’s Cartooning with the Candidate meet-and-greets began in April and are scheduled to run through the month of July.

Lake City – June 21st (2pm – 4pm)

Broadview – June 28th (2pm – 4pm)

Green Lake – July 12th (2pm – 4pm)

Toledo is facing a number of challengers in the race including long time residents such as Hugh H. Russell and Debaduta Dash; as well as new residents to the area such as Halei Watkins and Sandy Brown.

GW David Toledo Seattle City Council Cartooning with the Candidate 1