Safe Consumption Part II: The Site

June 28, 2018

The closest supervised consumption site to Seattle—and the first one built in North America—is located on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia. It's called Insite, and was created in 2003 in response to an overdose and HIV transmission crisis there in the late 1990s. Because it's the first and the closest, and has about 15 years of operation and data behind it, lots of people in the Seattle area look to Vancouver for an example of what works, or what doesn't—again, depending on whom you ask. This week, in Part Two of a three-part series on supervised consumption sites, Seattleland takes a field trip to Vancouver to tour Insite and speak with people who work there, who use there, and who now work in advocacy near there, to better understand what this practice looks like and what it really means. 

Featuring interviews with Tim Gautier, an Insite participant named Brandi, Shelley Bolton, and Guy Felicella.

Music by Kevin MacLeod, Nctrnm, and Leeni Ramadan

This week's cover photo is an image of a participant entering the front doors of Insite, and was taken by Nicole Jennings. Nicole is a former staff writer at the Issaquah Reporter and she published an article based on this trip in February. 

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Safe Consumption Part I: The Debate

June 21, 2018

In January 2017, Seattle and King County made national headlines: They announced their intentions to build the first two supervised consumption sites in the U.S. as a way to help combat the opioid crisis. The sites, also known as Community Health Engagement Locations (CHELs), safe consumption sites, or heroin injection sites, depending on whom you ask, are places where people can inject or consume illicit drugs legally and under medical supervision. They're designed to prevent the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C, as well as overdose deaths, and can serve as a way to connect people to treatment and other health and social services. But lots of people and public officials both in and outside of Seattle are vehemently opposed to the idea, and more than a dozen cities in the region have permanently banned them. This is Part One of a three-part series on the heated, emotional, and sometimes bitter debate in the Seattle area around one of the most controversial policy proposals in the country.

Featuring interviews with Turina James, Joshua Freed, Jared Nieuwenhuis, and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Music by Kevin MacLeod, Kai Engel, Nctrnm, The Insider, and Leeni Ramadan

This week's cover photo is an image of the injection room at Insite, the supervised consumption facility in Vancouver, B.C., and was taken by Nicole Jennings. 

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Dockless in Seattle

June 7, 2018

In summer 2017, thousands of brightly-hued bikes started covering Seattle streets. Unlike Seattle's previous bikeshare program, Pronto, which required users to return the bike to a designated parking station, these don't have a station. You unlock the bike with your smartphone, then leave it at your destination. It's more convenient, so the program has been seeing a lot more use and overall enthusiasm than Pronto ever did. But all that freedom sometimes leads to... well, chaos. The bikes have been hung off of bridges, stop signs, and trees; they've been drowned in lakes, thrown in bushes, and holed up in people's houses; they've been tossed in piles and mangled and tagged. This week, as Seattle releases its initial evaluation of a year with dockless bikeshare, Seattleland's intern Aidan Walker takes stock of all that vandalism and mayhem—and explores what bike companies and city staffers are doing to stem the tide of careless parkers.

Music by Ask AgainKevin MacLeodJahzarr, and Leeni Ramadan

This week's cover photo is an image of a remarkably orderly line of Ofo bikes, taken by Aidan Walker. 

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