Dominic, you are a reporter? As in, with real press credentials besides a home-made business card?

Whoa! Hold-the-fuck-up here. I had NO IDEA that there were real reporters on the Stranger's staff. Seriously? Reporters? Fo realz? No shit?

I thought this was just a jerkwater progressive web log, spouting Liberal hate, hypocrisy and dissention.

Wow, real reporters. Who woulda known?
You handled the altercation very well Dominic.
Damn, should've at least filed that report. Not necessarily to press charges, but just to have something on file and documented that reflects poorly on their character, should it prove relevant down the line.
What a bunch of cockroaches these people are. If they were open about what they believed, at least they'd be honest. Anyone who patronizes this printer deserves to get taken because if they'll lie about this and assault innocent human beings, they'll also certainly defraud their customers.
You were assaulted and falsely imprisoned. On tape. You did Swifty's a big favor by not pressing charges.
Kudos, Dom.
I'm just glad it wasn't Florida.
Kind of weird that he freaked out when the wife was mentioned--maybe some control issues in that relationship?

@1 Please. At least make an effort to learn to try to be clever.
You're nicer than I am (or more passive). I'd have filed a police report and I'd look into possibly suing them civilly for false arrest. At least file a small claims action for $5000.
The rich tend to think the law is only there to protct their interests for some strange reason called 'everything that ever happens'
@1: You get that The Stranger is a bonafide business that also produces a print newspaper and has an actual office right on Capitol Hill, and a paid staff of people who investigate their stories and then write about them, and management and stuff, right? It's not just, like, an online "web log" (you're kidding me with that terminology, right?) with a bunch of amateurs sitting in their underwear in their homes jerking off between opinion postings.
...or maybe he's just a small stressed business owner 5 years into a shitty economy who picked this thing (rightly or wrongly) to vent on. Yeah, he seems like an ass and perhaps deserves a bit of something or other coming he way but you veer into self congratulatory hyperbole and a bit of self righteousness. That you were grabbed and held against your will is inexcusable and man many kudos to you for not pressing the matter. But cut the dude a husk over the broader issue as well and try to understand that doing business in belltown can be especially frustrating. I work with angry businesses in the belltown downtown pioneer square (and the rest of the city) regularly. Get past the initial freak out, let them vent and go from there. He didn't you a chance and that's on him but don't be too quick to judge.

I love your stuff btw.
Good job, Dom! Don't take crap from these jerks. We need to keep the spotlight on the plight of local affordable housing.
Something called "Bizapedia" says that the Downtown Seattle Neighbors Alliance is a non-profit registered to Marc Henry at 212 Virginia Street #474.…

Thanks Dominic, it's always good to know there is more work to do in our 'community'. A healthy city is an inclusive city and Seattle does so well in some respects, but when it comes to housing, we are at the mercy of developers and profiteers to the point where most regular working people have to drive out of the city to find affordable housing, clogging our roadways with commute traffic. Life would be better for us all if working class people could find living wage jobs, if housing prices were limited in their profit margins (even apodments are raising their prices due to market thirst and again, working people are being priced out), and if discrimination of all kinds were eliminated. The people who own the print shop would do well to realize that they are probably not so protected from the hard luck of those in need of Plymoth Housing services, and that they too could be homeless one day. It is the realization that millions of Americans are coming to these days as their homes and businesses get foreclosed on. Personally, I will do business with people who seem to be compassionate towards the community they rely on for their own wages.
I imagine they're not a union shop.
WTF, Dom. C'mon, kick ass and take names.

Well, you did pretty darn good on the name-taking. You just need a little work on the ass-kicking. You know?... The Stranger really ought to have a litigious attorney on retainer. He'd easily become an important profit center, considering some of the egregious shitheads you guys encounter.
Dom, you are far too nice. I would have had the fucker arrested on the spot.
Maybe the print shop guy simply objects to developer whores on his property, and got a little too animated?
You can see why life would seem really hard to a small businessman whose grasp of law was so weak. Somebody whose concept of how justice operated was so disconnected with reality. Nothing would make sense to you. It would be like living in a demon haunted world of mysterious events and frightening surprises.

I bet they have guns. Wouldn't be a bad idea for the cops to check up on them from time to time. Hell of a lot better profile than brown skin, you know SPD?
"Connect Express" seems to be a mail drop at the same address as Swifty Printing.
Alternate theory is that it didn't go down quite like Dominic Holden is telling us now, and maybe he would have been just as ill served by having a police report on file as the other side.
It's ALWAYS about the class of people who'll live in these places (criminals all, simply because they don't have money for a market-rate place). Compass Housing was hit by a lawsuit over zoning of a place in Ballard, and Compass ended up spending $100,000+ and two years defending that stupid lawsuit, which filed by three people who apparently had unlimited funds to be nimbys. The Compass building has opened and no one is complaining about it.
They were so overly agitated. I don't think it was about the housing project proposal.

Oh dear...
As a 1st Ave resident who received the flyer and sent a comment to the city, I thank you for your research. I love Belltown for its diversity. And I get the importance of proximity to services and public transit -- that was also part of the neighborhood's appeal for me. But regardless of who the 'Alliance' is, I think they bring up a reasonable argument that adding more housing for folks largely prone to substance abuse in a neighborhood already troubled area is questionable. Mind you, this in no way excuses their stupid behavior with you in the print shop!?! Morons...
Yo Dom, you should have fucked that guy up! I would have. But then again I'm part neanderthal.
At what point were you "almost arrested"?
@13: Stress doesn't give license to abuse someone because they asked you a question you're too cowardly to handle.
Nicely handled Dominic, one wonders why they are so defensive? I mean in a country with free speech they have every right to express their opposition and as neighbors certainly have every rain to ask questions about the project, unfortunately veiling it as though they speak for the community as a whole only weakens their voice. In regards to the moronic fuckwit comments by GeneStoner, if you think the stranger has no reporters and no value as a news source, why do you spend so much time posting comments on their website?
Someone took the job of press wrangler a little too literally...
I would be interested to know your credentials, Dominic. The embarrassing misuse of data on your pot story earlier today was like high school journalism. Made me wonder where you learned the trade.
"Back in 2004 to 2007, we used to hear more squealing about losing neighborhood "character" to unfamiliar town houses"

Spearheaded by articles in the Stranger and Slog.
Good job. I hope you have a stiff drink tonight cause that would freak me out.
I kinda wish you had pressed charges, but I love that you did this!
Just from the attitude, I'm gonna guess: Middle-East, right?
With this kind of publicity, Swifty Printing might be swiftly out of business and in need of the very transitional housing they are trying to prevent...
I just looked at this thread again and realized what I wrote makes no sense and has no context. The address that Fnarf pointed out, 212 Virginia Street, is a mail drop in the same building as Swifty Printing, called "Connect Express".

Don't be an ass.
Things get weird when anyone varies from the passive agressive norm. A face to face discussion pretty much invites a thrown feces response?
A few things...

#1: You should have pressed charges. The cop was already there and that's not ok to be physically detained against your will by someone. In addition, you wrote this blog entry and mentioned names, so it would have given a little more credibility to what we are now forced to assume are the facts.

#2: You didn't "almost" get arrested by your own account. Sounds like the SPD acted pretty fucking reasonably considering that they agreed that you hadn't done anything wrong, released you without any further drama, and provided the option for you to press charges should you have chosen. Nice spin though.

#3: You and this business owner have taken all meaningful and reasonable discussion off the table on this issue for many people. They are trying to spin things to make people afraid of the people who will live there, and you are making them out to be class warfare waging agenda driven devils who disparage a noble, liberal, humanitarian cause that takes innocents off the streets and transitions them into restaurant going "members of the press" like yourself.

#4: These guys are really strange and certainly seem to have some hidden agenda or frustration. That said, while it's not an indictment of all people who are low income or are transitioning from the streets, it's ridiculous to ignore the higher statistical correlation between an apartment community like the one proposed and for example, another fucking AVA building.

#5: Why don't you do some real journalism if you're a real member of the press and use your clear talent for writing and cool headedness to put out something that is representative of the facts of the matter, even ones unsavory to your political or social ideals (e.g. - crime statistics for similar projects). It would do much more credit to you and the Stranger than this deluded and self-serving rant of liberal martyrdom.
Nobody should be grabbing your arm, Dom.
And you did the right thing, the right way, write whatever the fuck you want.
hey tim, these print shop weirdos are right up your alley bro. you guys should all team up. weirdos united.
Plymouth housing is a great provider of low/no income housing. They are really making a difference. They provide a lot of support to their clients and in many cases get people off the streets and into the first real housing they have had in many years. They are not criminals.
@GeneStoner - he reports on things happening and that happen to him. Sounds like "one who reports". Dont like his reporting on the happenings of things, stop reading it. Or maybe call the police on him.
Well it could have been worse. At least no one told you to smile ;-)

FWIW Swifty is one of the city's preferred printers. They get a lot of the various department's business.

Kudos to you, Dom. I appreciate your articles and your news.
#1. You are ridiculous

#2. Walking into a public business and asking the owners to comment on their political activities is real journalism, dumbass.

#3 We need more first person reporting instead of the media that just parrots the same pablum from the AP. More reporters, commentators, bloggers, writers, etc. should get off their asses and try talking to people in the community before writing about a subject.

#4 I'm no Dominic fanboy, I don't know jack about him or his credentials. Even if he's not Woodward or Bernstein, I do know hitting the pavement and talking to people is good journalism.

#5 what would you know about reporting while sitting there armchair quarterbacking?
I'm not sure about Seattle jurisdiction but often "detained" = kidnapping. Serious shit. I wish you had filed just to get your hands on the security tape.
Thank you Dominic for the article. As President of the Belltown Community Council, and interim Chair of Belltown's Building, Housing and Land Use, I personally dropped by Swifty printing and invited them to participate civilly in the process with the existing, engaged and official organizations before this began. In the weeks that have followed, I have attempted to engage the "Association", which indeed has a fea more members as their elected community representative. However, they are uninterested in engaging in community work, and are not open to the answers they've been given to the questions they claim to have. Please know that the tactics employed and the ideas represented do *not* reflect the thoughts or feelings of the organized residential community of Belltown. --Elizabeth campbell,
I am all in favor of Swifty Printing. #51's "offer" was the typical Seattle chloroform rag. The Belltown Community Council, like the Stranger and the developers they whore for, could give a flying fuck about what anyone else thinks.
Quit acting like you are Rosa Parks - or a "journalist" - and go suck your bag of dicks.
Is it just me, or has the quality of the trolling like @53 sharply declined? It almost makes one yearn for the return of the period troll.
You should have had the shopkeeper arrested for assault and unlawful detainment. Then you should have sued them for violating your civil rights (and expect a 5 figure settlement). This is a valid use of police resources. I would be very surprised if you were the first person this shopkeeper bullied this way and it is going to continue until someone pushes back.
@54 Quality has definitely declined. I even miss the sheer batshit insanity of Loveschild. Now that was a troll; she could connect pretty much anything to the gays somehow, and she was always good for at least 5-10 comments, which would prompt at least as many responses (Kim in Portland and Venomlash did yeoman's work on those). On the other hand, we have a whole buffet of trollery now; variety has never been as wide (if dumb). I expect most of them will get bored and move before too long; even Bailo seems to have cut back over time.
I think this post is very interesting and well written, and, Dominic, I'm very sorry that this happened to you. But, as others have said, you were not "almost arrested!" The title is misleading and suggests that you are about to tell us about police misconduct that you personally experienced. It sounds like the police officer was extremely reasonable and did some good deescalation and conflict resolution: you shouldn't repay that with a post title that implies police misconduct.

I think you should change the title. Something like "The Story of How I the Police Were Called When I Asked Questions" or maybe something else that does include the CITIZEN detention you suffered from. But do not imply police misconduct.
53 is probably someone from the Seattle Times. Here's an idea. See if the web logs can track the IP address of that commentator back to the Times. That would make a good story.
This writing is not your best work, Dominic. Aside from a misleading title (page click incentive?) your post reads like it was hastily written with a lack of focus.

An earnest question: why didn’t you identify yourself sooner as a writer – not reporter – for The Stranger? “Immediately” asking a string of questions regarding personal information without identifying yourself first would surely set off anyone.

The hyperbole of your situation is a bit of hack writing, or at least heavy-handed for a writer such as yourself. You can do better, Dominic, so be better.
@54, I don't know Matt, you're still here.

This is really too bad, the brothers that run swifty are literally some of the nicest people I've dealt with in all my years in seattle. They've been in that space for many many years dealing with all the crime that was already happening. For many years (when I frequented their business) that corner and the area across third was a bit of a hangout for dealers and gangsters. I'm sure it's been frustrating for them and simply picking up and moving with the amount of equipment they have would be a cost nightmare. So when the city says 'We want to put another hundred potential 'bad actors' next door of course they are going to fight it, what business owner in their right mind wouldn't.
@54: Maybe they've gotten a job, or at least a girlfriend and don't have the heart to put into quality, useful trolling these days. Trolling: Not for hobbyists.
53 is probably just Worst Nightmare trying another monicker. Did the previous one get banned?
@54 The current batch of trolls, like GeneStoner, are NRA inspired misanthropes who lack variety in their anger. If it can't be blamed on non-white criminals, they really have little to say other than to shoot the messenger. Their solution always involves shooting someone.
Good job Dom, good article, and I'm glad you're OK.
A writer on Slog acknowledges the professionalism and good judgment of a Seattle PD officer. I feel like this is a sign that the world may be coming to an end soon. Should I be watching out for four horsemen or zombies or something?
You want to know who else is behind this alliance, According to the secretary of state a real estate broker named Mark Behar with a Bellevue Post Office Box. His firm (?) Entrust Inc is also registered to this address. Not sure you can use a PO box for a registered agent. He does have a real estate license at a Seward Park Address on 49th Ave S that isn't registered in his name. The property is listed to an Albert Behar who appears to be his dad, based on their ages. Mark also has his voter registration to that address. The one sale I could find without looking to hard was a modestly priced Belltown condo.

A few listings in the WA court records. Mostly District/ Muni court (usually moving violations, possibly nickle ante criminal or collections), nothing remarkable, but they could provide clues as to who this guy is.

A 52 year old looser realtor who uses his dad's address and appears to have time on his hands. Sheesh.
Trolls like GeneStoner, et al. need to masturbate into their hands more and less on the page. If you don't like the Stranger WTF are you here for? Fuck off and die.
@16 Maggie for mayor!

Wow, Dom. You have a much cooler head than I. This was an extremely interesting read.
@60 - The irony.
Nice deflection on the real story.

That others are perceiving these apodments for what they are...SRO hotels for derelicts.
Wait a this about overpriced pseudo-boarding-houses cleverly named aPODments that are a developer's great big cash in, or about cheap rooms in a large-scale halfway house of sorts that is meant to help people who are down on their luck?

There is a difference, Dominic. We both know that. Don't conflate the two.
Dom, I have to agree with those saying that declining to press charges makes you look like a lazy journalist at best, and a prevaricator at worst. Pressing charges would have demonstrated to other bullies that journalists can't be intimidated, and proved to your critics that you were honest and accurate in reporting the incident.

Further, with a public trial attached, the story would likely have blown up big enough to substantially raise awareness of our city's deplorable battle over low-income housing. But without the police records to back it up, your story could be cast as just another bitter rant from an axe-grinding "liberal" blogger who may or may not be playing fast and loose with the facts.

The very worst consequence of your inaction, however, is the fact that an apparent psychopath who allegedly assaulted and possibly kidnapped you will not get the reality check in front of a judge that he so desperately needs. His next victim might not walk away so easily as you.
@71, this story isn't about apodments, dipshit.

My point exactly.
Dom, you started asking questions and brought this guy's wife's name up BEFORE identifying yourself as a "reporter."

That's not journalism.
Not identifying yourself as a reporter immediately is incredibly unprofessional. And "almost arrested"? -- I must have missed that part of the story. But judging from the comments, these are the type of journalistic "standards" that a small segment of Seattle demands.
@77 - nothing in your comment indicates that you know anything about any segment of Seattle besides the bitter and malinforned kind.
#78 Wow that stings. Very substantive rebuttal.
@79 - I am outraged.
Where's "Seattleblues" gone anyway...speaking of trolls.
Most excellent work, Dominic. I am in awe. Keep the pressure up. Keep digging.
@66 I think the Stranger actually makes a habit of adding the caveat "a few bad cops" when they talk about issues within the SPD, and part of the responsibility of the press is to publicize incidents when police abuse their authority (a point substantiated by the Justice Dept, incidentally).
@81 he really shut up after the election. I like the idea that marriage equality arriving in WA finally drove him around the bend, but it's more likely he saw the writing on the wall and didn't want to listen to us gloat.
#80 Another brilliant rebuttal. You couldn't illustrate my point any better.
Hmmm. I oversee the ordering of printed materials for my company. And we use Swifty Printing. Or do we? Real world consequences, Mr. Nikfard.
Seattleblues stopped posting regularly last spring, and made his final appearance last August.…
I used to get a lot of printing done all over the place and without fail whenever I went in to pick up an order, regardless of where the printshop was, there would always be talk radio on inside the shop -- often Rush Limbaugh.

I suspect every small-time printer secretly harbors a belief that they are the next Thomas Paine or Ben Franklin; soon to spark the Great Revolution with their stunning printed broadsheets and oh-so-very fiery handbills!

Thanks Dominic for finding out who these people are. Sorry you had to get roughed up.
@74 That's not what the opening sentence says, dipshit.
I would never, ever patronize this print shop.

Times New Roman and Comic Fucking Sans for chrissake?
@90 Really? The opening sentence suggests to me that this is a story about how a reporter was detained and almost arrested. That he was investigating a story about aPodments is a DETAIL related to a story about how a reporter was detained and almost arrested.

Reading comprehension is your friend.
@92 Then, how about the closing paragraph?

The furor of Capitol Hill residents over aPodments, for example, is the screech of the wealthy and anchored who fear an influx of the young and mobile. And the latest battle cry is from businesses that—quite boldly—don't want poor people living nearby and are apparently willing to do extraordinary things to conceal their identity and punish anyone who dares to expose them.

Certainly you'd agree that that paragraph belongs in s story that was actually about aPODments and not in a story about low-income halfway houses?
@91 nails it.
I received the latest fear-mongering mailer from the "Downtown Seattle Neighbors Alliance" in the mail (I live downtown).

I emailed a reply to them, Plymouth Housing Group, and the Department of Planning & Development, and posted it online here: "How To Handle Haters In The City ( DSNA Smack-down" (
Crazy peeps be crazy.
Dominic, thank you for your journalism and for the article. I have been having similar experiences with the "Downtown Seattle Neighbors Alliance". As the President of the Belltown Community Council, I am their locally elected representative to the City of Seattle, and as such, I have been aware of the Plymouth purchase on Third Avenue, the context in which they are purchasing, the upcoming changes to the property, and both the City and Community processes that Plymouth has been participating in. I attempted to engage the owners of Swifty printing before they sent out the first flyer as they had been taking their complaints about behavior around their business to Downtown organizations, who, in turn, notified me. I was present during the Early Design Review meeting that was interrupted with complaints, and made it clear that neighborhood questions and concerns of the nature of the Swifty printing group are appropriate to bring to the Community Council Board and membership. Each of the questions on the second flyer has been asked and answered. The 'other members' of the newly formed and unofficial 'association' seem to include a realestate broker from Windermere and possibly one young couple from Belltown. The flyers seem to be meant to gather support for only a negative position on Plymouth's purchase and development of the property on 3rd Avenue, which is not indicative of accepted parameters or tactics of an actual community organization. Although Plymouth Housing has presented twice to the Community Council; and met previously with myself and my Business Association counterpart, works to comply in design with the EDG review board, and City of Seattle, these neighbors continue to work on attempts to disrupt the process. It's worth sharing that the majority of neighbors in Belltown do not share the views of the Swifty owners, and that the specifics of the sale and change in use of the property will actually reduce the number of those in need on Third Avenue during the daytime. --elizabeth campbell,
"Seattle is a lucky, lucky city—cranes are swiveling across our skyline and sidewalks are closed at every other turn for construction projects."
Yes, Seattle is lucky to have its pedestrian walkways impeded by rampant corporatism. I thought The Stranger was supposed to be progressive?
Mr Holden, why didnt you leave when you were asked to leave? No handing out business cards, no need to further explain what your doing, just do an about face and leave. The fact that an employee had ample time to walk over to you, grab you by the arm and restrain you, just tells me you were dragging your feet. This isnt Occupy Wall Street, when being asked to leave suddenly in an invitation to do the exact opposite or a reason to escalate the problem.

So what did we learn? NIMBYs are NIMBYs and setting up a halfway house for homeless people next to your work, is something most people are not going to be happy about.
@99: I live a block away from a halfway house and it's NEVER caused me any trouble or worry.

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