Capitol Hill owners throw support behind Banks small business plan

(Research and Images: CHS)

Flanked by Capitol Hill small business owners — and inside 12th Ave’s Rachel Ginger Beer, the setting for her new “small business for Pamela” advertisement — District 3 challenger Pamela Banks sat down with CHS to discuss her plans to address an important part of the district she says her opponent neglects.

Thursday, the candidate unveiled her “Small Business Action Plan,” a four-part platform that she says is independent business and community focused and has been honed by her time leading the Urban League serving Seattle’s African American and underserved communities.

“This is public safety, this is employment, this is economic development — they all overlap,” Banks told CHS Thursday.

The Banks District 3-focused plan includes a call for better community policing and closer relationships between neighbors, community businesses and organizations, and officers, two new loan program proposals, and the creation of a small business advisory committee at City Hall.

Additionally, Banks repeated her calls for more programs offering training “to help District 3 residents develop the skills they need to succeed.”

Supporters at Thursday’s media event — CHS was the only outlet to attend on what Banks campaign organizers said turned out to be “a busy day” for Seattle media — included Rachel’s Ginger Beer founder Rachel Marshall whose partnerships also own the Montana bar on E Olive Way and Nacho Borracho on Broadway. Continue reading

With 80 square feet of pride, tiny TNT Espresso says goodbye to Broadway

(Images: TNT Espresso)

TNT Espresso, the only drive-up coffee shack on Broadway and a shorter-line, somehow even funkier alternative to the popular Vivace walk-up across the street, will close at the end of the month.

Monica Anaya posted her TNT goodbye message Thursday morning on Facebook citing the relentless crawl of development, motherhood, and the desire for a change of pace outside of the 80 square-foot coffee stand.

Take it away, Momo:

To all my friends and loyal customers,
I write this to you all with a heavy heart. I have decided to close TNT Espresso Co for good. October 31st will be our last day of business. I’d like to start by saying thank you to Tina and Terry for giving me the opportunity to buy TNT 5 years ago. I have truly enjoyed myself while doing what I love!

There are several reasons why I feel that it is time to say good bye to the place that has helped me grow in life, foster amazing relationships and connections, and has taught me how to own and operate a small business.

First and foremost, I want to leave on my terms and not get pushed out by the gentrification which is happening in my favorite neighborhood in Seattle. I’ve operated without a lease for the last 5 years and I feel that my time is running out. I couldn’t bear to have someone come in and kick me out so they can build a high rise apartment building where I’ve stood for the last 15 years of my life. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | SPD: What to Expect During This Week’s Presidential Visit

Written by Detective Patrick Michaud on October 8, 2015 10:42 am

President Obama’s upcoming trip to Seattle on Friday is quickly approaching and it’s time to start planning how you will get around town.

Intermittent closures of freeways and arterials and downtown streets are to be expected.  The flow of buses and cars through downtown will be disrupted during these closures.

Travelers should expect delays and are advised to plan ahead.  Buses on surface streets in the north part of downtown will be rerouted; check with King County Metro Alert for routes impacted. The South Lake Union Streetcar will continue to operate, but the stop at the Westlake Hub at McGraw Square will remain closed. The downtown transit tunnel is expected to remain open and operating.presidential-map

Parking on Downtown streets will be restricted as needed.

Per the United States Secret Service, vehicle access to the area bounded by Olive St., 7th Ave, Lenora St and 4th Ave will be limited to 5th Avenue between Lenora and Virginia and on Stewart between 6th and 7th Avenue. Commuters are encouraged to use transit or park outside the area and walk in. People entering the area should expect delays and additional security screening.

Pike/Pine vs. Pike-Pine

(Image: Downtown Seattle Association)

(Image: Downtown Seattle Association)

There is a subtext to the tussle over the design and “public benefits” planned for the $1.4 billion Washington State Convention Center.

Pike-Pine is downtown turf:

This week new banners will appear along Pike and Pine streets from Pike Place Market to Capitol Hill as part of the Downtown’s Pike Pine Renaissance. More than 60 banners now line Pike and Pine, complementing the private investments that Nike, Nordstrom and others are making to improve the experience along this corridor. The banners are the latest in a series of investments that were generated from a 2013 planning effort lead by the DSA and local landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. This plan includes streetscape improvements, public area amenities and activation, light installations, community events and more.

Up the Hill, Pike/Pine is watching.

The new banners are a small battlefront but there is the potential for a border skirmish. Especially with the Downtown Seattle Association putting dollars behind the initiative:

As a part of this effort, the DSA is also working to activate public space and recently signed a management agreement with the City of Seattle to program Westlake Park. With private investment, the DSA purchased new furniture and games to activate Westlake Park year-round.

With the Pike-Pine Renaissance project to create “higher quality, more consistent pedestrian space through upgraded standards for sidewalks and intersections” also comes a branding effort. Will Pike/Pine mean Seattle’s old auto row transformed into bars, restaurants, and independent shops? Or Nike and Nordstrom?

Meanwhile, the downtown push to get the convention center expansion moving passed one important milestone Tuesday night when the design review board voted that the project can advance to its “master use permit” stage. The project’s city planner tells CHS there will be more opportunities for public feedback as the design and approval process plays out and who owns Pike/Pine — or is it Pike-Pine? — and where the borders are drawn fall into place.

Seattle Police Department unveils high tech center for tracking and forecasting crime as it happens

When the number of 911 calls outnumber the Seattle Police officers available to respond, commanders have to make snap decisions on how best to deploy their resources. SPD’s new Real Time Crime Center now gives those commanders some sleek new tools to do it.

Using a dashboard that includes a real-time, interactive map of all 911 calls in the city, an easy-to-read overview of weapons incidents, and trigger alerts for when resources are running low, SPD say the RTCC is its latest attempt to take data-driven policing to the next level.

“You couldn’t make sense of all the numbers (before),” said Mike Wagers, SPD’s chief operating officer. “Just having it sorted … (commanders) can look up there now and see how many are active and how many are waiting.” Continue reading

On the List | October Capitol Hill Art Walk, 2015 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Fest, Depressed Cake Shop

Your Capitol Hill weekend starts Thursday night with October’s edition of the Capitol Hill Art Walk.

Here are a few CHAW highlights — as usual, a full roster and super-useful map are at

  • 12th Ave Arts: Art Walk Happy Hour 5–6pm! All ages welcome. Start your art walk here with a social hour to pick up an art walk map and enjoy the upstairs gallery show QUEER AS A THREE DOLLAR BILL: 20 Years of LGBTQ visibility through cinema.
  • Cafe Pettirosso: A photographic journey by McCade Dolan of Cadeography & Willow of Creatrix headdresses. This collaboration showcases their combined, inspired ideas coming together to create a visual celebration of powerful self expression and radiant beauty.
  • Blue Cone Studios: New Studio Opening! View a new and an eclectic variety of art and jewelry while munching on snacks and listening to groovy tunes. With work by Carolyn Hitt, Colton Kenyon, Roberto Hernandez, Michelle McCarthy, Mary P Traverse and more. 5–10p. 1520 11th Ave, Door B Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Gaslight Inn wins Seattle landmark status


(Image: Gaslight Inn)

Screen-Shot-2015-08-08-at-7.11.26-PM2-600x344If walls could talk inside the Gaslight Inn at 15th and Howell, they would’ve been saying “aw shucks” at Wednesday’s Landmarks Preservation Board meeting. With gushing support, board members unanimously approved landmark protections for the 1911-built bed-and-breakfast.

“It’s clear to me there’s a real sincere affection to preserve the cultural stories behind the house and behind Capitol Hill,” said board member Aaron Louma.

Gaslight owner Stephen Bennett, who nominated the building, told CHS he was elated at the board’s decision and recognition of the building’s important place in Capitol Hill’s LGBTQ history. Bennett said he’s looking forward to living out his retirement with the house and his bed and breakfast business.

“I don’t have any family or children, so I would like to leave it to a civic organization,” he said. “I want it kept in the community.” Continue reading

Blotter | Eastlake homicide update, SPD report on Harvard shooting released

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Eastlake homicide: Prosecutors have not yet charged the man police say kicked his drinking companion in the head causing a fatal injury in a brawl outside an Eastlake homeless shelter in late September. 47-year-old Kenneth Lofton died hours after the September 26th fight put him on life support. According to police, the 55-year-old suspect admitted to kicking Lofton after a night of drinking and disputes on Capitol Hill and at the Eastlake facility where the two men were residents, the 1811 House shelter for homeless men and women addicted to alcohol. Police say staff at the facility saw Lofton bleeding profusely from a head injury following the 3 AM fight but that the victim refused medical attention. Around 9:30 AM, Lofton was found on the floor, gasping for breath. He was rushed to the hospital and later died of his injuries. The 55-year-old was booked into King County Jail that night on $1 million bail but was conditionally released four days later.
  • Phoenix Jones pistol-whipping incident: No charges have been filed in the pistol-whipping assault in which Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones claimed his intervention saved the victim’s life in the early morning Pike/Pine assault. Police took three men into custody following the incident. Court records indicate that none of the three have yet been charged.
  • SPD report on Harvard shooting: The SPD report on last weekend’s gunfire on Harvard Ave doesn’t add many new details about the incident — but it does clarify what the victim hit in the foot by the stray bullet was up to:Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.12.16 PMIt also documents a nearby close call for another man who happened to be sitting in his car near the shooting scene:Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.13.29 PMPolice have made no arrests in the case.
  • 12th Ave bar thief: Police were called to a bar in the 400 block of 12th Ave early Sunday morning to a report that a man who had been refused service because he owned nearly $300 on his bar tab had decided to take getting a drink into his own hands:

    V/ stated that this male currently owes the establishment approximately $285, and as a result, she refused to serve him. The male then
    became upset, and opened the door that separates the public area of the establishment with the area behind the bar, and walked behind the bar itself.
    As he did so, V/ states that the male used force to push her aside. The male then grabbed a bottle of liquor from behind the bar, and exited a back
    entrance of the establishment. The male was last seen walking west in the alley adjacent to the establishment.

    The bottle of booze was valued at $80 according to the SPD report.

  • Water bottle assault: Officers responded to a Pike/Pine bar late last month after a female patron reportedly attacked staff by tossing water bottles at the bartender:Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.17.01 PMThe venue agreed not to press charges if the suspect left the bar.

Ethics issues raised as District 3 race gets chippy, even more cash-filled


“My opponent only listens to people who think she is great.”

Things were already heating up at Sunday night’s District 3 debate with challenger Pamela Banks tossing more than a few barbs at Kshama Sawant — plenty prepared to return fire, herself. Two controversies in the wake of the debate may be a sign of more chippy-ness to come.

First, a subplot to the 37th District Democrats endorsement of Banks has generated allegations that the vote for the candidate was “bought” by the Bruce Harrell campaign:

An SEEC complaint alleges that, before the deadline to become a voting member of the organization in time for endorsements, 15 new memberships were paid for in one batch, with sequential money orders purchased at the same location. Continue reading

SDOT taking over Pronto bike share with plans to expand, go all-electric

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 11.16.17 PMSeattle’s bike share program is poised for some big changes.

The details are still getting hammered out, but the Seattle Department of Transportation will take over Pronto Cycle Share a year after the nonprofit running it rolled out the system in October 2014.

SDOT is currently negotiating with the Puget Sound Bike Share to acquire the system at zero cost, according to a SDOT spokesperson. The takeover would allow for an major investment of public funding to expand the number of stations into low income areas and add electric bikes.

“Bike share is most successful at scale. You need a real network of origin-destination combinations,” said Nicole Freedman, director of SDOT’s active transportation program.

$5 million in Mayor Ed Murray’s recently released budget is slated to go towards expanding the Pronto network, doubling the number of stations to around 100. If a federal TIGER grant comes through, that money would be used as matching funds, allowing the number of stations to expand to 250. That could put 62% of Seattle residents within walking distance of a station, up from 14% today. The decision is expected to be announced this month. Continue reading