Police investigate reported Cal Anderson gunpoint robbery

A victim told police he was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight in Cal Anderson Park early Monday evening despite ongoing emphasis patrols in the area.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the victim fled to Seattle Central where he reported the hold-up to 911. Police were called out around 5:20 PM.

According to the victim, the hold-up occurred near the basketball court off Nagle Place. The distraught victim told police his assailant threatened him with a 9 MM pistol during the robbery.

Police were looking for black male, bald, with a chin-strap style beard and wearing a light blue plaid shirt with navy or gray pants. Police believed he may be a person known to area officers who has previously been trespassed from the park.

Seattle Police say East Precinct and gang units are continuing emphasis patrols in the Pike/Pine area. Last week, precinct officials asked Seattle Parks to leave the lights on around Cal Anderson until 2:30 AM on the weekends to help quell a wave of street crime. Meanwhile, the mayor has announced he plans to hire more officers and give them better crime fighting intelligence.

Wounded teen shows up at hospital as police investigate Central District gunfire incidents

Police found more than 30 shell casings in the street near 21st and E Fir after reports of gunfire in the Central District rolled into 911 late Sunday night. As police investigated, a 16-year-old suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound arrived at Harborview. Meanwhile, Monday afternoon, police rushed to the area around Judkins Park following a report of a gunman shooting at another vehicle from a window of a speeding SUV.

In the Monday afternoon incident, police swarmed the area around Judkins Park just before 2:30 PM and found shell casing strewn across 23rd Ave at Dearborn and at least one uninvolved vehicle hit. There were no immediate reports of any injuries involved with the gunfire. Traffic in the area was diverted during the investigation. UPDATE: SPD has posted a report on the Monday afternoon incident: “One vehicle was damaged by the gunfire. There were no reports of injuries. The roadway was reopened just after 3 pm.” More here.

Police say they are still investigating the Sunday night shooting incident:

Around 11:15, police received a number of 911 calls about gunshots near 21 Ave and East Fir Street. At the scene, officers recovered more than 30 shell casings from different guns and found several buildings and cars had been struck by gunfire. Police weren’t able to locate anyone with injuries at the scene.

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With 88 performances in 5 days on Capitol Hill, Seattle Fringe Festival 2014 starts Wednesday

10633789_346196662204786_5486770815533513259_oAt $10 a pop, tickets to the productions in the Seattle Fringe Festival provide an excellent level of return on investment as measured by serendipity.

Beginning Wednesday, the festival will roll out 88 performances by 22 producing companies in 5 Capitol Hill venues over 5 days. Organizers call it “a port of call for exceptional artists from the touring circuit.” 2014′s performances have roots in productions from from Portland, OR to Los Angeles, CA to Lafayette, CO and New York, NY.

10540815_651986838232882_1018989245850765633_nYou can view the 2014 schedule and purchase tickets at seattlefringefestival.org.

The Seattle Fringe Festival (SFF) returns to Capitol Hill September 17-21, 2014. SFF will feature an amazing 88 performances by 22 producing companies in 5 venues over 5 days. The Festival is a showcase of exciting new work by local and touring artists in an eclectic and engaging variety of performance styles.

This year, in addition to favorite venues from prior years (Annex Theater, Eclectic Theater, and two venues at NW Film Forum) SFF will be presenting work at the newly-opened Calamus Auditorium at Gay City Arts. Centrally located on Capitol Hill, all performances will be within walking distance of one another — and of the Festival Bar, St John’s. Every show runs an hour or less, and tickets are priced affordably at only $10. All ticket revenue is returned directly to the producing artists.

In 2012, CHS reported on the return of the festival after a nine-year hiatus.

In legal battle over stripped ‘Bettie Page’ branding, fashion chain shutters Broadway boutique — UPDATE: ‘It was the traffic’

Back in the Bettie days on Broadway (Image: CHS)

Back in the Bettie days on Broadway (Image: CHS)

(Image: Tatyana Boutique)

(Image: Tatyana Boutique)

Broadway’s old state liquor store location will again be empty. Tatyana Boutique, the Las Vegas-based women’s fashion chain stripped of its right to use the Bettie Page name this summer, has suddenly closed its Capitol Hill store.

A sign posted at 400 Broadway E inelegantly shared the news over the weekend. We have not yet heard back from company officials about the abrupt closure. Thanks to tipster Tim for bringing it to our attention.

UPDATE: The company’s co-founder Jan Glaser tells CHS that the closure is not part of a wider pullback by the company. “We just opened in Toronto,” Glaser said. Instead, Glaser said a lack of Broadway foot traffic was to blame. “From the beginning, traffic was an issue there. Even before the name change,” Glaser said. The entrepreneur said he may be looking for a new place in Seattle for a Tatyana store. CHS suggested E Pike below Broadway. Let us know if you have any ideas for Glaser. Continue reading

First look: Completing the overhaul of a Capitol Hill auto row building, Trove ‘fourplex’ debuts on E Pike

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Over the weekend, Rachel Yang finally got to see the pieces of her new food and drink puzzle come together on E Pike as the last step in the preservation-minded overhaul of one of the neighborhood’s remaining auto-row buildings. Trove, a gastronomical “fourplex” of concepts, brings the couple and the teams behind Seattle favorites Revel and Joule to Capitol Hill for the partnership’s first foray in the neighborhood’s booming nightlife economy.


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CHS Pics | Round and round Cal Anderson for first annual Red Door 5K

IMG_2457IMG_2507The first ever Red Door 5K Run/Walk to benefit Broadway at Union’s Gilda’s Club sent runners and walkers big and little around and around Cal Anderson on a sunny Seattle September Saturday.

CHS wrote about the new fundraiser and “red door” campaign to support the organization and Camp Sparkle, a day camp for kids 4-12 affected by cancer. On Saturday, some of that support was paid $5 at a time thanks to the Red Door 5k “shortcut” donation box.

In two weeks, one of the inspirations for Saturday’s Gilda’s Club event will add its start and finish lines once again to Volunteer Park as the annual Seattle AIDS Walk returns. You can learn more about the September 27th fundraiser and E Pike-based organizer Lifelong at seattleaidswalk.org. CHS is proud to once again be a community sponsor of the event.

More pictures below.IMG_2288 IMG_2348

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Pikes/Pines | Capitol Hill’s crow commuters

We may have a remaining few weeks of summer, but I know better than that. September hit and there’s a nip to the air, leaves are starting to fall, and the vast majority of birds have stopped singing. Territoriality is of moot importance for most birds when breeding isn’t a factor for concern but I see fall signaled best in the city by a rapid change in a specific birds’ behavior: crows.


An American Crow in transit. Credit: Brendan McGarry

Like all our breeding birds, crows breed at a specific time of year, and that time is past. However, unlike neotropical migrants and many other resident species, which make a rather quiet pass between breeding and non-breeding, crows make quite the splash. Once they’ve reared their young to the point of self-sufficiency (though they may stay with their parents and a larger family group for some time), most of our local crows no longer sleep in their breeding territories but repair to a local roost site at night.

You have almost certainly seen behavior associated with this phenolocial switch. On either end of your day, you may have noticed commuters in the air. Continue reading

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill

Screen-Shot-400x537Here are the top CHS posts from this week in 2013:

  1. Seattle’s first parklet under construction on Capitol Hill
  2. Is the Creepy Cameraman hanging out on Capitol Hill?
  3. Big Capitol Hill names behind Cone and Steiner grocery market project
  4. Stabbing at City Market
  5. Capitol Hill rent hikes in old *and* new buildings follow citywide trends

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000 22,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line – our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

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Sawant ‘town hall’ to discuss Seattle Housing Authority proposal to raise rents

In June, CHS reported that, sadly, Capitol Hill’s rents were continuing to soar as Seattle delayed its affordable housing plan. City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant is hosting a town hall meeting on Sunday night to re-kindle the discussion about affordability in the city:

Sawant to Host Community Meeting on Affordable Housing
Invites the Public to Comment on Seattle Housing Authority’s Low-Income Rent Increases

Seattle – Councilmember Kshama Sawant will host a town hall meeting to discuss the crisis of affordable housing and the Seattle Housing Authority’s proposal to raise rents for low-income residents. Sawant will focus her comments on skyrocketinghousing prices and high rents, which force working people to leave the city and exacerbate the problem of homelessness.

She will be joined by community activists working to defeat the Seattle Housing Authority’s proposed rent increases, along with advocates for rent control.

Members of the public are urged to attend and learn more about this important issue.  Refreshments will be provided.

WHAT: Town Hall meeting to discuss Seattle Housing Authority’s low-income rent increases

5 p.m., Sunday, September 14

New Holly Gathering Hall

7054 32nd Avenue South

Seattle, WA  98118

Capitol Hill food+drink | More izakaya and ramen? Kukai Capitol Hill coming

(Images: Kukai)

(Images: Kukai)

10443068_695595740490356_2040236340962179394_oEarlier this year, CHS made a big deal about the nine — count ‘em! — Asian-flavored food and drink projects pending around Capitol Hill. In the time since, the Hill prepared to add a tenth with the news that Vancouver BC’s Suika izakaya bar family is behind a new project to E Pine. Turns out, one in the wave we haven’t said much about is also going to be part of what will surely be the next Capitol Hill food trend to be identified by glossy magazines everywhere — it’s izakaya time.

The international Kukai Ramen & Izakaya chain’s Pacific Northwest footprint will expand in 2015 with the addition of a new location in the new Three20 Apartments building at 320 E Pine. A representative for Kukai has confirmed the project but said the owners were currently focused on a new Thornton Place opening and weren’t ready to say more about their Capitol Hill ambitions. Continue reading

Mayor announces more officers, better policing part of 2015 budget plan

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.14.25 PMMayor Ed Murray announced Friday that his 2015 City of Seattle budget proposals will include a boost in the number of police officers serving the city and increased spending on homeless and mental health services. But he also promised that better policing is a priority.

Calling the proposals “fairly fluid” due to budget issues at the federal and state levels, the mayor said an improving economy and new “efficiencies” would enable the city to add new programs in 2015. Murray said he would push for the hiring of 50 new SPD officers to join the 1,300 already serving the city with a goal to add 100 officers before the end of his term.

SPD Staffing by Quarter, 2014

SPD Staffing by Quarter, 2014

Murray said his SPD budget priorities for 2015 were to include more “civilian expertise,” be more data driven, include more community, and to have more officers.

Murray also said Friday his administration will hire a civilian chief information officer to help ensure “better policing.” New Chief Kathleen O’Toole is deploying CompStat-driven patrol decisions that have driven how big city forces like NYPD are utilized.

“More accountability remains our priority,” Murray said Friday.

Murray matched his SPD budget announcement with priorities for human services spends in 2015 including money to “backfill” the DESC of Seattle service centers budget, support Project 360 to aid homeless youth, and help fund the Urban Rest Stop hygiene center. Continue reading

Here’s how you can see a movie at SIFF Cinema Egyptian before October’s grand re-opening

Neighborhood film lovers have already marked the weekend of October 3rd for a reunion with The Egyptian Theatre as part of SIFF’s grand re-opening of the space. But there’s an opportunity next week to be among the first to enjoy a film in the overhauled theater as SIFF’s Women in Cinema opens its 2014 showcase with a party and screening on E Pine:

September 18 | SIFF Cinema Egyptian & SIFF Cinema Uptown
SIFF’s annual celebration of Women in Cinema returns, showcasing exceptional films from women around the world. Opening night takes place at the newly reopened SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and features Seattle favorite Lynn Shelton’s new film Laggies. The festival continues with Danish master Pernille Christensen’s award-winning Someone You Love; stunning foreign Oscar® submissions from Norway (I am Yours) and the Philippines (Transit); and enlightening new documentaries from Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik (Stray Dog) and Tina Mascara and Guido Santi (Monk with a Camera).

Free tickets to Women in Cinema opening night
Want to be our guest at the party? CHS is giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky CHS reader. Please leave a comment with your favorite line from your favorite “woman in cinema” below or on Facebook by today (9/12/14) at 5 PM Seattle standard time. We’ll randomly select a winner from the bunch. You can enter more than once if you like but we’ll include each email address or Facebook profile one time only in the drawing. Oh, you love movies, right? In addition to the party, WIC 2014 starts off with a screening of Laggies directed by Lynn Shelton.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a corpse flower bloom — Meanwhile, Friends of the Conservatory holding plant sale, raising funds before construction closure


Under construction at the Conservatory (Image: CHS)


This isn’t Edgar — but this *is* what a corpse flower looks like. What’s it smell like? Better get up to Volunteer Park to find out.

As of Friday morning, one of the Volunteer Park Conservatory’s corpse flowers is now in full bloom and reportedly it “stinks to high heaven.” The Conservatory — in Volunteer Park at 1400 E Galer St — will keep long hours Friday, September 12th, staying open from 10 AM to 9 PM so as many admirers as possible can have a chance to see and smell the rare occurrence. The plant is the first titum arum to bloom at the Conservatory since 2008. Under this pungent cloud of excitement, The Friends of the Conservatory (FOC) is holding a fund drive this fall to support the greenhouse during an upcoming two-month closure when no visitor revenue will be generated.

UPDATE: *This* is edgar

UPDATE: *This* is edgar

The simplest way to get involved — after visiting Edgar, that is — is to stop by the FOC’s fall plant sale in Volunteer Park on Saturday:

The Friends of the Conservatory Fall Plant Sale offers unique tropicals, orchids, succulents & cacti for sale; similar to the plants in the Conservatory! Frequently we offer select plants directly from the Conservatory displays and collections. Our Palm House Gift Shop will feature a variety of containers for your home or office to enhance your new leafy friends!

The restoration of the Conservatory in Volunteer Park will close the more than 100-year-old building to the public from the beginning of October to the end of November.  Earlier this spring, CHS reported on a series of planned closures to allow work to be completed to restore the glass, aluminum and wood structure. The $3.5 million needed for the restoration effort was raised over the course of a three-year capital campaign. 

FOC is planning a gala for December 6th to ”showcase the improved Conservatory and Multipurpose Space and to personally thank you for your support and contribution.”

“We want to celebrate reopening and thank everyone for their donations,” said Anthonio Pettit of FOC. Continue reading

Gay Games medalists, casual butterfliers part of Capitol Hill’s Orca Swim Team

IMG_2096IMG_0784Settling into a bonus lap or three after one of the hottest Seattle summers, you might be looking for a cooler Capitol Hill workout. Join the Orca Swim Team.

The Capitol Hill-based team practices six days a week out of the Connolly Center Pool at Seattle University.

“Orca is a tighter social group. We have a monthly potluck at a team member’s house and we go to dinner Friday nights together,” said Brock Jones who has swam on the team for a year.

The Orca Swim team is a predominantly gay and lesbian Masters Team but everyone is welcome. Masters Team means members are 18 and over — you maybe a master but Masters does not refer to skill level. The team has a wide range of abilities from people who have never been a part of an aquatic team to veterans looking for a solid workout.

“I’m mostly here for motivation and to help with stroke technique,” said Allie McGavock from Seattle U who coaches a couple of the practices a week.IMG_0928 Continue reading

Cops ask for more lights around Cal Anderson during Pike/Pine crackdown

The Murray administration is dusting off one of the public safety experiments from the McGinn camp’s attempts to quell Capitol Hill crime.

A Seattle Parks rep tells CHS that the lights around Cal Anderson’s sports field will be left on until 2:30 AM on weekend nights for the coming weeks:

We will leave the lights on at Bobby Morris Playfield until 2:30 a.m. this weekend and next. The lights will remain on early Saturday mornings, 9/13 and 9/20, and early Sunday mornings, 9/14 and 9/21.

The representative tells CHS the move comes at the request of SPD as it increases patrols, has officers walking the beat, and has brought in gang units to attempt to calm spiking street crime numbers in the neighborhood. “The short-term strategy is obviously we’re saturating this place not just with precinct resources but with city-wide resources,” SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole told CHS about the efforts around Pike/Pine. “The long-term strategy is that we’re developing a community policing plan for every neighborhood of the city.”

In 2013, Mayor Mike McGinn’s office was credited with the idea to keep all of the park’s lights on overnight as street crime also spiked that summer. But the “experiment” was brought to an end in November as officials said they had “not been able to conclude that having the lights on at night was an effective deterrent to crime” and that the lighting caused neighbors to complain. There were also issues with inappropriate use of the park at night.

Cal Anderson is open to the public from 4 AM to 11:30 PM but many people walk through the green space — and hang out there — at all hours.

We have questions out to Parks about the decision including what it would take to make the extra lighting a permanent schedule.

After $15 minimum wage fight, Broadway cheesecake shop The Confectional pares back

Seattle sweet shop The Confectional has closed retail operations at its Broadway store citing a “restructuring.”

A sign in the window at 618 Broadway E spelled it out:

Thanks to Jackson for the picture

Thanks to Jackson for the picture

The move comes after the mini-cheesecake mini-chain caused a stir in the minimum wage debate earlier this year when its ownership said an immediate $15 an hour wage increase would force the Broadway dessert shop to close and the company would need to lay off of half of its staff.

In March, as CHS readers brainstormed ways to help The Confectional stay in business on Broadway, owner Destiny Sund said the company employed 11 people at its three locations with six employees working at the Broadway shop and kitchen. Sund said her Broadway location had been “struggling” and foot traffic had been less than expected when The Confectional brought its mini-cheesecake concept to Capitol Hill in 2011.

In June, Mayor Ed Murray came to Capitol Hill to sign Seattle’s new minimum wage into law. The long march to $15 per hour begins in 2015.

While the closure leaves the business still operating its kitchen in the neighborhood, the loss of the retail component on high-rent Broadway seems a significant blow to The Confectional’s Capitol Hill presence. We’ll see if we can learn more about the company’s long-term plans for the space.

UPDATE: Co-owner Sund declined to comment on the situation citing ongoing lease negotiations.

Firefighters called to rescue after men fall in 15th/Pine sewer hole

IMG_5448IMG_5461Seattle Fire continued its busy day on Capitol Hill with a rescue callout to 15th and Pine Thursday night after two men reportedly wandered onto an unfamiliar property and fell into an open sewer construction hole.

The call just after 7 PM brought a ladder truck and police to the building at the northeast corner of the intersection. By 7:35 PM, one man had walked out while the other was rescued by firefighters using their truck’s ladder fitted with a hoist to rope the man up.

A witness tells CHS that two apparently inebriated men busted through a fence onto the condo building property and proceeded to fall into the about 10-foot deep sewer hole.

The victim lifted from the hole was being evaluated for injuries by medical personnel. We’ll check in with SPD to see if the victim was cited for entering the property.