Pikes/Pines | The trash trees of Capitol Hill

A canopy of red alders in winter. (Image: Brendan McGarry)

A friend of mine calls alders “trash trees.” He is an arborist, and as a pragmatic person who maintenances trees to fit into the grid, alders aren’t “good” trees. They are fairly weak, short lived, are rot prone, and pop up unwanted. They are also native, and as a result host loads of other species, and possesses a subtle seasonal variability I find a beautiful part of our landscape.

These differences of opinion are well reflected in the blocked up properties of dense, urban Capitol Hill. Based on my observations, some people care dearly about managing every last inch of space, others are willing to let things go wild, and some seem entirely oblivious to the world outside their indoor spaces. (Landscaping is also a privileged act, not simply about “caring” or “not caring”). I wonder how the red alder, Alnus rubra, the common and unassuming tree, fits into our world on the Hill?

There are certainly plenty of alder trees growing around Capitol Hill. They are in the Arboretum, in St. Mark’s  Greenbelt, in Interlaken Park. However, few yards appear to purposefully invite red alders into their limited spaces. Why is this? Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | New program at Seattle Central College aims to bring more people of color into teaching ranks

From Seattle Central

Seattle Central College and Seattle Public Schools have joined forces to offer a new degree designed to bring more people of color into the teaching profession.

The new Academy for Rising Educators (ARE) at Seattle Central College offers a six-quarter Associate of Arts degree with a focus on education and social justice. Graduates will have the option to directly transfer into teaching programs at Seattle University and City University.

Students who are recent graduates from Seattle high schools will be eligible for free tuition under the Seattle Promise scholarship. The program will also offer financial and counseling support for adult working students.

The first cohort of 35 students will have the opportunity to work full time at Seattle Public Schools as paraeducators (classroom assistants), while pursuing their degree. Continue reading

Police investigate gunfire incident near Central District park — UPDATE

Gunfire sent visitors at Powell Barnett Park scrambling after a shooting incident at 29th and Alder Friday afternoon.

According to East Precinct radio updates, witnesses reported eight or nine gunshots and multiple cars leaving the area around 2:40 PM near the MLK Jr. Way park.

Arriving police found bullet hole damage to a vehicle just east of 29th and Alder and began investigating the shooting scene.

It’s not clear if there were any injuries. A Seattle Fire dispatch sent aid units to the scene but there was no reported victim information. Police were headed to area hospitals to look for possible victims. UPDATE: SFD says its dispatch was canceled so no victim was found at the scene.

Gang detectives were called to the scene.

Orion will have work cut out as Sawant shows her usual ‘late voter’ strength in District 3

Orion showing off his political muscle on Election Night

Challenger Egan Orion was feeling strong on Election Night but the ongoing updates of totals for the District 3 primary show that he will need every bit of his political muscle to catch — and keep up — with incumbent Kshama Sawant and her Socialist Alternative-powered “get out the vote” final kick.

Final tallies won’t be certified until next week, but with updates slowing to a trickle, it seems safe to say Sawant will finish above 36% of the vote. That means the incumbent City Council member has stretched her lead by nearly 4 points thanks to yet another strong performance with late voters. In tallies since Election Night, Sawant has claimed more than 40% of the vote. Continue reading

Visette Boutique new home like a luxury closet hidden in the middle of Pike/Pine’s growing fashion retail scene

(Image: Visette)

Four years after its opening, Capitol Hill dress design shop Visette Boutique will be moving up the Hill.

Capitalizing on an expiring lease, owner Visal Sam took the opportunity to move locations and, in turn, expand her store.

“It was a perfect storm for us,” she said. “The situation provided us with an option to go with it and benefit from it.”

Sam, whose boutique primarily focuses on special occasion dresses, aims to push women out of their “fashion box.” She feels that everyone has their own style and it is very difficult for industrialized and mass-produced clothes to truly fit someone’s look.

“If you want something really beautiful you don’t know where to go because everywhere else is generic” she said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill leather bar settles over city minimum wage and sick time complaint

Capitol Hill leather bar The Cuff has settled a sick time complaint with the Seattle Office of Labor Standards. The relatively small “financial remedy” will make sure dozens employees get their due, of course, but the payout can also serve as an educational moment for other employers who want to do right by the city’s Paid Sick and Safe Time and Minimum Wage ordinances.

OLS says it alleged that the Cuff was not paying the correct minimum wage in some instances and was rounding paid sick and safe time accrual down to the hour for 43 employees during the period. Continue reading

4,000 without power across Madison Valley, Madison Park

Seattle City Light said more than 4,000 customers were without power after a tree fell across power lines overnight.

The Friday morning outage covered large swaths from eastern Capitol Hill to Lake Washington.

Crews worked to restore electricity with hopes of having the lights back on in the area by noon.

UPDATE: SCL reported the outage was down to 1,100 customers as of 7:45 AM. As of 11 AM, it appears only a few dozen customers were still offline.

Bai Tong owners plead guilty in $1M ‘cash suppression’ scheme

(Image: Bai Tong)

12th and Pike’s Bai Tong Street Cafe remained open and busy Thursday as the Department of Justice announced two of the restaurant chain’s owners had pleaded guilty to using point of sales software in “a multi-year scheme to hide cash sales” totaling more than $1 million in income.

Kent residents Pornchai Chaiseeha, 41, and Chadillada Lapangkura, 40, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to defraud the government.

Bai Tong opened at 12th and Pike in spring of 2017 in the space left empty when Boom Noodle closed last summer after a decade of shifting concepts by its tech-powered investors behind the Blue C sushi restaurants. Noi Lapangkura told CHS at the time the business had come a long way since her family started on Pacific Highway S in 1989. “Bai Tong has always been a family place,” she told CHS. “We think, with the demographics on Capitol Hill, this one will be different.”

According to U.S. District Court documents in the whirlwind case opened and wrapped up in mere weeks this summer, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations found that point of sales software used to hide the cash transactions was installed at Bai Tong restaurants off the Hill since at least 2010. The chain has operated restaurants in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii, including four Bai Tong around Seattle and the Eastside. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day is on hold (here are a few Jockstraps & Glitter pics to show that there is still plenty going on in Cal Anderson without it)

A year ago, the ninth annual Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day took place. If there is going to be a tenth, we’re sorry to say it won’t be this week. Meanwhile, as a reminder that there are still plenty of good things happening in Cal Anderson Park, here are a few photographs from last weekend’s Jockstraps & Glitter charity kickball game. Who won? Who knows — but money was raised for a good cause. You can also give to the AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway here.

From its earliest days, CHGSD was extremely grassroots and low overhead. It grew a bit thanks to help from neighborhood nonprofits joining CHS in wrangling participants and helping nail down space every year for the central community sale space. In 2019, the grassroots effort never really grew. CHS has been busy CHSing and our past partners also have had busy years.

Will there be a Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day in 2019? We’re certainly going to miss summer. But we’re looking at options for something different to keep the, um, streak alive as the event reaches its tenth year. Stay tuned.

More of Jockstraps & Glitter 2019, below. Continue reading