Blotter | Central District park armed robbery, update on 11th Ave mugging

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

  • Judkins Park robbery: Police are investigating a gunpoint robbery in the Central District’s Judkins Park around 9 PM Monday. The obviously shook-up victim provided CHS with a thorough account of the hold-up. There were no immediate arrests:Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.56.50 PM
  • Cal Anderson artist mugging: CHS has learned more about the mugging we reported this weekend of a man hit from behind and knocked out while walking on 11th Ave along Cal Anderson Park. 74-year-old 11th Ave resident Arturo Artorez lost his phone, wallet, glasses and iPad after he was hit from behind, knocked out and robbed while he walked on 11th Ave around midnight Friday. The robbery was not initially reported to police but we’re told Artorez has since been in contact with police. You can come out to support Artorez when his art show opens at Vermillion on October 9th.
  • Continue reading

First Hill Streetcar delayed until 2015: New plan would move more rider revenue to Seattle


For a briefing to the City Council Tuesday morning, transportation planners have unveiled a proposal to change the agreement between Seattle and Sound Transit so that City Hall will be in position to see increased revenue if the First Hill Streetcar ridership numbers are strong.

Planners also revealed that CHS’s November forecast for the start of operations of the First Hill line between Pioneer Square and Broadway is likely too ambitious.

“Construction of the Project is nearing completion,” the planners write. “Although the start date of passenger service is uncertain due to delay in delivery of the streetcars, service could begin as early as the first quarter of 2015.”

UPDATE: SDOT planner Ethan Melone told the council committee that streetcar manufacturing “setbacks” have lead to the uncertainty about when the First Hill line can start service. In February, CHS reported about fire testing issues causing problems with the manufacturing schedule. Council committee chair Tom Rasmussen acknowledged that he had been briefed on the problems in February but criticized SDOT for missing deadlines on quarterly reports on the line and the manufacturing problems. The council member asked for a more complete update on the manufacturing problems in the next quarterly report due at the end of this month. Continue reading

Extending power of the super green Bullitt Center, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict plans community-backed solar project to help light up E John affordable apartments

E John's Holiday Apartments had a sun clock installed as part of its 2010 grand re-opening (Image: CHS)

E John’s Holiday Apartments had a sun clock installed as part of its 2010 grand re-opening (Image: CHS)

Holiday Apartments community solar rendering

Rendering of the solar panels on the Holiday Apartments (Image: Bonneville Environmental Foundation)

In the coming weeks, Capitol Hill residents could have a unique opportunity to directly fund a large-scale, rooftop solar panel project going up right in the neighborhood. And if saving the planet isn’t enough of an incentive, you’ll also get a rebate on your Seattle City Light bill to sweeten the deal.

Capitol Hill Housing recently solidified plans to install community funded solar panels at its Holiday Apartments property at 10th and E John by the end of October. The solar panels are the result of nonprofit’s efforts to create more tangible projects under the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, which CHH launched last April.

The solar panel project, which is benefiting from the state’s Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program, should be up and running by the beginning of November. At that time, SCL ratepayers who invest in the project will begin to receive credits on their electric bills. Around 1,200 solar panel units will be available to invest in at around $150 each.

“We hope most (participants) will be based on Capitol Hill. This is about engaging people in the ecodistict in solar energy,” said Joel Sisolak, who spearheads the ecodistrict at CHH. Continue reading

City Council approves plan to require food-waste recycling starting in 2015


Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.10.39 PMThe City Council Monday approved a plan to require food-waste recycling in Seattle starting in 2015 — with fines for noncompliance by next summer.

Council Bill 118195 prohibits food waste and compostable paper from disposal as garbage. The requirements for single family homes, apartments, and businesses will go into effect with the new year with new “collection fees” levied starting in July. Single family homes with recyclable material in their garbage will be dinged $1 per container. Business owners and apartment building managers will find their disposal containers tagged and will be assessed with a $50 collection fee. Continue reading

Mayor Murray unveils first Seattle budget proposal — What’s in it for Capitol Hill? More cops, construction access program, library work, bike share in the Central District

General Fund Budget Outlook: "Steady growth in the local economy supports a generally positive outlook for General Fund revenues. The forecast anticipates annual revenue growth of 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent for 2015 and 2016, respectively, relative to the 2014 Adopted Budget. This would match the modest, but steady revenue growth the City has experienced in recent years. And as we now move into the sixth year of post- recession recovery, there is evidence that the pace of the U.S. economic expansion is increasing. At the national level, consumer confidence has reached its highest level since 2007, and employment growth over the past six months has been strong. The local economy continues to outperform the nation and the rest of Washington state. Growth in the technology and aerospace sectors has been a key driver, as has been a significant “boom” in construction activity in Seattle. The commercial sector has been an important component of this rapid expansion in construction, but residential investment has been notable. Currently there are over 14,000 housing units permitted but not yet completed, the highest level in recent decades."

General Fund Budget Outlook: “Steady growth in the local economy supports a generally positive outlook for General Fund revenues. The forecast anticipates annual revenue growth of 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent for 2015 and 2016, respectively, relative to the 2014 Adopted Budget. This would match the modest, but steady revenue growth the City has experienced in recent years. And as we now move into the sixth year of post- recession recovery, there is evidence that the pace of the U.S. economic expansion is increasing. At the national level, consumer confidence has reached its highest level since 2007, and employment growth over the past six months has been strong.
The local economy continues to outperform the nation and the rest of Washington state. Growth in the technology and aerospace sectors has been a key driver, as has been a significant “boom” in construction activity in Seattle. The commercial sector has been an important component of this rapid expansion in construction, but residential investment has been notable. Currently there are over 14,000 housing units permitted but not yet completed, the highest level in recent decades.”

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Murray on his tour of Capitol Hill "Find It, Fix It" spots earlier this month (Image: CHS)

Murray on his tour of Capitol Hill “Find It, Fix It” spots earlier this month (Image: CHS)

Ed Murray is showing where the money lands in his priorities for Seattle as the mayor details his proposals for the city’s $4.8 billion 2015-2016 budget in a Monday afternoon presentation to the City Council.

“I believe the budget is where this City can show how government can be an incubator of change and support bold policy experimentation,” Murray said.

Murray said Seattle’s local economy is growing but growth in city services is not keeping pace.

The mayor also announced that some of his budget proposals are designed to replace services cut at the county and state level. The King County budget proposal was also released Monday.

Murray has already revealed details for some of his highest priorities in the new proposals:

  • Public safety: In response to a surge in street crime on Capitol Hill and in downtown, Murray announced his intention to put $3.3 million behind the hiring of more officers and the development of new tools and resources to improve policing in Seattle:
    Mayor Murray’s 2015-16 budget for the Seattle Police Department will propose funding more civilian expertise, including a civilian Chief Operating Officer and a civilian Chief Information Officer for improved operations and systems management and innovation. The COO has been hired, and has already implemented CompStat, the crime and disorder data tracking and analysis method made famous by Commissioner William Bratton in New York City in the 1990s, where it was credited with reducing crime by 60 percent.
    The mayor’s office says Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole is also “conducting a resource allocation study of position assignments within the department,” and available officers will be reassigned from “lower priority work” to “the high-priority work of patrol.”
  • Homelessness and mental health: In the same announcement, Murray’s office pledged $2.75 million for human services, including $1.5 million for more homelessness services in Seattle 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.
  • Minimum wage: As the new minimum wage takes effect and begins the climb to $15 in 2015, the mayor teamed with the City Council’s Nick Licata to announce plans to create a seven-person Office of Labor Standards to enforce the new rules and other Seattle workplace issues. The Office of Labor Standards would have a budget of $511,000 in 2015 and $660,000 in 2016. The director of the office will report to the mayor.
  • Education and Early Learning: Murray plans to reorganize the city’s education and support programs into a new Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL). The new department would house 38 employees and manage a budget of $48.5 million, including $30 million each year from the voter-approved Families and Education Levy.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 2.29.00 PMIn Monday afternoon’s announcement, CHS is also on the lookout for planning around transit spending in light of the November ballot measure to support Metro schedules in Seattle with an increase in the sales tax, and specific Capitol Hill-related line items.

  • AffordabilityMayor Murray is committed to developing a coordinated set of strategies that address critical affordable housing needs in Seattle. Development of a Housing Affordability Agenda and planning for the 2016 Housing Levy renewal are closely linked. The proposed budget provides the Office of Housing with the funding needed to research new and expanded strategies to ensure Seattle has housing affordable to diverse household types across a range of income levels. In 2015 and 2016, $125,000 in funding will support the development of the Housing Affordability Agenda. In addition, in 2015 $185,000 will support planning for renewal of the 2016 Housing Levy.

Continue reading

Reps say Somali and East African communities unfairly targeted in Capitol Hill crackdown

Responding to a letter first reported by CHS, representatives of Seattle’s Somali and East African communities have called on Mayor Ed Murray for “a [thorough] investigation” of a rash of robberies and street crime in the Pike/Pine neighborhood and asked the mayor to consider more than “the voice of just one group of citizens.”

“We hereby express our strong belief that these crimes are the work of a tiny number of misdirected youth, and fear they will result in the indiscriminate profiling law abiding Somali citizens of Seattle,” a portion of the letter reads. We have posted the full letter below. It was first posted here.

The early Sunday morning crowd still partying at Pike and Broadway the first weekend of new "emphasis patrols" in the area (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

The early Sunday morning crowd still partying at Pike and Broadway the first weekend of new “emphasis patrols” in the area (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

Yemane Gebremicael, president of African Diaspora of Washington, and Hassan Diis, identified as an East African community activist, also allege that Capitol Hill businesses are discriminating against “Somali community members and students.”

“Capitol Hill business owners are targeting the Somali community, and are using their disproportionate power and money to influence local officials,” they write. “We’ve also heard reports that they’re refusing to serve the Somali community members and students who study and work around that neighborhood.”

Continue reading

Central Seattle airwaves make room for KXSU and KHER radio

New -- much smaller -- towers are coming to E Union and 12th Ave (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

New — much smaller — towers are coming to E Union and 12th Ave (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

We’re broadcasting this story via the Internet to tell you that two Capitol Hill area radio stations are making progress toward broadcasting via the air above Capitol Hill and the Central District — and about 3.5 miles in all directions as the crow flies.

Earlier this spring, CHS reported on efforts at Seattle University’s student station KSUB and Central District online broadcaster Hollow Earth Radio to secure low power FM broadcast permission from the FCC and deploy new meatspace broadcasting towers and equipment.

Both Hollow Earth and Seattle U’s station announced this week that they have secured construction permits from the FCC. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | Capitol Hill business owners to Sound Transit site developers: Make it unique

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

2014_9 Broadway Retail Panel 2As a reminder, anybody can post to CHS. You can find our latest contributions in the CHS Community section. Posts of high quality and interest may be shared on the CHS homepage. Thanks to all community contributors for being part of CHS! CHS reported on the “transit oriented development” process at Capitol Hill Station here: Developers vying to build Capitol Hill Station housing+retail say properties are overvalued

By Michelle Hippler, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, the Capitol Hill Champions hosted a Broadway Retail Panel Luncheon at the Capitol Hill Library where neighborhood business owners spoke candidly to the developers who will bid on the prime real estate above the Link light rail station on Broadway. The resounding message was that developers have to get it right, and that means thinking more creatively about the retail spaces.

The bottom line, as Linda Derschang (Linda’s, Oddfellows, Smith, et. al.) put it: what really created the thriving Pike/Pine corridor business district was the high rent on Broadway. Pike/Pine happened because “nobody small and new could afford Broadway anymore.” Fast-forward to 2014 and even she is nervous about signing a long-term lease for Linda’s Tavern on Pine where the rent is expected to triple within a few years and the landlord refuses to make any improvements. “Will the renters filling up all these new apartments come to Linda’s? Will all the indie rockers move away?”

Continue reading

Lifelong makes new home on E Pike, ready for 28th annual AIDS Walk

The annual Seattle AIDS Walk is Saturday -- and the forecast is much drier than it was in 2013 (Image: CHS)

The annual Seattle AIDS Walk is Saturday — and the forecast is much drier than it was in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Lifelong is still on the Hill, and they want everyone to know about it.

The 30-year-old organization has moved around the corner from its previous location into two floors of spacious offices right in the thick of Pike/Pine at 1016 E Pike.

“We’re serving people in a beautiful place that we hope that people look forward to coming to,” said Kelly Bray, communications manager for Lifelong. “We’re still here on the Hill.”


Seattle AIDS Walk and 5K Run
WHEN: Saturday, September 27, 2014 – 10:00 am @ 10:00 AM
WHERE: Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Avenue East
Walk with us on Saturday, September 27 at the Seattle AIDS Walk, a 5K march of support and remembrance through the streets of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Proceeds benefit Lifelong and partnering community service organizations.
Register or give online at seattleaidswalk.org


The decision for Lifelong to stay in Pike/Pine is also part of what many developers hope will be a trend of creating more opportunities for daytime workers to fill the neighborhood known for its nightlife and entertainment scene. Capitol Hill developer Liz Dunn is about to unveil her office space and market project Chophouse Row this fall on 11th Ave. Other office space-centered projects are expected in coming years.

The group, which used to be known as Lifelong AIDS Alliance, and before that as the Northwest AIDS Foundation, had outgrown the old space, which had served as its home for more than 25 years.

In May, CHS reported that the Bright Horizons day care chain was making plans to open a center and take over the former Lifelong space in a $1.7 million overhaul that will include a “Movement Matters Zone with Rock Climbing Wall,” art studio, and playgrounds.

Bright Horizons is a CHS advertiser while CHS is a community sponsor of the annual Lifelong AIDS Walk and 5K.

Bray said Lifelong has expanded its focus in recent years, reaching out to assist people with other chronic diseases, hence dropping “AIDS Alliance” from their name.

The starting line for the 2011 walk -- the 30th anniversary of the event (Image: CHS)

The starting line for the 2011 walk — the 30th anniversary of the event (Image: CHS)

Look back at the early years of the AIDS Walk (Image: Lifelong)

Look back at the early years of the AIDS Walk (Image: Lifelong)

Bray said Lifelong has split the dual aspects of its mission into two different physical locations. The counseling center is located on Pike. The group’s food prep arm (the Chicken Soup Brigade) has moved preparation to Georgetown. The group’s thrift store, by the way, can still be found at 1017 E Union. Continue reading

Pike/Pine nightlife entrepreneur Meinert lights up I-502 marijuana venture Torch Northwest

Meinert congratulating Ed Murray on Election Night. They probably were not high (Image: CHS)

Meinert congratulating Ed Murray on Election Night. They probably were not high (Image: CHS)

10645080_361068550711664_307403192876139037_nOnly one I-502 marijuana retailer has been able to open to serve the 650,000 or so residents of Seattle – and the closest licensed shop to Capitol Hill is still nowhere close to opening. But there are still a few potrepreneurs in our midst and, possibly, a few pot jobs to be had.

Dave Meinert, a partner in several Pike/Pine concerns and a leader in the city’s nightlife scene who has taken on a more active civic presence after his heavy involvement in the minimum wage negotiations, tells CHS he is part of a new start-up seeking to address the challenges of processing, distribution, and packaging for the state’s growing ranks of marijuana growers.

“It’s hard to start a new industry,” Meinert said. “I’m excited to be part of it. If I would have been around when they were making whiskey legal, I would have been in on it.” Continue reading