Just don’t call it Yesler Park

yeslersiteplan12th Ave SquareBroadway Hill. Seven Hills. Summit Slope.

The results of the most recent naming of Capitol Hill-area parks haven’t resulted in the most interesting collection of public space branding.

Seattle Parks has announced an extension to the process to name a new park coming to the area where Broadway meets Yesler in the midst of neighborhoods undergoing massive redevelopment. The First Hill Streetcar and Broadway bikeway pass through the area. The city is now collecting nominations for what to call the planned 1.7-acre neighborhood park:

The scope of this project is to develop a 1.7-acre neighborhood park that is part of the Yesler Terrace Master Planned Community. The intent of the park is to serve as a gathering place for current and future residents of Yesler Terrace as well as people who live and work in the surrounding community. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy provides $3,000,000 for a new park at Yesler Terrace. Additional funding has been secured from the Seattle Housing Authority, State of Washington Recreation Conservation Office Recreation Grant, RAVE Foundation, Stim Bullitt Park Excellence Fund, Wyncote Foundation, and Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Foundation.

The $4.3 million park isn’t planned to open until spring of 2018. By that time, massive Yessler Terrace redevelopment projects from developers including Vulcan will be in the midst of construction creating hundreds of apartments in a mix of affordable and market-rate housing.

The deadline for submitting name ideas to the Parks Naming Committee is February 1, 2017:

The Parks Naming Committee is comprised of one representative designated by the Board of Park Commissioners, one by the Chair of the City Council Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee, and one by the Parks Superintendent. Criteria the committee considers in naming parks include: geographical location, historical or cultural significance, and natural or geological features. The Park Naming Policy, clarifying the criteria applied when naming a park, can be found here
The Parks Naming Committee will consider all suggestions and make a recommendation to Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, who makes the final decision. Please submit suggestions for park names for Yesler Neighborhood Park in writing by Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2016, and include an explanation of how your suggestion matches the naming criteria. Send to Seattle Parks and Recreation, Parks Naming Committee, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109, or by e-mail to paula.hoff@seattle.gov.

As you can see in the most recent Hill-area park names, the process tends to favor geography. Here’s hoping the Yesler park might end up with something more interesting — and, maybe, just maybe, make somebody besides Henry Yesler the subject of some kid’s future 5th grade essay. If you’re looking for ideas, here are some discussions from the CHS archives about the naming of Seven Hills Park (we still don’t like it), and a bad idea that fortunately went nowhere for naming what is now known as Summit Slope Park.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Mamiya 7ii, Canon F1, and Hasselblad 500CM photos
The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 33,000 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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CHS-V: Video nostalgia for Capitol Hill, 2009

In the beginning, while CHS was still figuring it all out, we were fortunate to luck into working with some extremely talented people who were still figuring it all out also. One of them was Capitol Hill video production pro David Albright. Why he chose the byline Cheesecake, you’ll have to ask him. But one particular series of work has been one of our favorites. Like many things from CHS’s digital past, Albright’s CHS-V series decayed over the years and eventually was removed completely from the various video services it utilized. Let that be a warning and reminder to you as you slave away at digital content today. But for these holidays, Cheesecake has given us a lovely present. His short-lived but much-loved video series is back online. His assignment was simple. Give us a version of Charles Kuralt’s Sunday Morning-style meditations on nature. Only do it on Capitol Hill. The result, we think, is loving, moving portrait of the neighborhood. Tune in to one of the episodes whenever you need to chill or want to remember the parts of Capitol Hill that you like. Or if you are feeling very nostalgic for 2009.

The full CHS-V series is below.

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On Broadway, Pho Cyclo is now The Pho

In the biggest Broadway pho news since Than Brothers moved across the street, Pho Cyclo is gone. Welcome, The Pho.

The new sign went up Thursday. The deal, however, went down way back in October of 2015, a representative for new owner Sam Cho tells CHS. We expect many didn’t notice the new ownership which is good news when it comes to hot soup “starting at $4.99.”

In 2013, CHS spoke with Pho Cyclo’s Taylor Hoang about her near decade at the Broadway favorite and her approach to creating food and drink ventures in the city. “Seeing how hard they worked in restaurant business — seven days a week,” Hoang told CHS back then. “I didn’t want that for myself. So we put in time and effort to develop procedures.” In the run-up to the approval of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage plan, Hoang joined a chorus of business figures opposing the measure. “You ask why if we’re not profitable we keep going. We keep going in the hopes that tomorrow will be a better day,” Hoang told the council.

Though Capitol Hill’s food and drink scene swings more and more toward the midscale and up, Broadway continues to make a home for pho. In 2014, the retreat from Broadway of chain restaurant Qdoba made way for Than Brothers to upgrade with a move across the street.

Unlike the Than Brothers chain and Hoang, who has been part of multiple restaurants in the city, we’re told Cho is more of an investor than a restaurateur. Fans of the relatively giant pho joint are likely happy about the investment.

The Pho is located at 406 Broadway E. You can learn more at thephobroadwaycapitolhill.com.

Seattle’s ‘sanctuary city’ status can’t protect immigrants against the feds — but it’s a start

City of Blinding Lights

On Thanksgiving, Mayor Ed Murray signed an executive order reaffirming policies including a 2003 ordinance prohibiting city officers or employees to ask people about immigration statuses.

But city policies, orders and the label “sanctuary city” don’t put immigrants in Seattle in a protected bubble, which is why Matt Adams, legal director at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, doesn’t use the term “sanctuary city.”

“This place doesn’t protect you from our current federal immigration laws,” he said, adding that he still feels it is important for city leaders to do what they can to support all community members.

The city supports its immigrants by not reporting them to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Seattle Police Department exists to serve and protects all community members, he said.

“Some cities and police departments go out of their way to spend their resources to enforce immigration laws,” Adams said. Immigrants then become afraid to work with police or be witnesses. Continue reading

Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program opens for local 2017 campaigns

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-7-09-23-amNow that the 2016 election cycle is over, it’s time for Seattleites to start thinking about the local election in 2017.

On Thursday, the Democracy Voucher Program opened for Seattle residents apply for four $25 democracy vouchers to give to candidates running for Seattle City Council or city attorney next year.

“Seattle is the first city in the nation to put democracy vouchers in the hands of its residents,” Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission said. “The goal is to give all of our city’s residents a greater say in our democracy.”

Registered voters in Seattle will automatically receive $100 in vouchers in the mail after January 3rd. Seattle residents who are at least 18 and are either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or a lawful permanent resident can apply for vouchers here.

Voters can immediately start giving the vouchers to qualifying campaigns for the November election. The new program means Seattle’s first publicly financed election season is about to begin. In his announcement of an exploratory campaign for a possible run for a citywide seat on the City Council, housing advocate Jon Grant cited the vouchers as part of his decision to run.  Continue reading

CHS Pics | Let it Bean, Let it Bean — When the Vivace line is too lonnnng, Let it Bean

You’ve probably already seen the news rocking the coffee world.

Yes, Capitol Hill’s only drive-thru coffee stand has a new owner.

Candace Smith took over the former TNT Espresso this fall. With a new trans flag-colored paint job and under a new name — Let it Bean — the 80-square-foot coffee stand in the teriyaki restaurant parking lot at Broadway and Harrison continues to serve Capitol Hill customers on the go. Its presence presents one of our favorite choices on Broadway — stand in the Vivace walk-up line, or get a move-on and visit the shack. Continue reading

Design board advances Capitol Hill Housing’s Liberty Bank Building, E Pike Passive House mixed-use project

The East Design Review Board moved two projects forward Wednesday that many hope will lead Seattle forward to new ways to develop the rapidly growing city.

24th and Union’s “inclusive development” showcase Liberty Bank Building and 1300 E Pike’s first Passive House-certified mixed-use project in the city received their final blessings from the review board Wednesday night clearing important hurdles on the way to the start of construction.

In its first decision of the night, the board unanimously approved the affordable housing development from Capitol Hill Housing slated to fill the lot that used to be home to Liberty Bank, Seattle’s first black-owned bank. But the group moved the development at 2320 E Union forward on the condition that Mithun architects reexamine its color scheme — a mix of beige, orange and brown — and choose more vibrant colors. “The color choices were a little bit more muted than they could have been,” board member Sarah Saviskas said. Continue reading

Marijuana powered media company Top Tree puts down roots on Capitol Hill

14344906_1751160281801142_1287610356336041428_nThis post has been updated with information from Top Tree’s management

A new media venture powered by Seattle’s burgeoning legal cannabis culture is hard at work on Capitol Hill in a space that was once home to an upstart campaign headquarters and an equally rebellious drag queen-inspired cosmetics company.

Top Tree, a marijuana-focused culture magazine and digital advertising agency, has quietly moved into the overhauled retail space at Pike and Boylston formerly home to the Bernie Sanders campaign’s Seattle headquarters and, before that, Jen’s House of Beauty. Glimpses of the now-bustling office can be seen through the art wrap-coated windows. A new keyless security panel guards the front door that had become a favorite camping spot for people on the street in the months since the campaign workers departed earlier this year.

“It’s definitely changed,” Top Tree director of operations Benito Ybarra tells CHS of the neighborhood he grew up hanging out in. “But to be represented on Capitol Hill and on Pike Street specifically, we’re very proud of that.”

While its office space is secreted away, Top Tree’s presence on Capitol Hill is unmissable. The company has been responsible for the series of large murals on the E Pike wall of Neumos since summer — including a recent edition featuring Mariner great and Seattle icon Ken Griffey Jr. Meanwhile, stacks of the free zine-sized publication with day glo colors, a healthy selection of local advertising, and trippy cover imagery can be found in cafes and shops across the neighborhood and beyond.

“I always believed in being physically real for people,” Ybarra said.

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‘Seattle Women March Against Hate’ Saturday across Capitol Hill

This sign from a November rally in Cal Anderson Park will fit right in this Saturday (Image: CHS)

This sign from a November rally in Cal Anderson Park will fit right in this Saturday (Image: CHS)

seattlewomensmarchmap2-1In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, it’s a little more difficult to trust the numbers. Still, thousands of people say they plan to attend a rally and march Saturday from Volunteer Park to Cal Anderson.

The Seattle Women March Against Hate appears to have struck a nerve.

Organizers Demi Wetzel told CHS the event was created with little more than an idea of standing up against a tide of ugliness following the declaration of victory by Donald Trump.

“Though I originally started the FB event page on a whim, the community has since stepped up and helped organize right alongside myself,” Wetzel said. “My inbox is currently flooded with people offering their help and guidance.”

“We must stand together to show the world that misogyny, misogynoir, racism, xenophobia, transmisogyny, transphobia, and hate of any kind is not welcome in this city,” organizers write. “Together we can show the world that women will not be bullied by anyone—not even the next president.”

If that’s not enough love for you, there is also something called the Capitol Hill Happiness Sprinkling taking place on Broadway around the same time.

The rally and march starts at 1:00 PM at the Volunteer Park amphitheater stage. Dress warmly — it’s expected to be a chilly weekend.

Seattle Women March Against Hate

Sugar Hill ‘Thai chicken and rice’ restaurant and bar ready to join Capitol Hill 2016 openings

Sugarhill, not open quite yet, at 414 E Pine

Sugar Hill, not open quite yet, at 414 E Pine

The waves of new openings across Capitol Hill have definitely slowed — but not by much. A few more Capitol Hill joints might make it in under the 2016 wire including E Pine’s Sugar Hill.

It hasn’t been an easy sprint to the finish for the “contemporary Thai chicken and rice restaurant and bar” from restaurant veteran Guitar Srisuthiamorn. The buildout of the former Bauhaus space — and onetime Capitol Club — has stretched out longer than planned but she tells CHS an opening is in site with hopes to begin service in the next week or so. The liquor license for cocktails, beer, and wine is in place. The permit for a new sign out front has been issued. The buildout is nearly complete. The plan is to be open from 11 AM to 2 AM, every day.

UPDATE: They’re open.cyokx95viaawp9r

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Judge refuses to lower bail for Capitol Hill photographer accused of rape

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-12-14-24-pmFormer Capitol Hill resident and Pike/Pine regular Matt Hickey was in a King County courtroom Tuesday morning after extradition from Las Vegas to face accusations he raped incapacitated victims he allegedly lured with promises of work in the porn industry.

The 40-year-old appeared with his court appointed lawyer who argued unsuccessfully for Hickey’s bail to be lowered as he entered the initial “not guilty” pleas on behalf of his client.

Hickey remains in the King County Jail, held on $200,000 bail.

The sometimes journalist and photographer is charged with three counts of second degree rape. Prosecutors allege the crimes were part of a string of sexual assaults in which women said they went with Hickey “under false pretenses or stated Hickey had sex with them when they were too intoxicated to give consent.”

Hickey was arrested in Las Vegas in October where the Stranger reports he had continued his online search for women to photograph.

King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector also approved protection orders prohibiting Hickey from contacting his alleged victims.