A memorial to Max Richards, the last* pedestrian killed on a Capitol Hill street

A memorial to Max Richards is a reminder of his wife Marilyn Black’s love for the man who died this week in 2016 after being struck by a driver while crossing Belmont Ave E with his dog.

The flowers are also a marker of a stretch of time that hopefully continues — a pedestrian hasn’t been killed on Capitol Hill streets in two years. Continue reading

2019 Seattle Women’s March set to return to Cal Anderson Park

With the Trump administration hellbent on putting men like Brett Kavanaugh in powerful positions, the fight for women’s rights in the nation is clearly a war, not a battle. In January 2019, Seattle’s troops will rally again on Capitol Hill.

Seattle Women’s March 2019

Organizers announced this week that Cal Anderson will again host the Seattle Women’s March, the now annual rally and protest against Trump’s policies and in support of women’s issues in equality, race, work, health, sex, politics, education, the environment, and more. Continue reading

Seattle Fire handles another Capitol Hill ‘derelict’ building fire

Seattle Fire spent the second morning in a row battling a stubborn fire in a reported abandoned building slated for demolition on Capitol Hill.

Tuesday morning, smoke was reported coming from a three-story “derelict” house along the Melrose connector trail near Bellevue Pl E around 7:15 AM. Arriving crews found a fire in the void space between the second and third floors. SFD reported the fire nearly under control after around 20 minutes at the scene but crews continued to work through the morning to fully extinguish the fire in the old house’s walls.

Continue reading

17 things — including a few about Capitol Hill — CHS heard in Mayor Durkan’s Seattle $5.9B budget proposal

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced details of her administration’s first budget proposal Monday at downtown Seattle’s Fire Station 10. You can listen to the speech here via Facebook)

Austerity in Seattle means more police officers, more firefighters, and new staff at City Hall to implement programs like the Domestic Workers Ordinance created this summer to provide an oversight board and minimum wage for Seattle’s nannies, house cleaners, and gardeners. It will also mean maintaining nearly $90 million in annual spending on homelessness and housing services despite the summer reversal on an employee hours tax — though how the money is going to be spent appears to be up for change.

After plenty of scrubbing and a search for efficiencies like cutting fuel and consultant costs, Mayor Jenny Durkan on Monday unveiled the first Seattle budget proposal of her administration, weighing in at $5.9 billion — and 11 MB (PDF). Good times continue to roll in Seattle but the forecast is for things to slow and for the money to get tighter.

Along with general belt-tightening — most departments will face cuts to consultant spends and to their fuel budgets as Durkan plans to axe 10% of the city’s vehicle fleet — and some major commitments to the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Fire, and SDOT, there are also a few Capitol Hill-specific line items of note in the Durkan proposal including money earmarked for homelessness outreach in the neighborhood and a holdover $1 million to help boost an affordable housing and youth center project on Broadway.

“When I ran for mayor and when I took office, I made a promise to Seattle: That I would act with urgency to address our shared challenges, and that I would work hard to make sure we always provide the greatest public benefit possible from our work, our resources, and how we spend the taxpayers’ money,” Durkan said in announcing the proposed spending plan for 2019-2020.  “From giving Seattle’s young people free ORCA and a passport to their city to urgent action on homelessness to protecting our immigrant and refugee neighbors, we’re continuing to build a more affordable, inclusive, and vibrant Seattle. Those values have guided us for these past nine months, and this budget invests in those promises and those commitments.”

Durkan Budget Proposal Highlights

  1. Anyone worried about austerity measures in the city after Durkan asked her departments for 2%-5% cuts earlier this year should note the mayor’s proposal actually weighs in at around a $300 million increase in proposed spending. Continue reading

Nova High students plan walkout against annual Seattle Schools teacher reshuffling

(Image via @cmkshama)

District 3 rep Kshama Sawant has joined students at Nova to call for a midday walkout Tuesday in protest of the loss of teachers at the E Cherry alternative high school.

The eliminated positions are part of the annual reshuffling at Seattle Public Schools after the start of the school year based on student attendance at individual schools and across the SPS system. In a statement, SPS said no jobs were being eliminated as teachers are transferred around the district from under-enrolled schools to schools with more students than planned. Enrollment across the city is about 700 students short of the district’s projections.

Students calling for the Tuesday walkout and march to Seattle City Hall say 33 teachers face transfers this year.

New SPS superintendent Denise Juneau, meanwhile, will hold her Central Seattle stop on a “listening and learning” tour next month. “Ultimately, community discussions will become the foundation of a revised strategic plan that maps the district’s course for the coming years,” the announcement reads. “A summary of the Listening and Learning Tour findings will be published in November 2018.”

Tuesday, October 2, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

  • Town Hall for Students: 5:30 – 6:10 p.m.
  • Central Town Hall: 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Co-hosted with Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
Location: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
104 17th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

Dao Tai House: Northeast Chinese cuisine on Pacific Northwest Capitol Hill

Bo-Ying Fu and her parents have proven that the path of an immigrant doesn’t mean leaving home behind. The three family members have opened their own restaurant, Dao Tai House, on 12th Ave, bringing the flavorful cuisine of Northeast China to the heart of Capitol Hill.

“Let’s not make Americanized Chinese food. Let’s make it like home,” Fu and her parents decided before they opened the restaurant. “The Chinese food here is okay but it’s all very concentrated in the International District. Capitol Hill is well known for its food and we kind of just went for it.” Continue reading

Blotter | No injuries in smoky E Mercer garage fire

(Image: Seattle Fire)

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

  • E Mercer fire: Seattle Fire responded to a smoky blaze overnight in the 1000-block of E Mercer and found what was described as a “derelict” detached garage in flames and an adjacent garage structure threatened by the spreading fire. First reported just before 4 AM Monday, the fire took arriving crews about 30 minutes to knock out. The house and property are lined up for demolition to make way for six new townhomes from developer Sensa Homes. Arriving fire crews were told that people might be living in the garage structures but nobody was found and there were no reported injuries. Seattle Fire investigated what started the fire but was not able to determine a cause. Damage was estimated at $50,000. Seattle Fire was also dispatched to a Broadway apartment building to a reported fire around 4:15 AM but it turned out residents were smelling smoke from E Mercer. Continue reading

In response to Central District gun violence, Seattle mayor pledges $7M to youth safety

Central District residents and activists calling on City Hall to do more than flood the neighborhood with police got a preview of a small part of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s new budget proposal over the weekend.

The mayor Friday responded to criticism of the SPD-focused plan to quell gun violence following a wave of shootings and a murder on 25th Ave S with a letter outlining her plan reportedly “doubling” investments in Seattle youth safety programs with some $7 million in spending lined up for the Human Services Department. Continue reading

‘Coffee with Kshama Sawant’ — District 3 representative holds rare community meeting

(Image: @cmkshama)

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant met with a standing room only crowd of constituents to discuss issues ranging from affordable housing and gentrification to low internet speeds and privacy at Squirrel Chops, a coffeeshop in Seattle’s Central District, Saturday morning.

“There’s a lot of issues facing us as a district with skyrocketing rents and hypergentrification and we’ve certainly seen the increase in gun violence,” Squirrel Chops co-owner Shirley Henderson said while introducing council member Sawant. “A lot of that is tied to our economic reality and the shifts that are happening.”

Sawant, who came with her husband and dog, opened the event by highlighting her struggles for $15 per hour minimum wage and Friday’s King County Superior Court ruling that upheld a Seattle law that capped move-in fees for renters. She also noted the broad struggles ahead in terms of achieving economic equality and racial justice.

“We are all getting screwed together,” Sawant said. “Ultimately, whether you’re talking about city politics or state level, we’re going to have to build movements to win any of these things.” Continue reading

Street Critic | Brutally lovely on Capitol Hill

The Dome and (back of) the Bema on 16th Avenue at Temple De Hirsch Sinai

I have always been uncomfortable with the architectural term brutalitist. Part of the rub is, I suppose, that the name is a perversion of Le Corbusier’s most treasured design element, béton brut; or, rough or raw concrete. The story goes that Corb was dissatisfied with the stewardship of some of his early, pristine, white buildings. Owners did not provide the level of upkeep required and the buildings showed their age more than Le Corbuiser (Corb) found acceptable. In a seeming about-face, he decided no longer to incorporate smooth and precise materials in his work but rather use them in a less finished, natural state. Concrete was an obvious choice. It required little upkeep -not even painting. His decision to raise what had hitherto been primarily a structural element to an architectural has been tremendously influential on generations of architects, particularity from the mid-1950’s through the early 1980’s. But alas, brut became brutal – and as one may suspect, brutalist. Continue reading