Police hunt for E Olive Way Starbucks espresso machine bandit

The Capitol Hill coffee scene is rich. Apparently the gear that makes it happen is valuable enough to steal. Police are looking for a caffeinated thief who walked into the E Olive Way Starbucks Thursday morning and walked out with what East Precinct radio dispatches described as an “espresso machine.”

We’re still trying to sort out if the suspect grabbed a retail home model or somehow hoisted one of the commercial-grade machines from the shop in the heist that went down just before 8 AM. We’re told it may have only been a home machine.

The suspect was last seen walking northbound on Summit with the coffee maker. Earlier, the suspect — described as a black male in his 30s or 40s, wearing a tan hat, tan shirt, black pants, and sunglasses — was seen with a female in a blue Jetta.

A search of the area for the suspect or the machine was not immediate successful. Hopefully police did manage to find some coffee.

Want to get your Capitol Hill bike back? Try renter’s insurance


That bike that got stolen on Capitol Hill? You’re probably not going to get it back. Meanwhile, another summer of Capitol Hill apartment building fires sparked by careless smokers and burnt dinners thankfully did not claim any lives. But the fires did cause serious property damage as flames, smoke, and water seeped into adjacent units. In many cases, getting your property replaced or a new bike comes down to about $10 a month.

If your landlord doesn’t already require it, taking out $10 a month renter’s insurance policy can be protection against break-ins, water damage, and all the other things that threaten to destroy your smartphone — including theft on the streets.

Tom Spangler, who runs the longtime 15th Ave Spangler Insurance, said policies for as low as $10 a month will cover property damage, relocation costs, and even some medical bills.

“It’s lots of protection for the money laid out,” he said. “You don’t have to be rich.” Continue reading

More pot coming to E Union?

From the real estate listing for the site: "NC2P-40 zoned 40x120 foot 4800 SF site in the heart of new development & Chic & Trendy mixed use buildings all around w/luxury apts & cute retail establishments. The adjoining property to the west to begin construction on a luxury apartment/retail building in December of 2014 (in just 6 months!) Development set to begin for the site across the street on the NW corner of 24th Ave/Union Street on the Keybank site. Construction already began on site 23rd/Union. Great development potential here!"

From the real estate listing for the site: “NC2P-40 zoned 40×120 foot 4800 SF site in the heart of new development & Chic & Trendy mixed use buildings all around w/luxury apts & cute retail establishments. The adjoining property to the west to begin construction on a luxury apartment/retail building in December of 2014 (in just 6 months!) Development set to begin for the site across the street on the NW corner of 24th Ave/Union Street on the Keybank site. Construction already began on site 23rd/Union. Great development potential here!”

Uncle Ike’s might soon have company. In the same week the 23rd and Union store became home to only the second retail marijuana shop operating in Seattle, CHS has learned that the I-502 lottery winner for a license to operate in the Central District has purchased a nearby property.

Mello Times owner John Branch has secured an E Union-facing storefront just down the Hill from Uncle Ike’s. According to King County records, Branch bought the 4,800 square-foot property in the 2400 block of E Union this week for $590,000. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | All-star vegan chef Howell plans Sugar Plum transformation on 15th Ave E

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(Image: Sugar Plum)

Howell -- celebrity vegan chef -- visits Wendy Williams (Image courtesy Plum)

Howell — celebrity vegan chef — visits Wendy Williams (Image courtesy Plum)

What a wonderful world. On Capitol Hill, ice cream and cookies are signs of maturity. Makini Howell, the Capitol Hill-based vegan food and drink entrepreneur behind the Plum family of bistros, cafes, pantries, and burger trucks, says her next venture in the neighborhood will be a sweet shop — though longtime fans of her little 15th Ave E cafe might find the news bittersweet.

“In order to stay relevant, you gotta keep up with the market,” Howell tells CHS of her plans to convert her longtime vegan cafe into a brand new 15th Ave E vegan ice creamery and sweet shop. “And maybe it’s a sign that I’m ready for what’s next. Everything. On 15th. My life. The city.”

Howell says the transformation of the tiny little cafe where she got her true start in vegan culinary skills will begin at the end of October when Plum Cafe closes and begins making way for Sugar Plum. She hopes to have the buildout complete before the end of winter. But first she’ll say goodbye. Continue reading

SPD: Capitol Hill carjack suspects busted in Los Angeles

The suspects in last Thursday’s early-morning carjacking on the backside of Pike/Pine near 10th and Seneca apparently had a long drive ahead of them. Los Angeles police have made arrests in connection with the armed robbery, CHS has learned.

According to Seattle Police, a group was apprehended and guns were found in a search of the stolen vehicle stopped by police in Los Angeles within the past 24 hours.

SPD says it is investigating whether the three teens arrested are connected to more robberies in the Capitol Hill area. Continue reading

First Hill Streetcar manufacturer will pay for delays

conup_map1The First Hill Streetcar tracks are ready to roll, but the streetcars themselves are not, and won’t be ready until sometime “early” next year, according to city transit officials. The delay will cost the streetcar manufacturer thousands of dollars on its $26.7 million contract with SDOT.

Last Tuesday, Seattle Department of Transportation’s rail transit manager Ethan Melone told city council members that the streetcar’s Czech manufacturer, Inekon, recently incurred a backlog of orders and a short supply of parts, including brakes, which was holding up production. Inekon, which built the South Lake Union streetcars, is also working out a wiring design issue.

“It’s not unexpected, but it’s definitely not ideal,” said SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan. “It’s an industry with a limited number of suppliers.”

The six streetcars for the First Hill line were supposed to be ready by October 7th as per the $26.7 million contract with SDOT. An SDOT spokesperson told CHS that Inekon will pay $25,000 after the first day of delay and $1,000 per day thereafter.

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Capitol Hill ‘nerd central’ — Ltd Gallery to get cozy with Gamma Ray Games in Raygun Lounge

At the Fantasy in the City opening, July 2014 (Image: LTD Gallery)

At the Fantasy in the City opening, July 2014 (Image: LTD Gallery)

(Image: LTD Gallery)

(Image: LTD Gallery)

Even as Gamma Ray Games and Raygun Lounge get used to sharing the same space at 501 E Pine, a third party is soon to join them later this month to make it all the more cozy: the pop culture-inspired Ltd Art Gallery.

Ltd, a self proclaimed “premiere art gallery destination for contemporary and pop art,” has begun its move from 307 E Pike just a few blocks away. Melissa Monosmith, co-owner with her husband James Monosmith, said that the the relocation should be complete by October 15th, just in time for the first scheduled opening show at the Raygun Lounge on the 18th, which will feature work from two local Seattle artists Aaron Jasinski and Augie Pagan themed “gods and monsters”.

“We’re all going to be together… like a nerd central!” said Melissa. “We’re excited about it!” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Faeries in Volunteer Park


A weekend filled with celebrations and traditions ended with a little bit of magic and pixie dust. In Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park, The Seattle Faerie Festival returned Sunday for a little bit of dress-up fun:

The Seattle Faerie Festival is an event of all things faerie, elven and magical offering a realm of live music, arts, food, vendors and theater inspired by fairy history and tradition.
Inviting all faeries, fairies, gnomes, elves, fauns, goblins, wizards, magicians, queens, sorcerers, green men, pirates, brownies, unicorns, sprites, lost boys, lost girls, nymphs, dragons, pans, knights and ladies, pixies, changelings, genies, gelflings, sylphs, angels, nature spirits, elementals and hobbits and anyone else of nature and magic!

Here are a few scenes from the day thanks to the CHS Flickr Pool. You can learn more about the annual festival here.

More pictures below. Continue reading

Blotter | Couple says beaten on Pine in unprovoked attack

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

  • Pine beating: Two residents of an apartment building at the base of Capitol Hill told police they were severely beaten by a group in an unprovoked attack just up the street from the building early Saturday morning.Both victims suffered facial injuries in the beating. Police say the man and woman reported a group including three males and two females approached them just before 1:30 AM Monday morning as they sat on a bench smoking outside their apartment building and began a savage beating for apparently no reason:Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.23.43 PM Continue reading

Judge’s decision on Capitol Hill development puts brakes on Seattle microhousing projects

Footprint Eleventh is one of seven microhousing developments from the company already built around Capitol Hill

Footprint Eleventh is one of seven microhousing developments from the company already built around Capitol Hill (Image: Footprint)

A King County Superior Court judge’s decision on a Capitol Hill microhousing project has brought permitting for the housing type to a halt across Seattle. In a statement, the Department of Planning and Development said that the judge’s ruling that rooms with “private bathrooms and food preparation areas” inside a planned congregate-style 49-bedroom building at 741 Harvard Ave E near Aloha should count as living units has caused it to “re-examine” other “similar projects” under review around Seattle.

“DPD has concluded that the individual rooms within any proposed development having an identical or substantially similar arrangement also must be regulated as separate dwelling units,” the DPD statement reads.

A DPD spokesperson said 21 Seattle projects already in the planning process were notified of the change in requirements.

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Graffiti focused art supplier Art Primo is coming to Capitol Hill


Seattle-based art supplier Art Primo is bringing its “world’s largest” selection of graffiti supplies to Capitol Hill this fall.

The company did not return our calls or emails about the new store but the signs are already going up and work has been underway inside the small shop. There is no publicly announced date for the start of business.

UPDATE: Similar to its San Francisco location and former Georgetown space, Primo will also serve as an art gallery for veteran and up-and-coming street artists. Primo’s new curator Liz Suman told CHS the store and gallery will hold its grand opening October 9th to coincide with Capitol Hill Art Walk. The Halloween-themed show Fright Night will feature work from some artists familiar to Capitol Hill, including Baso Fibonacci and Jesse Brown. Suman said the space will also hold regular gallery hours.

Primo, which primarily operates online, recently closed its Georgetown storefront and began outfitting the facade of their new digs on the 400 block of E Pine. The short-lived Essence Wine Shop, which shuttered in August, was the last tenant to occupy the space.

“Primo wanted to up their presence in Seattle and push the gallery component,” Suman said. “A lot of the artists live and work on Capitol Hill, so it seemed like a good idea to have a more central location.”

(Image: CHS)

The parking kiosk in front of Primo has already been improved by area street artists (Image: CHS)

According to Primo’s website, the online store is a one-stop-shop for “graffiti, aerosol, spray paint, street art, sticker, stencil, industrial, home improvement, and DIY projects.”

While Capitol Hill is an extraordinarily street art-friendly community, there has been increasing interest in the business community for greater investment in clean-up and graffiti removal in the area — especially in the Pike/Pine neighborhood.

Primo, which opened its online store in 2003, will be Capitol Hill’s only independent art supplier, joining national chain Blick Art Supplies, which swallowed E Pike’s Utrecht last year to make way for a high-end Starbucks roastery.

In the comments below, Suman says Art Primo is planning to be a space that will focus on cater to emerging artists. “AP plans on the new location being a positive new space for young artists to show their work in addition to an art supply retailer, especially given the recent closings of so many galleries on the Hill,” she writes. More below.

Art Primo celebrates its grand opening with the art show “Fright Night” on October 9th, 6 PM at Art Primo, 415 E Pine St. RSVP at apfrightnight@gmail.com

County cancels next round of Metro cuts

1507581_690284577725465_9131719805826345159_nIn the midst of the first Monday commutes with its latest rounds of Metro service cutbacks executed, the King County Council announced it won’t have to slice service again in February. The move preserves buses and frequency for a handful of lines including several Seattle routes — no matter how the city votes on a proposed transit district this fall.

In November, Seattle voters will consider a plan to raise sales taxes by .1% and add a $60 vehicle licensing fee to allow the city to pay for some of its own Metro service. The proposal was initially positioned as a way for Seattle to stave off any new cuts Metro threw at it.  “Supporters will now tout the measure as a way to add transit in the nation’s fastest growing city,” the Seattle Times now authoritatively reports.

County officials say the February cuts won’t be necessary after continued optimization at Metro and thanks to increased sales-tax income. They also added they can’t promise there won’t be additional cuts in the future.

CHS Pics | Central District gets a parklet

IMG_8733Funded by the surrounding community, the 25th and Union parklet made its debut Sunday with a kid-powered ribbon cutting. The ceremony and gathering on the Ten Penny Studio-designed mini-park in front of Cortona Cafe was part of a busy weekend around the Central District including the first annual Central Area Block Party and a 100th anniversary celebration for 23rd and Yesler’s Douglass-Truth library.

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The new Central District public space joins a similar mini-park on E Olive Way that was the first parklet constructed in Seattle back in 2013. Planning remains in motion for a street park near 10th and Pike backed by the Comet and Lost Lake.

More images of the new parklet — organizers Amanda Bryan and Karen Estevenin wrote about it here — and all the Central District fun, below.

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

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