#rentcontrol: 11 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

If rent control and “stabilization” becomes law in Seattle, you can point to last week’s affordable housing town hall as the night it all started. Calling the event “ground zero” in the fight for housing justice, Seattle City Council member and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant drew a standing room only crowd at City Hall to talk about bolstering tenant’s rights in the city.

“I know there are many, many scare stories,” Sawant said. “The purpose is to have everybody leave here today with a real feeling of inspiration.”

Along with outgoing council member Nick Licata, Sawant lined-up several speakers to talk about their ideas on affordable housing ahead of a public comment period and brief speeches by four candidates seeking to be appointed to Sally Clark’s recently-vacated council seat.

Emotions ran high at the meeting as people shared stories about rent increases forcing them out of apartments. Others blamed landlords and foreign investors for Seattle’s skyrocketing cost of living.

Passing a rent control law in Seattle would first require the state legislature lifting a statewide ban on such policies. While there seems to be little indication today that lawmakers would take up the issue in Olympia, Sawant is making it a key part of her campaign for the Capitol Hill and Central District-centered Council District 3 position.

The parallels to the push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle are unmistakable. And Mayor Ed Murray’s approach to embracing the call for affordability while moderating the activism with committees and recommendation reports has been in high gear for weeks now.

But more radical factions persist. In the coming days, Licata said he would forward a proclamation for the council to vote on to state its support for lifting the statewide ban on rent control. Sawant previously elaborated on her ideas about rent stabilization in an email exchange with CHS. Here are the 10 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall:

  1. Licata said the state could be violating federal housing law by not letting Seattle take steps to address its affordability crisis.
  2. David Trotter, a candidate for the at-large City Council Position 8, called the state legislature “bullies and terrorists” for preventing Seattle from implementing rent control. Continue reading

One man dies, two other victims to hospital in drug overdose at Cal Anderson

One man died and another was in critical condition Sunday night after Seattle Fire and SPD responded to three people suffering heroin overdoses on the sports field at Cal Anderson Park. UPDATE: SFD says the female may have been suffering a medical issue “not related to the overdose.” 

SFD’s Aid 25 unit was called to the Bobby Morris Playfield around 5:20 PM to a report of a female suffering an apparent seizure. The crew arrived to find the female and two other males suffering a drug overdose. Additional SFD units arrived and began CPR on the field in the middle of a busy night in Pike/Pine and as a baseball game continued on the diamond nearby.

Seattle Fire reported that one male died at the scene following 20 minutes of CPR while another male was transported to Harborview in critical condition. The female victim was also transported to the hospital in reported stable condition.

According to Seattle Police, the three victims suffered heroin overdoses. The incident is being investigated.

Last week, SPD announced the early results of its “9 1/2 Block” effort to combat an “open air drug market” in downtown Seattle. East Precinct and city officials have said that the area around Cal Anderson has also been identified as another of Seattle’s “drug market” areas and that patrol and investigative efforts would also be brought to bear around the popular Capitol Hill open space.

 

Capitol Pill | Tectonic Shifts

TARAWe’ve asked Karyn Schwartz, owner of the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, to contribute to CHS about health and Hill living on a semi-regular basis. If you’re an expert and want to share with the community in a recurring CHS column, we’d like to hear from you.

Weeks ago I began writing a love letter to my neighborhood – to all the people who on any given day I have interactions with that make me feel like I belong to this place; like I am at home, and that I matter here. Along the way, I kept thinking of some teachings I received very early on about how to assist people living with depression, and how one of the most important things to offer is actually just your presence — your real attention and your company — to anyone who is suffering in their heart or soul. How, in order to really heal, a person must know that their presence and existence matters, and that they are welcome; that they belong.

Up early to finish one or the other of these trains of thought, I saw the news that a major earthquake had occurred in Nepal just a few hours prior.  Once I read the initial reports, all I could think about were the people there, and in every place where something is happening that is so tragic and overwhelming that it brings people together in a communal gesture of courage, generosity and selflessness.

Searching the social media streams of everyone I know who has loved ones in that area, I came across a Twitter post by a journalist in Kathmandu named Kashish Das Shrestha, whose photographs of the immediate aftermath of the quake were shared in The New York Times:  “As I walk through city, i see people who are scared but ready to help, buildings standing still, but fragile. The day we dreaded arrived.” Continue reading

This week in CHS history | May Day marches and riots, minimum wage compromise, Phoenix Comics

Bmm47vhCYAAM4EL (1)Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Crow | Jonti, Sam and Que — Montage of Heck edition

It’s hard to say what Kurt Cobain might have thought of it all. Maybe he would have smirked in bemusement at some point, at least. The Egyptian was sold out in advance Thursday evening for an exclusive screening of Montage of Heck, a documentary about the oft-idolized Nirvana front man Cobain, with director Brett Morgen in attendance and addressing the audience before the film. The CHS Crow stopped by and chatted with some fans of Nirvana and of what has been labeled “grunge rock” who came out to see Morgen’s patchwork portrait depicting a sensitive and troubled, driven and often vexed, artistic genius from Aberdeen, Washington.

  Jonti

JontiWhat did you think about the film?
I thought it was pretty enlightening, man. A lot of stuff I’ve always wondered about. Really nice.

So you grew up a Nirvana fan?
I became a Nirvana fan probably like early in high school, maybe like ’89. That’s about when I realized I loved that Kurt Cobain.

What in the film stuck out for you as being enlightening, or as giving you new insight?
His family life. I think that was the most enlightening thing. Because everything else you’ve heard before. But the fact that you got to see all that stuff behind the scenes on the family life, I think that was new. Continue reading

Woman who died in 16th Ave E house fire identified

The woman who died in last week’s 16th Ave E house fire has been identified by authorities.

Novis Felder died in the blaze inside her 1902-built home in the 400 block of 16th Ave E the morning of April 16th. Seattle Fire investigators determined the fire was started by improperly discarded smoking materials that ignited a chair inside the house.

Felder would have turned 93 later this year.

Her son was injured in the fire but suffered only minor burns and a caregiver living in the house was not injured, a SFD spokesperson said.

CHS does not have any information about services or a memorial fund.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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. Continue reading

Found pianos of Capitol Hill

I was walking through Capitol Hill, Seattle one weekend, and encountered an abandoned piano at the side of the road. I decided it needed a final piece of loving, so I recorded it in my phone. The next week I found the piano had been joined by a second, and both pianos had had their keyboards smashed. So I played the strings directly. Both pieces reflect the decay and misuse of the pianos, and the environment they spent a short time in before going to their final resting place.

We don’t know anything more about it than what we found here where you can download both tracks — One piano with working keys and One piano with destroyed keys — of this very Capitol Hill music project.

Fat’s Fried Chicken and Waffles to ‘keep the soul’ at MLK and Cherry

The next man to inherit the corner has mad respect for the legacy of soul at MLK and Cherry.

“I ate at Catfish Corner all the time,” Marcus Lalario tells CHS. “To be able to get that spot means more to me than anything else about the new venture.”

Later this year, Lalario will open Fat’s Fried Chicken and Waffles in the space left empty after the much-loved soul food joint suddenly closed last summer following 30 years of fried goodness and a black-owned business at the corner.

(Image: Catfish Corner)

(Image: Catfish Corner)

“With all my spaces, I try to keep a little bit of the past in there,” Lalario said. Expect plenty of Old Seattle nostalgia when Fat’s opens this summer.

You will also find “straightup Southern” with “fried thighs and drumsticks” and, yes, waffles and biscuits from Patrick Dours, “a New Orleans native who has cooked at the Doe Bay and Rosario resorts on Orcas Island,” Seattle Met reports as it broke the news on the new project. Lalario, known for his entrepreneurial nightlife and food and drink investments, said he’s not sure, yet, on whether he’ll pursue a liquor license for Fat’s. By August, Lalario expects Fat’s to be open for dinner hours from around 4 to 9 PM with brunch and then breakfast hours (and “breakfast all the time” options) following. Continue reading

Startup FlyBuy building new mobile ‘curbside’ shopping service on E Pine

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 2.28.26 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-23 at 2.41.14 PMIf a new Capitol Hill-based startup has its way, nearly every storefront will be turned into a drive-through. Flybuy, a new mobile app company, is headquartered in an unassuming retail space on E Pine. Its business model is to help retailers and customers avoid the hassle of parking and be part of the next wave of online commerce.

screen322x572“It’s a 21st century drive through,” said Chapin Henry, the company’s chief operating officer.

There was huge buzz in tech media this week as an Uber co-founder unveiled details of Operator, a “shopping concierge” system designed to “unlock the 90% of commerce that’s not on the Internet.”

On E Pine near 14th Ave, Henry and Flybuy are making a push for similar turf. The app allows users to make orders for goods and services through participating retailers. The stores provide an estimate of how long it will take to fill the order. Customers can then drive to the store as the business is notified that the customer has arrived. An employee then meets the person at the curb for a quick pick-up. People pay through the app.

It might seem somewhat cumbersome but when the new turf of an Operator-type world of commerce starts to get claimed, there’s a good chance services like Flybuy could play a part. Continue reading