Pikes/Pines | Time to give thanks — and put out a healthy spread — at Capitol Hill bird feeders

American Robins are common in our yards, but almost never come to feeders. Habitat is what attracts them. (Image: Brendan McGarry)

When I was eight years old, few things were more exciting than birds. This excitement may feel eccentric to certain folks. However I’m not unique in this. In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that at least 47 million people in the U.S. watch birds, in one form or another. Few of these people probably match the fervor of my 12-year-old-self seeing “life birds” — species I’d never seen before — but I bet many feed birds.

There are likely more people on Capitol Hill who feed birds than identify themselves as birdwatchers. Bird feeding is a $5 billion industry. Inevitably, people on the Hill feed birds. I have been feeding birds most of my adult life. Not only do I get to enjoy feathered friends with morning coffee, but it gives me a sense of who is in the neighborhood, helping me feel less disconnected from the world.

So, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right.

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CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 36,000 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.

We also keep our eyes on the #capitolhillseattle Instagram tag —- you should, too! Below are this week’s best Capitol Hill shots. Thanks for sharing!
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After ‘positive’ talks, New Seasons and community groups opposing new store set for Central District agreement — UPDATE

The grand opening of New Seasons in Ballard included this group of protesters

Unlike what happened at its May opening in Ballard, you probably won’t see protesters greet New Seasons when it opens at 23rd and Union in 2019.

A company spokesperson said it plans to meet Friday’s deadline for a response after positive talks with community groups aligned to push back on the Portland-based grocery chain’s labor practices and its ownership’s anti-LGBTQ politics as it readies to open in the Central District.

Friday’s deadline is part of a community coalition’s demands for the chain:

During their meeting, organizers gave New Seasons co-president Kristi McFarland and other local reps a list of demands. If the demands are met, they said, their campaign against the company would stop. Among other things, they asked New Seasons to sign a neutrality agreement to let interested workers unionize, disclose workforce demographics, let low-income customers use Fresh Bucks to buy produce, stock affordable staple foods, and donate some of their local profits to affordable housing projects and community land trusts.

Nicole Keenan, executive director of Puget Sound Sage, an advocacy group dedicated to low-income people, communities of color, immigrants and refugees, has been part of talks with New Seasons and also categorized the negotiations as positive in a conversation with CHS Friday afternoon. Keenan joined reps from groups like the Squire Park Community Council in the discussions with New Seasons.

While we don’t yet know the specifics of the New Seasons response, the community campaign against the store which has included a “newseasonstories.com” website and neighborhood yard signs, appears to be approaching a fruitful conclusion.

UPDATE 3:40 PM: A New Seasons representative sent over the company’s response to the community groups. We’ve added the full letter at the end of this post. A company representative also provided the following statement:

At New Seasons, we are proud of our established track record as an active civic partner that is committed to directly engaging in building community in a way that reflects our shared progressive values. We’ve been working with a Central District Advisory Council made up of business leaders, local nonprofit representatives and neighborhood council members to understand the needs of the neighborhood, but when we were contacted by this group we wanted to hear their perspective as well. At the meeting, we shared our commitment to championing higher wages, comprehensive benefits for all kinds of families, an inclusive culture, as well as using our voice to stand up for affordable housing, hunger relief and other important social justice and workplace issues that affect everyone. We also took away some valuable ideas from our conversation that we will be exploring further.

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Final pieces of Seattle’s 2019-2020 $5.9B budget puzzle: Navigation Team funding, food banks, and red-light camera revenue

The Navigation Team during a cleanup along I-5 (Image: City of Seattle)

With reporting from Seattle City Council Insight

The march to complete Seattle’s 2019-2020 budget is proving a real slog at the top as the process now has about 95% of the plan in place after an epic nine-hour Seattle City Council meeting earlier this week that included votes on a mind-numbing 188 agenda items.

The final pushes around polishing the Durkan administration’s first budget proposal and setting Seattle’s next nearly $6 billion city budget pivot –unsurprisingly — around how to spend the small portion available out of those millions on improving the city’s approach to homelessness and affordable housing. Continue reading

Volunteer Park amphitheater replacement project gets $900K boost

The old amphitheater still stands — for now (Image: Volunteer Park Trust)

There is still more money to raise but a Seattle Parks District grant will go a long way toward making the planned replacement of Volunteer Park‘s crumbling amphitheater a reality.

$900,000 in funding for the project was announced Thursday in a grant that will help the Volunteer Park Trust replace the park’s old masonry stage “with a modern structure that meets community needs for a versatile outdoor performance space” while enhancing “the historic Olmsted landscape” of the park and putting the facility in full ADA compliance. Continue reading

Heritage Distilling Capitol Hill celebrates grand opening, ‘blessing of the still’

Its heritage on Capitol Hill already runs four months deep but Heritage Distilling’s backside of Pike/Pine tasting room will celebrate a grand opening this weekend.

“Expect music, a blessing of the still, ribbon cutting, discounts on bottle sales, tastings and more,” the folks at HDC Capitol Hill — the “C” is for “company” — promise. Continue reading

FBI confirms what Seattle already knows: More hate crime reported in the city

The overflow crowd at Temple De Hirsch Sinai during Seattle’s vigil for the Tree of Life shooting victims

The FBI confirms what Seattle already knows — citizens here are reporting more and more hate crimes.

The federal agency this week released its 2017 “uniform crime reporting” statistics for reported bias crimes across the nation showing a 17% jump over 2016’s totals. But the FBI’s data for Seattle shows a much larger issue — hate crime reports nearly doubled in the city in 2017 with reports of religious bias up a whopping 275%:

“The FBI’s Seattle Field Office serves a diverse community. In the wake of the tragic events in Pittsburgh that impacted the nation, we want to assure Washingtonians that their safety and civil rights are a top priority,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael F. Paul of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office said in a statement on the report’s release. Continue reading

New leader on First Hill sees neighborhood’s opportunities as it readies for population boom

Anne McCullough is the new director at the First Hill Improvement Association

After moving from St. Louis, Anne McCullough’s walks in her new, surprisingly leafy neighborhood are filled with reminders of what First Hill can be.

“There’s a lot of opportunities and I can’t help but think about the work that I do when I walk through the neighborhood,” McCullough tells CHS.

The new executive director of the First Hill Improvement Association is also focused on what First Hill is today.

First Hill has about one-third the residential population of Capitol Hill but its density is off the charts — only Belltown has squeezed more residents into a smaller space in Seattle. Continue reading

King County to consider requiring warning signs at gun stores

Worked for cigarettes, right? (Image: CDC/ Debora Cartagena)

Efforts to combat gun violence as a public health crisis have inspired a push to require signs posted at King County firearm retailers warning of “the increased risk of suicide, fatal acts of domestic violence, and unintentional deaths to children in homes where a gun is present,” according to an announcement on the King County Public Health proposal.

The King County Board of Health is slated to take up the proposal in its meeting Thursday. Continue reading