‘Nueva ola’ cinema on Capitol Hill, Northwest Film Forum hosts Pulsos Latinos film festival

Por Las Plumas2
From Por las Plumas,by Neto Villalobos, Ecuador, 2013

After the marquee finally changed last Tuesday, an alcohol-induced paper trail has had CHS wondering out loud whether SIFF has already secured its bid for a 10-year lease on The Egyptian. The deal would have the city’s most prominent film curator sticking around Capitol Hill long after the festival proper lights up the theater’s lonely screen once again for three weeks starting May 15. While we may have to bear with the great unknown for a bit, in the meantime a bit farther up the road, 12th Ave’s Northwest Film Forum continues to defend the neighborhood against total cinematic meltdown with programming that consistently qualifies the Hill as an all-seasons site for the independent film circuit. Friday, the first, and possibly the first-annual, Pulsos Latinos series kicks off tonight exemplifies the Forum’s contribution.

Purgatorio

From Purgatoria by Rodrigo Reyes, Mexico/USA, 2012

Scheduled amidst a number of thematic film series’ the Forum has added to its calendar in recent years, the eight-day Pulsos Latinos will showcase work said to represent a “nueva ola” — or new wave — of Latino cinema swelling up as it were from a milieu the guest curator and programmer for the series, veteran film critic and Cinema Scope writer Jay Kuehner, says has moved from the “margins” to being “almost a forefront” of global cinema in recent years.

“Latino cinema is setting a precedent for the industry in terms of creativity, in terms of production and also in terms of getting films off the ground in difficult financial times,” Kuehner said. “We want to acknowledge this moment of ascendance,” he said, explaining the drive of Pulsos Latinos. “That’s the impetus behind this.” Continue reading

Central District nightclub faces deadline in liquor license fight

Sainvil listens to supporters of Waid's speak at a March community meeting about the club (Image: CHS)

Sainvil listens to supporters of Waid’s speak at a March community meeting about the club (Image: CHS)

Friday is the deadline for Waid Sainvil to act to keep his Central District nightclub open as the state liquor board moves forward on its decision not to renew the bar’s liquor license.

In February, CHS spoke with Sainvil who said racism and the push of gentrification was driving authorities to target his Waid’s Restaurant & Lounge after a series of liquor and drug violations at the 12th and Jefferson bar. “It’s a black thing,” Sainvil said. “This is the only place in Seattle where black people from all over hang out.” The issues around Waid’s were discussed at an East Precinct community meeting in March attended by Sainvil and new East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis.

According to a Washington State Liquor Control Board representative, there were five enforcement and one licensing issue against Waid’s that were to be examined in court over six hearings after the board decided not to renew the club’s license.

Sainvil failed to appear at a hearing earlier this month and the rest of the month’s hearings have been canceled after a judge granted the state’s motion, the spokesperson tells CHS. Sainvil has not yet responded to our request for an update on his plans. Friday is the deadline for Sainvil to file a motion against the board’s decision and try to win back his liquor license against the state’s contentions that his bar has racked up too many violations to continue serving alcohol.

The Waid’s neighborhood continues to change with new development and more business investment. Across the street, Capitol Hill Housing’s The Jefferson apartment building opened in 2013Seattle University, in the meantime, continues to invest in the area and plans a major campus expansion in the neighborhood. Waid’s landlord is Abdulkarim Nagi who also owns the neighboring gas station. Nagi himself is busy in court with a $200,000+ breach of contract suit against  ARCO filed earlier this year over unmet fuel sales quotas.

According to letters from the City Attorney’s office provided to CHS, concerns about incidents at Waid’s date back for years and include a 2013 sting in which minors were able to purchase alcohol at the nightclub.

Volunteers needed to walk the Capitol Hill beat for community safety patrol

They've got a logo and a Facebook site but OutWatch still needs volunteers before patrols can begin

They’ve got a logo and a Facebook site but OutWatch still needs volunteers before patrols can begin

Organizers of a recently revived Capitol Hill safety patrol say they’re flush with enthusiasm, now they just need some feet on the ground. In March CHS reported on the formation of OutWatch at Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty, the group’s informal headquarters, following a spat of LGBT targeted street violence on Capitol Hill.

Organizer Dr. Jennifer Dietrich had planned to get safety patrols out and patrolling a week after the initial meeting, but said more volunteers are still needed.

“There is a tremendous amount needed to get this off the ground, but we’ve done most of it,” she said. “Once we get enough volunteers, we can start patrolling immediately.”

Those interested in joining OutWatch can stop into Dr. Jen’s or contact Dietrich directly. Dietrich said OutWatch already has t-shirts designed, Zipcars to shuttle drag performers and others to and from gigs, and planned patrol routes. The plan is for members to walk Capitol Hill beats from 10 PM – 3 AM in groups of four, wear OutWatch shirts, and carry mace. Dietrich said she wants all members to receive some self defense training, but that having a public presence will be the most important deterrent to would-be criminals.

The original Q-Safety Patrol was formed in 1991 in response to a rash of gay bashings that organizers felt police were unwilling or incapable of preventing. The original group was trained by the New York City-based Guardian Angels and adopted their signature berets.

In 1996 an up-and-coming Lt. Jim Pugel, then running the East Precinct’s community policing team, gave credit to the group for drastically reducing reported hate crimes in the city. Precinct leaders more recently have been less keen on the idea saying that the patrols could put un-trained citizens at risk and spark confrontations.

You can learn more on the OutWatch Facebook page.

Marijuana talk show State of the Green to start streaming on 4/20 from Capitol Hill

BlRkHOmCAAAkNBL.jpg-largeMarijuana legalization has opened a new space for all sorts of creative endeavors, from new businesses to fun times at the Seattle Police Department. And we’ve only just begun. A new talk show that will stream live from Capitol Hill is seeking to capture Seattle’s burgeoning legal pot culture in all its glory.

If you couldn’t guess, State Of The Green will stream its first show April 20th at 4:20 PM. Capitol Hill couple Tim and Victoria Brennecke will be hosting and producing the show, which will feature a mix of interviews, topical discussions, and sketch comedy.

“We were just getting high on the couch one day brainstorming ideas for a show,” said Brennecke, who works as an independent audio and video producer with his outfit Mini T.V. “The main goal is just to be uplifting and fun for the cannabis community.”

The duo will use Google’s Hang Out on Air, which allows viewers to watch shows via a live YouTube stream and allows guests to join the broadcast from their own webcams. Get updates on Twitter @StateOfTheGreen.

The inaugural 20 minute episode promises “cross-joints for Easter, coverage of 420 myths, and your hosts will play a game for everyone to get to know them better.” Brennecke said future topics will include I-502 and medical laws, as well as some product and strain reviews.

Between shop owners, growers, medical providers, activists, and artists the pool of potential guests runs deep on Capitol Hill. Brennecke said he and his wife have been busy booking guests for their first crop of shows and plan to launch a website.

“It’s something we’re really passionate about,” he said. “Having a good public image is important for this community.”

Meanwhile the ongoing saga of Roses Smell continues over at the recently launched webseries Capitol Hill.

May trial date set in Neighbours arson case

A trial date has been set for the former Capitol Hill man suspected in the New Year’s arson at Neighbours nightclub. According to court documents the trial for Musab Musmari, 30, is scheduled to start May 29th in King County Superior Court. Musmari pleaded not guilty to the arson charge in February. Continue reading

Blotter | Police search for driver after pedestrian hit by car at 14/Union

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

  • Car strikes pedestrian in hit and run: Police were searching for the driver of a small, gray, compact car that left the scene after striking a pedestrian Thursday night at 14th and Union. There were no immediate details of the injuries suffered by the 23-year-old pedestrian but the 10:12 PM incident was upgraded to require a larger response after the initial dispatch. The injuries were not believed to be life threatening. Police officers at the scene got scant details of the car witnesses said struck the pedestrian before driving away from the intersection.
  • Pizza assault: Police say an assault that drew a large crowd at 10th/Pike early last Saturday morning was over pizza:
    Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 10.06.38 AMTwo males were injured in the melee but both declined treatment. Both victims said they had been drinking “heavily” that night, according to police.
  • Broadway trail mix heist: A delivery truck for trail mix provider Northwest Delights was reported stolen from the Broadway Market QFC Friday morning. According to police radio dispatches, the driver told police the key was left in the vehicle and the Isuzu delivery-style truck was nowhere to be found.
  • Downtown transit tunnel closed: Seattle Police and King County Sheriff cordoned off the downtown transit tunnel Friday morning around 9 AM after a report of a suspicious item left aboard a Sound Transit light rail train. The tunnel remained closed during the response as of 10 AM.

Inside the lines of Capitol Hill’s monthly coloring book

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(Images: The Bomb Promise)

Coloring Book Valentine's Day Edition (Image: The Bomb Collective)

Valentine’s Day edition coloring book (Image: The Bomb Promise)

A Capitol Hill arts collective came together during the summer of 2012 with the intention of many a local creative: Get exposure. The group of graphic scribblers known as The Bomb Promise has pulled together the work of local artists in a rather unconventional way through the monthly release of coloring books sprinkled through some of Capitol Hill’s hotspots for adults and kids alike. Please, color inside the lines.

“We are all artists/illustrators either by profession or hobby and found it difficult to market ourselves in the competitive art scene,” said collective member, Alysia Mojica. “Our solution was to put out a coloring book featuring our illustrations.”

The Bomb Promise has unveiled 20 editions monthly since July, 2012 (missing only one month due to extenuating circumstances) with Mojica putting in work outside of her art to get the issues pressed. Continue reading

On the List | Egg hunts, Easter services, brunches, Earth Day plant exchange, Record Store Day

8604231928_7c096a6a82_b-600x400It’s a holiday and 4/20 weekend sure to be filled with magic Easter eggs on Capitol Hill.

egg-hunt-insta-400x400Egg hunts around the neighborhood are already underway. Saturday, you’ll find public invites to hunts in Cal Anderson and a hunt in Volunteer Park. “Babies go first.” Aw, shucks, that’d adorable.

There are lots more Easter happenings on the CHS Calendar including services, brunches… and CC Attle’s Third Annual Easter Bonnet Contest. You can also include a Good Friday Service in your plans and how about a Friday history talk on Seattle’s Lily Kempson & Ireland’s Easter Rising of 1916.

plant exchange 2013Next week also brings Earth Day — Thursday night, you can get a green-thumb start with a plant exchange at Miller Community Center:

Come celebrate springtime in Seattle with fellow gardeners in your community! Share plants, seeds, tools, yard art and knowledge. Everyone is welcome, especially new gardeners. Also, there will be a gardening activity for children.

Also Thursday at the April meeting of the Capitol Hill Community Council, discuss the minimum wage debate with neighbors and representatives at the table as city leaders try to pound out a plan to address income inequality in Seattle. You may need a glass of wine from this Vino Verite tasting before you wade in.

Saturday, meanwhile, is Record Store Day. Stop by Porchlight, Wall of Sound, Everyday Music, Platinum Records, Gruv or Spin Cycle to see what is spinning.

Something to add? Let us know on the CHS Calendar — more listings below:

Continue reading

14 developers in running to forge Capitol Hill Station retail and housing sites

Just build this -- a design submitted by a team of University of Washington students for the Capitol Hill Station "transit oriented development" in a 2011 class exercise

Just build this — a design submitted by a team of University of Washington students for the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” in a 2011 class exercise

Surrounding the under-construction Capitol Hill Station, the development sites will line Broadway and neighbor Cal Anderson

Surrounding the under-construction Capitol Hill Station, the development sites will line Broadway and neighbor Cal Anderson

The candidates to develop some of Capitol Hill’s most prominent and prized projects have added their names to the list and they include a mix of neighborhood, local, and national developers. Fourteen companies and nonprofits officially responded to Sound Transit’s February request for qualifications to develop 100,000 square feet of “transit oriented development” that will surround the future Capitol Hill light rail station. The project will include housing, retail, and community space on five sites stretching along Broadway from John to Denny.

A couple of familiar Capitol Hill names have thrown their names into the hat, including Capitol Hill Housing and a partnership that includes local developer Maria Barrientos. Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray said the agency recieved more responses than it expected.

“It’s obviously a hugly desireable site,” Gray said. “It’s a fantstic opportunity for great development, and people want to be in the middle of Capitol Hill.” Continue reading

With ‘low tech stage magic,’ Chaos Theory brings the apocalypse to 11th and Pike

Chaos Theory opens Friday at the Annex

Chaos Theory opens Friday at the Annex

Maybe Courtney Meaker writes plays about the end of the world because she grew up in small-town Tennessee and had to hang out with a lot of people who didn’t hate homosexual people, they just hated homosexuality. In a conversation with CHS, Meaker says that she majored in creative writing and theater, but had never written a play before coming to Seattle. Continue reading

Prepare for Metro cuts with new First Hill commuter slide — UPDATE

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UPDATE: A commuter takes the plunge on the new transportation system

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.17.44 AMArea civic leaders are unveiling a set of alternatives Thursday to help commuters get around the city should the Metro service-saving Prop 1 not gather enough King County votes before next Tuesday’s Election Day. While it’s not the warmest day for it, the new First Hill infrastructure will certainly be wet enough for a fast ride. Stop by. The new system utilizes ORCA cards and accepts transfers.

County leaders to announce “New Commuter Toolkit” featuring Slip ‘N Slides and zip line
Seattle – Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci, and Redmond Mayor John Marchione will announce a “New Commuter Toolkit” on Thursday. They will unveil plans for a zip line from Seattle to Redmond and have a prototype Slip ‘N Slide on hand for commuters from Capitol Hill to downtown. This will ensure commuters are prepared in case King County voters don’t approve Proposition 1 to prevent devastating cuts to bus service.

These new options are environmentally sustainable and promote an active, healthy lifestyle for commuters. Experts think King County’s 150 days of annual rainfall make our region a perfect place to test commuting by Slip ‘N Slide. Students and commuters will be on hand to demonstrate how to travel via Slip ‘N Slide, which will be set up alongside Seneca in Freeway Park. All are welcome to participate.

Eastside leaders will be on hand to unveil the preliminary design and route for a zip line to Bellevue and Redmond. This exciting new transportation option is also environmentally sustainable and will provide commuters unparalleled views of Mt. Rainier.

While buses currently serve thousands of commuters well every day, regional leaders stressed the need to prepare commuters for what life will be like if we don’t approve Proposition 1. Metro bus rides are facing the elimination of 72 bus routes and cuts to another 84 routes. These cuts will make it difficult or impossible for many students to get to school, seniors to get to medical appointments, and people with disabilities to get to work. That’s why an unprecedented coalition of businesses, labor unions, elected officials, and advocacy organizations have endorsed a Yes vote on Proposition 1.

UPDATE by Sebastian Garrett-Singh: “It will be more and more difficult for people to get around,” said Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen, stating the sopping wet obvious Thursday afternoon. The Council Member who chairs Seattle’s transportation committee told the crowd that if Proposition 1 does not pass it will negatively impact not only bus riders commutes but drivers through increased traffic congestion overall. One purposefully absurd solution: a zipline.

“You can get on the zipline and fly right over Lake Washington,” said Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci. “This is plan D at this point,” said Marchione, to a chorus of chuckles.
A handful of attendees at the unveiling of the Seneca Slip ‘N Slide tried the new downtown express. James Sido of the Downtown Seattle Association said, despite the fun times, the Prop 1 vote is serious business. “We’re very much in favor of Prop 1,” said Sido. “This is a matter of equity. The demand is higher than it’s ever been. Now is certainly not the time to take that away from people.”


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Developer reveals plans for the Piecora’s building

How they did it up north -- Equity's Urbana building opened in Ballard this year

How they did it up north — Equity’s Urbana building opened in Ballard this year

Now that the last night of service has come and gone, what will replace the old Piecora’s building? The largest publicly traded owner of apartment buildings in the country has shared details with CHS of the first ever project it will build from the ground up in the high-demand Capitol Hill market.

“We buy and build,” a spokesperson for Equity Residential tells CHS about its $10.3 million purchase of the building and parking lot at 14th and Madison that is now slated to be demolished sometime in the next year. “We’re all over the Seattle market. It’s such a terrific long-term market for renters, were looking to expand our footprint there.”

The spokesperson tells CHS that Equity plans to develop a six-story, 140-unit mixed-use apartment building with hopes of starting construction late next year after the prerequisite rounds of permitting and design review. The new building will include some 3,700 square-feet of retail — room for a new pizza joint, perhaps — and will include underground parking. The goal is to have the project open for eager Capitol Hill renters by 2017, the spokesperson said.

The confirmation of Equity sticking to what it does best squashes a rumor that had been circulating about a possible hotel planned as part of a new development at the site.

The design of the building has not yet begun as Equity is still settling on an architect for the project. We looked here at the types of buildings the Equity Residential builds and holds in its vast portfolio. Situated on a rising slope along E Madison and overlooking the Broadway basin leading to First Hill, the building will fill a prominent corner on the street and will be just a block from the dramatic rise of the Bullitt Center, touted as the greenest commercial building on the planet.

While the new building will be the first project Equity constructs on Capitol Hill, it has purchased three others amid an increasingly lucrative rental market in the area.

“We very much like the Capitol Hill area,” the Equity spokesperson said. “We think it’s a strong submarket.”