Socialist Alternative, with District 3 as model, creates new path for voters

IMG_7977Unknown-1You’ve seen the banners at political rallies and the sea of red t-shirts packed into City Hall. Socialist Alternative, a little known group outside Occupy and social justice circles just a few years ago, is a significant force in Seattle political activism.

The rise of SA has almost everything to do with the rise of it’s most prominent member, City Council member and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant. With Sawant as the frontrunner in the August 4th primary, SA’s foothold in District 3 politics only seems to be growing stronger.

So, what is Socialist Alternative, exactly?

Technically, SA’s Seattle chapter is a registered nonprofit advocacy organization in Washington state. The national organization, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, is nominally based in New York City. The organization doesn’t qualify in Washington as a “major political party” because it hasn’t run a candidate for president that has received at least 5% of the vote. Since Seattle elections are officially non-partisan, it is mostly irrelevant in regards to how the primaries play out.

It’s a much different story when it comes to the politics. Continue reading

District 3 ballot returns outpacing other Seattle voters

DistrictsMap-3-383x550 (1)Nice work, District 3 voters. As of Tuesday night, the district representing Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, and more of Central Seattle had the highest percentage of ballots returned with a relatively robust 12.6% mark.

You can track the totals with King County Elections here and find out more about how to return your ballot here. Ballots must be postmarked or dropped in an official county drop-box by 8 PM Capitol Hill Daylight Time on Tuesday, August 4th.

Meanwhile, South Seattle’s District 2 has seen the lowest return percentage at 8.9%.

Across all active and registered voters in Seattle, 10.2% of ballots have been returned.

CHS Crow | Non-Block Party edition — Jacob, Chris, and Maggie

Not everyone who traveled to Capitol Hill this weekend came for Block Party. Some came to get their sport on. CHS Crow stopped by Cal Anderson Park and a met skateboarder, a bocce ball champ, and a hooper all out doing their thing within earshot of the music festival, and learned a bit about their respective scenes and routines in the process.



What brought you out tonight?
I was going to go to Block Party, but then, I brought my skateboard and I figured it probably wouldn’t be too cool to be bashing my way through the crowds with a board so I just came out here to skate at Cal Anderson.

So you paid for a ticket but bailed?
I actually got a free ticket through the local skateshop.

 … did you see anybody play today?
No, I’m terrible. I didn’t even look at the lineup. I saw a couple of DJ’s playing on the stage, I wasn’t even sure who they were.

What kind of work do you do?
I deliver pizzas for Pagliacci Pizza.

DSCF1357aDo you skate a lot around the Hill?
All the time, yeah. The other day we over at Jefferson Park, because there was a Fallen footwear demo, with Jamie Thomas. He’s an old skater, 40 years old, still shredding. So yeah we’re always out here on the Hill. Continue reading

First Hill Streetcar — ‘The start date is still not fixed’

It’s getting to the point where updates on when the First Hill Streetcar won’t start service are about as exciting as watching videos of the First Hill Streetcar being tested.

CHS stands undeterred.

“The start date is still not fixed as we need the manufacturer to complete this iterative process of testing and fine-tuning to safety-certify the vehicles before we can finalize our start-up activities,” read the last of three bullet points included in Scott Kubly’s streetcar portion of the SDOT director’s monthly status report delivered to the City Council’s transportation committee Tuesday morning.

“All streetcars for the First Hill Line have now been delivered, and the manufacturer is targeting the end of July for substantial completion of two cars that are still in final assembly here in Seattle,” bullet point one informs us. Friday is the 31st so workers at the line’s International District maintenance facility will be busy.

According to Kubly’s update, all that remains before service can begin on the ten-stop, 2.5-mile streetcar line from S Jackson and Occidental to Broadway and Denny Way connecting Pioneer Square, the ID, Little Saigon, First Hill and Capitol Hill is…. testing. “The critical path for the start of service is now the commissioning and testing process for the vehicles,” bullet point two said. Continue reading

Central Co-op teams up to give shoppers AmazonFresh alternative

Downside: No samples :( (Image: Central Co-op)

Downside: No samples :( (Image: Central Co-op)

On Capitol Hill where Amazon code bros have “ruined our gayborhood,” the local co-operative grocery store will now give busy shoppers an alternative to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s popular AmazonFresh service.

“We are excited to be partnering with Instacart to offer delivery service to the Seattle area,” manager Wesley Barga of Central Co-op said in a press release from the app-driven shopping service. “We chose Instacart as a partner because its system is really user-friendly, and the company has a great team of people. We are thrilled that we can now make our unique product offering available to even more people every day.”

The service includes one-hour delivery from the Capitol Hill co-op to most of Seattle. Instacart costs $99 per year or non-member customers can pay $5.99 per order for one hour delivery (for orders of more than $35), or $3.99 for two hour delivery. Jeff Bezos charges shoppers $299 a year to use his grocery delivery service.

But before you kick Seattle’s favorite libertarian titan of industry to the curb, consider the Instacart “shopper.” Continue reading

District 3 candidates differ on ways to reduce homelessness

When asked about the most important issues facing Council District 3, CHS readers have twice put homelessness near the top the list. Focus on the issue is well deserved: There has been a 21% increase in King County’s reported homeless population this year. The number of people camping along I-5 is also believed to be on the rise.

One comment in response to the CHS Council District 3 candidate forum earlier this month drew considerable attention for laying out solutions for addressing homelessness, specifically in Cal Anderson Park. But as many who work day-to-day on the issue will say, simple answers are few and far between.

“Causes for rise in homelessness in Seattle and in the nation at large are complicated and difficult to pinpoint,” said Katherine Jolly, spokesperson for the city’s Human Services Department. “In Seattle, the cost of housing has not kept pace with wages, this combined the with effects of the dismantling of mental health and substance abuse systems over the past 30 years contribute to the increases in homelessness. Any solution to the homelessness crisis in Seattle must take these issues into account.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Council | Change and homelessness


The newly invigorated Capitol Hill Community Council officers wanted to take a different approach to our summer programming. This month, we’re asking you to help us raise money to provide much needed items for the people experiencing homelessness in our community. We’re also inviting local homelessness experts and service providers to present critical information, ways we can help, advocacy efforts, and the work still needed from a grassroots level to adequately address homelessness in our neighborhood and city. DONATE HERE

On July 30th, the Capitol Hill Community Council will use the money raised to pay for the supplies and items most requested by area homeless shelters/service providers. At the July 30th meeting, we’ll put together packs to give to the people most in need while listening to guests from DESC, YouthCare, Mary’s Place, Urban Rest Stop, and Chief Seattle Club.

Capitol Hill Community Council July Meeting
Thursday, July 30th — 6:30 PM — Cal Anderson Shelterhouse

A community is not a monument to individual preferences. It is a collective and living organism.

When I was 5 years old I remember attending my cousin/godfather’s high school graduation on the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. Watching him walk across that stage into a world unknown scared me, causing me to cry as I couldn’t reconcile the fear and sadness of change.

At such a young age, it was difficult to physically imagine what life would look like for him, for his relationship with his parents, or for our relationship; his graduation felt more like a funeral.

I often reflect on that memory and my feelings about change. Change is intimidating because it challenges the ego in its affirmation of our mortality; they don’t have funerals for change. We find comfort in the idea that in death, though we no longer are physically part of community, our story might live on after we’re gone. We hope that the way we made people feel, the joyful memories created, and our service to each other – components of what it takes to create a legend — might be applied to us. Continue reading

Full Tilt bringing punk rock ice cream pop shop with a spin to Capitol Hill

Punk rock ice cream arcade purveyor Full Tilt is coming to Capitol Hill. A new shop dedicated to Full Tilt’s nearly legendary, long in the offing ice cream bars is planned to open mid-August in the 15th Ave E space where Capitol Hill Family Arcade has been entertaining Capitol Hill families ever since… a week or so ago.

“I have prepped my best games for this location,” Bobby Conover from 20XX Amusements is quoted as saying in the announcement sent to CHS. Full Tilt says the new space will have a larger arcade section than any of the other Full Tilt shops. The new store will feature about 20 arcade and pinball machines, according to the announcement.

“I wanted to use this location to focus more on our ice cream bars and games,” Full Tilt’s Justin Cline said. “To make it a fun spot for families on the Hill.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Bobby Morris weekend sports report


For the second year, organizers of two of the sportiest LGBTQ fundraisers of the summer put their events in the middle of the action around Capitol Hill Block Party over the weekend.

And a good time was had by all.

Saturday, the annual Jockstraps and Glitter kickball game played out on Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson to raise funds for the Seattle Quake rugby club and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Abbey of St. Joan.

Sunday, dignitaries were on hand for first pitch in the annual battle of Dykes vs. Drag Queens in the Seattle Bat ‘n’ Rouge softball game benefitting SASG. CHS reported earlier this summer on SASG’s capital campaign to fund a move from their longtime home at 17th and Thomas.You can learn more and give at

View of the Field, Bat n' Rouge 2015 (1)Team Drag Queen (4)

Low rivers, high temperatures put Seattle in ‘advisory’ water warning phase

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.26.20 AMIt fits in with this “End of Days” theme around Seattle right now. Seattle Public Utilities has announced the city has been put in a preliminary “advisory” phase of rapidly declining water levels due to low rivers and high temperatures:

The first stage in each city’s response plan is “advisory.” It’s issued when utilities believe a potential water supply problem may exist.  During this time Everett, Seattle and Tacoma are asking customers to carefully manage their water use and make sure they are not wasting water.

“If conditions worsen, each city may move to the ‘voluntary’ phase of water shortage response and ask customers to reduce the amount of water they normally use each day,” according to the announcement from SPU and utilities in Everett and Tacoma.

The cities are making operational changes and activating supplementary water supplies “in an effort to stretch their water supplies as far as possible.”

Officials included tips for reducing water usage in the announcement:

· Watering early or late: Water before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m., which reduces evaporation.

· Watering deeply, but infrequently: It’s better to have one or two deep waterings, rather than several shallow waterings.

· Fixing leaks: Fix obvious indoor and outdoor leaks such as at faucets, hose bibs and sprinkler spray heads. Check for less obvious leaks such as silent toilet leaks. Put several drops of food coloring in your toilet tank; after 10 minutes if you have color in the toilet bowl, you have a flapper leak.

· Washing vehicles wisely: Wash your vehicle(s) at locations that recycle their water.

· Using a broom, not a hose: Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clean sidewalks, driveways and patios.

· Washing full loads: Wait until your clothes washer and dishwasher are full before starting.

“Everett, Seattle and Tacoma are all fortunate to have robust water supplies that allow the water utilities to meet customer needs for water and contribute to healthy fish populations,” the announcement says. “Available supplies this year have declined more quickly than is typical.”