‘Replanting’ — Liberty Bank Building’s opening hoped to be new start in the Central District

More than 100 new affordable homes — and the start of what many hope will be a wave of equitable development across the Central District — are now full of life in the Liberty Bank Building. The development led by nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing and community development group Africatown celebrated with a ribbon cutting, party, and tours Saturday at 24th and Union.

“This neighborhood and this street means so much to me,” building contractor, neighborhood activist, and, now, Liberty Bank Building resident Ted Evans said. “It’s just surreal to be able to live here and raise my son and be part of this redevelopment and being part of this creation that we’re starting, you know, to bring it back home. This is where I started — I was born here.”

“There is power here,” Evans said. Continue reading

Seattle marks first commute without buses in downtown Transit Tunnel

Bus riders downtown might be searching for new stops and light rail passengers to and from Capitol Hill should have a smoother, maybe even quicker go of it. Monday morning marked the first commute through Seattle with buses kicked out of the downtown transit tunnel.

City officials are calling it a second chapter of the “Seattle Squeeze” following Seattle’s weeks without SR-99 in chapter one — a story that turned out to be a little overdone.

Sound Transit says the booting of the buses as necessary as the Washington State Convention Center expansion project will soon remove the northbound access point for buses at the former Convention Place Station and the agency needs to update the older downtown Seattle stations to prepare for expansion to Northgate in 2021 and the opening of the Blue Line to the Eastside in 2023.

SDOT has posted about the changes on Seattle surface streets to accommodate the increased bus activity here.

Metro and Sound Transit say the change will have immediate benefits for light rail riders, “enabling reliable six-minute peak hour headways, eliminating significant service disruptions that occur under joint operations.”

“Light rail service frequencies will increase in future years as the system expands,” officials promise.

You can learn more about the Metro service changes and tunnel transition plans here.

Seattle internet access study: Nearly universal access but more should be paying less

Cable Guy and Can Guy

With reporting by SCC Insight

A new report published by the City of Seattle shows that home internet access has become nearly universal, though some disparities remain.

The study, which is the fifth in a longitudinal series for the city, is actually a model for how to do this kind of survey work. Nearly 50,000 invitations to complete a survey were sent out, with specific outreach to low-income households, Seattle Public Schools parents, and even “tiny house village” residents. 4,315 responses were received, which were then tallied and re-weighted to match the overall demographic and geographic distribution of the city.

So what are the big take-aways?

  • Overall, access to the Internet is nearly universal in Seattle. That has important implications for making essential city services available over the Internet. It’s particularly good and important news for Seattle’s kids. However, the “digital divide” hasn’t gone away entirely; it’s just become shades of grey instead of a black-and-white question of whether someone does or does not have access. Continue reading

Hakeem remembered — Family identifies 21-year-old gunned down in Cal Anderson

Family says the young man who died in Wednesday night’s shooting in Cal Anderson was trying to break up a fight when he was gunned down in the middle of the busy park.

A family member identified the victim for CHS as 21-year-old Hakeem Talley. The family is seeking donations to help defray funeral and burial costs. The victim also leaves behind a young child. Continue reading

The King County election nobody* has heard about

You probably still have time to vote in a King County election that pretty much nobody has heard about.

The King County Conservation District works “directly with private landowners to care for the land and resources” that helps “farmers and other landowners voluntarily preserve and enhance our natural resources through cost-sharing, education and technical assistance.”

The district has an open seat with six candidates but to vote, you’ll need to request a ballot and have it postmarked by March 29th. King County voters can do that here.

Why bother? Take it away, King County Democrats:

The last few years have reinforced that we have to be engaged in every election, at every level. Local elections have a substantial impact on our daily lives. This is also where we build the bench of our future leaders. Let’s show ’em that Democrats vote every year, in every election!

Excellent work, citizen.

Tip of the farmer’s hat to The Stranger for letting us know about the election.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Capitol Hill and the nearby lends itself to great imagery. Social media is filled with images of the places and streets around us. We share some of the best here. To be included and help us find your stuff, use the #capitolhillseattle tag on Instagram or ping @capitolhillseattle or @jseattle via Twitter.

We still also have lots of love for the CHS Flickr Pool and its 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 shutterbugs. With changes at Flickr, its days of an amazing, free for most repository of great photography have shifted but we’re still watching. Continue reading

Blade and Timber axe-tossing bar hopes to hit mark with Capitol Hill nightlife crowds

The key to tossing an axe, Blade and Timber’s Jessie Poole says, is like most things in life. Most people are trying too hard. Instead, try to make your motion more of a smooth, continual arc and let the heavy blade do most of the work. K-thunk.

Also, wear appropriate footwear.

Friday, the newest addition to the nightlife carnival that is Capitol Hill debuts. Blade and Timber adds to the neighborhood’s midway of fun things to do while you drink. Worrywarts, though, probably won’t be surprised to hear that the debut of an axe-tossing bar in Seattle, Washington will come with the bar completely dry — the state process to secure a liquor license for the new venture is taking longer than expected. Continue reading

‘Emmett’ — Family remembers man found dead in 14th/Yesler apartment fire

The young man who died in early Monday morning’s two-alarm fire inside a 14th at Yesler apartment unit has been identified by family as 23-year-old Emerson “Emmett” Davis.

“To whom have met him, know him and loved him, it’s a devastating loss in the world,” his family wrote about the young man. “Our angel left too soon! His passion for life, friendships and living through experiences was contagious. He’s laugh and smile….well you know what it brought to a room of friends and family.”

The family is raising money to help take care of expenses. You can learn more and give here. Continue reading

After more than 400,000 meals for those in need on Capitol Hill, Don Jensen exits Community Lunch

Don, center, with volunteers (Image: Lucas Boyle)

In 1985, a group of local Lutheran churches banded together to provide a hot meal for low-income senior citizens of Capitol Hill. Ten people showed up for the first lunch.

On a recent rainy March day, the scene at the Central Parish House of the Central Lutheran Church looks very different. A quickly-growing crowd of over 30 people huddled under and near the awning of the entrance to the church, waiting for the doors to open at noon for a warm lunch of chicken and rice casserole.

Inside, plates clatter while a group of volunteers arranges the food, including a side of vegetable salad, buffet-style, on long tables near the back of the large, high-vaulted room. Others fold napkins and add more chairs to each table. At least 150 people are expected to come through the doors in the next hour. Continue reading