Plot twist: SIFF’s boozy Cinema Seattle clue of what comes next for The Egyptian

(Image: @HueyJune via Twitter)

(Image: @HueyJune via Twitter)

As CHS reported earlier this month, SIFF is making preparations for a return to Capitol Hill’s shuttered Egyptian Theatre for its 2014 festival. Tuesday, the marquee went back into motion for the first time since last summer.

We also reported that the movie-focused non-profit SIFF has been the only bidder to take over the old theater long-term as Seattle Central searched for a new tenant. Officials wouldn’t confirm a long-term lease but it looks like SIFF, managing director Mary Bacarella, and artistic director Carl Spence are making plans to open a new Cinema Seattle in the Egyptian according to, of all things, a liquor license application for the theater.

The application listing SIFF and the directors’ names is a request for a beer and wine license specifically issued for theaters. It was filed on Monday.

It’s possible — but not likely — Bacarella and Spence are pursuing the license just so festival goers can enjoy beer and wine during the Capitol Hill screenings of the 40th annual Seattle International Film Festival this May. Here’s hoping, instead, the application is another plot device in the Egyptian’s epic tale of loss and triumphant return to glory.

Vibrations Festival forgoes corporate sponsorship, looks to the crowd for return to Capitol Hill

Witch Gardens @ Cairo's Vibrations Festival

Witch Gardens (Image: CHS)

552012_10151170273376351_2115913652_n Speaking of good times at Capitol Hill music festivals, a free celebration of music makers, poets, filmmakers and artists is being planned for a comeback in Volunteer Park. After a one-year hiatus in 2013, organizers of Cairo’s summer Vibrations Festival are looking beyond the corporate sponsorship that has helped make the event happen in the past and are turning to the crowd to make a 2014 return of the event a reality:

After two years of collaborating with corporate sponsors, the Cairo team has decided to go DO IT YOURELF this year!

We need YOUR help to make Vibrations a reality.

This Indiegogo fundraiser will allow us to create the budget we’ve always wanted for Vibrations: with money to pay for top performers, sound equipment and engineers, visual artists, and staff for the event, Vibrations will be bigger and better than ever before.

2014 Vibrations is YOUR event! Help us make it happen!

We like that typo — we also like Vibrations.

If you want to “do it your elf,” you can give via this Indiegogo site.

The perks include limited edition Vibrations t-shirts, Cairo tunes, access to a special yoga session atop the Biltmore and, for the big givers, a tent at the Vibrations festival “with food and fresh watermelon juice.”

No date is yet listed for the festival which took place in August in 2011 and 2012. The campaign has its work cut out — despite some big(ger) media attention here and there, Cairo is currently at $261 of its $10,000 goal.

CHS Pics | Seattle U rallies for fossil fuel divestment

(Image: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

(Image: Suzi Pratt for CHS)


Seattle University students and supporters rallied at the campus quad Monday night to bring attention to a recent decision by school administrators not to join a push for schools across the country to divest in fossil fuel companies.

The school’s student-run Spectator reported on the failed talks between the administration and the Sustainable Student Action group that has called on the university to end its investments in companies that generate revenue through the sale and production of fossil fuels, the source of the majority of the greenhouse gases impacting the planet. Some argue that as a Jesuit Catholic university, Seattle U has more than an intellectual obligation for the divestment. Nearly 8,000 students attend the school located just south of E Madison on the edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The school continues to grow and is planning to add 13 new projects as it expands into the surrounding neighborhood.


Monday night’s rally comes a week before next Tuesday’s Earth Day, the 44th anniversary of the worldwide event celebrating environmental protection.

A letter from Sustainable Student Action sent to media about the group’s continued efforts to push for the divestment is below — along with more pictures of the rally. Continue reading

Capitol Hill says goodbye to Piecora’s, hello to familiar national apartment developer

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_0809A thick chapter of Capitol Hill history will close Tuesday night when the final slice of Piecora’s pizza is polished off, and a new story will open when the nation’s largest, publicly traded, owner of apartments gets to work on its fourth Capitol Hill property.

Equity Residential purchased the 14th and Madison pizza property from the Piecora family in April for a whopping $10.3 million, adding to Equity’s 30+ residential properties in the region. The Piecora family paid $3,045,000 to purchase the property in 2002. Soon after the Equity sale, Piecora’s announced April 15th would be their last day.

So far Equity has not filed any paperwork to indicate their plans for the site — or if they’ll honor the Piecora name in the new building. Representatives from Equity has not yet responded to CHS requests for comment. Given Equity’s regional properties, it’s safe to assume another mixed-use project is on the way. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party readies for 18th annual neighborhood invasion — UPDATE: 2014 lineup announced

The explosion of fun that was CHBP 2013 (Image: CHS)

The explosion of fun that was CHBP 2013 (Images: CHS)


The hopefully sun-drenched days of the Capitol Hill Block Party are just three short months away and the festival’s producers have been busily making new plans for the three-day Capitol Hill celebration of Pike/Pine’s nightlife culture.

The 18th annual installment of the festival will once again fall on the last full weekend of July, this year the 25th, 26th, 27th. Block Party producer Jason Lajeunesse told CHS that permits have been issued and most of the bands are booked. The main stage acts and ticket prices are expected to be announced Tuesday morning. The festival annually draws more than 30,000 attendees.

UPDATE: Spoon, The War on Drugs, and Sunday closer A$AP Rocky will be among the Capitol Hill Block Party 2014 headliners, organizers revealed Tuesday during their ritual announcement on KEXP. Three-day passes also went on sale for a limited time discount of $99.

Here’s the list of headliners being announced Tuesday morning:

A$AP Rocky, Spoon, Chromeo, Matt and Kim, The War on Drugs, Odesza, Sol,  A$AP Ferg, Beat Connection, Star Slinger, Budos Band, Tanlines, XXYYXX, Angel Olsen, Poolside, Cymbals, Shy Girls 

The full lineup and schedule is typically released by early June.

Tickets can be purchased here.

“The Block Party is a boisterous and spirited event that takes place right in the heart of Seattle’s artistic community,” Lajeunesse said in a statement released along with the 2014 lineup tease. “This year’s headliners like Chromeo and Matt and Kim will transform the intersection of Pike and Broadway into a giant dance floor. I can’t wait.”

In December Lajeunesse went before the city’s Special Events Committee to assure the city’s party police that there would be no major logistical changes from last year’s festivities. Over recent years, Block Party planners have attempted to do more with less, packing more music and art into the same confines and doing more to mitigate the festival’s impact on the neighborhood by keeping a lid on attendance and last call. Ticket prices have also climbed with single-day access reaching $40 last year. 2014 three-day passes will start at $99 for a limited time, organizers say. Continue reading

Capitol Hill cacti lovers visit soon, Volunteer Park Conservatory construction to begin

A multi-million dollar restoration of the more than 100-year-old Volunteer Park Conservatory is slated to get underway at the end of the month. Capitol Hill fans of the seasonal house and the cactus house are advised to head to the park soon — the east wing work on the conservatory is scheduled to close that part of the facility starting April 28th through the end of November.

The entire glass, aluminum and wood structure will be shut down for work to upgrade the popular attraction for wheelchair and disabled access from October through November, Seattle Parks has announced.

While work has begun to create a tax district to support Seattle parks, the $3.5 million for the conservatory projects was raised over the course of a three-year capital campaign mounted by the Friends of the Conservatory community group.

8543028795_8a72b63d93 8444157685_7576faf696_oThe work is vital for the 1912-built conservatory’s long term health and finishes a project started way back in 1993 to transition the building’s slender frames from wood to aluminum.

In 2013, the conservatory began charging admission in its transition to a more self-sufficient model under an increasingly restricted Seattle Parks budget.

The $3.5 million for the project raised by the Friends group came from community donations large and small.

“We went out to ask for the larger gifts  and every donor we talked to already knew the problem to be solved,” a spokesperson told CHS last year. “Many Seattleites have a deep connection to the Conservatory, as it turns out.”

The Conservatory will celebrate its reopening with a “gala reopening event” on December 4th. You can visit for updates.

Blotter | Group robs disabled Capitol Hill man, parties in his apartment

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

  • Unwanted visitors rob disabled man: Police are looking for a group of thieves that robbed a disabled Capitol Hill resident and forced their way into his apartment this weekend where they partied, took drugs and boozed it up — apparently enjoying fine food and drink thanks to the victim’s bank account.
    According to the report on the incident, the mentally disabled man told police he was hanging out at a club in Pike/Pine Saturday night and was walking home through Cal Anderson just before midnight when three young males and a female near the basketball court started following him. The victim told police the group surrounded him on Broadway near Thomas and demanded money or “they would do something to him.” The victim told the four he had no money but the suspects then demanded he withdraw $100 from a nearby ATM. The victim told police he was afraid and complied with the demand. Continue reading

With Seattle charter amendment filed, 15 Now leader at Capitol Hill Community Council minimum wage panel this week

King County council member Larry Gossett at Monday's filing (Image: 15 Now)

King County council member Larry Gossett at Monday’s filing (Image: 15 Now)

Monday morning started with a bang for the movement to push forward an un-mitigated $15 per hour minimum wage in Seattle as 15 Now organizers have filed language for a charter amendment with the City Clerk. Meanwhile, 15 Now’s head and others in the maw of the talks surrounding income inequality and raising the minimum wage in Seattle like the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce’s Michael Wells will be at the April meeting of the Capitol Hill Community Council Thursday night for a panel to discuss the issues. Continue reading

Why Capitol Hill’s big mixed-use developments look, um, the way they do


The many faces of Joule. (Photo: CHS)

Boxy. Monolith. Bland. Generic. The adjectives that get hurled at many of the new mixed-used developments on Capitol Hill can be quite unforgiving.

One of those projects, Viva Capitol Hill at 12th and E Union, was recently stalled after complaints rolled in about the building’s monochromatic facade.

Materials, zoning, and Capitol Hill’s competitive development market all narrow the window for creativity and risk taking in building new mixed-use projects.

Those factors have led to some easily identifiable trends among Capitol Hill’s 47+ in-progress projects: cheap and flat facades, jolting color splashes, and hulking buildings desperately trying to look smaller and more welcoming at street level. The resulting public distaste is not surprising, and architects say more could be done to build better. Continue reading

‘Made in Seattle’ Luna Sandals outgrows Capitol Hill

2014.04.08 Barefoot Ted McDonald inspects a Luna sandal - JOGlobal demand for a brand of hi-tech huaraches stamped “Made in Seattle” had a Capitol Hill sandal factory bursting at the seams in a 900 square foot space at 19th and Prospect. However, the operation will now have plenty of room to grow. After a somewhat lengthy search, earlier this month Capitol Hill-born Luna Sandals signed a five-year lease at a 5,000 square foot space at 5th and Aloha, Luna founder and majority-owner “Barefoot Ted” McDonald told CHS.

 ”It’s about five times as big, and we need it,” McDonald said, comparing the sprawling space in Lower Queen Anne to Luna’s current Capitol Hill home. Since it was built in 1920, the LQA brick building has housed an egg noodle factory, a color printing press and a photography studio and most recently was rented out for private events. Soon, it will be home to Luna’s all-in-one manufacturing, distribution and office headquarters, and will also provide room for the company’s first in-house retail operation and a visitor “hang out” lounge overlooking Luna’s factory floor.

Luna’s exit from the Hill in itself isn’t likely to dent the neighborhood’s economy but the company is the type of venture that more and more see as a necessary component of adding some balance to the area’s explosion in entertainment-type commercial development. Continue reading

Capitol Hill kids, prepare your baskets — it’s Cal Anderson egg hunt time

8604239072_273461a177_b8603137719_c32bd07d53_bThe stark efficiency that is dozens of children carrying bags and baskets on a quest for free candy will be on full display next Saturday, April 19th as Capitol Hill kids and their neighbors celebrate Easter in the best way possible: egg hunt! The little ones get a head-start on Thursday at 19th Ave’s Miller Community Center. There are other hunts slated around the community but CHS has always been partial to the ones that invite all comers and dispense with anything beyond the simple joy of finding a plastic egg filled with jelly beans. Happy spring!

April 17 Mighty Mites “Egg”-Stravaganza
Miller Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 5 and under

April 19 Spring Egg Hunts
Cal Anderson Park, 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Montlake Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Yesler Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 1-11

Seattle’s full roster of Parks Department-enabled hunts can be found here.