With a decade of nostalgic style on Capitol Hill, Throwbacks Northwest adapts to changing Seattle

Owner Rialto “Rio” Estolas at Throwbacks Northwest (Image: Andy Yamashita for CHS)

By Andy Yamashital, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

Walk east on Pike, just past 12th Ave and you might miss it.

Tucked away in a small storefront, you can tell you’ve found Throwbacks Northwest from the black door covered in stickers and all the Seattle Supersonics memorabilia that hangs in the window. The sign hanging off the beige building is hard to see if you aren’t sure what to look for.

But for people involved in the streetwear, deadstock, and vintage collection communities, the shop is the stuff of legends.

“A lot of people come here and they ask if we’re hiring,” Shane Cloud, an employee at the store said. “But, it’s kind of like — you get asked to work here, you don’t ask to work here.”

Throwbacks Northwest, owned by Rialto “Rio” Estolas, is currently in its tenth year of business and has been the center for a niche group of people looking for unique ways to express their own style and represent Seattle. They are drawn to the shop because, as Estolas and Cloud say, they offer more than just shoes, snapbacks, and sweatshirts.

“We don’t necessarily sell clothes,” Cloud said. “We sell nostalgia. A lot of this is memories — special memories you know. People remember that game they went to with their dad, and maybe their dad has passed away now. Or they grew up playing Little League and they remember watching Ken Griffey Jr. play.” Continue reading

Report behind ‘Seattle is Dying’ effort gets City Council airing

The report at the core of a storm of controversy and the sensational “Seattle is Dying” Sinclair Broadcasting television news reporting efforts got an airing in front of the City Council but, by now, concern over the positions has mostly given way to debate over how to improve and better fund needed services in the city.

Lisa Herbold’s civil rights committee Wednesday heard a presentation on the so-called “System Failure Report,” a study commissioned by Seattle business organizations to bring attention to what they say is a city legal system so dysfunctional that a relatively small core of prolific offenders is allowed to run roughshod and bring misery to the city of 725,000. Continue reading

After deadly shooting at 21st and Union, where did SPD find a cache of military-style rifles and ammo in gang gun violence investigation? Two blocks away

One of the firearms seized from a Central District apartment building (Image: SPD)

As scads of city officials toured the area around recent scenes of Central District gun violence Wednesday and are considering approaches including simpler, faster solutions like Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design features, another factor in the ongoing violence has emerged.

Many of the powerful firearms swept up by Seattle Police, FBI, and ATF agents around Seattle in the weeks following a deadly shooting at 21st and Union were found in an apartment only blocks from where the deadly May 10th gang shootout went down.

East Precinct commander Capt. Bryan Grenon told the African American Advisory Council community meeting last week that some of the military style rifles and ammunition recovered by police was found in a nearby apartment building just blocks from where the deadly shooting occurred, a person who attended the meeting told CHS.

Among the weapons seized were two AK-47 style assault rifles, an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, and a large amount of ammunition. Continue reading

On the List | Spice Walaa for Lifelong, #adulting, ‘raised cakes’ at Raised Doughnuts

(Image: Raised Doughnuts)

The Seattle International Film Festival kicked off last week but will be bringing movies from all over the world to Capitol Hill’s Egyptian theatre and movie theaters around the city until June 9. Some notable screenings at The Egyptian this week include a new Woodstock documentary and a feel-good flick from Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham).

Cinephiles are in luck with another film festival at the Northwest Film Forum happening this week, focused on Brazilian films addressing race, gender, and sexuality. Those with young kids can find refuge at the Central Cinema, where Thursdays are for two hours of free classic cartoons with food and drink specials.

Another hot ticket this Thursday: The Moth Mainstage at Benaroya Hall. We’ve lined up more things to do, such as pie-eating and poetry brunching, on the list below. Find more events on the CHS Calendar.

WEDNESDAY, May 22: Sometimes event concepts do not need to be complex to be supremely enjoyable. Case in point: Rain City Slam’s “Lyric Slam.” The idea? Bring a song and compete with it as poetry. That’s it. That is literally all you need to do (besides, we assume, kicking ass) to win the Lyric Slam Crown. Tickets are $3-5 sliding scale. Jai Thai, 8 PM Continue reading

After starting journey on Capitol Hill, Travelers preparing to serve its final thali

(Image: CHS)

A Capitol Hill-born story of thali, chai, and good karma is coming to an end on Beacon Hill. Travelers, some seven years after it was pushed off E Pine, is shutting down its kitchen.

“We built our restaurant around ‘thali’, and we are proud of what we achieved,” a message from owners Allen Kornmesser and Leon Reed about the closure reads. “When we started serving thali on weekends, cooking in the back of our spice shop and import store on Capitol Hill, nobody else in Seattle was doing it.” Continue reading

Business reps call for support at Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce’s summer safety meeting

The wave of shootings across the Central District that have left a 19-year-old dead and others wounded gained its terrible strength in a shooting weeks ago in March in Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson where 21-year-old Hakeem Salahud-din was gunned down next to the park’s basketball court.

Police, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and City Council representative Kshama Sawant have focused much of their efforts in the Central District to stem the violence. But gun violence incidents on Broadway and in Pike/Pine, and fears of an increase in street disorder as summer approaches also have the neighborhood’s business community concerned.

Seattle Police Department and mayor’s office representatives spoke earlier this month with Capitol Hill business representatives to discuss crime and street disorder throughout Pike/Pine and along Broadway as summer quickly approaches.

The event, hosted by the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce at Elliott Bay Book Company and moderated by the chamber’s head and District 3 candidate Egan Orion, looked to give locals an opportunity to air grievances and priorities as well as allow the city to give an update on the state of crime in the neighborhood.

SPD East Precinct commander Capt. Bryan Grenon said that in the area there has been a 4-5% reduction in crime overall as of the beginning of the month but crime statistics are ripe for abuse in a community forum. You can look at the latest SPD stats for the East Precinct covering Capitol Hill here on the CHS Crime Dashboard. Beyond the statistics, there has been a spike in violent crime with eleven shootings in 30 days taking place across Capitol Hill and the Central District.

The first area of emphasis in the meeting was the reasoning for a lack of SPD emphasis patrol in Capitol Hill given high crime levels in the area as the Mayor’s office chose seven other neighborhoods instead. Sabrina Bolieu, business liaison for Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office, explained, saying that they were looking for areas with increases in person-on-person crime and Capitol Hill has simply sustained its crime level. Continue reading

District 3 candidates forum season continues with ‘Transportation, Housing, & Sustainability’ event

At this rate, you’ll have your minds made up before summer. Thursday night brings yet another District 3 candidates forum — this one focused on some pretty important stuff.

A large grouping of some key Seattle advocacy groups is organizing Thursday’s D3 Candidate Forum on Transportation, Housing, & Sustainability at the Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO offices at 321 16th Ave S just up from Jackson:

District 3 Candidate Forum

An all-star team is bringing the event together including the Housing Development Consortium, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition, Seattle Subway, Tech 4 Housing, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Seattle Transit Riders Union, Rooted in Rights, the Sierra Club, and the Seattle Group.

This forum will be moderated by Seattle U professor Dr. Larry Hubbell and Seattle Times reporter Heidi Groover.

You can find all CHS Election 2019 coverage here.

Renton man charged in 23rd/Cherry shootout that left victim hit in the crossfire

A Renton man is the first person charged in Seattle Police, federal, and King County Prosecutor efforts to stamp out a string of gun violence across Central and South Seattle.

Demarco Pressley, 25, faces three counts including an assault charge and two charges of unlawful possession of a firearm after being arrested in the shooting of a woman caught in the crossfire of an apparent gang dispute.

He has not yet entered a plea on the charges, according to court records.

Police say Pressley can be seen in security video from the night of May 3rd incident at the AMPM service station at 23rd and Cherry firing off a series of shots as a vehicle speeds away and returns fire along 23rd:

Continue reading

Town Hall reopens after $35 million overhaul of First Hill’s historic venue

When, almost precisely 13 years ago, the 22-year old cellist Joshua Roman stepped onto the stage of Town Hall, he made local music history. It was Roman’s first solo recital after leaving the Seattle Symphony where he’d been the youngest principal cellist ever.

Tuesday night, Roman will make history again. This time, he’s the first performer to fill Town Hall’s Great Hall with music after it has been closed for a 20-month renovation.

The First Hill cultural and civic venue, a Seattle landmark built as a Christian Science Church about a century ago, reopens Tuesday after an extensive renovation, which included a refresh of the glazed terra cotta exterior, a new roof, seismic retrofit, and much-needed accessibility upgrades.

The overhauled Town Hall was initially set to open in 2018 but complications pushed the opening date back to March and then May of this year. The venue’s certificate of occupancy was cleared just last week. When CHS visited, painters were putting finishing touches on the freshly white-painted window frames, and workers were still busy installing lights in the Great Hall.

Though Town Hall had been hosting some events in its downstairs space since April, the entire building opens tonight during what the nonprofit calls a “soft launch.” The official month-long opening festival Homecoming, originally scheduled for this spring, is now planned to run in September.

Roman’s cello concert wasn’t intended to be Town Hall 2.0’s first performance. Somehow, the stars aligned. Continue reading

Sawant scores ‘no consensus’ victory in the 37th — UPDATE

A few of the D3 candidates looking calm during a long Monday night meeting (Image: 37th District Democrats)

The evening began with an eager standing-room only crowd. More than three and a half hours later, the meeting ended with candidate pamphlets scattered and no consensus reached on an endorsement of the 37th District Democrats Monday night for the hotly-contested District 3 race.

A concerted effort by the Kshama Sawant campaign helped cement a “no consensus” vote as the 37th met Monday night to decide if the candidates deserved the group’s backing ahead of the August primary. The 37th District Dems only formally endorse members of the Democratic Party. Sawant, the incumbent and a member of the Socialist Alternative political group, high fived an aide after the final results were announced at the Ethiopian Community Center Monday night.

UPDATE: CHS has corrected the headline and story to recognized the formal “no endorsement” vote also failed and, instead, the decision reached was a formal “no consensus. Chase Cross, 1st Vice Chair, 37th Legislative District Democrats, notified us about our error and also takes issue with our positioning of the lack of endorsement in the vote:

I read your story about our recent endorsements meeting and there is a big correction needed: The “No Endorsement” position, which would be interpreted as a victory for Sawant (since she is ineligible for our endorsement), was declared the winner. That is flat incorrect — we reached the “No Consensus” position, which is different. No Consensus means that after balloting three times, no candidate and the No Endorsement position have all failed to achieve the 60% threshold. Characterizing it as a “win” for Sawant is inaccurate because not only did the No Endorsement position not pass on any ballot, but Zach DeWolfe also won a majority on every ballot except the final dual endorsement motion with Pat Murakami (a ballot on which No Endorsement” was not available.

The decision in the 37th can be chalked up as a loss for the most progressive of Sawant’s opponents and one candidate who considers the state congressional district her home turf.

“The Chamber of Commerce and Amazon are fighting to take City Hall back to business as usual corporate politics,” Sawant said earlier in the night as she addressed the 37th. “Their role goal in District 3? Anybody but Kshama Sawant. Why? Because they know that my office for the last five years has unwaveringly stood by and represented working people, people of color, and marginalized communities.” Continue reading