CHS Pics | Capitol Hill is old

CHS was performing manual labor recently in the shadow of St. Joe’s near 19th and Aloha when we found this buried in the dirt: a Washington sales tax token –IMG_2355

Wikipedia says:

Sales tax tokens were fractional cent devices used to pay sales tax on very small purchases in many American states during the years of the Great Depression. Tax tokens were created as a means for consumers to avoid being “overcharged” by having to pay a full penny tax on purchases of 5 or 10 cents. Issued by private firms, by municipalities, and by twelve state governments, sales tax tokens were generally issued in multiples of 1 mill (1/10th cent).

You can buy one on Ebay for a $1. Plus shipping and handling.

Meanwhile, a local dendrologist has done some street science to determine the age of the old crooked tree of Broadway chopped down earlier this year.

Wanna go way back? Here’s a visit to Capitol Hill, November 1851.

21 Capitol Hill restaurants, bars & food trucks ready to serve at Capitol Hill Housing benefit, 39 lined up for Eat Out on Capitol Hill

Eric Banh doled out the pho at a past Omnivorous (Image: CHH)

Monsoon’s Eric Banh doled out the pho at a past Omnivorous (Image: CHH)

$91 and 12 cents will get you a ticket to Thursday’s Capitol Hill Housing benefit that has turned into an annual showcase of the best — and most generous — in Capitol Hill food and drink. The fourth Omnivorous benefits the nonprofit developer and will bring together more than twenty great food and drink providers in 2014 — including two food trucks.

You can buy tickets here via The Stranger:

Thursday, September 18th 5:30 PM / The Summit 420 E Pike
For one night, enjoy an array of fabulous food and drink by some of Capitol Hill’s best restaurants and bars – all under one roof!

Featuring Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Cafe Presse, Corretto, Feed Co. Catering, Fran’s Chocolates, Hello Robin, Marjorie,  Poppy, Poquitos, Quinn’s Pub, Restaurant Zoe, Skillet, Tango, Taylor Shellfish, Terra Plata and The Tin Table.

New this year: Jemil’s Big Easy and Off the Rez food trucks

Plus wine and specialty cocktails courtesy of Okanogan Estate Winery, Oola Distillery and Sidetrack Distillery

Your ticket gets you:

  • Unlimited plates of culinary creations

  • Excellent Northwest wines and imaginative specialty cocktails

  • A fun evening with your Capitol Hill neighbors and friends of affordable housing

2014-eatOutCapitolHillaYou can also mark your calendar for another Capitol Hill food+drink fundraising tradition. The annual Eat Out on Capitol Hill to benefit the nonprofit Country Doctor returns Thursday, September 25th with a roster 39 Capitol Hill restaurants and bars strong:

Benefiting Country Doctor Community Health Centers-Providers of Accessible Healthcare to Everyone Regardless of Ability to Pay.
A Portion Of Your Bill Be Donated To Ensure Everyone Has HealthCare Home At Country Doctor Community Health Care Centers

ADA’S Technical Books and Cafe | Altura | Barrio | Be Bar | Bimbo Cantina | Broadcast Coffee, Bellevue Ave. | Broadcast Coffee, Yesler | Cafe Vita | Cha Cha Lounge | Cherry St. Coffee | Coastal Kitchen | Cupcake Royale | Good Citizen | Hello Robin | Hopvine Pub | Liberty | Lost Lake Lounge | Mamnoon | Manhattan | Mioposto Bryant | Mioposto Mt. Baker | Molly Moon Ice Cream | Monsoon | Oddfellows Cafe | Poppy | Poquitos | Quinn’s Pub | Restaurant Zoe | Ristorante Machiavelli | Sitka & Spruce | Skillet Diner | Smith | Tallulah | The Tin Table | Van Trapps | Victrola Coffee | Via Tribunali | Vios | Witness

You’ll find more information at

Seattle’s new regulations leave space for densest microhousing to continue in Capitol Hill’s core


This 12th Ave microhousing project will have room for a Basque restaurant. This one will have beer. Put that in your regulations! (Image: CHS)

34 pages of legislation ( here in PDF) — plus a few possible last minute additions related to elements like defining exactly how many sinks an aPodment-style unit should have — are ready to move on from City Council as Seattle seeks to complete a long, drawn-out quest to regulate microhousing developments. Meanwhile, a legal battle that had a seeming happy ending for neighbors fighting a Capitol Hill microhousing development near the tony Harvard-Belmont Historical District will have a judicial epilogue.

DPD "congregate housing" related permit activity, 2010 to present. Big clouds of microhousing headed your way!

DPD “congregate housing” related permit activity, 2010 to present. Big clouds of microhousing headed your way!

Tuesday afternoon, the City Council’s land use and planning committee is expected to unwrinkle a final set of amendments before sending the bill onto the full council.

“People living in smaller units is a choice,” planning committee chair Mike O’Brien said. “What we really care about is how big the building is on the outside.”

UPDATE: The committee approved the legislation Tuesday afternoon and the bill will move to the full council for a vote on October 6th.

The new rules pounded out after over years of debate will continue to allow microhousing development in dense areas like Capitol Hill while setting a new average size requirement for the apartments built in lowrise-zoned areas. Under the compromises forged by O’Brien, Seattle will end up with two types of microhousing. In areas zoned lowrise where you’re more likely to find single family homes or small apartments, microhousing units must average 220 square feet — though Tuesday’s amendments may adjust size thresholds.Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 4.19.29 PM

But buildings within “urban centers” like the western core of Capitol Hill and “urban villages” like E Madison, Miller Park, and parts of the Central District will be open territory for good ol’ fashioned microhousing with shared, congregate elements and units that can average smaller than 180 square feet.

But we're only talking about 100 or so projects and no massive uptick through 2014's partial year tally

But we’re only talking about 100 or so projects and no massive uptick through 2014′s partial year tally even as Seattle still doesn’t have a plan in place to tackle housing affordability. It’s OK, though — at least somebody is thinking big

“My proposal will allow these to continue to be built as congregate housing, but specifies that they can only be built in higher density zones in our urban villages and urban centers,” an O’Brien statement on the legislation states. “These are the places that most likely have access to transit and amenities to support a higher density community.” Continue reading

By the way, Capitol Hill’s The Sterling is also not a landmark

Screen-Shot-2014-08-18-at-7.40.53-AM-367x550The Sterling — the 1950s-era 323 Bellevue Ave E apartment complex CHS called the “anti-aPodment” for its design mimicing the privacy of a single family home environment — is not an official Seattle landmark.

The Landmark Preservation Board rejected the property from the city’s protection and monitoring program last month.

While landmark nomination activity in Seattle is often connected to pending sales and development plans, there are no records of any transactions or construction planning currently filed for the address.

The Sterling was completed in 1956 and named for original owner Sterling Taylor, “a Seattle attorney and polio survivor who worked as an advocate for people with disabilities,” according to the nomination. He and his wife, Frances Taylor, developed the property and managed the apartments until his death in 1972. In 2005 after a series of owners, Dan Chua bought the property for $1,050,000.

Police investigate reported Cal Anderson gunpoint robbery — UPDATE

A victim told police he was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight in Cal Anderson Park early Monday evening despite ongoing emphasis patrols in the area.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the victim fled to Seattle Central where he reported the hold-up to 911. Police were called out around 5:20 PM.

According to the victim, the hold-up occurred near the basketball court off Nagle Place. The distraught victim told police his assailant threatened him with a 9 MM pistol during the robbery.

Police were looking for black male, bald, with a chin-strap style beard and wearing a light blue plaid shirt with navy or gray pants. Police believed he may be a person known to area officers who has previously been trespassed from the park.

Seattle Police say East Precinct and gang units are continuing emphasis patrols in the Pike/Pine area. Last week, precinct officials asked Seattle Parks to leave the lights on around Cal Anderson until 2:30 AM on the weekends to help quell a wave of street crime. Meanwhile, the mayor has announced he plans to hire more officers and give them better crime fighting intelligence.

UPDATE 9/16/14: SPD has so far been unable to track down the suspect in Monday’s reported armed robbery. Records show he was arrested this summer on a weapons charge and for harassment.

Meanwhile, CHS has learned of an additional robbery reported near the park over the weekend.

According to radio dispatches, several SPD units including officers on foot patrol, and a K9 officer were in the area of 11th Ave at the time of a reported 12:45 AM street robbery just outside the park early Saturday morning. Several units responded to the area to search for the mugging suspect described as a heavyset Latino male in his 20s, around 6’1″ and wearing a blue button-up shirt.

A search of the area was not immediately successful. No further details are available at this time.

Wounded teen shows up at hospital as police investigate Central District gunfire incidents

Police found more than 30 shell casings in the street near 21st and E Fir after reports of gunfire in the Central District rolled into 911 late Sunday night. As police investigated, a 16-year-old suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound arrived at Harborview. Meanwhile, Monday afternoon, police rushed to the area around Judkins Park following a report of a gunman shooting at another vehicle from a window of a speeding SUV.

In the Monday afternoon incident, police swarmed the area around Judkins Park just before 2:30 PM and found shell casing strewn across 23rd Ave at Dearborn and at least one uninvolved vehicle hit. There were no immediate reports of any injuries involved with the gunfire. Traffic in the area was diverted during the investigation. UPDATE: SPD has posted a report on the Monday afternoon incident: “One vehicle was damaged by the gunfire. There were no reports of injuries. The roadway was reopened just after 3 pm.” More here.

Police say they are still investigating the Sunday night shooting incident:

Around 11:15, police received a number of 911 calls about gunshots near 21 Ave and East Fir Street. At the scene, officers recovered more than 30 shell casings from different guns and found several buildings and cars had been struck by gunfire. Police weren’t able to locate anyone with injuries at the scene.

Continue reading

With 88 performances in 5 days on Capitol Hill, Seattle Fringe Festival 2014 starts Wednesday

10633789_346196662204786_5486770815533513259_oAt $10 a pop, tickets to the productions in the Seattle Fringe Festival provide an excellent level of return on investment as measured by serendipity.

Beginning Wednesday, the festival will roll out 88 performances by 22 producing companies in 5 Capitol Hill venues over 5 days. Organizers call it “a port of call for exceptional artists from the touring circuit.” 2014′s performances have roots in productions from from Portland, OR to Los Angeles, CA to Lafayette, CO and New York, NY.

10540815_651986838232882_1018989245850765633_nYou can view the 2014 schedule and purchase tickets at

The Seattle Fringe Festival (SFF) returns to Capitol Hill September 17-21, 2014. SFF will feature an amazing 88 performances by 22 producing companies in 5 venues over 5 days. The Festival is a showcase of exciting new work by local and touring artists in an eclectic and engaging variety of performance styles.

This year, in addition to favorite venues from prior years (Annex Theater, Eclectic Theater, and two venues at NW Film Forum) SFF will be presenting work at the newly-opened Calamus Auditorium at Gay City Arts. Centrally located on Capitol Hill, all performances will be within walking distance of one another — and of the Festival Bar, St John’s. Every show runs an hour or less, and tickets are priced affordably at only $10. All ticket revenue is returned directly to the producing artists.

In 2012, CHS reported on the return of the festival after a nine-year hiatus.

In legal battle over stripped ‘Bettie Page’ branding, fashion chain shutters Broadway boutique — UPDATE: ‘It was the traffic’

Back in the Bettie days on Broadway (Image: CHS)

Back in the Bettie days on Broadway (Image: CHS)

(Image: Tatyana Boutique)

(Image: Tatyana Boutique)

Broadway’s old state liquor store location will again be empty. Tatyana Boutique, the Las Vegas-based women’s fashion chain stripped of its right to use the Bettie Page name this summer, has suddenly closed its Capitol Hill store.

A sign posted at 400 Broadway E inelegantly shared the news over the weekend. We have not yet heard back from company officials about the abrupt closure. Thanks to tipster Tim for bringing it to our attention.

UPDATE: The company’s co-founder Jan Glaser tells CHS that the closure is not part of a wider pullback by the company. “We just opened in Toronto,” Glaser said. Instead, Glaser said a lack of Broadway foot traffic was to blame. “From the beginning, traffic was an issue there. Even before the name change,” Glaser said. The entrepreneur said he may be looking for a new place in Seattle for a Tatyana store. CHS suggested E Pike below Broadway. Let us know if you have any ideas for Glaser. Continue reading

First look: Completing the overhaul of a Capitol Hill auto row building, Trove ‘fourplex’ debuts on E Pike

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Over the weekend, Rachel Yang finally got to see the pieces of her new food and drink puzzle come together on E Pike as the last step in the preservation-minded overhaul of one of the neighborhood’s remaining auto-row buildings. Trove, a gastronomical “fourplex” of concepts, brings the couple and the teams behind Seattle favorites Revel and Joule to Capitol Hill for the partnership’s first foray in the neighborhood’s booming nightlife economy.


Continue reading

CHS Pics | Round and round Cal Anderson for first annual Red Door 5K

IMG_2457IMG_2507The first ever Red Door 5K Run/Walk to benefit Broadway at Union’s Gilda’s Club sent runners and walkers big and little around and around Cal Anderson on a sunny Seattle September Saturday.

CHS wrote about the new fundraiser and “red door” campaign to support the organization and Camp Sparkle, a day camp for kids 4-12 affected by cancer. On Saturday, some of that support was paid $5 at a time thanks to the Red Door 5k “shortcut” donation box.

In two weeks, one of the inspirations for Saturday’s Gilda’s Club event will add its start and finish lines once again to Volunteer Park as the annual Seattle AIDS Walk returns. You can learn more about the September 27th fundraiser and E Pike-based organizer Lifelong at CHS is proud to once again be a community sponsor of the event.

More pictures below.IMG_2288 IMG_2348

Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | Capitol Hill’s crow commuters

We may have a remaining few weeks of summer, but I know better than that. September hit and there’s a nip to the air, leaves are starting to fall, and the vast majority of birds have stopped singing. Territoriality is of moot importance for most birds when breeding isn’t a factor for concern but I see fall signaled best in the city by a rapid change in a specific birds’ behavior: crows.


An American Crow in transit. Credit: Brendan McGarry

Like all our breeding birds, crows breed at a specific time of year, and that time is past. However, unlike neotropical migrants and many other resident species, which make a rather quiet pass between breeding and non-breeding, crows make quite the splash. Once they’ve reared their young to the point of self-sufficiency (though they may stay with their parents and a larger family group for some time), most of our local crows no longer sleep in their breeding territories but repair to a local roost site at night.

You have almost certainly seen behavior associated with this phenolocial switch. On either end of your day, you may have noticed commuters in the air. Continue reading

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill

Screen-Shot-400x537Here are the top CHS posts from this week in 2013:

  1. Seattle’s first parklet under construction on Capitol Hill
  2. Is the Creepy Cameraman hanging out on Capitol Hill?
  3. Big Capitol Hill names behind Cone and Steiner grocery market project
  4. Stabbing at City Market
  5. Capitol Hill rent hikes in old *and* new buildings follow citywide trends

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000 22,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line – our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

Continue reading

Sawant ‘town hall’ to discuss Seattle Housing Authority proposal to raise rents

In June, CHS reported that, sadly, Capitol Hill’s rents were continuing to soar as Seattle delayed its affordable housing plan. City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant is hosting a town hall meeting on Sunday night to re-kindle the discussion about affordability in the city:

Sawant to Host Community Meeting on Affordable Housing
Invites the Public to Comment on Seattle Housing Authority’s Low-Income Rent Increases

Seattle – Councilmember Kshama Sawant will host a town hall meeting to discuss the crisis of affordable housing and the Seattle Housing Authority’s proposal to raise rents for low-income residents. Sawant will focus her comments on skyrocketinghousing prices and high rents, which force working people to leave the city and exacerbate the problem of homelessness.

She will be joined by community activists working to defeat the Seattle Housing Authority’s proposed rent increases, along with advocates for rent control.

Members of the public are urged to attend and learn more about this important issue.  Refreshments will be provided.

WHAT: Town Hall meeting to discuss Seattle Housing Authority’s low-income rent increases

5 p.m., Sunday, September 14

New Holly Gathering Hall

7054 32nd Avenue South

Seattle, WA  98118

Capitol Hill food+drink | More izakaya and ramen? Kukai Capitol Hill coming

(Images: Kukai)

(Images: Kukai)

10443068_695595740490356_2040236340962179394_oEarlier this year, CHS made a big deal about the nine — count ‘em! — Asian-flavored food and drink projects pending around Capitol Hill. In the time since, the Hill prepared to add a tenth with the news that Vancouver BC’s Suika izakaya bar family is behind a new project to E Pine. Turns out, one in the wave we haven’t said much about is also going to be part of what will surely be the next Capitol Hill food trend to be identified by glossy magazines everywhere — it’s izakaya time.

The international Kukai Ramen & Izakaya chain’s Pacific Northwest footprint will expand in 2015 with the addition of a new location in the new Three20 Apartments building at 320 E Pine. A representative for Kukai has confirmed the project but said the owners were currently focused on a new Thornton Place opening and weren’t ready to say more about their Capitol Hill ambitions. Continue reading

Mayor announces more officers, better policing part of 2015 budget plan

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.14.25 PMMayor Ed Murray announced Friday that his 2015 City of Seattle budget proposals will include a boost in the number of police officers serving the city and increased spending on homeless and mental health services. But he also promised that better policing is a priority.

Calling the proposals “fairly fluid” due to budget issues at the federal and state levels, the mayor said an improving economy and new “efficiencies” would enable the city to add new programs in 2015. Murray said he would push for the hiring of 50 new SPD officers to join the 1,300 already serving the city with a goal to add 100 officers before the end of his term.

SPD Staffing by Quarter, 2014

SPD Staffing by Quarter, 2014

Murray said his SPD budget priorities for 2015 were to include more “civilian expertise,” be more data driven, include more community, and to have more officers.

Murray also said Friday his administration will hire a civilian chief information officer to help ensure “better policing.” New Chief Kathleen O’Toole is deploying CompStat-driven patrol decisions that have driven how big city forces like NYPD are utilized.

“More accountability remains our priority,” Murray said Friday.

Murray matched his SPD budget announcement with priorities for human services spends in 2015 including money to “backfill” the DESC of Seattle service centers budget, support Project 360 to aid homeless youth, and help fund the Urban Rest Stop hygiene center. Continue reading

Here’s how you can see a movie at SIFF Cinema Egyptian before October’s grand re-opening

Neighborhood film lovers have already marked the weekend of October 3rd for a reunion with The Egyptian Theatre as part of SIFF’s grand re-opening of the space. But there’s an opportunity next week to be among the first to enjoy a film in the overhauled theater as SIFF’s Women in Cinema opens its 2014 showcase with a party and screening on E Pine:

September 18 | SIFF Cinema Egyptian & SIFF Cinema Uptown
SIFF’s annual celebration of Women in Cinema returns, showcasing exceptional films from women around the world. Opening night takes place at the newly reopened SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and features Seattle favorite Lynn Shelton’s new film Laggies. The festival continues with Danish master Pernille Christensen’s award-winning Someone You Love; stunning foreign Oscar® submissions from Norway (I am Yours) and the Philippines (Transit); and enlightening new documentaries from Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik (Stray Dog) and Tina Mascara and Guido Santi (Monk with a Camera).

Free tickets to Women in Cinema opening night
Want to be our guest at the party? CHS is giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky CHS reader. Please leave a comment with your favorite line from your favorite “woman in cinema” below or on Facebook by today (9/12/14) at 5 PM Seattle standard time. We’ll randomly select a winner from the bunch. You can enter more than once if you like but we’ll include each email address or Facebook profile one time only in the drawing. Oh, you love movies, right? In addition to the party, WIC 2014 starts off with a screening of Laggies directed by Lynn Shelton.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a corpse flower bloom — Meanwhile, Friends of the Conservatory holding plant sale, raising funds before construction closure


Under construction at the Conservatory (Image: CHS)


This isn’t Edgar — but this *is* what a corpse flower looks like. What’s it smell like? Better get up to Volunteer Park to find out.

As of Friday morning, one of the Volunteer Park Conservatory’s corpse flowers is now in full bloom and reportedly it “stinks to high heaven.” The Conservatory — in Volunteer Park at 1400 E Galer St — will keep long hours Friday, September 12th, staying open from 10 AM to 9 PM so as many admirers as possible can have a chance to see and smell the rare occurrence. The plant is the first titum arum to bloom at the Conservatory since 2008. Under this pungent cloud of excitement, The Friends of the Conservatory (FOC) is holding a fund drive this fall to support the greenhouse during an upcoming two-month closure when no visitor revenue will be generated.

UPDATE: *This* is edgar

UPDATE: *This* is edgar

The simplest way to get involved — after visiting Edgar, that is — is to stop by the FOC’s fall plant sale in Volunteer Park on Saturday:

The Friends of the Conservatory Fall Plant Sale offers unique tropicals, orchids, succulents & cacti for sale; similar to the plants in the Conservatory! Frequently we offer select plants directly from the Conservatory displays and collections. Our Palm House Gift Shop will feature a variety of containers for your home or office to enhance your new leafy friends!

The restoration of the Conservatory in Volunteer Park will close the more than 100-year-old building to the public from the beginning of October to the end of November.  Earlier this spring, CHS reported on a series of planned closures to allow work to be completed to restore the glass, aluminum and wood structure. The $3.5 million needed for the restoration effort was raised over the course of a three-year capital campaign. 

FOC is planning a gala for December 6th to ”showcase the improved Conservatory and Multipurpose Space and to personally thank you for your support and contribution.”

“We want to celebrate reopening and thank everyone for their donations,” said Anthonio Pettit of FOC. Continue reading