Capitol Hill Block Party 2014: Day One Open Thread

The Vera Stage is bigger and better this year -- and has a telling new view in the background (Image: CHS)

The Vera Stage is bigger and better this year — and has a telling new view in the background (Image: CHS)

In the wee hours of Friday morning, Jason Lajeunesse and the Block Party crew initiated the tightly coordinated sequence of events needed to prepare Capitol Hill Block Party 2014 for liftoff. Before the first glimmer of sunlight touches Pike/Pine on Friday, streets needed to be closed, stages erected, and wires ran every which way.

With less sweat, but just as much determination, we present our annual pre-party ritual: the launch of CHS’s Block Party open threads. CHS will update through the weekend on the people making Block Party happen, the crowds, and the community around the festival.

You can also follow @jseattle for updates. Let us know if you see anything — or anybody — interesting, too. You can email us or call/txt (206) 399-5959 for the *really* interesting stuff to let us know what you’re seeing. Or hearing.

  • Luckily, rainfall earlier in the week seems to have purged crummy weather conditions heading into Block Party. The forecast for the rest of the weekend looks ideal, with temperatures in the mid-70s through the weekend afternoons and sunscreen-worthy clear skies.
  • Three-day, two-day, and single day passes are still on sale here. You can also purchase tickets at the gate or at the E Pike Caffe Vita. There are also various local businesses giving away tickets as prizes or offering them as a gift with purchase. Check out the CHBP Facebook page to find the latest promotions.
  • With an event as large as Block Party in an area as dense as Pike/Pine, unofficial spinoffs are part of the fun. This year some people are setting up a hip-hop BBQ, promising “meat, heat, and blunts.” Let us know if you see any other interesting things along Block Party’s peripheral blocks.
  • Call him Billy Gates but don't trust A$AP Rocky was actually hanging at Linda's (Image via Linda's Facebook)

    Call him Billy Gates but don’t trust that A$AP Rocky was actually hanging at Linda’s earlier this week (Image via Linda’s Facebook)

    Music kicks off Friday afternoon with Shy Girls on the Main Stage and Lemolo on the Vera Stage. Lemolo’s Meagan Grandall, who graduated from Seattle University, will also be the first of a hand full of musicians to play CHBP with strong Capitol Hill ties. Benjamin Verdoes of Iska Dhaaf has a daytime gig teaching at Nova High School. Childbirth has Pony Time’s Stacy Peck and Kithkin has former CHS intern/current Seattle Weekly reporter Kelton Sears.The members of Constant Lovers and Gibraltar are known Hillebrities.

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Blotter | Boylston armed robbery, E Pike tavern motorcycle heist, Dick’s pants dropper bust

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

  • Boylston “implied gun” robbery: Police were called to the 1600 block of Boylston early Friday morning after a street robbery involving a suspect who threatened his victim with a knife and said he was carrying a gun. According to East Precinct radio, police were called to the area around 2 AM to search for the suspect described as a white male around 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, in his 20s, with short hair, and wearing a brown or black shirt with white writing. He was also carrying a sleeping bag and grocery bag, according to the victim’s description broadcast to police units. No gun was seen but the suspect threatened that he was carrying a firearm. A search for the suspect was not successful. Meanwhile, a man told police his backpack was stolen by suspects near Boylston and Pine in a street robbery around 1:20 AM. No description of the suspects was available.
  • E Pike tavern motorcycle heist: Police were called to nearby Big Mario’s Pizza early Friday after someone was overheard bragging about having stolen a motorcycle earlier that night. The bike, belonging to Sam’s Tavern across the street from the pizza joint, had apparently been pushed across the street. Somebody from Sam’s told police the inoperable motorcycle typically sits at the entrance of the hamburger bar as part of the tavern’s decor. The bike was apparently returned and no arrests were made.
  • Dick’s pants dropper arrested: In a case from earlier this month also involving late-night shenanigans at a Capitol Hill nightlife dining spot, police arrested a woman who somehow caused $75 in damage when she dropped her pans and committed a lewd act in front of Broadway’s Dick’s Drive-in:

Suspect Drops Pants, Attacks Staff at Dick’s
Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on July 17, 2014 1:47 pm
Employees at the Broadway Dick’s Drive-In now have 100% real beef with a woman who dropped her pants and attacked staff Wednesday evening.

Staff at the Dick’s on Broadway and E. Denny Way called police at about 5:30 PM after the woman began harassing customers and refused when a manager asked her to leave the property. Instead, the woman grabbed a condiment holder and a charity donation box off Dick’s front counter and hurled them at employees. The woman struck one staff member in the arm, scratching him.
When officers arrived at the scene, a witness also told them the woman pulled her pants down and performed a very lewd act in front of Dick’s.

Officers arrested the woman—who reportedly caused $75 worth of damage during the incident—and booked her into the King County Jail for assault and harassment.

2014 Bat ‘n’ Rouge joins the Block Party fun as part of LGBTQ sports double-header at Cal Anderson

Many things have changed since the summer of 1996 — especially where Capitol Hill is concerned. Condos and expensive high-rise apartments have sprung up where rundown warehouses and car lots were, dive bars have been replaced by trendier establishments and people have come and gone. But, at least one thing has remained visible and active throughout the years (for the most part): The annual Bat ‘n’ Rouge softball game.

“The game itself pretty much has the same rules as regular softball, but there are some twists,” Corns said.

The biggest twist in 2014? The annual LGBTQ fundraiser is aligning its schedule with Capitol Hill Block Party festivities for the first time.

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Taste of the Caribbean ready to share the flavors of Jamaica at 12th and Jefferson

Dwane Blake (Image: CHS)

Dwane Blake (Image: CHS)

Friday at 12th and Jefferson will be like a day at the beach in Jamaica. Taste of the Caribbean will host its monthly fish fry – another step in the changes at the former home of Waid’s and, the restaurant’s owners hope, another moment to further connect with the surrounding neighborhood.

“There’s a lot of building fences, credibility — and really being infused in the community so this can be good for us,” co-owner Carlene Comrie tells CHS. She and Dwayne Blake have operated a restaurant in the shadow of Waid’s since 2013 but with the troubled night spot closing in June and plans to revive a nightclub there apparently ended, the entrepreneurs are now making 1212 E Jefferson theirs with plans to “take over the establishment” as a full-fledged, true-to-Jamaica restaurant.

“We see a lot of folks offering jerk and Jamaican but it’s not really authentic,” Comrie says. “The spice level is traditional, You’ll taste the pimento. You’ll taste the habanero.”

Ready to put the Waid’s chapter behind them and get back to their goal of creating a successful restaurant business, Comrie and Blake are investing in the space with plans to expand hours and offerings. Coming soon will be a liquor license with Caribbean rums and Jamaican beer. The partners want Taste of the Caribbean to have a life of its own.

“Music will be part of the offering,” Comrie said. “There has to be a balance that is struck so that we can do business and offer our customers a taste of the culture.”

Friday’s monthly fish fry is part of what she hopes helps Taste connect with the community.

“In Jamaica, it’s a big thing,” Comrie said. “We go to the beaches and have a nice fish fry.” You can stop by from 11 AM to 9 PM to be part of it. Comrie said they’ll keep the fry events to once per month to help you keep your beach bod.

Taste of the Caribbean is currently open 11 AM to 9 PM on Tuesdays through Saturdays and 4 PM to 9 PM on Sundays. Keep track of changes and learn more on the Taste Facebook page.

Superhero group plans to distribute homeless ‘repair kits’ to people living on Seattle’s streets

The crew finishing a night of work (Image: WAHI)

The crew finishing a night of work (Image: WAHI)

1503273_486707884783834_51353645_nThis spring, CHS reported on what appears to be a growing shift of homeless people coming to Capitol Hill to find a place to live. Part of the trend is simply an influx of people of every demographic coming to the city. Another part is the services and resources available here — and rapidly being cut away elsewhere. There aren’t other places to go. The Washington Hero Initiative group — some donning masks, others taking a more subtle approach to being superheroes — are setting out to help by assembling “repair kits” to distribute to people living on the streets of Seattle:

The Washington Hero Initiative (WAHI) believes that everyone deserves to be safe, to be cared for, and to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their station in life… which is why they will be hitting the streets of Seattle from 9PM – 11:30PM on Sunday, July 27th, for the WAHI’s Summer S.I.G.N.s of HOPE distributing water, socks, and their newest creation – “repair kits”, which consist of duct tape, string, sewing kits, etc. “S.I.G.N.s”, or the Superhero and Initiative Giving Network, is a local event that can (and does) happen anywhere, and is a part of the larger “Project HOPE” event that takes place just blocks from San Diego Comic Con every year.

You can get involved and learn more on the Washington Hero Initiative Facebook page.

Seattle school district under fire for handling of Garfield High student’s 2012 rape investigation

The US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights is investigating Seattle Public Schools for the system and departed superintendent Joe Banda’s response to the rape of a Garfield High sophomore reported during a school trip on the Olympic Peninsula in 2012. An Al Jazeera report on Title IX failures at high schools and colleges has brought the attack and its tragic consequences to light:

As the months rolled by, the alleged perpetrator continued attending Garfield as usual, while claiming on Facebook that he had been framed. With rumors swirling, Emily never returned to Garfield. Instead, the Millers say their daughter’s mental health deteriorated, landing her in a residential treatment facility and pushing them more than $50,000 in debt.

The Millers had no idea about Title IX, which prohibits educational institutions receiving federal funding — high schools included — from sex discrimination, with particular prescriptions for addressing sexual assault. An “America Tonight” analysis of extensive school records and email exchanges about the case suggest administrators at Seattle Public Schools didn’t either.

A copy of the federal complaint filed this spring by the victim’s parents is posted to the Stop Sexual Assault in High School Facebook page. Among the complaint’s documentation is a criticism of then-superintendent Banda’s actions to investigate the assault:

On January 15, 2014, we wrote to the District asking why it had not responded to the information we supplied on October 18, 2013. The Superintendent replied to our March 18, 2013 complaint on January 23, 2014 informing us that the District had determined that there was “insufficient evidence” to conclude our family member “was the victim of harassment.”

Banda has since left Seattle to head Sacramento’s school district.

The alleged attacker never faced charges in the case. Al Jazeera reports that the victim continues to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. The report also notes that out of the district’s more than 50,000 students, 47 were victims of a sexual offense in the 2013-14 school year.

The Save Seattle Schools blog reports that the Seattle district, faced with mounting national criticism over the case, is now responding to inquiries on the matter with this form email:

Thank you for contacting the School Board Office. Please be assured that we take the issue of sexual assault seriously and are continuing to work with all parties involved — including state and federal agencies and the family — to address the concerns that have been raised and ensure that the appropriate legal process is followed. The family has filed complaints with several oversight agencies, and we trust that resolution of those actions will be fair and equitable. 

On the List | Bat ‘n’ Rouge, Jockstraps and Glitter, Capitol Hill Block Party and Off Block Party

IMG_9577The Capitol Hill Block Party revs up on Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday evening in the Pike/Pine core. You can hate the insanity or love — but you should definitely respect the one-of-a-kind, three-day music fest. Not a fan? CHBP is definitely not the only thing happening this weekend on Capitol Hill.

Just a block over from Block Party, queer athletes and their biggest fans will take over Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson Park for two days of action.

Sunday brings a bumped-up on the calendar edition of the annual Bat ‘n’ Rouge softball game pitting Dykes vs. Drag Queens in a battle royale on the diamond. The fun starts at 1 PM. Bring cash to bribe the umpire!

jockstraps and glitterSaturday, the costumed fundraiser-kickball game Jockstraps and Glitter returns to Cal Anderson Park for a “ribald, and REVEALING afternoon hosted by DonnaTella Howe on the bullhorn to keep things going. Watch us run, kick, catch, and tumble with the rugby boys, who’ll do ANYTHING for a buck.”

Thursday, you can check out the videOasis quarterly showcase which brings “the best new PNW music videos out of the Internet ether and throws them big on the silver screen, with musicians and directors in attendance to spill the goods on the process of collaboration.” Prefunc in the bar at Northwest Film Forum with free tequila tasting starting at 7pm.

Art Deco Japan film Lady and the Beard screens Friday night at Volunteer Park Amphitheater at 8:30. This 1931 silent film will be accompanied by a live musical score performance. See our write up here on five weeks of outdoor film screenings this summer on the Hill. 

Participants in Velocity Dance Center’s Strictly Seattle – an intensive 3-week immersion into the Seattle dance scene – bring their culminating performances to Broadway Performance Hall. See super-charged new works by zoe | juniper, Pat Graney, Bennyroyce Royon, Jody Kuehner, Shannon Stewart, Rosa Vissers + Bryon Carr created during the three-week Strictly Seattle Summer Dance Intensive + New shorts from KT Niehoff’s Dance Film Track Friday (evening) or Saturday (matinee and evening).

Vermillion has organized three days of Off Block Party events, which include live music, dj dance party, and a BBQ.They’re located outside of the CHBP fence and all events are free.

In the CD, Outdoor Trek continues at Blanche Lavizzo Park and on 15th Ave E Friday, you’ll find a Nuflours gluten free bakery pop-up.

Something to add? Let us know on the CHS Calendar — more listings below:

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They are (probably) not filming Capitol Hill Block Party: The Movie at Lost Lake Cafe


As Pike/Pine teeters into full-on Capitol Hill Block Party preparation mode for the 18th annual edition of the three-day music festival, 10th Ave between Pine and Pike was filled with production trucks and crew for a commercial shoot at Lost Lake Cafe.

According to a *mostly* reliable source, the commercial is for global shoe giant Nike and features beloved Mariner hero Ken Griffey, Jr. We’ll let you postulate on possible scenarios in the comments.

Also, we could be completely wrong so feel free to tell us what you know — or you *think* you know — below.

 

SPD: Guard shot at 23/Jackson bank, suspect turns gun on self

A shooting outside a 23rd and Jackson bank left a security guard and a suspect in critical condition Thursday afternoon, according to Seattle Police. Officers responded to 911 calls of shots fired at the Central District Bank of America at around 11 AM.

Police said the 30-year-old suspect shot the 46-year-old guard with the guard’s own gun after he took it from him in a fight in the bank’s breezeway. The suspect then turned the gun on himself, according to the SPD Blotter.

Medics transported the security guard to the hospital in critical condition. The suspect was transported to the hospital with life threatening injuries. He also suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder that may have occurred during the fight.

Officers closed off 23rd Ave between Jackson and King soon after the incident.

Mayor Ed Murray had recently gone on a “find-it-fix-it walk” around 23rd and Jackson as part of his summer public safety initiative. The shooting will be discussed at Thursday night’s EastPAC Community Meeting, which starts at 6:30 PM at Seattle University’s Chardin Hall.

UPDATE 7/25/14 10 AM: A SPD spokesperson said investigators have not yet released any information to clear up what lead to the shooting and if the incident was part of a robbery attempt. Police say the guard was shot with his own gun in the attack. The suspect has also not yet been taken into custody as he remains hospitalized in serious condition Friday morning. Q13 Fox has identified the 46-year-old guard as Bruce Golphenee. He also remains hospitalized in serious condition.

Challenger Spear brings Socialist Alternative (and ground game) fight to 43rd District establishment

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Jess Spear readily admits her bid to unseat a powerful, 10-term Olympia politician with strong name recognition will not be a day at the beach. House Speaker Frank Chopp is about as entrenched as you can get in his Capitol Hill-centered 43rd District. But Spear, a 32-year-old climate scientist and Socialist Alternative candidate, says the political landscape is shifting in her favor. After taking leading roles in the successful $15 Now and Kshama Sawant campaigns, Spear is hoping to ride the momentum into Olympia.

“The political situation has changed,” she told CHS. “When we organize, we win, and we’re carrying that lesson forward.”

As ballots dropped last week for the August 5th primary, Spear will be staking out Capitol Hill street corners to get out her message of a statewide $15 an hour minimum wage and repealing the nearly $9 billion Boeing tax break state lawmakers approved last year. To those that say it can’t be done, Spear is quick to point out that many leveled the same charge against Sawant and $15 Now. Continue reading

Memorial service at Capitol Hill’s Lake View cemetery honors fallen SPD officers of the past

Severance stands by the new Lake View gravestone for Officer Thomas Roberts, who died in the line of duty in 1898 (Image: SPD)

Severance stands by the new Lake View gravestone for Officer Thomas Roberts, who died in the line of duty in 1898 (Image: SPD)

Thursday morning, Seattle Police from across the decades including men and women currently part of the force will gather at Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery to honor fallen officers.

Seattle Police officer Mike Severance has been working to locate the surviving families of SPD officers who died in the line of duty all the way back to 1881. During his research, Severance also tried to determine where the officers were laid to rest. Severance documented the final resting spots for all the fallen SPD officers – including two who had been buried in unmarked graves.

“Through the generosity of Lake View Cemetery, the Retired Seattle Police Officers Association and another benefactor, new tombstones have been installed for Officer Thomas Robert, EOW 04/10/1898 and Officer Arthur Ruckart, EOW 12/27/1914,” a statement from the group Washington State Concerns of Police Survivors says.

Thursday, officers, family, and supporters will gather in Lake View:

 A memorial service will be held at Lake View Cemetery, 1554 15th Ave. East, at 10 a.m. this Thursday, July 24, to pay respects to the officers with new gravestones, and all fallen Seattle police officers.

The public is welcome to attend. More on Severance’s work and the officers being remembered, below, in an article provided by the Seattle Police Department.

SPD: Fallen Officers: One Man’s Mission to Honor the Dead

Mike Severance’s quest started with a shotgun blast on April 23, 1985.

That’s the day Seattle Police Officer Dale Eggers was killed after a gunman shot him in the head in a bank robbery on Beacon Hill.

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Sound Transit sets requirements, $30M+ price tag for prospective Capitol Hill Station developers

Just FYI, this is how Spain does transit plazas

Just FYI, this is how Spain does transit plazas public markets

CHStation-TOD-area-600x467-1What happens above ground at Capitol Hill Station will ultimately be just as important as the transit system serving thousands of passengers below. Another significant milestone has been reached in the process for Sound Transit to sell off its land around the Broadway station property to companies eager to meet the community’s transit oriented development needs. Here is the announcement from the Capitol Hill Champion community group assembled to represent the area’s residents, organizations, and businesses in establishing development requirements with Sound Transit and the City of Seattle for the properties:

Sound Transit has published its request for proposals (RFP) from bidding/short-listed developers for the Capitol Hill TOD sites.  The RFP includes site specific evaluation criteria, scoring for inclusion of community benefits, affordable housing tool, and an updated timeline. Links to the Sound Transit RFP documents can be found on our Resources page.

This marks another HUGE MILESTONE for the Capitol Hill community. BIG THANKS to the community for all of your hard work and support over the years!

We are still accepting responses to our 2014 Community Priorities Survey through 7/27.  Please take a few minutes to rate community priorities and answer developer’s questions to the community. The results will be included with our next correspondence to bidding developers and available on our website at the end of this month.

CHS reported here on a June meeting where the final roster of prospective developers made presentations about their work and vision for the sites.

The $1.8 billion light rail extension connecting downtown to the University of Washington under Capitol Hill is expected to open for service in early 2016. Sound Transit forecasts that by 2030, there will be 14,000 boardings a day at Capitol Hill Station. The transit oriented development around the station on Broadway could add as many as 400 apartments to the site. More than a third will be built as affordable housing. Thousands of square feet of retail and a semi-public plaza that could be home to a farmers market and more are also part of the plans. Continue reading