Establishment not a dirty word for Banks heading into Tuesday’s District 3 primary


What can you learn about candidates based on the institutions they come from?

Last week CHS looked at Socialist Alternative, the grassroots — and growing — activist group that helped catapult District 3 incumbent Kshama Sawant from an Occupy Seattle speaker to City Council. The institution that molded challenger Pamela Banks for Tuesday’s top-two-move-on primary could not be more different in its approach to civic engagement.

Prior to taking over Seattle’s Urban League in 2012, Banks spent nearly her entire adult career working for the City of Seattle. While her opponents have recently heightened their criticisms of Banks’s soaring campaign contributions from large donations, she says it’s only a distraction from her long history of serving the City.

“This idea that I’m a corporate sellout when I’ve spent my entire career in public service is hilarious,” she said. “I could’ve went into the private sector, but I decided not to.”

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Banks started in what was then called the Department of Housing and Human Services, working as a community organizer and spreading the word out about energy conservation in poorer neighborhoods. She then spent over a decade in the Department of Neighborhoods. She was a neighborhood district coordinator in the Northeast and Southeast districts and later oversaw the coordinator program. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | How the Hill’s creatures beat the heat

So, it’s summer, and it feels even warmer than last year and it’s barely rained. Most of us don’t have air conditioning at homes, but we can still go places that do to beat the heat, and (for now) it’s easy enough to turn on the water. Wild species don’t have those options. How do they combat high temperatures and lack of water in the summer?

Puget Sound’s climate is technically Mediterranean, with warm and dry in the summers that are exacerbated by the city’s cement and our control and capture of water for human use. Summer heat can be a serious challenge for plants and animals a like, and adaptive behaviors and physical traits help them avoid overheating or loosing vital moisture. Below are a few examples we can see on the Hill.

The Mid-Day Siesta
Many animals have figured out that being active during the height of the day ends with overheating and dehydration. We hear birdsong in the morning and evening because it’s less costly to be active then. Coyotes don’t simply retreat into the night as crafty little brigands, avoiding detection, but also because it’s far simpler to hunt using other senses and beat the heat. An extreme example of lowering activity levels in the face of higher temperature and drought is called estivation. Essentially a version of hibernation that addresses moisture levels by lowering vitals to a bare minimum, many invertebrates, like earthworms, slugs, and snails find a quiet places to wait out the drought and estevate. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Summer robberies, Central Agency plans, ‘Indie’ Starbucks on Broadway

IMG_1289-600x400 (4)Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

 

Police investigate Broadway knock-out beating

Police arrived at a last call assault to find the victim in a beating unconscious and not breathing in a Broadway parking lot between Pike and Pine early Saturday morning.

Medics were called to the scene of the fight reported around 1:45 AM in the parking lot on the east side of the 1500 block of Broadway where the victim was reported unresponsive. Arriving medics reported the victim was breathing and that the injuries were not life threatening.

Police and a K9 unit searched for the suspect reported to have punched the male victim in the head. The suspect was last seen fleeing northbound on 10th Ave between Denny and John. He was identified by witnesses at the scene but police had not made an arrest as Saturday morning.

 

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Block Party Clean Up

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 27,000 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

Happy August: Selfies in Volunteer Park, movies in Cal Anderson, three music festivals, and, yes, Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day

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IMG_1878Artist Wendy Red Star spent Friday morning setting up Tableaux Vivant: Nature’s Playground in Volunteer Park. This weekend’s little piece of the Seattle Art Fair designed for selfies with “an imagined wilderness of assorted hunting decoys” joins a menagerie of good times in the month ahead in one of the sunniest Seattle summers ever.

BuU6RnyIYAAuAiB-600x399 (1)Happy August. Here’s what else is lined up for your selfie enjoyment:

Seattle Night Out  — August 4th: Not only is it Primary Tuesday but the 4th brings 2015’s Seattle Night Out parties to the streets of Capitol Hill and beyond. Here’s what 2014 looked like. There is still time to register for 2015 here.

Bedtime_stories_725x400-500x276Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema — Starts August 7th: 2015’s schedule of free Friday movies in Cal Anderson Park begins the 7th. This year’s theme: Bedtime Stories. CHS is a proud community sponsor.

  • 8/7 — The Princess Bride
  • 8/14 — Adventures in Babysitting
  • 8/21 — Edward Scissorhands
  • 8/28 — The Neverending Story

IMG_7973-600x400 (1)Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day — August 9th: The 2015 edition of the annual community garage sale day brings some changes. After moving the community lot to Cal Anderson last year, in 2015 we moved the entire day to a new part of the summer — Sunday, August 9th will be the start of a new era for Garage Sale Day. Have fun. There’s still time to register at capitolhillgaragesale.com.

Linda’s Fest — August 15th: Free and rocking and free. And free. Linda’s Fest 2015 will rock hard with Black Breath leading the way.

Vibrations Festival — August 16th: Cairo’s annual summer concert is headlined by Chastity Belt in 2015 and includes a lineup of music and visual artists — and a metaphysical zone.

^ These pants, to be precise | |

^ These pants, to be precise ^

Summit Block Party — August 22nd: A Capitol Hill block party the way Dog intended it. The Summit Block Party continues to grow — and continues to be free and totally grass rooted. 2014 was a kick in the pants.

 

What the Float ‘floating dance party’ hits Capitol Hill

(Image: What the Float)

(Image: What the Float)

Capitol Hill Block Party has come and gone but an event planned for the streets of Capitol Hill Friday night will give you another excuse to boogie down on E Pike.

The What the Float “floating dance party” is bringing its NYC-born concept to Pike/Pine.

“It’s all about the music and the landscape,” Wesley Fruge of Forward Flux Productions tells CHS. “A lot of thought went into the route.” Continue reading

Blotter | Cops find big bag of pot at Volunteer Park robbery scene, groper arrest at Capitol Hill Block Party

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

  • Volunteer Park robbery: Police investigating a reported armed robbery inside Volunteer Park found there was more to the story as they looked for evidence Thursday night. In the incident reported just before 9:30 PM, police found the victim covered in blood and reporting he was beaten, hit with pepper spray, and robbed by a male and a female:Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.15.56 AMThe duo was last seen riding BMX-style bicycles toward Broadway. The man reported he believed he had been stabbed. Seattle Fire was called to the scene to treat his wounds. As police searched the area near the reservoir for evidence, one officer found a large bag full of marijuana. The pot was returned to the victim, according to police radio dispatches. There were no immediate arrests.
  • Broadway knife threat: A tense incident involving police drawing their guns on a man believed to be mentally ill and armed with butcher knife near Broadway and Pike Saturday night played out as Capitol Hill Block Party crowds danced nearby:
    Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.44.40 AMPolice say the incident began after the suspect had entered a nearby store and asked to borrow a stapler before becoming agitated and leaving the business. He returned and became even more agitated, throwing marijuana at workers inside the store who called police. The suspect then returned a third time and stood outside the shop with the large butcher knife, yelling “This if for you!,” witnesses told police. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident after the brief standoff. The suspect was taken to King County Jail to be booked for investigation of harassment. Police also designated the suspect as “object to release” due to his “apparent mental illness.” Continue reading

What happened to Capitol Hill ‘conspirators’ in the FBI’s 2010 Russian spy case

The story is something out of a Cold War thriller, with a Capitol Hill twist. Buried cash, “deep cover” spying, “brush passes” at train stations to exchange bags of money, all ending with a U.S.-Russia spy swap on a Vienna airport runway.

Russian intelligence called it the “Illegals program” — an ambitious multiyear spy operation carried out by at least 11 deep cover Russian agents in the U.S. that all came crashing down five years ago this summer. Two of those spies, a married couple with children, lived in Seattle as early as 2004 and left in 2009.

They lived on Capitol Hill.

Known in the U.S. as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, the couple lived relatively quiet lives. He purported to be from Yonkers, New York while she claimed to be Canadian. Their spycraft never drew any suspicion from neighbors or their landlord at 424 Belmont Ave E.

In 2010, after the couple had moved to Virginia, they were arrested as part of a major FBI surveillance investigation into the Russian spy ring. It wasn’t until then that the true identities of Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva were revealed. FBI agents called them the “Seattle conspirators.” Continue reading

Seattle Fire stops overdose in Cal Anderson from joining awful King County heroin trend

Monday night last week in the late evening sun in Cal Anderson, Seattle Fire medics arrived near the playground where bystanders were trying to save the life of a 24-year-old female suffering a drug overdose. Unconscious and not breathing, the woman was brought out of the OD with an injection of naloxone.

Far from a miracle, the overdose fortunately won’t be added to the disturbing trend of spiking heroin deaths:

Death from opiates in King County in 2014:

  • Heroin-involved deaths totaled 156, a 58% increase from 99 in 2013.

  • Heroin deaths involving no other drugs are most common among young adults.

  • Prescription-type opiate-involved deaths have decreased from a peak of 164 in 2009 to 98 in 2014.

In the study from the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, heroin deaths were up across all age groups. As in past UW studies, researches say a mix of heroin with other drugs is often part of the overdose — but 2014 totals reveal a new recipe. “Historically, many heroin deaths have involved cocaine, and this continues to be the case,” a report on the study notes. “However, over the past three years, many more deaths have involved heroin and methamphetamine.”

Heroin’s high, however, is at the core of the region’s addiction problems. “The number of treatment admissions with heroin as the primary drug doubled from 2010-2014 and are higher than any drug since at least 1999,” according to the study.

While it doesn’t address addiction, access to naloxone improved earlier this year with the passage of a new law allowing pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to first responders, homeless shelters, and family members and permit them to administer it across the state. The antidote can’t, of course, save everybody. In April, one man died in an overdose in Cal Anderson while two others were taken to the hospital.

Heroin is also taking its toll on the homeless and mentally ill population in the county:

  • Among those admitted to drug treatment, approximately one-third were determined to have serious mental health issues.

  • Among people who died of drug-overdose, approximately 20% had an antidepressant detected in their body — indicating that the decedent had a serious mental health condition and that they had seen a healthcare provider in the recent past.

  • Mental health and substance abuse commonly overlap and exacerbate one another.

You can read more about the 2014 edition of the study here.