Here is why news is wrong about SPD’s Capitol Hill patrols

Seattle Police gang detectives believed they were circling in on suspects involved in Sunday morning’s drive-by shooting at Pike and Broadway as the investigation continued Tuesday but reports of increased patrols in the neighborhood in response to the incident are not accurate.

“In response to the shooting, police plan to increase nighttime foot patrols in the area,” the Seattle Times reported. Other media outlets have followed.

But a SPD spokesperson tells CHS that no actual increase in the number of patrol officers is hitting the streets in response to the shooting — ongoing weekend emphasis patrols started earlier this year to curb nightlife-related crime, however, will continue.

“We increased the number of officers on foot beats earlier this year and have kept them in place because we know they’re important,” a SPD spokesperson said in a statement.

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A 30-resident ‘tiny house’ encampment is rising at 22nd and Union

“We really want to get people into these houses with the idea that they will transition into permanent housing.”

A new homeless encampment featuring 15 “tiny homes” is getting underway on a church-owned property at 22nd and E Union. So far, the new encampment has one house ready to go, put up in September and built by a group of teenagers working with the nonprofit Sawhorse Revolution. The two-person homes don’t have much in the way of amenities, but they are waterproof and lockable, two major benefits over tent living.

The empty lot owned by the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd had recently been used as parking lot for construction workers during the week and overflow church parking on weekends. From 2013-2014, the church hosted a Nickelsville camp on the empty lot. That camp, and two others in the Central District were all built as a result of the closure of the longtime Nickelsville camp on Marginal Way.

The Central District tiny house village is the result of a broad collaboration of organizations, lead by the Low Income Housing Institute and the Nickelsville community. Several organizations, including Sawhorse, are building the 15 two-person capacity houses out of their own pockets. Each house costs roughly $2,200 in materials.

“We really want to get people into these houses with the idea that they will transition into permanent housing,” said Monica Joe, who’s helping organize the project from the LIHI. Continue reading

City Council passes 2016 budget with lone ‘no’ vote from Sawant

The Seattle City Council ended its grueling annual budget process Monday afternoon with an 8-1 vote, sending a spending package topping $5 billion back to Mayor Ed Murray for final approval. The council added just over $18 million (PDF) in spending to Murray’s original $5.1 billion budget, along with an additional $5 million to be spent on emergency homeless services this year. City Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissenting vote on the final budget, saying it did not go far enough to address the urgent needs of working people

“… on balance the budget differs little from previous years, and fails to address the acute housing crisis, inadequate transit, and ballooning inequality and injustice permeating Seattle,” Sawant said in a statement.

Outgoing Council member and budget committee chair Nick Licata positioned Seattle’s 2016 budget as a response to federal cutbacks. Federal grants have shrunk from 62% to 26% of the City’s Human Services budget, a 58% decrease, while the City’s General Fund contribution to the Human Services budget has more than doubled, from 25% to 55%, according to a statement on the council’s vote.

Among all the programs and initiatives included in next year’s budget, spending on homeless services stood out as a defining feature. All told, the City Council approved more than $47 million in 2016 to fight homelessness — or, about 1% of its budget for the year. Following up on his declaration of a homelessness state of emergency in Seattle, Murray will be at a Seattle University forum December 2nd to further discuss the issue.

The full council convened Monday afternoon after a short morning budget committee meeting in the morning to consider last-minute amendments. Much of the debate focused on how best to expand paid parental leave for City employees. Continue reading

$1.6 million in grants, plus new park projects coming to Capitol Hill and District 3

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We don't have money for this right now

We don’t have money for this right now

Last week, CHS shared the most recent vision for the audacious idea to lid I-5 with a park to better connect Capitol Hill with downtown and South Lake Union. There’s zero dollars to pay for it.

But the good news is there are more than zero dollars to pay for plenty of other parks and community projects around Capitol Hill and District 3. Here are some projects ready do dig in or already in progress around the Hill and Central Seattle plus news on new grants to help pay for more.

Summit Slope Park E John Enhancement
E John next off E Olive Way will be “enhanced” starting this winter, Seattle Parks says. The plans to “pedestrianize” E John adjacent Summit Slope Park next to the E Olive Way Starbucks were mostly finalized way back in fall of 2013 but the end product will be a $150,000 compromise version. The effort to transform the street was part of the original plans for the park as ideas coalesced in 2009 but had to be put off in early planning and construction due to costs. The plan will reconfigure sidewalks and trees along the street and eliminate parking on E John as well as close off access to the street from E Olive Way. Starbucks customers, however, will still be allowed to exit the cafe’s parking lot onto John to Summit. UPDATE: Awesome planning and development site The Urbanist has more information about the E John changes:

With the removal of parking lanes, the sidewalk will extend into John Street, with room for a bioswale, new p-patches, and even two new tables for seating.

12th Avenue Square and Broadway Hill Park
12th Avenue Square on 12th at E James Ct and Broadway Hill Park at Federal and Republican were both under construction this fall. 12th Avenue Square, with its woonerf and giant hanging sculpture, is close to wrapping up though the official opening party will probably be held in 2016. Also lined up for a 2016 opening is the long awaited Broadway Hill Park on land purchased for $2 million five years ago.

New grants
Meanwhile, $464,823 in Neighborhood Matching Fund grants were announced in the latest wave of awards for organizations across the city. With the advent of Seattle’s new district system, the Department of Neighborhoods provided this year’s roster of grants organized by district. Your home district did well — D3 raked in more than $160,000 of the funds made available in this round.

District 3

  • $25,000 to Gay City Arts to organize events exploring the experiences of three marginalized groups within LGBT communities: people of color, transgender and genderqueer people, and people over 40. The free events will include classes in visual, literary and performing arts, along with community dialogues and performances. (Community match: $33,404) Continue reading

No need for Broadway nostalgia — Tiny TNT Espresso back in business

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? No, really, should they? Not on Broadway where we seem to be ending 2015 with some nostalgia-erasing revivals.

TNT Espresso, the tiny, 80-square-foot coffee stand in the teriyaki restaurant parking lot at Broadway and Harrison, was back in business this chilly Monday morning, serving up hot tea and milky pours from a new owner happy to be able to keep Capitol Hill’s last* drive-thru coffee shack alive — even after CHS already wrote its obituary.

Rock Sielaff said he decided to purchase the business from longtime friend Monica Anaya and return to the Hill from Chicago after a short adventure away from his longtime stomping grounds.

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Developer abandons plans for The Stranger building after preservation board objections


(Image: CHS)

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After submitting three design proposals, developers will meet with the preservation board members about their latest design that leaves The Stranger building untouched (right).

“Our hope is that by developing the Value Village building mid block, its impact is much more acceptable to the neighborhood.”

It’s been almost a year since plans to redevelop the The Stranger and (former) Value Village buildings were stalled due to the 11th and E Pine buildings winning landmark status. Since then, developer Legacy Commercial has met twice with members of the Landmark Preservation Board to hammer out how its plans for an office and retail project can move forward while still complying with the landmark protections. It hasn’t been going so smoothly.

After two meetings with the Architectural Review Committee, preservation board members said Legacy was making little progress in addressing its concerns about the proposed preservation incentive-boosted 75-foot high office and mixed-use development incorporating the two auto row-era structures and a sunken parking lot. When Legacy submitted plans for a third meeting, they were turned away.

“The third briefing packet did not appear to contain any new information and I advised the applicant that another ARC could be scheduled when new alternatives or additional information was provided,” said Sarah Sodt, a coordinator for the Historic Preservation Program. Continue reading

As investigation continues, mayor, East Precinct commander address Broadway/Pike shootings

Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh spoke with QFC employees Sunday night (Image: CHS)

Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh spoke with QFC employees Sunday night (Image: CHS)

A still from the video appears to have captured images of the assailant's vehicle heading south on Broadway (Image via KIRO video clip)

A still from the video appears to have captured images of the assailant’s vehicle heading south on Broadway (Image via KIRO video clip)

Mayor Ed Murray and East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh stood at the corner of Broadway and Pike Sunday night just feet from where one of five victims injured in a drive-by shooting fell early that morning.

The officials said they believe the neighborhood remains vibrant and relatively safe as a police department “in transition” works to solve the crime and quell a rise in gun violence in Seattle.

Meanwhile, KIRO has posted a video from what appears to be a private vehicle’s dashcam that shows the graphic shooting scene that unfolded early Sunday morning.

The car used in the attack made a slow turn onto Broadway from E Pike as a string of at least a dozen shots began and people in a group standing on the corner in front of the grocery store flailed and fell to the pavement. Four people were shot in the chaos and one was injured so badly by the exploding glass of a shattered QFC door that medics first believed the woman had been shot multiple times in the chest. Seattle Fire said the five victims in the shooting suffered minor injuries — but concern remained high in the neighborhood.

“We do see an increase in gun violence in this city and cities around America,” Murray said Sunday night to a group of business and community leaders including representatives from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Capitol Hill Community Council. “It’s concerning to us.” Murray told the group the situation “has all of our attention.”

Capt. McDonagh said gang detectives continue to investigate leads in the case following the 1 AM shootings and injuries near the Harvard Market shopping center and busy parking lots used by many nightlife revelers. Plywood covered the broken QFC door but a hole employees say was caused by a wayward bullet remained unpatched inside the market Sunday night. The precinct commander said he could not share any updates on the case but the mayor said he expected to hear more about what transpired at Broadway and Pike soon. Police were looking for information about the silver sedan where the gunfire came from that was reported to have immediately fled the scene following the shooting. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | Where does Capitol Hill’s rainwater go?

Where the water of Interlaken flows to. Portage bay with trouble and triumph on display: 520 porting directly into it and a beaver lodge in the foreground.

Where the water of Interlaken flows to. Portage bay with trouble and triumph on display: 520 porting directly into it and a beaver lodge in the foreground.

A drop of water falls on the intersection of 11th and Pike, slowly working its way through the grime of cars into the storm drain before slipping through a series of pipes ending in Puget Sound. Simultaneously, a drop falls on 20th Ave E, rolling down the street before crossing into Interlaken Park bound for Portage Bay. To the west, a drop slides into a drain along Belmont, coursing a storm drain that routes it, along with waste water into a treatment facility. What I’m describing is the urban watershed of Capitol Hill, in which water falling on us will flow downhill into a larger body of water, which eventually outlets into Puget Sound and eventually into the Pacific Ocean.

This is a simple concept but one worth remembering during storm season: water flows downhill. In our case downhill in all four cardinal directions . Of course, the watersheds of urban Seattle are altered; obviously, we don’t have creeks running through the middle of the city. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Murder at 15th and Union, Ferguson march, Denny sled run

8443771301_b3402fbaea_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

Five injured in shooting at Broadway and Pike

UPDATE 11/22/2015 7:34 PMAs investigation continues, mayor, East Precinct commander address Broadway/Pike shootings

At least four people were reported shot in multiple bursts of gunfire near Broadway and Pike outside the QFC early Sunday morning. The store’s front door was shattered at the shooting scene. One victim was reported to have died by people at the scene but authorities say that the situation is not a homicide. Seattle Fire now says five victims suffered gunshot wound injuries or were injured by glass.

Police found multiple people injured and bleeding outside the QFC and near the upper level the parking lot in the incident just after 1 AM. One victim was also reported found inside the market with a gunshot wound to the leg.

UPDATE 8:40 AM: SPD has posted its report on the incident.

Gang Unit detectives are conducting the follow up investigation after four people were struck by gunshots.

At approximately 1:00 am, 0fficers responded to the intersection of Broadway and Pike, where  witnesses reported hearing an argument between a group of people just before shots were fired. Witness reported that the shots came from a silver sedan, that immediately fled the scene following the shooting.  Four people were struck by gunshots and one person was struck by  glass fragments from the nearby large glass windows from the grocery store that shattered.   Seattle Fire Department responded and transported the injured victims to Harborview Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries. Continue reading