Here’s why John Boyega and a bunch of droids were at Garfield High School Friday

Garfield High School has hosted some pretty intense competitions over the years. Friday, it was robot vs. robot.

Microsoft held its 2016 Imagine Cup and Robo Cup Hackathon at the 23rd Ave school’s campus and brought along one if its droid-friendly pals as actor John Boyega joined the event as a celebrity judge. Congratulations to Team Greece, by the way, for its Imagine Cup victory with its “novel ICT-based approach for bullying detection and intervention.” Correction: Team Romania came out on top with its “app for monitoring balance and posture.”

The real competition of the day went down in the Quincy Jones Auditorium and Gym where teams from the Garfield computer science club built a fleet of robots for a servo vs. servo battle of tennis ball soccer. Continue reading

People on the Street | 10th Ave poet Anthony Hickerson

ah2To make ends meet, Anthony Hickerson freestyles poetry for passersby on a subject of their choosing. Hickerson can usually be found these days in front of the Elliott Bay Book Company reciting poems on a subject (or book title) of his audience’s choice. He first started writing a poetry as a way to process his emotions, and 12 years ago he said he discovered he had a gift for freestyling as well. Hickerson also found that freestyling on the street was more lucrative than selling his written works. He has been doing it off and on ever since.

People on the Street is a semi-regular feature on the interesting citizens we find out and about on Capitol Hill. This is the final episode — thanks so much, Mariah, for your great work during your CHS summer internship!

49-year sentence for man who killed partner and son inside First Hill condo

Louis Chen has been sentenced to 49 years in jail for the murders of his partner Eric Cooper and toddler son Cooper Chen inside a First Hill condo five years ago this August, court records show.

Earlier this year, the 43-year-old doctor pleaded guilty to the August 11, 2011 stabbings.

The plea agreement headed off a cough syrup defense being planned by Chen’s attorneys. Prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty for Chen who had faced life in prison for the murders if convicted. In 2011, the prosecution requested more time to prepare for the case in order to complete a reconstruction of the bloody murder scene. CHS detailed SPD’s account of the brutal murders here in which Chen is alleged to have stabbed his partner more than 100 times and stabbed his child to death.

In a letter to the court, one of Eric Cooper’s parents wrote:

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Chen faced between 34 to 49 years in prison, according to the King County Prosecutor.

For first time, 206 Zulu Park Jams make Capitol Hill stop

13320010_10208439208153407_1791696448705913684_n (1)With Capitol Hill Block Party 2016 passed, this weekend brings free music to Cal Anderson Park. Attendees will be able to enjoy the “the four elements” — DJing, breakdancing, emceeing, and graffiti art not filtered through the Pike/Pine scene.

Sunday evening, Cal Anderson will play host to local DJs, musicians, and visual artists as part of its turn to host a 206 Zulu Park Jam. The jam is organized by nonprofit volunteer organization 206 Zulu, the Seattle branch of a group started in the 70s to bring live music, particularly hip hop, to parks as a way to create a safe place for young people in the Bronx. Zulu has since extended its mission to providing family-friendly music and arts programming in cities throughout the United States. Continue reading

Live from the CD, Hella Black Hella Seattle tackles everything from race to restaurants

(Image: Hella Black Hella Seattle)

Jazz, Alaina, and Eula (Image: Hella Black Hella Seattle)

Three women from the Central District are on a mission to animate the lives of people of color living in Seattle through a by POC, for POC summer-long podcast series.

Friends Eula Scott Bynoe, Jasmine Jackson, and Alaina Caldwell began recording their podcast Hella Black Hella Seattle in May. The show features three segments, each curated by one of the three women: Caldwell reviews restaurants, Jackson previews events that she thinks are worth checking out, and Bynoe interviews notable people of color from the Seattle area.

Bynoe said the friends came up with the idea for the podcast after hearing people vent frustrations that they felt like they never met anyone interesting or heard about any good events in the Seattle area. All three were born and raised in the CD and have known each other for 13 years, and Bynoe said the picture of a boring Seattle did not match the social life the three friends have built for themselves. The podcast was a way to share their store of knowledge about how to find food, art, culture, and fun close to home.

“We know that there are tons of people, especially people of color, who don’t think there’s anything interesting happening here,” said Bynoe. The three came up with the idea for the podcast in early April, aired their first show in May, and have been dropping an episode every two weeks since then. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination at 10th and Pike


People across the nation watched Thursday night as Hillary Clinton accepted the 2016 Democratic nomination for president. The bars and restaurants of Pike/Pine were also tuned in. “Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come,” Clinton said Thursday night. “When any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone.” Continue reading

$2.65M deal for affordable housing site puts Capitol Hill Station development in motion — UPDATE

Early concept of the development coming to "Site B North"

Early concept of the development coming to “Site B North”

Sound Transit is finally ready to sell off the first of five properties surrounding the Capitol Hill light rail station that will transform Broadway and serve as a new gateway to Capitol Hill.

The board is expected to approve the $2.65 million sale (PDF) of Site B-North to developer Gerding Edlen during its Thursday afternoon meeting. The Portland-based developer previously selected Capitol Hill Housing to develop and own an 86-unit affordable housing project on the site, which runs along 10th Ave between John and Denny Way.

UPDATE (4:35 PM): Sound Transit board members approved the Site B-North sale agreement during their Thursday afternoon meeting. Despite a Sound Transit staffer reminding the board the action was “a very, very big deal,” the approval was rather unceremonious as one member had to be pulled in from the hallway to make a quorum for the quick vote. There was no board discussion of the measure.

“The Capitol Hill community has repeatedly and strongly expressed its desire for affordable housing,” said Brie Gyncild, co-chair of the Capitol Hill Champion community group. “We need truly affordable housing as soon as possible and we near it near the light rail station.”


(Image: Gerding Edlen)

According to Gerding’s winning proposal, half of Site B-North’s units will be restricted to households making no more than 30% of the area median income. The other half will be made affordable to households at or below 60% of AMI. A quarter of the units will have two or three bedrooms. Initial plans call for a community center and a daycare, as well as a rooftop deck and computer lab.

The $2.65 million price tag for the “transit orientated development” “Site B North” comes just under Sound Transit’s estimated price last year. A substantial percentage of the proceeds will go towards paying back federal transportation grants that were secured for the project.

In August, the board is expected to approve land leases for three other sites so Gerding Edlen can move forward with its plan to build 100,000 square feet of commercial, housing, and community space. Seattle Central College has been given a right of first refusal to develop a fifth parcel, Site D, due to the site’s location directly next to the school’s Broadway promenade.  Continue reading

Change coming on Broadway: Dick’s will no longer be cash-only

Hungry fans get served at the 60th anniversary party in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Hungry fans get served at the 60th anniversary party in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Come September, you can hand over your credit or debit card when that Broadway gutter punk asks for a few bucks to help “put Dick’s in my mouth.”

The famously all-cash Seattle Dick’s Drive-in chain is set to add the ability to pay by card starting in September:

After 62 years of accepting only cash, Dick’s Drive-In will also be accepting credit and debit cards at all locations by September 2016. soon to accept

CHS talked to a Dick’s rep about the decision and changes at the Broadway outlet of the six location chain. The days of Dick’s cashiers magically tallying your fuzzily delivered order of 5 Deluxes, 4 fries, and 6 chocolate milkshakes have been gone since Dick’s added a new point of sales system so the basic ordering experience won’t change. But Dick’s wants its customers to keep pitching into the drive-in’s Change/Round Up for Charity program which has collected around $1.4 million for local nonprofits since it was started in 1998. “A Deluxe, fries, a shake, and Round Up,” the Dick’s rep suggested for your new standard order in the drive-in’s payment card future. Continue reading

Review board gives final design approval to Piecora’s development

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 6.39.49 AMThe East Design Review Board narrowly signed-off Wednesday night on the revised plans for a six-story, 137-unit apartment and retail project set to rise at 14th and Madison.

In a 3 to 2 vote, the board passed the project through the recommendation phase of the Seattle review process, pushing the development passed the final public review gate before construction can begin.

CHS reported here on the development’s second attempt in the recommendation review phase and the the board’s concerns about the planned development’s E Madison-facing retail space as well as the project’s relationship to the surrounding neighborhood’s existing buildings and park.

The conditional approval still requires a few tweaks from developer Equity Residential and its architects from Ankrom Moisan but will start the clock on the construction phase of the project that is planned to fill the now-empty lot where Piecora’s used to stand.

Tweaks to Pike/Pine rules offer design dos and preservation don’ts

Optimism Brewing, which opened last year inside a fully overhaul auto-row era building on E Union, is neither a "do" or a "don't" -- the new guidelines don't address how best to preserve complete buildings (Image: CHS)

Optimism Brewing, which opened last year inside a fully overhaul auto-row era building on E Union, is neither a “do” or a “don’t” — the new guidelines don’t address how best to preserve complete buildings (Image: CHS)

After six years of projects subject to the Pike/Pine Neighborhood Design Guidelines, Capitol Hill has seen its fair share of good and bad buildings. The guidelines are used by the East Design Review Board as the basis to recommend design changes to new projects in the neighborhood. But explaining what exactly makes a good and bad design under the guidelines can be frustrating for board members, architects, and the public.

To better inform everyone on the intentions of the design guidelines, a proposed update adds an appendix featuring real world examples of good and bad designs. The 18-page addition was created by city-hired consultant, Makers Architecture and Urban Design.

“The hope was to have more information to guide on things that were really general,” said Dennis Meier, a strategic advisor with the Office of Planning and Community Development.

One example offered in the new appendix shows how the design guidelines favor a 12th and Pike facade over that of one built on Broadway:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.47.09 PM

Continue reading

On the List | Woven art using human looms in Cal Anderson, Lusio light art in Volunteer Park


Get your weave on at Bonds. (Image: Mandy Greer via Instagram)

Yarn bombings have struck trees in Cal Anderson Park before, but human targets may be a first.

Fallow Collective, an art group organized by a trio of Seattle artists, is holding its inaugural performance of Bonds in the park Thursday evening. The project is not so much performed by the Fallow Collective artists, but on them. Any and all are invited to help “create weavings” on the bodies of artists from 5-8 PM in an undertaking with a”no-goal, no-skill, no-judgement framework.”

It’s a weekend of interesting art in the park around Capitol Hill. Saturday night brings the premier of the Lusio light art festival to Volunteer Park. Continue reading

Amante Pizza’s infamous flashing sign re-illuminated on E Olive Way


Thanks to a CHS reader for the picture.

The Amante Pizza sign has come beaming back to life and at least one Capitol Hill man is making it known he is very unhappy about it.

Long a source of neighborhood grumbling, the video screen that flashes pizza promotions at Denny and E Olive Way has been criticized as an unfitting welcome sign to Capitol Hill. After a complaint was made last year, a city inspector confirmed it was not only a matter of taste, finding a “violation of changing image frequency.” A subsequent inspection found the same issue. Continue reading