Crash leaves light pole leaning precariously on 23rd Ave Metro wires

IMG_7362IMG_7368A single-car crash that knocked a light pole onto Metro trolley wires near a troublesome curve in 23rd Ave near E Aloha caused no significant injuries but was set to take hours to unsnarl Saturday night.

Police and Seattle Fire responded just after 10 PM Saturday after a car struck the pole and sent it leaning on the dual wires used to power 23rd Ave Metro trolley routes 43 and 48. The car’s driver was not seriously injured but was taken into custody at the scene. A DUI unit was called to the scene.

Crews were being gathered to evaluate the leaning pole and the Metro wires supporting it but were expected to take up to two hours to complete the inspection. Traffic in the area was diverted off 23rd Ave during the response.

New at the Broadway Farmers Market: Central Seattle’s own Malus Ginger Beer

996496_596024903762173_281111596_nFour years ago, a ginger beer maker got her start on what has become a collection of Seattle food and drink venues with a table at the Broadway Farmers Market. Later this year, Rachel Marshall will open a Rachel’s Ginger Beer on Capitol Hill inside the 12th Ave Arts complex.

Sunday, a new creator of the spicy drink tells CHS he is making his debut at the market and joining Rachel’s which has continued to keep its place at the weekly event. Here’s John Struble on his Malus Ginger Beer:

Malus Fermented Ginger Beer debuts at the Broadway Farmer’s Market on January 25 and will return every other Sunday thereafter. Crafted with a strong regard for herbal history, Malus Ginger Beer is Seattle’s only fermented non-alcoholic ginger beer. Malus’s process of fermentation is what separates its ginger beer from our admired fellow producers, Timber City and RGB. The craft of fermentation, more closely related to the production of beer, wine, and kombucha, is the linchpin of Malus’s methodology. Malus uses organic ingredients, including Northwest wildflower honey.

ad-04The Central District resident touts his drink as the only non-alcoholic fermented ginger beer in Seattle. The beer lists only four simple ingredients: water, ginger, honey, and lemon. (UPDATE: Struble let us know he believes his is the only non-alcoholic fermented ginger beer being made in Seattle. We’ve clarified above.)

Struble says he plans to carry Malus beyond ginger. “Malus has unearthed a centuries old recipe that promises to taste unlike any other root beer,” he writes, “with healthful ingredients that epitomize Malus’s herbalist tradition and stout opposition to the heavily medicated culture created by the American Medical Association.”

In addition to the Sunday markets (11a to 3p at Seattle Central, Broadway at Pine), you can also find Malus at Bannister, Café Presse, Central Co-op, Chuck’s Hop Shop, E. Smith Mercantile, and Revolver Bar.

You can learn more at

Lifelong Thrift readies for Broadway with sale, moving campaign

(Image: Lifelong)

(Image: Lifelong)

With plans to open in February on Broadway in the former home of Red Light Vintage, Capitol Hill’s Lifelong Thrift is clearing the shelves and preparing for the move with a big sale and a fundraising campaign to boost the nonprofit’s move from E Union.

Saturday is the last day of business for the shop at 1017 E Union — you can find some sweet deals on the final day:

As you all know, out last day of operation at 1017 E Union will be Saturday Jan. 24th. So we will be having a store wide 75 percent off sale, starting Friday Jan. 23rd. Items that are .50¢ will not be further discounted.

Lifelong is also holding an online giving campaign to help with the move:

The Lifelong Thrift is a Seattle thrift shop institution known for awesome one-of-a kind items. It has resided on Capitol Hill since the 1980s when, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was a place of togetherness…a place the symbolized hope in a time of heartache. Today, it is one of the few, if not the only, thrift stores in Seattle that offers a voucher program to HIV positive individuals in need of basic living essentials, like warm coats, dishes, or even an outfit to wear to a job interview. The Lifelong Thrift has given $500,000 in vouchers through the years!

The thrift store is bursting at the seams and can grow no more in its current building while the number of clients served by Lifelong continues to grow. The good news is, the thrift store announced in the Fall that it would be relocating to a new location on Broadway in Capitol Hill — a space that is three times the size of the current space. The new space will allow the thrift store to double the amount of contributions back to Lifelong’s programs delivering food, housing, and health services to people living with chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS.

If you give $2,500, you’ll get a fitting room in the new Broadway location dedicated in your name.

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 23,000 24,000 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

911 | E Madison parking garage mugging, 19th/Alder fire

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

  • 22/Madison robbery: Seattle Police searched for the suspect in a reported strong-arm robbery inside the parking garage below The Summit apartment building at 22nd and Madison Friday night. We’re told the victim was a driver for a Capitol Hill pizza joint. According to police dispatch radio, the suspect took the driver’s keys, phone, and wallet in the robbery reported just after 11 PM on the lower level of the garage below the apartments and Safeway. The suspect was described as a black male in his 20s, wearing a Seahawks beanie, black jacket, and jeans. The suspect did not brandish a weapon in the incident. One local business owner sent out a Tweet overnight saying a Hot Mama’s driver had been robbed. We’ll see if we can confirm that this is part of the same incident. There were no reported injuries.
  • 19/Alder fire: Seattle Fire is investigating after an early Saturday morning garage fire that damaged a two-story house near 19th and Alder. Heavy smoke and flames were reported coming from the structure just before 5:30 AM as occupants attempted to put out the blaze with water. All occupants were reported to have made it safely out of the house as SFD initiated its response and brought the fire under control around 20 minutes later. The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. Red Cross was called in to help provide assistance to the residents. There were no reported injuries.

Activists hold Trans Health Insurance Forum at Gay City


Toby Hill-Meyer takes the mic at Saturday’s Trans Health Insurance Forum. (Image: Casey Jaywork)

In 2009, Danni Askini was raising hell to debunk “Gender Identity Disorder” from the official list of diagnosable mental illnesses. It’s not like concepts of disease are immutable, after all: Homosexuality was a sickness until 1973, when doctors suddenly agreed that it’s wasn’t. Why shouldn’t transgender people similarly shed the stigma of pathology?

“Oh, young me,” she laughs to the roughly 60 people packed inside Gay City’s tiny auditorium. “You didn’t know!”

Askini is speaking on a panel held last Saturday at the Trans Health Insurance Forum, orchestrated by the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare. And she’s laughing because, in the past five years, she’s gone from decrying transgender diagnoses to sometimes promoting them, for two reasons. Continue reading

Blotter | Gunpoint robbery in Cal Anderson, no victims in Central District drive-by

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

  • Cal Anderson armed robbery: A victim told police the suspect in a gunpoint robbery inside Cal Anderson Park late Thursday night was apparently a hometown sports fan. According to the victim in the hold-up reported just after 11:30 PM near the park’s fountain, the suspect was a Hispanic male wearing a Mariners jacket and Mariners beanie and was carrying an orange drawstring bag as he tucked a pistol back into this waistband and fled the scene with an accomplice after the robbery. Police searched the area for the men last seen headed south on Nagle but no arrests were made. Community groups and the Capitol Hill Chamber are continuing to work on a plan to request funds for improved lighting in the park to quell ongoing robberies and assaults.
  • Midtown Center drive-by: Police were searching for suspect vehicles after a second night of gunfire around 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center. Thursday night just after 8:30 PM, police swarmed the area after reports of shots fired by a passenger in the backseat of a black Toyota Corolla. There were no reported injuries and it wasn’t clear who or what had been targeted in the incident. There were no arrests. SPD asked witnesses to call 911 with information. Tuesday night, a bullet is believed to have traveled more than a half-mile before landing in the door of a third-floor apartment unit north of a shooting incident reported near the center. There were no injuries reported in that altercation and there were also no arrests.
  • Shots fired stats: SPD released its most recent SeaStat report including a review of shots fire across the city in 2014. SPD says reported gunfire incidents jumped more than 20% compared to 2013:Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 12.16.37 PM

Anheuser-Busch acquires Elysian Brewing Company — including E Pike brewery

"Brewmaster" (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

“Brewmaster” (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

Helpers at an Elysian trimming party last year (Image: Elysian)

Helpers at an Elysian trimming party last year (Image: Elysian)

Anheuser-Busch, the US wing of a global brewing giant, announced Friday morning it has acquired Elysian Brewing including the Seattle-based company’s E Pike brewery and pub.

Opened in 1996, Elysian’s Capitol Hill pub and brewery was the company’s first location. The brewery was founded by Dick Cantwell, Joe Bisacca and David Buhler.

The E Pike Elysian celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2011 with with 15 favorite beers. At the time, Cantwell provided some history about this much-loved brewery:

It took us about two years to plan, write the business plan, raise the money, etc. We opened a week late and $3000 over budget. I had been brewing at Big Time–we brought a lot of their old staff over–and before that at Pike Place–Fal, their head brewer rode his motorcycle inside the day we opened. I also worked at a place on lower Queen Anne–Duwamps Cafe, before that. We opened with one of our beers–The Wise ESB–a little fruity because of a warm fermentation–and filled out the taps with beers from every brewery that any of us had had anything to do with in the past. We raced Pike to brew first, since they were opening their new place in the Market South Arcade. After a year-plus of going neck and neck, we beat them by an hour.

Elysian has not yet announced any financial details of the transaction or planned changes for its E Pike facility. In 2011, Anheuser-Busch acquired Chicago’s Goose Island and its approximately 130,000 to 150,000 annual barrel capacity for $38.8 million. In 2014, it bought New York’s Blue Point for somewhere between $18 million to $24 million. Blue Point’s 60,000 barrel capacity is in the same ballpark as Elysian’s annual output.

Elysian is currently distributed in at least 10 states and has collaborated with large brewing companies like New Belgium in the past.

“Throughout our journey we’ve been focused on brewing a portfolio of both classic and groundbreaking beers and supporting innovation and camaraderie in the beer industry through collaboration and experimentation,” Cantwell is quoted as saying in the Anheuser-Busch announcement. “By joining with Anheuser-Busch we’ll be able to take the next steps to bring that energy and commitment to a larger audience.” Continue reading

Soul sisters did it their way for 18 years at Capitol Hill’s original Kingfish Cafe

IMG_6434 (1)

Laurie, left, and Leslie (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Eighteen years ago, twin sisters Laurie and Leslie Coaston were sitting on the corner of 19th and Mercer, counting off cars as they passed by. The single digit count was making the sisters seriously doubt their decision to open a soul food restaurant in the backcountry of Capitol Hill.

“This was a bad idea,” Leslie remembered saying. “There is nobody out here.”

Luckily, having good street visibility was never necessary for the Kingfish Cafe. On opening day in 1997, a line was forming around the block. It’s similar to the nightly — and brunch-ly scenes — happening in the final days of the 19th and Mercer Kingfish. “We’re going out like we came in,” said Laurie while taking her first breather after a slammed Wednesday lunch.

The Kingfish will close its doors for good at 19th and Mercer on Sunday afternoon, ending a long chapter in the commercial life of 19th Ave E. Since the sisters made the announcement last week, lines have wound up the block with customers hoping to experience the Kingfish one last time. The outpouring of grief and goodwill came as somewhat of a shock to the Coastons.

“Some people said they saw the news that we were closing and they cried,” Leslie said, looking bewildered. “I just hope we can hold it together on Sunday.” Continue reading

Traffic alert: ‘Emergency’ pavement repair E Olive Way just below Broadway

"Signs of our time on Capitol Hill Seattle" (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

“Signs of our time on Capitol Hill Seattle” (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

Expect a traffic pinch starting Saturday as work crews begin an emergency repair project to repair pavement on E Olive Way just west of Broadway. The work is slated to continue “into the work week” which we assume means Monday even though, sigh, CHS also works on the weekends.

Paving crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will close a lane on Olive Way just west of Broadway for an emergency repair to the pavement beginning Saturday, Jan. 24 at 8 a.m. During the weekend the street will be restricted to one lane shared by both directions of traffic 24 hours a day. Police officers and traffic flaggers will assist drivers through the area.

SDOT crews will continue to work at this location into the work week, leaving one lane open in each direction, as they excavate and replace 12 concrete panels in the roadway.