One last song from the piano in Volunteer Park

Monty Banks

Monty Banks

The pianos in the parks are gone, auctioned off to the highest bidders to support public open spaces in King County. In addition to inspiring musical spins around Capitol Hill’s green spaces, the Pianos in the Parks campaign has also inspired some excellent performances. A contest to capture some of the best from around the parks system has wrapped up — the winning video shot down on the waterfront is below. We’ve also included a finalist who chose the Volunteer Park piano for his plinking — check out the performance by Monty Banks after the jump. Continue reading

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 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.

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Tour Trove’s treasures — noodles, Korean BBQ, frozen custard, beer — before September opening

Work is in the final stretch at Trove

Work is in the final stretch at Trove

(Images: CHS)

Yang (Images: CHS)

Rachel Yang gave media and neighboring businesses a tour of her new Capitol Hill creation Friday morning. Trove will fill a former costume shop space on E Pike with four interconnected but independent elements — 1) a noodle bar, 2) a beer-focused + volcanic Mt. Rainier be-arted drinking bar, 3) a Korean BBQ, and 4) a walk-up frozen custard window. Molten lava-worthy red walls connect Trove from end to end.

“When I first saw it, I had a little heart attack,” Yang said. “There’s a lot going on.”

The rehabilitated Greenus Building, formerly home to Brocklind’s is in the final stages of being transformed into the third Seattle food and drink project from Yang and her husband and collaborator Seif Chirchi. The couple previously created north-of-the-cut faves Revel and Joule. Continue reading

What the development that will won’t yet replace Rancho Bravo will look like

(Images: Schack A+D)

(Images: Schack A+D)

It’s a modern Capitol Hill condition. Looming over every plate of delicious, cheap, Rancho Bravo tacos is the knowledge that here, too, will someday rise a six-story apartment building. But it’s not going to happen soon.

“We have decided to postpone development of this property for a couple of years,” developer Maria Barrientos tells CHS about the E Pine parcel home to the Mexican fast food joint that is envisioned — eventually — as a “gateway development to Pike/Pine.” Continue reading

Seattle Schools responds to mistakes made in Garfield High rape investigation

While the Seattle Public School Board only managed to further inflame critics and protestors at a meeting this week, interim superintendent Larry Nyland says his system is making changes and learning from the revelations that emerged this summer about the district’s response to a reported 2012 sexual assault during a Garfield High School field trip on the Olympic Peninsula.

While we cannot undo that event, we can learn from it and take steps to increase the safety for our students,” Nyland writes in a letter on the district’s response.

Nyland also said the district has already trained administrators on how to better respond to reported assaults and overhauled “training, field trip and chaperoning practices.”

The full letter from Nyland is below. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Backyard Barter on Capitol Hill

IMG_5943IMG_5994Wednesday night in the August evening sun, local gardeners, crafters, bakers, and makers showed up at Capitol Hill’s Miller Community Center to trade their creations.

“It was quite the haul!,” one satisfied trader proclaimed on the Backyard Barter Facebook page. “Roasted Roma’s, aioli, bread, pickles, 2 bags of sung old cherry tomatoes, coconut milk kefir, canned cherries, chutneys, raspberry jams, new potatoes, coriander seeds,mojito mint sprigs and purple basil!”

To learn more about the events and find out about future Backyard Barter meet-ups, check out facebook.com/BackyardBarter.

More pictures below. Continue reading

On the List | Hopscotch CD, Ferguson solidarity, community council, Linda’s Fest, pop-up Vignettes

10464312_551621358275510_7091414083394280585_n (1)Seattle King County NAACP is asking citizens in Central Seattle and beyond to gather at Pratt Park Thursday for a rally in solidarity with the continuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri:

Seattle King County NAACP Stands in Solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri—join us on August 21st

What: Demand Justice for Victims of Police Abuse
When: Thursday, August 21st at 5:30pm
Where: Pratt Park (The corner of 20th Ave S & E Yesler Way)
Who: Event organized by Seattle King County NAACP
Vignettes: Saturn return

Thursday evening: the pop-up, one-day-only art gallery Vignettes is open on Yale Ave.

On Thursday, you can also join the Capitol Hill Community Council Meeting at the Cal Anderson Shelter House at 6:30pm for their transportation-focused agenda. Or join the Capturing Violence: a community discussion at 7pm at Northwest Film Forum.

three dollar bill cinemaTeen Witch concludes the Three Dollar Bill Cinemas movies in Cal Anderson Park on Friday. Starts at dusk (8:45ish) but get there early for good seats on the grass and pre-show music and games.

The drama Other Desert Cities opens at Eclectic Theatre this weekend, and Balconies continues at Annex Theatre.

rugby dragRelay for Life teams will be day-camping and circling Cal Anderson Park on Saturday to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, 10am – 10pm. Are you tired of your long hair? Get a free haircut and donate your locks for wigs at the Pony Up! table, 12p – 2pm.

Pistil Books’ annual sale is Saturday afternoon in an alley off E Union, Rugby is a Drag (Rugby players! Performing! In drag! Hot!) is Saturday evening at Neighbors, and then there’s Linda’s Fest on Saturday.

LindasFestLinda’s Fest is free and fun and loud and runs 5:30- 10pm in the back lot of Linda’s on Saturday. Food and drink specials, plus fun bands. CHS wrote about the fifth annual event celebrating Capitol Hill bands here.

We’ll have rad food and drink specials all night in addition to our regular menu. Even though the festivities will be over by 10, the Rainier will be flowing wilder than the Columbia River into the wee hours of the night. Linda’s Fest will GO OFF in the Linda’s Tavern back parking lot, but that doesn’t mean your friend who lives on Olive won’t have his face melted via astral projection. Linda’s Fest is a Nice Place for Nice People, that’s why you’re invited.

Saturday, the second annual Hopscotch CD event creates 2.9 miles of hopscotch play areas across the Central District. Included in the fun, Centerstone’s parking lot at 722 18th Ave will host the grandmamma of all hopscotch games in an attempt to break a world record.

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

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Police: Accused 29/King killer claims slayings ‘vengeance’

Accused killer Ali Muhammad Brown is claiming political motivations for a killing spree that included the Central District slaying of two men he met after a night out on Capitol Hill.

Police say Brown has admitted to the killings as part of a one-man jihad:

“My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day,” he reportedly said. “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day … All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 8.20.29 AMAuthorities this week said Brown has been connected to a fourth murder in an April drive-by shooting in Spanaway. In July, CHS reported on Brown’s capture in New Jersey where he has been accused of another murder.

Seattle Police say Brown killed 27-year-old Ahmed Said and 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young in a “premeditated” and “unprovoked” June 1st attack at 29th and King.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement on the latest charges against Brown:

The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.

Brown’s alleged attacks make the second high-profile case this year involving Capitol Hill and a suspect believed to have hate crime motivations. Wednesday, CHS reported that defense attorneys for convicted Neighbours nightclub arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

Fifth annual Linda’s Fest ready to rock the patio — and the construction pit

IMG_234610543656_724644084238704_3622052533988432165_nAs summer draws to a close, Linda’s Tavern is ready to bring Capitol Hill’s festival season to a close with its fifth annual free mini music bash, Linda’s Fest. This will be the last year Linda’s infamous back patio will not have a seven-story apartment building looming above.

“It’s not the first time that Capitol Hill has changed,” says Jonah Bergman who plans the annual event, “Even if there’s a construction pit next to it, it is still a great place to hang out.”

On Saturday the 23rd from 5 to 10 PM the bands Tacocat, Chastity Belt, the Young Evils, Kithkin, and Thunder Pussy will take the patio stage for the free show.

“It’s cool to have musicians of that caliber on a stage,” says Bergman, “that we put together for one day in a back parking lot.”

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Seattle cops don’t live in Seattle

Data-driven news blog FiveThirtyEight reports that only 12% of Seattle’s police force calls the city home ranking it among the worst big cities in America for the measure. You’ll note that the department’s black officers are much more likely to call the city home:

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 5.21.51 PM
In light of the continuing protests in Ferguson, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver discusses the significance of where police officers live:

In Ferguson, Missouri, where protests continue following the shooting of a teenager by a police officer this month, more than two-thirds of the civilian population is black. Only 11 percent of the police force is. The racial disparity is troubling enough on its own, but it’s also suggestive of another type of misrepresentation. Given Ferguson’s racial gap, it’s likely that many of its police officers live outside city limits.

If so, Ferguson would have something in common with most major American cities. In about two-thirds of the U.S. cities with the largest police forces, the majority of police officers commute to work from another town.

In 2011, I helped create this map for SeattleCrime.com showing where Seattle Police officers call home around the region:

At the time, the McGinn administration was floating ideas around residency requirements for SPD officers. In the continued fallout from Ferguson, it will be interesting to see if the push is renewed.

UPDATE: Here’s a note we received from an East Precinct officer who has asked to remain anonymous:

A lot more officers than 12% live in the city. Many of us, including myself, use an address of relatives or a PO Box to receive our mail and city correspondence. As far as mandating where an officer lives, that has been ruled illegal . An employer can’t force that issue in Washington.

The officer says that on his squad of seven, four officers live in the city — but only one lists a local mailing address.

Forget Metro cutbacks, Seattle now has a Weed Bus that lets you smoke weed. On the bus. — UPDATE: Olympia says nope

photo (1)The Weed Bus Club, a party bus turned stoner’s paradise, has been out and about in Seattle this summer. Perhaps you smelled the bus when it stopped by Capitol Hill Block Party.

William Prigmore’s club provides what he says is a safe space for people to tour Seattle — while smoking weed.

“You can hop on the Weed Bus by yourself,” says Prigmore, “a lot of different people are always on the bus. I think that’s why people like it a lot, it’s not like you have to rent a party bus out.”

UPDATE 8/22/14: That didn’t last long. The day after we told you about Weed Bus, state regulators have snuffed the idea:

Citing multiple state laws and a concern for public safety, the commission stated that charter and excursion vehicles, drivers, and passengers are considered to be in view of the general public, therefore, the consumption or use of marijuana products on board a charter or excursion vehicle is prohibited.

We’ve posted the full announcement, below.

There are two buses in the club that eventually will have set routes between legal marijuana retail stores and tourist sites such as Pike Place Market and Alki Beach in West Seattle, Prigmore says. He plans for people to hop on at different stops and ride for as long as they like. Continue reading

Defense to appeal 10-year sentence in Neighbours arson case

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.00.19 AMAttorneys for convicted Neighbours arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

“Because of the political nature of this case, one always suspected this could happen,” defense attorney Charles Swift said after the July decision by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez to double the five years both sides in the case had agreed to. Prosecutors told CHS at the time that they believed Masmari had an anti-gay bias but they asked the judge to not raise the sentence based on hate crime motivations because it would open the possibility of appeals.

The Seattle Weekly broke the news on the appeal and reported more on attorney Charles Swift’s involvement in the case:

As with Hamdan’s case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, Masmari’s sentence was political, Swift thinks. Shortly after the term was handed down by U.S. Judge Ricardo Martinez on July 31 – doubling the five-year sentence that prosecutors and Masmari had agreed to in a plea bargain – Swift told reporters he was worried this could happen “because of the political nature of this case.” The next day, he gave notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, challenging the sentence. He is set to file his appellate brief by Halloween.

Masmari, a former Capitol Hill resident, pleaded guilty to setting a New Year’s Eve fire inside a crowded Neighbours nightclub. The arsonist blamed his actions on drinking too much alcohol before setting the fire. In the statement Masmari said he drank an entire “cheap bottle of whiskey” on New Year’s Eve and said he did not remember what happened afterwards. “This defendant violated people’s right to gather safely: he put more than 700 lives at risk when he purposely started a fire at a crowded nightclub on New Year’s Eve,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in a written statement in May.