Pikes/Pines | What a naturalist suggests for Earth Day (look for Capitol Hill daffodils, for example)


Daffodils may not be native but they’re well worth knowing and enjoying. (Image: Brendan McGarry)

Now, I’d be the last person to speak ill of Earth Day. In it’s 45th year, with tons of opportunities for action throughout the city including the first ever Climate Action Festival at Seattle Central, this is a focused and benevolent movement, not another of the ridiculous panoply of “official days,” As much as I intend to do my part on Earth Day and participate in events that bolster community around the environment, I’d like to suggest another activity for the day. Knowing a slice of your environment.

There are many things that confuse our ability to protect the planet we live on. We over-consume daily, we muck up or pave over wild spaces, we massage the hubris that we can control everything or solve problems solely with technology. A pessimistic part of me looks at how humans on the whole behave, and suggests that we learn as much from our history and past generations as say fruit flies (averaging 10 days per). We can’t expect one lone day to change everything, and yes, most people don’t expect it to, but I can’t help but feel we could do more. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | 22/Union homicide, Grill on Broadway closes, Marination Station opens

8446325522_f3181177b8_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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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16 things CHS heard at the Capitol Hill ‘Gentrification Conversation’

Thursday night, Capitol Hill residents and community members gathered at First Baptist Church for a “Gentrification Conversation” to formally discuss the radical and rapidly occurring changes in the neighborhood.

Organized by the Capitol Hill Community Council, the forum’s panel featured Tricia Romano – a Seattle Times lifestyle writer and author of the recent front page story on the Hill’s gentrification — and a slew of various community members, many of whom were interviewed for her story, including performer Ade Connere, Michael Wells from the Chamber of Commerce, co-owner of the Wildrose bar Shelley Brothers, Diana Adams (owner of the Vermillion bar and gallery), and Branden Born, an associate professor of urban design and planning at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill resident.

With Romano’s nerve-touching article as a springboard, panelists discussed their own experiences with the influx of capital and “bros” on the Hill, neighborhood identity, and public safety amongst increasing incidents of violence and LGBTQ hate crimes in Pike/Pine.

Here are 16 things CHS heard Thursday night:

  1. “People are coming here specifically to party. I’ve actually heard people call it ‘party mountain’,” said Romano.
  2. “The idea that you hear all the time is ‘that’s just the way the market works.’ Don’t believe that,” said Born. “Your economics professor was lying to you.”
  3. Born said that the city has an organizational flaw in having the DPD and the Department of Neighborhoods separate from one another, adding that DPD is funded via developer fees which incentivises them to approve frenzied development projects. Continue reading

East Precinct’s new commander takes on Pike/Pine crime

Capt. Paul McDonagh in what we *think* was his first public appearance as the new East Precinct commander Friday morning (Image: CHS)

Capt. Paul McDonagh, speaking, in what we *think* was his first public appearance as the new East Precinct commander Friday morning (Image: CHS)

In a Friday morning meeting with business owners from Pike/Pine’s biggest clubs to its smallest and with representatives from retailers like Elliott Bay Book Company and local real estate development companies, East Precinct’s new commander Capt. Paul McDonagh addressed concerns that not enough is being done to police Seattle’s current busiest nightlife and entertainment district.

McDonagh, newly returned to the post he helmed for two and a half years starting in 2009, told the business owners and representatives that increased patrols are already underway and that detective work and investigations are already making a difference. “You’re not going to see officers on every block,” McDonagh said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re not working.”

The meeting came after a letter to city officials and the mayor from more than 40 Pike/Pine businesses in March calling for more cops to patrol the booming neighborhood. “Capitol Hill has a quickly increasing number of residents and people visiting it,” one portion of the letter said. “This increase needs to be met with an increased budget for policing and social services.”

According to details discussed at Friday’s meeting, six to eight officers are typically on patrol at any given time. Emphasis patrols essentially double the police force on the streets. “There will be nights where I put even more out,” McDonagh said. Continue reading

Blotter | Driver reportedly flees after hitting pedestrians outside First Hill McDonald’s — Plus, Seattle U threat

(Image: @alanwaite via Twitter)

(Image: @alanwaite via Twitter)

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

  • Madison hit and run: Police were searching for a driver who reportedly left the scene of a morning car vs. pedestrian collision near the First Hill McDonald’s involving multiple victims, one with reported serious injuries. A driver struck at least two pedestrians outside the First Hill McDonalds Friday morning, according to police radio traffic. Witnesses told police the driver left the scene following the collision. Police were searching the area for a female suspect following the incident. We don’t yet have specifics of the injuries sustained but a witness described the scene of the incident via Twitter:

    The female driver had not been contacted by police as of 10:30 AM.

  • SU bomb threat: A threatening note forced the evacuations of three buildings on the Seattle University campus Friday morning. Students and staff were cleared from the buildings as police searched floor to floor and office to office for the unspecified threat. Here is the security bulletin sent by Seattle University to the campus:Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 9.43.11 AM

UPDATE: All clear!Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 11.36.14 AM

SPD says a student found “two threatening notes in a women’s restroom.”

Mystic makes 12th Ave plans in Seattle’s growing kombucha culture and community

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

da Silva at the Broadway Farmers Market (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Carlos da Silva started brewing kombucha as a hobby about three and a half years ago. He and his friend, Caitlin Matteson, were both yoga teachers who liked the beverage made from fermented tea, so they bought a home kit from Communitea.

The pair, and their friends, enjoyed the brew they came up with, but there was one big problem.

“We didn’t make enough kombucha for a habit,” da Silva said. “We wanted to make more.”

From that scoby — the squishy tea starter disc — sprang forth Mystic Kombucha, a company which sells its creations around Capitol Hill including the weekly Sunday Broadway Farmers Market, and which, as early as this summer, should have its own kombucha bar on 12th Ave. Continue reading

The Central Circuit: Seattle Central president to step down

Killpatrick at a 2011 rally against education funding cuts (Image: CHS)

Killpatrick at a 2011 rally against education funding cuts (Image: CHS)

By Mohamed Adan, The Central Circuit special to CHS

Seattle Central College president Paul Killpatrick has said he will step down, effective June 25th.

Killpatrick made the announcement in an April 2nd email to staff and faculty. In it, he wrote, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this incredible institution, and I can honestly say my tenure here has been the high point of my 36-year career in higher education.“

In the email, Killpatrick characterized his departure as a voluntary “retirement” but Jill Wakefield, the chancellor of the Seattle College District, said it was time to “transition to new leadership” at the Capitol Hill school.

“After reviewing Paul’s achievements, surveying the challenges ahead, and considering Paul’s own timeline, I decided, and Paul agreed, that it was time to transition to new leadership and to not extend his contract,” Wakefield said about the decision. Continue reading

New ‘smart’ parking payment machines coming to Capitol Hill this year, Pike/Pine in 2016

The new station... coming soon to Capitol Hill

The new station… coming soon to Capitol Hill

New, “smart,” variable rate parking payment machines will be installed around Capitol Hill streets later this year with Pike/Pine to follow in 2016 in a $20 million overhaul of Seattle’s paid street parking system.

The new machines are first being installed in Pioneer Square. Provided by contractor IPS Group, the new machines will reportedly perform better than the current fleet of persnickety machines on the city’s streets. “The older technology in the current pay stations is slower to process transactions, provides less reliable cellular communication and includes old credit card readers no longer supported by the vendor,” a Seattle Department of Transportation statement on the new machines reads.

12th Ave, Cherry Hill, and First Hill installations will also follow in 2016. Continue reading

You can now buy the street newspaper Real Change with an app

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.34.39 AMNo cash? No problem. That’s what vendors of the weekly newspaper Real Change are saying after the publication introduced an app on Thursday that allows readers to purchase a digital copy of the paper.

For $2.99, readers can purchase the digital publication by scanning a QR code connected to a credit card. The publication’s homeless and low income vendors will each carry a badge with an individualized QR code. Paper copies will still be available for $2.

The app was started by a Google employee who volunteered with Real Change two years ago, according to newspaper. The project was then developed by eight volunteer Google employees.

“Cashlessness is a challenge our vendors face on a daily basis,” said Real Change director Timothy Harris in a statement. “This app will help our paper survive in the digital age, when fewer people have ready access to cash and more people prefer to read news content on their mobile devices.”

Real Change and Google announced the app during a Thursday media conference in Occidental Park. Google envisions that app spreading to street newspapers in other cities, a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Real Change covers local social and economic justice issues while providing employment opportunities for its homeless vendors, including many familiar faces along Capitol Hill’s busiest corridors. Find out more at realchangenews.org