Return of #seasnow open thread: Capitol Hill pictures, video, etc.

Enjoy it while it lasts. Snow fell on Capitol Hill Thursday night in what looks likely to be the heaviest snowfall the area has seen since 2013 — like we reported earlier this week, the low bar is 7/10ths of an inch. The moment the heavy flakes first fell just before 8 PM likely put a few smiles on the face of local meteorologists. The weather folks took a decent social media beating in the wake of predictions of an October windstorm that fell far short of the headlines and continued criticism this week as forecasted snow totals for the Seattle area fell from 4 to 5 inches to 1 inch or even none. Tonight’s snow is predicted to give way to rain overnight and a sloppy but snow-free morning commute — but we’ll see.

A dozen or so things to know when it snows — even an inch — on Capitol Hill

In the meantime, we’ll collect a few pictures and notes here on the novel night. With La Nina around, this might be the first of many snow nights this winter but, for now, we’ll give the return of more serious #seasnow a little extra attention.

Though main routes remain drivable and free from snow, side streets especially toward the top of the Hill are seeing enough accumulation to affect driving conditions. We will post any updates on transit and the roads that need to be passed along. See something we need to know about? or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

UPDATE 1:25 AM: By 1 AM, most of Capitol Hill had one or two inches of snow accumulated and it was still coming down. Seattle’s army of truck plows and aggressive de-icing and salting, however, had managed to keep major streets clear. Earlier in the night, the notoriously slippery E John claimed a Metro #10 after its driver attempted to continue east after stopping just past 12th Ave to offload passengers. “Don’t stop!” the driver yelled as another 10 coach approached and kept its head of steam up for the trip up the hill. But even John was kept clear into the wee hours of the morning once SDOT’s plows caught wind of the slippery conditions. SPD’s new SUV-style vehicles, meanwhile, seemed to be handling the wintry weather in stride without the logistical headache of deploying chains the old cruisers needed to handle Seattle snow. Police were kept busy with small collisions and various shenanigans including several reports of fireworks and a reported assault by snowball but there were no major crashes or injuries reported. We’ll find out what the morning brings. Take it slow.

A few hundred people might have slow starts on their Fridays. Cal Anderson and Bobby Morris field were crowded with people and dogs playing in the snow, building snow people, and tossing snowballs. We even found one guy on a Solowheel. So did a lot of snowballs.

Continue reading

Man arrested at Seattle Central with assault rifle in guitar case

czlohzjukaauworPolice are investigating after a bizarre incident at Seattle Central Wednesday in which a man was arrested after school security found he was carrying what authorities said was an assault rifle inside a guitar case on the Capitol Hill college’s Broadway campus.

A SPD spokesperson tells CHS that the man was taken into custody without incident when officers arrived at the school after being called by security just after 5 PM as the 34-year-old had been detained and the weapon discovered. Police say a witness spotted the subject who is believed to have been formerly enrolled at the school and told security he was known to carry a gun.

Officers arrived, seized the weapon, and took the man into custody for trespassing and carrying a firearm on a school campus, a misdemeanor offense. The man reportedly did not make any threats. The SPD spokesperson said he did not know if the suspect told police why he was carrying the gun in a guitar case. Police say the man was also wanted on a felony warrant for larceny in another county.

“We are extremely fortunate that no one was harmed and that at no time was anyone on our campus directly threatened,” a school announcement about the incident sent to students read. “This incident had a positive outcome because someone on campus was vigilant and reported their concern to our Public Safety Office.”

The suspect was booked into King County Jail and is awaiting charges.

Thanks to @maggim for the tip.

On the List | Holiday in the Park, Art Walk, Freakout Fest, V2 goodbye party

Best way to stay warm around Capitol Hill this weekend? Stay busy with the jammed full CHS Calendar.

There is plenty to do right off the start. Thursday brings a celebration of Belmont Ave-headquartered Freakout Festival at four venues clustered at the rockin’ intersection of 14th and Pike — Chop Suey, Bar Sue, Pony, and Lovecitylove. 11th and Pike venues are also banding together Thursday night for Kock’s Ball, a fundraiser to help a colleague pay for expensive medical care following a motorcycle crash. Ghost Gallery marks a remarkable decade of its annual Holiday Mini Art Exhibit with hundreds of small works all $250 and under starting Thursday night and on display — and for sale — through the holidays. Continue reading

Citizen petition forces meeting on Seattle Asian Art Museum overhaul and expansion

From the project's "geotechnical" report

From the project’s “geotechnical” report

In an effort to drive massive web traffic and create some sexy Facebook clickbait, we are posting about yet another Volunteer Park and Seattle Asian Art Museum expansion meeting. Yes, it’s true. Another meeting on the proposal to improve the 1933-built museum’s climate control system, perform need seismic upgrades, make the museum ADA accessible, and expand the facility by 3,600 square feet will take place next week after the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections was petitioned to hold a public meeting on the pending approval of the project in the city’s land use permit process. Continue reading

12+ things CHS heard at the Capitol Hill Station development open house

Before heading to its December 14th public design review meeting, the developers and architects behind Capitol Hill Station’s “transit oriented development” held an open house to share plans with the public Tuesday night.

Attendees got the first look at designs for the four seven-story buildings including a combined 427 market-rate and affordable apartment units, more than 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space, and parking for more than 300 vehicles planned to join Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.

Design review: 118 Broadway E — Capitol Hill Station development

At the open house, master developer Gerding Edlen broke the preferred project design down into display boards describing the overall site plan, each of the four buildings, the plaza, and the affordable housing components. Residents provided comments through conversation and sticky notes.

12 things CHS heard at the open house

  • “Parking is to me, generally useless on top of a transit center,” said Saunatina Sanchez, who lives a few blocks from the development. Continue reading

Seattle’s revived Community Service Officer police force would handle neighborhood disputes, crime prevention

s-l225Seattle will bring a team of unarmed community police officers back to its streets to “handle non-emergency incidents such as neighborhood disputes, investigations, and crime prevention.”

Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan Wednesday that will hire 26 Community Service Officers in 2017 and put the revived police force back on the streets of Seattle by 2018.

“It is critical to the long-term success of our police department to build strong, lasting bonds between officers and the communities they serve,” Murray said in the announcement.  “The Seattle Police Department has worked for years to become a model of 21st century policing and the Community Service Officer program will help us reach the ultimate goal of building community trust with the department.”

Seattle’s CSO program “ran for more than 30 years from 1971 to 2004, when it was discontinued for lack of funding,” KIRO reports.

City Council member Mike O’Brien secured $2 million in funding to revive the program in the 2017-2018 budget, according to the mayor’s announcement.

According to the plan, a new “interdepartmental project team” is being formed to create recommendations for SPD to add the new officers. The recommendations will include a framework for the “qualifications, training curriculum, and operational functions with SPD” the CSOs will serve, the mayor’s announcement said.

The current “class summary” for the CSO role at SPD outlines a role that handles many of the day to day social issues the city’s police force deals with:

Positions in this class, under general supervision, perform a variety of law enforcement-related community services work that does not require the enforcement authority of a sworn police officer. They patrol an assigned area of the City on foot or in a vehicle, serving populations such as dysfunctional families, the homeless, disabled, runaway youth, and the elderly. They mediate disputes between family members, neighbors, landlords and tenants; provide basic counseling; make referrals to assisting agencies and programs; maintain a caseload of juvenile runaways; investigate reports of child abuse; participate in crime prevention activities, and prepare a variety of incident reports.

As its police department continues to be reformed under a Department of Justice consent decree over its inequitable use of force and the city’s negotiations for a new police labor contract is pounded out, Seattle has pursued more programs and solutions to focus its officers on more serious crimes. Another example in the city’s 2017–2018 budget is continued funding for the city’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program that expanded to SPD’s East Precinct on Capitol Hill in 2016.

A dozen or so things to know when it snows — even an inch — on Capitol Hill

There is a good chance we’ll get one entire inch of snow on Capitol Hill Thursday night. It’s been a while. The last time the Hill got that snowy was December 2013 when a whopping 7/10ths of an inch blanketed Central Seattle on a Friday morning. Here are a few things you need to know if, indeed, the forecasts hold true. If not, you’re ready for a La Nina winter of snowy predictions around the Pacific Northwest.

See something we need to know about? or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • UPDATE: The National Weather Service now predicts the snow will begin “late” Thursday in Seattle and has lowered its predicted snowfall totals. “The most probable scenario at this time is that precipitation will being as snow this evening, then gradually transition back to rain some time late tonight.”


  • Driving: If you’re going to drive, check out the SDOT Winter Weather map. It shows which routes have been recently been de-iced or salted. There are also a few notorious streets to avoid including John between Broadway and 15th and E Aloha. Commenters will probably know more. You can also check the CHS Street Cams page before you head out. And the CHS Weather page has the latest reports from local observations. Continue reading

DOJ: Russian hacker convicted for Seattle cybercrimes trying to stall sentencing

The wheels of justice continue to turn slowly in a case that brought concerns about Russian hackers to Seattle’s Capitol Hill long before the 2016 presidential election.

This week, the Department of Justice scored a minor victory on the way to sentencing Roman Seleznev after his summer conviction in a $1.7 million international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill and the Mad Pizza chain, among other local businesses.

In August, a federal jury in Seattle found Seleznev guilty on 38 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He could face up to 34 years in prison. Continue reading

Capitol Lounge joining the Comet on E Pike

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-46-58-amAfter sitting empty for two years, the lounge space formerly home to the Lobby Bar has cracked back into motion in recent weeks with the bang bang bang of hammers and the whir of saws and sanders. Japanese hot dog king Shinsuke Nikaido is at work on E Pike again.

No, he’s not building a cat cafe.

Nikaido tells CHS the under construction Capitol Lounge will be a bar and night spot with booze, music, and dancing. It will neighbor his Ikina Sushi which debuted this summer in the madness of the main stage crowd at the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Nikaido knows the area’s nightlife well. His business has been serving Japanese-style hot dogs from his Gourmet Dog Japon carts since 2010. Continue reading

As Seattle plans new tiny house encampments, village marks first year in the Central District

In early 2017, more than 200 people can expect to find shelter at two new “tiny house villages” and one new tent encampments in Seattle. They’ll have neighbors, of sorts, in one of the city’s first villages that opened a year ago in the Central District.

The Human Services Department announced the new encampments for the homeless last week as part of the Bridging the Gap plan launched in October to address immediate needs.

Sharon Lee, executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute, which sponsors and provides case management at one tent encampment and three tiny home sites, including the village on 22nd Ave at E Union, lauds the announcement. “I think having tiny houses is far superior to having tents,” she said.

Since it opened in January 2016, the organization’s 14 tiny homes at E Union and 22nd have housed families, single people, and couples in search of permanent homes.

Case managers work with everyone at the Tiny House Village to get them into housing and help them find jobs, and turnover is frequent.

“We don’t want people seeing it as a longterm thing or a dead end,” Lee said.

The community surrounding the E Union village has been supportive with donations, and the property owner, the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, hosted the tiny house village for Thanksgiving, Lee said. Continue reading

Leave Paul Allen out of it: Ask for an I-5 lid study

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Nobody needs Paul Allen to pay for building a new lid over I-5 — not yet, at least. Nope. All we need at this point is a public benefit investment of less than 1/10th of a percent of the $1.6 billion Washington State Convention Center expansion to fund a $1 million study of lidding I-5 thus renewing the severed historical bonds between Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and downtown Seattle and ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in the central city.

CHS wrote here about the quest for the lid plan to be included in the project’s public benefits package. Wednesday night, you can attend a WSCC expansion open house just down the Hill and/or let the Seattle Design Commission know your thoughts via email at

WSCC Public Benefits Open House

Weather gods again target Pike People Street, this time with threat of Seattle snow

A snow morning on E Pike circa February 2011 (Image: CHS)

A snow morning on E Pike circa February 2011 (Image: CHS)

It’s time to admit it. The final pilot of the Pike People Street program is cursed. Though if the last weather-related cancelation is any indication, you won’t actually have 2 to 5 inches of Seattle snow to worry about Thursday afternoon.

Forecast models for Thursday are going a little nuts but there is the possibility for three to five inches of snow up and down the I-5 corridor — including Seattle. The storm could also bring high winds and freezing rain. UPDATE 8:50 PM: The situation has now been escalated to a National Weather ServiceWinter Storm Watch” —


While SDOT’s coordinator for the pedestrian pilot program Seth Geiser is hoping for a “little winter wonderland” to accompany Thursday’s Capitol Hill Art Walk-coordinated street closure in the heart of Pike/Pine, the Spokane native is ready for a cancellation if his department needs to swing into action for a serious storm. Continue reading