City planning 2017 changes to speed up First Hill Streetcar

Denny-and-Broadway_6033-600x400Capitol Hill pedestrians you might soon have to up your pace to beat the First Hill Streetcar in a footrace.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is planning a roster of changes in three sections of the 2.5-mile line to help boost the performance of the streetcar connecting Pioneer Square, the International District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill including the addition of a “southbound Business Access and Transit lane” to Broadway. Continue reading

Contadino and its sibling pizzeria begin new story on 19th Ave E

After “a thoughtful but speedy remodel,” a classic Capitol Hill restaurant space is ready to go back into motion. Contadino and its sibling pizzeria make their 19th Ave E debut Monday night:

Contadino is an intimate room that offers seating for 45 in an understated space defined by simple lines and shades of gray and white. A banquette runs along the north wall with marble table tops and black bentwood chairs adding a bistro vibe. The open kitchen has a bar height four-person chef’s counter, where diners can enjoy a $70/person tasting menu, plus a full bar with seating for 12. There is also a semi-private dining area for up to eight guests. Continue reading

‘The project pause has been lifted’ — Officials satisfied for Volunteer Park museum expansion to move forward

Over the weekend, CHS reported on the last visits to the Seattle Asian Art Museum before two years of construction and word from Seattle Parks official Michael Shiosaki of an “un-pausing” of the $49 million plan to overhaul the infrastructure of the 1933-built museum and expand it 3,600 square feet into its home Volunteer Park.

Monday morning, a spokesperson for parks and rec head Jesus Aguirre confirmed that the superintendent is ready for the project to get back on track.

The responses that SAAM provided to the issues raised by the community display an alignment with the mission and values of Seattle Parks and Recreation. The museum contributes to the use and activation of Volunteer Park and is an asset of our parks system that we treasure. We look forward to continuing public discussions about the project and have communicated to SAAM that the project pause has been lifted.

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Neighborhood by neighborhood, Seattle working out HALA and Mandatory Housing Affordability changes

Some Miller Park residents are not happy with the proposed zoning changes for their neighborhood in the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

Those residents will get an opportunity to voice their thoughts in small group discussions following a presentation on HALA, Urban Villages, and the Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal at a Community Design Workshop at 6 PM on Tuesday at the Miller Community Center.

Spencer Williams, a legislative assistant to City Council member Rob Johnson, said the input collected from community members at the workshop as well as from open houses the city has hosted and online and elsewhere will be analyzed by the Office of Planning and Community Development.

Madison-Miller Urban Village Community Design Workshop

“The meeting is happening many months prior to there being a final proposal before the council,” Williams told CHS. “We are really trying to stay engaged early.” Continue reading

Post mid-winter break snow open thread — UPDATE: #THUNDERSNOW

Forecasters were convinced any accumulations would be minor but snow was falling and sticking Monday morning across Capitol Hill and parts of Seattle. There were no immediate reports of bus changes or school closures.

The National Weather Service says the snow should change to rain later this morning but we should be ready for pockets of snowfall over the coming night and morning:

Snow levels will remain rather low (below 500 feet across
most areas from Seattle northward Monday morning and again late  tonight and Tuesday morning – and around 1000 feet during the  afternoon and evening hours). But to complicate things, heavier  showers will locally lower the snow level and showers may contain  small hail, if not snow. Snow in the lowlands, if it occurs, is  not expected to accumulate as near-surface temperatures during  the precipitation remains above freezing. But, heavier showers can have a way of giving a local accumulation that is impossible to pinpoint beyond an hour or two.

There has been no update yet from Seattle Public Schools. Parents are probably keeping a close watch for any delays or closures as kids are slated to return to school after the district’s mid-winter break.

UPDATE 3:50 PM: #THUNDERSNOW. One of those unpredictable pockets produced a few bolts of lightning, hail, and fluffy snowflakes in miserable, cold, wet mix that is expected to continue through the already mangled evening commute. Meanwhile, we’re getting reports of vehicles stuck on some of Capitol Hill’s slopes including Pine at 14th, and Madison at 19th.

Spinning wheels on Capitol Hill ❄️#ithinkican

A post shared by Kris Knowles (@kris92086) on

Visitors say goodbye, for now, to Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum


As Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum welcomes hundreds of visitors this weekend for a last round of free tours before closing its doors to make ready for a multiyear construction project, none will know exactly when the park’s cultural center will reopen and what shape a planned overhaul and expansion to the 84-year-old building will take.

Seattle Asian Art Museum closing weekend open house

As visitors get a last chance to enjoy Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi, or Terratopia: The Chinese Landscape in Painting and Film, and Ai Weiwei: Colored Vases, officials have yet to work out a perspective that moves the project forward. Continue reading

CHS History | Capitol Hill quake readiness, Marion Apartments demolition, R Place fights red tape

Screen-Shot-2015-11-06-at-4.10.39-PMHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:



15 years after Nisqually, some things you should know about an earthquake on Capitol Hill

City Council may decide killing Pronto is best way to save bike sharing in Seattle — UPDATE: Pronto not dead yet

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Last chance to submit your $90K District 3 parks & streets idea

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D3, bringing up the rear

Seattle has turned to its citizens to decide how $2,000,000 in street and parks projects should be divvied up around the city — and District 3, your district, has been relatively quiet.

You have another day to change that. Your deadline is Sunday, February 26th.

Of the more than 600 ideas submitted this month for sidewalk repairs, new crossings, speed humps, curb bulbs, park benches and tables, traffic circles, and sidewalk designs in the Your Voice, Your Choice Parks & Streets process, District 3 representing Capitol Hill, First Hill, Montlake, Madison Valley and Madison Park, part of Eastlake, and the Central District was bringing up the rear with around 8.3% of the submissions as of Saturday morning. You can see the latest overall tallies here. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | The how, when, and why of the Hill’s birdsong


Male and female Marsh Wrens look alike, but when I find one singing along Portage Bay, it’s undoubtedly a male.

Despite knowing it happens annually, I’m always surprised when I hear birds begin to sing every year. I spend most of my days outside and I wake up early, so I notice subtle changes in the seasons acutely, and my ears are always pricked for avian voices. That’s how I detect many of the birds I watch. As a result, I noted that within the last week, more birds have been singing than a week earlier.

As days lengthen in the temperate world most organisms have physiological reactions, and birds are no different. One result is that male birds’ testes swell, and increased testosterone expands song volume and frequency. Many resident birds sing year round; I hear Song Sparrows and Pacific Wrens regularly throughout winter. But, when the daylength broadens, birds ramp up the energy they put into singing. The other morning in the vicinity of 17th and Roy I counted six species singing, not an impressive number. However, four out of the six I hadn’t heard since last summer.

Why do birds sing? Overall it’s a pretty simple answer. Birds generally sing either to impress the opposite sex or defend a territory. In the vast majority of cases, if you hear birdsong the vocalist is going to be a male bird.    Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Feb 2017 Seattle with Leica M6 MS-Optics Apoqualia-G 28mm and Mamiya 7ii

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 34,000 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. Continue reading