Mayor Murray set to unveil affordable housing legislation as Capitol Hill rent climb hasn’t quit

IMG_3672Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.35.31 PMIt’s time for the rubber to meet the road at City Hall where officials are aiming to create 20,000 new units of affordable housing in Seattle over the next decade. Mayor Ed Murray and Council member Mike O’Brien were set to announce new housing legislation Tuesday that will create 6,000 those units over ten years.

Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Committee released the “grand bargain” plan in July, which included a call for developers to build affordable housing into new buildings or pay a fee to fund it.

The O’Brien-led Select Committee on Housing Affordability started meeting in July on a work plan to tackle the linkage fee and inclusionary zoning measures. The measures to be unveiled Tuesday at First Hill’s Cascade Court Apartments, operated by the nonprofit Bellwether Housing, will be the first to start implementing the HALA recommendations. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Punk Rock Flea Market at the Punk Rock Post Office

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Never mind what you’re selling. It’s what you’re buying. Here is a look inside — and out — at this weekend’s Punk Rock Flea Market held inside the “Punk Rock Post Office” at 23rd and Union. We found pretty much everything you’d ever need for sale including Star Trek prayer candles and custom punk vests. We also encountered a disturbingly strong Donald Trump presence — though the little man seemed to have found his comeuppance thanks to a local food truck.

Even the block of the Central District the market was held on was up for grabs — or, at least, it was. “One of the last remaining large developable sites” in Seattle began its major real estate marketing push this summer. We’ve heard a rumor or two but there’s nothing to report, yet.

To keep track of what’s next for the flea market, check out punkrockfleamarketseattle.com. Lots more pictures, below. Continue reading

Most dangerous job on Capitol Hill? Working at the Broadway Market QFC

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This pepper spray incident at QFC was caught on camera (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

A war zone. That’s how Mathew Chandler describes working at the Broadway Market QFC. Nearly every day police are called to the Capitol Hill grocery store for reports of an assault or harassment. According to Chandler, most of the disturbances are caused by people who are intoxicated, mentally ill, or both and QFC staff are often the first to respond. And without off-duty cops around to help, those involved say it’s a dangerous situation for employees — and shoppers.

“There are a lot of the same locals that refuse to respect the store and refuse to stop coming in,” said Chandler, who works as a clerk and assistant manager. “They know we’re virtually powerless to do anything about it.”

Also for sale in front of QFC -- heroin, $8 (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

Also for sale in front of QFC — heroin, $8 (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

On August 12th, Chandler was about to clock out for the night when a man entered the store and began swearing at customers. When Chandler approached, the man threatened to beat him up. Eventually Chandler escorted the man out of the store.

Once outside, the man threatened to kill Chandler with a champagne bottle he was holding. According to police reports, Chandler warned the man he would mace him if he came any closer. When the man raised the bottle over his head, Chandler sprayed him.

“In the heat of the moment I just wanted to get the situation under control,” Chandler told CHS.

The man did back down and was arrested for harassment. However, due to a company policy against carrying mace while on the clock, Chandler says he was suspended for a week and had three days of pay withheld.

A QFC representative told CHS she could not comment on the incident, Chandler’s suspension, or the company’s policy regarding employees carrying pepper spray.

Chandler has been an employee with QFC for nearly nine years, mostly working in stores on the Eastside and in North Seattle. He said inadequate security in the store due to replacing off-duty police officers with private guards led him to carry mace that night. The QFC representative also declined to comment on the use of private security guards over off-duty officers. QFC is a subsidiary of Kroger.

The daily incidents are a constant stress on QFC workers, Chandler said

“For the most part we just try to console each other and be there for each other,” he said. “It’s emotionally and physically and mentally taxing.”

Stressful and occasionally violent situations aren’t uncommon for Chandler in his other job as a bouncer. He said he’s worked security for Neumos and for the Capitol Hill Block Party.

“Being a bouncer should not be less stressful than working at a goddamn grocery store,” he said.

And without better security, Chandler wants QFC to change its policy against employees carrying mace. “Something really bad could happen and at that point it could be too late,” he said. “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt or anyone get killed.”

UPDATE: To see if the situation is getting worse, we pulled East Precinct data for the block from 2014 through this August. So far, the monthly totals for total dispatches are on the same pace as 2014. We’ve also provided a breakdown of the various types of incidents SPD ultimately is called to respond to on the block.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.38.02 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.37.50 AM

What you’ll find on the UW end of light rail: Rainier Vista bridge in 2016, 240-foot tower in 2021

There are quite a few design reviews to come before this rendering of proposed development around Capitol Hill Station becomes real (Image: Gerding Edlen )

There are quite a few design reviews to come before this rendering of proposed development around Capitol Hill Station becomes real (Image: Gerding Edlen )

Here’s what we’re building above Capitol Hill Station:

Gerding’s plans call for 418 apartments with 38% of units to rent for below market rate for 12 years and 86 units designated for “permanent affordable housing.” A third of the units will have at least two bedrooms.

 

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Plans for a retail “bazaar” at Site A-North, called The Market Hall, envision “a mix of local retailers, served by booths of varying sizes to accommodate the start-up entrepreneur as well as more established specialty retailers.” Gerding says it plans to work closely with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce to select a retail broker and future tenants.

Here’s what the University of Washington wants to build above the station planned to open at Brooklyn and 43rd in 2021:

The UW doesn’t yet have firm plans for the site, according to a spokesman. But signs point toward an office tower up to 240 feet tall, if the city allows such height, following recommendations to the university from a panel of development experts.

Before all you urbanists fill with envy, remember the community-driven development plan for Capitol Hill Station did open the way for developers to build to 85 feet along Broadway in exchange for including affordable housing in the project.

In the meantime, here is what you’ll find when the extension goes into service in early 2016 on the other end of the light rail line at Husky Stadium:

With picturesque precision, the recently opened land bridge finally links the main UW campus with Husky Stadium, the UW Medical Center, and the rest of Montlake Triangle. Pedestrian and bicycle paths now border Rainier Vista itself, and newly planted trees frame the extended lawn to enhance the already breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier from Drumheller Fountain.

(Image: Sound Transit via Flickr)

(Image: Sound Transit via Flickr)

One shot in gunfight near Douglass-Truth Library

The victim in a reported shootout near the Douglass-Truth Library was rushed in a private vehicle to Swedish Cherry Hill Sunday afternoon.

A large medic response ensued at the hospital around 3:35 PM before transporting the victim to Harborview’s trauma center. We do not have information on the condition of the victim at this time.

The shooting followed 911 callers reporting more gunfire in the Central District. The person who was shot was reported down near 24th Ave and Yesler where three or four people were reported to be carrying the victim to a nearby vehicle.

Callers provided conflicting details on possible suspects as multiple vehicles and people rushed from the area to assist in transporting the victim to the hospital. According to police radio dispatches, the shooter was believed to be a young male seen walking with a group leaving the scene at 24th and Yesler. According to a witness account, multiple shooters were involved in the incident.

East Precinct and City Hall representatives met with community members last week at a neighborhood crime meeting to discuss recent gun violence. “There is no higher priority in the city for the chief than dealing with the gun violence that’s going on,” Capt. Paul McDonagh said. There has been a 23% increase in reports of shots fired this year in Seattle.

UPDATE: SPD says the victim and the main suspect “knew each other” — parse that statement how you will.

UPDATE 8:45 PM: In a second incident, 911 callers reported seeing two vehicles with occupants shooting at each near 18th and Jackson just after 8 PM. There were no reported victims but police found multiple vehicles parked in the area had been struck by gunfire. Police were collecting shell casings and evidence at the scene.

UPDATE 8/31/2015 9:35 AM: SPD says it will be posting a report on the incident later Monday.

UPDATE 8/31/2015 4:35 PM: SPD has posted a brief on the incident in a rundown of more gun-related activity in the city from the weekend:

Just before 3:30 PM Saturday, police received a report of a shooting at 24th Ave. and E. Yesler Way.

As officers drove to the scene, they received an update from witnesses that a motorist in a white SUV had loaded a wounded man into his vehicle and driven away from the scene.

The wounded 20-year-old man arrived at a Central District hospital a short time later, and officers learned he had been in a dispute with a group of young men at 24th and Yesler. The man reportedly exchanged shots with one of the men in the other group, and was struck. A ride-share driver, who was not involved in the incident, had apparently spotted the injured 20-year-old and stopped to take him to a hospital. The 20-year-old was reportedly in stable condition following the shooting. Detectives are investigating.

Talk of gun violence and race at East Precinct community meeting

Residents concerned by the recent uptick in violence crowded EastPAC’s August meeting Thursday night. “I have heard more shots this summer than I have in eight years,” one man said at the meeting, which was attended by officials from the Seattle Police Department and a representative from the City Attorney’s office.

East Precinct neighborhoods have seen a 13% increase in violent crime and a 23% increase in reports of shots fired this year. This bullet-fueled crime wave has brought murder to the Central District and Capitol Hill including the slaying of 23-year-old Ramon Mitchell outside the Baltic Room.

At Thursday’s meeting, residents demanded to know what SPD was doing to combat the crime that had made them feel unsafe in their homes and neighborhoods. “There is no higher priority in the city for the chief than dealing with the gun violence that’s going on,” said Capt. Paul McDonagh, commander of the East Precinct since April.

McDonagh said SPD has noticed an increased willingness among some area youth to “use firearms at will” and the department was struggling to solve crimes because of what he said is a “no snitching” culture on the streets. He said the department was trying to steer youth away from crime by supporting initiatives such as the Seattle Youth Summer Employment Program while also building relationships with federal anti-crime agencies such as the ATF to enhance its crime fighting abilities.

“We have to talk about race,” said Pamela Banks, Urban League CEO and current District 3 candidate. “That’s the conversation we have to have around this. We also have to talk about gentrification, and the impact it has on this community.” Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Canon opens, John T. Williams remembered, Yancy Noll murder

8445643494_4cc1fb8b55_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

Batten down your Honey Buckets — August windstorm whips through Capitol Hill

Thanks to J Lee in First Hill for the picture!

Thanks to J Lee in First Hill for the picture!

A freakish summer windstorm has left Seattle utility crews scrambling to clean up after falling trees and cracking branches.

Around Capitol Hill, power outages were limited to around 1,000 customers out of service around 1:15 PM — nearly 50,000 were out across the city. You can check the latest status from City Light here. The Hill’s first wave of outages has been mostly concentrated around the leafy Harvard-Belmont historic district.

Large trees were reported blown down near 15th and Prospect as well as in the 700 block of Boylston and near 24th and Boyer. Police are asking residents to stop calling 911 to report downed trees and wires:

Speaking of clean-up, the winds were strong enough to blow not one but two chemical toilets into the street on E Union. Gust of up to 29 MPH have been reported on Capitol Hill.

A high wind warning for the area from the National Weather Service is currently in effect through 6 PM.

Here’s a look at the devastation in Volunteer Park:

We all fall

A photo posted by Tatiana Gill (@rupeegroupie) on

UPDATE 8/30/2015 9:25 PM: Yikes! Power is still out for some on the Hill:

City Light is estimating remaining outages around Broadway will be taken care of by Monday afternoon.

Capitol Pill | Summer Blockbusters and Superheroes

Movie Night

We’ve asked Karyn Schwartz, owner of the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, to contribute to CHS about health and Hill living on a semi-regular basis. If you’re an expert and want to share with the community in a recurring CHS column, we’d like to hear from you.

I missed another entire season of summer movies, except for one breathtaking film entitled “Tangerine” which ended with one of the most poignant and heroic gestures of friendship I have ever seen depicted on a big screen. It made me think about some of the real heroes of my summer, including:

The woman who dressed in a formal dinner jacket, with cufflinks on her shirt and impeccably shined shoes to deliver a picnic, served on fine china, pressed linens and crystal water glasses, to a friend undergoing chemotherapy. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

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The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 28,000 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