Kenton Apartments tenants say they’re facing another Capitol Hill ‘economic eviction’

(Image: Milestone Tenants Fight Back)

A group of tenants is hoping to organize against the new owners of the 1926-built Capitol Hill brick apartment building they call home and fight back against what they say is an “economic eviction” underway on 16th Ave E.

“Tenants have been here as long as 11 years and we’re invested in staying in our homes in a way that is affordable and sustainable,” the Milestone Tenants Fight Back group writes. “We know the only way to do this is through our collective action and with the support of our broader community. In other words, we want to stay and fight!”

According to King County records, a company operated by Milestone Properties closed its purchase of the Kenton Apartments for $4.6 million in late January. The owner and manager of apartments in Seattle’s University District, Queen Anne, Greenwood, Interbay, Capitol Hill, Fremont, and Wallingford neighborhoods purchased the 300-block 16th Ave E property from its longtime family owners. Continue reading

Ethnic studies leader Hagopian says losing teaching position at Garfield High

Jesse Hagopian, the Garfield High teacher who has led the way in creating an ethnic studies program across the Seattle Public Schools district, is losing his teaching position for next year’s 2019-2020 school year due to budget cuts based on expected lower enrollment at the Central District school.

“I have been displaced from my second home, Garfield High School—the school I went to as a (student) and have taught at for almost a decade,” Hagopian writes in an update posted over the weekend.” With budget cuts and under enrollment—due largely to families being pushed out of Seattle because they can no longer afford to live here—some 13 teachers are being displaced from my school.” Continue reading

Aoki Sushi, under new owner, saying hello — again — on Broadway

Hitoshi Nishitani has retired and his Broadway sushi bar did, indeed, close after 33 years of business. But Aoki Sushi wasn’t saying goodbye, it turns out.

Reopening under new management, Aoki is being reborn and putting the old sushi bar at 621 Broadway E to the same use. The new owner is a company registered to an Alex Bae but we don’t know any more than that.

Aoki’s revival along with longtime HaNa and newcomers like Noren keeps Capitol Hill in the $ to $$ sushi game as $$$ and $$$$ options increase.

Meanwhile paperwork is also flying down the street at the another Broadway oldtimer. Jai Thai has a new ownership structure, CHS is told, but the same people are involved. The owner remains founder Duangjit Alberts, according to state corporation filings.

With city nixing plan for car charging station on Broadway, extended bikeway still no closer to reality

(Image: Seattle Bike Blog)

City officials are backing off the plan to add a new electric vehicle charging station to Broadway outside Capitol Hill Station that would have kinked up any future plans for extending the Broadway bikeway. Here — we’ll let Seattle Bike Blog and its infographic goodness tell you the news:

In an email to people who submitted feedback on the plan, the agency cited public concerns about the bike lane (and increased costs related to relocation) as primary reasons for the change. As Seattle Bike Blog and many others noted, the presence of a car charger would likely serve as an additional barrier to a sorely-needed bike lane extension on Broadway. Moving the charger if/when a bike lane is completed would also cost City Light unnecessary expenses.

In its update, Seattle City Light said it heard three priorities from feedback on the proposal:

  • There is a preference for the City of Seattle to focus on transit, pedestrian, and biking options for this intersection.
  • Installing the EV chargers in a location where the community desires a protected bike lane extension would create a hurdle for the community’s continued appeal for the protected bike lane extension.
  • Installing the EV chargers in a location where future uses possibly include a protected bike lane or a loading/unloading zone could result in unnecessary expenses for City Light.

In selecting the location, City Light points out that extending Broadway’s protected bike lane was not included in the Seattle Department of Transportation’s six-year project list.

Seattle City Light could choose a new location for a Capitol Hill charging station. “If we find a feasible site in the Capitol Hill area, we will engage the community and stakeholders again,” City Light says. Continue reading

‘Replanting’ — Liberty Bank Building’s opening hoped to be new start in the Central District

More than 100 new affordable homes — and the start of what many hope will be a wave of equitable development across the Central District — are now full of life in the Liberty Bank Building. The development led by nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing and community development group Africatown celebrated with a ribbon cutting, party, and tours Saturday at 24th and Union.

“This neighborhood and this street means so much to me,” building contractor, neighborhood activist, and, now, Liberty Bank Building resident Ted Evans said. “It’s just surreal to be able to live here and raise my son and be part of this redevelopment and being part of this creation that we’re starting, you know, to bring it back home. This is where I started — I was born here.”

“There is power here,” Evans said. Continue reading

Seattle marks first commute without buses in downtown Transit Tunnel

Bus riders downtown might be searching for new stops and light rail passengers to and from Capitol Hill should have a smoother, maybe even quicker go of it. Monday morning marked the first commute through Seattle with buses kicked out of the downtown transit tunnel.

City officials are calling it a second chapter of the “Seattle Squeeze” following Seattle’s weeks without SR-99 in chapter one — a story that turned out to be a little overdone.

Sound Transit says the booting of the buses as necessary as the Washington State Convention Center expansion project will soon remove the northbound access point for buses at the former Convention Place Station and the agency needs to update the older downtown Seattle stations to prepare for expansion to Northgate in 2021 and the opening of the Blue Line to the Eastside in 2023.

SDOT has posted about the changes on Seattle surface streets to accommodate the increased bus activity here.

Metro and Sound Transit say the change will have immediate benefits for light rail riders, “enabling reliable six-minute peak hour headways, eliminating significant service disruptions that occur under joint operations.”

“Light rail service frequencies will increase in future years as the system expands,” officials promise.

You can learn more about the Metro service changes and tunnel transition plans here.

Seattle internet access study: Nearly universal access but more should be paying less

Cable Guy and Can Guy

With reporting by SCC Insight

A new report published by the City of Seattle shows that home internet access has become nearly universal, though some disparities remain.

The study, which is the fifth in a longitudinal series for the city, is actually a model for how to do this kind of survey work. Nearly 50,000 invitations to complete a survey were sent out, with specific outreach to low-income households, Seattle Public Schools parents, and even “tiny house village” residents. 4,315 responses were received, which were then tallied and re-weighted to match the overall demographic and geographic distribution of the city.

So what are the big take-aways?

  • Overall, access to the Internet is nearly universal in Seattle. That has important implications for making essential city services available over the Internet. It’s particularly good and important news for Seattle’s kids. However, the “digital divide” hasn’t gone away entirely; it’s just become shades of grey instead of a black-and-white question of whether someone does or does not have access. Continue reading

Hakeem remembered — Family identifies 21-year-old gunned down in Cal Anderson — UPDATE

Family says the young man who died in Wednesday night’s shooting in Cal Anderson was trying to break up a fight when he was gunned down in the middle of the busy park.

A family member identified the victim for CHS as 21-year-old Hakeem Talley. The family is seeking donations to help defray funeral and burial costs. The victim also leaves behind a young child. UPDATE: The King County Medical identifies the victim as Hakeem Salahud-din. He had recently been released from jail after serving time for a sentence in a domestic violence case when he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm. CHS has asked for clarification from the family regarding their identification of the victim. Continue reading

The King County election nobody* has heard about

You probably still have time to vote in a King County election that pretty much nobody has heard about.

The King County Conservation District works “directly with private landowners to care for the land and resources” that helps “farmers and other landowners voluntarily preserve and enhance our natural resources through cost-sharing, education and technical assistance.”

The district has an open seat with six candidates but to vote, you’ll need to request a ballot and have it postmarked by March 29th. King County voters can do that here.

Why bother? Take it away, King County Democrats:

The last few years have reinforced that we have to be engaged in every election, at every level. Local elections have a substantial impact on our daily lives. This is also where we build the bench of our future leaders. Let’s show ’em that Democrats vote every year, in every election!

Excellent work, citizen.

Tip of the farmer’s hat to The Stranger for letting us know about the election.