‘History’ — 43rd District Democrats endorse ‘non-Democrat’ Sawant

Council member Mike O’Brien speaks in support of Kshama Sawant (Image: Vote Sawant)

In 2015, support for Kshama Sawant could only come in the form of not choosing her opponents. This time around, members of the 43rd District Democrats were able to give the Socialist Alternative incumbent their full backing. Sawant won the endorsement of the influential — if a bit wonky — political group Tuesday night garnering a surprising 69% of the vote. Continue reading

A movement leader and community leader want the D3 seat for City Council — Here’s how they got there

On the surface, there is nothing particularly remarkable about the YouTube video. The clip from November 29, 2011, hasn’t been viewed much more than 2,900 times. Like many other ‘flash mob’ videos from the era, the camera slightly shakes as five dancers, surrounded by Black Friday shoppers at Westlake Center and Mall, swells to nine and then to over 20 in a rehearsed group choreography to John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World To Change,” and Jessie J’s “Price Tag.”

If anything about the video stands out, it’s the chant “Occupy Seattle!” heard from the performers. What’s most remarkable however is what the video does not show: it captures one of the few times the worlds of Kshama Sawant and Egan Orion’s overlapped before this years’ election. Now both are vying for the same seat on the city council.

Orion, who provided production support to the Occupy Seattle Flash Mob (according to the YouTube video), was a “Flash Mob King” then, producing hundreds-strong ephemeral public dance performances in Seattle and across the country.

Though she was not involved with the video, at the time, Sawant, teaching economics at Seattle Central College, had emerged as one of the most prominent voices and organizers to emerge from Occupy Seattle, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protests against economic inequality.

Eight years on, the worlds of Orion and Sawant collide again. Both are running to represent District 3, which spans a wide area including Lake Washington-adjacent neighborhoods such as Madison Park, renter-heavy Capitol Hill, and the Central District, and part of the ID, on a City Council that will likely see historic turnover with seven of nine seats up for election. Sawant, who has served on the council for six years, is one of three council members up for reelection.

The city has changed immensely in the past eight years. Four — really, five —  mayors, a new democracy voucher program, a declaration of a homelessness state of emergency, accelerated gentrification and displacement, a repealed employee hours or “head” tax and the appearance of “Seattle Is Dying” later, the fault lines — between visions of what Seattle has (or should) become — have hardened.

Sawant, of course, is a socialist. Orion is billed as the more business-friendly candidate. Sawant’s somewhat uncomfortable talking about her personal life. Orion, when we meet him in Volunteer Park, offers up intimate details political candidates usually don’t disclose to a reporter. (Failures and heartbreak. A tequila-fueled spat in the streets of Mazatlán, Mexico. The name of the person he lost his virginity to.)

Born to two teachers in Auburn, Orion grew up a few blocks from Green River Community College, where he was one of the few kids who took part in its theater productions. As a closeted “theater gay” in “very white, very middle class” Auburn during the AIDS crisis, theater was a reprieve from bullying and a way to express himself outside of the confines of school. In high school, Orion ran Students Against Driving Drunk and led his school’s chapter of Students Opposed to Apartheid. For the MLK Day assembly, he invited then-mayor Norm Rice to his school and set up a U2 “Sunday Bloody Sunday” slideshow with music.  Continue reading

Threat clears Capitol Hill Station construction site

Workers filled the street as they were cleared from the construction site Tuesday morning (Images: CHS)

Seattle Police and King County’s Metro Police were searching the area and construction workers were sent home for the day after a bomb scare Tuesday morning at the mixed-use development construction site surrounding Capitol Hill Station.

A county spokesperson tells CHS that the Broadway light rail facility was also being searched and checked out clear. The facility appeared to remain in operation throughout the morning. Continue reading

Bauhaus and its ‘strong coffee’ will return to Capitol Hill with Harvard Ave E cafe

After finding its footing in Ballard, Bauhaus ready for Capitol Hill return (Image: Bauhaus)

Older and wiser, a legendary name in Capitol Hill coffee is preparing to return to the neighborhood.

Bauhaus, one of the earliest purveyors of Capitol Hill cafe coffee culture, is set to return to its birth neighborhood with a new project that will open in coming weeks on Harvard Ave E.

Smita Patel says she and significant other, Bauhaus founder Joel Radin will open the new Bauhaus in the 500-block Harvard Ave E cafe location recently left empty with the departure of Down Pour Coffee. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | View the new Volunteer Park Amphitheater Replacement design at Restoration Day in Volunteer Park

From Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation and Volunteer Park Trust invite the community to view the final design for the future Volunteer Park Amphitheater on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Fall Restoration Day event in Volunteer Park. Please join us at the Open House tent on the west edge of the park at E. Highland Drive. Come meet the design team, view the design and learn about the next steps for the project. Volunteer Park is located at 1245 15th Ave. E.

The amphitheater replacement design is based on outreach with the community, and input form the Friends of Seattle Olmsted Parks and the Landmarks Preservation Board. The new amphitheater will be fully accessible, have overhead weather protection for the performers and include public restrooms. Continue reading

With Microsoft set to take entire floor, big company workers at core of WeWork Capitol Hill strategy

(Image: Ankrom Moisan Architects)

No, Microsoft is not going to acquire WeWork and rename it Microsoft Office. But using WeWork’s coming Capitol Hill assets — and the global technology giant steering clear of longterm leases of its own — do appear to be part of the plan.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce has reported that the Redmond-based tech giant will lease an entire floor of the coming five-story Capitol Hill WeWork.  Continue reading

BIKES ON PIKE: ‘Huge for commuters or those not as comfortable on a bike’

(Images: Margo Vansynghel for CHS)

Even with a very rainy Sunday closing out the weekend, The Seattle Department of Transportation was able to put the finishing touches on the new bike lanes on Pike from downtown to Capitol Hill this weekend.

The new lanes, between Broadway and downtown, were mostly painted last weekend, and SDOT had been working to dot the I’s and cross the T’s last week, with the work “98%” done on Friday, said SDOT spokesperson Dan Anderson. Today, the bike lanes also have new stop bars, a new bike rack at Belmont and Pike, more reflectors and new parking signs designating loading zones.

The updated signage might be necessary. The new bike lane got off to a sputtering start last week, with Twitter users posting photos of cars and trucks parked in the bike lanes, including an SDOT vehicle and a delivery truck in front of sandwich shop Honey Hole. Continue reading

Seattle City Council ready to support Friday’s Climate Strike in Cal Anderson

(Image: CHS)

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant is bringing a resolution to the full City Council in support of students participating in Friday’s Seattle Climate Strike at Cal Anderson.

The resolution to be presented and voted on Monday afternoon will show “support of the youth-led September 20, 2019 Global Climate Strike” and urge “Seattle Public Schools to support its students’ right to assemble and participate in the Global Climate Strike.” It will also affirm that city employees “may request unpaid leave for a day of conscience,” according to the council summary of the planned resolution. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | The City of Seattle signed an Urban Bird Treaty so why are birds still bonking their heads on your home?

A male Varied Thrush killed by a window strike (all the photos of dead birds are from one troublesome, big windowed building). (Image: Brendan McGarry)

Have you ever walked or run into something unexpectedly, like a truck mirror or a sign-post you didn’t see? It’s unpleasant at best. I vividly remember walking out a sliding door at party to visit a keg, turning to go back in after filling my cup, only to collide face-first with the glass door conscientiously slid shut behind me. I got away with a bloody nose. A lot of birds in our mirror-finished built landscape aren’t so lucky (and can’t blame beers on the incident).

According to a study released in 2014, scientists at the Smithsonian and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, found that between 365 and 988 million birds are killed each year by collisions with buildings. While this range is large, even the conservative end is startling. With this mind, think if you’ve ever found a dead bird on the Hill? No doubt the majority of us have, at our home, work, or simply walking down the street.

I don’t bring this up to be alarmist, but because there are options available to reduce impacts, even on an individual level. Continue reading