First Hill Streetcar — ‘The start date is still not fixed’

It’s getting to the point where updates on when the First Hill Streetcar won’t start service are about as exciting as watching videos of the First Hill Streetcar being tested.

CHS stands undeterred.

“The start date is still not fixed as we need the manufacturer to complete this iterative process of testing and fine-tuning to safety-certify the vehicles before we can finalize our start-up activities,” read the last of three bullet points included in Scott Kubly’s streetcar portion of the SDOT director’s monthly status report delivered to the City Council’s transportation committee Tuesday morning.

“All streetcars for the First Hill Line have now been delivered, and the manufacturer is targeting the end of July for substantial completion of two cars that are still in final assembly here in Seattle,” bullet point one informs us. Friday is the 31st so workers at the line’s International District maintenance facility will be busy.

According to Kubly’s update, all that remains before service can begin on the ten-stop, 2.5-mile streetcar line from S Jackson and Occidental to Broadway and Denny Way connecting Pioneer Square, the ID, Little Saigon, First Hill and Capitol Hill is…. testing. “The critical path for the start of service is now the commissioning and testing process for the vehicles,” bullet point two said. Continue reading

Central Co-op teams up to give shoppers AmazonFresh alternative

Downside: No samples :( (Image: Central Co-op)

Downside: No samples :( (Image: Central Co-op)

On Capitol Hill where Amazon code bros have “ruined our gayborhood,” the local co-operative grocery store will now give busy shoppers an alternative to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s popular AmazonFresh service.

“We are excited to be partnering with Instacart to offer delivery service to the Seattle area,” manager Wesley Barga of Central Co-op said in a press release from the app-driven shopping service. “We chose Instacart as a partner because its system is really user-friendly, and the company has a great team of people. We are thrilled that we can now make our unique product offering available to even more people every day.”

The service includes one-hour delivery from the Capitol Hill co-op to most of Seattle. Instacart costs $99 per year or non-member customers can pay $5.99 per order for one hour delivery (for orders of more than $35), or $3.99 for two hour delivery. Jeff Bezos charges shoppers $299 a year to use his grocery delivery service.

But before you kick Seattle’s favorite libertarian titan of industry to the curb, consider the Instacart “shopper.” Continue reading

District 3 candidates differ on ways to reduce homelessness

When asked about the most important issues facing Council District 3, CHS readers have twice put homelessness near the top the list. Focus on the issue is well deserved: There has been a 21% increase in King County’s reported homeless population this year. The number of people camping along I-5 is also believed to be on the rise.

One comment in response to the CHS Council District 3 candidate forum earlier this month drew considerable attention for laying out solutions for addressing homelessness, specifically in Cal Anderson Park. But as many who work day-to-day on the issue will say, simple answers are few and far between.

“Causes for rise in homelessness in Seattle and in the nation at large are complicated and difficult to pinpoint,” said Katherine Jolly, spokesperson for the city’s Human Services Department. “In Seattle, the cost of housing has not kept pace with wages, this combined the with effects of the dismantling of mental health and substance abuse systems over the past 30 years contribute to the increases in homelessness. Any solution to the homelessness crisis in Seattle must take these issues into account.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Council | Change and homelessness

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The newly invigorated Capitol Hill Community Council officers wanted to take a different approach to our summer programming. This month, we’re asking you to help us raise money to provide much needed items for the people experiencing homelessness in our community. We’re also inviting local homelessness experts and service providers to present critical information, ways we can help, advocacy efforts, and the work still needed from a grassroots level to adequately address homelessness in our neighborhood and city. DONATE HERE

On July 30th, the Capitol Hill Community Council will use the money raised to pay for the supplies and items most requested by area homeless shelters/service providers. At the July 30th meeting, we’ll put together packs to give to the people most in need while listening to guests from DESC, YouthCare, Mary’s Place, Urban Rest Stop, and Chief Seattle Club.

Capitol Hill Community Council July Meeting
Thursday, July 30th — 6:30 PM — Cal Anderson Shelterhouse

A community is not a monument to individual preferences. It is a collective and living organism.

When I was 5 years old I remember attending my cousin/godfather’s high school graduation on the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana. Watching him walk across that stage into a world unknown scared me, causing me to cry as I couldn’t reconcile the fear and sadness of change.

At such a young age, it was difficult to physically imagine what life would look like for him, for his relationship with his parents, or for our relationship; his graduation felt more like a funeral.

I often reflect on that memory and my feelings about change. Change is intimidating because it challenges the ego in its affirmation of our mortality; they don’t have funerals for change. We find comfort in the idea that in death, though we no longer are physically part of community, our story might live on after we’re gone. We hope that the way we made people feel, the joyful memories created, and our service to each other – components of what it takes to create a legend — might be applied to us. Continue reading

Full Tilt bringing punk rock ice cream pop shop with a spin to Capitol Hill

Punk rock ice cream arcade purveyor Full Tilt is coming to Capitol Hill. A new shop dedicated to Full Tilt’s nearly legendary, long in the offing ice cream bars is planned to open mid-August in the 15th Ave E space where Capitol Hill Family Arcade has been entertaining Capitol Hill families ever since… a week or so ago.

“I have prepped my best games for this location,” Bobby Conover from 20XX Amusements is quoted as saying in the announcement sent to CHS. Full Tilt says the new space will have a larger arcade section than any of the other Full Tilt shops. The new store will feature about 20 arcade and pinball machines, according to the announcement.

“I wanted to use this location to focus more on our ice cream bars and games,” Full Tilt’s Justin Cline said. “To make it a fun spot for families on the Hill.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Bobby Morris weekend sports report

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For the second year, organizers of two of the sportiest LGBTQ fundraisers of the summer put their events in the middle of the action around Capitol Hill Block Party over the weekend.

And a good time was had by all.

Saturday, the annual Jockstraps and Glitter kickball game played out on Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson to raise funds for the Seattle Quake rugby club and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Abbey of St. Joan.

Sunday, dignitaries were on hand for first pitch in the annual battle of Dykes vs. Drag Queens in the Seattle Bat ‘n’ Rouge softball game benefitting SASG. CHS reported earlier this summer on SASG’s capital campaign to fund a move from their longtime home at 17th and Thomas.You can learn more and give at sasgcc.org.

View of the Field, Bat n' Rouge 2015 (1)Team Drag Queen (4)

Low rivers, high temperatures put Seattle in ‘advisory’ water warning phase

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 10.26.20 AMIt fits in with this “End of Days” theme around Seattle right now. Seattle Public Utilities has announced the city has been put in a preliminary “advisory” phase of rapidly declining water levels due to low rivers and high temperatures:

The first stage in each city’s response plan is “advisory.” It’s issued when utilities believe a potential water supply problem may exist.  During this time Everett, Seattle and Tacoma are asking customers to carefully manage their water use and make sure they are not wasting water.

“If conditions worsen, each city may move to the ‘voluntary’ phase of water shortage response and ask customers to reduce the amount of water they normally use each day,” according to the announcement from SPU and utilities in Everett and Tacoma.

The cities are making operational changes and activating supplementary water supplies “in an effort to stretch their water supplies as far as possible.”

Officials included tips for reducing water usage in the announcement:

· Watering early or late: Water before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m., which reduces evaporation.

· Watering deeply, but infrequently: It’s better to have one or two deep waterings, rather than several shallow waterings.

· Fixing leaks: Fix obvious indoor and outdoor leaks such as at faucets, hose bibs and sprinkler spray heads. Check for less obvious leaks such as silent toilet leaks. Put several drops of food coloring in your toilet tank; after 10 minutes if you have color in the toilet bowl, you have a flapper leak.

· Washing vehicles wisely: Wash your vehicle(s) at locations that recycle their water.

· Using a broom, not a hose: Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clean sidewalks, driveways and patios.

· Washing full loads: Wait until your clothes washer and dishwasher are full before starting.

“Everett, Seattle and Tacoma are all fortunate to have robust water supplies that allow the water utilities to meet customer needs for water and contribute to healthy fish populations,” the announcement says. “Available supplies this year have declined more quickly than is typical.”

With ‘the big one’ looming, Capitol Hill neighborhood preparedness lags

The recent New Yorker article about how “toast” the Pacific Northwest will be after the big one hits wasn’t exactly earth shattering news in Seattle. Some were even quick to point out that the Cascadia Fault earthquake fretted about in the article isn’t even the worse earthquake scenario, as a Seattle Fault earthquake may pose a far greater risk.

Still, it was a chilling reminder of the geological forces beneath the city’s surface, as well as the importance of community emergency preparedness. In many ways, Capitol Hill has been better prepared than it stands today.

In June, the group Capitol Hill Prepares announced it would dissolving its earthquake preparedness activities as a city-identified “Hub” and shutting down its website and social media accounts, which were the most active in the neighborhood. In a message announcing the group’s suspension, organizers Karin Baer and Jessica Coleman encouraged residents to continue to “plan for emergencies, to develop community self sufficiency, and to coordinate a way to communicate in times of disaster or emergency when normal communication means are unavailable.”

Neighborhood Hubs and Seattle Neighborhood’s Activly Prepare groups are intended to be the main units of organizing emergency preparedness in the city, developed by the Office of Emergency Management. Hubs are organized around pre-determined locations where neighbors agree to meet to share information and resources. SNAP groups are typically at the block level and lead by a person who’s taken the city’s SNAP training — oftentimes a block watch captain. The idea is to practice how to divvy up responsibilities and conduct tasks in an emergency situation so that residents can react quicker when the time comes for the real thing.

Currently Capitol Hill has no active Hubs or SNAP groups mostly due to a lack of involvement, according to OEM’s community planning organizer Debbie Goetz. There were three Hub locations active on Capitol Hill according to the volunteer run Hub map — Cal Anderson Park, Volunteer Park, and Miller Playfield — but there are no longer groups actively associated with the sites after volunteers with Capitol Hill Prepares stepped down. Additionally, only two people have identified themselves as SNAP organizers in the neighborhood, according to the city’s map. Continue reading

Woman seriously injured in Pine/Belmont bicycle crash

A cyclist was hospitalized with life threatening injuries Monday morning following a crash near Belmont Ave and E Pine, according to Seattle Police. Medics were called to the scene at 4:39 AM and the adult female was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

Police arrived at the scene to find the rider down and unconscious after the incident was reported to 911. The rider suffered serious head injuries after crashing into a building on the northwest corner of the intersection. According to SPD, it did not appear the woman was struck by a car. “The bicyclist was riding westbound on E Pine St attempting to make a right turn on Belmont Ave. She failed to negotiate the turn and ended up colliding with a building,” a report from SPD on the incident said.

A Seattle Fire spokesperson tells CHS the victim is an adult woman who was transported to the hospital in critical condition. A hospital spokesperson confirmed that the woman was in critical condition this morning but could not provide additional information.

Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad were working the Capitol Hill scene, which was cleared around 7 AM.

Capitol Hill Block Party 2015: Day Three Open Thread

Images from Day Two 

We’ll start Day Three with a look back at the late night action of Day Two at Capitol Hill Block Party when the streets around E Pike looked a little like the coming pedestrian zone pilot had already started.

Capitol Hill Block Party 2015 Open Threads: Day One | Day Two | More photos!

Block Party organizers are hoping to put more feet on the streets Sunday. Tickets for the day headlined by electric folk rocker Father John Misty are being sold for $35 with a “lastchance35″ promotional code.

Day Three is forecasted to be the wettest of the three-day festival with predictions of showers starting in the afternoon and continuing into evening. Temperatures will stay around 70 F, however, so it will pretty much be a warm shower. After three days of loving music, Pike/Pine could use a bath. Continue reading