12th Ave community group votes for apartment development over city ‘pocket park’

Reverb-Spectrum-11th-And-AlderIn response to a condemnation order placed on a site owned by real estate firm Spectrum Development Solutions at 11th and Alder in order to build a new pocket park, the 12th Avenue Stewards community group has voted unanimously to rescind the order and allow the construction project to continue rather than begin design on a new public space.

Following the vote, Mayor Ed Murray officially withdrew the proposed condemnation order, representatives tell CHS.

“This issue is something that has been difficult for the group,” said Bill Zosel, vice-chair of the 12th Avenue Stewards told CHS in a statement on the vote. Continue reading

On the List | PAX Prime wizard pub crawl, Press Start art, East Precinct picnic, Seattle Asian Art Museum tours

PAX Prime, the emperor of gaming conventions, is at the Convention Center this weekend. PAX-ers typically bring their party uphill, so if you see costumes on the streets, that’s why. First up: Thursday evening’s 7th Annual Triwizard Drinking Competition at Linda’s, Barca, Auto Battery, Unicorn, and Grim’s. Tickets to participate are sold out so you can’t join in, but at least you are now forewarned.  More PAX-related off-site parties and events here. All are open to the public, no PAX pass needed.

Press Start III: Turbo Edition is the third annual game-themed art show opening Friday night at Ltd Gallery. The artist roster includes video game artists and – new this year – artists who are game fans. The opening party is all ages and has a DJ, free Jones soda, and adult beverages with ID.

east precinct
The annual Seattle Police Department East Precinct Picnic is in Cal Anderson Park this Saturday 1pm – 4 pm. The free family friendly event includes free food, raffle prizes, and games for kids. “The picnic provides a great opportunity for people to be introduced to the department in a relaxed, non-law enforcement environment, meet their local police officers, enjoy free food, entertainment and raffle prizes, and get information on how to get involved in preventing crime in their community.”

Balconies closes it’s run at Annex Theatre on Saturday, and Other Desert Cities continues at Eclectic Theater.

Japan DecoSeattle Asian Art Museum conducts public tours of the current exhibit Deco Japan on both Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am – 12:30pm. “Explore the diverse collections of art from Asian cultures across time and place at the Asian Art Museum. This tour focuses on highlights from both the museum’s collection as well as from Deco Japan: Shaping Art & Culture, 1920–1945, the special exhibition on view.” The tour is included with  museum admission ($5 – $7).

Tours are Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am and meet in the Fuller Garden Court.

Start your weekend early with Thursday’s Reading Comics in Public Day fun at Ada’s Technical Books:

Join Ada’s staff for a read-aloud-show-and-tell of our favorite comics with some delicious baked treats on the side.

Something to add? Let us know on the CHS Calendar — more listings below:

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Gilda’s Club painting Capitol Hill doors red, holding 5K walk/run

(Image: Gilda's Club)

(Image: Gilda’s Club)

A red bike and the red door at Gilda's Club (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

A red bike and the red door at Gilda’s Club (Image: Kate Clark via Flickr)

Andrea Morrison, the owner of E Pine running store Fleet Feet, wants everyone to know about Capitol Hill’s Gilda’s Club.

Mayor Ed Murray, organizers say, will also show his support for the nonprofit and the fight against cancer by turning the door of City Hall red on September 13th.

Gilda’s Club is a free, supportive community for people affected indirectly or directly by cancer. It is a national organization that has more than 20 chapters across the country. The Seattle club is located at Broadway and Union. The organization was founded in memory of comedienne Gilda Radner.

The club has 6,000 members across Washington and membership is free.

Gilda’s Club calls one of the most beautiful buildings on Broadway home, but organizers say not many in the neighborhood know who they are or what they do. Continue reading

Suspects threaten to shoot E Pine DJ, steal more than $3,000 in gear — UPDATE: Call for more foot patrols

The victim in an overnight hold-up outside the Oddfellows Building was robbed of more than $3,000 in DJ equipment, his music CDs, and cash, according to the SPD report on the incident.

According to the report, the DJ told police he was leaving the E Pine building around 2:30 AM Sunday when he was approached from behind by two suspects who threatened to shoot him and demanded his gear. The victim said he never saw a gun but was afraid and handed over his stuff to the suspects described only as two black males.

The victim told police he then ran to his car and drove home before reporting the crime later in the day.

The hold-up was part of a weekend plagued by a swarm of nighttime street robberies around Capitol Hill’s entertainment core.

UPDATE: In a letter to the mayor’s office obtained by CHS, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce earlier this month called for “dedicated Seattle Police Department foot patrols at the Broadway and Pike intersections on Friday and Saturday evenings.” East Precinct’s commander Capt. Pierre Davis told CHS earlier this month that foot patrols were being increased in Cal Anderson. While the push for foot patrols may help what has become an annual late-summer uptick in street crimes, the base number of officers on patrol in the precinct at any given time is probably even more important. While we have been unsuccessful in getting official numbers from SPD, a person with knowledge of the situation told CHS that a grand total of 12 officers were available to patrol the entirety of the East Precinct on a Friday night earlier this month. UPDATE: A department spokesperson said that night of a dozen officers on patrol in East Precinct isn’t far off a typical night. The spokesperson estimated around 15 officers are on duty at any one time in the area.

The chamber’s letter is below. Continue reading

5 reasons for Capitol Hill’s hate crime ‘spike’

Crosscut is the latest Seattle media outlet to take on hate crime on Capitol Hill:

It turns out he’s not alone. There is strong anecdotal evidence that anti-LGBTQ violence is rising in Capitol Hill, Seattle’s historically gay neighborhood.


The 2,000+ word report grabs what numbers are available – LGBTQ hate-crimes jumped from 6 in 2011 to 19 in 2012, she reports — and documents the most disturbing recent anecdotes like the Neighbours arson case and the Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young murders.

It also focuses on the July 2013 beating of Doug Hamilton on Pike:

Last July, he was walking with two female friends when a stranger, who had repeatedly asked the trio intrusive questions about their sexual orientations, punched him in the chest and underneath the chin.

When Hamilton, a 52-year-old gay man, was knocked to the ground at the corner of Minor and Pike, sustaining a concussion, it was still light outside.

At the time, CHS reported that Hamilton “spotted the perpetrator the next day sleeping in a doorway near the site of the attack.” Crosscut reports Hamilton declined to press charges against the homeless man.

Crosscut’s report searches for causes behind perceived increase and talks with organizers from public safety groups like Social Outreach Seattle. There’s no mention, by the way, of the Q-Patrol-styled Out Watch group’s efforts to keep the neighborhood’s streets safer. SPD officer Sina Ebinger’s work in the community, however, does receive a well-deserved shoutout.

In the end, Crosscut chalks the problem up to the “deweirding” of Capitol Hill.

Weird or not, here is what CHS has seen in covering the neighborhood. Continue reading

Capitol Hill design reviews: Four stories at 11th/Aloha, five on the slope of I-5 Shores

The Bellview will guard our western I-5 shores (Image: Nicholson Kovalchik)

Winter is coming. The Bellview will guard our western I-5 shores (Image: Nicholson Kovalchik)

Two Capitol Hill projects coming before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night share some characteristics peculiar to the neighborhood. Both will replace early 1900s-era wood frame houses. Both will be perched on parts of the Hill’s sloping grades.

748 11th Ave E

(Image: B9 Architects)

(Image: B9 Architects)

This four-story, 36-unit apartment building is destined for the gentle sloping curve of E Aloha at 11th Ave E  just down from Lowell Elementary where the old homes have stood for more than 100 years.

But neighbors are mostly concerned about the parking:

Hi, everyone.  You may have recently gotten a notice in the mail about a proposed development next door.  For those of you who didn’t get the notice, details can be found here: Continue reading

Central District says goodbye to legendary Catfish Corner

(Image: Catfish Corner)

(Image: Catfish Corner)

With an expensive judgement in a lawsuit brought by its MLK and Cherry landlord sealing the deal, a legendary Central District restaurant and community spot has shuttered.

Catfish Corner quietly closed earlier this month as the unlawful detainer case came to a close with the court ruling the Corner’s ownership owes more than $18,000 to building owners Cederstrand Rentals. A check of court records also shows a string of warrants for unpaid state taxes in recent years. Court documents indicate the space rented for around $1,800 a month.

The closure marks the end of 30 years of fried goodness and a black-owned business at the corner — and has many fans lamenting they didn’t get a last chance to say goodbye:

As a hub for information on the Black Community Catfish Corner will be missed by all for the Food and a gathering place.

NBA star Aaron Brooks enjoying some Smartar Tartar (Image: Catfish Corner)

NBA star Aaron Brooks enjoying some Smartar Tartar (Image: Catfish Corner)

Catfish Corner is owned by a company headed by the West family who have owned the business since the mid-2000s. The Go West company also produces Smartar Tartar

You’ll notice the difference in color. It’s not white with pickles. The texture is different because of all the other ingredients in it. And best of all, is the taste.

We’ve reached out to Go West and Smartar Tartar to learn more but have not yet heard back.

In the late ’90s, Catfish Corner founders Rosie and Woody Jackson sought to move the restaurant to 23rd and Jackson but were beat out by a little coffee company called Starbucks, according to the Seattle Times. A Kent Catfish Corner location lasted only a few years before shuttering in 2012.

There don’t appear to be any major overhauls lined up for the MLK and Cherry location known for its giant Martin Luther King, Jr. mural and we haven’t seen any permit activity that indicates a new tenant is ready to move in.

In the meantime, Catfish Corner fans are in mourning. “What are we gonna do now?,” one person lamented on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “I was raised on your fish. Why didn’t someone tell us so we could stock up? I am spinning right now.”

Stylists cut back, take over at E Pike’s Emerson Salon

_DSC0730Emerson Salon is changing ownership and downsizing come September. The salon located on E Pike just off Broadway will switch to self-employed stylists working in a common space under the Emerson banner.

“I want people to understand that we are a lot of individuals that are trying to work together for a common goal where we are all successful,” D’Arcy Harrison, one of the new owners, tells CHS.

Harrison and Lancer Forney are both stylists at Emerson Salon and are taking over ownership on the new lease. Emerson was founded by neighborhood entrepreneur and investor Alex Garcia. Garcia has seen his local investments dwindle with the Emerson changes and 2013′s closure of The Social on E Olive Way.

Harrison and Forney say they have been small business owners in the past and are determined to get it right this time. Both have participated in business training programs through the south Seattle non-profit Washington CASH.

Continue reading

Blotter | Another Capitol Hill mugging, SWAT called to 17th/Yesler home

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Harvard/Pike mugging: Only a few hours after our report on a surge of August street robberies around Capitol Hill, a man told police he was mugged by a group of three males near Harvard and Pike early Tuesday morning. According to SPD radio dispatches, it wasn’t clear if the suspect who took off with the victim’s stuff in the 1:45 AM attack grabbed his wallet, his iPhone or both. The victim could only provide a vague suspect description and there were no immediate arrests. Monday, CHS reported that August 2014 was shaping up to have the highest ever monthly total for reported robberies in the East Precinct beats that cover Capitol Hill. Even with the surge, the neighborhood is below 2013′s robbery and mugging pace. Tuesday morning’s mugging marks the 27th robbery reported on Capitol Hill this month.
  • 17th Ave S standoff: Police and SWAT officers surrounded a home near 17th Ave S and Yesler for hours overnight after a young man reportedly posted a picture of himself on Facebook with a gun to his head. Police were called to the area around 1:30 AM after the picture was posted and the 18-year-old’s family was unable to contact him inside his room in the house. A stand-off ensued through the night with police entering the home around 5 AM only to find the man dead inside in an apparent suicide. There were no further details on the incident at this time.
  • Bad drugs around Freeway Park: Sunday night, Seattle Police took the unusual step of warning its officers over East Precinct radio of what was suspected to be a batch of bad drugs causing overdoses around Freeway Park. Three overdoses were reported in the area involving possible symptoms of excited delirium. CHS does not have additional information on the condition of the overdose victims or what kinds of drugs were believed to be involved.

Capitol Hill food+drink | Cantinetta duo bringing El Correo to 12th Ave

Current home to several Capitol Hill microhousing residents, future home of El Correo (Image: CHS)

Current home to several Capitol Hill microhousing residents, future home of El Correo (Image: CHS)

Coinciding with its cascading waves of boom-like apartment development, Capitol Hill has also, you’re sure to have noticed, welcomed a continuing surge of new restaurant and bar investment. Many watch for harbingers of a bubble ready to pop. CHS watches other signs — like the long-anticipated arrivals of the city’s food and drink veterans on these hotly contested food+drink shores. While big players dealing into the neighborhood might encourage the bubble poppers, there are still successful Seattle restauranteurs apparently lining up to create their first venture on Capitol Hill.

Two of these partners have taken their route to Capitol Hill with a stop in Madison Valley — just to get acclimated, we’re sure. CHS has learned that Trevor Greenwood and Wade Moller, the duo behind Wallingford-born Cantinetta and the Madison Valley sibling Bar Cantinetta, are climbing onto Capitol Hill with a new project under construction on 12th Ave.

A project being called El Correo is being built in the 12th Ave microhousing development from Melrose Market developer Scott Shapiro under construction above the burial grounds for the old Capitol Hill Market. Continue reading

Big changes for Capitol Hill campus as Group Health babies making First Hill move

Little Lucas Douglas was Baby New Year to start 2014 at the Group Health Family Beginnings Birthing Center at 15th and Thomas (Image: Courtesy of Group Health)

Little Lucas Douglas was Baby New Year to start 2014 at the Group Health Family Beginnings Birthing Center at 15th and Thomas (Image: Courtesy of Group Health)

Nearly 2,000 residents landed just off 15th Ave E on Capitol Hill in 2013 — and none of them work at Amazon… yet. Part of the news in an announcement last week that Group Health was ending its affiliation with Virginia Mason and planning to partner up with Swedish is the end of an era at the Group Health Capitol Hill campus. Sometime in spring 2015, the last momma will give birth at Group Health’s 15th at Thomas campus.

Starting in 2016, Group Health patients will go to Swedish First Hill and Cherry Hill hospitals where they will be treated by Group Health. As part of the planned change, maternity services will transition to Swedish’s busy First Hill Birth Center.

Group Health officials say “patients’ access to services, including voluntary termination of pregnancy, ‘death with dignity’ services and access for gays and lesbians, will not be compromised by Swedish’s connection to Providence Health & Services, a Catholic health-care system,” the Seattle Times reports.

A Group Health spokesperson told CHS the Capitol Hill maternity facility welcomed more than 1,700 babies to the world in 2013 with a complimentary first breath of Capitol Hill air. Let’s hope a future dominated by First Hill babies is a good one.

Weekend mugging swarm has August shaping up as Capitol Hill’s most rob-biest month… ever

On a per capita basis, your odds for getting mugged on Capitol Hill probably peaked in the mid-90s but after a small swarm of street robberies around the Hill this weekend, August 2014 appears to be shaping up as the worst month in recent years for robbery in the East Precinct beats covering Capitol Hill.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 1.20.47 PM

This weekend pushed the month over the top with a roster of reports coming in:

  • 8/22 2:52 AM: Two males reportedly hit victim near Broadway Market QFC. Medics were declined. Victim lived nearby.
  • 8/23 1:32 AM: Victim found on sidewalk near Broadway/Pike, suspect last seen fleeing on the Harvard Market stairs. Suspects described only as “group of black males in their 20s.”
  • 8/23 1:55 AM: Report of fist fight at 11/Union turned out to be street robbery. Suspects ran northbound on 11th Ave described as three black males, all wearing beanies and shorts. Two adult male victims suffered head lacerations in the scuffle.
  • 8/23 3 AM: Suspect reportedly stole something from a female victim’s purse. She fell chasing the thief near 13th/Olive St. Her male counterpart told police he thought suspects fled to Cal Anderson. The perpetrator was described only as a “short, white male.”
  • 8/24 10:21 PM: E Pine near Harvard. Caller reported 10 people attempted a strong arm robbery, trying to take wallet out of victim’s hand and threatened him with knife but didn’t show. The group was described only as black males and female teens. The group was last seen leaving the area on Harvard.

Continue reading