Smash Putt a ‘go’ at 23rd and Union

10387630_362316220623926_6016634163602990726_nA community plan to buy the property? Those involved say it’s a long shot while simpler changes like better lighting and more business activity have helped.

And Smash Putt mini-golf themed madhouse bar? That’s in the hole:

Limited Engagement Runs March 20th – July
Weekend evenings & Nights, 21+ with ID
1110 23rd Avenue (23rd & union st), Seattle for tickets ($10–20) and times
Smash Putt! Mega Miniature Golf Apocalypse returns to Seattle for an epic throwdown. Presenting devious devices with wicked robotic brains engineered by industrial-artists and hackers. Putt-putt like you’ve never played it, in a pop-up nightclub setting like Seattle‘s never seen. Inventive, devious, and full of surprises.
Enjoy ingenious fun with an earnest low brow sensibility. Launch and load cannons, survive an earth- quake, challenge a poppin’ lowrider, dodge real lasers, and frustrate your friends with dynamic, destruc- tive games galore. Put your balls on the line for an experience you won’t forget!
Starting March 20th, a limited engagement of mechanized mayhem comes to Seattle‘s Central District. This unique grown-up playground is the perfect place for a date night, guys’ night, girls’ night, pub crawl, office outing, or just plain apocalyptic competition among friends.
Smash Putt! offers VIP lounges, a top-shelf bar with hand-crafted cocktails, local personalities, live entertainment, and good old-fashioned fun. Now available for private parties and corporate team-building.

Also coming to Capitol Hill’s underground light rail station and tunnels in 2016: wireless service

IMG_3562-2The Sound Transit board is set to approve a contract on Thursday to add cell phone service inside its light rail tunnels and stations. The bad news: no more phone silence when your train goes underground.

Last year, the company Mobilitie was selected to build out the neutral host 4G LTE cell network (i.e., a multi-carrier network with data) to service all underground light rail stations and tunnels. Installation is expect to start in the coming months, but service won’t be available until mid-2016.

Under the proposed contract (PDF), Mobilitie would be responsible for funding, installing, and maintaining the cellular system. The company will also pay Sound Transit $7,500 a month and a one-time $250,000 payment when the University Link tunnel comes online. The company will profit by selling network access to cellular providers.

University Link light rail trains remain on track to start rolling through Capitol Hill Station by early next year. The University Link line will extend underground from downtown to connect with Capitol Hill and University District stations. Sound Transit began boring for the Northgate Link tunnel in November, which will add three more stations north of the University Station: U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate. As of last month, construction on the Capitol Hill Station was around 78% complete.

In addition to enhancing rider experience, Sound Transit anticipates cell service could be used for direct communication with passengers:

Installing wireless communications coverage will improve safety, security, and information opportunities for transit passengers travelling in the underground facilities. It will also create opportunities for additional communications methods and media for transit operations.

Meanwhile, the Sound Transit board is still evaluating proposals to develop the housing and retail properties surrounding the Broadway light rail station. The board is expected to announce the winning contractor(s) in early March.

Broadway bikeway bollard braces

Never mind the bollards (Image: @checkereddan via Twitter)

(Image: @checkereddan via Twitter)

From the start, there were problems with the artful blue plastic bollards supposedly protecting riders in the Broadway bikeway.

Tagging was less of an issue than how easily the protective elements were moved despite being filled with hundreds of pounds of sand.

After one of the more concentrated failures of the bollards last week, SDOT is now working on a plan to secure the needle and thread inspired bollards with large metal bracings.

A picture of the new braces was shared on Twitter by city traffic engineer Dongho Chang:B-u1PAxUsAAKPSuWe’ve asked SDOT for information on when the new braces will be installed and what it will cost.

In the meantime, the new Seattle Bike Map is out. Check it out, below. Continue reading

All Pilgrims ready to grow $200K Same Love Garden on Broadway


Next week, Broadway’s All Pilgrims will host a forum on anti-LGBTQ hate crime. It’s the kind of community role the venue often plays in the busy commercial core of Capitol Hill. The 1906-built house of worship is also ready to move forward with its new plan to create a different kind of community space — a Same Love Garden green space surrounding the Broadway at Republican church “that has been a leader in the recognition of the full acceptance of persons of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender identities.”

“With increased residential density on Capitol Hill, and the coming of light rail and trolley service to our neighborhood, All Pilgrims wants this garden to be a reflection of the character of our neighborhood and a place of celebration that will serve our growing community,” All Pilgrims pastor Greg Turk said in the announcement of a new fundraising campaign to help pay for the project.

All Pilgrims is seeking to raise $100,000 from the community to match the $100,000 it is putting into the project with a name inspired by the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song celebrating marriage equality. Part of the community campaign includes a $20,000 online giving goal — You can give here via Indiegogo:

We seek $100,000 from friends like you to match our own $100,000 investment to create a garden memorial to the success of the marriage equality movement and the hope it represents for positive social change. Continue reading

On the List | Magmafest, Northwest Regional Science Olympiad, Search for Meaning Book Festival, EastPAC, Langston Hughes party

Science Olympiad champs past (Image: CHS)

Science Olympiad champs past (Image: CHS)

February is done. It’s already time for March. The spanning weekend is full of things to do on and around Capitol Hill including the start of a month-long music fest, a spirituality and book festival, a community meeting on public safety, and a birthday celebration. Saturday, you can also stop by Seattle Central to check out the fun and competition at the Northwest Regional Science Olympiad Tournament.

Details on Magmafest, the Search for Meaning Book Festival, Thursday night’s EastPAC meeting, and the Langston Hughes Motown Birthday Bash are below. Continue reading

Blotter | Valentine’s brawl outside Rhino Room

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

  • Club fight: A female victim suffered a minor facial injury and a male victim was knocked unconscious in an assault reported late on Valentine’s outside the Rhino Room at 11th and Pine. We’re not sure exactly how to explain what played out but the report seems to describe an altercation between a group of women and two males that got turned up a notch when two more guys intervened and started throwing punches. Here’s how one victim reported the melee began:
    Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.14.45 PMRhino Room security described a scene when two new people showed up out of nowhere and started punching: Continue reading

Hundreds rally at Seattle U in union fight


(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Students, faculty, and staff walked out of Seattle University buildings Wednesday afternoon to support an ongoing effort by adjunct and part-time faculty to unionize.

The demonstration was part of the National Adjunct Walkout Day, and comes as some Seattle U non-tenured faculty members continue their fight with the university administration to form a union. The hour-long demonstration stretched along the university’s section of 12th Ave and ended with a rally on campus.

Speaking at the rally, council members Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata called on the Seattle U administration to increase wages for “contingent” faculty members, which make up about half of the faculty. “Many of the PhD’s who are adjuncts qualify for food stamps,” Sawant said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill chiropractic entrepreneurs hope new sports rehab clinic will keep E Olive Way running

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 11.43.18 AMBy Erika Sommer — UW News Lab/Special for CHS

The new Capitol Hill will have high performance sport trainers to help you achieve your physical best — and  Velocity Sports Rehab (conveniently within hobbling distance) for when you break down.

“Up here, a lot of people walk and run… and are into fitness and health. A lot of people don’t even use cars up here,” Velocity’s Jayson Yaplee said.

Yaplee and Michael Braccio are the co-owners and the primary chiropractors of the new rehabilitation clinic slated to be part of the newly completed Zephyr apartment building on E Olive Way. Unhealthily, they’ll neighbor the coming-soon boozy milkshake and sweets provider Hot Cakes when it opens its Capitol Hill location in the same building on the corner where B&O Espresso once stood. But, hey, there will soon be a new sports bar just up E Olive WayKessler’s plans to be open in time for March Madness.

If you pull something picking this year’s NCAA Championships pool, Velocity might be just what the doctor ordered. Continue reading

Barking dogs over developers: Why so many district candidates are City Hall newbies

Someday, all of this can be yours, candidate (Image:

Someday, all of this can be yours, candidate (Image:

In 2015, Seattle will hold the first non-citywide City Council election in more than a century, with seven of the nine seats on the council elected by district. 36 candidates are currently filed with the city clerk’s office, and nearly a third of the incumbents have already declined to run for reelection. So with the old guard seemingly stepping aside and the young Turks charging in, CHS asked various players in the city government: How will this change things?

Mike McGinn

Former mayor Mike McGinn — some old blood you probably remember

Best case scenario: the district system will make money less decisive in city politics. When all nine seats were elected at-large, former mayor Mike McGinn told CHS, little people didn’t stand a chance.

“Under the old system,” said McGinn, “the mayor and the city council all relied on the same traditional sources of political support, the big donors and the large endorsing organizations.”

With the smaller scale of district elections lowering campaigns’ price tag, dollar-spouting lobbyists could be less essential to candidates — and therefore less influential on those elected.

“Redistricting… created a new kind of accountability [to local communities],” candidate Jon Grant told CHS, “and new kind of platform for grassroots candidates to actually have a shot at challenging incumbents who are bankrolled by moneyed interests like developers.”

There also seems to be a growing force of potential big-time leaders focused on small-time problems.

“I think you’re gonna hear more about dogs barking, more about traffic congestion, more about, maybe [about] a crack house or something,” said retiring councilor Nick Licata. “I think the influence of developers will go down… because they’re probably the most active business constituent in the city.” Continue reading

Pike/Pine business owners bemoan ‘culture clash,’ construction impacts as Mayor Murray tours neighborhood

(Images: Bryan Cohen/CHS)

These days, most Capitol Hill business owners can point to at least two or three giant cranes above — and two or three construction projects directly impacting their business in some way. Neighborhood growth hasn’t come without growing pains. Mayor Ed Murray got an earful about those effects and the impact of the area’s growing nightlife economy from a handful of business owners during a little publicized Monday evening stroll through Pike/Pine.

The issues raised during the scheduled meet-and-greet probably won’t come as a surprise anyone living on Capitol Hill, but it gave business owners an opportunity to speak directly with the mayor on home turf. Continue reading

911 | Warrant operation in Central District brings SWAT to 27th Ave — UPDATE

Seattle Police and SWAT raided a residence near 27th and Marion Tuesday night as part of a warrant and gang unit operation.

Backed by the King County Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter above, the operation started around 8 PM. Police discussed some warrant details via radio as the operation was executed. Witnesses said multiple people were removed from the building and handcuffed in the street outside.

SPD has not yet confirmed any arrests and we do not yet know the details of the warrant or warrants being served at the address. There were no injuries reported during the operation. UPDATE: SPD confirmed the warrant operation but a spokesperson said there would be no additional information available tonight. UPDATE 2/25/2015: SPD said they expect to be able to provide more information on the operation later today. UPDATE x2: Police say the raid was the culmination of a two-month investigation. The report details three arrests — one 31-year-old man who police say tried to flee the area, and two women inside the home. Police say they also seized guns and drugs. The full report on the incident is below. Continue reading

Man injured in assault in front of Broadway Dick’s

(Image: Tim Durkan)

(Image: Tim Durkan)

A dispute reportedly involving Broadway panhandlers in front of Dick’s Drive-In sent a man to the hospital after he was reportedly attacked with a baseball bat. UPDATE 2/25/2015: As of commenter Waste of Space so helpfully points out, video recorded by a witness shows the suspect punch the victim but not strike him with the bat-like object he is carrying.

Police and a Seattle Fire medic unit responded to Broadway — with a news helicopter not far behind — as a large crowd gathered at the scene of the assault.

The victim in the attack was placed in a neck brace before being transported to the hospital. It was believed he suffered additional injuries when his head hit the pavement after witnesses said he was struck by the bat in the altercation. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening, according to responders at the scene.

Police searched the area and Cal Anderson for a man described as Native American and wearing a black and white jacket who was seen leaving the area with the bat after the attack. There were no immediate arrests.

Hollow Earth’s Magmafest has mission beyond the music in 2015

Hollow Earth's Jamie Fife (Images: Josh Kelety for CHS)

Hollow Earth’s Jamie Fife (Images: Josh Kelety for CHS)

2014's Magmafest included the Eiderdown Records Sound Salon in Hollow Earth's "specially" equipped studio (Image: Hollow Earth)

2014’s Magmafest included the Eiderdown Records Sound Salon in Hollow Earth’s “specially” equipped studio. There will be a second Eiderdown Sound Salon on March 14, 2015. (Image: Hollow Earth)

It’s time again for Magmafest, a month in the Central District of independent live music and arts organized and put on by the volunteer-run Hollow Earth. The 2015 edition of the festival slated to start up on March 1st with a two-part “warm-up” featuring a collage-making party (with Magma Soup) and then show with music and poetry.

But there’s a new, bigger, more expensive mission of this year’s fest.

The event comes as Hollow Earth Radio is easing into its recently acquired low power FM license from the FCC, and the opportunities, growth, and challenges that it has created. Specifically, raising a “ridiculous” figure to pay for an expensive new transmitter and antenna to broadcast Hollow Earth’s waves.

Carly Dunn, a volunteer coordinator at Hollow Earth who has been with the station for around two years, said that the energy around Magmafest has changed since getting the LPFM license.

“I think we’re definitely thinking about things like money now,” Dunn tells CHS. “Before it was like ‘yea, wouldn’t it be weird if we did this!?’ But now with shows I’m thinking ‘man, what can I do to get people out here, and giving and stuff’.” Continue reading

New streateries — parklets + street eateries — coming to Capitol Hill

(Image: Seattle Bike Blog)

(Image: Seattle Bike Blog)

Capitol Hill’s first parklet — and the first parklet in Seattle — is also slated to be one of its first streateries.

Montana owner Rachel Marshall confirmed to CHS that she is one of the first applicants for the latest twist in the City of Seattle’s parklet program allowing local businesses to apply to change two or three street parking spaces into public patios and decks.

In announcing the city’s transition of its parklet program out of its preliminary phase, Seattle City Hall also announced a new streatery variation which will give restaurants, cafes, and bars a tighter connection with the facilities. Here’s how the Seattle Department of Transportation describes them:

Streateries are like parklets except the sponsoring restaurant or bar can operate the space as a sidewalk café, providing space exclusively for their customers during their open hours of business. When the bar or restaurant is closed, the space will function as a parklet, open to everyone.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Tom Douglas staying downtown after Capitol Hill debut

Tom Douglas sees his future across from the Paramount (Image: Runberg Architecture)

Tom Douglas sees his future across from the Paramount (Image: Runberg Architecture)

T-Doug in 1989 at the age of 31  (Image: Tom Douglas Restaurants)

T-Doug in 1989 at the age of 31 (Image: Tom Douglas Restaurants)

In a time when food+drink innovation is flourishing on Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s boldest restauranteurs made a relatively modest debut to the neighborhood scene. In December, Tom Douglas opened Serious Pie Pike inside the enormous Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Unlike many other Douglas ventures, the third location of the pizza and pie eatery has an unassuming presence — both inside and outside its Melrose Ave home.

“I don’t think big restaurants are the future, I think it’s small restaurants. Small restaurants are where it’s at,” said Douglas, who runs an empire of Seattle food and drink establishments that includes some rather large presences like Palace Kitchen and Brave Horse Tavern.

Douglas’s future — at least immediately — also won’t include Capitol Hill. But it won’t be far away. The prolific restauranteur has begun planning to open a project in the new apartment development across from the Paramount Theater. Currently moving forward under the working title the Carlile Room, Douglas and his camp are playing coy on the specifics. “We’re building out a really cool new restaurant,” a spokesperson for the company told CHS, refusing to spill anything about the concept or the menu. Continue reading