Broadway’s Red Wall art coming down in preparation for opening of Capitol Hill Station

“Tim Marsden hands a section of Stefan Gruber’s artwork “Both Worlds” to an assistant. De-installation of artwork and dismantling of the red wall next to Cal Anderson Park continues over the next several weeks.” – (Images: Jennifer Babuca)

Piece by piece, Broadway’s Red Wall is finally coming down, we wrote last October. The comedown continues — and is picking up pace.

The giant wall surrounding the five-acre Capitol Hill Station site home to a well-regarded collection of public art projects is starting to be prepared for removal as construction on the light rail facility wraps up in preparation for a start of service in early 2016. Here is an update on one section of art recently removed from STart on Broadway’s Jennifer Babuca:

It’s a beautiful spring Thursday on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Tim Marsden of Sound Transit stands in the basket of a scissor lift, efficiently working an electrical screwdriver as artist Stefan Gruber looks on.  Starting on this sunny Thursday, the attached pieces of artwork and signage are being removed from the section of wall that faces Cal Anderson Park.
Continue reading

Police find teen robbery suspects, recover gun, stolen SUV in Broadway traffic stop

Two teenagers with shaky stories are being investigated for robbery after being pulled over in a stolen SUV early Tuesday morning by some alert East Precinct officers.

According to the SPD brief on the incident, below, officers spotted the vehicle traveling Broadway without its headlights on around 2 AM. After being stopped, police say one of the two 15-year-olds offered the unlikely alias “Robert Fleeks” but couldn’t produce a driver’s license and couldn’t recall his birthdate or middle name. The officers also spotted an airgun and a pistol on the floor of the vehicle.

Police took the driver into custody and he was booked into the Youth Service Center for auto theft and unlawful possession of a firearm. The passenger was released to family.

The full brief from SPD is below. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party lineup released under new brand celebrating Pike/Pine’s blocks

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 4.52.32 PMWith a renewed focus on their festival’s namesake neighborhood, Capitol Hill Block Party organizers announced on Tuesday the first batch of performers playing this year’s three-day music festival. Headliners for the July 24th-26th event will be TV on the Radio, RATATAT, and The Kills. Three-day passes ($118.67) go on sale starting at 9 AM 10th/Pike Standard Time.

“We made a concerted effort to book bands we felt best exemplified the spirit and history of the festival, putting an emphasis on indie rock and punk bands alongside genres like hip-hop and EDM,” said festival organizer Jason Lajeunesse in a statement. A list of all the performers announced Tuesday is below.

Discounted three-day passes also went on sale for $99 and will be available through Thursday. Later, three-day passes go for $125.

In years past, Lajeunesse made the lineup announcement on KEXP. We’re getting an early morning jump on the performers this year as the announcement was tied to an East Coast collaboration with Billboard. Continue reading

City Council Notes | Homeless camps plan passes, SPD staffing report, body cam update, preschool implementation plan

Here’s a look at this week’s Capitol Hill-centric highlights from the City Council’s chambers:

  • Encampments plan approved: Monday, the full Council approved two pieces of
    This map shows areas where the camps will be permitted --  an amendment to study expansion of the program also passed

    This map shows areas where the camps will be permitted — an amendment to study expansion of the program also passed

    legislation that will make outsized political statements if not major changes. Most importantly, the Council voted unanimously to approve a program creating space for 300 homeless people to camp at three encampments in locations to be determined across the city. Amendments to make the permit process renewable and to study the possibility of utilizing all zoning types including land owned by government entities in the program were passed. An amendment on the study amendment to restrict single family zones from the program failed. Meanwhile, the Council also voted to oppose Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Promotion Authority:
    City Council adopted a resolution today opposing Trade Promotion Authority, more commonly known as “fast track” consideration, of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional trade pact between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. The resolution also expresses the Council’s concerns about draft elements of the proposed agreement and expresses support for fair trade practices and agreements that protect American jobs, maintain enforceable labor and environmental standards, and preserve the sovereignty of America’s judicial system. Continue reading

CHS Pics | A Hugo House full of small press all-stars on Capitol Hill


(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

RJ Casey and Ann Casey of Yeti Press

RJ Casey and Ann Casey of Yeti Press

55 small press publishers, some producing as few as six works per year, some fewer, filled 11th Ave’s Hugo House Sunday afternoon for the APRIL Book Expo, the grand finale of the 2015 edition annual festival and one of many last bows for Hugo House as we know it before a planned, literary nonprofit-friendly redevelopment of the property.

During the week, CHS also stopped through a seance at the Sorrento Hotel and APRIL’s “offsite” with the Vignettes gallery. If you missed the event but are interested in learning more about the region’s small press publishers, here’s a roster of Sunday’s participants. You can learn more about the APRIL Festival at

More pictures below. Continue reading

Zaw chain ready to give Capitol Hill location a new spin — This time, they’ll cook your pizza

unnamed (40)

(Image: Zaw)

Give Zaw credit. It wouldn’t have been the first regional chain to flame out on Capitol Hill. But the new era pizza concept has persevered through years of slower than expected business at 15th and Pine and is moving forward with a new spin on things.

Zaw Baked quietly reopened at the top of Pike/Pine earlier this month:

We’re back! – but with a bit of a twist on our concept. In our new space, still on 15th and Pine, we have created a place to sit down, relax, and try a baked pizza (along with your favorite beer or wine).

With its Capitol Hill location opening back in 2008, the u-bake pizza start-up created by entrepreneurs Greg Waring and Greg Scott grew to 11 locations but never really caught on at the level the investors expected. An attempt to defray costs and jazz things up with an ice cream partner didn’t fly, either.

Now they’re giving it another go with Zaw Baked.

“Particularly in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, we had a lot of requests for a baked product on site,” a company spokesperson tells CHS. “And that particular space was so large that at one point we debated not renewing our lease, but we worked with the landlord to utilize the space for the new ‘Baked’ concept.”

You can now walk out of the 15th/Pine Zaw with a $12 whole or $7 half already baked pizza. Capitol Hill’s Zaw has also added seating including a 16-seat “community table” to provide “a sort of ‘third place’ for the neighborhood to sit down, enjoy a baked pizza with a cold beer or glass of wine and enjoy time with their friends.” You willl also find a TV just in case your friends alone won’t cut it. Meanwhile, u-bake-style pizzas will still be part of the offerings going back to the original Zaw concept.

The overhaul joins a project from the Still Liquor folks down on the other end of Pike/Pine in the CHS Capitol Hill pizza news file.

We’ll see if the changes can help Zaw stick around on not necessarily chain friendly Capitol Hill. You can learn more at

A parking plan to keep old Honda dealership active until Convention Center expansion

Over the weekend, Capitol Hill was crawling with convention goers thanks to the 2015 Emerald City Comicon. Many of the super hero-costumed attendees were unaware of the evil lurking below — a giant potential blank space between Capitol Hill and downtown after Honda of Seattle emptied its showroom and cleared its lots for a move to SoDo from its longtime Olive and Boren campus.

The former Honda of Seattle dealership and lots are planned to be part of the Washington Convention Center’s $1 billion expansion hoped to begin construction after a lengthy public process by 2017.

But fear not, super heroes and pedestrians, CHS is told the Honda properties will be put to use in the best way its new owners know possible over the next two years.

Parking. Continue reading

Seattle’s minimum wage law goes into effect — but first, a Capitol Hill victory lap


Council member Sawant stops inside a Capitol Hill Starbucks — but not for coffee (Image: CHS)

IMG_7434“Hip, hip, hooray! Seattle’s getting a raise!”

Around 100 people chanted the refrain while marching through Capitol Hill Saturday afternoon to celebrate the city’s new minimum wage law going into effect Wednesday.

City Council member Kshama Sawant joined labor leaders and activists to pass out informational flyers and balloons to workers inside the neighborhood’s chain businesses.

The march was a victory lap of sorts for $15 Now activists and a handful of workers who staged numerous rallies and marches around the neighborhood over the past year. Capitol Hill served as the backdrop to some of the most important events on the march to $15, from an early walkout at the Madison McDonald’s to Mayor Ed Murray enacting the minimum wage law. In between, there were symposiums, forums, studies, and countless speeches.

It will all come to a head Wednesday, when the minimum wage at Seattle employers with more than 500 employees will rise to $11 — an 18% jump. Employees at smaller companies with no tips and no medical benefits will also have a $11/hour floor. Small employers of tipped workers and employers that provide medical benefits may pay a $10 minimum and make up the balance with credit for the tips. Continue reading

Police investigating E Pike group beating — UPDATE: SPD asks for help

Police are investigating after a man was beaten unconscious by a group in the middle of E Pike early Saturday morning.

The attack was described by a witness on Reddit:

Last night right around 2am on Pike and Boylston I saw a group of 4 or 5 dudes chase another guy into the street, throw him on the ground, kick him in the head, then stomp on his head. One of the assailants was pulled off of the victim while trying to steal his wallet. After speaking to the women the victim was with, it turned out that the group of guys had been sexually harassing the women, and when their male friend stepped in they beat him and tried to mug him. The police came very quickly and the dude was hauled off in an ambulance after coming to, but as far as I could see the perpetrators were not found.

Police and Seattle Fire were called to the intersection of Pike and Boylston early Saturday just after 2 AM to a report that a group was fighting and one man was down in the street. Police arrived to find the victim unconscious but breathing. He was taken to the hospital and recovered enough over the weekend to talk to KIRO about the attack.

Police were looking for a group of 10 to 12 black males reported by witnesses to have attacked the man and stole his phone. There were no immediate arrests.

Meanwhile, only minutes later, a man was reportedly stabbed with a needle in a separate incident at E Pike and 11th. There are no further details available on that assault at this time.

Earlier this month, more than 40 Pike/Pine businesses called on Mayor Ed Murray and SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole to help pay for increased foot and bike patrols in the popular nightlife area.

UPDATE 3/30/2015 11:15 AM: We’re told an update from SPD on the incident is planned for later today.

UPDATE x2: Here’s the update — you can provide information to detectives at (206) 684-5535.

Police Seek Leads In Saturday Robbery On Capitol Hill
Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on March 30, 2015 11:36 am
A man beaten and robbed by group of suspects on Capitol Hill early Saturday told officers he didn’t get a good look at his attackers, but police are hoping witnesses may be able to provide leads in the case.
The victim and two female friends were leaving a bar in the 700 of Pike Street around 2 AM when a large group of men began following them. The women told police the suspects repeatedly grabbed at them and said “I just want to hug you.”
When the victim told the group of men to leave his friends alone, they suspects punched the victim, knocked him to the ground, and began kicking and stomping on him.
The suspects rifled through the victim’s pockets for his wallet as he lay on the pavement, and then ran off eastbound on Pike Street.
A bystander flagged down officers, who found the unconscious victim and called for medics.
The victim regained consciousness, but he wasn’t able to provide police many details about the group of men who attacked him. Security guards from a nearby club told officers they had seen a group of 8-10 men assaulting the victim, and broke up the fight, but couldn’t give much of a description of the men, either.
Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.
Robbery detectives are investigating the case and asking anyone with information to call (206) 684+5535.

Pikes/Pines | Queens of spring: flowering trees around Capitol Hill

This week we welcome new CHS contributor John Chau to join Brendan McGarry in bringing you Pikes/Pines, our semi-regular look into the nature of Capitol Hill.

Spring has bloomed. With the mild winter this year, the gardens, parks, and parking strips around Capitol Hill have been filled with life and color again for several weeks already by plants in full flower.

Among the most spectacular and noticeable of these early spring bloomers are the trees. The most common and showy ones are generally either magnolias, which have large flowers with many petals, or members of the rose family. The rose family is a large and important one that can be easy to recognize if you remember that their flowers typically have five petals and many stamens. Three popular trees in this family in bloom now are the ornamental pears, flowering plums, and flowering cherries.

Ornamental pears
Ornamental pears, seen above, are among the first to flower. They generally have white flowers and green leaves that appear when the flowers start to fade. Most ornamental pears belong to one species, Pyrus calleryana, which is originally from Asia. They are commonly called Callery or Bradford pears. Continue reading