After encampment backlash, mayor rolls out ‘Interim Action Plan’ on Seattle homelessness

It doesn't cost anything to keep your convictions

In the wake of intense backlash against proposals from the Seattle City Council earlier this month, Mayor Ed Murray took a quieter route to officially unveil his plan to change how the city sweeps encampments and what can be done in coming months to address homelessness in Seattle. In a late Friday announcement, the mayor said he remains committed to a long range overhaul of Seattle’s homelessness resources under his “Pathways Home” strategy but that short-term solutions are also needed.

“Pathways Home remains our long-term plan to transform the way the City invests in programs to address homelessness,” Murray said in the announcement sent to media headed into the weekend. “Today’s announcement, however, recognizes our need to bridge the gap as we still have over 3,000 people living unsheltered on our streets. We need to ensure we are providing safer alternatives for those living on our streets, increasing our outreach efforts, focusing on a more compassionate set of protocols when clean cleanups are necessary and offering trash and needle pickup services to address public health and safety issues.”

The interim plan, included in full at the bottom of this post, will include four new sanctioned encampments boosted by $900,000 in funding plus a new Seattle Navigation Center “to bring adults living outdoors into the Center and work to transition them to stable housing within 30 days.” Two of the sanctioned encampments will be Representatives from Murray’s office have said details on the locations of the encampments and the center will be released in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Spare the Change panel: Get to know your Capitol Hill homeless neighbors

Spare the Change attendees help assume care packages with donations for people homeless in the area (Images: CHS)

Spare the Change attendees help assume care packages with donations for people homeless in the area (Images: CHS)

Many Capitol Hill residents want to do something to help their homeless neighbors, but don’t know where to start or how different organizations are involved. Spare the Change, an open house and forum Thursday night on homelessness in the neighborhood, provided those with homes information and resources for helping those without.

Long-time Seattle resident Jean Fukuda, who moved to the Hill a few months ago, came to the forum to learn about what each organization represented there does and to find a volunteer opportunity to help those living on the streets.

“It’s just such a heartbreak to see people struggle so hard,” she told CHS.

Fukuda knows money is important for the organizations, but she said it doesn’t feel as meaningful as volunteering. She previously helped build five Habitat for Humanity houses and would like to do some hands-on work for the homeless whether it’s serving a meal or something else. Continue reading

Arrest caught on video in second night of Capitol Hill nightlife gunfire incidents

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-4-00-55-pmA second night of late night gunfire in Pike/Pine ended with an arrest on Broadway as police blocked in a suspect’s vehicle in front of sidewalks full of nightlife crowds.

Police rushed to the area around Harvard Ave for a second straight night — this time around 12:30 AM to reports of a man firing shots at Harvard and Pine and possibly in another incident in the Seattle Central parking lot. Officers found at least one shell casing at Pine. There were no reported injuries.

As police searched for the shooter, a vehicle associated with the suspect was spotted in a Broadway parking lot. Police moved in and blocked the car in the 1500 block of Broadway, ordering the occupants out at gunpoint in an arrest captured on video by not one but two different police video enthusiasts.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

The shooting incident was part of a second night of gunplay around the area’s busy bars and clubs. Early Friday morning, police rushed to the area around Harvard and Pike around 1:45 AM after a man was reported firing a gun. Officers found shell casings but the suspect was not located and there were no arrests.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

I Come in Peace

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 32,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Gentle giant Momo in Cal Anderson Park


Momo the Old English Shepherd was found hanging out with Brenda in Cal Anderson Park. This was Momo’s first time to Cal Anderson but he will probably be seen more often as he lives just a few blocks away. Brenda, originally from Mexico, now lives on Capitol Hill and adopted her neighbor’s dog because he was too big for a new apartment. Despite Momo’s size, he’s a little timid, so be super sweet when you say hello.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill. Are you a Capitol Hill Pet we should know about? Drop us a line.

Born of a much-loved Capitol Hill grocery, Rainbow Natural Remedies marks 20 years of business on 15th Ave E

For those trying to cure a cold or reduce stress Rainbow Natural Remedies’ 20th-anniversary celebration might be their cup of tea. This weekend, owners Ross and Patricia Kling are giving Rainbow patrons free samples, demonstrations, readings and raffles.

While this might be the Rainbow Natural Remedies 20th birthday, its history stretches back even further to when the Klings first opened Rainbow Grocery in the 1980s, making it one of Seattle’s first natural food markets.

In 1996, the couple was presented with the opportunity to do more.

“At that time customers were coming in and asking our grocery stockers important health questions,” Ross Kling said. “And the stockers didn’t have the knowledge and the pace of the grocery store was such that it wasn’t conducive to having that kind of conversation.” Continue reading

911 | Police investigate ‘last call’ gunfire at Harvard and Pike

Thanks to a CHS reader for this image of Friday morning's police response

Thanks to a CHS reader for this image of Friday morning’s police response

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

  • Pike/Harvard gunfire: Police found shell casings in the street but no victims following a “last call” gunfire incident early Friday morning. According to East Precinct radio dispatches and a security bulletin, police rushed to the area near the intersection of Pike and Harvard after multiple reports of gunshots around 1:45 AM as sidewalks in the area began to crowd with patrons exiting area bars and clubs. Witnesses outside 95 Slide reported seeing a male open fire in an incident possibly involving a vehicle just north of Pike on Harvard near the Harvard Market upper parking lot. The suspect, described only as a heavyset black male wearing a grey hoodie and dark jeans, was seen leaving the area walking east on E Pike but the man could not be located by police. A busy rush of police calls around the same time made for several active crime scenes and medical responses in the area including an assault suspect pinned down by security outside Q and a report of a fight involving an employee at the Unicorn but nobody was reported injured by the gunfire. In August, CHS reported on a string of “last call” shootings in the area including one in the Harvard Market parking lot in which a woman in her 20s survived being shot in the chest. The shopping center’s owners said they would work with the East Precinct to address safety concerns around the parking lot.


    (Image: Seattle Fire)

  • Montlake house fire: Seattle Fire battled a stubborn basement fire Thursday night in a two-story house on East Montlake Place E across from the Montlake Blvd Market near 520. Flames shot from the small house as firefighters struggled to control the blaze after arriving to the call just after 9:30 PM to find the house “fully involved.” Seattle Fire has not announced what caused the fire or the damage estimate but said that the home’s occupants had made it out safely. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for evaluation due to exertion.

Chelsea Clinton, Dems at Town Hall Seattle for Saturday GOTV rally

I’m with her. And her. And her. And her. Girl power will be on full display Saturday at First Hill’s Town Hall as Chelsea Clinton jets in for a get out the vote rally with a few of her mother’s closest Washington friends:

GOTV Rally with Chelsea Clinton, Patty Murray, and Tina Podlodowski
Join other supporters this Saturday afternoon at our GOTV Rally and Town Hall with Chelsea Clinton!

Ballots are arriving in mailboxes, so now is the time to vote!

Special guests:
+ Chelsea Clinton
+ U.S. Senator Patty Murray
+ Tina Podlodowski, Candidate for Washington Secretary of State
+ The Northwest Girlchoir

Doors open at 1: 30 p.m.

The free rally is slated to begin at 2 PM but you’ll want to arrive much earlier to make sure you get in. Town Hall’s Great Hall holds more than 800 people.

Hillary Clinton herself was in our city last Friday for a jam-packed fundraiser featuring Macklemore at the Paramount Theater.

State rep candidates Macri, Shih fight for recognition on Capitol Hill as voting begins

Even in the final weeks of the 43rd District state Legislature race, Nicole Macri and Dan Shih are finding that convincing voters still starts with the basics, like explaining who you are and what you’re running for. The result: two campaigns with a blunt focus on boosting name recognition instead of homestretch strategies.

Macri won 52% of the vote in the primary, making her the presumptive frontrunner in the race (even though Shih has raised more money) with a geographic base of support in the denser areas of Capitol Hill and the U-District. Shih performed better in the more residential, single-family home precincts.

But the candidates tell CHS they are not putting much stake in the August results given how many people are still unaware of the race. “You have to go out and earn the votes all over again,” Shih said. Continue reading

Time to vote: statewide initiatives in brief — carbon tax, state minimum wage, campaign finance

While the presidential race between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is at the top of minds this election, Washington state voters have a number of measures to consider.

Carbon Tax — Initiative 732
I-732 aims to create a carbon emission tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel generated electricity. It would cut sales tax by 1%, reduce the businesses and occupation tax on manufacturing and fund a partial sales tax exemption for low-income families.

The carbon tax, which would increase over time, would be collected by the first seller or burner of the fossil fuel in the state. Continue reading

Hotel plus microshousing development planned right around corner from Capitol Hill Station


Don't judge the design just yet -- this is just the massing concep

Don’t judge the design just yet — this is just the massing concep

A new seven-story development planned for Harvard Ave just off E Denny will include “small efficiency units” for around 42 residents interested in a place to live on Capitol Hill at a reasonable price and near one of the neighborhood’s greatest new assets — Capitol Hill Station. They’ll have some interesting, though transient neighbors. The first four floors of the planned building at 1818 Harvard Ave, if developers get signoff on the plan, will be a hotel:

The proposed project consists of a 7 story building with 42 small efficiency dwelling units above, four floors of hotel with 70 rooms. Parking for 19 vehicles will be located on one level of below grade parking with access off of Harvard Ave. The existing three story apartment building will be demolished.

The developers behind 12th Ave’s Sola 24 building are now moving forward with plans to develop the Harvard parcel they acquired in 2012 for just under $2 million, according to county records. The project is being planned for a site where a 1950s-built, three-story apartment building stands today, just around the corner from the sprawling Capitol Hill Station campus where development is on track for a 2019 opening of new affordable housing and commercial space around the transit hub. Continue reading