Lowell reinvents itself as *the* elementary school for Capitol Hill and downtown Seattle

Dr. Smith (Image: CHS)

Dr. Smith (Image: CHS)

Having a well respected, well branded advanced learning program can be a blessing and a curse for a public school like Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary. Prior to 2012 the 11th and Mercer elementary school was known primarily for its Accelerated Progress Program (APP). When the program left for Lincoln Elementary in Wallingford, so did a good chunk of students and a lot of parent interest.

Dr. Marion Smith assumed his role as the school’s principal in the midst of Lowell’s identity change and made it a personal mission to move the school beyond its APP days. This week, as the kids return from spring break and head into the final stretch of the school year, their school is in the midst of a redefinition.

“We need to rebrand ourselves… who is Lowell now without APP? That was a large part of this school,” Smith told CHS. “The goal for Lowell is to show that there is a viable neighborhood school option for free.”

That place on E Mercer where all the yelling kids go in and out of? It's called Lowell Elementary (Image: CHS)

That place on E Mercer where all the yelling kids go in and out of? It’s called Lowell Elementary (Image: CHS)

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Tips and the $15 minimum wage debated at Capitol Hill council meeting as City Hall deadline looms


(Photo: Tim Durkan via Twitter)

A crowd packed into the Cal Anderson Park Shelter house last Thursday to talk about what a $15 an hour minimum wage would mean for Capitol Hill. Given the neighborhood’s abundant food+drink workforce, how the current tip-centric system for many of those venues should relate to a $15 wage was front and center of the debate. The Capitol Hill Community Council, which seldom packs the house, devoted their entire April meeting to Seattle’s defining political issue of 2014.

The meeting came as Mayor Ed Murray’s ”Income Inequality Task Force,” including the head of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and local business owner Dave Meinert, is stumbling into its deadline and continues to be bogged down in a fight over how tips should be counted in a potential $15 minimum wage. Meanwhile, a just-released study (PDF) by research and advocacy group Puget Sound Sage suggests that the position voiced by some in the restaurant industry who say their tipped workers are earning more than $15 per hour isn’t a universal truth:

Business owners, particularly high-end restaurantuers, in Seattle are asking Council and the Mayor to establish a two-tiered wage system based on the earnings of a handful of waiters and waitresses that earn above $15 in tips and wages. Puget Sound Sage’s new study highlights the reality of tipped work in Seattle, so that the debate can focus on practical solutions for raising the minimum wage instead of speculation about who tipped workers are and how much they make. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Capitol Hill’s Easter Sunday best

2014.04 12 - JOIf you were around Capitol Hill on Easter Sunday afternoon and it seemed like church let out for dozens of fashionable Pike/Pine worshippers, it did. Pastor Kaleb’s annual Easter Sunday service draws a well-dressed crowd. Here’s what the Stranger tells you about the Capitol Hill preacher:

Pastor Kaleb gave his first official service in the streets during Seattle’s WTO protests in 1999. A carpenter by trade (naturally), he and a friend built two coffins (two adult-sized, one child-sized) using spare plywood from a job site and led a procession through the tear-gassy, chaotic, screaming melee that would eventually force journalists and the general public to ask, for the first time in a long time, why anyone would oppose an organization like the WTO.

This Sunday at the Century Ballroom was Kaleb’s 15th year addressing the flock.

2014.04 5 - JO

Pikes/Pines | The Little Bushtit and the Big City

There you are, walking down your block of tall apartment buildings, when you hear a strange twittering noise. A small gray bird flits across your path, and disappears into a pendulous, mossy nest hanging in bush. The whole moss-sock starts to quiver and small twitters come from within, the bird reappears and flies off peeping all the while. You’ve just discovered a bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus).


Bushtits are one of the smallest birds we have in Capitol Hill. (Image: Brendan McGarry)

A reader wrote in recently and asked about these diminutive birds, having been shown a nest by a neighbor. I was excited to see someone writing to ask a question, but even more excited they were inquiring about bushtit rarity in our area and what we can do to help them. This is commendable, as we should all stride for awareness of our natural neighbors, common or scare. Continue reading

Have A Taste of Capitol Hill with Altura, Poppy & more and help Community Lunch

We’ve posted about the thousands of people helped by Community Lunch on Capitol Hill. Next weekend you can help raise funds for the group and enjoy a dinner that brings together offerings from some of the best restaurants on Capitol Hill.2014_Tast_of_Capitol_Hill_JPEG_LOGO_final_2

A Taste of Capitol Hill
Join us for 
A Taste of Capitol Hill, this year’s Community Lunch spring fundraiser.
When: Sunday, April 27th at 5-8pm 
at All Pilgrims Church
Enjoy a sitdown dinner prepared by chefs from great Capitol Hill restaurants including Altura, Anchovies & Olives, Cafe Presse, Capitol Cider, La Spiga and Poppy.
There will be a dessert dash, fine wine and spirits silent auction and an opportunity to support Community Lunch.
Purchase tickets or get more information about the event.

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill

8443531509_f75bfb15e1-400x299Here are the top CHS posts from this week in 2013:

  1. Powered by the sun and a sustainable ‘revolution,’ the Bullitt Center opens at 15th and Madison
  2. Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill opens where challenge became opportunity at 15th & John
  3. Can microhousing stop extinction of the great Capitol Hill 20-something?
  4. Too many Mexican restaurants on Capitol Hill? La Cocina Oaxaquena is Oaxacan
  5. The Grill on Broadway to close ending 22-year run
  6. Broadway hospital says this fake nurse tried to steal pain medication right from patient’s IV

CHS Pics | Kids clear Cal Anderson of brightly colored plastic eggs

Cal Anderson Easter Egg HuntCal Anderson Easter Egg Hunt13938986425_1be22d60a9_oAnother year, another Cal Anderson egg hunt record. Competitors in the 2014 Easter egg scramble in Capitol Hill’s central park once again cleared the field at an unprecedented pace setting a slew of hunt records both personal, in the venue and on the international stage. The annual Seattle Parks Department celebration of spring scattered prize eggs across the grassy bowl of Cal Anderson and all the way to Teletubby Hill. We guarantee you every single one was found before a single drop of rain hit the ground. Thanks to CHS contributors Alex Crick and Jim Simandl for the photos. If you attended the egg hunt at Volunteer Park and have a picture or two to share, drop us a note.

More pictures below and more still on the CHS Facebook page.

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Another serious car and bike collision at dangerous Pike/Boren intersection

The dangerous, sloping and busy intersection of Pike and Boren claimed another collision involving a bike and a motor vehicle just after midnight Saturday morning.

UPDATE 4/19/14 5:15 PM: SPD has provided details of the preliminary report on the incident including the bicyclist exhibiting signs of alcohol impairment when he was evaluated following the crash. Here is the preliminary report:

A male bicyclist was rushed to the hospital after colliding head on with an SUV early this morning.

On April 19th at approximately 12:16 a.m. officers responded to a vehicle/bicycle collision near Boren Avenue and Pike Street. Preliminary investigation indicates that an adult male bicyclist was travelling westbound on Pike Street approaching Boren Avenue. At the same time a green Kia SUV was travelling eastbound on Pike Street approaching Boren Avenue.

For reasons yet to be determined, the bicyclist crossed the center line and proceeded westbound in the eastbound lanes and struck the Kia head on. The bicyclist was thrown from his bicycle, struck the windshield of the Kia and landed on the pavement.

Fire department medics responded and transported the 43-year-old male bicyclist to Harborview Medical Center (HMC) with serious but non-life-threatening head and facial injuries.

Officers evaluated the driver of the Kia for indications of impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs. No signs of impairment were detected. The driver of the Kia was interviewed and released from the scene.

Officers also responded to HMC and evaluated the bicyclist for indications of impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs. The bicyclist exhibited obvious signs of impairment due to alcohol consumption.

There were no citations issued at the scene which is standard procedure in serious traffic incidents requiring extensive follow up investigation and collision reconstruction.

Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate.

Original report: We are still gathering information on the incident that Seattle Fire described to us as a “severe impact” collision. We do not have details of the rider’s injuries. UPDATE: SFD says the rider was not wearing a helmet and struck the vehicle’s windshield but was alert and conscious when medic units arrived. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

In 2012, 18-year-old cyclist Nap Cantwell died after a collision at the intersection identified by advocates and city planners as a dangerous mix of speed and heavy traffic.Blmoxc8CAAEr_aW

Police looking for information after man shot at 22nd and Union — UPDATE: Homicide investigation


UPDATE 4/19/14 4:23 PM: SPD says the victim has died:

The shooting from early this morning is now officially a homicide investigation.

The 24-year-old male victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries.

Original report: Police and medics found a man in his 20s suffering from life-threatening injuries after a burst of gunfire was reported early Saturday morning near 22nd and E Union. Detectives are looking for information about what led to the 2:35 AM shooting. If you saw or heard something that might help, call 911 or the Seattle Police Homicide/Assault Unit at (206) 233-5000.

Man Shot in the Central District
Written by Detective Jeff Kappel on April 19, 2014
The suspect(s) remain at large after a man was discovered shot in the chest in the Central District early this morning.

On April 19th at approximately 2:35 a.m. officers responded to the 2200 block of East Union Street for 911 reports of multiple shots fired. Additional calls to 911 reported someone had been shot.

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CHS Crow | Beatrice and Fred — ‘I wore a white uniform and had free booze’

This week, the CHS Crow met a future physician with a penchant for paradox, and retired seafarer who has presumably been in the same room as Alex Trebek at least twice. Say hello.


Curriculars: First-year medical student .Lives in: North Seattle Moved from: Virginia Is considering a move to: Capitol Hill

Life would be meaningless without _______ ?
Passion. I was going to say love but I wanted to pick something that was more all-encompassing than that. And I feel like having passions in life, ideally for people or things, I feel like as a complete picture, that’s what makes life meaningful. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

"Double Rainbow" (Image:  sunrisesoup via Flickr)

“Double Rainbow” (Image: sunrisesoup via Flickr)

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 18,000 19,000 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.

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‘Silly Hilly’ ride and walk to help shape northern end of 23rd Ave greenway

10177236_10152134892724081_5972493514444696767_nNow that city planners have selected the “hybrid” route for a pedestrian and bike-friendly greenway connecting the Central District, Capitol Hill and Montlake along the 23rd Ave corridor, neighbors are getting together to help sort out how the route’s northern segment should be shaped:

Silly Hilly
Saturday, April 26at 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Montlake Elementary School
2409 22nd Ave E

Silly Hilly is a fun, inclusive, family-friendly ride/walk to explore potential greenway route options for the northern segment of the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway between John and 520.

The fun starts at the Montlake Elementary School playground, where participants will be divided into teams upon arrival. Teams will ride or walk one of four route options while taking pictures and completing a scavenger hunt along the way.

At Miller Park (our finish line), we’ll have kid-friendly games, prizes and refreshments, as well as opportunities to share ideas on which greenway route makes the most sense!