Capitol Hill Pets | Jack (human) and Jo (dog) in Volunteer Park

It’s been a bit but CHS couldn’t resist a few more Capitol Hill Pets. Enough about CHS. Let’s talk about Jo. Jo is a four-year-old Australian Shepherd. Originally from Iowa, Jo has traveled with Jack to North Dakota, Massachusetts, Indiana, and now Capitol Hill. “She is affectionately known to me and the roommates as ‘Trash Dog,'” Jack said. “It doesn’t matter what we do to the trash cans, she figures a way inside them.” She also has a super shaky butt when she gets excited and is an “amateur twerker” according to Jack. Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate ‘EAT THE RICH’ tagging spree

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

  • Man struck on E Olive Way: A man in his 40s was taken to the hospital in stable condition after a reported car vs. pedestrian incident at Summit and E Olive Way Friday afternoon. Police were unable to provide many details of the peculiar incident at what is known as a busy and sometimes dangerous crossing but witnesses tell CHS this appeared to be more of an assault than a crash. According to one witness, the incident included an argument and the victim getting out of the involved vehicle before being struck by the hit and run driver. Police were looking for a silver hatchback involved in the crash. Another vehicle was at the scene damaged when CHS arrived around 2:30 PM.

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New lights, lily pond fences coming to Volunteer Park

With one of the biggest projects to improve the park underway at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, some smaller improvements are also coming to important features of Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park.

The community-driven Volunteer Park Trust has announced fundraising and planning are moving forward to improve the fencing around the park’s much-loved lily ponds as well as an upgrade of the park’s 40 street lamps.

Volunteer Park Trust’s Jeff Crandall tells CHS planning for the lily pond improvements began in 2010 as generations of Capitol Hill families have gone through the unfortunate experience of consoling soaking wet children who fell into one of the twin ponds near the park’s reservoir.

The new fences are not a response to the January 2017 accidental drowning death of Hill resident Amy Vanderbeck. “We’re very sorry about her death but we don’t have any information that this could have prevented what happened,” Crandall said.

Vanderbeck’s family, however, knows how easy it has been for rascally kids to jump into the ponds. Her sister told CHS that, in the weeks before her death, Vanderbeck had dealt with a sad and soaking wet kid who slipped into the pond on a family outing to the park. “She hated that pond,” the sister said.

The $46,000 project will replace the small wire fencing that has surrounded the ponds with a new sturdier, historically respectful barrier: Continue reading

Checking in with District 3 rep Sawant and the 2017 People’s Budget

This Thursday, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant will host the People’s Budget to create a movement demanding specific funds stay or be added on to city’s final budget.

We’ve heard it before: “The Seattle City budget is a moral document that reveals the values of our city’s elected officials.” That’s an unsurprising opening line from Sawant. As a socialist, she is steadfast in asking for more on behalf of the disenfranchised, low-income and marginalized.

She feels the primary concern in her District 3 is no different than greater Seattle.

“The paramount concern is the same concern with most working people in this city: The cost of existing,” Sawant tells CHS. “It affects families. It affects small businesses.”

People’s Budget 2017

The councilperson points out how Seattle’s rising rent costs are usually discussed in terms of the private citizen. But it also affects the commercial realm. She thus held a business forum and plans to hold one again in the future. Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill: Why you should vote for Cary Moon*

Moon faced off with Durkan at Seattle U Monday night. Tuesday, the candidates are on the bill for the Africatown-Central District Voter Education Forum at Washington Hall (Images: Alex Garland)

If you’re still undecided amidst the live debates and comparison pieces between mayoral candidates Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan, maybe this will finally settle the score.

Moon is personable and approachable. But she speaks from an uncommon point of view: She’s most versed in the lofty language of programs and policies. She often gets into the reeds when discussing affordable housing.

“Definitely my system-thinking, engineer brain likes to go up to the 30,000 foot level,” Moon said. “It’s good for developing solutions but not always good for building public will around them.”

This is the case for a Capitol Hill vote for candidate Moon. * Don’t worry, Jenny Durkan backers — we’ll take a swing for your candidate, next.

The crux of Moon’s platform is affordable housing. On the topic, Moon dives into background logistics, naming real estate investment trusts and private equity funds. She said Seattle needs to understand what drives up prices and what viable tools can legally “disincentivize” it. Continue reading

CHS Subscriber Update: Now is the time

CHS is starting its second week back in the daily neighborhood news business. We have had a great response to our subscriber drive and it has been exciting — and humbling — to see the support grow. We need our subscriber totals to keep climbing.

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In our first week back, CHS published 32 posts, and the community added around 120 comments and more than 50 new CHS Calendar events. Some of the comments were even good ones! Yup, on CHS, you *can* read the comments. Meanwhile, people either shared, liked, or commented on a CHS article more than 20,000 times last week.

All of this toward saying, look, there are a lot of us who are already part of the site. Now, we need to help shift the way our small piece of the Seattle media business works.

To continue to serve Capitol Hill, the Central District, and our neighbors, CHS needs 2,000 subscribers. After week 1, we are at a quarter of our goal. THANKS SO MUCH for being part of the site. We love doing this work and want to continue to do so — without subscription walls and irritating logins.

We also hope to do it without a never-ending subscriber drive. Please consider subscribing today. If you are already a subscriber, tell a friend… or 2,000.

If you have questions or need more information, drop us a line anytime.

Thanks for reading CHS!

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Happy Grillmore joins the family at 13th and Jefferson

(Images: Alex Garland)

Darren McGill and Kryse Martin-McGill are raising a growing family food+drink businesses in the Central District. Little Happy Grillmore now joins the family at 13th and Jefferson.

The burger joint born as a McGill food truck now neighbors big brother Nate’s CD, the Seattle University-approximate expansion of the waffle and wings brand that came to the neighborhood in 2015. The McGills, meanwhile, are also raising the Central District Ice Cream Company which opened on E Union in late 2016. Continue reading

Developer behind Bonney Watson deal has plans for two six-story buildings to join Broadway — UPDATE

Last week, the designs were finalized on one of the most significant development projects Broadway has ever seen. Consider this part two.

Mill Creek Residential and the architects at Weber Thompson are readying plans for two six-story buildings to flank Cal Anderson Park atop the site currently home to the soon to be dearly departed Bonney Watson funeral home, extending a pulse of “transit oriented development” south from Capitol Hill Station.

The companies plan to unveil the initiative publicly Monday night at the monthly meeting of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council — “In order to smooth the process, the applicant will be providing light snacks and beverages” — as the second most significant new development lined up for Broadway moves toward a November 1st start of the public design review process.

Design Review: 1732 + 1812 Broadway

Here is how the developers describe the ambitious project:

The Broadway Commercial Corridor is recognized as both Seattle’s longest continuous pedestrian commercial street and most vibrant and interesting commercial street. The blocks adjacent to the project site have the highest pedestrian volumes in the neighborhood due to proximity to SCCC, the Park, and Station. Broadway is noted for activity day and night thanks to its eclectic mix of shops and services as well as its prominent gay, eclectic, and street youth cultures. Redeveloping the existing parking lot and two story commercial structure with a variety of commercial uses and housing for a diverse demographic, with likely participation in the MFTE program, will stitch together a gap in the existing urban fabric. The positioning between these neighborhood features provides an opportunity to enhance the entry corridor of East Howell Street and create an inviting pedestrian gateway experience oriented toward the Park. Critical components to creating this gateway include; a strong massing for gateway identification at the larger neighborhood context with better activating the current inactive pedestrian experience with porosity and eyes on the street at ground level for safe vibrant pedestrian-oriented streets.

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Community groups pushing for public benefits package have $80M agreement with Convention Center — UPDATE

With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin

The Community Package Coalition has reached an agreement on an $80 million slate of public infrastructure investments surrounding the planned expansion of the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Details of the agreement were set to be unveiled in a Monday afternoon press conference:

On Monday, October 16th at 1:30 PM, the Community Package Coalition, an alliance of community organizations adjacent to the planned the three-block, $1.6B Washington State Convention Center Addition (WSCCA), will announce results of their months-long negotiations with the developers of the WSCCA to secure a fair public benefits package for the people of Seattle.

The coalition represents community groups and nonprofits including the First Hill Improvement Association, Lid I-5, Capitol Hill Housing, Cascade Bicycle Club, Central Seattle Greenways, Housing Development Consortium, Freeway Park Association, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

UPDATE: Here is the announced roster of projects that made the benefits package cut:

Summary of WSCC Addition Public Benefits and Investments
Item$ MM
Community Package Projects
Freeway Park Improvements$10.0
Lid I-5 Study$1.5
Pike-Pine Bicycle Improvements$10.0
Olive Way Pedestrian Improvements$0.5
8th Ave Bicycle Improvements$6.0
Terry Ave Promenade$4.0
Affordable Housing$29.0
Subtotal$61.0
Other Public Benefits (current estimate)
Pike-Pine Renaissance Pedestrian Improvements$10.0
9th Avenue Pedestrian Improvements$0.6
Public Art$1.9
Historic Building Lighting$1.0
On-Site Features$8.1
Improvements to Olive Way$0.2
Subtotal                                                                             $82.8

The coalition has been pushing Convention Center and public officials to create a broader — and more expensive — package of public benefits package required to justify the vacation of three alleys for the $1.6 billion downtown project. Continue reading

Capitol Retrospective | The motorcycle hill climber who climbed Capitol Hill — Part 1

May 15, 1945. Image: WA State Archives.

On Labor Day weekend of 1929, 300 motorcyclists and their families roared into the sleepy resort town of Long Beach, WA for a motorcycle rally known then as a Gypsy Tour.

Aside from the three days of two-wheeled camaraderie that ensued, one rider raced ahead of the rest. His name was Marion Diederiks, an unknown motorcycle messenger from Portland who became “grand champion” after winning 8 out of 12 races over the weekend.

His victories included various pursuit and get-away races, the two-mile open, and a broad jump. Although a promising start of a career in racing, he curiously never won any other speed races like these hereafter. Instead he later found his true calling in a different form of racing known as the hill climb — a race to the top of rough hills that were so steep they were practically vertical.

Marion’s career negotiating these hills spanned two decades and culminated in the establishment of his own Harley Davidson dealership on a most unique hill — our very own Capitol Hill.

His fortune in cash prizes, his regional fame, and the tightly-knit group of riders he bonded with along the way made it all possible. The result was a dealership with a unique business model that wove standard sales and service and the spectacle of professional racing into the same fabric. And although this fabric abruptly unraveled with the onset of war and personal dramas, Marion kept the dealership going in one form or another for three decades on 12th Ave and later on Broadway. Continue reading