As SPD’s report on Lyles fatal shooting released, I-940 make last push for signatures

(Image: Alliance for Gun Responsibility)

Organizers pushing for Initiative 940 to provide law enforcement officers more training on de-escalating lethal situations while eliminating Washington’s so-called “malice standard” for prosecuting police killings say they want to be doubly sure they have enough signatures to quality for the ballot. Meanwhile, the Seattle Police Department has released documents and the final report from the use of force investigation in the summer fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles.

De-Escalate WA came to Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson for a Sunday afternoon rally as part of a final push for signatures. Organizers say they have been able to collect thousands more signatures than the 260,000 required to make it on the ballot but want to continue to push for somewhere near 350,000 to make sure the initiative has enough valid signees by the December 29th deadline. Meeting the goal means either the state legislature must move ahead on changing the laws or the proposals will go to the ballot in 2018.  Continue reading

Next for E Olive Way restaurant space: International Montessori Academy

One of the more rapidly blighted empty spaces on Capitol Hill will spring back to life in 2018. The little ones who will put it to use every day will say more about Capitol Hill Station and the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown than this stretch of Capitol Hill’s nightlife growth or a new highly anticipated industry coming to the street.

The International Montessori Academy, a Bellevue-based provider of Mandarin Chinese, French, or Spanish language immersion and Montessori education for elementary school-age children, is set to begin construction to overhaul the former home of the giant Zhu Dang restaurant on E Olive Way, shuttered since late November 2015.

“It’s close to downtown with very easy access and there are lots of families on North Capitol Hill,” school founder Yimin Chen tells CHS about the next big project coming to E Olive Way. “People live there, people work there.”

In addition to overhauling the building to serve as a school, the academy is a major investment. A company owned by Chen purchased the 1928-built property for $4.8 million over the summer. The seller was the family behind Zhu Dang — they had paid more than $3.3 million for it in 2013. Continue reading

Clock starts ticking for Seattle task force to find revenue for homelessness services

While the Seattle City Council dramatically voted down a proposed tax on big businesses to fund homelessness services (otherwise known as the employee head tax) during last month’s contentious city budget negotiations, they also passed a resolution establishing a task force to study the same tax they had just voted down as well as other potential ways to pay for homelessness services.

He lost a sock

Per the resolution, the task force—which the resolution states will be composed of business owners, labor representatives, homelessness service providers, civic leaders, and experts of subjects such as healthcare, housing, and homelessness—will be selected by the council by December 11th and chaired by two council members and two community members.

After Monday afternoon when the task force is set to be finalized, the group will have until February to deliver recommendations to the council that identify progressive revenue sources as well as specific investments for said revenue that help address Seattle’s homelessness crisis.

In an ultimatum, the resolution states that, if the task force doesn’t deliver recommendations by the imposed deadline, that the council will begin considering imposing an employee head tax by March, 2018. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | December Dormancy: How Hill’s trees persist in winter

Tree, Light and Plane
In the Northern Hemisphere, people spend much of winter considering freezing weather, both out of practicality and for the fun of snow. In the Pacific Northwest, lowland rain may be more common than frost, but that doesn’t mean we never get freezing weather. Plants know this, otherwise our native forests would likely look very different. Have you ever considered how trees cope with frozen conditions?

When you are fifty percent water, and you can’t just eat food, go inside, or put on warmer clothes to keep from freezing, what do you do? Plants have methods of dormancy, similar to hibernation, which allow them to sit out the cold, dark days of the winter. Some produce new generations every year and die back, broadcasting a seed bank to overwinter and germinate when the time is right. Some die back to a rootstock, or have a low lying form that allows them to use the earth’s warmth to resist freezing. If a plant is deciduous, with soft, fleshy leaves, these are a weak point in freezing weather, full of moisture and unarmored against frost; these worth shedding. Evergreen plants have worked around this by developing thicker, waxy leaves (and needles), which allow them to take shelter against cold weather (as well as dry) and keep operating. Trees in general though, standing tall to catch all that sunlight, can’t escape freezing weather completely. Continue reading

Seattle Police ‘package theft emphasis patrols’ hoped to curb Capitol Hill holiday thievery

Tips from SPD on avoiding package theft this holiday season

The East Precinct has put in a concerted effort to tamp down package theft around Capitol Hill and the Central District this holiday season including efforts at community education and outreach. But CHS has learned it is matching those efforts with special patrols designed to cut down on the irritating and costly crime.

The Seattle Police Department confirmed this week that officers are being assigned to package theft emphasis patrols on Capitol Hill and around the East Precinct. A department spokesperson tells CHS that the department is tracking reports of package theft and has officers “proactively focusing on those areas.”

Recent dispatches have included areas around St. Joe’s at 18th and Aloha, according to precinct radio reports.

In November, SPD met with the community to try to get more information out on how best to curb the thefts.

There were around 90 thefts not involving automobiles and another 600 residential burglaries reported across East Precinct in December 2016. We’ll check in with the numbers to see if this year’s patrols make a difference.

Capitol Hill Community Post | How to help Lowell Elementary

From Colleen Kimsey

You’d imagine that now, as the dust from the brouhaha surrounding the McCleary Decision
around how education is funded in Washington State has begun settling, there would be a baseline of adequate funding for our schools. When we walk past the big brick building on Mercer street, I think many of us picture a school that matches its exterior: sort of august and privileged, or at the very least, the kind of place that can afford to provide its teachers with enough Expo markers to teach. But as the recent expose by KOUW revealed, even wealthy Capitol Hill struggles to support Lowell Elementary in everything from adequately funding teacher’s basic needs, to keeping students safe throughout the school day day, to retaining quality teachers in a stressful teaching environment. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Waiting for the Santa train at Holiday in the Park

The Conservatory’s Holiday Express train always delivers

Volunteer Park Trust’s annual celebration of the holidays provided some seasons greetings warmth on a frosty Thursday night in Seattle. Now in its sixth year, the community group’s Holiday in the Park event again featured pathways lit with luminarias and plenty of caroling thanks to community sponsors. The trust continues its work on projects large and small across the park including new efforts to create safety fencing around the lily ponds and a lighting overhaul. This year, it can also celebrate the last steps before construction can finally begin on a $54 million overhaul of the park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum, a project VPT has supported.

Looking for more holiday spirit around the Hill including Santa appearances and the return of the Punk Rock Flea Market? Check out the Happy Hilladays section of the CHS Calendar, below: Continue reading

High aspirations at By the Pound, Capitol Hill’s first deli counter with a secret bar

What if CHS told you a group of people expert at putting together Seattle’s DJ dance nights and building a party scene also wanted to create a space for contemplation, inspiration, spiritual enlightenment, and conversation over a good old fashioned? What if we told you that space would be secreted away behind a Capitol Hill deli counter and you would walk through a meat locker door to get there?

“If you want a great social space, there’s no greater aspiration — feeling warm, feeling comfortable, and having it kind of push you into conversation,” Sean Majors tells CHS about the lofty ideas and ideals behind By the Pound, a new “New York meets Seattle” deli counter business that is now open on E Olive Way at Harvard that has more going on behind the scenes. Continue reading