After more than 400,000 meals for those in need on Capitol Hill, Don Jensen exits Community Lunch

Don, center, with volunteers (Image: Lucas Boyle)

In 1985, a group of local Lutheran churches banded together to provide a hot meal for low-income senior citizens of Capitol Hill. Ten people showed up for the first lunch.

On a recent rainy March day, the scene at the Central Parish House of the Central Lutheran Church looks very different. A quickly-growing crowd of over 30 people huddled under and near the awning of the entrance to the church, waiting for the doors to open at noon for a warm lunch of chicken and rice casserole.

Inside, plates clatter while a group of volunteers arranges the food, including a side of vegetable salad, buffet-style, on long tables near the back of the large, high-vaulted room. Others fold napkins and add more chairs to each table. At least 150 people are expected to come through the doors in the next hour. Continue reading

City Council moves nomination process for new head of Human Services Department out of Sawant-controlled committee

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant has lost control of her bid to hold Mayor Jenny Durkan to a higher standard in her selection of Jason Johnson as Director of the Human Services Department.

Friday, Johnson’s nomination will be picked up for a restarted process under the Select Committee on Homelessness and Housing Affordability, a committee Sawant co-chairs with fellow Seattle City Council members — and relative centrists when it comes to the mayor’s agenda — Sally Bagshaw and Teresa Mosqueda.

The process to consider Johnson’s nomination had sat with the Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee where Sawant serves as the only chair. Continue reading

‘Nobody wants to shoot you’ — SPD releases bodycam video, new details from Melrose Ave ‘officer involved’ shooting

Seattle Police have released new details and officer-worn bodycam footage from the incident on Melrose Ave Tuesday night in which a reportedly suicidal man carrying a gun opened fire and was shot by officers.

The video shows a tense scene outside a Melrose Ave apartment building where the 37-year-old can be seen leaving the building carrying a pistol and later is confronted by police as he holds the weapon.

“Go ahead and shoot me,” the man appears to say. “Nobody wants to shoot you,” an officer yells back. “I just want to talk to you but I can’t talk to you with a gun in your hand.” As the officer trying to negotiate with the man yells “Do not point that gun at me,” a single shot rings out followed by a barrage of bullets as officers returned fire.

The man sustained serious injuries in the shooting and was taken to Harborview for surgery but we do not know his condition. SPD says his injuries are considered non-life-threatening. He has not yet been charged. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Station is getting a late third birthday present: stairs!

Preparation work has begun on Capitol Hill Station’s “back of house” stairs beneath the Denny entrance to the busy subway platform, Sound Transit tells CHS:

Once back-of-house stairways are open, riders will be able to use them during all Link light rail operating hours. One important note: work on back-of-house stairs will occur one stairwell at a time, with follow-on work happening for a while. This means after we open BOH stairs, riders may notice some stairways closed while work continues.

When it opened on March 19th of 2016, Capitol Hill Station was born with only emergency stairs connecting to its arrival and departure platform. It was designed to be accessed by escalator or elevator with the emergency staircase to be put to use in, well, only emergencies. Continue reading

Yalla now open — and doing the walk-up counter proud — on E Olive Way

The delicious legacy of E Olive Way’s walk-up counter space continues. Yalla is now open.

CHS reported earlier this month on the transition of chef Taylor Cheney‘s popular Arabic pop-up concept into the latest food and drink start-up to make the counter next to the Montana bar its home. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s 12th Ave Arts hoped to be a sign of things to come with Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability expansion

Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials were on Capitol Hill Wednesday to sign the city’s new legislation expanding Mandatory Housing Affordability requirements and upzoning to Seattle’s densest neighborhoods, the largest step yet in addressing the city’s ongoing affordability crisis, and likely part of more to come if Seattle is to reach its ambitious goals for new affordable units over the next decade. The signing took place in the lobby of 12th Ave Arts where the 88 units of affordable housing are an example of how the new development fees will be put to work creating new places to live in an increasingly expensive city.

“The reason 12th Ave Arts was selected for this event is that the housing component was funded in part by city Incentive Zoning funds, the precursor to MHA,” Chris Persons, CEO of 12th Ave Arts nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing, said Wednesday.

“What was built here is far more than 88 units of affordable housing. We built community. The mission of Capitol Hill Housing is not simply to build housing. Our core purpose is to build vibrant and engaged communities”

Monday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to pass the legislation expanding its MHA program to 27 neighborhoods across the city including Capitol Hill. MHA ties those upzones to the creation of affordable units either by requiring a portion of new housing to be made available at affordable rates or by requiring developers to pay into funding to build affordable housing elsewhere across the city.

The expansion signed Wednesday will also transition a reported 6% of Seattle’s current single family-zoned property to allow denser development.

The city says more than 45,000 Seattle households spend greater than 50% of their income on housing. MHA-generated housing will create a rent-restricted two-bedroom apartment for a family of four earning $60,200 would be $1,353, the city says. For an individual making less than $42,150, a one-bedroom would cost $1,128.

In a sample of recent ad listing for Capitol Hill apartments, a one-bedroom unit currently lists for around $1,800 — up only about 3% from a sampling we made this time of year in 2015 when rents had already exploded across the region.

The most significant changes to Capitol Hill zoning will come along Broadway from around Cal Anderson Park all the way north to Roy with plans to implement 75-foot height limits and “neighborhood commercial” zoning to allow seven-story buildings with commercial use throughout. Continue reading

Celebrate equitable, affordable development in the Central District at Liberty Bank Building ribbon cutting

The Liberty Bank Building, what many hope will be a model for equitable, affordable development in Seattle, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday in the Central District.

Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting Celebration

Saturday’s party will include live music and performances, and food.

Named to honor the region’s first Black-owned bank that once stood at the corner, the six-story, 115-unit affordable housing development is a collaboration between Capitol Hill HousingAfricatownThe Black Community Impact Alliance, and Byrd Barr Place. Continue reading

Police investigate fatal shooting at Cal Anderson Park — UPDATE

Police and Seattle Fire rushed to Cal Anderson near Nagle Place after a fatal shooting at the park.

Seattle Police says one person was shot in the incident first reported around 9:40 PM Wednesday. According to police radio updates, the victim appeared to have been shot in the back of the head.

UPDATE: Seattle Fire tells CHS the victim, reported as a 21-year-old man, died at the scene before life saving efforts could be attempted. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Record March hotness in Cal Anderson Park

Tuesday brought the warmest March day ever recorded in Seattle. Wednesday — the first official day of spring — tied the mark and then some.

CHS stopped by Cal Anderson Park where hotness abounds when the temperature rises on Capitol Hill. The neighborhood’s central park — even with it busy with construction — did not disappoint during this week’s unusual March heat wave. Check out those ice cream cones. Continue reading

On the List | Wink Doughnuts pop-up, Pine Box birthday, hula hoop at the Century Ballroom

(Image: Wink Doughnuts)

The sun’s out, so the city is collectively freaking out/shedding clothes at an astonishing pace/coming back to life. Lumbersexuals and locals who prefer gloomy Northwest weather can work out anger issues regarding impending spring and summer at Blade & Timber, a newly opened axe-throwing bar on Broadway. During opening weekend, groups dressed entirely in flannel get a discount, and social-media savvy axe-perts could win free axe-throwing for a year. We’ve lined up more of this week’s best events on the list below. Find more events on the CHS Calendar.

THURSDAY, March 21: Those who don’t know comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish must have lived under a big, grim rock for the past couple of years. In November 2017, she made history by becoming the first black female stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. That year, Vanity Fair also called her “the funniest person alive right now.” Check in to see whether that still rings true on Thursday at the Paramount. Paramount, 7.30 PM Continue reading