CHS Pics | In this time of sharing — and getting some work done — check out the Capitol Hill Tool Library


CapitolHillToolLibrary_0230Happy holiday. CHS is going to quiet down for a bit over Thanksgiving but we’re still around. Please feel free to ping us via email, @jseattle, or call/txt (206) 399-5959 if something comes up. Or if you just want to have a nice (brief :)) chat. We’re pretty much always working at least a little bit. Which means we’re pretty much also always on holiday — at least a little bit.

Speaking of bits, manual labor, and breaking news — fix it! — CHS stopped by the neighborhood’s very own Capitol Hill Tool Library last weekend to check out a work party to put the array of donated saws, hammers, wrenches, and more in order and prepare the new lending facility in the Summit Building at 420 E Pike.

The Sustainable Capitol Hill project is volunteer and donation driven:

Don’t know what a tool library is? Imagine borrowing a food dehydrator, a ladder, a fishing rod, much like you would borrow a book from SPL. Imagine learning how to fix your broken toaster, building a worm bin, preserving your summer bounty. Enjoy a local community of knowledgeable fixers, tool lending, and workshops at the new Capitol Hill Tool Library.

To join, you can donate equipment or your time or both. You can view a roster of available implements of construction here. Contact the group for the logistics of checkout. Ideas for what to build with all this DIY goodness? How about some “tiny houses?” Here are some more organizations and groups you can lend a hand to this winter.



The 50 oldest businesses in District 3

Screen-Shot-2015-10-08-at-10.19.56-PM (2)While the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and Central Seattle continue to change and grow, not everything is glossy and new. CHS found that 45% of area business permits within District 3 have been active for 10 years or more. The oldest? Well, you’ll have to scroll to the end of our list.

Below, we’ve called out the 50 oldest active business permits in the neighborhoods of District 3 from Capitol Hill to the Central District.

The list covers businesses and organizations licensed within the area’s ZIP codes but it’s not comprehensive. There are many businesses that have been open for decades but may be registered somewhere else, so they are not included in our list. Others represent businesses that have closed up shop, but still maintain a license.

In general, the businesses and organizations with the most staying power seem to be nonprofits and offices of professional services like architects and lawyers. And food and drink entrepreneurs take note: Only one restaurant — the Deluxe Bar and Grill at 87 — cracks the top 100… not even close to our top 50, below.

District 3’s 50 Oldest Businesses

  1. Genesis House – An inpatient drug rehab center in the Laschi/Madrona area which opened in 1971. It closed in 2014.

    Country Doctor

    Country Doctor

  2. County Doctor Community Health Clinic – Serving the community since 1971, the Country Doctor on 19th Avenue East is planning an expansion, possibly next year, in order to add dental health to the list of services they provide.
  3. Group Health Cooperative – the larger group health organization was founded in 1945, but in 1971, they planted a flag on Capitol Hill.
  4. Roger Newell – the architect whose office is on 19th Avenue East has had his business license in this area since 1971.
  5. Robert E. Frey – One of the first Certified Financial Planners in the state, according to a 1975 Seattle Times article on Frey’s website.
  6. Donald Glover – not that Donald Glover. This Donald Glover was the owner behind Horizon Books, the used bookstore which used to be on 15th, in the spot currently occupied by Ada’s. Now, it operates an online business on 10th Ave. Continue reading

First Hill Streetcar Safety Day planned to help keep tracks safe as SDOT works on line’s parking problem

First Hill Streetcar - Trainset Test Run

Streetcar-11-15As Seattle Department of Transportation officials are preparing the First Hill Streetcar for the start of service, they are also ramping up the process of educating people who are living, going to school, and working around the 2.5-mile Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square route about how the system works — and, importantly, how to be safe around the tracks and trolleys. They are also working to address a major hindrance to efficient service — an ongoing spate of poorly parked cars and trucks that have repeatedly caused the trains to come to a halt during testing in recent weeks.

Next week, SDOT will host a “First Hill Streetcar Safety Day” to help make sure the line gets off to the safest start possible as the streets along the line mix with streetcar, motor vehicle, and pedestrian traffic:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will host a “First Hill Streetcar Safety Day” on Thursday, December 3 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. at three station locations.

The Safety Day will feature Metro streetcar operators onboard stationary streetcars at the Broadway & Denny, 14th & Washington, and Occidental & Jackson stations. The public is invited to come aboard to check out the new streetcars, ask questions about how they work and learn streetcar safety tips. Continue reading

You’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the new Charlie’s


The old Charlie’s (Image: CHS)

33fc02_654fdf1b50f7495e965cdad0329db76fCharlie’s — the legendary Broadway restaurant space poised to transcend ownership and continue a new lease on life — will have a few more weeks to enjoy its rest following longtime owner Ken Bauer’s June retirement after one last Pride weekend. The new owners tell CHS the new Charlie’s won’t make its planned Friday-after-Thanksgiving opening.

The new ownership from the Lodge Sports Grille family of restaurants says it will need around two more weeks to get the rehabilitation and upgrades of the old Capitol Hill restaurant complete and make sure service is up to the necessary Charlie’s standards. Don’t chuckle, old timers.

When it reopens in December, the space will have all the same old stuff but cleaned-up, we’re told. The menu will be pared back and overhauled, however — new co-owner Kelli Kreiter said part of the reason for the changes is they couldn’t get some of the old recipes. Bauer and management did have an agreement over continuing the Charlie’s name but Kreiter said she couldn’t discuss if there was any financial implications to the deal. Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As an end to his lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer told CHS he started looking to sell but found no buyers. The Lodge Sports Grille deal to lease the space followed.

Kreiter said the new ownership loved the quirkiness of the longtime Broadway watering hole and wanted to bring “new light” to the space without changing the nature of the restaurant. She also said she is aware of concerns about higher prices and that she and the new owners hope to keep Charlie’s an affordable, “fair” place to hang out and enjoy a meal or a drink.

You can stay tuned to for updates on a new opening date.

Pride 2015, Capitol Hill Seattle

Pride 2015, Capitol Hill Seattle

Here is why news is wrong about SPD’s Capitol Hill patrols

Seattle Police gang detectives believed they were circling in on suspects involved in Sunday morning’s drive-by shooting at Pike and Broadway as the investigation continued Tuesday but reports of increased patrols in the neighborhood in response to the incident are not accurate.

“In response to the shooting, police plan to increase nighttime foot patrols in the area,” the Seattle Times reported. Other media outlets have followed.

But a SPD spokesperson tells CHS that no actual increase in the number of patrol officers is hitting the streets in response to the shooting — ongoing weekend emphasis patrols started earlier this year to curb nightlife-related crime, however, will continue.

“We increased the number of officers on foot beats earlier this year and have kept them in place because we know they’re important,” a SPD spokesperson said in a statement.

Continue reading

A 30-resident ‘tiny house’ encampment is rising at 22nd and Union

“We really want to get people into these houses with the idea that they will transition into permanent housing.”

A new homeless encampment featuring 15 “tiny homes” is getting underway on a church-owned property at 22nd and E Union. So far, the new encampment has one house ready to go, put up in September and built by a group of teenagers working with the nonprofit Sawhorse Revolution. The two-person homes don’t have much in the way of amenities, but they are waterproof and lockable, two major benefits over tent living.

The empty lot owned by the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd had recently been used as parking lot for construction workers during the week and overflow church parking on weekends. From 2013-2014, the church hosted a Nickelsville camp on the empty lot. That camp, and two others in the Central District were all built as a result of the closure of the longtime Nickelsville camp on Marginal Way.

The Central District tiny house village is the result of a broad collaboration of organizations, lead by the Low Income Housing Institute and the Nickelsville community. Several organizations, including Sawhorse, are building the 15 two-person capacity houses out of their own pockets. Each house costs roughly $2,200 in materials.

“We really want to get people into these houses with the idea that they will transition into permanent housing,” said Monica Joe, who’s helping organize the project from the LIHI. Continue reading

City Council passes 2016 budget with lone ‘no’ vote from Sawant

The Seattle City Council ended its grueling annual budget process Monday afternoon with an 8-1 vote, sending a spending package topping $5 billion back to Mayor Ed Murray for final approval. The council added just over $18 million (PDF) in spending to Murray’s original $5.1 billion budget, along with an additional $5 million to be spent on emergency homeless services this year. City Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissenting vote on the final budget, saying it did not go far enough to address the urgent needs of working people

“… on balance the budget differs little from previous years, and fails to address the acute housing crisis, inadequate transit, and ballooning inequality and injustice permeating Seattle,” Sawant said in a statement.

Outgoing Council member and budget committee chair Nick Licata positioned Seattle’s 2016 budget as a response to federal cutbacks. Federal grants have shrunk from 62% to 26% of the City’s Human Services budget, a 58% decrease, while the City’s General Fund contribution to the Human Services budget has more than doubled, from 25% to 55%, according to a statement on the council’s vote.

Among all the programs and initiatives included in next year’s budget, spending on homeless services stood out as a defining feature. All told, the City Council approved more than $47 million in 2016 to fight homelessness — or, about 1% of its budget for the year. Following up on his declaration of a homelessness state of emergency in Seattle, Murray will be at a Seattle University forum December 2nd to further discuss the issue.

The full council convened Monday afternoon after a short morning budget committee meeting in the morning to consider last-minute amendments. Much of the debate focused on how best to expand paid parental leave for City employees. Continue reading

$1.6 million in grants, plus new park projects coming to Capitol Hill and District 3

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We don't have money for this right now

We don’t have money for this right now

Last week, CHS shared the most recent vision for the audacious idea to lid I-5 with a park to better connect Capitol Hill with downtown and South Lake Union. There’s zero dollars to pay for it.

But the good news is there are more than zero dollars to pay for plenty of other parks and community projects around Capitol Hill and District 3. Here are some projects ready do dig in or already in progress around the Hill and Central Seattle plus news on new grants to help pay for more.

Summit Slope Park E John Enhancement
E John next off E Olive Way will be “enhanced” starting this winter, Seattle Parks says. The plans to “pedestrianize” E John adjacent Summit Slope Park next to the E Olive Way Starbucks were mostly finalized way back in fall of 2013 but the end product will be a $150,000 compromise version. The effort to transform the street was part of the original plans for the park as ideas coalesced in 2009 but had to be put off in early planning and construction due to costs. The plan will reconfigure sidewalks and trees along the street and eliminate parking on E John as well as close off access to the street from E Olive Way. Starbucks customers, however, will still be allowed to exit the cafe’s parking lot onto John to Summit. UPDATE: Awesome planning and development site The Urbanist has more information about the E John changes:

With the removal of parking lanes, the sidewalk will extend into John Street, with room for a bioswale, new p-patches, and even two new tables for seating.

12th Avenue Square and Broadway Hill Park
12th Avenue Square on 12th at E James Ct and Broadway Hill Park at Federal and Republican were both under construction this fall. 12th Avenue Square, with its woonerf and giant hanging sculpture, is close to wrapping up though the official opening party will probably be held in 2016. Also lined up for a 2016 opening is the long awaited Broadway Hill Park on land purchased for $2 million five years ago.

New grants
Meanwhile, $464,823 in Neighborhood Matching Fund grants were announced in the latest wave of awards for organizations across the city. With the advent of Seattle’s new district system, the Department of Neighborhoods provided this year’s roster of grants organized by district. Your home district did well — D3 raked in more than $160,000 of the funds made available in this round.

District 3

  • $25,000 to Gay City Arts to organize events exploring the experiences of three marginalized groups within LGBT communities: people of color, transgender and genderqueer people, and people over 40. The free events will include classes in visual, literary and performing arts, along with community dialogues and performances. (Community match: $33,404) Continue reading

No need for Broadway nostalgia — Tiny TNT Espresso back in business

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? No, really, should they? Not on Broadway where we seem to be ending 2015 with some nostalgia-erasing revivals.

TNT Espresso, the tiny, 80-square-foot coffee stand in the teriyaki restaurant parking lot at Broadway and Harrison, was back in business this chilly Monday morning, serving up hot tea and milky pours from a new owner happy to be able to keep Capitol Hill’s last* drive-thru coffee shack alive — even after CHS already wrote its obituary.

Rock Sielaff said he decided to purchase the business from longtime friend Monica Anaya and return to the Hill from Chicago after a short adventure away from his longtime stomping grounds.

Continue reading