Capitol Pill | Tectonic Shifts

TARAWe’ve asked Karyn Schwartz, owner of the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, to contribute to CHS about health and Hill living on a semi-regular basis. If you’re an expert and want to share with the community in a recurring CHS column, we’d like to hear from you.

Weeks ago I began writing a love letter to my neighborhood – to all the people who on any given day I have interactions with that make me feel like I belong to this place; like I am at home, and that I matter here. Along the way, I kept thinking of some teachings I received very early on about how to assist people living with depression, and how one of the most important things to offer is actually just your presence — your real attention and your company — to anyone who is suffering in their heart or soul. How, in order to really heal, a person must know that their presence and existence matters, and that they are welcome; that they belong.

Up early to finish one or the other of these trains of thought, I saw the news that a major earthquake had occurred in Nepal just a few hours prior.  Once I read the initial reports, all I could think about were the people there, and in every place where something is happening that is so tragic and overwhelming that it brings people together in a communal gesture of courage, generosity and selflessness.

Searching the social media streams of everyone I know who has loved ones in that area, I came across a Twitter post by a journalist in Kathmandu named Kashish Das Shrestha, whose photographs of the immediate aftermath of the quake were shared in The New York Times:  “As I walk through city, i see people who are scared but ready to help, buildings standing still, but fragile. The day we dreaded arrived.” Continue reading

This week in CHS history | May Day marches and riots, minimum wage compromise, Phoenix Comics

Bmm47vhCYAAM4EL (1)Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Crow | Jonti, Sam and Que — Montage of Heck edition

It’s hard to say what Kurt Cobain might have thought of it all. Maybe he would have smirked in bemusement at some point, at least. The Egyptian was sold out in advance Thursday evening for an exclusive screening of Montage of Heck, a documentary about the oft-idolized Nirvana front man Cobain, with director Brett Morgen in attendance and addressing the audience before the film. The CHS Crow stopped by and chatted with some fans of Nirvana and of what has been labeled “grunge rock” who came out to see Morgen’s patchwork portrait depicting a sensitive and troubled, driven and often vexed, artistic genius from Aberdeen, Washington.


JontiWhat did you think about the film?
I thought it was pretty enlightening, man. A lot of stuff I’ve always wondered about. Really nice.

So you grew up a Nirvana fan?
I became a Nirvana fan probably like early in high school, maybe like ’89. That’s about when I realized I loved that Kurt Cobain.

What in the film stuck out for you as being enlightening, or as giving you new insight?
His family life. I think that was the most enlightening thing. Because everything else you’ve heard before. But the fact that you got to see all that stuff behind the scenes on the family life, I think that was new. Continue reading

Woman who died in 16th Ave E house fire identified

The woman who died in last week’s 16th Ave E house fire has been identified by authorities.

Novis Felder died in the blaze inside her 1902-built home in the 400 block of 16th Ave E the morning of April 16th. Seattle Fire investigators determined the fire was started by improperly discarded smoking materials that ignited a chair inside the house.

Felder would have turned 93 later this year.

Her son was injured in the fire but suffered only minor burns and a caregiver living in the house was not injured, a SFD spokesperson said.

CHS does not have any information about services or a memorial fund.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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. Continue reading

Found pianos of Capitol Hill

I was walking through Capitol Hill, Seattle one weekend, and encountered an abandoned piano at the side of the road. I decided it needed a final piece of loving, so I recorded it in my phone. The next week I found the piano had been joined by a second, and both pianos had had their keyboards smashed. So I played the strings directly. Both pieces reflect the decay and misuse of the pianos, and the environment they spent a short time in before going to their final resting place.

We don’t know anything more about it than what we found here where you can download both tracks — One piano with working keys and One piano with destroyed keys — of this very Capitol Hill music project.

Fat’s Fried Chicken and Waffles to ‘keep the soul’ at MLK and Cherry

The next man to inherit the corner has mad respect for the legacy of soul at MLK and Cherry.

“I ate at Catfish Corner all the time,” Marcus Lalario tells CHS. “To be able to get that spot means more to me than anything else about the new venture.”

Later this year, Lalario will open Fat’s Fried Chicken and Waffles in the space left empty after the much-loved soul food joint suddenly closed last summer following 30 years of fried goodness and a black-owned business at the corner.

(Image: Catfish Corner)

(Image: Catfish Corner)

“With all my spaces, I try to keep a little bit of the past in there,” Lalario said. Expect plenty of Old Seattle nostalgia when Fat’s opens this summer.

You will also find “straightup Southern” with “fried thighs and drumsticks” and, yes, waffles and biscuits from Patrick Dours, “a New Orleans native who has cooked at the Doe Bay and Rosario resorts on Orcas Island,” Seattle Met reports as it broke the news on the new project. Lalario, known for his entrepreneurial nightlife and food and drink investments, said he’s not sure, yet, on whether he’ll pursue a liquor license for Fat’s. By August, Lalario expects Fat’s to be open for dinner hours from around 4 to 9 PM with brunch and then breakfast hours (and “breakfast all the time” options) following. Continue reading

Startup FlyBuy building new mobile ‘curbside’ shopping service on E Pine

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 2.28.26 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-23 at 2.41.14 PMIf a new Capitol Hill-based startup has its way, nearly every storefront will be turned into a drive-through. Flybuy, a new mobile app company, is headquartered in an unassuming retail space on E Pine. Its business model is to help retailers and customers avoid the hassle of parking and be part of the next wave of online commerce.

screen322x572“It’s a 21st century drive through,” said Chapin Henry, the company’s chief operating officer.

There was huge buzz in tech media this week as an Uber co-founder unveiled details of Operator, a “shopping concierge” system designed to “unlock the 90% of commerce that’s not on the Internet.”

On E Pine near 14th Ave, Henry and Flybuy are making a push for similar turf. The app allows users to make orders for goods and services through participating retailers. The stores provide an estimate of how long it will take to fill the order. Customers can then drive to the store as the business is notified that the customer has arrived. An employee then meets the person at the curb for a quick pick-up. People pay through the app.

It might seem somewhat cumbersome but when the new turf of an Operator-type world of commerce starts to get claimed, there’s a good chance services like Flybuy could play a part. Continue reading

Mental health, tenants rights, and heroin overdose bills with Capitol Hill ties go to governor’s desk

Walkinshaw, left, at the start of the session in Olympia

Walkinshaw, left, at the start of the session in Olympia

Two bills inspired by the death of Joel Reuter on Capitol Hill in 2013 and another bill seeking to make a heroin overdose antidote more widely available were passed out of the state legislature Wednesday. The bills, two of which were sponsored by Capitol Hill’s Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, now head to Governor Jay Inslee to sign into law.

HB 1258, known as Joel’s Law, would strengthen involuntarily commitment guidelines for people suffering from mental illness. If a county decides a person did not meet the threshold for involuntarily commitment, direct family members of that individual could appeal the decision under the new law.

Walkinshaw’s bill was inspired Joel Reuter’s tragic 2013 death on Capitol Hill. Reuter was killed in his Bellevue and E Denny Way apartment by a police sniper when Reuter, suffering from a manic episode, fired a handgun toward police.

Reuters parents were instrumental in getting the law passed, saying they had tried for months to have a mental health professional recommend to a judge that their son should be involuntarily held at a hospital for treatment.

After Joel Reuter’s death, his parents found out there can be some frustrating barriers when it comes to retrieving property from inside a deceased family member’s apartment. HB 1574, another bill inspired by Reuter, would require tenants to provide landlords with contact information for person that will have control over their belongings in the event of the tenant’s death. The bill was passed on to Inslee Wednesday for signing.

Walkinshaw’s other bill, HB 1671 would expand access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the deadly effects of a heroin overdose. The bill, which was also passed out of the legislature Wednesday, would allow pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to first responders, homeless shelters, and family members and permit them to administer it across the state.

With protest from nonprofit Capitol Hill Housing to be resolved, deal to develop Capitol Hill Station moves forward

Site B South (below the birdies) will be market rate, across the street from Cal Anderson, and probably pretty nice (Image:

Site B South (below the birdies) will be market rate, across the street from Cal Anderson, and probably pretty nice (Image:

The Sound Transit Board including King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray voted Thursday to approve Motion No. M2015-34 authorizing the start of negotiations with Gerding Edlen for the Portland-based developer to lease or purchase — and then develop — the transit agency’s two acres of land surrounding Capitol Hill Station.

But the process still has some negotiation to shake out before all is said and done on the selection of the “master developer.”

According to the Sound Transit board memorandum on the motion, “a protest has been submitted that relates solely to Site B-North. Staff will evaluate the protest and will issue a written decision consistent with Sound Transit’s protest procedures.”

Nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing sent the letter of protest over the selection, CHS has learned. CEO Chris Persons confirmed the protest but told CHS he couldn’t discuss details until talks with Gerding Edlen were wrapped up in coming weeks. Capitol Hill Housing had been part of a proposal with the Jonathan Rose Companies to develop the properties.

In an email sent from Capitol Hill Housing to Sound Transit, Persons wrote that the nonprofit developers would file “a formal protest regarding Sound Transit’s determination to enter into negotiations with an organization other than a qualified not-for-profit for the acquisition and development of site B-North at the Capitol Hill Redevelopment site.”

“We sincerely believe that an honest mistake has been made,” Persons writes, adding that CHH holds Gerding Edlen “in the highest regard.”

Continue reading