An important work of art created by the subject of our very first Central District News report (Image courtesy Mom)
This week, as we announced the time had come to bring Central District News to a close, we looked back at the history of the site — including the very first CDN post. The headline is unsettling: Car Hits Baby Stroller on 23rd Ave – 10/31/2007
For one final post, Central District News is happy to report that everyone lived happily ever after.
The first time I read the CD news was while trying to make sense out of the worst and best 24 hours of my life: October 31, 2007. I was walking to work with my mom and my stroller bound just-turned-one son. Crossing 23rd at Marion there was a car across the way so we waited for them. They werenʼt signaling nor moving even though the coast was clear so we assumed they were waiting for us. Not the case–must have been distracted. When we were 1/2 way across the street, the car made a quick left. Continue reading
Erika Zumwalt at Kaladi Brothers on Pike (Photo: Alex Garland)
Hot, fast, and with a smile. For most coffee customers, that’s enough to please. Even baristas at Capitol Hill’s most established coffeehouses say its a baseline level of service most people could deliver. But if you want to join the ranks of career baristas who are pressing the limits on coffee culture, you’ll need to take an obsessive, practically academic approach to the craft of coffee.
This week, Seattle invaded New York City for Coffee Fest 2014. The Seattle-based festival started “before coffee was hot” in 1992 and continues to be among the nation’s top coffee trade shows. So what does it take to land a barista job on Capitol Hill (and perhaps one day pull “America’s Best Espresso” at Coffee Fest?). Most baristas and managers we spoke to said it all comes back to customer service.
“If you make a good cup of coffee with bad service, who cares,” said Bauhaus owner Joel Radin. Like other managers, Radin said previous coffee experience isn’t a requirement landing a job at Capitol Hill’s most venerated shops. Demonstrating grace under pressure is a skill in much higher demand. Continue reading
As a neighborhood in the central city with resources like housing and treatment facilities and proximity to medical facilities, Capitol Hill’s residents, businesses and first responders are familiar with mental illness and it’s part in the day-to-day of being part of the neighborhood. Here are some updates regarding the way we deal with mental health issues in the city.
- SPD crisis intervention policy: As part of its agreement to rein in use of force around the department, SPD rolled out its new crisis intervention policy this week to help officers better respond to crisis situations with people who are mentally ill or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. KUOW reports:
Seattle Police’s new policy calls for a team of officers to be specially trained to take the lead at the scene where someone is having a “behavioral crisis.” The training includes a 40-hour course, exam and additional training each year.
The department will also be required to collect data about every encounter with someone in this type of crisis.
- Joel’s Law delay: A compromise to smooth the passage of legislation that will make it easier to have family members committed for mental health treatment will delay implementation of the new Washington law until 2017:
Sen. Jim Hargrove (D-Hoquiam) proposed the amendment to delay the law until July 2017.
Hargrove said Washington’s involuntary commitment system already is set for a major change that is expected to increase the number of people ordered into mental health treatment.
HB 5480, which lawmakers approved in 2013, changes the criteria for involuntary commitment from “dangerous to self or others” to “gravely disabled.” That change in criteria starts this July.
Hargrove said his amendment “will give us some time for our whole system to catch up before this next provision comes into play.”
CHS reported on Joel Reuter’s family pushing for changes in state mental illness laws after the Capitol Hill man was shot by police in a July 2013 standoff.
- Mental Health Court report: Seattle Municipal Court has released the results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of its Mental Health Court program.
“This program has been a success on many levels,” said Presiding Judge C. Kimi Kondo, currently assigned to the Mental Health Court. “Chronically mentally ill offenders are offered treatment and assistance with housing. Over the past 14 years, the Court has worked as a team with treatment and housing providers, social workers, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys and our dedicated probation staff. Our goal is to reduce criminal activity related to a diagnosed mental illness.”
According to the report, 62% of Seattle Mental Health Court participants successfully completed program requirements. “Most importantly, these defendants experienced a significant decline in the number of criminal charges filed for two years after exiting the program, when compared to the two years prior to entry,” the report states. You can read more about the court and the study here (PDF).
Take a tour of bathrooms on Saturday with the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict folks. You won’t be touring the familiar Capitol Hill bar/food establishment bathrooms, though. The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict Bathroom Tour offers “a neighborhood exploration of water conservation, gender identity, and homelessness.” Stops include the Bullitt Center, Seattle University, and Urban Rest Stop, and is end-capped with a happy hour discussion and conversation at a location to be determined during the tour. It’s likely to have a very special bathroom, also.
(Image courtesy tipster Andrés)
The short lived Torteria Barriga Llena shut down in early 2014 after only a year on the Hill opening up a new space for business in the Broadway Alley that was quickly picked up and opened last week. For owner and Seattle Central Community College alum Jose Perez, Villa Escondida is his first foray into the restaurant business.
“I always wanted to do it but never had the opportunity,” said Perez. His cousin, Misael Dominguez, has previous experience opening up businesses and is kicking in financial support. “He’s the one, I guess, that is teaching me all the stuff.” Dominguez, when we spoke with him last, was opening La Cocina Oaxaquena at Melrose and Pine last spring. Dominguez managed Ballard’s La Carta de Oaxaca back when the restaurant first grew into prominence. The Dominguez-Perez family behind La Carta just opened the beautiful and mezcale-stuffed Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill on E Pine.
Jose Perez was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, and entered the food industry about 15 years ago around the time he was a student at Seattle Central. He grew up on the food he serves and sees potential offering it on Broadway.
“It’s not the first place we found, but ya know, I’m going to say it’s a good place to do business.”
The unanswered question in this partly solved mystery: In which of Capitol Hill’s 14 active Mexican restaurants and bars should the victim enjoy his next burrito? It’s on CHS.
A 24-year-old man earned himself a wrap sheet over the weekend after he attacked a stranger for a bite of his burrito on Capitol Hill.
At about 4:30 PM on March 1st, the victim was sitting outside of a restaurant on Broadway and E. Pine Street, eating a burrito, when the suspect approached him.
“Give me a bite of your burrito,” the suspect demanded.
When the victim informed the suspect he was being rude, the suspect only got ruder.
The 24-year-old suspect shoved the victim and again demanded a bite of the victim’s burrito. When the victim stood up from his seat, the suspect punched him in the head and took off running.
Police got several calls about the incident, and officers arrived just in time to catch the suspect climbing onto a bus at Broadway and E. Pine Street.
Officers arrested the 24-year-old suspect—who also matched the description of a man who had just stolen liquor from a store nearby—and booked him into the King County Jail.
The Comet Part Deux is slated to be open by the end of the month. Thursday night, you can celebrate its past with a photo exhibit featuring the work of Connie Aramaki. Aramaki was invited into the legendary dive last fall to document the bar’s punk patina before its new ownership’s overhaul and construction work began. The show is open from 6 PM to midnight at 10th and Pike’s Sole Repair.
Washington Ensemble Theatre is throwing a bash Saturday to celebrate a decade of productions. WET’s Ten Year Jubilee party and auction is at the gala-friendly DAR Hall on Roy St and starts at 6pm.
Enjoy a festive evening of delightful entertainment, delicious bites and drinks, and a fabulous live and silent auction with dazzling prizes, as we raise our glasses to toast and honor the wonderful ten years of new work created in Seattle by the Washington Ensemble Theatre. The evening will feature a fantastic lineup of performances that honor the history of the Ensemble and the ten seasons of innovative new work. Call 206.325.5105 for ticket availability.
Other anniversary parties this weekend include St. John’s 2 Year “Oysterity” Party on Thursday, and the Bottleneck Lounge Turns Lucky 7 on Friday.
Boost your home library from the surplus of books at the Gay City LGBT Library. The surplus sale runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Gay City Health Project’s Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library is pleased to announce our Surplus Used Book sale, featuring surplus LGBT fiction and non-fiction books for sale. It’s a great way to build up your personal library, and the proceeds benefit ours!
Sunday night at Vermillion, support ZAPP in a benefit to help the Zine Archive & Publishing Project forge a new path as an independent nonprofit.
Find more events and happenings on and around the Hill on our community calendar below. Have something to add? Go for it. Anyone can add an event and it doesn’t cost ya a dime. Let us know on the CHS Calendar.
It was one of the most boisterous Seattle City Council meetings… ever. Several hundred people packed into First Hill’s Great Hall Wednesday night for the first of a series of hearings on raising the minimum wage in Seattle.
The red-shirted masses of Kshama Sawant’s $15 Now campaign filled the 8th and Seneca auditorium waving signs and uproariously cheering on those who spoke in favor of a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Several Capitol Hill business owners were also in attendance, including many who have thus far waited to speak out in public on raising the minimum wage. CHS spoke with a handful of owners last week about ideas to smooth the ramp to a $15/hour minimum wage including phase-ins and a “total compensation” calculation. Continue reading
The victim who fell to his death from one of the E Madison towers early Saturday has been identified as Gabriel Huskey. The 21-year-old was a Seattle resident.
Huskey’s family in Colorado contacted CHS and provided the following statement:
The Huskey family is deeply saddened by the loss of our loving son, brother and friend Gabe. We appreciate your prayers, compassion and respect during this time.
A memorial fund has been set up in Huskey’s name:
Gabe Huskey Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 261207
Lakewood, CO 80226
Police and fire units rushed to the area near 18th and E Madison just before 3 AM Saturday to a report that a suicidal male had climbed one of the 1,000-foot television and communications towers. A witness told CHS she saw Huskey fall from the tower around 3:10 AM.
CHS respects the sensitivity of reporting suicide and attempts to cover incidents by sharing facts in a responsible manner that provides information about what is happening on the streets and in the community around you. Here are two resources to help those in need: National suicide-prevention hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE. Local Crisis Clinic: (206) 461-3222.
Concerned about the challenges faced in funding King County Metro, data visualization expert James Davenport has turned to a form he knows best to express the importance of the bus and trolley transit system in the city. His 24 Hours of King County Metro visualization is below. See also our new series, Bus Stop.
I mused about the challenge of finding a data visualization to capture the emotion and gravity of this issue. Rather than produce some big infographic or series of detailed graphs, I decided to make an animation. This traces every bus through every stop, for one entire weekday. Note how our entire city, every major landmark and neighborhood, is traced by just plotting the bus stops. The buses thread the city like ants in a colony, connecting everyone and everywhere.
24 Hours of King County Metro from James Davenport on Vimeo.
With Washington’s first license for a marijuana producer-processor issued Wednesday to Spokane’s Kouchlock Productions, the process to assign licenses for the more than 300 planned legal pot shops in the state — including 21 in Seattle — is also moving forward.
A spokesperson for the Washington State Liquor Control Board — soon to become the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, btw — tells CHS a proposal for the retail license lottery was slated to be presented Wednesday.
A control board member speaking at an event in Pullman late last month said the lottery will take place in April:
In April, they plan to hold a retail license lottery for all the applicants that want to open up a pot shop. The board plans on issuing more than 300 licenses to retailers, but they’ve already received more then 2,000 applications.
The official also said stores could be open as soon as June.
The race to become Seattle’s first legal marijuana retailers has drawn some interesting players sometimes employing interesting strategies. The most serious apparently have played multiple hands with applications for more than one location in the city as various rules and zoning interplay to create marijuana-free zones across Seattle. In one sad wrinkle, retailers won’t be allowed to hold the other cannabis licenses for producers or processors so don’t get your hopes up, yet, for a Seattle pot bakery shop.
Earlier, CHS reported on the state’s decision to allocate only 21 stores for the city and its strict “as the crow flies” interpretation of the 1,000-foot buffer that would virtually eliminate any possibility of a pot store opening on Capitol Hill. City Attorney Pete Holmes continues to call for more shops to legally address the Seattle cannabis demand.
We last mapped the more than 400 cannabis retail applications submitted for Seattle in January as a few prospective pot entrepreneurs rolled the dice on acquiring licenses for shops on Capitol Hill. The control board has reportedly, um, weeded out locations that would violate laws and zoning rules as well as assessed the lease situation for proposed stores. Selecting from the remaining pool will apparently come down to the luck of the draw.
Wednesday night begins a new phase in the process to raise the minimum wage in Seattle as the City Council gathers at First Hill’s Town Hall for a public hearing on the issue:
The City Council Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequality & the City of Seattle Income Inequality Advisory Committee will hold a joint Public Hearing on Minimum Wage.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Town Hall Seattle
Eighth Avenue & Seneca Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Public Hearing—Members of the public may speak for up to two minutes about the idea of raising the minimum wage in Seattle. Doors to the event on Eighth Avenue will be open and speaker sign-in sheets will be available at 5:00 p.m.
You may submit written comments to Councilmembers at Seattle City Council, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025 or or mailto:email@example.com.
Comments will be included in the public record.
Tuesday, CHS was on hand as City Council member and $15/hour champion Kshama Sawant warmed up for the Town Hall with a debate on her home turf at Seattle Central. Sawant acknowledged the fragility of small, local businesses in the debate. “This economy does not support small businesses,” she said.”It is an obstacle-riddled path to start a small business,” she said. Full coverage of the “War on Wages” debate is here.
CHS also surveyed readers on possible solutions for helping to protect local businesses as the higher wage is implemented. You can see the results through this morning below.
Here are the mitigations the more than 50 respondents who identified themselves as business owners said they were most likely to support:
Here is how the few (20) who said they owned businesses that employ minimum wage workers answered: Continue reading