City Council comes to Central District to talk taking on gun violence with cops on foot, SDOT improvements, economic development

Flowers and a memorial left for Royale Lexing along E Union (Image: CHS)

A slide from the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New
Americans, and Education Committee meeting

One-third of the Seattle City Council, half a dozen city department officials, and the deputy chief of the Seattle Police Department met with a crowded room of Central District residents Thursday evening as they outlined the city’s holistic approach to addressing the recent spate of gun violence in the neighborhood that has left citizens worried.

Lorena González brought herGender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans, and Education Committee committee to the CD for a special meeting In collaboration with the African American Community Advisory Council at the Seattle Vocational Institute in what has been the most significant official response to concerns about gun violence and a deadly shooting in the neighborhood.

On a Friday afternoon in mid-May, 19-year-old Royale Lexing was found dead by police outside Swedish Cherry Hill where he was rushed by private vehicle after multiple shooters exchanged fire in a chaotic scene along E Union. This was the first fatal shooting in the community in the first six and a half months of a year since 2014, according to SPD. Continue reading

Why The Cuff was also known as The Puff, Seattle had two Pride Parades in 1984, and 6 other things CHS heard at the ‘There Goes the Gayborhood’ panel

As this year’s Pride overlaps with the city’s ongoing Save The Showbox debate, a panel discussion held earlier this month at the downtown branch of Seattle Public Library titled ‘There Goes the Gayborhood’ considered “inclusion in preservation” and the history and future of Capitol Hill as a “gayborhood.”

The panel, organized by SPL, Historic Seattle and Cynthia Brothers of Vanishing Seattle, initially set out to discuss the question “how do we save the places that anchor Seattle’s LGBTQ communities but may lack the architectural significance typically required for landmarking” in the face of rapid redevelopment.

But much of the discussion veered towards a trip down memory lane and a need for keeping stories alive.

Here are eight things CHS heard at the panel:

  1. The property home to The Eagle is for sale. Fred Wildlife Refuge and Neighbours is for sale,” said Cynthia Brothers of Vanishing Seattle in her introduction. She said that as LGBTQ+ and creative spaces and people are pushed out, “preserving space requires more than façadism, (…) rainbow flags and crosswalks.” Continue reading

Like the Capitol Hill jungle, Rose Temple now rises above E Olive Way food+drink ruins

You can still get a sandwich and a stiff drink at the corner of Harvard and E Olive Way but the bullshit is long gone.

“We don’t have any grand ideas,” Rose Temple co-owner Austin Polley tells CHS. “We know we’ll be whatever this neighborhood wants us to be.”

Debuting fully this week and inspired, in part, by the dearly departed Moon Bar in Wallingford, the new bar has sprung to life over the top of the financial wreckage left behind by the failed By the Pound speakeasy like the jungle-y plants that line its walls and the fruits that flavor its tropically boozed-up drinks.

“When you have a $20,000 budget, this is what you get.”

Rose Temple is a testament to reuse but not the kind that puts old auto row showrooms to use as fancy new Pike/Pine restaurants. Continue reading

What you’ll find in the ‘animal history’ of Capitol Hill

Broadway Livery and Sale Stables, at Union and 10th, in 1910 from A century of use for Capitol Hill’s Gilda’s Club building (UW Special Collections LEE124)

Frederick L. Brown, author of The City is More Than Human, says your Capitol Hill houses and apartment buildings were once favorite grazing spots of dairy cows roaming the pasture in the late 19th century.

“It’s really important to think about the kinds of relationships people have had with animals where you live. History helps people recognize our choices create change,” Brown tells CHS, “I think that allows people to think more clearly about the kind of choices they make today about how to live with animals.”

Brown will appear Friday night “to speak on the animal history” in a discussion with the Capitol Hill Historical Society’s Tom Heuser at Elliott Bay Book Company starting at 7 PM.

According to Brown, understanding the history of animals in Capitol Hill provides insight to understanding how industrialization has historically impacted livestock farming in the greater Puget Sound region. Brown paints a picture of Capitol Hill’s transition from rural to urban, comparing of records of old animal ownership laws, institutions such as riding academies and stables, and cow herding laws with Capitol Hill and the rest of Seattle’s contemporary pet and leash laws. Continue reading

Trove is closing — How many concepts will it take to fill its ‘Capitol Hill complex’ space?

The peak of the Capitol Hill food and drink economy boom created a few opportunities so large, they could not be contained in a single concept. Now some four and five years after the debuts of these Capitol Hill complexes, we will get more of an idea of what comes next to the ambitiously large spaces.

Trove, which husband and wife chef team Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi debuted as a restaurant and bar fourplex — “bustling noodle bar, tucked-in-the-middle bar, new-era Korean BBQ with grill-at-your-table tradition, and a frozen custard walk-up doling out giant parfaits” — in the overhauled 500 E Pike Greenus Building in the sunny September of 2014, will close later this month.

“Today, with a heavy heart, we would like to let you guys know that Trove will have its last dinner service on Sunday, June 30th,” Yang wrote, announcing the plans to close the project in a message to friends and family.  Continue reading

An ‘extraordinarily severe’ emergency: the radioactive leak at Harborview

A small platform crane hoists two men up near the roof gutter of a flat, one-floor building on the Harborview campus on First Hill. Slowly, one of the men moves a thick, round bar roughly six inches along the gutter with his right hand, stops, and then looks at the radiation survey meter in his left. Then he moves the bar another six inches. And another.

If there is any radiation left from the leak of radioactive material that left 13 people exposed during the decommissioning of an irradiator device in the middle of Seattle on May 2nd, these men will find it and wipe it down.

The concrete L-shaped loading dock and parking lot, wedged between the UW Medicine Harborview Medical Center Research and Training Building and a small administrative building near Terry Ave and Terrace, is already polka-dotted with white paint marks, designating areas where potential traces of Cesium-137 were found.

While being checked for radioactive residue, the R&T building is still on lockdown. State Patrol troopers guard the fenced-off entrances to make sure no one can go in and out. From behind the chain-link, there is not much to see — no Chernobyl-like scenes here — except for a sidewalk-wide stripe of white paint near the loading dock doors and a white plastic box covering the ventilation system. The parking lot exudes a ghostly calm.

Here, the night of May 2nd, crews from the Seattle Fire Department rushed to the scene to try to make sense of a rare incident that involved more than 50 people from at least six different agencies, including the department’s HAZMAT team, the Washington State Department of Health, the FBI, University of Washington, and a clean up crew with over 40 officials from the US Department of Energy.

More than six weeks after the leak, little is publicly known about what happened that night — and what went wrong.

Records obtained by CHS, reports by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as interviews with officials from the University of Washington, Washington State Department of Health and the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration shed more light on the night of the leak, and the aftermath.

The plan for that night, with preparations launched early this year, had been months in the making.

Continue reading

This District 3 candidate just won big-time Seattle labor support

(Image: MLK Labor)

One District 3 candidate just won big-time Seattle business support. And these candidates — all of them — just failed to get the backing of the influential 43rd District Democrats. Now this D3 candidate just struck a major blow in the fight thanks to support from the county’s labor council.

MLK Labor announced Wednesday night it has given its support in the D3 primary to school board member Zachary DeWolf. Continue reading

More hate vandalism on Capitol Hill: City says AIDS Memorial Pathway installations torn down

“When thinking about a temporary art, I thought about the condom, and how, at the start of the AIDs crisis, it became this necessary evil. This thing that people had to utilize and it was a constant reminder of death, of infection, it was a killjoy in a lot of ways. I wanted to take that thing, which was a symbol of fear, and turn it into something of beauty. Now that we’re sort of past that hump and we can look back with more appreciation of the struggle everyone went through and feelings people had. I used about 1000 condoms between the four pieces.” — Pete Rush – AMP Broadway

Artwork installed for Pride around the Capitol Hill Station mixed-use development construction site was ripped down almost as quickly as it went up over the weekend. The city’s Office of Arts and Culture said it is working on getting the works replaced.

Work by artists including Gabriel Stromberg, Pete Rush, and Timothy White Eagle were ripped down in the vandalism. The installations are part of the project creating the AIDS Memorial Pathway, a walkway featuring artwork and tributes that will connect the mixed-use buildings to nearby Cal Anderson Park when it opens in 2020. Continue reading

On the List | Before Stonewall film, Ginsberg poetry festival at Volunteer Park, Seattle Poetry Slam

Before Stonewall (Courtesy of First Run Features)

The epitome of this neighborhood in the year 2019? Perhaps this particular fork in the road: Do you choose meditation with cats, or rather an open mic for works-in-progress at an arts/event space in another building now for sale on the Hill?

Other options on Wednesday include celebrating Juneteenth in the Central District during the last day of “We Out Here,” a festival celebrating Black brilliance.

More things to do this week include  Queers fired up against the far right and a committee meeting (hosted by council member Lorena González) Addressing Gun Violence in the Central District, and free performances by students from the School of Spectrum Dance and Clyde Petersen on the site the future AIDS Memorial Pathway near Cal Anderson this Friday and Saturday.

Find more events the list below, plus on the CHS Pride Calendar and CHS Calendar.

THURSDAY, June 20: Dr. Louise Aronson believes we have some misconceptions around what it means to be or grow old. So the geriatric doctor wrote a book, “Elderhood—Redefining Aging,” to open up the discussion and share an “honest and respectful vision of our society’s elders as still-breathing human beings full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope.” At the newly reopened Town Hall, she’ll pull from her experiences to rethink what “old age” means — and how that impacts the way we approach elder health care. Town Hall Seattle, 7.30 PM  

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