The King County election nobody* has heard about

You probably still have time to vote in a King County election that pretty much nobody has heard about.

The King County Conservation District works “directly with private landowners to care for the land and resources” that helps “farmers and other landowners voluntarily preserve and enhance our natural resources through cost-sharing, education and technical assistance.”

The district has an open seat with six candidates but to vote, you’ll need to request a ballot and have it postmarked by March 29th. King County voters can do that here.

Why bother? Take it away, King County Democrats:

The last few years have reinforced that we have to be engaged in every election, at every level. Local elections have a substantial impact on our daily lives. This is also where we build the bench of our future leaders. Let’s show ’em that Democrats vote every year, in every election!

Excellent work, citizen.

Tip of the farmer’s hat to The Stranger for letting us know about the election.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Capitol Hill and the nearby lends itself to great imagery. Social media is filled with images of the places and streets around us. We share some of the best here. To be included and help us find your stuff, use the #capitolhillseattle tag on Instagram or ping @capitolhillseattle or @jseattle via Twitter.

We still also have lots of love for the CHS Flickr Pool and its more than 36,000 photographs — most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill shutterbugs. With changes at Flickr, its days of an amazing, free for most repository of great photography have shifted but we’re still watching. Continue reading

Blade and Timber axe-tossing bar hopes to hit mark with Capitol Hill nightlife crowds

The key to tossing an axe, Blade and Timber’s Jessie Poole says, is like most things in life. Most people are trying too hard. Instead, try to make your motion more of a smooth, continual arc and let the heavy blade do most of the work. K-thunk.

Also, wear appropriate footwear.

Friday, the newest addition to the nightlife carnival that is Capitol Hill debuts. Blade and Timber adds to the neighborhood’s midway of fun things to do while you drink. Worrywarts, though, probably won’t be surprised to hear that the debut of an axe-tossing bar in Seattle, Washington will come with the bar completely dry — the state process to secure a liquor license for the new venture is taking longer than expected. Continue reading

‘Emmett’ — Family remembers man found dead in 14th/Yesler apartment fire

The young man who died in early Monday morning’s two-alarm fire inside a 14th at Yesler apartment unit has been identified by family as 23-year-old Emerson “Emmett” Davis.

“To whom have met him, know him and loved him, it’s a devastating loss in the world,” his family wrote about the young man. “Our angel left too soon! His passion for life, friendships and living through experiences was contagious. He’s laugh and smile….well you know what it brought to a room of friends and family.”

The family is raising money to help take care of expenses. You can learn more and give here. Continue reading

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