Midtown design looks too much like SoLU, not enough like the CD — Can new Central Area Design Review Board help?

Public comment and the East Design Review Board aligned Wednesday night in agreement that the latest designs for the proposed redevelopment of the Central District’s Midtown Center did not meet expectations for recognizing the history and the culture of African Americans and Black Seattle at 23rd and Union.

The “portals” that open to the street from Midtown: Public Plaza are still not open enough to foster a strong connection to the surrounding neighborhood and to support the hoped-for Black-owned businesses inside — the building needs to do more than utilize masonry to recognize African American-style architecture from the neighborhood — the design needs more “Afro-centric” colors and patterns and, as currently designed, looks too “South Lake Union” — features like the open plazas and a proposed video screen installation to showcase local arts and history need to have more fleshed out programming plans — a proposal to keep costs down on the three building development with connecting skywalks and fewer elevators and stairs needs more thought — and more.

They also agreed on something else.

The review board covering neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Montlake, and First Hill wasn’t necessarily the best body to make the decision.

“How is the Central Area design team not looking at this?,” one speaker asked during the public comment portion of Wednesday’s night’s review, the final stage for the project in the city’s public design process. She also stated the obvious — each member of the design board Wednesday night was white. Continue reading

City Council set to put a little muscle behind 2020 push for downtown bike plan

The City Council is set to put its support behind a plan for a Seattle Center City Bike Network and an 18-month implementation schedule to create “a connected, protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle by 2020.”

“With Wednesday’s committee meeting, we’re reaffirming our commitment to establishing a connected, protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle,” council member Mike O’Brien said Wednesday at a press conference before his committee meeting introducing the a resolution outlining the new push. Continue reading

More Cal Anderson sports on Block Party weekend: Battle on the Block skate contest

Saturday will be a very sporty day in Cal Anderson Park. The Seattle Cascades of the American Ultimate Disc League are making the park’s Bobby Morris turf their home field Saturday night with hopes of catching some of the buzz of this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party.

Through the day, the park’s busy sports courts will also be put to use for some X-Games-worthy action as Pike/Pine skateshop 35th North presents a “Battle on the Block” mini-ramp contest:

Battle on the Block Mini-ramp contest

The day of ramp riding gets started at 11 AM. You’ll need to sign up in advance at E Pike’s 35th North.

While Capitol Hill lacks a proper public skate park, the Cal Anderson courts have provided a smooth space for riders over the years. 35th North, meanwhile, has helped support the local scene in Seattle since 2003.

 

Blotter | ‘Help the officer’ at Bellevue/Mercer, dumpster fire investigation, I-5 crossing death

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Officer assault: A “help the officer” call triggered a huge response from Seattle Police Tuesday afternoon at Bellevue and Mercer. Police were called to the area around 3:20 PM to a report of a man suffering a mental or drug crisis walking in circles in the street. After being contacted by an officer, the man reportedly began struggling and a “help the officer” call was issued sending units from across the area speeding for the scene. During the incident, the man reportedly assaulted an officer but was taken into custody. Seattle Fire was called to the scene to assist with the possible “excited delirium” situation and to sedate the man. He was taken to Harborview.
  • Dumpster fire investigation: Seattle Police were called to assist Seattle Fire at a rubbish fire on First Hill as a string of similar fires were reported across the city within a 90 minute period Tuesday morning. Authorities are looking into the string of dumpster fires as possible arson. Tuesday’s fire scene on First Hill was reported just before 8 AM outside a daycare on 9th Ave. Continue reading

Cascades bring American Ultimate Disc League battle — and Portland rivalry — to Capitol Hill

Shane Worthington, 24, joined the Seattle Cascades last year having played ultimate frisbee since he was 11. He and the Cascades will bring their game to Bobby Morris Saturday. (Image: CHS)

Lots of interesting things happen at Cal Anderson but Capitol Hill’s central park may have found a new symbol of its eccentric charm by means of a professional frisbee team—the city’s very first—called the Seattle Cascades.

“The Cascades are trying to do something more than just be a team,” Xtehn Titcomb tells CHS. “We have a fan base. We have a social media following. If we play our cards right, we can continue to grow and have what I think is a really big impact on sports culture beyond just ultimate frisbee.” Continue reading

‘A period of redesign’ — Activists say, as planned, new youth jail will be ‘catastrophic’ to county coffers

The coalition formed to stop construction of the new county youth jail facility on 12th Ave said Tuesday that Dow Constantine’s officials have warned that the project could be “catastrophic” to county coffers.

Nikkita Oliver and the No New Youth Jail and People’s Moratorium efforts held a press conference and rally Tuesday morning to announce the findings outside the fences where construction continues on the $200 million-plus youth justice facility that will create a new incarceration facility, and new court and administrative buildings on the county’s campus at 12th and Alder.

“This system is going to traumatize children and separate families,” Oliver said Tuesday.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | At Optimism, vive la Franc!

Franc is a three-year-old French Bulldog who has lived with his friend Michelle Dawahare since he was ten weeks old. Franc is great with people, especially kids, and is super easy going. We met him inside Optimism Brewing where he was being especially sweet. Though he is likely in a celebratory mood following the World Cup, Franc has a sensitive stomach, so if you see him, only give him pets.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.

Mayor sticks with Carmen Best as Seattle Police Chief

Interim Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best can drop the qualifier from her title — she’s won the job. Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office announced the selection Tuesday morning.

Initially left off the mayor’s list of finalists, Best was put back into consideration after outcry from community groups calling for a “restart” on the process to select the next leader of the Seattle Police Department. Continue reading

Tallulah’s on its own as Linda bids farewell to Capitol Hill’s 19th Ave E

Brunch on Tallulah’s patio reportedly sealed the deal (Images: CHS)

Linda Derschang has put a member of her Capitol Hill food and drink family in new hands. The proprietor behind OddfellowsLinda’s and Smith has sold her 19th Ave E project Tallulah’s and has something new — but typically Linda — cooking in Belltown.

The new owner at Tallulah’s is Brad Haggen, part of the family behind the Haggen grocery chain. The entrepreneur and investor tells CHS that the Linda Derschang creation represented a “no brainer” opportunity as was looking for businesses to start or buy following his family’s 2016 sale of their interest in the grocery chain.

A brunch visit with his wife to the busy restaurant at the corner of 19th and Mercer reportedly sealed the deal.

Continue reading

Plan would double Seattle’s bike share fleet, add more designated bike parking

(Image: SDOT)

The city’s department of transportation is so tickled pink — and orange and yellow and lime green — with floating bike share in Seattle that it wants to double the number of rental bikes it allows in the city.

The Seattle City Council’s transportation committee is set to take up the proposal to double the number of bikes allowed in Seattle along with adding a new fourth provider to the mix Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading