Capitol Hill Vaudeville trailer-turned-vintage shop has gone missing in Georgetown

13495224_10153436419586157_8178400059656963590_nCapitol Hill Vaudeville is not only Ferdous Ahmed’s livelihood, the 1977 Airstream trailer-turned-vintage shop is a roving museum of Seattle history.

Last week the 40-foot silver camper went missing from a residential street in Georgetown.

The missing mobile shop contained the bulk of Ahmed’s meticulously curated collection, including beaver fur hats, bowler hats, walking sticks, Victorian-era coats, two Victrola record players, and countless pieces of Seattle memorabilia and vintage photographs. Sadly, Ahmed said none of it was insured.

“The theme of my trailer was preserving old Seattle,” Ahmed told CHS over the phone while hanging posters in Georgetown about the trailer. “I can’t put a price on it.” Continue reading

Council member O’Brien wants Central Co-op to anchor Capitol Hill Station development

Favorites-1-of-4-1-600x400Council member Mike O’Brien has made an unexpected endorsement, not for a political candidate, but for a Capitol Hill grocer.

In a letter to the developer of the four-site retail and housing project that will one day surround the Capitol Hill Station, the District 6 rep expressed his support for Central Co-op to become the development’s anchor tenant over Portland-based New Seasons Market. Both grocers are vying to occupy the future prominent retail space on Broadway, poised to be an extremely high-trafficked site given the thousands of light rail riders who are already moving through the block daily.

Members of the 16th and E Madison co-op announced in April to pursue a second location in the “transit orientated development” following reports that developer Gerding Edlen was in talks with New Seasons.

A group of labor organizations and Council District 3 rep Kshama Sawant previously voiced concerns about an “anti-union climate” at New Seasons stores. Citing Central Co-op’s early implementation of a $15 minimum wage and “spirit of sustainability,” O’Brien said the Capitol Hill-born grocer would be a better fit for the neighborhood.

“I was in the room when they announced their desire to pursue the TOD space,” O’Brien said in his letter. “I was inspired by the energy and excitement of hundreds of people, all of whom are owners of the business, turning their energy towards a common goal and vision.” Continue reading

‘Everyone Knows I Had an Abortion’ — Capitol Hill corner joins rally for reproductive rights

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Supporters of abortion rights cautiously celebrated at 10th and Pike Monday night after the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that has restricted clinic access in the state. Shout Your Abortion organizer Amelia Bonow reminded those gathered that only 24 hours earlier, the group planning the Seattle event wasn’t sure if it would be a night of celebration — or tears.

“This decision could have gone either way,” Bonow told the crowd of people who came out to the nightlife district to the corner that has also become a popular gathering place to mark victories.

“We dodged a bullet but our collective body is still being beaten,” Bonow said. Continue reading

‘Chatbot lawyer’ could get you out of your next Capitol Hill parking ticket

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

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The whole thing about parking on Capitol Hill being impossible is dumb. Paid parking zones have made open spaces mostly guaranteed during pay to park hours. Overnight parking and the insatiable human urge to not pay for parking that leads drivers to explore Capitol Hill’s more ticket-risky parking strategies — those problems are real.

City living (and city news reporting!) with a motor vehicle pretty much guarantees parking tickets. It is the cost of doing business.

But here is some good news for the Capitol Hill parking ticket-plagued. A young genius has found a way to put the artificial intelligence of chatbots to work for something more than customer service or tricking people on dating sites. And the new “chatbot lawyer” is coming to Seattle — as soon as the system’s inventor takes on some small issues like “flight delay compensation, as well as helping the HIV positive understand their rights and acting as a guide for refugees navigating foreign legal systems” — The Guardian reports:

Dubbed as “the world’s first robot lawyer” by its 19-year-old creator, London-born second-year Stanford University student Joshua Browder, DoNotPay helps users contest parking tickets in an easy to use chat-like interface. The program first works out whether an appeal is possible through a series of simple questions, such as were there clearly visible parking signs, and then guides users through the appeals process. The results speak for themselves. In the 21 months since the free service was launched in London and now New York, Browder says DoNotPay has taken on 250,000 cases and won 160,000, giving it a success rate of 64% appealing over $4m of parking tickets.

Makes you wonder what other repetitive, mundane tasks could be taken on by a chatbot, no?

In the meantime, there are other parking problems — and opportunities — on Capitol Hill to solve.

Hat tip to @sleepylemur for sharing the news.

Broadway Hill Park, last of its kind, now open on Capitol Hill

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It just might be the last of its kind. The fences have come down around Broadway Hill Park, 12,000 square feet of grass, benches, community gardening space, and a sure to be popular BBQ grill in the middle of Capitol Hill. There may never be another.

Seattle Parks acquired the land at the corner for Federal and Republican in 2010 for $2 million after a townhome project slated for the property fell through. In the time since the project started, Parks has opened small greenspaces just off E Olive Way at the garden-filled, skateboard-popular Summit Slope Park and near 15th Ave at the sleepy Seven Hills Park. It also opened 12th Ave Square Park across from Seattle U, but even that woonerf-y paved square featuring sculptures and seating doesn’t appear to be the direction Parks will be taking for future Capitol Hill-area open spaces. Continue reading

U-Link construction workers sue Sound Transit contractor over discrimination

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Workers boring the U-Link tunnel in 2012. (Image: CHS)

Three African American construction workers who helped build the Capitol Hill light rail tunnels during 2011-2012 say supervisors gave skilled minority laborers menial tasks, denied overtime based on race, and were openly hostile to black workers.

The allegations were made in a civil lawsuit filed in a Seattle federal court earlier this month against Traylor Brothers, a company that had formed a joint venture with Frontier-Kemper to bore the the U-Link twin tunnels between Capitol Hill and the University of Washington stations. Continue reading

Starbucks Roastery’s latest Capitol Hill innovation: ice cream + coffee is delicous

No this post is not an ad for Starbucks, they did not pay us to post this picture, and we are not (exactly) corporate shills (Image: Starbucks)

No this post is not an ad for Starbucks, they did not pay us to post this picture, and we are not (exactly) corporate shills (Image: Starbucks)

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room is already a people magnet drawing thousands of visitors a week to the base of Capitol Hill. Now it has ice cream.

“There was a lot of coffee and ice cream drinking early in the day,” said Lillian Ontiveros, about the process of developing the ice cream centered coffee beverages the Roastery added to its menu. Like all good things Starbucks, be ready for whatever appears at the showcase cafes like the Roastery or Roy Street to eventually be rolled out globally at massive scale.

And we’ll call it… the Frappuccino!…

Continue reading

Blotter | CD shooting, Boylston barricade resolved, and the infamous QFC self-checkout incident of 2016

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

  • CD shooting: More gun violence near 27th and Spring injured a 96-year-old woman overnight. Police are calling the shooting in the 900 block of 27th Ave around 12:45 AM Monday a “targeted shooting” —
    Police are investigating after a Central District home was targeted in a drive-by shooting early Monday morning, leaving a 96-year-old woman with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 900 block of 27th Avenue at about 12:45 am, but were not able to immediately locate any suspects or property damage. Several hours later, around 4:50 am, police were again called to the same block, this time by the victim’s granddaughter, who reported her grandmother had sustained a gunshot wound to her leg. While police believe the elderly victim may have not been the intended target of this shooting, officers have responded to the home on numerous occasions to investigate shootings and other crimes targeting her other family members who also reside at the home. Seattle Fire responded and treated the 96-year-old victim for her injury and transported her to Harborview Medical Center for further treatment. Her injury is believed to be non-life-threatening. Officers recovered shell casings from in front of the house. Gang Unit detectives are investigating the incident. Continue reading

Seattle Parks says 2016 Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic a go

The route to saving Capitol Hill’s Independence Day picnic wasn’t pretty but it was apparently successful. Seattle Parks has announced that the 14th edition of the free community event will go on.

July 4th in Cal Anderson from noon to 4 PM, Parks and Rec has rallied to pull together free hot dogs for the first 500 people, a David Bowie Look-A-Like Contest, drag performance by Ms. Ryannah Doll, a Space Oddity Kids Costume Parade (“come dressed in your best outer space look”), face painting for kids, “and more!” Continue reading