Olive Tree’s new Capitol Hill branch now open on 15th Ave E

The flavors of the Mediterranean — by way of Kent — are now resident on 15th Ave E. Olive Tree opened this week in the space of a short-lived Latin American restaurant and a long-lived Bagel Deli.

CHS talked earlier this year with  Zana Abdulaziz who opened the first Olive Tree in Kent with his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar in 2009. Abdulaziz told CHS the business partners chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood in the midst of the busy Capitol Hill restaurant scene. “We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz told CHS last month. “We have an amazing vision of what we’re trying to do. If Olive Tree is to take off, Capitol Hill is the place to make it happen.” Continue reading

Civic duty: Last chance to weigh in on Madison BRT — bikes, 12th/Union, enforcement

The Madison Bus Rapid Transit online open house closes Wednesday night and, because you’re human and may have put off getting to it and because we’re human and did a poor job of making it clear when the deadline for online comment was, here is your reminder/push to weigh in on what just might be the last big infrastructure investment around the Hill before you move to Tacoma.

You can see a presentation on the details of the planned changes to Madison and provide feedback at MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online.

Here are a few ideas for aspects of the $120 million project to weigh in on. Continue reading

Inside I-126, Seattle’s $275 homelessness levy: shelter, health, housing

Homeless people in Seattle may be getting more assistance in the form of programs funded by a $275 million property tax levy proposed by Mayor Ed Murray — if voters agree. The money is substantial, and the proposed spending in some ways aligns with what the homeless themselves say they could use the most.

Signature gathering is underway to put I-126 on the August ballot. “The Seattle skyline visible from this location is a symbol the city’s economic strength and growth, but from the exact same vantage point you can see the people and community that that same progress has left behind and made more vulnerable,” Downtown Emergency Service Center director Daniel Malone who co-chaired the advisory committee that developed the measure said about the start of the effort. “We all know that the problem of homelessness has been growing rapidly. We need to step and do more to help the people suffering on our streets, and this carefully considered measure will do that.”

The measure would last five years and nearly double what the city currently spends on aid to homeless people. The levy will cost about 27 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for homeowners. For the city’s median homeowner — Zillow puts that at a $513,200 home — that would mean $138.51 per year. Continue reading

Long-term fix for First Hill Streetcar likely to take months, bill to be determined

IMG_0702The First Hill Streetcar went back into operation at 5 AM on Monday after a sliding incident on March 1 took it out of service. Short-term fixes and precautions have been put in place until a long-term solution is ready, which could take months. And, while a bill for the 20-day outage and repairs is still being tabulated, officials told a City Council committee Tuesday afternoon that Seattle shouldn’t be on the hook for the costs.

“If we go the direction that we’ve kind of talked about, some of those components have to be specifically ordered and manufactured, and that’s a two month period just to get the components made in Germany,” Michael James, with the Seattle Department of Transportation said. “So we’re probably talking months not weeks.”

SDOT did not provide an estimated cost due to the service failure, but James said it appears to be manufacturer Inekon’s or its insurance company’s responsibility to cover costs from the service closure, which could include work to get the streetcar operating again and bus service provided during peak travel times on the route by King County Metro. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | SDOT John and Thomas Corridor Crossing Improvements

nsf_map-JohnThomas_Broadway23rd_20170302b-01From SDOT

We’re excited to let you know that the John and Thomas Corridor Crossing Improvements project, located on Capitol Hill, was among 12 projects selected in late 2016 by the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee for funding through the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) program. The NSF program funds projects requested by the community.

The 2015 voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle includes $24 million to continue the NSF program over a nine-year period. Learn more about the program: www.seattle.gov/transportation/nsf.htm

John and Thomas Corridor Crossing Improvements
This project will improve the safety and visibility of people walking and biking at intersections without traffic signals along the John Street and Thomas Street corridor.

We will install new curb and bus bulbs, new and improved ADA-accessible curb ramps, and pedestrian crossing beacons. We are working in conjunction with King Country Metro Transit to adjust the location of two bus stops before we construct the new bulbs.

Visit the project website to view the early design concept:
www.seattle.gov/transportation/NSFJohnThomasCorridor.htm

This is the first phase of outreach and we’d like to hear from you! Email us by April 20 to let us know:

  • What do you like about the design concept shown on our website? Do you have any concerns?
  • What else do you want the design team to know about these locations?

 

Stay Involved!

This project is being designed in 2017, with construction scheduled for 2018. We’re committed to keeping you informed throughout the life of the project. We’ll keep you engaged as design progresses and stay in touch throughout the year.

 

Visit the project’s webpage at www.seattle.gov/transportation/NSFJohnThomasCorridor.htm

to learn more.

Community meeting called after more 23/Union gunfire

With tensions over change and displacement in the Central District boiling over in evictions, protests, and scuffles, neighbors are asking for more to be done after another bout of gun violence near 23rd and Union.

Police received a flood of 911 calls Monday night just before 7:30 PM reporting multiple gunshots and two vehicles seen fleeing the area. Arriving officers found shell casings near Marion and damage to houses in the area but, fortunately, no injuries.

In the wake of the incident, Sara Mae Brereton, owner of 23rd and Cherry’s 701 Coffee, posted a call for a community meeting to “stop the shootings” and calling on Mayor Ed Murray and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant to respond to the ongoing violence.

Stop the Shooting, Stop the Hate CD Community Meeting

Monday’s driveby shootout was the latest in a string of gunfire incidents along 23rd Ave from Jackson to Union. Continue reading

E Madison Piecora’s development planned to finally break ground this spring

IMG_4342While we watch for 2017’s sortie of property deals to play out — including two core auto row-era(1), preservation-friendly buildings (2) in the Pike/Pine Conservation District and a block of 15th Ave E (3) — the story of what comes next for a big Capitol Hill property deal from the past is finally ready to play out.

A spokesperson for developer Equity Residential tells CHS that the project to create a six-story, 137-unit project with parking for 78 vehicles and a planned 3,800 square feet of retail space is finally ready to break ground this spring on the empty, weeded-over, fenced-off lot where neighborhood favorite Piecora’s served up its “New York Pizza” and slices for 33 years. Continue reading

Seattle City Council approves nation’s first Renters’ Commission

Council member Tim Burgess

Council member Tim Burgess

Applause followed the City Council’s unanimous approval of an ordinance creating a Seattle Renters’ Commission on Monday.

“This was truly a grassroots effort that started up on Capitol Hill and will now benefit the entire city of Seattle,” Council member and prime sponsor Tim Burgess said.

“We just want to give renters a formal voice here at City Hall,” he said. “… Renters need landlords and landlords need renters, so if this commission can help bridge that relationship then that will be a positive move for our city.” Continue reading

Raw and more than a little vulnerable, Seattle Fringe Festival returns to Capitol Hill

By Tim Kukes for CHS

“I think the Seattle Fringe Festival is really taking on the role of mentoring and offering up opportunities for the artist to learn things,” Jeffrey Robert said.

Robert, who performs as The Gay Uncle, will be part of the 2017 version of the rebooted festival featuring “more than 30 producers of Theatre, Dance, Improv, Burlesque, Musical, Opera, Drag Performance, Solo Performance, Experimental, Clown, and Performance Art” at Capitol Hill’s Eclectic Theater and the Seattle Center Armory. Tickets run between $10 and $15 per show.

Robert is one of many local artists participating in the 2017 Seattle Fringe Festival but he may have gotten a later start than most. A standup comedian turned performance artist/storyteller, Robert didn’t dive into the artist life until his fifties.

“I always wanted to attempt it, but I was afraid to,” Robert said.  “I always wanted to do artwork and sort of toyed around with it.  I studied it in college, but I never ever made a career out of it.” Continue reading