SCCC has plans for 6-story student housing on Broadway, more for light rail ‘Site D’

Seattle Central mail center and former Atlas thrift store (CHS)

Seattle University isn’t the only big educational player on the Hill making plans for new development. CHS has learned of plans for Seattle Central Community College to put some of its Broadway property to work as student housing. Meanwhile, SCCC’s potential deal to be part of the “transit oriented development” around Capitol Hill Station waits in the wings.

In 2008, the Seattle Community College District acquired the building home to Atlas thrift store on Broadway and has since installed a mail center for Seattle Central there. The $2.8 million acquisition would also see the school become landlords for currently empty restaurant space that once housed Pita Pit.

“The College has also expressed an interest in a partnership with Capitol Hill Housing to develop the Atlas site for student housing,” Seattle Central vice president Michael Pham tells CHS.


SCCC has been working to find new ways to expand its student housing infrastructure. The school currently offers student housing at one Broadway building through Capitol Hill Housing. The Atlas project would represent a further tie up.

“If the discussions progress, we’d be happy to talk about the project and answer detailed questions,” said Michael Seiwerath, an executive director for Capitol Hill Housing, but declined further comment until the effort has progressed.

“The College and Capitol Hill Housing are working on the Letter of Intent.  All details regarding potential development have not been made nor worked out,” SCCC’s Pham said.

Broadway Crossing (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill Housing already has a presence on the block. Its Broadway Crossing building provides 44 apartments above the Walgreens at Pine and Broadway. The non-profit developer’s next big Capitol Hill property will be the 12th Ave Arts apartment, office, theater and Seattle Police Department parking project.

Documentation from a recent Capitol Hill Housing board session fleshes out the plan for the Atlas property. “SCCC intends to partner with CHH for the purpose of developing on the Property student housing in five floors and commercial space to be located on the first floor (the “Project”).”

It goes on to outline the following:

SCCC envisions the commercial component comprising classroom and retail space potentially including a culinary training program open to the public as an operating restaurant, no onsite parking for the commercial component and envisions the residential component comprising five floors of housing for SCCC international students in a suite model which will include approximately 70 suites, three bedrooms per suite, housing three students per suite with one kitchen and bathroom per suite and no onsite parking for the Residential Component (the “Program”).

CHH envisions a development and ownership structure as follows: SCCC owns and operates the two parcels at 1515 and 1519 Broadway Ave East. Existing improvements on the parcels will be removed except that the façade of the former Atlas Clothing store on the 1515 site may be retained to preserve neighborhood character. SCCC will contribute the land to the Project through a long‐term ground lease. CHH will assemble financing, entitle and manage all aspects of building development to agreed specifications and in consultation with SCCC. Capitol Hill Housing will control and operate the building for the duration of the long‐term ground lease. SCCC will master lease the building from CHH and lease the units to SCCC students and manage tenant issues. CHH will manage the physical plant of the building as well as work‐orders and repairs. After an agreed number of years, the long‐term ground lease will terminate and ownership of the Project will revert back to SCCC.

The school and Capitol Hill Housing as of now have agreed to proceed with a “feasibility analysis” and upon completion will prepare a “development agreement.”

It’s not clear what a deal on student housing at the old Atlas site would mean to an ongoing process between the school and Sound Transit over a portion of the “transit oriented development” property around the coming Capitol Hill Station.

SCCC is working on a deal with Sound Transit over the use of “Site D” located immediately north of the school’s main Broadway Edison building. The college “is currently working through the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services to discuss with Sound Transit on the possible acquisition by the College of the Sound Transit Site D,” Pham said.

Currently serving as offices for Sound Transit, developing the lot could provide “an instructional building and/or student housing” for the school says Pham — a project that could also involve Capitol Hill Housing. It could also be quite the tower thanks to the height allowances in SCCC’s development plan.

SCCC has also been busy upgrading its existing resources spending $1.6 million in on campus renovations from childcare center transfer to an international student center to security updates and replacing pipes.

Though the school has seen a drop in enrollment the investment in student housing may prove profitable. During the last fiscal year the school saw a $1.7 million dollar increase coming from international students, the primary patrons of SCCC’s student housing.

SunBreak | Get intimate with Ballard House Duet at 19th Ave’s Washington Ensemble

Have I seen a better acted show this year than Ballard House Duet(through December 17; tickets)?

I don’t think so. It is ferociously bold and unvarnished and about real people, giving the audience very little distance to shelter in.

This Custom-Made Play is presented by Washington Ensemble Theatre, and their intimate space has been reconfigured to let the audience watch from either side of a Ballard house’s living room as two women try the bonds of sisterhood.

This is to good-enough Seattle theatre as HBO or Showtime productions are to network TV.

It helps that playwright Paul Mullin had the chance to write the script with his two leads in mind, Rebecca Olson and Hana Lass. They are incandescent, girlish, scheming, despondent, vengeful, charming, giddy, and careworn. Because of the play’s structural demands, they often need to switch moods in the space of a beat. They even carry off the almost sadistic task of conversing with an invisible interlocutor, at length.

The two are very talented, but even so, their success with their “younger selves” speaks to considerable skill on the part of director Erin Kraft, who has also managed, with the tricky bilateral blocking required with the audience on both sides, to counterweight the spoken goings-on with a multitude of natural interactions.

If you know Mullin’s The Ten Thousand Things or Louis Slotin SonataBallard House Duet represents a right back at Albuquerque: a visceral kitchen-sink drama in aChayefskian vein. There’s nothing gimmicky to it — no overtly post-modern ironics or effects. Instead there’s a Braunschweiger sandwich, and a modern tragedy that has occurred in fragments.

You meet the sisters after their aunt has been taken to the hospital: Holly (Lass) has been trying to clean up a Hoarders-style mess, while Heidi (Olson) breezes in a week late, with a camera crew in tow, hoping that she can get some good pack-rat footage for her talk show, which seems largely to be about her. I could say they get off on the wrong foot, but it becomes clear that these two tend to wrong-foot their relations.

The plays runs forward and backward in their lives, trying to find that moment the cleavage took place, and something shattered. There’s Holly’s adoption, the death of their mother, Holly’s religiosity, Heidi’s careerist narcissism, an icky “uncle,” a boyfriend toyed with — the list goes on and on. It’s clear the two sisters love each other, in their way; they can be playful and gently mocking or loyal and compassionate. But as they grow older, they increasingly are locked into a pattern of grievance.

A few elements don’t come off so smoothly: An early recollection that their hoarder aunt refused to open Valu-Pak-style coupons (because she didn’t want the coupons to be split up) gongs portentously. Mullin also overuses the allegorical utility of Heidi’s TV show. It begins to stretch credulity that Holly would agree to appear on it, and that any living producer would agree to the idea of that segment.

A late-in-play revelation doesn’t provide the emotional reversal it might, coming and going so quickly, for one, plus Holly lapses into DramaSpeak(TM) about “crossing lines,” when Lass is more than capable of giving you the betrayal emotionally.

But by then, you’re hooked. You just want to watch Olson and Lass keep sparking with this truth, the incompatibility of this accidental, familial love with the adults they are, and how they keep returning to try it again — resentful and singing their sisters’ songs.

Capitol Hill microhousing meeting frustrates loophole opponents

This week a meeting was held on Capitol Hill to discuss the future of aPodments in the neighborhood but it did little more than leave many attendees bitter and displeased.

“We need more organization,” shouted one. “Check CHS Blog,” came another.


CHS has covered the issues around microhousing housing with more frequency if not more depth than any other media outlet in the city. We’ve had a lot to say about the projects — both good and bad. Monday night, it was all about the bad.

“All they want is more density,” a woman said as Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin, and Diane Sugimura of the Department of Development heard complaints from the community at the December session of the East District Council — an advisory body attached to the Department of Neighborhoods. The meeting drew more people than the Cal Anderson Shelter House could hold and saw hands fly up anytime the two city reps spoke.

“We have no plans at this point to put a moratorium on,” Conlin said to the crowd adding that the council will have to adopt legislation in order to create a moratorium but that he personally “is not ready to do that at this point.

The Capitol Hill Community Council and other community groups have called for a moratorium on the developments until the projects are subject to a more stringent review process. Currently, a developer can build a “four-unit” apartment building divided into multiple dorm-type studios without the need for more stringent design or environmental review. Opponents cry foul — proponents say this is exactly the kind of affordable housing areas like Capitol Hill need.

As the meeting was winding down and most had voiced their opinions, Conlin asked, “What is the concern here?” effectively churning up shouts of “loopholes”, “density”, a need for design review among a swath of other issues.

“I’m not very optimistic,” Carl Winter with Reasonable Density Seattle told CHS after the meeting. He said the meeting was, “a lot of stalling,” and that “more aPodments” are bound to come without the moratorium. RDS recently started a petition to drive for a moratorium.

We asked Winter about what the meeting accomplished. Here is Reasonable Density’s response:

Yes, the positive… Residents’ interest in stopping these projects is on the rise, dramatically so. There were over 100 concerned and upset citizens at this meeting, that’s a big positive. Neighbors are forming groups to get the word out and to educate people about this issue and this is having an effect. Earlier in the year neighbors had no one to turn to, no one that would listen to them, that’s not the case anymore. There is strength in numbers and in neighbors linking together to address this common concern. This tide will rise and as a result our goals will be realized. If neighbors want to voice their disapproval of these buildings and the process that is allowing them to be built in neighborhoods not designed to accommodate them they can sign a petition which is posted on our website:  http://www.reasonabledensityseattle.com  A final positive, Conlin mentioned he might bring this issue, and our moratorium, to a full City Council session in response to a suggestion from the audience to do so. We intend to hold him to that comment. 

Unfortunately there is also the negative… Some damage to our neighborhoods will already be done since many of these projects are built or currently under construction, 19 buildings at last count on Capitol Hill alone most of them in Low Rise (LR) zoned neighborhoods.  Low Rise Zones were not created nor envisioned to accommodate such dense structures.  Doing so is bad urban planning and defeats the intended purpose of these zones as transition areas. Another negative… Many got the sense that the director of the DPD, Sugimura may not be as interested or qualified as she should be. She demonstrated a surprising lack of knowledge.

Hearing the two of them speak in person was much better than getting the standard brief email reply which is about all neighbors have gotten out of them for the last six months. Please continue your coverage of this issue, residents need to know what is going on in their neighborhoods. 

At this point, it’s not clear what comes next. The push for a moratorium doesn’t seem to have picked up any momentum at City Hall and the opponents of the current process around microhousing haven’t yet shown an appetite for attacking the problem through formal or legal challenges.

CHS Crow | Stephen, Karyn & Whitey — ‘Yes, and I’m an herbalist’

This week the crow learned there is still plenty of work to do. What did you learn?

STEPHEN, 27

What are you up to tonight?
I’m still working, actually. I’m a hairstylist here [at Raven, on Pine St.].

How long have you been doing hair?
I’ve been at this salon for about three months, but I’ve been doing hair for four years.

What drew you to this line of work?
It’s a long story. I moved over here with my partner, and he always wanted to do hair, so he signed up for beauty school. I signed up three months later, but I was like, “What the hell am I doing?” But, as it turned out, I loved it.

Are you a Seattle native?
No, I grew up in Eastern Washington, moved down here about five years ago. Just trying to make my millions!

Why did you guys choose to come to Seattle?
Growing up in Eastern Washington, I always thought Seattle was a big city, even though it’s not that big. It seemed like moving to “the big city” to me.


So, same-sex marriage is officially legal in Washington. Will that affect you and your partner’s relationship?
No, but I think it’s great. It’s wonderful that people who want to be legally bound to the person they love can do that now, but it’s not for me. Not yet, anyway.

I read earlier that about two-thirds of same-sex marriages in this country—in states where it’s legal—are women. Why do you think that is?
I could be digging myself in a hole here, but I think female gay relationships tend to be a little more…how should I put this? Women aren’t as big of whores as men are.

Interesting thought. Do you live on the Hill?
No, I live in Shoreline. It’s not too bad of a commute.

How do you like living in Shoreline?
It’s quieter there, and more affordable. We have a house and a yard, and birds…

What kind of birds?
Parrots. Big Macaws.

Those are smart birds, and they seem to live forever. I know people who have parrots who are older than they are.
We have a four-year-old and a 21-year-old.

Wow. Your parrot is old enough to buy beer. Do you ever send him down to the 7-11 to pick up a six pack?
They walk down there with me sometimes!

I just ate a late-afternoon cheeseburger next door, but don’t tell anybody! Do you have any guilty pleasures on the Hill that will make me feel better about that?
Sometimes I spend all my tip money next door at Li’l Woody’s.

Dude. How many hamburgers are you eating, if you’re spending all your tips? They’re pretty cheap…
It’s not just burgers. They’ve got the holiday shakes, and the onion rings… They have a caramel pumpkin and an apple pie shake right now that are really good.

Now I want to go back for a shake—damn you! Do you hang out on the Hill very often, outside of work?
More so in the summer time when it’s a little warmer. But it’s the Hill, so you can always be entertained. Good people watching!

 

KARYN, 45

Are you a Seattle native?
No, I grew up in New York. But I moved here in 1989—more than half my life now, so I feel like a native.

Where in New York?
I grew up in sexy metropolitan White Plains.

What inspired you to move to Seattle?
I was going to move to San Francisco, but then I came here first and fell in love with it. I almost moved to San Francisco, like, a dozen time. Then I finally was like, “This is home.”

Did you know anyone in Seattle?
I had one friend, who I came to visit on my way to San Francisco. And she had this amazing situation, and I met the most amazing people and got an amazing job right out of the gate. I just landed well. I thought, “This is heaven!”

I assume you’re the proprietor of this shop [Sugarpill on Pine]?
Yes, and I’m an herbalist.

Why did you decide to become an herbalist?
By necessity. I had some health problems as a kid, and Western medicine wasn’t very effective. When I moved here met a woman who was an herbalist and we started working together. I eventually went and became a massage therapist and studied homeopathic medicine as well. Then I apprenticed to other herbalists, and learned it like you would learn a language.

Why did you choose to open a shop on the Hill?
I’ve always worked in this part of town, even though I live on the Southside. I just like how diverse the population is here. I’m a singer, so I’ve been part of the arts community for a long time and a lot of my clients are dancers and artists and musicians and people who make our lives beautiful, but who don’t always have health insurance. I wanted to stay where my people were.

Do you think artists and musicians are attracted to alternative medicine for economic reasons, or just because they’re more in tune with non-mainstream ideas?
I think it’s both. It’s still not accepted in most parts of the country, but it is around here. But still, it’s expensive to go see a naturopath or a practitioner. And for good reason, because these people are trained and they spend time with you. But a lot of what I know, we should all know. It should be taught in schools. We should be brought up with it. Part of why I have a store is so I can give that away. So if you come in to buy some olive oil, and you have a cold, I can help you. You don’t have to make an appointment. There are things in your own pantry that can help you. That’s one of the biggest services that I can offer.

I think that’s really beautiful, that you want to give away your services to help people.
That’s why I sell everything else, so the business supports me in being here. It’s a different model of business; it’s retail, but there’s a service element to it. People don’t even know what stores are anymore. If you shop here, then you keep me here on your street, and I can help you.

What kind of singing do you do?
At the moment, nothing, because I’m here all the time. I’ve done a lot of classical music, I used to sing in esoterics for years, and I’ve done a lot of jazz and singer-songwriter stuff. I really love ensemble singing. It’s really something to be in a big room full of people who are all making sound at the same time.

Any favorite hangouts on the Hill?
I love the Century Ballroom. I think it’s the most amazing place in the whole neighborhood. There’s so much happening here, and so many restaurants, it’s hard to point to any one in particular. I love that there people out and about and there’s a real center of gravity here. It wasn’t always like that back in the day.

 

WHITEY, 36

Whitey? Is that the name on your driver’s license?
No. It’s short for my online handle, which is White Trash.

Why did you pick that as a handle?
Back it the day all my hardware computer equipment was typically jerry-rigged. At an early age, someone described it as “white trash.” They were using it in a somewhat derogatory sense, but I came to use it as a badge of honor.

What brings you out tonight?
This is the night every week when all the local hackers get together and have a good time. To break the mythos, Seattle hackers at least are very social people. We might not see each other for months on end, but when we get together, it’s like we just saw each other yesterday.

Subverting expectations seems to be a big part of the hacker identity. How do you personally define the term “hacker”?
Anyone who is interested in taking the confines of anybody else’s technology and expanding upon that by doing things the original author didn’t intend, or didn’t concept. Sometimes that comes in the form of violating the security thereof. But it’s not always being the bad guy. Sometimes it’s just being clever.

Hackers in Seattle all seem to party like rock stars. Why do you think that is?
A lot of the other hacker cultures throughout the country are very reserved and very tight-knit, and I think that’s just a facet of stereotypical hackers. In Seattle, the weather and work schedules part of being a hacker and having that mentality is breaking the mold of what’s expected of you. So the Seattle hackers have gone out and gotten as wild as possible, as social as possible, and staked their claim in the city.

Are these folks you first met IRL (“in real life,” for any non-geeks readers), or did you meet them in the ones and zeros, so to speak?
Half of them I met in person, just from living in the city. Half I met online before moving to Seattle. Some of them are professional contacts. A lot of the people that come here, for instance, are people I’d read about or heard about before I met them.

How—and why—did you become a hacker?
I moved over to Germany from Michigan at the age of seven, after my father passed away. My mother was working in the Civil Service, and we relocated to Germany because my brother was enlisted Air Force. We were living off-base so we weren’t exposed to a whole lot of Americans, and I didn’t speak German. To keep me busy, my mother bought me my first computer—a Commodore. I bought magazines and books and sat around at home and learning to program. At one of the computer stores I would go to in Germany, the guy spoke a bit of English, and he asked me if I’d ever been online. He introduced me to modems, and I used to get online and go to the BBSs [Bulletin Board Services] that he recommended.

When was this?
Must’ve ben ‘85, ‘86.

So, you were like Matthew Broderick in that movie War Games? Did you ever accidentally decrypt any nuclear warheads?
Nothing that interesting. There was this billboard system that was mostly in German, but an area was in English. And most of the posts came from people on military bases who were posting in English. The idea of piracy wasn’t as prevalent as it was now, so I started out as sort of a wares runner. Because I could get on one BBS and download software from there, and get credit to get other stuff I didn’t have.

What do you do for a living?
I do computer security; break-and-enter work. It’s kind of a hobby, I grew up doing this, and eventually someone said, “We’ll give you a paycheck for doing that.”

What’s a project or a hack that you’re especially proud of? That is, one that you won’t have to kill me after telling me about it…
Obviously, I’m not going to talk about anything illicit, but one thing that was amusing—back in 2000, Radio Shack had this little USB device called the CueCat, that was used for reading bar codes. So we would take online data and encrypt it using strong encryption, and convert that encryption to bar codes, and print it out in multi-level format so you could fax it to other people and they could read it with the CueCat, and they would have a physical hard copy of the crypted data in bar code format that you could read in on the computer, so you could fax encrypted data instead of emailing it.

I am nodding vigorously, as if I totally understand everything you just said. Do you live on the Hill?
I currently live in Belltown. If you have to walk home at night after partying, it’s always nice to walk downhill. I used to stay up here and go out in Belltown, and walking uphill at the end of the night is a lot less fun.

More CHS Crow:

Marguerite Kennedy is a freelance writer, semi-professional thumb wrestler, and recovering New Yorker who currently resides on Capitol Hill. She blogs at www.marguerite-aville.com, and does that other thing @tweetmarguerite.

Capitol Hill Mixer | Lift a St. Nicholas to Dunshee House

Capitol Hill Mixer is a new, every now and then special on CHS featuring a local community star to celebrate and a Capitol Hill-inspired cocktail recipe worthy of the toast. Pairs nicely with our Capitol Hill Cooks recipe series. Enjoy.

Here are two great ways to get into the Holiday spirit, starting on where to purchase your holiday tree on Capitol Hill and ending with a libation created for just this season.

The cause
Year after year my partner Sam and I bundle up for the 13 block walk up to Dunshee House to pick out this year’s Christmas tree to put up in our home and decorate before we sit back to take in the fresh clean smell of pine. And yes, we do walk our prized tree back home. 


If you live in Seattle there is no better place to purchase your tree than at Seattle AIDS Support Group (SASG). SASG/Dunshee House Annual Holiday Tree Sale is located at 303 17th Ave E at Thomas.

For the past 23 years, SASG has hosted its largest fundraising event, the annual Christmas tree lot. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and running through December 23rd, the event is almost entirely volunteer driven. Not only will you be greeted by the finest examples of Noble Firs, Norway, Spruce, swags & wreaths but super friendly and helpful volunteers! Their attentiveness from helping you pick out that perfect tree just for you to strapping it to you car shows they want to be here, and it’s all for a great cause.

According to Joshua Wallace, Executive Director of SASG, this fundraiser accounts for more than 60% of their annual operating budget. All proceeds after the cost of the trees go directly to the services provided by SASG. In addition to HIV/AIDS support groups there are a variety of support groups and social activities focusing on health and well being of the LGBT community.

For more information on services provided by the community group — including addiction support… everything in moderation — visit its website at www.sasgcc.org. As you purchase your tree from SASG have fun doing it and enjoy the complimentary hot cocoa, or if you want a $5 off coupon for your tree purchase, volunteer! Volunteer shifts are available 7 days a week 9am-noon, noon-3pm, 3pm-6pm, and 6pm-9pm

The drink
Now that you know where to get your tree, why not follow it up with a cocktail reminiscent of the holiday’s itself. This drink is like Christmas in a glass. Some of the ingredients are a bit unusual, elderflower, allspice and stone pine liqueurs, but they play nicely with one another in just the right proportions. Do not worry about needing more than one bottle of these special liqueurs, a little goes a long way. So mix it up and Happy Holidays everyone!

St. Nicholas

  • 1.5 oz Mt Gay Rum, Barbados
  • .5 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • .25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • .25 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
  • .25 oz. Fresh Orange juice
  • .25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Glass: Cocktail (Martini)

Method: combine ingredients in your shaker, add ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with something festive — red currants add a nice accent of color.

Veronika Groth is a 20+ year resident of Capitol Hill. Coming to the Hill as a punk teen she has worked as everything from baker to real estate agent.  A current mixologist at Poppy Restaurant, she is working on a collection of short stories highlighting various humorous, sometimes painful, experiences bartending in Seattle.

Residents and business owners talk about the future of 23rd and Union

Residents, business owners and property owners met last Wednesday night to discuss the future of 23rd and Union and the entire Union Street Business District, which stretches from Madison to Cherry and 18th to MLK. Among topics of discussion were potential changes on the southeast corner, which includes the Post Office and Midton Centre.

“There is a lot of room for growth in this area,” said Dan with the Organizational System Renewal Program of Seattle University. The student lead group is working with the Central District Association on ways to advance the community and took comments from local business owners on the best way to do it.

The OSR group lead the 30 or so attendees through two exercises with the meeting objective “To engage in a conversation about community values, to inform the CDA’S work going forward,” according to a marker inked placard.

The first exercise lined up the community members by length of time in the district and got them to engage with their neighbors. In the second exercise, table groups sketched down ideas of what they would like to see the CD look like in ten years. At my table sat Tom Bangasser, owner of the Post Office space and other 23rd and Union plots.

He introduced himself to everyone at the table and talked about his family’s history in the area for the past 70 years, going on to name off almost every business owner in the room and describing them. “I’d say the diversity,” said Bangasser to the second prompt about the CD’s future. Most groups had very similar themes for how they saw the community in ten years.

Community, affordable housing, diversity, a public school, public forums, and creating a walkable Central District seemed to be the most addressed topics through the exercise.

Architect Donald King who designed the Casey Family Program’s building, the site of the meeting, hopes to see “a series of store fronts tied together.” A woman named Stephanie emphatically said, “Please someone, the James Washington Fountain,” to applause. The fountain in front of the Midtown Centre by the renowned artist and CD resident has not worked in years.

Status of the 23rd and Union Post Office, was talked about surprisingly little. A woman described it as, “one of the busiest in the city.” Bangasser had a similar sentiment calling it, “the anchor tenant in the neighborhood.”

The meeting solicited a lot of feedback from the community, how the feedback is going to be implemented is yet to be seen.

Dan said that the OSR and CDA are compiling feedback about how to head forward before discussing logistics. He also said that more meetings are to come and will provide ample opportunity to for community engagement.

Earl Lancaster, owner of Earl’s Cuts and Styles said, “This involvement, I’ve never seen before.” With a good bunch of local businesses present it definitely stirred up compelling talks on what comes next at 23rd and Union.

5 new ‘Stars on Broadway’ to honor Capitol Hill nonprofits making a difference

This Thursday, December 13th, the Stars on Broadway lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 PM at the Big Red Wall. These stars will shine on the at the light rail station construction site on Broadway to honor five Capitol Hill nonprofits.

Each of the nonprofits being honored this year cast bright lights on the Hill.


  • For 36 years Capitol Hill Housing has provided affordable housing for low and moderate income residents. 
  • Along with generally promoting Seattle’s LGBT community, Three Dollar Bill Cinema put on the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
  • Velocity has earned both Genius and Mayor’s Office awards for their advancement of contemporary dance.
  • Washington Bus (apart from having an awesome logo) get young people interested and involved in politics. 
  • The Friends of Olmstead Park endeavor to preserve Seattle’s parks designed by the Olmstead family, best known for designing Central Park in New York City. Their history is long and storied. 

Here’s a look at the 2011 honorees.

Each honored nonprofit is paired with one of five artists who have made an impact on our community. The stars that these artists created to represent their associated nonprofits should be pretty diverse. Dan Hawkins photographs industrial decay and abandoned buildings, Jeanie Lewis is a professional henna artist, and Ezra Dickinson is known best as a dancer and choreographer. Perhaps the artist whose previous work is most on the nose might be Monika Proffit. Her Garden of Light installation from 2008 showed what she could accomplish using light as a medium when put to task.

Suffice it to say, there should be some diverse art to represent our diverse neighborhood. Each of these honorees have earned the respect and admiration of Capitol Hill.

The Sisters of the Perpetual Indulgence from the Abbey of St. Joan will bestow a blessing at the ceremony, making it both official, and extra awesome.

SCCC class will delve into modern history of Capitol Hill — if students sign up for it

An ad from an old New City Collegian (Image: NCC)

As 300-unit apartment projects are erected and tunnels are bored the history of Capitol Hill is slowly buried, but two teachers at Seattle Central Community College are determined to bring that history back through “The Power of Community.” They are going to need your help to do it.

“I’m worried that I’ll have to cancel the CSP (class) due to low enrollment,” says Dean of Humanities, Kenneth Lawson. “‘ll likely be making a decision early next week.” The outgoing dean says the course has the, “potential to teach students research and writing skills in a highly relevant and interesting way.

A new course at Seattle Central called “The Power of Community” has been a project “seven years” in the making says Tracy Lai, a SCCC English Teacher. The class will survey the history of Seattle Central from its starts as a technical school in 1966 to now and explore the school’s connection with the Capitol Hill community.


“Capitol Hill has shaped what SCCC has become,” Lai said, explaining that observing history in the community is integral to the new class. Students will get a chance to build that history by adding to the campus archives themselves by conducting, “oral history interviews.” In addition to exploring the founding of the school, it will also follow the cultural and political influences of the Hill.

Class poster

History teacher Bruce McKenna says that the class will culminate with a “demonstration day” when students will present their original research to the community. McKenna adds that students will conduct original interviews and learn about the “racial (and societal) history of Capitol Hill and the Central District” in application to Seattle Central. He hope the community will attend the event and get engaged in local history.

The course will examine the “college’s close connections to the African American and Asian American communities,” says Lai and explore popular student movements and Hill politics that have swept down the Broadway Boulevard from Asian student protests in 1971 to WTO.

A lot of the information for the course will come from a somewhat unusual teaching aid. “It has to be part (of the course),” say Lai of The City Collegian, Seattle’s first community college paper. The school library currently holds an extensive archive containing hundreds of Collegians all the way from the first edition in October of 1966 to its end as an official publication in 2008 and provides the “most ongoing continuity” of news for SCCC and Capitol Hill says Lai. From ads for 19 cent hamburgers at Dick’s to the first play put on by the school’s drama program in ’66, the archives tell many stories that are slowly fading away.

A product of the course for each student will also be a research paper on a facet of Hill history.

A protest picture from the New City archives (Image: NCC)

Ultimately Lai hopes to stimulate independent learning, and through history discover, “why Seattle Central is doing what they’re doing.” Should the class gain steady enrollment it may become a readily available course and allow all residents of the Hill to learn about their roots.

Sebastian Garrett-Singh is Executive Editor of New City Collegian a student-run continuation of The City Collegian (Seattle’s oldest community college newspaper) based out Seattle Central Community College and is a writing tutor on campus.

After serious car crash put 10-year party on hold, Pretty Parlor ready to celebrate

Anna Banana is glamming up the Hill this Saturday with the eleventh anniversary of the Pretty Parlor. Self-described as the place “where Audrey Hepburn meets Judy Jetson,” Pretty Parlor has been outfitting Capitol Hillers since 2001. So, why make a big deal about an eleventh anniversary?


Last year’s ten-year anniversary celebration was unexpectedly cancelled when owner Banana ended up in the hospital after a serious head-on collision on her way to pick up party supplies. She has since recovered, is back to bouncing around the shop, and is excited to throw the party she originally planned and then some.

“It’s my vision to create the ultimate Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Barbarella/ Warhol–esque Parlor Party,” Banana writes about Saturday’s celebration. “We’re showcasing a tantalizing and titillating tsunami of talent to create the illusion and ambiance for this ultimate Parlor soiree.”

A store that prides itself in buying only the highest quality vintage clothing and hand tailoring pieces to the modern form, the Pretty Parlor has built a desirable niche in a somewhat saturated Capitol Hill second-hand market. It sells a combination of carefully selected vintage garments, new dresses and accessories, and hand-made clothing from local designers. They have also expanded into an on-line market with their very own, and very successful, Etsy store. Clothing for women and men, a velvet couch for lounging, and a shop cat named Vincent — all that and a second chance at a big celebration.

It will be an evening of entertainment including a DJ and live music in the store’s front window, a runway fashion show, and Aerialist Tanya BRNO swinging from the chandelier – just to name a few. The party promises “special guest performances, door prizes, dancing & delights”. Doors open at 8:00 PM.

Pretty Parlor is at 119 Summit Ave E. Learn more at prettyparlor.com.

SunBreak | Seattle classical music picks for December

Need a break from holiday tunes? In December, when concert calendars are chock-full of seasonal events, it’s hard to avoid hearing yet another cheesy rendition of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”. However, there are still many exciting performances out there for those seeking respite from holiday-themed entertainment or looking for more unusual seasonal fare. (If you’re a holiday music fan, don’t fear — we’ll post a special list of concert picks for you later this week). From hearty medieval carols to sensual tango melodies, there are plenty of unique ways to get festive at the concert hall this month.

Dec. 8 – 9 — The Esoterics chorus reprises SYBILLA, Frank Ferko’s settings of texts by 12th-century mystic Hildegard of Bingen, including a newly-composed world-premiere motet, O nobilissima viriditas. (A different church setting each night, so check location carefully.)

Dec. 10 — Head to Nordstrom Recital Hall for a trio of favorite piano sonatas. Legendary pianist Yefim Bronfmanreturns to Seattle for a solo recital, featuring sonatas by Haydn, Brahms, and Prokofiev.

Dec. 14 — The musicians of theBaltimore Consort present a festive program of seasonal music at Town Hall. This concert, hosted by the Early Music Guild, will feature a vast array of period instruments. Now’s your chance to see a crumhorn in action!

Dec. 16 — Vivaldi, Beethoven, J.S. Bach, and Vaughan Williams are on the program for Orchestra Seattle‘s “Winter Celebration” concert. Guest conductor Huw Edwards directs the ensemble for this performance at First Free Methodist Church in Queen Anne.

Dec. 21 — Grab your cellphone, MP3 player, or boombox and participate in this year’s performance of Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night, a piece that’s “written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December.” Presented by the Seattle Composers’ Salon, the event begins at Wallingford’s Chapel Performance Space and will flow out onto the streets of Seattle.

Dec. 22 — Earshot Jazz presents their 24th annual Sacred Music concert, featuring works by Duke Ellington. The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra will be joined by the NW Chamber Chorus, guest vocalists, and a tap dancer for this performance at Town Hall.

Dec. 28 – 30 — Seattle Symphony‘s annual performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has become a local holiday tradition. But this year, the orchestra’s adding a little Latin flavor to this beloved seasonal concert with Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, complete with tango dancers.

The SunBreak is an online magazine of news & culture. A conversation about the things on Seattle’s mind.