About Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is a CHS reporter. Reach him at chasecohen@gmail.com and @bchasesc

You can now buy the street newspaper Real Change with an app

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.34.39 AMNo cash? No problem. That’s what vendors of the weekly newspaper Real Change are saying after the publication introduced an app on Thursday that allows readers to purchase a digital copy of the paper.

For $2.99, readers can purchase the digital publication by scanning a QR code connected to a credit card. The publication’s homeless and low income vendors will each carry a badge with an individualized QR code. Paper copies will still be available for $2.

The app was started by a Google employee who volunteered with Real Change two years ago, according to newspaper. The project was then developed by eight volunteer Google employees.

“Cashlessness is a challenge our vendors face on a daily basis,” said Real Change director Timothy Harris in a statement. “This app will help our paper survive in the digital age, when fewer people have ready access to cash and more people prefer to read news content on their mobile devices.”

Real Change and Google announced the app during a Thursday media conference in Occidental Park. Google envisions that app spreading to street newspapers in other cities, a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Real Change covers local social and economic justice issues while providing employment opportunities for its homeless vendors, including many familiar faces along Capitol Hill’s busiest corridors. Find out more at realchangenews.org

Pro-labor, minimum wage march through Capitol Hill ends with peaceful arrests

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(Images: Alex Garland)

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Several hundred people peacefully marched from downtown through the streets of Capitol Hill and into a Seattle University building Wednesday afternoon as part of a national day of action to support a $15 an hour minimum wage.

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In Seattle, where a $15 minimum wage is already on the books, demonstrators also coalesced around local labor fights.

To protest the Seattle U administration’s opposition to adjunct faculty forming a union, a group of professors and students sat down in the intersection of 12th and Madison for about 30 minutes before police calmly took them into custody one by one. Organizers from the group Working Washington say 21 people were arrested in all.

Ben Stork, a Seattle U adjunct film studies instructor, said contingent and part-time faculty are responsible for the majority of teaching at the university but have little to no job security semester to semester. Stork was one of the 21 arrested on Capitol Hill.

Continue reading

Pike/Pine party art and anti-LGBTQ violence protest respond to a changing neighborhood

(Images: Ben Beres with permission from The Factory)

A protest and a street art experiment were two recent, though markedly different, events on Capitol Hill responding to a Pike/Pine nightlife scene that appears to be growing rowdier and potentially more violent.

On April 3rd, the artist trio PDL set out to learn more about the individuals that make up the often maligned throngs of Pike/Pine revelers by getting them to create some impromptu art. After spending five hours in the thick of Capitol Hill’s party scene, PDL said they had mixed feelings about the people and the art they encountered

In a debrief of the event, the group wrote that one woman spent a half hour drawing and writing a heartfelt homage to her aging Capitol Hill apartment building. There were also a couple of penis drawings.  “As for the general nature of the Friday night scene, the crowd was decidedly more diverse, less averse, and more inclined to art-making and intelligent interaction than our fears and the harshly-flung public opinions of late,” PDL wrote. Continue reading

Sponsors are lining up to advertise all over the First Hill Streetcar system

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Baby blue will arrive this summer, but two other streetcars will be covered in advertising (Image: CHS)

When the First Hill Streetcar starts running through Capitol Hill later this year, it won’t just be the trolley cars appearing on the urban landscape. Sponsorship advertising will pepper the station shelters, trolley interiors, and completely cover some streetcars running the 2.5 mile route through Pioneer Square, the International District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill.

Initially, two of the six streetcars will be available for “full wrap” sponsorships, similar to those seen on the South Lake Union line. One of the two wraps has already been secured for the second half of 2015, though a Seattle Department of Transportation spokesperson wouldn’t say who bought it.

The other full wrap is being held for Sound Transit, which has the option to purchase the sponsorship at a preferred rate.The four other streetcars will be available for “identity package” sponsorships — small signs on the outside of the streetcar and audio messages played inside the cars.

The multi-hued exteriors of those cars, “inspired” by the “different characteristics” of the neighborhoods they traverse, were revealed last month at a test run with Mayor Ed Murray. The Capitol Hill inspired car got a hot pink treatment to represent the “modern energy” of the neighborhood. Here are the other colors and what they represent:

  • Baby blue for the children born at First Hill hospitals
  • Jade green to represent Vietnam and Little Saigon
  • Gold for Pioneer Square’s history in the Klondike Gold Rush
  • Red and Yellow, traditional Chinese colors, for Chinatown

Sponsoring a full wrap on the First Hill line will run you $6,000 a month plus a $10,000 one-time production fee. Identity packages cost $15,000 a year and interior panels will go for $500 a month. All revenue generated from the the sponsorships goes directly back into the operations budget for First Hill line. Continue reading

Beyond a $15 minimum wage march will culminate at Seattle U Wednesday

Activists celebrated the implementation of Seattle's minimum wage law last month. (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Activists celebrated the implementation of Seattle’s minimum wage law last month on Capitol Hill. (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Activists that helped push through last year’s $15 an hour minimum wage law in Seattle say they’ve only just begun.

On Wednesday, organizers with the group Working Washington are planning a march —  billed $15 is Just the Beginning – from downtown up to Capitol Hill. A rally at Occidental Park is slated to start at 2 PM, followed by a march that will wind through Capitol Hill to a permitted demonstration at Cal Anderson Park, culminating in a rally and teach-in at Seattle University.

Less clear is the path that the minimum wage fight will take from here. Seattle’s $15 law, which went into effect April 1st, phases in over seven years and sets a schedule for increases to follow into 2025. A bill to implement a statewide $12 an hour minimum wage died in committee earlier this month in Olympia.

Minimum wage demonstrations on Wednesday are being planned in a handful of other cities across the state. Here’s the schedule of events for Seattle:

2:00 pm: Occidental Park (S Main St & Occidental Ave S). Action at nearby corporate location
3:00 pm: Westlake Park (4th Ave & Pine St). Action and nearby corporate location
3:30 pm: Cal Anderson Park (1635 11th Ave). Homecare workers and others will rally at Cal Anderson before joining the main group coming up from Westlake
4:00 pm: Seattle University (12th & Marion, Chapel of St Ignatius Reflecting Pool). Teach-in and more to send clear message: $15 is just the beginning. Inequality ends with us.

In other protest news, a small group of Seattle Central College students took part in the #ShutDownA14 national day of protest over recent high profile police shootings of unarmed minorities. Organized by the by the Seattle affiliate of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, the group marched through the streets from SCC to join a rally in Westlake Park.

Community Council plans gentrification discussion with Seattle Times ‘culture clash’ reporter

IMG_9663-1Last month, gentrification on Capitol Hill got the spotlight treatment with a front page feature from the Seattle Times. While the Capitol Hill Community Council frequently deals with the more granular issues of public safety and development, the group is seizing the opportunity on Thursday to address the neighborhood’s big picture transformation.

The council is hosting a panel discussion with Seattle Times reporter Tricia Romano on her story Culture clash as gentrification engulfs Capitol Hill for the council’s Thursday evening meeting. The panel will include a slate of familiar Capitol Hill faces that were included in Romano’s story:

Michael Wells: Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce

Adé Cônnére: Capitol Hill resident

Shelley Brothers: Wildrose owner

Diana Adams: Vermillion owner

Branden Born: Assoc. UW Professor, Urban Design & Planning

Perhaps expecting a larger turnout than usual, the Community Council meeting will be held at 6 PM in the First Baptist Church at Harvard Ave and Seneca St, instead of its usual venue in Cal Anderson Park.

Join the Capitol Hill Community Council for our April General Monthly meeting for a Gentrification Conversation with Tricia Romano – Seattle Times writer – to explore the focus of her recent article, “Cultures Clash as Gentrification Engulfs Capitol Hill.” Tricia’s article sparked many conversations in and around Capitol Hill since published in the Seattle Times and we are excited to welcome her at our April meeting to start this critical conversation.

Community Engagement activities for attendees start at 6:00pm, the main program begins at 6:30pm. Additionally, notecards will be given at the door for attendees to write their questions for a brief Q&A at the end of the meeting.

For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Elysian Brewing cofounder Dick Cantwell resigns three months after Anheuser-Busch takeover

"Brewmaster" (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

“Brewmaster” (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

When CHS asked Elysian Brewing cofounder and craft brewer Dick Cantwell if he would stay on with his company after it was bought out in January by one of the largest brewing corporations in the world, he only said “we’ll see.”

After three months under Anheuser-Busch control, Cantwell is now saying goodbye to the company, his Seattle-based brewery, and it’s E Pike pub. An Elysian spokesperson confirmed Cantwell’s departure Monday afternoon after Seattle Beer News reported the news.

Cantwell has not yet responded to an email request for comment on his resignation and what might come next for the brewmaster.

A pillar of the region’s craft brewing scene, Cantwell was the most hesitant of the three cofounders about the sale to Anheuser-Busch, the U.S. arm of international brewing conglomerate InBev. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s newest lunch spot Meat & Bread opens inside the Central Agency building

IMG_7106The name pretty much says it all when it comes to Capitol Hill’s latest lunch counter. Vancouver-based Meat & Bread opened for business Monday inside the Central Agency building on 10th Ave between E Union and E Seneca.

Owners Cord Jarvie and Frankie Harrington hopped the border to oversee the soft opening of their fourth popular sandwich shop on Friday, where CHS got a sneak peek of the operation. Harrington told CHS he frequently came to Capitol Hill as a teenager growing up outside Vancouver and was ecstatic to make his mark in the neighborhood.

In Seattle, Jarive and Harrington are replicating their working recipe that keeps things simple with a menu pared down to four daily offerings. Opting for roasts and slow-cooked meats over the deli sliced variety, daily sandwiches include porchetta (roast pork), meatball, and grilled cheese with one rotating option. Most sandwiches go for around $10.

The menu does include a few non meat and bread items, including a rotating side soup and salad, two desserts, and $1.50 Rainier tallboys.

Continue reading

Council District 3 candidate Morgan Beach hosting gender pay gap event on Capitol Hill

Morgan Beach

Morgan Beach

In case you didn’t know, Tuesday is Equal Pay Day — a day established in 1996 to raise awareness about the nation’s gender wage gap. To mark the day, Council District 3 candidate Morgan Beach will be hosting an Equal Pay Day Social at Capitol Hill’s Sole Repair to “explore the culture” behind women earning less than men in the workplace. Panelists for the Tuesday evening event include:

Christina Pedersen — mom, restaurant manager and community activist
Tamika Moss — HR professional and IDF Fellow
Maggie Humphreys — PRR and Co-Founder of Woman Worthy
Tiffany Woelfel — Co-Director of the Younger Women’s Task Force, salary negotiation guru, veteran, and women’s advocate

According to one study (PDF), Seattle has one of the widest gender pay gaps in the nation, with women earning 73 cents for every dollar earned by men.

When Beach announced her candidacy in January for the newly formed, Capitol Hill-centered district, she told CHS that the gender pay gap would be the top issue in her campaign. The 28-year-old Portage Bay resident sits on the Seattle Women’s Commission and is a legislative advocate for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.

Beach will have her work cut out for her to be the standout District 3 candidate on the issue of raising wages in Seattle. Expected District 3 frontrunner City Council member Kshama Sawant was elected in 2013 for supporting a city-wide $15 minimum wage and was instrumental in getting it passed last year. Marriage equality organizer Rod Hearne and Urban League CEO Pamela Banks are also running for the District 3 position.

Council member Jean Godden, who’s running in Council District 4 this year, has also long advocated for gender pay equity within the city and helped launch the Gender Equity Initiative last year.

The Equal Pay Day Social will be held Tuesday at 5:30 PM at Sole Repair, 1001 E Pike. Find more details here

$1.6 million pet hospital to open on First Hill

Speciality doctors are probably more concentrated on First Hill than anywhere else in a state or two. Soon, pets will have a hospital in the neighborhood, too.

Kirkland’s Seattle Veterinary Specialists is building out its second pet hospital at 8th and Madison in the former M Street Grocery space. The referral hospital is expected to open by September.

Medical director Jim McCutchan told CHS the hospital will have around 100 doctors and staff specializing in surgery, oncology, and emergency medicine. “This is where your vet sends you for the tough stuff,” McCutchan said.

It turns out, building a specialty pet hospital isn’t so different than building one for humans. McCutchan said the project’s $1.6 million budget reflects the costs of installing medical gas and special infrastructure for electrical, HVAC, and plumbing.

McCutchan, who also owns the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital, said the decision to open a hospital in Seattle came down to the city’s booming population.

“Seattle is very pet friendly and they’re bringing their pets with them,” he said.

Madison’s independent urban market M Street Grocery opened in 2007 and closed four years later when owners couldn’t reach an agreement with the landlord on a new lease. The 4,500 square-feet of street level retail has remained empty since.

Veterinary medicine appears to be a growth industry in the area. In addition to existing providers like Urban Animalhere —  and Broadway Pet Hospitalhere — making upgrades, another new provider is also coming to Broadway’s Harvard Market. The Banfield Pet Hospital is expected to open in the Broadway at Pike shopping center later this year. It’s a much more modest undertaking than the SVS project on First Hill with a base construction budget around $350,000. The vet business isn’t necessarily the hottest service and retail industry around, however. Earlier this year, the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic closed after its longtime 15th Ave E location was snapped up by a marijuana entrepreneur.