CHS Community Post | Central Area David and Goliath Fight in Progress: Why should anyone living on Capitol Hill care?

Neighbors alongside Swedish Medical Center: Cherry Hill are not sleeping well. They are spending many evenings a month meeting in small groups, and hours of their time trying to motivate neighbors, who are unaware of the waking giant in their midst. The giant is a medical center, a “Major Institution”, which has applied for a “Major Institution Master Plan”, or MIMP, in order to increase the size of their campus by nearly 100%. MIMPS are meant to allow Major Institutions to grow larger than for-profit businesses are allowed to, in residential neighborhoods. The idea is that Major Institutions, like schools and hospitals, benefit the surrounding neighborhood and the city, at large, so the zoning of certain areas is waived to allow the beneficial institution to expand. This is the idea. The reality, in this case, is different because a for-profit corporation is pushing this development.

We need to go back a couple of decades to see how this ‘Major Institution’, became a front for a corporation. A couple of decades ago, The Sisters of Providence Hospital, at the time, sold nearly half of their campus to the for-profit developer, Sabey Corporation. The sale was necessary because Providence couldn’t fill their hospital beds with patients. There was no need to expand at that time, quite the opposite. The egregious thing about this expansion is that the hospital, as a care-giving, doctor-visiting-patient-in-room sort of thing is not what is growing. What is being proposed are doctor’s-office towers, research facilities, and laboratories. In other words, support facilities. Swedish: Cherry Hill would not be the only facility benefiting from these support businesses. These would be rent-paying, medical-retail businesses, filling the office towers as for-profit tenants in a for-profit scenario on the property that was once a care-giving-doctor-visiting-patient hospital. Sabey Corporation is taking advantage of the MIMP process and trying like hell to build enormous office towers in the middle of Seattle’s oldest, residential neighborhood. We are trying to stop them.

We are trying to stop them because, if their plans are realized, the whole of our neighborhood, just south of Capitol Hill will be destroyed. It will happen slowly until these 110-year-old Victorian homes will be a distant memory; along with tales of how one used to be able to drive from Ezell’s to the freeway in ten minutes. The current Draft Environmental Impact Statement for this MIMP clearly states that intersections, that are, currently, passable by traffic, will become impassable. Traffic in and out of our neighborhood will be at a standstill. Pollution will rise, pedestrian traffic will suffer, beautiful homes will be sold and razed for a larger ‘Medical Center’ footprint, crime will go up, more home-owners will sell. It’s formulaic.

There has been a lot written and a lot of talk, lately about developers having their way with Seattle. This is one more reality episode of “Developers Gone Wild”, and they are drunk with power. We are over here in The Hood, fighting for our homes, for our streets, for our air-quality, and for our sanity. We are extending an invitation to our neighbors on The Hill to take an interest in our struggle to keep corporations out of the MIMP process, to hold Swedish: Cherry Hill to livable heights, bulk and scale of development as befits this venerable neighborhood. Come to a meeting of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee as they try to sort this thing out with Swedish and Sabey. If you have a free evening this Tuesday, September 30th, come on down and check out the action. It’s getting good. You won’t be disappointed.

-Abil Bradshaw

CHS Community Post | Capitol Hill business owners to Sound Transit site developers: Make it unique

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

Panel Members Left to Right: Karen True (Pioneer Square Alliance), Moderator Michael Wells (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce), Binko Chiong-Bisbee (Kobo), Tracy Taylor (Elliott Bay Book Company), Michael Oaksmith (Hunters Capital), Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group), Chip Ragen (Ragen Associates), Tim Farrell (Tarragon).

2014_9 Broadway Retail Panel 2As a reminder, anybody can post to CHS. You can find our latest contributions in the CHS Community section. Posts of high quality and interest may be shared on the CHS homepage. Thanks to all community contributors for being part of CHS! CHS reported on the “transit oriented development” process at Capitol Hill Station here: Developers vying to build Capitol Hill Station housing+retail say properties are overvalued

By Michelle Hippler, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, the Capitol Hill Champions hosted a Broadway Retail Panel Luncheon at the Capitol Hill Library where neighborhood business owners spoke candidly to the developers who will bid on the prime real estate above the Link light rail station on Broadway. The resounding message was that developers have to get it right, and that means thinking more creatively about the retail spaces.

The bottom line, as Linda Derschang (Linda’s, Oddfellows, Smith, et. al.) put it: what really created the thriving Pike/Pine corridor business district was the high rent on Broadway. Pike/Pine happened because “nobody small and new could afford Broadway anymore.” Fast-forward to 2014 and even she is nervous about signing a long-term lease for Linda’s Tavern on Pine where the rent is expected to triple within a few years and the landlord refuses to make any improvements. “Will the renters filling up all these new apartments come to Linda’s? Will all the indie rockers move away?”

Continue reading

Sawant ‘town hall’ to discuss Seattle Housing Authority proposal to raise rents

In June, CHS reported that, sadly, Capitol Hill’s rents were continuing to soar as Seattle delayed its affordable housing plan. City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant is hosting a town hall meeting on Sunday night to re-kindle the discussion about affordability in the city:

Sawant to Host Community Meeting on Affordable Housing
Invites the Public to Comment on Seattle Housing Authority’s Low-Income Rent Increases

Seattle – Councilmember Kshama Sawant will host a town hall meeting to discuss the crisis of affordable housing and the Seattle Housing Authority’s proposal to raise rents for low-income residents. Sawant will focus her comments on skyrocketinghousing prices and high rents, which force working people to leave the city and exacerbate the problem of homelessness.

She will be joined by community activists working to defeat the Seattle Housing Authority’s proposed rent increases, along with advocates for rent control.

Members of the public are urged to attend and learn more about this important issue.  Refreshments will be provided.

WHAT: Town Hall meeting to discuss Seattle Housing Authority’s low-income rent increases

5 p.m., Sunday, September 14

New Holly Gathering Hall

7054 32nd Avenue South

Seattle, WA  98118

CHS Pics | First Hill scrabbles for park space — Next: Hopscotch CD returns

IMG_4175Public park space. Consultant. Release. Report. Blah blah blah. Let’s talk giant street Scrabble. Tuesday night, the tri-way intersection of University, Union, and Boylston hosted an oversized Scrabble tournament in the middle of the street smack in between Pike/Pine and First Hill.

Hopscotch CD returns

Hopscotch CD returns

The tournament designed to bring attention to First Hill’s lack of public spaces pitted four two-person teams head to head and attracted onlookers and plenty of second-guessing. City officials are hoping to hold future tournaments in other areas of Seattle in need of a creative though temporary mini-park. Maybe this dude from Portland will come.

For more gaming fun on the streets of Central Seattle, get ready for the second annual Hopscotch CD event on Saturday, August 23rd. The Jackson Commons community event creates 2.9 miles of hopscotch play areas across the Central District. Included in the fun, Centerstone’s parking lot at 722 18th Ave will host the grandmamma of all hopscotch games in an attempt to break a world record.


Q&A with Sally Clark at East District Council

mapThe East District Council is one of 13 in the city “for local neighborhood groups to share information” and to help the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods “rate citizen applications for Neighborhood Matching Funds.” It meets monthly from 5:45 to 7:45 PM in the Capitol Hill Library on the second Monday of the month. Lucky you, August 11th brings the body’s next meeting — and the body is bringing Seattle City Council member Sally Clark to Capitol Hill.

You can warm up for the Q&A session in comments, below.

We have the distinguished honor of hosting Seattle City Councilwoman Sally Clark who will be updating us on City Hall issues as well as taking questions and comments.
All are welcome – board member please let me know if you will be late or unable to attend.

6:00 – 6:10 Welcome and introductions (Chair)
6:10 – 6:15 New Business (All members)
6:15 – 6:45 Yesler Terrace Park Project update (Pam Klimente, Parks and Rec)
6:45 – 7:15 Seattle City Councilwoman Sally Clark (updates from City Hall and Q and A)
7:15 – 7:30 Other Business, Public Comments
7:30 – Adjourn

Inès Pâtisserie opens on Capitol Hill

(Image: Rayna Stackhouse)

(Image: Rayna Stackhouse)

The backside of Pike/Pine now has a French bakery. CHS told you almost exactly one year ago about the plans for Inès Pâtisserie to move up Madison to join the Viva building at 1111 E Union. Friday, the bakery and cafe made a quiet debut with reported 9 AM openings planned this weekend. We’ll have more on the new addition soon.

On the List | Street Food Festival and Urban Craft Uprising, SBP 2014, Dirty Dancing on the Cal Anderson big screen

Summit Block Party returns (Image: CHS)

Summit Block Party returns (Image: CHS)

Meanwhile, Cal Anderson hosts a bigger edition of the Seattle Street Food Festival (Image: CHS)

Meanwhile, Cal Anderson hosts a bigger edition of the Seattle Street Food Festival (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill’s summer mix of festivals continues this weekend with a DIY-style music and art block party on Summit Ave and a bigger — but perhaps better planned — return of the Seattle Street Food Festival to Cal Anderson.

Starting Friday and continuing with a second full day on Saturday, the 2014 Seattle Street Food Festival will include more than food trucks and a-list chef-helmed pop-up picnics. You’ll also find a full “shopping village” on Bobby Morris field from the Urban Craft Uprising folks. Starts Friday at 5 PM.

The third annual Summit Block Party brings 16 bands to the core of the densely populated blocks below Broadway. It’s fully local, mostly DIY, and completely free. Runs 11 AM to 9:30 PM on Summit between Howell and E Olive St.

Continue reading

Design competition could put a well-crafted Little Free Library on your Capitol Hill corner

Finding one of Capitol Hill’s Little Free Libraries is a lovely little literary treat. What are they reading in Miller Park? What are they giving away?

Sometimes, the design of the free-book boxes also tells a story. A Seattle Little Free Library design competition benefiting non-profit Architects Without Borders will recognize the creativity and functionality of these neighborhood mini-repositories:

PrintClick here for the COMPETITION BRIEF
Click here to REGISTER




SEPTEMBER 6-7 & 13-14, 2014

Let Your Library Loose this Summer!

Get ready to design, build and steward a Little Free Library prototype that promotes community and literacy in Seattle’s neighborhoods!

Little Free Libraries are small-scale book shelters that function as “take-a-book, leave-a-book” gathering places. They provide a location where the free exchange of books, ideas, stories, and interests contribute to a shared experience valued by neighbors and visitors. All entry fees benefit Architects Without Borders – Seattle, a local non-profit that provides ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate design assistance to communities in need.

(Image: Judy Solomon)

(Image: Judy Solomon)

Libraries on the Loose Jury:
Marcellus Turner - Seattle Public Libraries City Librarian
Audrey Barbakoff - Librarian at the Bainbridge Island Branch of the Kitsap Regional Library
Kimo Griggs - Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington
Lesley Bain - Principal of Framework Cultural Placemaking
Susan Jones - Principal of atelierjonesConsider what design can do to foster community and literacy in our local neighborhoods and let your library loose!

Individuals can register for $75, small businesses for $100. Kids under 18 can enter for free.

We’ll check in on the competition and any new Capitol Hill little library projects to watch for.

Memorial service at Capitol Hill’s Lake View cemetery honors fallen SPD officers of the past

Severance stands by the new Lake View gravestone for Officer Thomas Roberts, who died in the line of duty in 1898 (Image: SPD)

Severance stands by the new Lake View gravestone for Officer Thomas Roberts, who died in the line of duty in 1898 (Image: SPD)

Thursday morning, Seattle Police from across the decades including men and women currently part of the force will gather at Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery to honor fallen officers.

Seattle Police officer Mike Severance has been working to locate the surviving families of SPD officers who died in the line of duty all the way back to 1881. During his research, Severance also tried to determine where the officers were laid to rest. Severance documented the final resting spots for all the fallen SPD officers – including two who had been buried in unmarked graves.

“Through the generosity of Lake View Cemetery, the Retired Seattle Police Officers Association and another benefactor, new tombstones have been installed for Officer Thomas Robert, EOW 04/10/1898 and Officer Arthur Ruckart, EOW 12/27/1914,” a statement from the group Washington State Concerns of Police Survivors says.

Thursday, officers, family, and supporters will gather in Lake View:

 A memorial service will be held at Lake View Cemetery, 1554 15th Ave. East, at 10 a.m. this Thursday, July 24, to pay respects to the officers with new gravestones, and all fallen Seattle police officers.

The public is welcome to attend. More on Severance’s work and the officers being remembered, below, in an article provided by the Seattle Police Department.

SPD: Fallen Officers: One Man’s Mission to Honor the Dead

Mike Severance’s quest started with a shotgun blast on April 23, 1985.

That’s the day Seattle Police Officer Dale Eggers was killed after a gunman shot him in the head in a bank robbery on Beacon Hill.

Continue reading

Anti-Genocide Noise Brigade march planned to start on Capitol Hill

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 4.51.05 PMThey’ll miss one of the men their message is aimed at by a few days — President Obama leaves town Tuesday night. Protesters are planning an “Anti-Genocide Noise Brigade” rally and march starting on Capitol Hill Thursday:

Join others who refuse to allow the atrocities against the Palestinian peoples continue without LOUD RESISTANCE. Bring pots n pans, musical instruments, yourself! every week. We will march in solidarity with the Palestinian peoples resisting occupation by Israeli colonizers

The un-permitted march starts at Seattle Central Thursday, July 24th at 7:30 PM, according to organizers. No route for the march has been posted.

CHS Pics | Small turnout for Cal Anderson safety fair


Chief O’Toole addresses attendees

IMG_1410A lot of concerns have been expressed about the state of safety on the streets at night around Capitol Hill but Sunday afternoon in Cal Anderson Park, only a small crowd gathered for some martial arts training and to hear new SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole talk about public safety. Other recent self defense workshops with a focus on specific communities have proven popular in Seattle. With the small turnout in Cal Anderson, there might be a few interested in learning more who couldn’t attend. Check in with organizer Social Outreach Seattle to learn more about future opportunities.


Another reason to stay away from Bellevue

You can go to the Eastside if you like. You just might not make it back. A week of work on I-90 is expected to tangle traffic around the area as commuters are forced to find alternate routes to avoid planned lane closures. Here’s the word from SDOT on the start of things Friday night and through the weekend:

Traffic on freeways and major arterials into the city will be complicated by construction on WSDOT’s Interstate 90 – only one westbound lane of I-90 will remain open between Bellevue and Mercer Island. There could be significant backups on alternate routes depending on how many drivers venture forth from the east side into downtown Seattle. For more information, see WSDOT’s website,

Once the work week begins, CHS predict tie-ups in Capitol Hill chokepoints where coffee, wi-fi, and electrical outlets mix.

CHS Pics | Art walk winners crowned as Capitol Hill arts-boosting event makes new start

Matthew Bell, Max Kraushaar and Graham Downing -- in cutout and meat-space form -- took third for their book "In the Mood to Consume" (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Matthew Bell, Max Kraushaar and Graham Downing — in cutout and meat-space form — took third for their book “In the Mood to Consume” (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

July’s Capitol Hill art walk marked a new start Thursday night on its mission to promote the arts and artists in the neighborhood. We stopped by the quarterly City Arts Art Walk Awards held 10th and Pike’s Sole Repair honoring creators across Seattle as part of the Hill’s second-Thursday event. Here are a few scenes from the party and moments of crowd-sourced victory along with a set of local artists you should check out the next time you get a chance.


Continue reading