CHS Community Post | Capitol Hill writer Litsa Dremousis’ upcoming book ‘Altitude Sickness’

downloadThe physical and emotional consequences of climbing are explored in a very personal way in a powerful new eBook essay by Seattle writer Litsa Dremousis. Altitude Sickness. It’s the first book in Portland indie press Future Tense Books new Instant Future eBook series, and with climbing deaths in both the Northwest and internationally making the news, it’s an important addition to the conversation about the social responsibilities and emotional consequences of climbing-related tragedies.

When a some-time lover and full-time friend dies in a climbing accident, Dremousis is left to deal with the aftermath—the loss of a soul-mate, the apartment filled with little ambushes in the form of objects from the relationship, and the difficult task of understanding what it was that made this person she loved repeatedly risk his life. And she’s also left to wonder how to feel.

“One of the things I love is that Litsa is such a personable writer. The story is funny because she’s funny. It’s heartbreaking because she is heartbroken. And it has this angry core, because she’s angry,” says series editor Matthew Simmons. “The anger is passion. The passion comes out of the fact that she misses someone, and that’s where readers can connect. We all miss someone, and we’re all, even if it’s somewhere deep down inside, pissed off about it.”

Altitude Sickness will be available through Amazon’s Kindle store, Future Tense Books at Instant Future’s dedicated site,, and from the author’s site Biographical information and author photos will also be available from

About Litsa Dremousis: Litsa Dremousis’ essay “After the Fire” was selected as one of the “Most Notable Essays of 2011″ by Best American Essays 2012. She’s a Contributing Editor at the literary site The Weeklings, which partners with Salon. Her work appears in The Believer, Esquire, Jezebel, McSweeney’s, Men’s Health Monkeybicycle, MSN, New York Magazine, Nerve, Paste, Poets & Writers, Salon, Slate, The Weeklings, on NPR, KUOW, and additional venues. She has interviewed Sherman Alexie, The Black Keys, Death Cab for Cutie, Ron Jeremy, Janelle Monae, Alanis Morissette, Kelly Rowland, Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, and several dozen others. Twitter @LitsaDremousis.

About Future Tense Books: Future Tense Books is a micropress started by Kevin Sampsell in Spokane, Washington in 1990 and has been based in Portland, Oregon since 1992. They’ve published many acclaimed chapbooks and paperbacks by authors such as Richard Meltzer, Mike Topp, Zoe Trope, Elizabeth Ellen, Susannah Breslin, Chloe Caldwell, Gary Lutz, Sarah Grace McCandless, Jamie Iredell, Aaron Gilbreath, Myriam Gurba, Shane Allison, Chelsea Martin, Jemiah Jefferson, Jay Ponteri, May-Lan Tan, Chelsea Hodson, and Wendy C. Ortiz.

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill

1-1-1-600x330Here are the top posts from this week in 2013:

  1. 11th/Pine REI development+preservation project could bring more workers to Pike/Pine
  2. Rent control debate surfaces as rents in Capitol Hill continue to rise
  3. One (familiar) bidder for Capitol Hill’s Egyptian Theatre
  4. First ride on the Broadway bikeway
  5. City readies final plan to ‘pedestrianize’ John Street near Capitol Hill’s Summit Slope Park

On the List | Popeye, Slither and Tremors at the Egyptian, Food for Change, prosthetics workshop, Rainbow City Band

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.06.10 PMIt’s the quiet before the storm of Halloween-related revelry but you’ll still find plenty of things to do around Capitol Hill this weekend.

The Egyptian gets into rhythm with screenings of the new Altman documentary through the weekend. You can also see the directorial great’s kid friendly Popeye at Saturday and Sunday matinees. Want to see something scare? Midnight screenings bring Slither and Tremors to the big screen.

Thursday night, Central Co-op is also at the movies with a screening of Food for Change at the Broadway Performance Hall:

Food For Change is a feature-length documentary film that tells the story of the cooperative movement in the U.S. through interviews, rare archival footage, and commentary by the filmmaker and social historians.

Zombie-245_featureSaturday, you can make your own scary movie with a Prosthetics and Makeup for Horror Films workshop at Northwest Film Forum.

Instead of heading to the movies, you can do your civic duty Thursday night at the Capitol Hill Community Council’s election forum. While Friday brings the City of Seattle’s Capitol Hill Construction Hub meeting to a daytime gathering in the Comet of all places.

10632759_10152706533661043_1100940028976926427_nMeanwhile, Saturday night brings the Rainbow City Band to the Broadway Performance Hall stage for a Night and Day performance:

Join Rainbow City Band and Purple Passion for an evening of music that explores the moods of night and day, from the stifling heat of a midsummer day to the star-filled sky on a crisp, clear night.

Something to add? Let us know on the CHS Calendar — more listings below:

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Groundbreaking ceremony begins Seattle-side 520 project, demolition of Montlake’s Ramps to Nowhere

(Images: WSDOT)

(Images: WSDOT)

The new 520 -- under construction on the Eastside, too (Images: WSDOT)

The new 520 — under construction on the Eastside, too (Images: WSDOT)

Seattle’s side of replacing 520 across Lake Washington has finally begun to dig after a Wednesday groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the West Approach Bridge North and the demolition of the landmark Ramps to Nowhere.

“This new structure is the vital connection between the new SR 520 floating bridge and Seattle,” Governor Jay Inslee said in Montlake for the groundbreaking Wednesday. “The project ensures that our growing populations and economic hubs on both sides of Lake Washington will retain a critical transportation link for decades to come.”

The federally funded, $300 million West Approach Bridge North will connect westbound lanes to the new floating bridge now under construction. CHS wrote here about the eastbound half of the equation including a Montlake lid and a new Portage Bay Bridge.

Famed for summer scenes of brave and brazen young people jumping into the lake below, the Ramps to Nowhere remnants from curtailed plans for an expanded 520 presence in the area will also be removed over the coming months.

Scheduled for completion in 2017, the new West Approach Bridge North will carry three westbound lanes of traffic from the new floating bridge to Montlake, and connect a new bicycle-pedestrian path from the floating bridge into Seattle.

Mark your Seattle calendars for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2015

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

Monday, Mayor Ed Murray signed the resolution proclaiming the second Monday in October “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in Seattle:

“Seattle sits on the homelands of many tribal nations,” Murray said at a ceremony surrounded by tribal leaders and City councilmembers. “We have many ongoing works with our neighbor tribes, and we welcome the tens of thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives who have come to call this city home. Today’s commemoration is intended to spark a productive conversation about the contributions of indigenous peoples, and, most importantly, their continued involvement in the cultural fabric of our community and the entire country.”1559303_732859353454876_4236350902395162747_o

Mark your calendars. Next year you won’t have to be sad about the holiday. You can learn more about the resolution here.

2014 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival: 51 features, 112 shorts, 3 Capitol Hill screens

10689714_880557738622356_5567813280795476381_nAfter a celebratory grand re-opening weekend, SIFF Cinema Egyptian gets down to business this week as the centerpiece of Capitol Hill venues hosting the 2014 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.

Poster art for webThursday, the 19th annual edition of the festival and first-year fest director Kathleen Mullen welcome Greg Louganis to kick off 11 days of LGTBQ-focused cinema with an Egyptian screening of Back on Board, a documentary about the life and legacy of the Olympic champion diver.

In addition to gay and lesbian stars and subject matter, the festival continues to seek out the work of great LGTBQ filmmakers. “The films this year are outstanding with much of our strongest work from female and queer directors,” Three Dollar Bill Cinema director Jason Plourde said in a statement about the Capitol Hill-based group’s annual festival.

Overall, this year’s SLGFF includes 51 features and 112 shorts representing 32 countries, including 30 “Northwest premieres,” 5 West Coast premieres, and a world premiere. Venues include the Egyptian, Northwest Film Forum, Harvard Exit and Pacific Place. Ticket prices vary. A full festival pass will run you $225. You can see the full schedule and buy your passes here.

You can learn more at

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?”

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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

Sound Transit issues clarifications for Capitol Hill Station development proposals as cost concerns mount

Lots of concrete got pumped in to help complete Capitol Hill Station this spring and summer. Lots of money will need to be pumped in to complete the "transit oriented development" around the station (Image: Sound Transit)

Lots of concrete got pumped in to help complete Capitol Hill Station this spring and summer. Lots of money will need to be pumped in to complete the “transit oriented development” around the station (Image: Sound Transit)

As the projected start date for construction of the apartment complexes and businesses that will populate the area surrounding the Capitol Hill light rail station approaches in coming years, Sound Transit has released clarifications of many of the rules governing how the short-list of potential developers will outline project proposals for the developments. According to Cathy Hillenbrand of the Capitol Hill Champion community group, Sound Transit has provided new information about how the proposals will be graded and selected as well as aspects of the design process.

“What I’ve been hearing is that the developers will be having to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars if not more just to complete these proposals just because of the level of design-detail Sound Transit wants,” said Hillenbrand. “So if you’re one of the six teams competing for Site A, that’s not a great percentage of chance for winning, so are you going to lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for that?”CHStation-TOD-area-600x467-1 Continue reading

12th Ave community group votes for apartment development over city ‘pocket park’

Reverb-Spectrum-11th-And-AlderIn response to a condemnation order placed on a site owned by real estate firm Spectrum Development Solutions at 11th and Alder in order to build a new pocket park, the 12th Avenue Stewards community group has voted unanimously to rescind the order and allow the construction project to continue rather than begin design on a new public space.

Following the vote, Mayor Ed Murray officially withdrew the proposed condemnation order, representatives tell CHS.

“This issue is something that has been difficult for the group,” said Bill Zosel, vice-chair of the 12th Avenue Stewards told CHS in a statement on the vote. Continue reading

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