This week in CHS history | Harvard Exit closure, Starbucks Roastery debut, Volunteer Park coyote

8446822384_783d5da87f_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

Africatown celebrates first ever Central District Winter Arts and Soul Fest

1 (4)As plans move forward for creating a new Central Area Arts District to celebrate the area as a hub for black art, business, and community, one of the groups looking to help preserve and grow the area’s economic and cultural assets will hold the first edition of what it hopes will become an annual event.

The first Africatown Central District Winter Arts and Soul Fest is underway:

Friday, Nov. 27th

  • Black Friday Concert & Marketplace featuring Owuor Arunga & Friends. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S. Market Place opens at 12 noon. Doors for concert open at 6:30pm.

Saturday, Nov. 28th

  • Africatown Small Business Saturday Marketplace at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S.

  • Opening of Black Dot Cultural Innovation Space @ Midtown Center, 1160 23rd Ave

  • 4th Annual Dancehall Reunion Bash @ Eritrean Hall, 1954 S. Massachusetts St.

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Shop local, shop the Hill

1450973_759900357357854_1816493941_nWe’re once again keeping track of local gift ideas and deals from Capitol Hill area merchants at

You can let us know about your favorite shops here via Facebook and we’ll try add regular updates to share through the holidays.

If you’re looking to also spread joy to the needy and less fortunate, here are 2015 donation drives, feed the hungry, and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill.

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$1.9 million in grants, plus new park projects coming to Capitol Hill and District 3

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We don't have money for this right now

We don’t have money for this right now

Last week, CHS shared the most recent vision for the audacious idea to lid I-5 with a park to better connect Capitol Hill with downtown and South Lake Union. There’s zero dollars to pay for it.

But the good news is there are more than zero dollars to pay for plenty of other parks and community projects around Capitol Hill and District 3. Here are some projects ready do dig in or already in progress around the Hill and Central Seattle plus news on new grants to help pay for more.

Summit Slope Park E John Enhancement
E John next off E Olive Way will be “enhanced” starting this winter, Seattle Parks says. The plans to “pedestrianize” E John adjacent Summit Slope Park next to the E Olive Way Starbucks were mostly finalized way back in fall of 2013 but the end product will be a $150,000 compromise version. The effort to transform the street was part of the original plans for the park as ideas coalesced in 2009 but had to be put off in early planning and construction due to costs. The plan will reconfigure sidewalks and trees along the street and eliminate parking on E John as well as close off access to the street from E Olive Way. Starbucks customers, however, will still be allowed to exit the cafe’s parking lot onto John to Summit. UPDATE: Awesome planning and development site The Urbanist has more information about the E John changes:

With the removal of parking lanes, the sidewalk will extend into John Street, with room for a bioswale, new p-patches, and even two new tables for seating.

12th Avenue Square and Broadway Hill Park
12th Avenue Square on 12th at E James Ct and Broadway Hill Park at Federal and Republican were both under construction this fall. 12th Avenue Square, with its woonerf and giant hanging sculpture, is close to wrapping up though the official opening party will probably be held in 2016. Also lined up for a 2016 opening is the long awaited Broadway Hill Park on land purchased for $2 million five years ago.

New grants
Meanwhile, $464,823 in Neighborhood Matching Fund grants were announced in the latest wave of awards for organizations across the city. With the advent of Seattle’s new district system, the Department of Neighborhoods provided this year’s roster of grants organized by district. Your home district did well — D3 raked in more than $160,000 of the funds made available in this round.

District 3

  • $25,000 to Gay City Arts to organize events exploring the experiences of three marginalized groups within LGBT communities: people of color, transgender and genderqueer people, and people over 40. The free events will include classes in visual, literary and performing arts, along with community dialogues and performances. (Community match: $33,404) Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Murder at 15th and Union, Ferguson march, Denny sled run

8443771301_b3402fbaea_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Everything Old is Old Again

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 29,000 photographs -— most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

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Vote now! How best to boost voter turnout on Capitol Hill?

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 10.31.40 AMCapitol Hill’s state leaders in Olympia say a better turnout by Seattle voters might have helped save Washington from yet another budget battle. Powered by the most expensive City Council campaigns in Seattle history, Capitol Hill, the Central District, and the neighborhoods of District 3 led the way in the city — but even the D3 return barely cracked 50%. Across the state, turnout in Washington’s by-mail ballot system is on track for a record low performance.

What can we do? Below is a CHS survey of possible solutions to bump up voter turnout. They range from small change to big bucks. Let us know which ones you think would work best. You can also add suggestions in comments for us to add to the poll.

Create your own user feedback survey

You can view the latest results here.

Sleepy high schoolers rejoice — Seattle shifts school start times

Olympic Sun Rise

In a bid to address concerns over educational performance of its sleepy 6th to 12th graders, The Seattle Public Schools board voted Wednesday night to shift school start times across the district.

Seattle high schools will start classes later while most elementary schools will start the day earlier in a juggling act designed to keep the change from creating a significant increase in transportation costs. Continue reading