About jseattle

Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

Happy Labor Day 2014


The burgers are free. So is the parking. Tip double. It’s Labor Day.

The Volunteer Park Wading marks its final day of the 2014 season (PDF). Metro is a on a “Sunday” schedule.

In Seattle, land of the worker, we’ll begin the long march to $15/hour minimum wage in the new year. Nothing can stop us… probably:

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman is asking the restaurant and lodging industries to pony up $1.1 million for a signature blitzkrieg that would put on the ballot an initiative to repeal Seattle’s new $15-an-hour minimum wage.

If you’re feeling the need for a Labor Day rally, head to Westlake.

Labor Day Rally at Westlake Plaza to be held on Monday September 1 2014.

SEATTLE – El Comité, the May 1st Action Coalition, and social justice advocates will hold a rally in support of the 11 million plus undocumented workers in the United States as well as the various workers across the country that are struggling for dignity and respect in the workplace. Event details are as follows: Continue reading

East Precinct’s 2014 picnic: free hot dogs, Hill crime spike concerns and larger questions around policing

Capt. Davis talks with East Precinct picnic attendees (Images: CHS)

Capt. Davis talks with East Precinct picnic attendees (Images: CHS)

IMG_9419Saturday’s annual East Precinct community picnic had a little more going on this year than just hot dogs. Held in Cal Anderson for the first time, the free hot dogs, information booths and chance to check out the bomb squad gear came as local Capitol Hill crime issues have come to a head again this summer and as larger issues around policing have emerged from the Ferguson protests.

East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis was on hand along with top brass including Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole.

Davis said questions about the militarization of police are worthy of debate but that the Seattle’s police force isn’t being armed by Homeland Security.IMG_9529

Chief O'Toole

Chief O’Toole

Continue reading

A century of use for Capitol Hill’s Gilda’s Club building

Seattle writer and historian Dotty DeCoster has been nice enough to share many of her essays and reports with CHS over the years. She first published this piece in 2009 — we’ve updated it and are happy to share it with readers again as Gilda’s Club prepares for its first ever Red Door campaign.

By Dotty DeCoster
This story is about the building at 1400 Broadway (corner of Union) that is home to Gilda’s Club of Seattle. It is the only Greek Revival edifice in the immediate neighborhood, and the front doors are bright red. The outside of the building is much as it was when it was built in 1912 and Johnson & Hamilton moved up from First Avenue. Until 1965, the building was the Johnson & Hamilton funeral parlor.

Charles F. Johnson and his wife Sophia, and Frank Hamilton and his wife Crissie Rankin Hamilton came to Seattle from Fargo, North Dakota, and set up the third mortuary in Seattle at 2127 First Avenue in 1902. Apparently, the families had met in Fargo – the Hamiltons were originally from Ontario and the Johnsons from Minneapolis. It is likely that by 1911 the confusion and mess generated by the regrades downtown impelled Johnson & Hamilton to look for a new site for their business. 1400 Broadway was a vacant lot right on a streetcar line with a livery stable behind it (east) and automobile garages to the north and northeast. Architect Daniel Riggs Huntington designed the building and it appears likely that the builder was William W. Noyes.

Daniel R. Huntington, A.I.A., (1871-1962) had a long and distinguished architectural career in Seattle, including serving as City Architect for a time. He was also a distinguished painter. On Capitol Hill, in addition to the Johnson-Hamilton building, he designed Fire Station #7 at 402 15th Avenue E., the Rainier Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution at 800 E. Roy, the Norcliffe Apartments at 1119 Boren, and his own residence at 1800 E. Shelby.

First known as undertakers, then as funeral parlors, finally as a funeral home, the Johnson & Hamilton business continued until the mid-1920s. Continue reading

One year ago this week on Capitol Hill

Here are the top CHS posts from this week in 2013:

  1. 1239913_669813809697469_1953256674_nWorld of Beer to collide with Capitol Hill
  2. Broadway bikeway gets paved above ground, light rails finished below
  3. Has Seattle ‘ratpocalypse’ spread to Capitol Hill?
  4. 21 marijuana stores planned for Seattle, 1,000-foot rule changed
  5. Heavy rains, slick roads forecasted after the most amazing Seattle summer ever*
  6. Look inside latest apartment building to hit Capitol Hill rental market, get a sneak peek at the next
  7. ‘Big Fun’ bar project slated for former Velo bike shop space
  8. Ahead of city’s quake readiness mandates, some Hill building owners fight, others get to work
  9. Central Co-op inks deal another five years at 16th and Madison

 

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000 22,000 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.
Continue reading

CHS Pics | Lummi totem pole journey to oppose coal trains makes Capitol Hill stop

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_9149The Lummi Nation brought specially carved totem poles to Capitol Hill’s St. Mark’s Friday for a morning of blessing and prayer on a journey “all along the rail line from the Bakken oil fields and Powder River Basin coal mines, through the Salish Sea and up into Canada’s tar sands.”

Coal export, oil trains, and the toxic byproducts of fossil fuels threaten many tribal lands across the Americas. The Lummi Nation House of Tears carvers are creating a totem pole to raise up the voice of all threatened by fossil fuel transportation. They are journeying with this totem pole across the western United States and Canada to connect with local tribes, faith leaders, and environmental partners. The Lummi ask for blessing and protection of sacred lands and treaty rights, including their own ancestral village and treaty fishing waters at Cherry Point, WA.

The Seattle stop on the nation’s second totem pole journey brought out dignitaries including King County Executive Dow Constantine who spoke to the mix of St. Mark’s worshippers, environmentalists, and tribal members on hand for the event at the 10th Ave E cathedral.

You can learn more about the journey and the Lummi effort to oppose coal exports at totempolejourney.com.

That yellow helicopter over Capitol Hill

A tour promo shot (Image: Seattle Helicopter Tours)

A tour promo shot (Image: Seattle Helicopter Tours)

How has this never come up before? Of all the helicopter reports and questions we get — and we get a lot! — we’ve never come across the mystery of the yellow helicopter over Capitol Hill.

Until now.

If you noticed a disturbingly low flying chopper visiting Capitol Hill Friday morning, don’t worry. It wasn’t a crime issue or TV news covering a building fire.

Seattle Helicopter Tours says it was busy providing a trip for some people involved with this weekend’s PAX at the Convention Center. The company offers tours of the city “starting as low as $90.83.” Apparently, it’s a bigger deal in Ballard. We asked if we might see more flights today with the PAX marketing folks going full tilt but the representative told us she couldn’t say.

Capitol Hill newspaper publisher still making its bucks off mortgage meltdown

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.22.46 AMIt has been nearly three years since Bellevue-based RIM Publications and its parent company Northwest Trustee Services took over the remains of the weekly newspaper that covered Capitol Hill for decades and earned years of goodwill from the Hillers who remember their paper delivery routes and the nostalgia of simpler times. At the time, we called Northwest Trustee Services and RIM “a company built on the back of our region’s manifestations of the mortgage crisis.”

So, what are the people behind today’s Capitol Hill Times up to lately? Here is a recent piece posted by the Madison Park Times, another old-timey paper still making a go of it in the internet era:

This is how foreclosed Seattle homes are auctioned: in an underground parking garage setting more befitting drug deals. Northwest Trustee Services (NTS), which operates in eight Western states, handles 60 to 70 percent of all foreclosed homes in King County. Six years after the housing bubble burst, NTS still auctions 50 to 70 homes a month from Seattle alone.

Its building also houses Routh Crabtree Olsen, a legal firm that operates in the same eight states and represents both NTS and the banks that have seized the homes NTS auctions.

It’s a cozy, well-oiled machine for processing properties that, protesters allege, often have the same history of predatory practices and dubious paper trails that led to the 2008 bubble in the first place.

Full disclosure: The Madison Park paper is published by Pacific Publishing Co., the folks who sold off the Capitol Hill Times.

As the foreclosure business remains a profitable industry even with the late-payment rate in the nation dropping, some experts are predicting the country’s mortgage crisis is about to flare up again as “temporary relief measures and legacy issues from the crisis” come to a head in 2015. Expect a meatier free weekly in the future as the local foreclosure listings thicken up.

You can buy Capitol Hill’s Chop Suey for $99,950

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A peek inside from the Chop Suey real estate listing

A peek inside from the Chop Suey real estate listing

Everything is for sale. Just ask Broadway’s Charlie’s. The restaurant’s owner Ken Bauer has listed the Capitol Hill classic for years.

On Thursday, Seattle’s only music writer David Segal posted about the peculiar real estate listings involving 14th and Madison rock club Chop Suey and got some intel from longtime neighborhood booker Jodi Ecklund.

“The most recent development is that the price was significantly dropped from the original asking price. The issue is the rent on the building is 13k; even with a thriving club like Chop Suey, that is not sustainable. I have heard there are some interested parties and I have been contacted by a few folks for more insight. My number one concern is that if Chop Suey is purchased, I hope it is by someone who values the local music scene.

If you’re wondering, Dave Meinert tells us he’s not interested in owning “a live music venue.” We’ll let you parse that statement.

Team Dresch on the Suey stage in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Team Dresch on the Suey stage in 2013 (Image: CHS)

To be clear, Chop Suey is for sale.

Not the 1325 E Madison building across the street from the former Piecora’s where a six-story development is planned. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Hopvine Tennis Tournament — game, set, match for Capitol Hill’s hottest summer in 47 years

IMG_8927IMG_8796Seattle Summer is over. The annual Hopvine Tennis Tournament has come and gone. Wednesday night, hipsters and secret tennis champs trying to look like didn’t care that much about winning gathered for the 13th annual tournament sponsored by the 15th Ave E pub. We don’t know who won this year but you can tell the winners for yourself just by the pictures — definitely some winning fashion on display.

In the meantime, a brilliant Seattle summer fades. Try not to think too much about global warming.

There will still be a few summer-y bursts here and there. The East Precinct is sponsoring free hot dogs and its annual picnic this weekend — this year in Cal Anderson Park. Later in September, the Faerie Festival returns to Volunteer Park. But, yeah, as far as summer 2014 goes, it’s pretty much game, set, match. We hope you enjoyed it.

More pictures of the hardcore Volunteer Park tennis action, below. Continue reading

Pretty Parlor shop kitty injured in dog attack

Pretty kitty (Image: Pretty Parlor)

Pretty kitty (Image: Pretty Parlor)

Vincent the Pretty Parlor cat is a familiar character for many on Capitol Hill. Earlier this week, the shop cat suffered a brutal attack that left him in need of expensive surgery and medical care.

He’s in surgery Thursday afternoon. Shop owner and Vincent pal Anna Banana Lange has set up an online account if you’d like to pitch in to help cover the bills. Here’s part of a message she posted Wednesday night:

His chance of surviving the night is 80/20, which is good, considering all the fluids in his lungs. We are meeting with the surgeon tomorrow morning to determine our route for his compound leg fracture. This is the reason for doubling our goal. Surgery is expected to cost between $4000-$6000, an added cost to the original $3000 as estimated.

Banana also writes that she is close to being able to identify the dog and owner responsible for the Wednesday morning attack outside the shop.

CHS last visited the 119 Summit Ave E store earlier this summer as Banana expanded to add a Capitol Hill-styled bridal boutique.

If you’d like to help, you can learn more and give at gofundme.com.

Capitol Hill wine shop Essence shutters — UPDATE

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(Image: Essence Wine)

(Images: Essence Wine)

Retailers looking for a berth on Capitol Hill will find some open space in the 400 block of E Pine. Funky and unpredictable bottle shop Essence Wine quietly closed earlier this month.

Here’s the Facebook goodbye:

Thank you all for so many beautiful times. We are closing the shop that hosted dance, music, people, laughter, arguments, discussion, ruckus, urbanity, and you. Thank you so much for being a part, thank you so much for being a part! The beauty of the essence will happen again, in different places and in so many ways. Thank you for having carried and carrying it on

The now empty shop makes two neighboring E Pine retail spaces looking for tenants. Earlier this summer, Gamma Ray Games announced it was consolidating up the Hill in a new space combined with its Raygun Lounge.

Co-owners Zach Weissman and Winston Xu opened Essence in late 2012shaped as an artesian cave, a cave of stacked wine boxes with bottled wine atop.” The business also had a — how should we say it? — creative approach to business. Not taking things too seriously seems to be part of the lifeblood of running a Capitol Hill wine business — stop by still-standing European Vine Selections for a taste as it’s kept things running for more than 25 years on the Hill.

Essence even managed to have some good fun at the expense of local media — CHS was thoroughly punk’d by this strange episode in early 2013. At the time, Xu apologized and told us he too had been tricked by the announcement and that Weissman had “no authority” to speak for the shop. It was a strange moment for the business but, until the end, both Xu and Weissman remained with Essence, according to corporate filings.

By email, Xu declined to comment on the closure telling us things still needed to get wrapped up with the landlord.

UPDATE: Xu tells us things are wrapped up with the landlord and a new art supply store is reportedly moving in:

The reason behind our closure was complicated, but mostly because I am finding myself not able to make enough spare time to manage the shop as much as it needed to be, Zach, my partner did a wonderful job and had been the primary manager Essence over the past two years, now he is off to another great job opportunity and I am swapped with my primary job and other businesses, so we have decided to close the business.