About jseattle

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

Defense to appeal 10-year sentence in Neighbours arson case

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.00.19 AMAttorneys for convicted Neighbours arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.

“Because of the political nature of this case, one always suspected this could happen,” defense attorney Charles Swift said after the July decision by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez to double the five years both sides in the case had agreed to. Prosecutors told CHS at the time that they believed Masmari had an anti-gay bias but they asked the judge to not raise the sentence based on hate crime motivations because it would open the possibility of appeals.

The Seattle Weekly broke the news on the appeal and reported more on attorney Charles Swift’s involvement in the case:

As with Hamdan’s case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, Masmari’s sentence was political, Swift thinks. Shortly after the term was handed down by U.S. Judge Ricardo Martinez on July 31 – doubling the five-year sentence that prosecutors and Masmari had agreed to in a plea bargain – Swift told reporters he was worried this could happen “because of the political nature of this case.” The next day, he gave notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, challenging the sentence. He is set to file his appellate brief by Halloween.

Masmari, a former Capitol Hill resident, pleaded guilty to setting a New Year’s Eve fire inside a crowded Neighbours nightclub. The arsonist blamed his actions on drinking too much alcohol before setting the fire. In the statement Masmari said he drank an entire “cheap bottle of whiskey” on New Year’s Eve and said he did not remember what happened afterwards. “This defendant violated people’s right to gather safely: he put more than 700 lives at risk when he purposely started a fire at a crowded nightclub on New Year’s Eve,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan in a written statement in May.

Backyard Barter comes to Capitol Hill for crafty swaps and creative trades

Wednesday, 19th Ave’s Miller Community Center will host the August session of Seattle’s Backyard Barter:

We are pleased to announce our first Capitol Hill barter venue : Miller Community Center. This is a Wednesday evening barter, and if weather permits we will be holding the barter in the courtyard. Come join us!

It’s relatively late notice but you should consider dropping by Wednesday night if you’re interested in alternative economies — or homemade ice cream. The barter events give home and hobby crafters an opportunity to trade their creations for the works of others. We visited this Capitol Hill barter session in 2012. We saw mead traded for bagels and Lucky Charms ice cream swapped for a small press book. Good deal. What do you make?

The August Backyard Barter begins at 6 PM. If the weather continues to be gorgeous, organizers plan to hold the swap in the Miller Community Center courtyard at 330 19th Ave E.

‘I love crows. They are my favorite animals.’

Are you like Diana? A few weeks back, CHS received a letter from her asking about the CHS Crow (temporary) tattoos we gave away last summer. Lucky you, Diana — we found a few more. Yours are in the mail.

If you’d like a few crow tattoos, too, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the following address… and your dreams just might come true.

CHS HQ
1914 E ALOHA
SEATTLE WA 98112

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Capitol Hill’s NWFF hosts ‘community discussion about the macing of Raymond Wilford’

The “Hands up, don’t shoot” protest over police violence and the slaying of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has spread across the nation, around the world, and onto Capitol Hill. Thursday night, an incident that echoes with the themes of violence in the name of public safety, race, and the power and the role of media in protest will be the subject of a forum at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

Earlier this month, Seattle freelance photographer and frequent CHS contributor Alex Garland captured pictures and video of a disturbing incident outside the Westlake mall in which private security targeted a black man with pepper spray after a fracas broke out at a protest against violence in Gaza.

Garland will be on hand along with a panel for Thursday’s forum described as “a community discussion about what happened at Westlake, and what we can do as a community beyond recognizing events like these as unjust.”

More details on Thursday night’s free event are below. Continue reading

Blotter | Harvard/Pine gaybashing charge — Plus, conviction in 2008 Central District murder

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Gaybashing charge: A 22-year-old Auburn man arrested in the Sunday night, August 10th alleged gaybashing at Harvard and Pine has been charged with malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute. Ivan Prokhorin faces the charge for his role in allegedly sparking an attack on two men he saw holding hands on Harvard Ave. According to police, Prokhorin, who was with two other males, yelled “Fucking faggots” and followed the two victims to their vehicle carrying an empty Corona bottle. The men told police they grabbed a baseball bat from their own car to defend themselves. “Is there a problem?,” one of the victims asked. “Yes, because you are a fucking faggot,” Prokhorin is alleged to have yelled as he attempted to strike the victims with the bottle but missed and hit the car, shattering the glass. Police say one of other suspects then wrestled away the bat and hit one of the victims several times on the back. The victim was not seriously injured. According to police, the attackers fled in a car but officers located the BMW near 9th Ave and E Alder. There are currently no charges filed against the men who were with Prokhorin. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Dulces calls it quits (again) on Capitol Hill

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White table cloths and a bar couldn't draw Lawrence Lofts neighbors downstairs (Images: Dulces)

White table cloths and a bar couldn’t draw Lawrence Lofts neighbors downstairs (Images: Dulces)

Even for a man who called his restaurant Dulces it’s hard to not sound bitter about burning out on Capitol Hill.

“We had a hard time getting new clientele,” owner Carlos Kainz tells CHS about the sudden shuttering of his 19th and Madison restaurant over the weekend. “Our old clientele were very loyal. But the very young customers upstairs… they wanted a club.”

Kainz and wife Julie Guerrero served their last dishes at the latest incarnation of Dulces Latin Bistro after only 280 days of business in the restaurant space of the Lawrence Lofts building. Kainz said he and Guerrero struggled to grow business on the corner — “The cars go by too fast, so they can’t see we we’re here” — and were given the option to either sell or get out.

Turns out, there were plenty of takers looking for a turnkey, Capitol Hill-area restaurant space. Thudsuan Kitchen and Bar will take over the corner with a start-of-September opening planned. Continue reading

King County to roll out low-income $1.50 Metro fare in 2015

In November, Seattle voters will have their say on creating a new tax base to help fund Metro bus service in the city even as service cutbacks are scheduled to begin in September. Metro fares are also already slated to rise another 25 cents next year. The county is moving to address some of this continued belt-tightening and reduction in service by creating a new reduced-fare program. Continue reading

Math: Capitol Hill’s Miller Park neighborhood is awesome

BvHUjYeCAAAs3OgRents in apartment buildings old *and* new are astronomical — and you can’t afford to buy a home or condo here. But a math equation getting a lot of attention has determined that Capitol Hill — and, specifically, the Miller Park area — is the best place in the nation to live… for this guy:

Combined score = (a – |a – b|) / a + ((if(c ≥ 373.6958, 1, 0) * 0.3153) + (if(d ≥ 21.2983, 1, 0) * 0.2725) + (if(e ≤ 38.8903, 1, 0) * 0.2803) + (if(f ≥ 68.0899, 1, 0) * 0.2971) + (if(g ≥ 67.4557, 1, 0) * 0.3350) + (if(h ≥ 59.9592, 1, 0) * 0.4048) + (if(i ≤31.4668, 1, 0) * 0.2529) + (if(j ≥ 65.5846, 1, 0) * 0.2734) + (if(k ≥ 65.3918, 1, 0) * 0.2839) + (if(l ≥ 58.6467, 1, 0) * 0.3533) + (if(m ≤35.7247, 1, 0) * 0.2576) + (if(n ≥226.8280, 1, 0) * 0.2763) + (if(o ≥78.1848,1, 0) * 0.2779) + (if(p ≥3.8273, 1, 0) * 0.2943) + (if(q ≥ 602.4307, 1, 0) * 0.2795) + (if(r ≤ 4.1293, 1, 0) * 0.2698) + (if(s ≥ 732.9079, 1, 0) * 0.2573) + (if(t ≥ 21.1155, 1, 0) *0.3974) + (if(u ≥82.4877, 1, 0) * 0.2810)) / 5.6596

Where

a = Your Personal Income

Data for Each Tract from the American Community Survey:

b = Median Income

c = Nonrelatives in Household

d = % with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree

e = % Born in State of Residence

f = % 16 and Older in Labor Force

g = % 16 and Older in Civilian Labor Force

h = % 16 and Older Employed in Civilian Labor Force

i = % 16 and Older Not in Labor Force

j = % Females 16 and Older in Labor Force

k = % Females 16 and Older in Civilian Labor Force

l = % Females 16 and Older Employed in Civilian Labor Force

m = % 16 and Older Driving to Work Alone

n = Workers 16 and Older Walking to Work

o = Workers 16 and Older Commuting to Work by Other Means

p = % 16 and Older Commuting to Work by Other Means

q = Houses Built 1939 or Earlier

r = % 10-14 Years Old

s = Population 25-34 Years Old

t = % 25-34 Years Old

u = % 18 Years and Older

Washington, D.C.-area urban planner Tom Munson has urbanist nerds buzzing about analytical approaches to finding the right neighborhood. Key to his equation — and an explanation for how an area with soaring rents tops his list — is, of course, this factor: a = Your Personal Income.

Your number crunching — unless your annual income approaches that of a typical urban planner — may vary.

In the meantime, Munson’s science correlates nearly directly with the (only slightly dated) Phases of Capitol Hill Residency and its lifespan push toward Hilltop and Miller Park.

The Banhs share details on meaty E Jefferson 7 Beef steakhouse: whole cows, primal cuts, parking

Eric Banh is ready to put his recent butchery training to work with a new E Jefferson project that will feature “classic” as well as “primal” cuts of beef that utilize “whole,” local cows.

CHS reported in July on a trio of new projects from brother and sister restaurant partners Eric and Sophie Banh including the debut of the expanded 19th Ave E Monsoon. Monday’s announcement confirms details of the largest of the new ventures that will create a steakhouse near 13th and Jefferson replacing an architect’s office.

“7 Beef will receive whole cows from local purveyors and break them down into primal cuts and ground beef,” the announcement proclaims.

The 7 Beef name refers to “the traditional Vietnamese seven-course beef dinner called Bò 7 Món, where diners sample a variety of small beef dishes.” Continue reading

1956 Capitol Hill anti-aPodment The Sterling considered as Seattle landmark

(Image: Cardinal Architecture PC)

(Image: Cardinal Architecture PC)

(Image: Puget Sound Regional Archives)

(Image: Puget Sound Regional Archives)

A two-story, 6-unit Bellevue Ave apartment building designed in the spirit of a single family home during a brief Capitol Hill development boom in the 1950s will be considered as an official Seattle landmark this week.

The longtime landowner of the Sterling Apartments at 323 Bellevue Ave E is bringing the nomination forward. Though the landmarks process can often be the first public step in developing a property, there are no records for active projects on file for the address.

A 2006 plan to demolish the building and build a new two-story, 10-unit apartment building never got off the ground.

According to the landmarks nomination prepared for longtime owner Dan Chua by Cardinal Architecture PC, the Sterling units were created during a boom for developers as builders rushed to beat a new Seattle requirement for off-street parking: Continue reading

Black Coffee anarchist co-op says it’s leaving Capitol Hill

IMG_4458 (1)IMG_4481An experiment in social entrepreneurialism — and coffee — on Capitol Hill has come to an end. Black Coffee, the E Pine “worker co-op, cafe and community space,” will shutter by Halloween and leave the neighborhood in search of a new home.

The co-op announced the planned closure Sunday afternoon:

The challenges of challenging Empire and colonialism and all the other ‘isms that come with them, internally and externally. Putting a bat behind the counter, after learning that sometimes words just didn’’t work. These are all memories and experiences we’ll take with us, whether we wanted them or not. We’re honored & humbled to keep these memories.

In the last year the collective has said goodbye to one member and gained three, for a total of six worker-owners, half of which were born and raised in the metropolis of the Emerald City. The current six have decided to leave 501 E. Pine, located onTrap Hill, Babylon. But rest assured… WE ARE NOT ABANDONING THIS PROJECT NOR OUR COMMUNITIES!!!

“We are leaving this location so that we can adjust to what our communities need and provide what we can, with an eye to the long term.” the message concludes. “We are trying to remain guided by our communities as a project of anarchist infrastructure, a small contribution to the project of building the commons.”

The group has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $30,000 to help Black Coffee find a new location.

In July, CHS reported on issues with Department of Planning and Development permits that were leading to big changes with Black Coffee’s neighbor Raygun Lounge and placing the co-op’s future on E Pine in jeopardy: Continue reading

Ferguson protests take to the streets of Capitol Hill and the Central District

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The tensions around the police shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri have inspired protests and rallies in Seattle. At 23rd and Union, a group has been rallying daily at 4:30 PM to raise their signs and voices on race issues and police violence. Demonstrations in the Central District and on Capitol Hill have been relatively small and almost wholly non-violent — though Friday night, attendees at the rally reportedly dragged a large planter into the intersection at 23rd and Union and briefly disrupted traffic. Saturday night, a small group of 20 to 30 demonstrators met at Seattle Central before braving Broadway for a brief march up and down the busy street chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Meanwhile, criticism of the Ferguson police shooting and response has been nearly universally negative. “Don’t tear gas nonviolent and not-threatening protesters. And for God’s sake, don’t bring dogs out … It’s a throwback to the ‘60s and Bull Connor. The imagery sucks. It was really painful to see the images I saw from Ferguson,” former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper told the LA Times. Stamper oversaw SPD’s response to the 1999 WTO riots.