About jseattle

Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959. Follow @jseattle on Twitter or be best pals on Facebook.

Dance party celebrates final days of temporary Capitol Hill arts space V2

Velocity Dance will celebrate the final days of the old Capitol Hill Value Village as temporary Capitol Hill art space V2 Saturday night.

The Last Dance V2 Farewell Performance Party starts at 9:30 PM at the 11th Ave venue:

Say good-bye to V2 with a special one-night-only performance party. Dance happenings by an emerging generation of artists take-over V2. Meet, greet, drink + DANCE. Join the send-off!

“All proceeds keep affordable community art space on the hill,” organizers say.

The project to put the building to use as a temporary performance, rehearsal, gallery, and community meeting space came together to begin 2016 as the redevelopment slated to change the block continued its final planning phases. Continue reading

The great Capitol Hill pizza boom of 2016: Southpaw makes it five

The margins are good — “We can make this into something that is a little more entry level that can still have my stamp when it comes to quality level,” longtime Capitol Hill chef John Sundstrom told CHS earlier this year about the plans for his new Lark sibling Southpaw.

The new restaurant is opening this weekend as the fifth new pizza joint to debut on Capitol Hill in 2016 — sixth if you count Italian Family Pizza’s move to Boren and Madison. Continue reading

Return of #seasnow open thread: Capitol Hill pictures, video, etc.

Enjoy it while it lasts. Snow fell on Capitol Hill Thursday night in what looks likely to be the heaviest snowfall the area has seen since 2013 — like we reported earlier this week, the low bar is 7/10ths of an inch. The moment the heavy flakes first fell just before 8 PM likely put a few smiles on the face of local meteorologists. The weather folks took a decent social media beating in the wake of predictions of an October windstorm that fell far short of the headlines and continued criticism this week as forecasted snow totals for the Seattle area fell from 4 to 5 inches to 1 inch or even none. Tonight’s snow is predicted to give way to rain overnight and a sloppy but snow-free morning commute — but we’ll see.

A dozen or so things to know when it snows — even an inch — on Capitol Hill

In the meantime, we’ll collect a few pictures and notes here on the novel night. With La Nina around, this might be the first of many snow nights this winter but, for now, we’ll give the return of more serious #seasnow a little extra attention.
Continue reading

Man arrested at Seattle Central with assault rifle in guitar case

czlohzjukaauworPolice are investigating after a bizarre incident at Seattle Central Wednesday in which a man was arrested after school security found he was carrying what authorities said was an assault rifle inside a guitar case on the Capitol Hill college’s Broadway campus.

A SPD spokesperson tells CHS that the man was taken into custody without incident when officers arrived at the school after being called by security just after 5 PM as the 34-year-old had been detained and the weapon discovered. Police say a witness spotted the subject who is believed to have been formerly enrolled at the school and told security he was known to carry a gun.

Officers arrived, seized the weapon, and took the man into custody for trespassing and carrying a firearm on a school campus, a misdemeanor offense. The man reportedly did not make any threats. The SPD spokesperson said he did not know if the suspect told police why he was carrying the gun in a guitar case. Police say the man was also wanted on a felony warrant for larceny in another county.

“We are extremely fortunate that no one was harmed and that at no time was anyone on our campus directly threatened,” a school announcement about the incident sent to students read. “This incident had a positive outcome because someone on campus was vigilant and reported their concern to our Public Safety Office.”

The suspect was booked into King County Jail and is awaiting charges.

UPDATE: SPD has posted its brief on the incident here.

Thanks to @maggim for the tip.

Citizen petition forces meeting on Seattle Asian Art Museum overhaul and expansion

From the project's "geotechnical" report

From the project’s “geotechnical” report

In an effort to drive massive web traffic and create some sexy Facebook clickbait, we are posting about yet another Volunteer Park and Seattle Asian Art Museum expansion meeting. Yes, it’s true. Another meeting on the proposal to improve the 1933-built museum’s climate control system, perform need seismic upgrades, make the museum ADA accessible, and expand the facility by 3,600 square feet will take place next week after the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections was petitioned to hold a public meeting on the pending approval of the project in the city’s land use permit process. Continue reading

Seattle’s revived Community Service Officer police force would handle neighborhood disputes, crime prevention

s-l225Seattle will bring a team of unarmed community police officers back to its streets to “handle non-emergency incidents such as neighborhood disputes, investigations, and crime prevention.”

Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan Wednesday that will hire 26 Community Service Officers in 2017 and put the revived police force back on the streets of Seattle by 2018.

“It is critical to the long-term success of our police department to build strong, lasting bonds between officers and the communities they serve,” Murray said in the announcement.  “The Seattle Police Department has worked for years to become a model of 21st century policing and the Community Service Officer program will help us reach the ultimate goal of building community trust with the department.”

Seattle’s CSO program “ran for more than 30 years from 1971 to 2004, when it was discontinued for lack of funding,” KIRO reports.

City Council member Mike O’Brien secured $2 million in funding to revive the program in the 2017-2018 budget, according to the mayor’s announcement.

According to the plan, a new “interdepartmental project team” is being formed to create recommendations for SPD to add the new officers. The recommendations will include a framework for the “qualifications, training curriculum, and operational functions with SPD” the CSOs will serve, the mayor’s announcement said.

The current “class summary” for the CSO role at SPD outlines a role that handles many of the day to day social issues the city’s police force deals with:

Positions in this class, under general supervision, perform a variety of law enforcement-related community services work that does not require the enforcement authority of a sworn police officer. They patrol an assigned area of the City on foot or in a vehicle, serving populations such as dysfunctional families, the homeless, disabled, runaway youth, and the elderly. They mediate disputes between family members, neighbors, landlords and tenants; provide basic counseling; make referrals to assisting agencies and programs; maintain a caseload of juvenile runaways; investigate reports of child abuse; participate in crime prevention activities, and prepare a variety of incident reports.

As its police department continues to be reformed under a Department of Justice consent decree over its inequitable use of force and the city’s negotiations for a new police labor contract is pounded out, Seattle has pursued more programs and solutions to focus its officers on more serious crimes. Another example in the city’s 2017–2018 budget is continued funding for the city’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program that expanded to SPD’s East Precinct on Capitol Hill in 2016.

A dozen or so things to know when it snows — even an inch — on Capitol Hill

There is a good chance we’ll get one entire inch of snow on Capitol Hill Thursday night. It’s been a while. The last time the Hill got that snowy was December 2013 when a whopping 7/10ths of an inch blanketed Central Seattle on a Friday morning. Here are a few things you need to know if, indeed, the forecasts hold true. If not, you’re ready for a La Nina winter of snowy predictions around the Pacific Northwest.

See something we need to know about? chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • UPDATE: The National Weather Service now predicts the snow will begin “late” Thursday in Seattle and has lowered its predicted snowfall totals. “The most probable scenario at this time is that precipitation will being as snow this evening, then gradually transition back to rain some time late tonight.”


  • Driving: If you’re going to drive, check out the SDOT Winter Weather map. It shows which routes have been recently been de-iced or salted. There are also a few notorious streets to avoid including John between Broadway and 15th and E Aloha. Commenters will probably know more. You can also check the CHS Street Cams page before you head out. And the CHS Weather page has the latest reports from local observations. Continue reading

DOJ: Russian hacker convicted for Seattle cybercrimes trying to stall sentencing

The wheels of justice continue to turn slowly in a case that brought concerns about Russian hackers to Seattle’s Capitol Hill long before the 2016 presidential election.

This week, the Department of Justice scored a minor victory on the way to sentencing Roman Seleznev after his summer conviction in a $1.7 million international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill and the Mad Pizza chain, among other local businesses.

In August, a federal jury in Seattle found Seleznev guilty on 38 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He could face up to 34 years in prison. Continue reading

Capitol Lounge joining the Comet on E Pike

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-46-58-amAfter sitting empty for two years, the lounge space formerly home to the Lobby Bar has cracked back into motion in recent weeks with the bang bang bang of hammers and the whir of saws and sanders. Japanese hot dog king Shinsuke Nikaido is at work on E Pike again.

No, he’s not building a cat cafe.

Nikaido tells CHS the under construction Capitol Lounge will be a bar and night spot with booze, music, and dancing. It will neighbor his Ikina Sushi which debuted this summer in the madness of the main stage crowd at the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Nikaido knows the area’s nightlife well. His business has been serving Japanese-style hot dogs from his Gourmet Dog Japon carts since 2010. Continue reading

Leave Paul Allen out of it: Ask for an I-5 lid study

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Nobody needs Paul Allen to pay for building a new lid over I-5 — not yet, at least. Nope. All we need at this point is a public benefit investment of less than 1/10th of a percent of the $1.6 billion Washington State Convention Center expansion to fund a $1 million study of lidding I-5 thus renewing the severed historical bonds between Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and downtown Seattle and ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in the central city.

CHS wrote here about the quest for the lid plan to be included in the project’s public benefits package. Wednesday night, you can attend a WSCC expansion open house just down the Hill and/or let the Seattle Design Commission know your thoughts via email at SDC_Administration@seattle.gov.

WSCC Public Benefits Open House

Weather gods again target Pike People Street, this time with threat of Seattle snow

A snow morning on E Pike circa February 2011 (Image: CHS)

A snow morning on E Pike circa February 2011 (Image: CHS)

It’s time to admit it. The final pilot of the Pike People Street program is cursed. Though if the last weather-related cancelation is any indication, you won’t actually have 2 to 5 inches of Seattle snow to worry about Thursday afternoon.

Forecast models for Thursday are going a little nuts but there is the possibility for three to five inches of snow up and down the I-5 corridor — including Seattle. The storm could also bring high winds and freezing rain. UPDATE 8:50 PM: The situation has now been escalated to a National Weather ServiceWinter Storm Watch” —


While SDOT’s coordinator for the pedestrian pilot program Seth Geiser is hoping for a “little winter wonderland” to accompany Thursday’s Capitol Hill Art Walk-coordinated street closure in the heart of Pike/Pine, the Spokane native is ready for a cancellation if his department needs to swing into action for a serious storm. Continue reading

Lowell Elementary S Path remains ‘temporarily closed’ as officials weigh options

img_9619A self-imposed deadline for Seattle Department of Transportation officials to sort out a plan with Seattle Public Schools for what happens next to the “S Path,” the curving public sidewalk between Federal and 11th Ave E that has been fenced off since the start of adjacent Lowell Elementary’s school year, has come and gone.

SDOT’s Genesee Adkins, chief of staff for the department, tells CHS that city representative have met with schools officials and heard the district’s requirements for reopening the route to the public right of way:

We met with the school district a little more than a week ago to understand what they want to do going forward. Now we’re working internally at the city to see how quickly we can make some of those options happen on the ground. I know I’m not giving you too much specificity, but we’re still in flux at this moment. We had hoped to have a long-term solution identified by the end of November, and I don’t think we’ll be too far off of that, but I’m afraid we’re not quite there yet today.

CHS reached out to the school district to learn more about its requirements. A SPS spokesperson said district representatives met on Friday to discuss proposals but we haven’t yet heard back on specifics. Clearly, they have bigger issues to sort out.

Lowell Elementary serves children from across Central Seattle and is home to the district’s program for medically fragile students. Parents said they have been cleaning up garbage and dangerous needles from addicts and homeless campers left along the path for months. Adkins said that the situation had reached an “acute” level and the closure to start the school year was the only prudent course of action to take while longer term solutions were addressed.

City officials met with community members and school parents this fall to hear from some their concerns about the path’s dangers and other’s their desire to restore the public route near the school.