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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.

CHS Pics | The Valentine’s service turkeys of the Central District

(Image with permission to CHS)

(Image with permission to CHS)

In this week of love and gestures of devotion, if you aren’t going to buy your sweetheart a story on Broadway, or present your darling a violin concerto at 15th and John, or paint your lover a Pike/Pine plein air-style canvas, then maybe a visit to the Valentine’s service turkeys of the Central District is what you need. Neighbor Michael says you’ll find them near 24th and Cherry:

Attached are the pictures of two turkeys going for a walk on 24th and Union. This is what my neighbor said,” Turkey Traffic Jam!!! Blocking traffic at about 24th and Cherry! Sauntering down the sidewalk way behind them was their owner who stated “They help people calm down”…asked him if I could drive by he said “sure they can fly you know”…

But you might want to think twice before you bring them inside your neighborhood coffee shop.


The 10 stations of the First Hill Streetcar

conup_map1 (2)Cae5pbCVAAAqIbt (1)Saturday, the First Hill Streetcar will get its lion dance. Rushed to the starting line after showing up more than a year late, the 2.5-mile line connecting Pioneer Square, the International District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill began its service in January with free rides and zero ribbon cutting.

That will change Saturday when the $133 million Sound Transit-financed, SDOT-created, and Metro-operated finally gets a party. It has been nearly four years since construction for the line began on Broadway.

Below is a look at what we found at the First Hill Streetcar’s ten stops during a day riding this week. This is what we saw but we’ll depend on you to tell us anything we should explore on our next ride. Is this your stop?

After one final weekend and a Monday Presidents Day holiday without charging, the system’s honor system kicks in for the first time Tuesday when riders will need to buy tickets or tap their ORCA cards before boarding. Paid service will bring the true test of the line’s true utility and whether it can overcome the handicap of sharing the street with vehicular traffic. Perhaps these ten stations will be draw enough to make it work.

1) Occidental and JacksonJackson and Occidental_6061
Continue reading

Demolition at 15th and Howell

"Bob, what have we done?" (Image: CHS)

“Bob, what have we done?” (Image: CHS)

Longtime readers of the site know CHS is your leading source for Capitol Hill demolition porn:

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Though our own pace of demolition postings has slowed, it’s not because the development pace has finally slowed down and fewer demolitions are happening on Capitol Hill — we recently tallied 94 demolition permits in 2013, 70 in 2014, and 67 through September 2015.

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Tearing down Ballard? DPD demolition-related permitting activity, 2015 (Source: seattle.gov)

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But the location and scale of the tear-downs has changed. The era of ripping down a block of old buildings in the heart of Pike/Pine — for now — has passed. The recent demolition that quickly and mostly quietly came at 15th and Howell is an example of a ripping apart of an older building we might skip these days, leaving Twitter and Facebook to document the mildewy smell of splintered boards and piles of twisted metal mixed with yellowed insulation.

Tuesday, it inspired a CHS Community Post documenting the old apartment building mid-demolition — and then the corner was cleared. The recent increase in ejected furnishings and old appliances from the apartments being spread around the neighborhood had come to an end.

What’s next is another thing neighbors on Capitol Hill have become more accustomed to. Construction will soon begin on an “urban apartment building” with 57 “small residential units.” The microhousing from developer Greenbuild and designed by Caron architects got its final approval from the design review board about a year ago last January. When it is complete, the corner will have traded two buildings with 8 units for nearly 60 averaging 341 square feet a piece.

1420 E Howell - 1 of 2

County pitches in with $17M in spending on homelessness and affordable housing

As Seattle is moving ahead with a plan to boost its emergency spending to fight homelessness in the city to $7.6 million, there have been calls for more to be done at the state and federal level. King County has responded.

Earlier this week, County Executive Dow Constantine announced $17 million plan in spending and the creation of an additional 237 units of affordable housing. The initiative will provide rental assistance to those who used to be homeless, military veterans, immigrants and refugees, and families fleeing domestic violence, the announcement reads.

“We continue to take action to help those who are homeless today, and prevent children and families from falling into homelessness tomorrow,” Constantine said. “This humanitarian crisis requires a comprehensive, prevention-oriented approach that crosses all levels of government working with community partners. We’re delivering results at the local level — now we need our Legislature and Congress to join us.”

The county is touting more than $17 million in spending to address the crisis:

  • $280,000 in emergency funding to expand shelter capacity and access in South and East King County and create a day center in South King County.
  • $7 million for capital projects that will create an additional 237 units of affordable housing, including units reserved for military veterans and formerly homeless residents.
  • $10 million in rental assistance, funds to operate affordable housing so that it is a positive asset in the community, and funds for support services to help families and individuals remain stably housed through case management, help finding employment, education, and other services.

With Seattle’s issues around encampments and the continuing to grow number of people living unsheltered in the city, critics of programs to address the issue have criticized City Hall for being too soft on homeless people and welcoming all comers to “Freeattle.” But the numbers of homeless outside the city appear to be growing just as quickly — if not faster. The 2016 One Night Count found 4,505 people living unsheltered in the streets of King County overnight. That’s a 19% increase over last year’s survey. In Seattle, the count found 2,942 outside, up from 2,813 in 2015, a 4.5% jump.

Police release video of Capitol Hill kidnapping attempt

Seattle Police have released security video from the February 2nd kidnapping attempt in which a man tried to force a woman into a truck in the 1600 block of Bellevue:

SPD’s update describes the late Tuesday, February 2nd attack:

Detectives are releasing a surveillance video that captured last Tuesday’s assault. The grainy video shows the suspect pull up curbside just as the victim walks into frame. The suspect can be seen reaching into the cab before lunging at the victim. The victim quickly breaks free and the suspect retreats to the truck before speeding off.

Detectives are asking anyone with information in this case to please call (206) 684-5767.

Police released the first information on the attack Wednesday more than a week after the attempted abduction.

The 29-year-old woman told police she was walking near Bellevue and E Pine on February 2nd around 11:30 PM when a man driving in a dark blue pickup truck pulled alongside her, grabbed her arms, and told her to get in his car. When others noticed the woman screaming, the suspect drove off. The victim was unharmed.

According to the police report on the incident, the shaken victim said she had never seen the man before, describing the suspect to police as an older white male, around 5’10”, and wearing a dark beanie:

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The investigation has focused on the blue truck used in the attack. A witness described the truck to police as a dark blue 2000 Chevy Silverado extended cab pickup truck, with tinted windows.

If you have information that could help the investigation, call 911 or (206) 684-5767.

State Senate (barely) votes down anti-transgender bathroom bill

Capitol Hill businesses have increasingly solved for any legislative complications by creating gender neutral bathrooms like the facilities pictured here at the new Optimism Brewing (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill businesses have increasingly solved for any legislative complications by creating gender neutral bathrooms like the facilities pictured here at the new Optimism Brewing (Image: CHS)

There are more where this came from. Washington senators Wednesday narrowly voted down legislation to change a new policy guaranteeing the right of the state’s transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify.

Capitol Hill’s 43rd District Sen. Jamie Pedersen said the legislation would “send a terrible” message to transgender people before joining in the vote against the bill. The final tally showed the legislation failed to leave the senate by one vote — 24 to 25.

While Washington’s Democrat-controlled House likely means senate GOP-powered legislation on LGBTQ issues is likely doomed, for transgender people living in Washington and those who support them, there are more indignities to come in Olympia. “There are five more of these bills working through the legislature, including a so-called ‘genital check’ proposal,” the Stranger reports.

CHS Pics | Pike/Pine plein air

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Love keeps finding CHS. We’ve already introduced you to a few Capitol Hill originals — Saab the writer, Alen̈a the violinist — to help you give your sweetie something special for Valentine’s Day. Here’s another idea we found this week while wandering around the Hill. You could create a Pine plein air painting for your lover. Check it out.

Capitol Hill food+drink | Challenged by construction, boosted by events and private parties, Zoe leaving restaurant biz

Zoe opened on Capitol Hill in February 2012 (Image: CHS)

Zoe opened on Capitol Hill in February 2012 (Image: CHS)

6884291377_e6cd0d5e47_bA mix of success with their growing events business and challenges to fine dining in the relentless development and construction zone that is Capitol Hill have convinced longtime Seattle food and drink veterans Heather and Scott Staples to transform 14th and Union’s Restaurant Zoe.

There is time for one last romantic dinner in Zoe as a full-fledged restaurant space — but after Valentine’s Day, it’s all about events.

“Fine dining has always been a bit of a challenge and a labor of love,” Heather Staples tells CHS. “Coupled with the construction challenges, it made it easier.”

Staples tells CHS that bookings at Staples Restaurant Group’s existing event space at Sole Repair — behind their Quinn’s Pub at 10th and Pike — have remained strong and present a new opportunity for the Staples as they transition yet again through 20 years of business in Seattle.

“I’ve had to really become an activist,” Staples said. “I feel like the city has really mismanaged the construction zone. We were just completely overwhelmed.”

“20 years we’ve been here, this is the toughest time,” she said. Continue reading

SDOT says federal money for 1st Ave line won’t change Broadway streetcar extension plan

CCCSmallStartsApplication10-23-2015Officials say progress on a $75 million federal grant for a planned 1st Ave streetcar won’t necessarily affect the schedule for a possible 2017 start of construction for a two-stop Broadway extension to the recently opened First Hill route.

Tuesday, Seattle Department of Transportation officials said that the White House’s proposed $4.1 trillion budget — the last for President Barack Obama — includes 0.00182926829% for Seattle’s planned Center City Connector streetcar route envisioned as linking the First Hill Streetcar with the South Lake Union line by 2019. In total, SDOT says 25,000 riders per day could use the system — though few would find it useful to complete the Broadway to Westlake circuit via Occidental Square.

According to SDOT, the recommendation is only a first step toward a final grant agreement, which can only be completed after Congress approves the budget, “so we don’t expect the grant agreement before late 2016/early 2017.” Construction of the 1st Ave line would begin in 2017 and operations would mostly likely begin in 2019, a SDOT spokesperson said. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Capitol Hill Valentine violinist

Valentine's Violin - 1 of 6

While we were thinking about different ways to say I love you on Capitol Hill, CHS found Alen̈a hard at work Tuesday at the 15th and John Safeway earning money for a new violin with some Valentine-worthy performance. Stop by with your sweetie and drop a dollar or two in the can for love.