About Kelsey Hamlin

Kelsey Hamlin studied Journalism and Law, Societies & Justice at the University of Washington. For three years, she has focused her work around social justice issues, legalities and policies.

Despite activist wins, 12th Ave youth jail construction is full speed ahead

Construction is fully underway at 12th and Alder (Image: Alex Garland)

After a legal victory by activist group Ending the Prison Industrial Complex against the funding calculation of King County’s Children and Family Justice Center, construction at the 12th Ave project is still fully underway.

“There’s what we think should be happening and then there’s what appears to be happening and they’re not the same,” said EPIC’s attorney Knoll Lowney.

EPIC sued King County in April 2016 after the county over-collected property taxes under Proposition 1, enacted in 2014.   Continue reading

O’Brien and Harris-Talley: Tax Seattle businesses for homelessness

In a press conference Thursday morning, Seattle City Council members Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley announced the core of a new proposed budget for the city: making the top 10% grossing businesses pay a tax of less than five cents per hour per full-time employee. The H.O.M.E.S. proposal — Housing, Outreach and Mass-Entry Shelter — would gather $20 to $25 million every year which to be applied to homelessness services, permanent housing, and vouchers.

“I’m afraid our current budget sets us up for failure,” O’Brien said. “This is not enough to solve the crisis. We will be asking the new mayor, whoever she is, to come up with a new plan in the first few months.” Continue reading

Plans for Africatown Plaza rise at 23rd and Union

Garrett, center, with Forterra’s Michelle Connor and Chris Persons of Capitol Hill Housing (Image: Africatown Plaza)

The newly formed Africatown Community Land Trust entered an agreement with Capitol Hill Housing and Lake Union Partners, the Seattle development company that bought the Midtown Center block in May. The announcement cements the project surrounding Lake Union’s $23.25 million deal to purchase the Central District shopping center land.

UPDATEWe have updated this information to correct an error regarding ownership of the site.

“We’re working to maintain fertile ground where a Black community that has been here for over 130 years can grow and thrive in place, K. Wyking Garrett, president of the land trust, said in an announcement of the agreements. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Station development designs finalized

By the end of 2019, you might be living above Capitol Hill Station. The development projects to create four new buildings and a public plaza above the bustling transit terminal passed through the final step in design review Wednesday night.

Still, not everybody is satisfied.

One man stood up during public comment to say, “I think this project should’ve been built yesterday.” He then urged the board to reduce the number of parking spaces. “This is a transit-oriented development, right? Like, y’all, come on guys.”

The four building designs finalized Wednesday night will create more than 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space — and, yes, more than 200 new parking spaces below ground for residents and shoppers. Continue reading

Queer/Bar tries to preserve what’s left of LGBTQIA+ Capitol Hill nightlife

Proud Joey Burgess in front of his newly opened Queer/Bar (Images: Alex Garland)

Plastered in a white, clear, modern font on Pike/Pine glows the generationally controversial word “Queer,” accompanied by “Bar.” It’s intentional. This sleek new space is reserved for the Capitol Hill creators, the spectrum of anything out of the gender dichotomy, the queer. No straights allowed if they’re not allies — despite the clear sign, one only hopes they drunkenly take the hint.

Disclaimer: I am a straight, cisgendered, white female. But I also know how to respect spaces that aren’t meant for me without frustration. The Hill has far more bars I could choose from than the few I shouldn’t.

Roaming in the middle of Queer/Bar with a smile on his face is Joey Burgess.  He runs the place.

“There’s great energy in this place,” Burgess said. “It’s paramount to keep this street queer. For me, for my family, for my friends it’s necessary.”

Dave Meinert, who also is partners with Burgess in a separate company behind Lost Lake, the Comet, and Big Mario’s, said he’s “really just investing in Joey,” who he called awesome, and a great partner with a big vision. Continue reading

District 3’s Sawant fighting defamation suit from officers who shot Che Taylor

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant faces a defamation lawsuit from the Seattle Police Department officers who shot Che Taylor last year. Sawant filed for a motion to dismiss last week.

The officers, Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding, claim she used the fatal shooting while naming the officers to further her own administrative agenda and political platform. The lawsuit filing itself says the two “do not want one red cent of public money.” Their claim alleges Sawant called the officers murderers and stated their decision to shoot Taylor as a product of racial profiling before the two had their day in court. Continue reading

With one last step in design review, hopes for 2018 start of construction for Capitol Hill Station projects

Above the future Capitol Hill Station developments (Image: Alex Garland)

CHS is back in business just in time for the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” projects set to create 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space along Broadway to finally pass through design review.

Probably.

The four buildings face a second round of review in the design “recommendation” phase Wednesday night.

Design Review: Capitol Hill Station projects

Two months after getting sent back to the drawing board in the final segment in the review process, the project’s lead developer Gerding Edlen is back with proposed facade, color, and material changes for the design as the search for daycare and grocery service providers to anchor the commercial aspect of the project continues.

Gerding Edlen’s Jill Sherman tells CHS they are not at a point where they’ve signed with anchored tenants. So whoever the grocer and daycare services may be is still up in the air. The project’s planned childcare did move to another building, however, closer to the park. The review board also suggested changing the configuration of the childcare space, reducing frontage along Broadway. There was no decrease in square footage.

“What we’re trying to do now is show we think we can design a daycare and what the storefront looks like in a way that will be attractive and interesting for pedestrians,” Sherman said. “We originally proposed a daycare because we knew it was a community priority.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s only full service gas station up for grabs

Mike Burke (Images: Alex Garland)

The Hilltop Service Station on 15th Ave E — one of Seattle’s last full service gas stations — could be at the end of the road of more than 50 years of business on Capitol Hill. The station stopped selling gas this month though the busy garage continues to serve drivers from Capitol Hill and beyond. The land is up for sale.

Station owner Mike Burke has mixed feelings about the situation.

“I’m sad it’s a part of the community soon to change dramatically,” he said, “but at some point one has to accept the reality and move forward.”

 

Gary Bergamini, who passed away last November, owned the property since the 1960s. His assets moved into a trust operating on behalf of his heirs.

Burke came along in the late ‘70s, moving up from a gas pumper to a business partner. He will not make any new business decisions, however, until he talks with the property’s buyers. They could negotiate for the station to stay a while longer. But a developer is actively pursuing the property, according to Burke.

“So what do you think is gonna happen in Seattle,” he said. Continue reading