About Mohamed Adan

Mohamed Adan is the CHS summer intern. He is a graduate of Garfield High School and Seattle Central College. While at Seattle Central, Mohamed was the editor of the student newspaper. You can reach him at kadaradan@gmail.com or (515) 992-0893.

Central District to turn three miles of streets car-free for Seattle Summer Parkways

(Images: SDOT)

Seattle Summer Parkways will transform 10 miles of city streets in the Central District and Ballard into car-free zones for pedestrians and cyclists.

The aim of the event, which is new to Seattle and modeled after Portland’s Sunday Parkways, is to promote healthy living and community cohesion according to organizers. “We want neighbors to be outdoors, greeting each other, enjoying each other’s company,” a Seattle Department of Transportation rep tells CHS.

CD MapThe Central District will host Seattle Summer Parkways on Saturday, September 12 from 11 AM to 3 PM. Three miles of roads will be shut off to cars and opened to recreational use in a showcase of the nearly-complete Central Area Neighborhood Greenway on 25th Ave/Ave S. Live music and activities will be taking place at Judkins Park, Pratt Park, Garfield Playfields and Powell Barnett Park.

Saturday September 12, 2015, Central District 11 am-3 pm

We have tons of amazing activities and entertainment planned in parks all along the route! Save the date and bring out the whole family! Check out what we have in store below.

PRATT PARK:

JUDKINS PARK:

GARFIELD PLAYFIELDS:

POWELL BARNETT PARK:

DOUGLASS-TRUTH BRANCH LIBRARY

Books and Bubbles at Douglass-Truth Branch Library – Stop by the lawn of the Douglass-Truth Branch Library for stories, activities, music and fun!

Also don’t forget to stop by Giddens School for Chalk Art, Bubbles, Music and Lemonade!

THIS IS SEATTLE SUMMER PARKWAYS!

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the fun!

*Remember to bring a backpack or tote so you can continue exploring all day!

*Pack a reusable water bottle, hand sanitizer and sunscreen. There are water filing stations along the way and it’s important to stay hydrated!

And the most important part – Have Fun!

Questions? Contact us at summer.parkways@seattle.gov

Ballard will host on Saturday September 19, 11 AM to 3 PM. Seven miles of roads will be shut off to cars, and activities will take place at Loyal Heights Playfields, Salmon Bay Park, Ballard Corners Park, 14th Avenue Northwest Park Boulevard, and Ballard Commons Park.

More than 300 volunteers are needed to help run the events, from staffing info booths to helping with set-up and cleanup. If you’re interested in volunteering, go to www.cascade.org/summerparkways.

Talk of gun violence and race at East Precinct community meeting

Residents concerned by the recent uptick in violence crowded EastPAC’s August meeting Thursday night. “I have heard more shots this summer than I have in eight years,” one man said at the meeting, which was attended by officials from the Seattle Police Department and a representative from the City Attorney’s office.

East Precinct neighborhoods have seen a 13% increase in violent crime and a 23% increase in reports of shots fired this year. This bullet-fueled crime wave has brought murder to the Central District and Capitol Hill including the slaying of 23-year-old Ramon Mitchell outside the Baltic Room.

At Thursday’s meeting, residents demanded to know what SPD was doing to combat the crime that had made them feel unsafe in their homes and neighborhoods. “There is no higher priority in the city for the chief than dealing with the gun violence that’s going on,” said Capt. Paul McDonagh, commander of the East Precinct since April.

McDonagh said SPD has noticed an increased willingness among some area youth to “use firearms at will” and the department was struggling to solve crimes because of what he said is a “no snitching” culture on the streets. He said the department was trying to steer youth away from crime by supporting initiatives such as the Seattle Youth Summer Employment Program while also building relationships with federal anti-crime agencies such as the ATF to enhance its crime fighting abilities.

“We have to talk about race,” said Pamela Banks, Urban League CEO and current District 3 candidate. “That’s the conversation we have to have around this. We also have to talk about gentrification, and the impact it has on this community.” Continue reading

With hopes of becoming part of a changing E Madison — and a $200k construction challenge — plans revealed for Cayton Corner Park

“We are just so happy that people came out for this little site.”

A community “open house” at the planned Cayton Corner Park at 19th and Madison put plans on display Tuesday evening as the park enters its final phase of design. Planners say it should be open for the public sometime in 2017.

The park, which was named in 2013 to honor an important African American Seattle newspaper publisher, is located on a triangular, 4,500 square foot plot of land directly across the street from the Mount Zion Baptist Church. The land was purchased by Seattle Parks and Recreation in 2011 at the behest of the local community which had said there was a need for open space in the neighborhood.

“We are just so happy that people came out for this little site,” said Pamela Kliment of Seattle Parks. She said that parks was working closely with the neighborhood organization Friends of Cayton Corner Park to oversee the planning, design, and construction of the park.

So far the Friends have raised around $75,000 to fund the park, primarily through grants from the Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund. Most of the money up to this point has been spent on going through several rounds of design with the firm J.A. Brennan Associates, and now the park is entering “the phase where we can have a design ready for construction,” according to Allison Vasallo, a volunteer with the organization. Vasallo said the surrounding community gave input throughout the design process.

According to Drew Coombs, a landscape architect with J.A. Brennan, construction of the park will take place in three phases, beginning in 2016, and the park should be open sometime in 2017. He said one of the priorities in designing the park was making it accessible to people with disabilities. The park is locating right next to the Hearing Speech and Deafness Center, which gave input in its planning.

The park’s current design includes a sensory garden, ADA accessible pathways, and an embankment slide, among other features, according to Karen Portzer who is also a volunteer with the Friends of Cayton Corner Park. Portzer told CHS that the biggest challenge currently facing the park was securing funding for construction, which could cost upwards of $225,000.

“A lot of [organizations] do not fund capital improvement projects. That sorta knocks us out,” she said.

Challenges over construction funding were part of the reason it took five years to begin work to create Broadway Hill Park near Federal and Republican off north Broadway.

For Cayton Corner, Portzer said the Friends are hoping to receive the Large Projects Fund grant from the Department of Neighborhoods, which can provide up to $100,000 in funding. They’re also continuing to seek support from local foundations and the community.

The park should eventually be part of the changing face of E Madison as development projects have finally dug in, more are planned, and plans are readied to transform the street with a bus rapid transit project.

To find out more information or to donate to the park, visit seattleparksfoundation.org.

Board votes unanimously to move 111-year-old Capitol Hill B&B forward in landmarks process

Screen-Shot-2015-08-08-at-7.11.26-PM

(Image: The Gaslight Inn)

(Image: The Gaslight Inn)

“It’s not common that people see something in the rough and decide to take it on and spend three decades bringing it back to life.”

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously approved the nomination of Capitol Hill’s Gaslight Inn for landmark status Wednesday afternoon. The board will meet again on October 7th to consider the nomination.

Board member (and CHS contributorRobert Ketcherside said the Gaslight Inn had “emotional and personal significance,” citing longtime owner Stephen Bennett’s efforts to make it a haven for members of the gay community during the 1980s AIDS epidemic. His colleague Nicholas Carter said the Inn was “a very important part of our cultural history.”

Board chair Alison Walker noted how unusual it was for a property owner to self-nominate for a landmark designation and thanked Bennett for his efforts to maintain the 111-year old property: “It’s not common that people see something in the rough and decide to take it on and spend three decades bringing it back to life,” she said.

Most landmarks hearings related to Capitol Hill properties in recent years have been part of clearing the way for planned development.

“I feel so lucky to have lived there for the last thirty five years. It’s a wonderful place, it gives me back much more than I put in,” Bennett told the board after it cast its vote.

He was there with John Fox, a onetime employee of the Inn and local preservation advocate who helped prepare the proposal. Both men were overjoyed at the board’s decision. CHS spoke with Fox about the proposal prior to Wednesday’s meeting. “It’s how the gay community used to live,” he told CHS. “We remember a time when you weren’t necessarily welcomed everywhere and this was our way of making something nice in our neighborhood.”

The Gaslight Inn was built in 1904 and was originally the private residence of Paul Singerman, a prosperous Polish-born Jewish businessman. Singerman sold the property two years later in 1907 and it changed hands several times before being purchased by Bennett in 1983, who turned it into a bed and breakfast. The Inn is constructed in the “American Four Square” architectural style.

In order for a building to be designated as a landmark, it must be at least 25 years old and meet one of six criteria outlined in the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. The board determined that the Gaslight Inn met criteria C and D of the ordinance:

C) It is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation.

D) It embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or a method of construction.

On the List | Seattle Acoustic Festival at All Pilgrims — Plus, Summit Block Party

(Image: The Local Strangers)

(Image: The Local Strangers)

11412326_643330765798824_2432814703135411356_nCapitol Hill’s August of music festivals continues as Broadway’s All Pilgrims plays host to the second annual Seattle Acoustic Festival this weekend.

The festival was started last year by songwriters Elijah Dhawan and Paul Mauer to give local and regional acoustic musicians a larger venue to share their music.

“We wanted to give some attention to some of the musicians who really didn’t have a home at the bigger, more raucous music festivals,” Dhawan told CHS. “We kind of intended it to be small, but it kind of blew up really quickly,” he said.

This year’s festival will be a three-stage, nearly all-day affair. Headliners scheduled to perform include Star Anna, The Local Strangers, Dark Hip Falls, and Tomo Nakayama.

Last year the festival was held at Inscape Arts and Cultural Center in SODO district but this year it will be held at the Broadway church.

“We had a lot of demand from people who were musicians in Capitol Hill and people who lived in Capitol Hill to try and move it to the neighborhood,” Dhawan said “And All Pilgrims Church is really supportive of acoustic music… and they have such a beautiful building that’s really underutilized for music.”

The festival will take place from noon to 11 PM Saturday. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 or $10 the day of. All proceeds will go to the performing artists according to organizers. The event is open to all ages. To purchase tickets or for more information visit seattleacousticfestival.com.

download-19Meanwhile, Saturday below Broadway brings the entirely free, fourth annual Summit Block Party:

The annual Summit Block Party brings Seattle’s artistic community together; showcases local artists, musicians, and craft-makers; and promotes the acceptance of all races, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic classes. Summit Block Party is a free, non-profit, volunteer-run event, and is fueled by community support. Check out the 2015 Lineup!

For more Capitol Hill area events — including Friday night’s movie in Cal Anderson, a Sorrento mural celebration, and all the rock and roll you can eat at the Summit Block Party, check out the CHS Calendar. Continue reading

Campaign to end veteran homelessness in King County kicks off at Seattle Central College

Homeless_veteransAbout two hundred fifty people gathered Monday morning at Seattle Central College for the kick off of Operation: WelcomeOneHome, an ambitious plan that aims to eliminate veteran homelessness in King County by the end of 2015. King County officials called out landlords specifically, saying they have a key role to play in accepting veteran tenants.

Attendees included Senator Patty Murray, Mayor Ed Murray, King County Council member Joe McDermott, and House Speaker Frank Chopp.

In her keynote, Senator Murray urged local leaders and property owners to “fulfill our country’s promise to take care of men and women who sacrificed so much for us.”

Mayor Murray said “Nobody who served this country should be homeless in this city or this county.”

The King County initiative will provide homeless veterans with access to a rapid response hotline that will connect them to a case manager who will work to secure them housing. Case managers will also work with potential landlords to ensure a good fit in veteran placement. The county plans to create a risk mitigation fund for any problems that may arise. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | One-at-a-time, delivery-only Windy City Pie bringing Chicago to Seattle one pizza at a time

(Images: Windy City Pie)

“In my opinion, the best part of my pizza is that caramelized cheese on the edge.”

As we celebrate the return of Bill’s Off Broadway with its new brick and mortar pizza and bar goodness  (and get ready for Pizza Crawl 2015), it’s probably not totally surprising that a former Amazon techie is the man behind Windy City Pie, a days-old 12th-avenue based delivery-only venture promising hearty and authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

“I don’t believe anybody is doing deep dish well here and as an ambassador of the much more flat midwest, I want to bring my cuisine to Seattle,” said Dave Lichterman, a Capitol Hill resident and owner/sole-employee of the new business.

The premise sounds almost too good to be true.

Born and raised in Chicago, Lichterman, who has contributed to CHS in the past as a photographer, grew up on deep dish pizza but it wasn’t until he went to study in Argentina for a semester in 2005 that he began to make his own. He had time on his hands because classes were canceled due to a major teacher strike and he wasn’t too taken with the “very bad” local pizza, which was made of pre-made dough and a watery cheese that was substituted for mozzarella.

While Lichterman admits that his first foray into pizza making now a decade ago was “not good,” he says “I am really proud of the pizza I have today.” Continue reading

How the greenest office building on Capitol Hill (and beyond) is handling Seattle’s hottest summer

The heat wave that scorched Seattle in July set records. It’s end brought joyous relief, but also closely coincided with the release of a troubling report by the American Meteorological Society confirming that 2014 was the hottest in recorded history. As it now stands, the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998. Scientists do not expect this trend to reverse anytime soon, and they are in agreement that we need to quickly adjust the way we live and build to survive on this warming planet. One local Capitol Hill building, the Bullitt Center at 15th and Madison, is leading the way. Here’s how the greenest commercial building in the world handled the heat wave, and some of what it can teach us about building for a warmer climate.

“The building performed great,” said Corey Reilly, the Bullitt Center’s operating engineer. “I didn’t have a single person call me and tell me they were hot.”

Reilly said that many other new buildings in the area were having trouble dealing with the heat, noting that most Seattle buildings are not really designed to handle temperatures consistently higher than 85 degrees.

To keep its occupants cool, the Bullitt Center employs several strategies that do not include traditional air conditioning. Continue reading

First Hill unveils its first ‘pavement to parks’ open spaces for community and ‘a little fun’

Two prototype parks part of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan were unveiled Saturday afternoon by Mayor Ed Murray, officials from city agencies, and community group representatives.

Murray lead a ribbon cutting ceremony and gave a speech praising the project. He told CHS that these small parks would give residents of First Hill a place to call their own.

“As we continue to grow, we need to create open space,” Murray told CHS. “We don’t have blocks and blocks to create parks like we did with Cal Anderson Park over a decade ago, but underutilized spaces like this are one of the ways we can give people a chance to be outside, have open space, to share community with their neighbors, have a little fun.”

Located at the three-way intersection of University, Union and Boylston and at Ninth and University, the two parks were built on what the city said were underutilized right of way spaces after Seattle Parks was unable to purchase land for a traditional park due to high costs in the high density neighborhood.

Murray noted that similar “pavement to parks” projects have succeeded in other cities in Europe and the U.S. and said that he was confident it would be successful in Seattle.

Susan McLaughlin of the Seattle Department of Transportation said that safety was a top priority in constructing the parks.

“We’ve been thoughtful in terms of the edge lines and the barriers and the color selection so that it’s really easy for drivers to understand that this isn’t a roadway anymore,” she said. SDOT worked with Seattle Parks and the First Hill Improvement Association on the project.

Alex Hudson, a coordinator at the First Hill Improvement Association, said the parks had “overwhelming support” from the community. Her organization will do programing at each of the parks, supported by a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods. The next event is a trivia night on August 25th at Ninth and University.

Not all Capitol Hill art galleries are extinct: Dendroica opens on E Olive Way

11709674_836231833121732_370723725343431239_nMartha Dunham is a lifelong art lover. As a child, she wanted to become an artist but her parents said no. Artists didn’t make money. So she focused on school, earning advanced degrees in ecology and zoology, including a Ph.D from Brown University. Now, after building her career in the sciences, Dunham is returning to her first passion with force, opening a new gallery on Capitol Hill with her own savings.

“People are excited for me, and I’ve been told I am bold,” Dunham told CHS.

Dendroica Gallery is taking flight on E Olive Way in the same location as the former Blindfold Gallery which shuttered last December after just under three years in operation.

Dunham isn’t fazed by her predecessor’s demise and believes that she can make it work, signing a two year lease. “I got a two year lease because one year is not enough to get established. I’ve watched other galleries come and ago, so I know it takes more than a year to build up a clientele,” she said.

"Martha Dunham, Forge A Bridge For Peace, 2009, Bronze, w 48 x l 96 x h 31 inches" (Image: local-artists.org)

“Martha Dunham, Forge A Bridge For Peace, 2009, Bronze, w 48 x l 96 x h 31 inches” (Image: local-artists.org)

There were several other businesses interested in the space, including a bike shop, according to Dunham. She says the building owners were “very particular” about who they would rent to and believes they favored her gallery because it would be “low wear and tear” on the building. Meanwhile, E Olive Way’s food and drink growth continues. Dunham’s new neighbor, Andrew Friedman has created a new bar and coffee shop next door. Good Citizen opened for private events earlier this year but hasn’t officially opened for business.

Dunham is also a bit of a maverick. “I’ve been known to place artwork in museums and galleries where I shouldn’t,” she told City Arts recently.

Dunham said her gallery’s main mission will be to show art that can best be appreciated in person rather than digitally. This will include “sculpture, cartoons, collage art, projection art, paintings, and two-dimensional paintings.”

The gallery’s grand opening will be Thursday August 13th from 5-8 PM as part of the August Capitol Hill Art Walk.

You can learn more at dendroicagallery.com.