Does museum expansion plan make Volunteer Park a ‘threatened’ landscape?

An influential Washington D.C. foundation has added Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park to its list of “nationally significant at-risk and threatened” landscapes due to the $49 million planned expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. But a longtime leader of the local group that protects the park says the designation goes too far.

What The Cultural Landscape Foundation is calling for “would be very punishing” Doug Bayley of the Volunteer Park Trust tells CHS.

“A full stop would set everybody back years,” Bayley said. “I think it’s totally salvageable. I see it as an ongoing conversation.” Continue reading

Police search Capitol Hill Station after another Broadway robbery

Thanks to a reader for information and a picture from the scene

Thanks to a reader for information and a picture from the scene

Police focused their search Tuesday night on the nearby Capitol Hill Station after a man held up the drugstore across the street in the second reported armed robbery of its type on the block in the past week.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the suspect was wearing a ski mask as he walked into the Broadway Rite Aid around 8:30 PM and handed employees a note demanding cash and threatening that he was carrying a Glock pistol in his pocket. The man reportedly apologized as he fled the store carrying a bag full of money. No weapon was seen. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

As First Hill Streetcar turns one, Broadway business owners mixed on extension

img_1880When CHS broke the news late last year that the City of Seattle was pressing pause on the planned two-stop extension of the First Hill Streetcar on Broadway and that the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce was supportive of the decision, we heard from a few Broadway business owners disappointed in the news. Next week, the First Hill Streetcar turns one. We’ve talked with a few of the businesses up and down the street and found owners and managers torn over the benefits of more public transit on the street along with better infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycles versus the chaos and cost of constructing the extended line.

“Automobiles and cities are natural enemies,” David Schomer, owner of Espresso Vivace, tells CHS. “When you add transit and take out automobiles, people come out… the city becomes safer.” Continue reading

You’ll soon see new food safety ’emoji’ on Capitol Hill restaurants

CHS is kind of a “negative” indicator fan. We like an empty bar, thanks. On Capitol Hill, that means taking a few risks. Over the next year, you will start to see these new King County “emoji” signs on restaurants, cafes, and bars around Capitol Hill indicating where the venue ranks in the county’s food safety matrix. Where some see the frowny face, CHS will see, “Yes! An open table!”

Seattle & King County today unveiled the signs that food inspectors will place in restaurant windows—part of its broader strategy to ensure King County remains a leader in accurate and transparent food safety ratings.

King County is now the first county in the United States to base its food safety ratings on four inspections rather than a single snapshot, better reflecting a restaurant’s performance over time. Public Health will also be the first agency to use side-by-side peer inspections as a training tool so inspectors can better understand how they reached their conclusions, a proven approach that increases consistency.

“We are once again putting King County at the forefront of innovative public health practices, making food safety ratings more accurate, consistent and transparent,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our new approach supports our region’s diverse, thriving restaurant scene and helps customers make better informed decisions when dining out.”

 

Uncle Ike’s is for sale. Kind of.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

“Everybody keeps bugging us, so we decided to throw out a number,” owner Ian Eisenberg told CHS Tuesday about a report that he is teaming up to put the two largest marijuana retailers in the state on the market. The price tag for a combined Uncle Ike’s-Main Street Marijuana Washington pot empire stretching from Seattle to the ‘Couv?

$50 million.

It is hard to tell just how seriously to take the asking price from Eisenberg. His two shops are the highest grossing in Seattle with sales of nearly $1.4 million in December while the Main Street chain’s three locations clocked in with more than $2.2 million during the happy holiday period. But there also might be some politicking going on. Continue reading

Live from Capitol Hill: the Last Week in Trump newsletter

64b84587-e4cb-4bef-9b0c-0546e9395aeeSeattle politics and government have offered plenty for Sol Villarreal to fill his two-year-old weekly newsletter Sol’s Civic Minute. And then Donald Trump got elected.

Capitol Hill resident Villarreal had sprinkled some Trump news into Civic Minute, but decided to test out a second newsletter focused on the president-elect. In early December he published a post on Medium about Trump with a survey asking readers if they would like the info in an email. The answer was “yes” so Last Week in Trump was born.

Since then, he has been refining the newsletter with the help of subscribers. The most popular part of the first post on Medium was the inclusion of the conservative side, providing most Seattleites with views differing from their own. He has continued to do that in his beta test of the letter.

“It’s important, I think, for the political conversations that we have (to consider the other side) because we can address each other more effectively if we are talking to each other instead of over each other,” Villarreal said. Continue reading

American Apparel closures set to leave another space on Broadway empty

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

There is about to be another empty commercial space on Broadway but this time the economic forces that are driving the closure extend well beyond Capitol Hill.

The American Apparel store at Broadway and John will be one of 110 stores across the country as well as its Los Angeles headquarters set to be shut down after the financially troubled retailer that was once valued at more than $1 billion was acquired in a bankruptcy sale earlier this month for $88 million.

“Founder Dov Charney charted a maverick path when he moved a nascent American Apparel to Los Angeles in 1997 and began manufacturing its cotton basics in the region,” the LA Times writes. “The company’s colorful garments and provocative advertising quickly caught on with young fashionistas.” But what followed was debt and, eventually, bankruptcy that left the dwindling chain unable to recover. Continue reading

HALA Capitol Hill: The dense want it denser — the not so dense, not so much

While the young urbanists of Capitol Hill might be disappointed the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda zoning change proposals for Broadway probably won’t create three-hundred-foot apartment towers, Seattle officials are ready to face opposition in other parts of the neighborhood where even relatively modest height boosts are planned,

Generally speaking, Jesseca Brand with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods said, residents in already dense areas, especially on Capitol Hill and First Hill are more accepting and see the proposed changes being pounded out through 2017 as a good thing. Areas on Eastern Capitol Hill, to the south, and in the Central District where single-family streets are more common are more apprehensive and are concerned about “cultural and economic displacement.”

“Our hope is that the community feels they can shape this program neighborhood by neighborhood,” Brand said at last week’s HALA open house organized by city planners in a more fun than you would expect for this kind of session venue — Capitol Hill’s Optimism Brewing. Sometimes a drink is required when discussing the future of Seattle’s central neighborhoods. Continue reading

In protest of ‘actions that demean our history and our heroes,’ Rep. Jayapal won’t attend Trump inauguration

Her office may have been offering constituents free tickets to the big show but newly sworn-in 7th District Rep. Pramila Jayapal will not be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump Friday in Washington D.C.

“When I announced last week that I would not be attending the inauguration, I did not undertake the decision lightly,” Jayapal writes in a statement sent to media about the decision. “I had hoped in the days following the election that we would see a President-elect who broke from his campaign rhetoric and worked to unite the American people.”

Continue reading

CHS Video | Seattle’s 2017 MLK Day march was huge

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Official crowd estimates for events like the annual Seattle MLK Day march are hard to come by but organizers said Monday the 2017 gathering might have been the largest in the 35-year history of the event.

You could also measure the crowd by the CHS video above — four and a half minutes to walk from the start of the procession to the SPD contingent bringing up the rear. The marchers passed from Garfield High School to E Union then E Madison and onto the Federal Building downtown.

You can learn more about the history of the event and the day of workshops at Garfield High School that accompany it at mlkseattle.org. More images from the crowd, below. Continue reading

The plan for the Womxn’s March on Seattle and Capitol Hill Inauguration Week protests, rallies, and parties

The Womxn’s March on Seattle will travel from the Central District’s Judkins Park to the Seattle Center on Saturday, January 21st to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump, organizers have announced. It will be part of a week of demonstrations and protests large and small, and “actions” meaningful and just for fun.

While the start and end points hadn’t been announced, Seattle’s big weekend march has been in the works for weeks and thousands have said they plan to attend in solidarity with large marches planned in Washington D.C. and in cities across the country. In Seattle, organizers say the “Womxn’s” spelling is meant “to promote intersectionality in our movement” and “takes into account the impact of discrimination based not only on gender but also race, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, faith, class, disability, and other backgrounds.”

Womxn’s March on Seattle

The Saturday march is being planned as a silent protest. “Marchers will rely on large numbers and powerful signage to speak more loudly than any individuals ever could,” organizers say.

Seattle women, womxn, and those who love them have been preparing with sign making and pussyhat knitting.

UPDATE 1/18/17: The city has posted route details for the week’s marches. Here are the details for Saturday:

Rally at Judkins Park followed by a march to Seattle Center beginning at 11am. From 20th Ave S and S Weller St, the route heads north on 20th Ave S, west on S Jackson St, north on 4th Ave, west on Denny Way, and north on 2nd Ave N into Seattle Center.

About 30,000 people are expected to attend, according to officials.

CHS also found many at work preparing this past weekend at a town hall organized by District 3 representative Kshama Sawant as she raises support for the planned Socialist Alternative-backed protest starting at Westlake Friday night. “We don’t have a moment to waste in getting organized against Trump’s racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, anti-lgbtq rhetoric, proposals, and cabinet members,” Sawant’s rallying cry reads. Continue reading

Capitol Hill real estate moguls step in with $20k push for group backing Lid I-5 study, $10M+ Pine-Boren lid

The Lid I-5 campaign announced it has secured $20,000 in contributions thanks to two Capitol Hill real estate investors to help its push for a plan that could cover the interstate “in the city center and other neighborhoods.” The group says there is also growing momentum in City Hall behind its idea for a “short term” “proof-of-concept” lid project at Pine and Boren.

Michael Malone of Capitol Hill developer Hunters Capital promised a $10,000 donation to the group if it could raise another 10 grand to match. Lid I-5 announced Joe Nabbefeld, broker at Windermere Capitol Hill, stepped up with the contribution. The funding raised the group’s total raised to more than $30,000 in 2016. Continue reading