City planning 2017 changes to speed up First Hill Streetcar

Denny-and-Broadway_6033-600x400Capitol Hill pedestrians you might soon have to up your pace to beat the First Hill Streetcar in a footrace.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is planning a roster of changes in three sections of the 2.5-mile line to help boost the performance of the streetcar connecting Pioneer Square, the International District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill including the addition of a “southbound Business Access and Transit lane” to Broadway. Continue reading

Police search for suspect in ‘coveralls’ after another Broadway hold-up

A suspect wearing a surgical mask and what was described as blue coveralls threatened that he had a gun and robbed the Broadway Rite Aid Monday morning.

Police were called to the area around the store at Broadway and E Olive Way around 8:20 AM after a report that the suspect had left the store with around $100 in cash and fled southbound on foot.

The suspect was described only as a black male around 6′ tall. He was reportedly wearing a white surgical mask and a blue, full-body mechanic’s suit with a hood, and told the cashier he was armed with a gun.

Police searched the area around Broadway including Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill Station.

The incident follows a string of robberies along this stretch of Broadway including a Valentine’s hold-up of the Chase Bank, and a series of robberies at the same Rite Aid, a restaurant, and the Bank of America in mid-January.

Why you should stop by the new drug drop box on Broadway

It comes nowhere close to the costs of addiction but big drug companies are funding a small program in King County to put “secure medicine return” boxes in locations where it easier for residents to get rid of unwanted pharmaceuticals.

Officials were on hand last week at the Broadway Market QFC to announce the program and show off one of the new drop box locations.

“Working on secure medicine return, I’ve truly seen the community spirit here in King County. These drop boxes are run by volunteers. All of the locations have volunteered to have drop boxes. And the program is supported and operated by drug producers whose medications are sold in King County,” King County Council member Joe McDermott said Thursday morning with the soft rock of the QFC sound system and beeps from the nearby checkouts in the background. “I look forward to the success of this producer supported program.”

A map of medicine return boxes around the county is below. You can also find drop sites at the Country Doctor clinic on 19th Ave E and at the Capitol Hill Group Health campus.

Continue reading

Valentine’s bandit uses note to hold up Broadway bank

(Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

(Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

A woman robbed the Broadway Chase Bank Valentine’s night using a note but not a weapon before leaving the area on foot.

Police were called to the area around Broadway and Thomas around 5:45 PM Tuesday to the reported robbery. Officers spread out across the neighborhood searching for a suspect described only as a black female in her 20s or 30s with black hair, wearing a charcoal jacket, and pink lipstick.

She was last seen walking westbound from the bank on Thomas.

There were no immediate arrests reported and we don’t know how much if any cash she made off with.

In mid-January, detectives were searching for a robbery suspect who hit a handful of businesses on Broadway including the nearby Bank of America.

You, too, can have an office inside the Broadway Market

There is a lot going on inside the Broadway Market above QFC, it turns out. Tucked in a little nook on the second floor of the Capitol Hill shopping center, sits a casual coworking space run by Rob Nicolai. Inside, visitors will find a large cozy green sofa, 16 desks, a conference room and a kitchen. On certain days, they might even be greeted by a friendly dog or two.

Nicolai founded the space known as My Branch Office nearly four years ago. After relocating last year, the business has settled into its new location.

Like other coworking spaces in the area, My Branch Office aims to give members more out of their workday and workspace.

“Coworking is a person’s purposeful decision to not work in isolation,” Nicolai said. “It’s a community of people.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | In another weekend of resistance energy, hundreds march on Broadway

There was a time — only three weeks ago — when it might have felt less imperative to regularly take to the streets in protest:

One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.

For anyone on Capitol Hill feeling resistance fatigue, here is the good news. Around 400 marchers rallied Saturday in Cal Anderson to show solidarity for LGBTQ people amid threats from the Trump administration before traveling and blocking Broadway to protest in front of the neighborhood’s Wells Fargo branch to challenge the bank’s financing of the Dakota Access pipeline. If you weren’t there, those people had your back for the weekend. Others will hopefully be there until you are ready to march or protest or write letters again. Continue reading

SDOT plans additional analysis of Broadway-John-E Olive Way for all-walk intersection

Gridlines at Broadway and John

Call it an all-walk, a scramble intersection, or a diagonal crossing, some community members say the intersection at Broadway, John, and E Olive Way needs one. But the Seattle Department of Transportation isn’t quick to OK an intersection that would stop cars in all directions and allow all pedestrians to cross.

Dongho Chang, a city traffic engineer, said those kinds of crosswalks can have unintended consequences and increase delays for everyone. But Chang said the increase in foot traffic in the last year since Capitol Hill Station opened in March does warrant additional analysis of the intersection.

“We definitely want to look at how to improve conditions for them,”  Chang said of the increasing number of pedestrians traveling through the intersection.

Chang said a new analysis was planned to begin this week. Continue reading

From Melrose to 19th, Capitol Hill Chamber launches campaign to create $1.6 million Business Improvement Area

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is ready to start its campaign to build a $1.6 million a year program to help fill empty store fronts, attract visitors, expand street cleaning, improve public safety, advocate for affordable housing and improved service from City Hall, and make local attractions like Cal Anderson Park more inviting. Now the nonprofit just needs 390, or 60%, of some 650 commercial property owners to sign on to its plan to expand the neighborhood’s Business Improvement Area across Broadway, 12th Ave, 15th Ave E, 19th Ave E, Melrose, Olive/Denny, and Pike/Pine. If it can hit that threshold, all commercial properties in the BIA will be required to pay into the program.

“It’s gonna be a lot of groundwork,” director Sierra Hansen told CHS about the expansion campaign. Starting with Wednesday night’s announcement of the campaign’s launch, the chamber this week is delivering petitions to the 650 property owners within the proposed new BIA boundary. “I’m a very stubborn person,” Hansen said.

She is also already half way there. Continue reading

One of Broadway’s last ‘key development opportunities,’ Bonney-Watson funeral home hits market

A Capitol Hill Station-inspired building boom seems likely to put the last best under-developed blocks of Broadway into motion. The Bonney-Watson funeral home and its big, empty parking lot are destined to join.

The company — Seattle’s oldest continuously operating business — announced Wednesday that it is putting its 14,000-square-foot Broadway property and the 20,000-square-foot parking lot just across Howell up for sale without a set price tag. The three parcels involved show a combined taxable value of around $7.8 million, according to King County records.

The Puget Sound Business Journal broke the news on the listing Wednesday but the story has been in motion for years. A 2013 report compiled by Kidder Mathews identified the property as one of the “key development opportunities” remaining on Broadway: Continue reading

Pacific Northwest Fitness — More than politics behind Capitol Hill Gold’s Gym name change

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-5-04-28-pmPolitics are only part of the reason one of the most popular workout spots on Capitol Hill has a new name. Gold’s Gym — inside the Broadway Market above the hustle of QFC — has changed its name to Pacific Northwest Fitness. Slipping out from under Gold’s has been a long-time coming for the Spears family who has run Gold’s franchises in the area for 12 years.

“We had talked a lot about wanting to break away from the big name,” Tawnya Messenger tells CHS.

Those talks first started back in 2010 when Robert Rowling, CEO of TRT Holdings, Gold’s parent company, gave $2 million to American Crossroads, a conservative political group that has supported anti-LGBTQ politicians.

Some franchises, including four in San Francisco, announced they would be leaving the Gold’s Gym brand shortly after news of Rowling’s donation broke.

Messenger said it was a difficult time for the gym and they got a lot of negative feedback.

“We love the community. We didn’t want to be affiliated with something that’s not what we’re about,” she told CHS. Continue reading