As hundreds picket, Swedish pushes forward on major First Hill, Cherry Hill growth

(Image: TheDignityVirus.com)

Wednesday’s “thousand-member picket” targeted Swedish First Hill (Image: TheDignityVirus.com)

Calls for more nurses and the improved benefits to attract them echoed through Broadway Wednesday afternoon as hundreds of hospital workers, union organizers, and a handful of elected officials staged a picket outside Swedish Hospital’s First Hill campus.

The picket came one day after another round of negotiations ended without a contract deal between SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and Swedish, one of the largest Central Area employers and owned allied with Providence Health Services.

Staffing levels at the hospital are among the major sticking points in negotiations. Swedish-Providence is seeking to hire some 1,600 nurses, positions the hospital says it’s been unable to fill with qualified workers due to a nationwide nursing shortage.

SEIU members say the hospital is unwilling to offer a wage and benefit package that would attract those nurses despite the fact the hospital banked $110 million last year. In the meantime, hospital workers say low staffing levels are hurting patients and creating untenable working conditions.

Speaking before the crowd, Mayor Ed Murray said he was concerned about the strained relationship between Swedish and its workers and called on the hospital to quickly resolve the dispute. June Altaras, Swedish’s chief executive of acute care, told CHS she hoped a new round of negotiations would start sometime this month. Council members Mike O’BrienBruce Harrell, Kshama Sawant, and Jean Godden were also in attendance to support picketing workers. Continue reading

Sound Transit selects Pride flag as Capitol Hill Station icon

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20150630_SignageThough it will be rendered only in blue and white, Sound Transit has selected a symbol of Gay Pride as the legally required identification icon for Broadways opening-soon Capitol Hill Station.

“Pictograms, as part of our overall general signage program, are not produced in color,” colorful Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray regretfully informed CHS.

The new symbol was spotted by eagle-eyed @gordonwerner in Sound Transit’s latest project update newsletter. Sound Transit also announced that the Seattle-side line of light rail will be known as the Red Line while Eastside extensions will be known as the Blue Line.

The Pride-based icon was selected as part of a design and community feedback process designed to “create pictograms to identify Sound Transit Link light rail stations” that “serve as a tool to easily differentiate stations.” “This is important for non-English speaking audiences, particularly those that do not use a Roman alphabet,” a report on the process reads.

It’s choice comes in a summer of revival for the rainbow flag on Capitol Hill. While the flag continues as a ubiquitous symbol around the neighborhood every June for Pride, the addition of 11 rainbow crosswalks in Pike/Pine has represented a small restoration, for some, of the neighborhood’s eroding LGBTQ identity. For others, it’s a groovy photo op. You might expect a similar response for the Capitol Hill Station icon — though we wouldn’t mind holding the license for the branded blue Pride flag merchandise.

Art inside the station will be, well, kinda gay, too, with war+love machine Jet Kiss (Image: CHS)

Art inside the station will be, well, kinda gay, too, with war+love machine Jet Kiss (Image: CHS)

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‘Thousand-member picket’ targets Swedish First Hill

"Swedish-Providence nurses & healthcare workers are getting ready to picket at @Swedish tomorrow!" -- @SEIU1199NW

“Swedish-Providence nurses & healthcare workers are getting ready to picket at @Swedish tomorrow!” — @SEIU1199NW

Broadway between Cherry and Columbia will be filled with around a thousand members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW in a rush-hour picket “for better staffing and improved investment in caregiver retention” targeting Swedish First Hill. The action is part of a day of pickets against Swedish-Providence campuses in the area including a noontime rally at Swedish Cherry Hill.

Organizers say the “thousand-member picket” at Swedish First Hill is slated to begin at 4 PM and will include a 5:15 PM rally “featuring elected officials, community leaders, and workers among the speakers.” Mayor Ed Murray, Council members Bruce Harrell, Kshama Sawant, and Jean Godden are scheduled to speak while Mike O’Brien and Nick Licata are slated to join the picket.

Swedish-Providence nurses and healthcare workers are picketing on Wednesday, calling on the hospital, which made $110 million in profit last year, to put patients’ healthcare dollars into frontline care.  The 7,000 caregivers, united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, are taking action for better staffing and improved investment in caregiver retention in order to give patients the best quality care.

On Wednesday, lunchtime pickets at several Swedish-Providence campuses will be followed with a thousand-member picket at Swedish-First Hill at 4pm.  That rally will culminate in a rally at 5:15 featuring elected officials, community leaders, and workers among the speakers.

WHO: Swedish-Providence nurses and healthcare workers

WHAT: Rally and Picket for Quality Care and Good Jobs

ACTIVITIES:

Wednesday 7/1, 12 noon – 2pm, Swedish First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Issaquah, Edmonds –picketing.  County Executive Dow Constantine will join the First Hill picket at 12:45pm.

Wednesday 7/1, 4pm – 6:30pm, Swedish First Hill (Broadway between Cherry and Columbia, Seattle) –  Picketing with 5:15pm rally.  1,000+ workers and community supporters.  Featured rally speakers include Mayor Murray, Councilmembers Harrell, Sawant, Godden.  Councilmembers O’Brien and Licata will picket with workers around 4:30pm.

Organizers say Wednesday’s pickets are not a strike and will not affect patient care.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a CHS advertiser. The union has been in contract negotiations with Swedish-Providence since April. Swedish is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in the Seattle area. In 2012, it completed its merger with Providence joining together “five Swedish hospital campuses and 27 Providence hospitals across five Western states.”

Armed bandit holds up Broadway post office

A brazen bandit walked into targeted Capitol Hill’s U.S. Post Office at Broadway and Denny around closing time Tuesday night and held the mail facility up for two days’ worth of cash, according to East Precinct radio dispatches.

Police were called to the post office just before 6 PM to a report that an armed robber had made off with cash and that the federal facility was put into lockdown following the holdup.

The suspect was described as a black male in his 20s, around 5’10” with a thin build, and wearing a white shirt and white shorts past his knees. He was last seen headed north in the alley between Harvard and Broadway, carrying a beige register bag with a lock on it.

UPDATE: SPD says the suspect held up a USPS driver on the loading dock as the victim left the facility:

As the complainant came out of the rear doors of the post office carrying a white canvas locked duffel bag he noticed a black male on foot on the sidewalk. As the complainant approached the rear of his truck the suspect quickly dashed up the stairs and pulled a black semi-automatic handgun from his waist band. The complainant had already lifted the rear door and had tossed the bag inside and was trying to lock the handle when the suspect pointed the gun at him and told him to give him the money. He also told the complainant not to lock the door. The complainant backed away from the door before he could lock the handle and told the suspect he did not lock it. The suspect opened the door and quickly reached in to grab the bag. After grabbing the bag the suspect jumped off the dock and ran west on E Denny Wy

The report also notes the suspect’s shirt may have had red stripes on the sleeves. There have been no arrests.

CHS Pics | On day of victory for gay marriage, Trans* Pride Seattle marches forward

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Someday, Capitol Hill merchants will fly pink, blue, and white along with the rainbows.

The third annual Trans* Pride Seattle took place Friday evening. Organized since 2013 by the Gender Justice League, Trans* Pride aims to celebrate and uplift trans and gender non-conforming people.

The event kicked off at 6:00 PM with a large march starting at Seattle Central College. Hundreds of people took part in the march, many waving the blue-pink-white transgender flag and chanting slogans demanding equality for trans people. The march went down a few blocks of Broadway and Pike and ended at Cal Anderson Park.

The mood was definitely elevated following Friday morning’s Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Many LGBTQ leaders say transgender rights issues should now become a priority. In one small example, legislation was proposed this week in Seattle that will designate single-occupancy bathrooms in the city as “all-gender.”

By 6:30 most of the marchers had arrived at Cal Anderson. There they viewed a number of performances and speeches. Numerous speakers praised Jennicet Gutiérrez, the transwoman who interrupted President Barack Obama to demand the release of trans people detained by ICE.IMG_2079

 

 

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Capitol Hill Housing picked to operate light rail station’s 86-unit affordable housing site

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All 86 units planned for Site B-North will be below market rate. (Image: Gerding Edlen)

A prominent Capitol Hill nonprofit will be taking the lead role in developing an all-affordable housing building as part of the four site, mixed-used project that will one day surround Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.

Master developer Gerding Edlen has selected Capitol Hill Housing to develop, own, and operate the seven story, 86-unit building. According to Gerding’s winning proposal, half of Site B-North’s units will be restricted to households making no more than 30% of the area median income. The other half will be made affordable to households at or below 60% of AMI. Initial plans call for a community center and a day care, as well as a rooftop deck and computer lab. Continue reading

Just a short climb from Capitol Hill’s Annapurna, introducing the Yeti Bar

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Shrestha (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Shrestha (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

How about a Hot Night in Kathmandu to start your June weekend? Broadway’s Annapurna Cafe has unveiled its new addition. The new, surface-level Yeti Bar is open and ready to serve one of its saffron infusions or a cold bottle of Khukuri — the essence of Nepal.

CHS told you in December about plans from Roshita Shrestha and Sujan Sharma to reinvest in their longtime Broadway home after surviving ongoing light rail construction by taking over the empty space left behind by a teriyaki joint to expand to street-level with a new bar area.

Like we told you back then, Annapurna’s building lives in the shadow of future plans for a 50-unit apartment building on the site but that still appears to be a few years off. For now, enjoy a drink and a tensing momo or two off the new Yeti Bar menu.

Annapurna and the Yeti Bar are located at 1833 Broadway. You can learn more at annapurnacafe.com. Check out the menus, below. Continue reading

After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_5542If you want to reach Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer, all you have to do is call his Broadway restaurant. He’s there seven days a week, dressed in a shirt and tie, answering phones and greeting customers. He answered right away when CHS phoned Wednesday to set up an interview about the closing of the business he helped open in 1976. After we settled on a time, Bauer signed off saying, “Okeydoke, I’ll have the coffee on for ya.”

The Broadway institution will be closing sometime during Pride weekend, though Bauer hasn’t settled on an exact time. The closure may come as a surprise to some, though it’s actually the culmination of a drawn out exit for Bauer who had been trying to sell the business for several years.

In the early 1970s, Bauer was working as a restaurant manager for a company that’s now called Restaurants Unlimited. Bauer ran restaurants for the company in Seattle, then Hawaii and Reno, until he and his wife decided they wanted to return home. It just so happened that the company’s co-owner Charlie Quinn was about to open his first namesake restaurant on Broadway.IMG_5614 Continue reading

Postal Service announces search for new Broadway Station

Postal news! The U.S. Postal Service has made it official — the search for a new “Broadway Station” is on.

U.S. Postal Service Seeks New Site for Broadway Station

SEATTLE — The U.S. Postal Service is looking for a new site for its Broadway Station, 101 Broadway Ave. E. The lease on the current location expires Dec. 31, 2015.

In a final decision letter dated June 10, 2015 to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Tom Samra, USPS Vice President, Facilities, says the Postal Service will move the Broadway Station “to a yet to-be-determined location as close as reasonably possible to the existing location.”

Samra also wrote – “The Postal Service anticipates providing the same services at the new location as are currently provided at the existing location.”

Postal Service representatives appeared before the Seattle City Council on May 6, 2015 to discuss the status of the Broadway Station.

Post-Office-Relocation-Boundaries-400x533CHS reported here on the May City Council session where the search plans were discussed:

The federal service is on the hunt for new real estate to serve the neighborhood around central Broadway as the current home of the post office will be leveled to make way for a planned six-story, mixed-use development at the site. According to a USPS spokesperson, officials are looking at retail locations on the same 100 block of Broadway E and in the 600 block of E Pine in the “primary” boundary to relocated.

Meanwhile, we haven’t heard any updates about a possible move for 15th and Republican’s Postal Plus.

Broadway says goodbye to Charlie’s — UPDATE: Confirmed :(

UPDATE:  After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway: CHS talks with Charlie's owner about history of the restaurant and why he's closing it this Pride after four decades on Broadway

UPDATE: After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway: CHS talks with Charlie’s owner about history of the restaurant and why he’s closing it this Pride after four decades on Broadway

All these years, nobody wanted to buy a Broadway legend. Charlie’s, a last of its kind Capitol Hill hangout that had been perpetually on the market in recent years, will close later this month, employees of the 39-year-old restaurant are saying.

Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer said he could not confirm the closure Tuesday afternoon but would be able to say more about the situation later this week. The Hill’s social network has spread the word in the meantime. The Facebook and Twitter lamentations for decades of pool tables, reasonable prices, and unreasonably late nights run thick.

UPDATE 6/17/2015 9:15 AM: The restaurant will close Pride weekend, according to a statement:

Sorry to announce that after 39 years we will be shutting out doors. Our last day will be either Saturday or Sunday pride weekend so please come in and say farewell to our awesome family

Bauer and business partner Charles Quinn opened Charlie’s in 1976 and survived through the changes on Broadway mostly by not changing. Open 9 AM to 2 AM every day, Charlie’s still featured cheap steak nights and “cozy booths” even as Broadway sprouted six-story developments, craft cocktail bars, and a light rail station. Gasp — there are even places to park behind the 217 Broadway E restaurant. Sadly, CHS never tried the Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup.

After Quinn died and as the end of Charlie’s 10-year lease approached, Bauer and wife Christine had put the “bar and grill” on the market. CHS wrote about the attempt to sell in 2010. At that time, it was listed for just a little more than $385,000. Bauer said he was looking forward to stepping away from the seven-day-a-week schedule but that running Charlie’s had been a labor of love.  “If we don’t sell, I’ve always told friends I hope they carry me out of here feet first,” Bauer told CHS at the time.

CHS also asked Bauer this week if a sale was imminent but he declined to comment, again, and said he would need a few more days before he could say more.

“I’ve always told my employees ‘Everything is for sale,’” Bauer told CHS in 2010.