CHS Crow | Non-Block Party edition — Jacob, Chris, and Maggie

Not everyone who traveled to Capitol Hill this weekend came for Block Party. Some came to get their sport on. CHS Crow stopped by Cal Anderson Park and a met skateboarder, a bocce ball champ, and a hooper all out doing their thing within earshot of the music festival, and learned a bit about their respective scenes and routines in the process.

  Jacob

DSCF1364a

What brought you out tonight?
I was going to go to Block Party, but then, I brought my skateboard and I figured it probably wouldn’t be too cool to be bashing my way through the crowds with a board so I just came out here to skate at Cal Anderson.

So you paid for a ticket but bailed?
I actually got a free ticket through the local skateshop.

 … did you see anybody play today?
No, I’m terrible. I didn’t even look at the lineup. I saw a couple of DJ’s playing on the stage, I wasn’t even sure who they were.

What kind of work do you do?
I deliver pizzas for Pagliacci Pizza.

DSCF1357aDo you skate a lot around the Hill?
All the time, yeah. The other day we over at Jefferson Park, because there was a Fallen footwear demo, with Jamie Thomas. He’s an old skater, 40 years old, still shredding. So yeah we’re always out here on the Hill. Continue reading

District 3 candidates differ on ways to reduce homelessness

When asked about the most important issues facing Council District 3, CHS readers have twice put homelessness near the top the list. Focus on the issue is well deserved: There has been a 21% increase in King County’s reported homeless population this year. The number of people camping along I-5 is also believed to be on the rise.

One comment in response to the CHS Council District 3 candidate forum earlier this month drew considerable attention for laying out solutions for addressing homelessness, specifically in Cal Anderson Park. But as many who work day-to-day on the issue will say, simple answers are few and far between.

“Causes for rise in homelessness in Seattle and in the nation at large are complicated and difficult to pinpoint,” said Katherine Jolly, spokesperson for the city’s Human Services Department. “In Seattle, the cost of housing has not kept pace with wages, this combined the with effects of the dismantling of mental health and substance abuse systems over the past 30 years contribute to the increases in homelessness. Any solution to the homelessness crisis in Seattle must take these issues into account.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Bobby Morris weekend sports report

IMG_4649

For the second year, organizers of two of the sportiest LGBTQ fundraisers of the summer put their events in the middle of the action around Capitol Hill Block Party over the weekend.

And a good time was had by all.

Saturday, the annual Jockstraps and Glitter kickball game played out on Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson to raise funds for the Seattle Quake rugby club and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Abbey of St. Joan.

Sunday, dignitaries were on hand for first pitch in the annual battle of Dykes vs. Drag Queens in the Seattle Bat ‘n’ Rouge softball game benefitting SASG. CHS reported earlier this summer on SASG’s capital campaign to fund a move from their longtime home at 17th and Thomas.You can learn more and give at sasgcc.org.

View of the Field, Bat n' Rouge 2015 (1)Team Drag Queen (4)

Only two of Seattle’s 85 pot tickets handed out in East Precinct

Seattle Police issued 85 tickets for public marijuana use in the second half of 2014 — but only two in the East Precinct including Capitol Hill and the Central District. Meanwhile, males and blacks were disproportionately cited for public pot violations.

The statistics were discussed in a Monday morning City Council briefing with Chief Kathleen O’Toole as the department continues to study the public safety impact from I-502’s legalization of retail marijuana. The trends match the first half of 2014 when it was revealed that one downtown bicycle officer had written nearly 80% of Seattle’s pot citations.

The numbers area also important for advocates seeking to create new venues for people to consume marijuana. CHS has reported on the renter’s paradox under I-502 in which apartment dwellers may have nowhere to go to smoke pot due to lease restrictions.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.52.10 AM

Of the 85 tickets issued from July through December 2014, only two were handed out in the East Precinct — 94% of Seattle’s citations were handed out downtown.

The citation totals do not, however, include SPD traffic stops and contacts for suspected marijuana use. An SPD dispatch dataset shows five different marijuana related incidents handled in the East Precinct in the past week, each of them in the Pike/Pine core or near Cal Anderson, three initiated by a “suspicious stop” by the officer. None of the five, by the way, resulted in a citation.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 11.10.31 AM

 

Here are the other breakdowns for the 2014 dataset including the racial component showing 27% of citations were issued to African Americans.

The dataset also reveals one additional aspect of enforcing public marijuana consumption laws — only 9.4% of the 2014 tickets have been paid.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.52.04 AM

‘Existential transgender wild western’ Sidewinders one of many ‘lasts’ before Hugo House redevelopment

There will be many last bows for Hugo House as we know it before a planned, literary nonprofit-friendly redevelopment of the property.

Sidewinders, the production from Fantastic.Z Theatre Company now playing Hugo, is lined up to be the last of its kind in the old space — and possibly the new:

In the Northwest premiere of this existential transgender wild western by award winning playwright Basil Kreimendahl, Dakota and Bailey find themselves stranded in a strange barren land.

Part of a planned six-story development, The new Hugo House facility will be “approximately 10,000 square feet” and will share the ground floor with a 1,500 square-foot “commercial space” being planned for a cafe at the corner of 11th and E Olive.

While the design of the new facility is still being worked out, the players involved in Sidewinders say a theater stage likely won’t be part of the new Hugo as the center focuses its mission and other performance spaces at 12th Ave Arts establish themselves in the area.

Literary events are scheduled through the fall at Hugo House and there has been no announcement yet for a planned community gathering to say goodbye to the old building and celebrate the new.

In the meantime, you can begin the drama of nostalgia now through August. Information on Sidewinders showtimes and more here on the CHS Calendar.

Pianos in the Parks returns with keyboards in Cal Anderson, Volunteer Park

Piano in the Park

(Image: @gageacademy)

(Image: @gageacademy)

Two hand-painted pianos will begin a summer stay in Cal Anderson and Volunteer Park Thursday night in a promotion to celebrate the region’s great public spaces with the sometimes surreal placement of the bulky musical instruments in the middle of Seattle city parks. Pianos in the Park has returned. Tubas in the parks just didn’t have the same ring to it:

The Pianos in the Parks program, made possible by Laird Norton Wealth Management, encourages the discovery of parks through music and art by placing one-of-a-kind, artist-designed upright and grand pianos in parks and open spaces across Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Seattle and other parts of King County. All pianos are made available for free public use and music exploration through Aug. 16.

Following a Thursday kick-off event at Lake Union Park, the pianos will be moved to their new homes:

  • Bellevue – Ashwood Plaza (Bellevue Regional Library), Bellevue Botanical Gardens and Downtown Park
  • Kirkland – Marina Park
  • Mercer Island – Luther Burbank Park and Mercerdale Park
  • Redmond – Marymoor Park 
  • Seattle – Ballard Commons (Ballard), Jefferson Park (Beacon Hill), Cal Anderson Park and Volunteer Park(Capitol Hill), Green Lake Park (Green Lake), Magnuson Park (Sand Point), Rainier Beach Plaza (Rainier Valley), Seacrest Park/Alki (West Seattle) and Steve Cox Memorial Park (White Center), as well as downtown Seattle neighborhood parks and open spaces including Occidental Square (Pioneer Square), Denny Park and Lake Union Park (South Lake Union) and Seattle Center (Uptown).
  • Woodinville – Sammamish River Trail

The Capitol Hill pianos are expected to be in place by Thursday night. Continue reading

It’s time to sign up for Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day 2015 — Sunday, August 9th

IMG_7992-600x400-600x400Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day 2015 is Sunday, August 9th — it’s time to add your sale to the roster.

You can sign up at capitolhillgaragesale.com or at the bottom of this post.

Again in 2015, CHS and the Cal Anderson Park Alliance are teaming up to host the Garage Sale Day Community Lot inside Cal Anderson Park.

Get your junk treasures together and sign up for the community sale (the $20 deposit goes to support the event and CAPA) or add your own yard or apartment or parking strip or dry cleaners parking lot ASAP!

Continue reading

CHS Pics | 4th of July 2015 fireworks from Capitol Hill

IMG_0590 (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_0358Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… we just hope you took your wretched refuse with you. Here is the view CHS found this year as thousands again chose a Capitol Hill vantage point to enjoy the 4th of July fireworks display over Lake Union. This year, CHS joined the largest Hill gathering point on the shores of I-5 at Lakeview and Belmont to take in the show. We also stopped by the annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic earlier Saturday as neighbors enjoyed free hot dogs and fun on a fourth day of +90F heat.IMG_0511

Continue reading

Where to see fireworks from Capitol Hill, USA! 239th birthday + 13th Annual Cal Anderson Park Independence Day Picnic edition


My country, tis of thee, sweet land of Liberty — and many other fine craft cocktail bars.

(Images: Andrew Ahlstrom and Alex Garland for CHS)

(Image: Andrew Ahlstrom for CHS)

In the true spirit of America, this post is assembled annually by an algorithmically controlled robot drone that adjusts for witty references to current weather conditions and is programmed for sly inclusion of timely cultural references. It also features a self-correcting typo replacement system that slowly improves the quality of this post over time. This year, we have also plugged in the dataset describing the annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic. You won’t find fireworks there — but you will find all of this almost completely free fun:

10850000_939848332704735_1418089447549648979_n (1)The most fun FREE community party of the summer. Brought to you by theCal Anderson Park Alliance, this totally FREE, inclusive for families of all types event is the epicenter of fun. Plus, it ends early enough for you to get to your fireworks viewing situation. Bring your Dads, Moms, kids, dogs on a leash, friends, lovers, hula hooping neighbor, parrot, cat on a leash, cute new date, babies, co-worker, bike polo playing friends, ping pong enthusiasts, favorite bartender and/or people who like burritos. Continue reading

‘Timeless’ Hugo House and Piecora’s developments sail through first design review

Screen-Shot-2015-06-23-at-2.56.40-PM

Two high profile Capitol Hill development projects more or less glided through their first meeting before the East Design Review Board last Wednesday evening on their way to final reviews.

Equity Residential and architects at Ankrom Moisan showed off their plans to replace the old Piecora’s building with a 140 unit, six-story development that includes parking for 140 cars. The second project — a 90-unit, six story building across the street from Cal Anderson Park — will be replacing the Hugo House on 11th Ave and E Olive St. The project from developer Meriwether Partners and designed by Weinstein A+U has drawn the ire of at least one resident of a nearby condo.

The view from the street and inside, however, should be a welcome surprise to those who bemoan the prevalence of Hardie board siding and corrugated steel exteriors. Plans call for a full brick facade, and not just the pasted on variety. “A real brick building,”said architect Ed Weinstein, adding that it was the longtime property owners and Hugo House benefactors that insisted the building have a timeless look. Continue reading