CHS Pics | Central District gets a parklet

IMG_8733Funded by the surrounding community, the 25th and Union parklet made its debut Sunday with a kid-powered ribbon cutting. The ceremony and gathering on the Ten Penny Studio-designed mini-park in front of Cortona Cafe was part of a busy weekend around the Central District including the first annual Central Area Block Party and a 100th anniversary celebration for 23rd and Yesler’s Douglass-Truth library.


The new Central District public space joins a similar mini-park on E Olive Way that was the first parklet constructed in Seattle back in 2013. Planning remains in motion for a street park near 10th and Pike backed by the Comet and Lost Lake.

More images of the new parklet — organizers Amanda Bryan and Karen Estevenin wrote about it here — and all the Central District fun, below.

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

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Seattle’s second I-502 retailer, Uncle Ike’s opens Tuesday

IMG_8324IMG_8318Following a successful soft launch to test out the state’s I-502 computer system and work out any kinks in being only the second legal marijuana retailer in Seattle, Uncle Ike’s is ready for its “official” opening Tuesday at 23rd and Union.

CHS broke the news last week on the two-building Central District mini cannabis campus moving forward with its business venture after state inspectors approved it as only the second I-502 retail license in Seattle.

Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg tells CHS that the shop will begin serving customers at noon Tuesday with plans to remain open until 7 PM — or until its $26/gram pot runs out. “We have flower and joints from Avitas and Monkey Grass Farms, a nice selection of edibles and RIF oil cartridges from Green Chief, and we expect to have JuJu Joints as well,” Ike’s posted in a Facebook update.

We first talked with Eisenberg about his interest in opening a marijuana retail shop in 2013 as the rules around the implementation of I-502 were being worked out and 23rd and Union emerged as a likely home for future pot-related ventures. Despite criticism and concerns based in the corner’s past challenges with illegal drugs and street crime, Eisenberg believes retail marijuana could be a boon for the neighborhood that we jokingly called “Little Amsterdam.” True enough, Mello Times, the winner of the state’s retail license lottery in the same area, also shows signs of moving its business forward.

The pot was ready -- Uncle Ike's signs were not (Images: CHS)

The pot was ready — Uncle Ike’s signs were not (Images: CHS)

Eisenberg’s lottery luck left him without a license despite owning prime real estate in the I-502-friendly and well-zoned area. Continue reading

Central District weekend: Central Area Block Party, Douglass-Truth turns 100, Hack the CD

unnamed (31)The Central District has a big party — and a lot of work — planned this weekend. Saturday brings the Central Area Block Party to 23rd and Cherry while the Douglass-Truth Library at 23rd and Yesler celebrates 100 years. Meanwhile, a group of entrepreneurial geeks are gathering at Garfield High School for the Central District Startup Weekend.

Starting at 10 AM Saturday, you’ll find bouncy houses, face painting, an art walk, a car show, a concert, and community performances going down at 23rd and Cherry:

On September 27th from 10 AM to 6 PM, the corner of 23rd and Cherry is going to be transformed into a block party that is open and free to everyone. You won’t want to miss out on a great time with your neighbors enjoying live music, food trucks, art activities and more.

Performers including Raz Simone, Draze, Porter Ray, and Camilla Recchio are scheduled to take the stage starting at 2:30 PM — and, yes, there will be food trucks: Continue reading

Ready to serve the Central District and Capitol Hill, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop set to open at 23rd and Union

10639712_790347977691561_1458183800514921383_n (1)Since early July, only one store has been able to tie together the permits, the building, and, most importantly, the product to sell legal retail marijuana to the people of Seattle. This week, the equation is about to change at 23rd and Union.

Land owner and entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg tells CHS that Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop pot shop has received its temporary license and is planning an opening in the Central District sometime in the next week — if all goes to plan.

“I haven’t slept in a month,” Eisenberg said of the sudden rush of activity around the venture.

The license puts Eisenberg on pace to operate only the second retail marijuana operation in the city and puts him behind the counter of the shop closest to the densely-packed population of Capitol Hill.

UPDATE 9/25/2014: Looks like Saturday is a go:

UPDATE x2: The opening menu from producer Avitas:

* Black 84
* Cinex
* Lemon Kush
* Pineberry
* Snoop’s Dream

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Blotter | Central District park armed robbery, update on 11th Ave mugging

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Judkins Park robbery: Police are investigating a gunpoint robbery in the Central District’s Judkins Park around 9 PM Monday. The obviously shook-up victim provided CHS with a thorough account of the hold-up. There were no immediate arrests:Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.56.50 PM
  • Cal Anderson artist mugging: CHS has learned more about the mugging we reported this weekend of a man hit from behind and knocked out while walking on 11th Ave along Cal Anderson Park. 74-year-old 11th Ave resident Arturo Artorez lost his phone, wallet, glasses and iPad after he was hit from behind, knocked out and robbed while he walked on 11th Ave around midnight Friday. The robbery was not initially reported to police but we’re told Artorez has since been in contact with police. You can come out to support Artorez when his art show opens at Vermillion on October 9th.
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Central Seattle airwaves make room for KXSU and KHER radio

New -- much smaller -- towers are coming to E Union and 12th Ave (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

New — much smaller — towers are coming to E Union and 12th Ave (Image: Jeanine Anderson via Flickr)

We’re broadcasting this story via the Internet to tell you that two Capitol Hill area radio stations are making progress toward broadcasting via the air above Capitol Hill and the Central District — and about 3.5 miles in all directions as the crow flies.

Earlier this spring, CHS reported on efforts at Seattle University’s student station KSUB and Central District online broadcaster Hollow Earth Radio to secure low power FM broadcast permission from the FCC and deploy new meatspace broadcasting towers and equipment.

Both Hollow Earth and Seattle U’s station announced this week that they have secured construction permits from the FCC. Continue reading

Wounded teen shows up at hospital as police investigate Central District gunfire incidents

Police found more than 30 shell casings in the street near 21st and E Fir after reports of gunfire in the Central District rolled into 911 late Sunday night. As police investigated, a 16-year-old suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound arrived at Harborview. Meanwhile, Monday afternoon, police rushed to the area around Judkins Park following a report of a gunman shooting at another vehicle from a window of a speeding SUV.

In the Monday afternoon incident, police swarmed the area around Judkins Park just before 2:30 PM and found shell casing strewn across 23rd Ave at Dearborn and at least one uninvolved vehicle hit. There were no immediate reports of any injuries involved with the gunfire. Traffic in the area was diverted during the investigation. UPDATE: SPD has posted a report on the Monday afternoon incident: “One vehicle was damaged by the gunfire. There were no reports of injuries. The roadway was reopened just after 3 pm.” More here.

Police say they are still investigating the Sunday night shooting incident:

Around 11:15, police received a number of 911 calls about gunshots near 21 Ave and East Fir Street. At the scene, officers recovered more than 30 shell casings from different guns and found several buildings and cars had been struck by gunfire. Police weren’t able to locate anyone with injuries at the scene.

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The Town Theatre’s production of ALMOST, MAINE!

The fabulous cast of ALMOST, MAINE will be performing in 5 different Seattle neighborhoods each night! The night will begin with deliciously catered food by chef Mike Stamey from Wonderlust Catering. Following the mingling and food eating will be the performance of ALMOST, MAINE.

A little bit about the play: As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, residents of the fictional town of Almost, Maine find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend-almost-in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. Each scene is a different story with quirky, big-hearted characters working their way through the love, big and small, they have found in this small town.

How to buy:
$25/person- sales for the show will end the WED before the show date at 12am. We will sell tickets at the door at $20/person, however this will not include the meal.

What to bring: This is a BYOB event- beer, blankets, bean bags: something to rest your booty and liquid to fill your belly.

When to be there: 6pm- the show will begin at 7pm following the light meal.

Central District says goodbye to legendary Catfish Corner

(Image: Catfish Corner)

(Image: Catfish Corner)

With an expensive judgement in a lawsuit brought by its MLK and Cherry landlord sealing the deal, a legendary Central District restaurant and community spot has shuttered.

Catfish Corner quietly closed earlier this month as the unlawful detainer case came to a close with the court ruling the Corner’s ownership owes more than $18,000 to building owners Cederstrand Rentals. A check of court records also shows a string of warrants for unpaid state taxes in recent years. Court documents indicate the space rented for around $1,800 a month.

The closure marks the end of 30 years of fried goodness and a black-owned business at the corner — and has many fans lamenting they didn’t get a last chance to say goodbye:

As a hub for information on the Black Community Catfish Corner will be missed by all for the Food and a gathering place.

NBA star Aaron Brooks enjoying some Smartar Tartar (Image: Catfish Corner)

NBA star Aaron Brooks enjoying some Smartar Tartar (Image: Catfish Corner)

Catfish Corner is owned by a company headed by the West family who have owned the business since the mid-2000s. The Go West company also produces Smartar Tartar

You’ll notice the difference in color. It’s not white with pickles. The texture is different because of all the other ingredients in it. And best of all, is the taste.

We’ve reached out to Go West and Smartar Tartar to learn more but have not yet heard back.

In the late ’90s, Catfish Corner founders Rosie and Woody Jackson sought to move the restaurant to 23rd and Jackson but were beat out by a little coffee company called Starbucks, according to the Seattle Times. A Kent Catfish Corner location lasted only a few years before shuttering in 2012.

There don’t appear to be any major overhauls lined up for the MLK and Cherry location known for its giant Martin Luther King, Jr. mural and we haven’t seen any permit activity that indicates a new tenant is ready to move in.

In the meantime, Catfish Corner fans are in mourning. “What are we gonna do now?,” one person lamented on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “I was raised on your fish. Why didn’t someone tell us so we could stock up? I am spinning right now.”

UPDATE 9/10/14: Following up on the story, we reached out to the owner of the Catfish Corner building to ask about the situation and what’s next for the space. The owner declined to comment at this time.

Capitol Hill bike notes | Big day for bike share, Broadway bikeway extension, Greenway meetings


Pronto at the 2014 Bike-In at Cal Anderson Park earlier this month (Images: CHS)

Pronto at the 2014 Bike-In at Cal Anderson Park earlier this month (Images: CHS)

On a big day for Seattle bikes, here are a few pedal-focused news notes for Capitol Hill and the multi-modal streets beyond.

  • Pronto’s first big hill climb: The first public bike system in the Pacific Northwest faces a major test Monday as memberships for Seattle’s Pronto bicycle share go on sale starting at noon.
    unnamed10633507_263541060512193_1299985923774099176_oCustomers will have the option of signing up for two levels of “founding memberships” –

    It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for! On Monday, August 25, be one of the first 600 to sign up for an annual membership online at pronto and receive the coveted status of a Pronto Founding Member. Besides bragging rights and all the street cred that comes with being part of Seattle history, Founding Members will receive an exclusive, limited-edition blue key to access the system. It’s no secret that these are going to sell out fast (Citibike’s 5,000 founding memberships sold out in just 30 hours!), so mark your calendars for noon on August 25th and secure yours before it’s too late!

    The new system will begin with 500 bikes serving the city with Capitol Hill, First Hill, the U-District, Eastlake, South Lake Union, Belltown, downtown, Pioneer Square and International District stations . Each station will have docks for 12 to 20 bikes and will feature a kiosk where non-members can sign up for 24-hour, or multiday passes, and or access bikes using a code. Those who pay $85 for an annual membership will be able to bypass the kiosk and check bikes out directly from their docks. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Hopscotch CD II: No record but lots of fun

(Image: Jackson Commons)

An attempt at a world record hopscotch jump fell short in 2014 but still drew a crowd. View the video, below (Image: Jackson Commons)

A 2.9-mile course hopscotch connected the Central District again Saturday in the return of  community event to “spread fun” through the neighborhood. The second annual Hopscotch CD welcomed the neighborhood to walk or hop along the path from Jackson & 28th to Union & 23rd.

Along the route, numerous businesses and community organizations set up stands and gave out free treats to the hopscotchers. There were also lemonade stands, art shows, and book sales along the way. The end of the route at 23rd and Union awarded jumpers with food stalls, a pet adoption bus, and a beer garden with local bands playing into the evening. If the kids were not tired of jumping by the end, a bouncy house was there to finish them off.

Organizers haven’t said for sure but sounded enthusiastic about the event returning for a third edition in 2015. With this year’s world record attempt falling a little short, there’s added incentive to jump in again next year.

More pictures and a video from high above, below. Continue reading

Police: Accused 29/King killer claims slayings ‘vengeance’

Accused killer Ali Muhammad Brown is claiming political motivations for a killing spree that included the Central District slaying of two men he met after a night out on Capitol Hill.

Police say Brown has admitted to the killings as part of a one-man jihad:

“My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day,” he reportedly said. “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day … All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 8.20.29 AMAuthorities this week said Brown has been connected to a fourth murder in an April drive-by shooting in Spanaway. In July, CHS reported on Brown’s capture in New Jersey where he has been accused of another murder.

Seattle Police say Brown killed 27-year-old Ahmed Said and 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young in a “premeditated” and “unprovoked” June 1st attack at 29th and King.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement on the latest charges against Brown:

The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.

Brown’s alleged attacks make the second high-profile case this year involving Capitol Hill and a suspect believed to have hate crime motivations. Wednesday, CHS reported that defense attorneys for convicted Neighbours nightclub arsonist Musab Masmari have filed an appeal of the 10-year sentence in the case.