Holy Names reaches agreement with Capitol Hill neighbors after long fight over underground parking garage

There is peace along E Aloha. In a letter to the school’s Capitol Hill neighbors sent out this week, Holy Names Academy announced it has reached “a mediation agreement” on the City Hall tussle over construction of a new, two-story gymnasium and a new parking lot on the school’s 21st Ave E campus.

“I extend thanks from our HNA community to these neighbors and to everyone involved who worked in good faith to reach this settlement,” Holy Name head of school Liz Swift writes in the brief letter outlining the settlement.

According to HNA, the agreement with a group of neighbors over the project to create a new gym and underground garage, and a new 32-space surface parking lot on the northern edge of the E Aloha at 21st Ave E campus will put construction on track for a June start.

But a few sacrifices were made. Continue reading

Channeling the spirit of E Aloha and the legendary Surrogate Hostess, Macrina now open on Capitol Hill

Macrina Bakery and Cafe is celebrating 25 years of business in Seattle with the opening of its fifth cafe Thursday morning.

The new Macrina at 19th and Aloha is hoped to channel the spirit of the Surrogate Hostess that used to be housed in the 1925-built building overhauled by contractors over the past five months. That Capitol Hill legend was known for its communal tables — and warm cinnamon rolls.

New legends are set to be made at the new bakery with exposed beams and a sleek white and grey palette. Continue reading

Ernest Loves Agnes marks marks first year with new ideas in kitchen, familiar Capitol Hill face behind bar

Back in September Italian restaurant, Ernest Loves Agnes celebrated one year since its 2015 opening at 19th and Mercer. Shortly after hitting that milestone, new chef David Nichols stepped up to the stove and Veronika Groth recently took over the bar to bring new changes to the neighborhood eatery.

Nichols is expanding the restaurant’s Italian cuisine to include more Mediterranean flavors. “So we’re not just pigeon-holed to one specific thing,” Nichols said. Continue reading

Tent City 3 wraps up summer stay on Capitol Hill

Dozens of Capitol Hill residents moved out of the neighborhood over the past week. Tent City 3, as usual, is on the move again.

CHS reported on the homeless community’s short summer stay at the corner of 19th and Aloha as the group filled the parking lot of St. Joseph’s into lines of tents, known as dorms, with room for around 100 residents along with tents that served as a computer room, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a community dining hall. The group also stayed at St. Joe’s in 2006 and again in 2011. Always on the move, residents told CHS Tent City 3 will next settle in Shoreline. Continue reading

The Capitol Hill Wishing Tree

Jane Hamel, keeper of the wishing tree, hasn't added her 2016 wish yet (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Jane Hamel, keeper of the wishing tree, hasn’t added her 2016 wish yet (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)


“The concept of the wishing tree is very old,” says Jane Hamel, the “owner” — as some would call her — of the Wishing Tree at 21st and Galer.

“Originally, it’s Japanese, but we saw it first in San Francisco,” Hamel said. She has lived on 21st Ave E since 2013 and says her previous place in California just wasn’t right for the project. After noticing the number of people walking and jogging through the neighborhood, Hamel took a chance and put out her first container of wish paper and markers in November of 2014.

Hamel’s wish tree is a work in progress. The first batch of wishes were ruined by Seattle’s wonderful wet weather and in February of 2015 she took it down. Throughout the spring, people stopped as she worked in the garden. “What happened to the wishing tree?” she said they asked. Some were concerned the tree had been vandalized. Hamel said she realized how important the wishing tree was to the neighborhood but she needed a new system. With the help of a few generous community members, a machine to laminate wishes arrived, followed by a bench for people to sit on while they wished. Continue reading

Police looking for Capitol Hill drone pilot after house hit in crash landing

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 8.01.25 PMIf you are the pilot of a wayward drone that crashed into a Capitol Hill house and shattered a window Thursday morning, we have good news and bad news. Police found your drone. But they’d like to talk with you.

Here is SPD’s description of the crash in the 900 block of 13th Ave E near Aloha:

The couple reportedly heard the sound of breaking glass in their living room around 7:30 AM and went outside, where they found a white drone lying on the ground outside their dining room window. The couple noticed the drone had a camera affixed to it, which was still recording. While no one was injured in the incident, the drone smashed the couple’s dining room window and caused damage to the window’s frame.

Police are working to identify the pilot:

Officers documented the damage, booked the drone into evidence, and are working to get a warrant to review footage recorded by the drone’s camera and identify its pilot.

Last year, SPD detectives used recovered footage to identify the pilot of a drone after it crashed into the Seattle Great Wheel. The case has been forwarded to the Federal Aviation Administration for further review. The City Attorney’s office also charged a 37-year-old Oak Harbor man with reckless endangerment after a drone he was flying crashed into a woman at the Seattle Pride parade in June 2015.

The laws and regulations around the use of quadcopters and drones are continuing to take shape. Late last year, a FAA Small Unmanned Aircraft Registration system began that requires even recreational drones to be registered. It’s not clear whether the drone involved in Thursday’s crash displayed the required registration information.

The homeowner sent CHS this photo of some of the damage

The homeowner sent CHS this photo of some of the damage

The area of the crash, meanwhile, is outside of the FAA-mandated five-mile no-fly zone around airports. There are not currently any City of Seattle laws the prohibit the devices from being used but Seattle Parks regulations, for example, prohibit their use on parks lands. Thursday’s crash happened just blocks south of Volunteer Park. The Lowell Elementary School campus is also a possible takeoff point. It doesn’t look like Seattle Public Schools yet have banned the copters. As in the case of reckless endangerment cited by SPD above, existing legal framework comes into play in the event of crashes where there is damage or injuries.

Fortunately in this case, nobody was injured Thursday morning — though it sounds like the drone’s flying days might be over.

UPDATE: The homeowner sent us a picture of some of the damage from the drone. He also tells CHS the drone was a DJI Phantom series quadcopter similar to the one pictured above. It’s one of the most common quadcopters on the market and widely available.

WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ tour ends with Capitol Hill stop

IMG_9339Friday, CHS found the WestSide Baby Stuff the Bus bus at 19th Ave’s Hello Robin making a stop on its 2015 tour to collect diapers — and smiles — around Seattle.

WestSide Baby, which now has an area presence at 18th and Cherry after a 2014 merger, collects second hand items for babies and children that providers such as social workers or other agencies can distribute to families in need.

Sunday, the 2015 tour comes to an end at Capitol Hill’s St. Joe’s:

What: Stuff the Bus diaper drive finale event – inviting the public to donate diapers at the school bus
When: July 26 2015 10 am to 2 pm 
Where: St Joseph’s Parish, 732 18th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

Nonprofit WestSide Baby will be closing their fifteenth annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive on July 26th in Capitol Hill, inviting the public to come along to the brightly colored school bus, donate diapers to benefit local families and share a smile at a photo booth. Stuff the Bus is Seattle’s largest diaper drive, this year aiming to collect 500,000 diapers to distribute to families in need across King County.

WestSide Baby Executive Director Nancy Woodland said: “Every child deserves to smile and every parent should experience baby giggles.  However parents who are struggling to provide food, pay bills and purchase diapers miss the joy of their child’s smiles because they are so stressed and because uncomfortable children scream rather than giggle. Even though a dry diaper is critical to keeping an infant healthy and happy, diapers aren’t covered by food stamps, so for the 10,000 children under the age of 3 living in poverty in King County, parents must often choose between feeding and changing their baby. Stuff the Bus is an opportunity for the whole community to help and we encourage everyone to donate and share a smile.”

You can visit http://westsidebaby.org/stuff-the-bus-2015 for more information about Stuff the Bus or text DIAPERS to 80888 to make a $10.00 donation.

Meanwhile, another fun fundraiser takes place Sunday afternoon at Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson where the annual Seattle Bat ‘n’ Rouge charity softball game will play out.

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Capitol Hill food+drink | The romance of Ernest Loves Agnes coming to 19th Ave E

unnamed (41)Love, that great mixture of what is real and what is fiction, is at the center — liter-ature-allly — of the newly announced name for the project set to open the next chapter in the former home of the Kingfish Cafe.

When it opens in “late summer” 2015, Ernest Loves Agnes will be different than the other restaurants and bars in their Seattle Guild constellation, Joey Burgess and Jason Lajuenesse tell CHS. For one, the guys behind some of the quintessential hangouts of Pike/Pine are opening a project on the sleepier eastern edge of the Hill. But there will be more to the story.

“It will also be romantic,” Lajuenesse said, acknowledging that he, too, has grown a little old to go on a date to Big Mario’s.

CHS broke the news on the project this spring as Burgess, Lajuenesse, and partner Dave Meinert stepped in and ended speculation about what would come next after the closure of the Kingfish following 18 years in the location.

The newly announced name is a tribute to the romance — real and imagined — of young Ernest Hemingway and nurse Agnes von Kurowsky that grew during the author’s stay as a soldier in an American Red Cross hospital in Milan during World War I. “It’s about falling in love with Italy as much as anything,” Lajuenesse said. “It’s a sweet… bittersweet story.” Continue reading

Hello Robin, mother of the Mackles’more

By Dominique Etzel, University of Washington News Lab – Special to CHS

The doors are swung open in the morning and excited eyes ogle the cookies fresh out of the oven at Capitol Hill cookie bakery Hello Robin.

Habanero orange is a daring, fan-favorite flavor. The sweet smell of sugar cookies is wafted through the Tiffany-blue room and bakery owner Robin Wehl Martin smiles.

“It smells like my grandma,” she says.

The bakery is homey. The kitchen looks much like her own, she says, with a large communal table where customers can sit and talk with bellies full of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Next to the cookies sits a freezer full of Molly Moon’s homemade ice cream flavors. The two sweet treats combine to create a delectable ice cream cookie sandwich.

Good guidance from the beginning — leave room for a line, and find the perfect location — was part of the secret to Wehl Martin’s recipe. Along with a touch of luck and a lot of research. Now Wehl Martin has seen the success of owning a small business for a year and a half while creating a space for the neighborhood to gather. Continue reading

CHS Pics | A Pedaler’s Fair on Capitol Hill

IMG_4984May is Bike Month and Saturday brought the return of the Pedaler’s Fair to 19th Ave E. Bike entrepreneurs, advocates, and creative types gathered for the beer-in-hand opportunity to shop, check out each other’s wares and attend cycling-centered workshops like Bike Fishing — “the art of fly fishing by bicycle.” For more on the annual event, check out pedalersfair.com.

Meanwhile, be ready to share the road with young riders this week:

Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 6, 2015! Join hundreds of riders in the Seattle area and thousands of other riders across the country on Bike to School Day. Volunteers set up stations at schools to distribute prizes and welcome students who bike on May 6.

Awful traffic, more infrastructure, and better-than-average Seattle weather so far in 2015 might be putting more pedalers on the streets of Capitol Hill this year. By our take on SDOT’s measuring station near E Union on the Broadway Bikeway, trips were up 10% in the first three months of 2015 vs. the same period in 2014.