On the List | Woven art using human looms in Cal Anderson, Lusio light art in Volunteer Park

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Get your weave on at Bonds. (Image: Mandy Greer via Instagram)

Yarn bombings have struck trees in Cal Anderson Park before, but human targets may be a first.

Fallow Collective, an art group organized by a trio of Seattle artists, is holding its inaugural performance of Bonds in the park Thursday evening. The project is not so much performed by the Fallow Collective artists, but on them. Any and all are invited to help “create weavings” on the bodies of artists from 5-8 PM in an undertaking with a”no-goal, no-skill, no-judgement framework.”

It’s a weekend of interesting art in the park around Capitol Hill. Saturday night brings the premier of the Lusio light art festival to Volunteer Park. Continue reading

Dog sickened after eating rat poison in Cal Anderson Park

A Capitol Hill dog was sickened Tuesday after eating what appears to be rat poison left near the playground in Cal Anderson Park.

Eva Gisellse tells CHS she was walking her dog Data in the park around 6 PM on Monday when the blue heeler ate an unknown substance. After Data became sick Tuesday morning, Gisellse retrieved the green substance and took her dog to Urban Animal at Broadway and E Thomas.

An Urban Animal spokesperson told CHS the substance was almost certainly rat poison, but veterinarians are awaiting final test results for confirmation. Thankfully, Data is recovering in her Capitol Hill apartment.

“We recommend that anyone walking a dog in the area makes sure it does not eat anything off the ground,” said Jen Pohlman, operations manager at Urban Animal. Of course, the same goes for humans.

UPDATE (7/20): After being notified of the incident, Seattle Parks had its pest control contractor check the roughly 20 rat poison traps that were set around Cal Anderson Park earlier this year. According to Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch, there was no evidence of tampering on the traps, which are designed to keep poison away from dogs and children. “All of the traps were locked and all of the traps have been regularly serviced,” she said.

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East Precinct cops ready to roll out program to put drug users in treatment, not jail

By the end of July, Capitol Hill police officers will be able to refer drug users to treatment programs — not jail. Along with a visit from a touring example of a safe drug consumption site, the month is bringing a few steps of progress in breaking drug addiction cycles that have challenged the neighborhood for decades.

In recent weeks, East Precinct officers have been trained to participate in the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program. LEAD now joins the already functioning Multi-Disciplinary Team program on Capitol Hill in giving law enforcement new options and resources for dealing with addiction. Officials are looking at ways the two programs can work together.

According to Public Defender Association director Lisa Daugaard, all East Precinct police officers will be trained to participate in LEAD by the end of the month. Until now only West Precinct officers have been able to recommend people for LEAD participation. There was initial talk of only expanding the program to Capitol Hill, but “Capitol Hill community leaders actually pushed for inclusion of the rest of the precinct on racial justice grounds,” because, according to Daugaard, community leaders felt that parts of the East Precinct with a higher percentage of minorities than Capitol Hill should also benefit from the program. Daugaard said she anticipates that once East Precinct officers have been trained, “there will probably be significantly more referrals” for the LEAD program. Continue reading

Capitol Hill neighbors vote on Pavement to Parks designs for Summit, ask for more activities

A seating area, games, a stage, a food truck — these were all suggestions for how to transform a small section of Summit Ave E between E Denny Way and E Olive Way into a public park.

But first the Seattle Department of Transportation took votes on nine maze-themed designs to brighten up the pavement Thursday night at the site as part of the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk. The department also accepted other submissions for the Pavement to Parks project that evening.

“The more colorful, the better,” said Keith Haubrich who lives nearby. He liked SDOT’s suggested Pac Man-themed design.

Capitol Hill resident-submitted designs included a blue and green Earth-like maze, a geometric design created with triangles that seem to pop out of the pavement in the options of blue or orange tones, the words “Capitol Hill” in four different color options, and “The Hill in Transit” a public transportation map.

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2016 Capitol Hill summer outdoor movies start with samurai in Volunteer Park

We’ve already noted how busy the parks around Capitol Hill have been this week. It’s a sign of summer. An even truer sign of summer has also arrived — the first outdoor movie of the season on Capitol Hill.

Friday, the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Gardner Center presents the first of three weeks of film and music at the Volunteer Park amphitheater with a screening of the “anti-samurai” piece Goyokin and music from blues duo Son Jack Jr. & Michael Wilde:

Outdoor Music & Films: Goyokin

The rest of summer 2016’s outdoor films events around Capitol Hill are below. Included is the return of Three Dollar Bill’s annual series in Cal Anderson Park — this year’s theme? The Fierce Awakens! Codependent Lesbian Space Alien, Spaceballs, Barbarella, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy screen on Fridays in August. Continue reading

East Precinct picnic comes to Central District park

After years of hosting the event within walking distance of the precinct’s 12th and Pine headquarters, the Seattle Police Foundation will bring its annual East Precinct picnic to a park in the Central District this weekend that is an example of both ongoing community investment in the area and struggles with drugs and violence.

Some organizers working to make Powell Barnett Park a safer place are happy to bring the event to MLK Jr. Way. John Barber, a member of the Seattle Parks board, posted this invite via Facebook:

You are invited to a community picnic with the Seattle Police and the neighborhood surrounding Powell Barnett Park next Saturday, July 16, 1pm to 4pm, at Powell Barnett Park, MLK JR Way, between E Yesler and E Cherry. This is a community policing/fun activity — music, hot dogs and ice cream, entertainment and door prizes. The area has been beset by driveby shootings and gang activities for years and our strategy has been repopulating the park to create a more positive environment.

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Celebrating 40 years of Seattle’s first I-5 lid: Happy birthday, Freeway Park

Sunnier days in the '70s in Freeway Park (Image: City of Seattle)

Sunnier days in the ’70s in Freeway Park (Image: City of Seattle)

The group determined to reclaim and revive the public asset is celebrating Jim Ellis Freeway Park’s 40-year history of bridging the gap and the interstate between Capitol Hill, First Hill, and downtown Seattle.

The park was founded on July 4, 1976, after years of Seattle civic leader Jim Ellis pushing for a park over I-5 to reclaim some of the space taken up by the interstate for community use. This weekend, the Freeway Park Association will celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the park’s opening and the group’s efforts to reclaim the space from decades of neglect.

“Freeway Park was the first park to lid over a freeway to reconnect communities that had been cut by that highway,” said Freeway Park Association’s Riisa Conklin. Conklin said the green-covered 5.2-acre park is essentially a “fertilizer box” situated over the highway.

The park is celebrating its 40th on Sunday, July 3 from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. The festivities will include a bluegrass band, free kettle corn, face painting, and a community kite painting project. All parts of the celebration are free and open to the public. A blues and jazz concert follows starting at 2 PM. Continue reading

Broadway Hill Park, last of its kind, now open on Capitol Hill

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It just might be the last of its kind. The fences have come down around Broadway Hill Park, 12,000 square feet of grass, benches, community gardening space, and a sure to be popular BBQ grill in the middle of Capitol Hill. There may never be another.

Seattle Parks acquired the land at the corner for Federal and Republican in 2010 for $2 million after a townhome project slated for the property fell through. In the time since the project started, Parks has opened small greenspaces just off E Olive Way at the garden-filled, skateboard-popular Summit Slope Park and near 15th Ave at the sleepy Seven Hills Park. It also opened 12th Ave Square Park across from Seattle U, but even that woonerf-y paved square featuring sculptures and seating doesn’t appear to be the direction Parks will be taking for future Capitol Hill-area open spaces. Continue reading

Seattle Parks says 2016 Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic a go

The route to saving Capitol Hill’s Independence Day picnic wasn’t pretty but it was apparently successful. Seattle Parks has announced that the 14th edition of the free community event will go on.

July 4th in Cal Anderson from noon to 4 PM, Parks and Rec has rallied to pull together free hot dogs for the first 500 people, a David Bowie Look-A-Like Contest, drag performance by Ms. Ryannah Doll, a Space Oddity Kids Costume Parade (“come dressed in your best outer space look”), face painting for kids, “and more!” Continue reading

City says Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic canceled unless new organizers step forward

The 2015 picnic (Images: CHS)

The 2015 picnic (Images: CHS)

You will still be able to watch 4th of July fireworks from Capitol Hill — but, for the first time in 13 years, there might not be a free community picnic in Cal Anderson Park to celebrate the nation’s independence.

City of Seattle officials are looking for a solution after the picnic’s longtime community sponsor the Cal Anderson Park Alliance informed City Hall it would not be able to organize the 2016 edition of the event. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce was asked to take over the event, a city rep tells CHS, but declined.

IMG_9959-600x400According to a Seattle Parks representative, it’s not an issue of money to support the free community event that typically involves free hot dogs and root beer floats, music, and game booths. Here is what the fun looked like in 2015. Capitol Hill’s community groups are apparently tapped out on a much more valuable resource — human capital. Without volunteers available to organize the picnic, the 14th annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic might not happen:

The annual Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic is a signature July 4 event for Cal Anderson Park and the Capitol Hill community. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is committed to supporting positive and family-friendly activities at this park to help it continue to be a treasured resource for the community.

Because the long-standing community organization that has traditionally organized the community picnic is not in a position to do so for this year’s event, SPR is reaching out to the greater Capitol Hill community to invite participation that will allow the event to take place next month.

Anyone interested is invited to attend a meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7 at the Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Ave. E, or contact SPR staff Randy Wiger at 206-684-0775 orrandy.wiger@seattle.gov.

If enough volunteers step forward, both for the planning needed over the next four weeks and for the day of the event, SPR is willing to lead the planning effort, and believes that it is possible to hold an enjoyable 14th annual community picnic event.

Parks is hoping to find new energy to step in and help make the event happen as a celebration of the national holiday and also a celebration of Capitol Hill’s busy central park. Officials are planning a community meeting next week to look for a solution — and, hopefully, find some of that much needed human capital needed to pull the 2016 picnic together.

Community meeting for 2016 Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic planning
Date: Tuesday, June 7.
Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Ave. E.

CHCC-CleanSweep-2016-smUPDATE: Don’t forget, you can also help make Cal Anderson great at Sunday’s Clean Sweep 2016: “Volunteers gather at Cal Anderson Park at 10am for coffee & pastries sponsored by our local Starbucks! We’ll give you a stylish ‘I Am Capitol Hill’ t-shirt and all the supplies you’ll need before dispersing teams to scrub the streets.” The annual Pride event marks the start of a month of celebration and events across the Hill.

Lusio to add night of light art to Volunteer Park’s summer event roster

No need to wait for July -- Volunteer Park's summer season is already in motion. This weekend, Parke Diem returns, Saturday, June 4th noon to 7 PM:

No need to wait for July — Volunteer Park’s summer season is already in motion. This weekend, Parke Diem returns, Saturday, June 4th noon to 7 PM:oin us for a day of free, family-friendly fun in the sun! This will be the 6th edition of our park event and we’re so excited to be back at Volunteer Park for another summer kick off!

The date planned for Lusio — a celebration of light art planned for Volunteer Park this summer — was no accident.

It should be one of the darkest nights of the year.

Creator Mollie Bryan has already secured the permit and now she is looking to add more visual and musical artists to help transform Volunteer Park into a light art venue for the first ever festival planned for July 30th. You can help support the free event by donating here:

As the sun sets on July 30, Volunteer Park will slowly come to life and “awaken” with light and sound. Local artists will install and project multiple light installations all over the park for you to explore.The live ambient showcase from the Vancouver BC label, Silent Season, will orchestrate the entire event with beautiful, deep, natural sounds to delight the auditory senses. Visuals will be projected onto the amphitheater wall . Local artists brought in from all over to delight you with their craft.

Bryan’s FnS production company is also looking for artists to be part of Lusio. Continue reading

Proposal would allow dogs to roam free in Cal Anderson Park

Dog parks inspire a special kind of divisiveness within Seattle’s civic skirmishes. With limited public park space, opponents of expanding off-leash areas say human activities should get top priority in park planning. Off-leash supporters say their interests deserve equal consideration.

Nevertheless, dogs are here to stay and Seattle Parks and Recreation is working on a plan to determine how best to accommodate them. Seattle’s canine population has reached an estimated 150,000 with no signs of slowing. The city is now reviewing its 19-year-old policy governing dog parks and considering some new ideas, including adding unfenced, off-leash areas inside public parks.

The idea is backed by Citizens for Off-Leash Areas, who say parks like Cal Anderson could implement the policy already working in other cities. “Dog owners are being pushed into scofflaws because they don’t have options,” said COLA executive director Cole Eckerman.

According to Eckerman, allowing dogs to be off-leash during certain times of the day at certain parks could reduce dog bites by increasing opportunities for exercise, create legal solutions to accommodate the city’s growing dog population, and yes, even deter nighttime crime. Eckerman also said allowing “multi-use” dog areas is an equity issue as many lower income neighborhoods lack traditional off-leash areas.

Portland has 24 unfenced, off-leash areas which are restricted to certain areas and times — a model COLA says could be replicated in Seattle. Typically, new dog parks are first piloted by the parks department and then approved by the City Council. Dewey Potter, the parks department’s unofficial off-leash expert, said a similar process would likely be used if the city decides to move ahead with unfenced dog areas. It’s unclear how many dog parks or off-leash areas Seattle could add in the near future, Potter said.

Seattle currently has 28 acres of fenced off-leash areas spread across 14 parks, including around Capitol Hill at Plymouth Pillars Park and the I-5 Colonnade. City policy recommends placing new dog parks away from playgrounds or adjacent to residential properties, which could be difficult to maintain if the city allows dogs to roam in unfenced areas.

Some of those criteria were actually developed in response to Seattle’s early experiments with off leash areas on Capitol Hill. In the late 1990s the parks department piloted two dog parks in Volunteer Park. One was scrapped because it was too muddy while the other received too many complaints from nearby homeowners.

The city’s dog parks report will not include any specific site recommendations, Potter said, but it will offer some suggestions for how to better accommodate dog owners as demand for all types of park space continues to grow.

Other recommendations include how to improve existing dog parks. The parks department plans to release its report June 11th at a date to be determined.

Images courtesy facebook.com/capitolhilldogs