Reps say Somali and East African communities unfairly targeted in Capitol Hill crackdown

Responding to a letter first reported by CHS, representatives of Seattle’s Somali and East African communities have called on Mayor Ed Murray for “a [thorough] investigation” of a rash of robberies and street crime in the Pike/Pine neighborhood and asked the mayor to consider more than “the voice of just one group of citizens.”

“We hereby express our strong belief that these crimes are the work of a tiny number of misdirected youth, and fear they will result in the indiscriminate profiling law abiding Somali citizens of Seattle,” a portion of the letter reads. We have posted the full letter below. It was first posted here.

The early Sunday morning crowd still partying at Pike and Broadway the first weekend of new "emphasis patrols" in the area (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

The early Sunday morning crowd still partying at Pike and Broadway the first weekend of new “emphasis patrols” in the area (Image: Tim Durkan with permission to CHS)

Yemane Gebremicael, president of African Diaspora of Washington, and Hassan Diis, identified as an East African community activist, also allege that Capitol Hill businesses are discriminating against “Somali community members and students.”

“Capitol Hill business owners are targeting the Somali community, and are using their disproportionate power and money to influence local officials,” they write. “We’ve also heard reports that they’re refusing to serve the Somali community members and students who study and work around that neighborhood.”

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Lifelong makes new home on E Pike, ready for 28th annual AIDS Walk

The annual Seattle AIDS Walk is Saturday -- and the forecast is much drier than it was in 2013 (Image: CHS)

The annual Seattle AIDS Walk is Saturday — and the forecast is much drier than it was in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Lifelong is still on the Hill, and they want everyone to know about it.

The 30-year-old organization has moved around the corner from its previous location into two floors of spacious offices right in the thick of Pike/Pine at 1016 E Pike.

“We’re serving people in a beautiful place that we hope that people look forward to coming to,” said Kelly Bray, communications manager for Lifelong. “We’re still here on the Hill.”

Seattle AIDS Walk and 5K Run
WHEN: Saturday, September 27, 2014 – 10:00 am @ 10:00 AM
WHERE: Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Avenue East
Walk with us on Saturday, September 27 at the Seattle AIDS Walk, a 5K march of support and remembrance through the streets of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Proceeds benefit Lifelong and partnering community service organizations.
Register or give online at

The decision for Lifelong to stay in Pike/Pine is also part of what many developers hope will be a trend of creating more opportunities for daytime workers to fill the neighborhood known for its nightlife and entertainment scene. Capitol Hill developer Liz Dunn is about to unveil her office space and market project Chophouse Row this fall on 11th Ave. Other office space-centered projects are expected in coming years.

The group, which used to be known as Lifelong AIDS Alliance, and before that as the Northwest AIDS Foundation, had outgrown the old space, which had served as its home for more than 25 years.

In May, CHS reported that the Bright Horizons day care chain was making plans to open a center and take over the former Lifelong space in a $1.7 million overhaul that will include a “Movement Matters Zone with Rock Climbing Wall,” art studio, and playgrounds.

Bright Horizons is a CHS advertiser while CHS is a community sponsor of the annual Lifelong AIDS Walk and 5K.

Bray said Lifelong has expanded its focus in recent years, reaching out to assist people with other chronic diseases, hence dropping “AIDS Alliance” from their name.

The starting line for the 2011 walk -- the 30th anniversary of the event (Image: CHS)

The starting line for the 2011 walk — the 30th anniversary of the event (Image: CHS)

Look back at the early years of the AIDS Walk (Image: Lifelong)

Look back at the early years of the AIDS Walk (Image: Lifelong)

Bray said Lifelong has split the dual aspects of its mission into two different physical locations. The counseling center is located on Pike. The group’s food prep arm (the Chicken Soup Brigade) has moved preparation to Georgetown. The group’s thrift store, by the way, can still be found at 1017 E Union. Continue reading

Pike/Pine nightlife entrepreneur Meinert lights up I-502 marijuana venture Torch Northwest

Meinert congratulating Ed Murray on Election Night. They probably were not high (Image: CHS)

Meinert congratulating Ed Murray on Election Night. They probably were not high (Image: CHS)

10645080_361068550711664_307403192876139037_nOnly one I-502 marijuana retailer has been able to open to serve the 650,000 or so residents of Seattle – and the closest licensed shop to Capitol Hill is still nowhere close to opening. But there are still a few potrepreneurs in our midst and, possibly, a few pot jobs to be had.

Dave Meinert, a partner in several Pike/Pine concerns and a leader in the city’s nightlife scene who has taken on a more active civic presence after his heavy involvement in the minimum wage negotiations, tells CHS he is part of a new start-up seeking to address the challenges of processing, distribution, and packaging for the state’s growing ranks of marijuana growers.

“It’s hard to start a new industry,” Meinert said. “I’m excited to be part of it. If I would have been around when they were making whiskey legal, I would have been in on it.” Continue reading

SPD officer injured, woman in custody after Nagle Place fight

A Seattle Police officer was treated for facial injuries and at least one person was arrested after a fight broke out during a police stop on Nagle Place Saturday afternoon.

Information on the rush of police to the area around Cal Anderson Park is preliminary at this time and hasn’t been confirmed yet by SPD.

According to East Precinct radio, an officer was contacting three people near the park around 3:20 PM. A few minutes later, units coming to the area as part of routine back-up reported that the male SPD officer was fighting with a suspect and had suffered facial lacerations.

During the fight, a “fast back” alert was issued and more officers rushed to the area.

One female was taken into custody and police were looking for a male that left the scene during the melee.

Seattle Fire was called to treat the officer who was alert and conscious at the scene. SFD also responded to nearby East Precinct at 12th and Pine a few minutes later for a female in her 20s complaining of stomach pains.

Mayor’s tour talks crime, yes, but also trash, blocked sidewalks, dark streets — Where are your Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It spots?

Citizens -- and the mayor -- on patrol (Images: CHS)

Citizens — and the mayor — on patrol (Images: CHS)

This woman had an idea to fix something at Broadway and Pine -- so the tour and Capt. John Hayes stopped to listen

This woman had an idea to fix something at Broadway and Pine — so the tour stopped to listen

The TV cameras were there for the Pike/Pine “crime spike.” But Wednesday night’s Capitol Hill Find It, Fix It walk with the mayor and several top city officials was mostly about things like streetlights, dumpsters, and blocked sidewalks.

“This is not about one night of safety this is about building relationships with the departments,” Mayor Ed Murray said at the conclusion of the walk, the eighth and final his office organized over the summer.

Pike/Pine business owner -- and dad -- Dave Meinert talks with Chief O'Toole

Pike/Pine business owner — and dad — Dave Meinert talks with Chief O’Toole

While the TV crews pressed in tightly for SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole to reiterate her strategy for Pike/Pine emphasis patrols and data-driven policing, City Hall representatives including the head of Murray’s Department of Transportation, his Seattle Fire Chief, and City Council member Sally Clark waited patiently for the walk to leave the park and make a handful of stops between 12th Ave, E Pike, and Broadway to hear from community representatives about some of the issues — and opportunities — the neighborhood is facing.

  • Homelessness: At 11th Ave’s Central Lutheran where Community Lunch On Capitol Hill serves meals to hundreds of homeless people every week, Pastor Cindy Salo told the assembled city officials, police, and community members that this had been “one of the most difficult summers” in terms of the numbers of homeless she is seeing. Continue reading

Seattle Fringe: ‘a toehold in the neighborhood for risky, unusual, challenging, non-commercial arts’

The Famous Haydell Sisters Comeback Tour is part of 2014 Seattle Fringe Festival

The Famous Haydell Sisters Comeback Tour is part of 2014 Seattle Fringe Festival


The marquee at the Northwest Film Forum advertising the Seattle Fringe Festival in 2013. The Film Forum is a Fringe Festival site again this year. (Image: Seattle Fringe Festival)

Ever-increasing pressure from commercial growth and development unfriendly to cash-strapped artistic ventures, venue allocation shifts and the logistics of having committed producers and planners who can keep things running year after year may keep it in a relatively constant flux. Despite these challenges Capitol Hill’s theater scene is showing some signs of renewed vitality in 2014 including the return of the reincarnated Seattle Fringe Festival that kicks off its third consecutive year with performances Wednesday.

The festival is bringing another five-day September wave of unpredictable performances to Capitol Hill venues just a few months before 12th Ave Arts is scheduled to open and provide dedicated homes to three small companies which will join the likes of Annex Theatre and the Eclectic Theater in producing smaller-scale theater in neighborhood’s core year round.

“The more Capitol Hill edges toward the mainstream, the more important it is to keep a toehold in the neighborhood for risky, unusual, challenging, non-commercial arts and entertainment,” Pamala Mijatov, a member of the Fringe Festival’s steering committee and artistic director at Annex told CHS in an email. “Seattle is growing and changing rapidly. As rents escalate, artists are getting squeezed out of the central neighborhoods, and there are fewer small production venues, which means fewer opportunities for artists to take risks on unproven work,” she wrote. “The Seattle Fringe Festival is maintaining a platform for those self-producing artists.” Continue reading

First look: Completing the overhaul of a Capitol Hill auto row building, Trove ‘fourplex’ debuts on E Pike

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Over the weekend, Rachel Yang finally got to see the pieces of her new food and drink puzzle come together on E Pike as the last step in the preservation-minded overhaul of one of the neighborhood’s remaining auto-row buildings. Trove, a gastronomical “fourplex” of concepts, brings the couple and the teams behind Seattle favorites Revel and Joule to Capitol Hill for the partnership’s first foray in the neighborhood’s booming nightlife economy.


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Capitol Hill food+drink | More izakaya and ramen? Kukai Capitol Hill coming

(Images: Kukai)

(Images: Kukai)

10443068_695595740490356_2040236340962179394_oEarlier this year, CHS made a big deal about the nine — count ‘em! — Asian-flavored food and drink projects pending around Capitol Hill. In the time since, the Hill prepared to add a tenth with the news that Vancouver BC’s Suika izakaya bar family is behind a new project to E Pine. Turns out, one in the wave we haven’t said much about is also going to be part of what will surely be the next Capitol Hill food trend to be identified by glossy magazines everywhere — it’s izakaya time.

The international Kukai Ramen & Izakaya chain’s Pacific Northwest footprint will expand in 2015 with the addition of a new location in the new Three20 Apartments building at 320 E Pine. A representative for Kukai has confirmed the project but said the owners were currently focused on a new Thornton Place opening and weren’t ready to say more about their Capitol Hill ambitions. Continue reading

Here’s how you can see a movie at SIFF Cinema Egyptian before October’s grand re-opening

Neighborhood film lovers have already marked the weekend of October 3rd for a reunion with The Egyptian Theatre as part of SIFF’s grand re-opening of the space. But there’s an opportunity next week to be among the first to enjoy a film in the overhauled theater as SIFF’s Women in Cinema opens its 2014 showcase with a party and screening on E Pine:

September 18 | SIFF Cinema Egyptian & SIFF Cinema Uptown
SIFF’s annual celebration of Women in Cinema returns, showcasing exceptional films from women around the world. Opening night takes place at the newly reopened SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and features Seattle favorite Lynn Shelton’s new film Laggies. The festival continues with Danish master Pernille Christensen’s award-winning Someone You Love; stunning foreign Oscar® submissions from Norway (I am Yours) and the Philippines (Transit); and enlightening new documentaries from Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik (Stray Dog) and Tina Mascara and Guido Santi (Monk with a Camera).

Free tickets to Women in Cinema opening night
Want to be our guest at the party? CHS is giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky CHS reader. Please leave a comment with your favorite line from your favorite “woman in cinema” below or on Facebook by today (9/12/14) at 5 PM Seattle standard time. We’ll randomly select a winner from the bunch. You can enter more than once if you like but we’ll include each email address or Facebook profile one time only in the drawing. Oh, you love movies, right? In addition to the party, WIC 2014 starts off with a screening of Laggies directed by Lynn Shelton.

After two years of business on E Pike, Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty muscles up Atomic Cosmetics production

A model shows off some Dr. Jen colors (Image: Atomic Cosmetics via Facebook)

A model shows off some Dr. Jen colors (Image: Atomic Cosmetics via Facebook)

(Images: Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty)

Armed with dramatic lip colors, bold eye shadow pallets, and luxurious body care products, Dr. Jen, as she’s known around Capitol Hill, has plans in place to streamline her neighborhood-based Atomic Cosmetics production with new makeup machinery.

With an eye shadow press, lipstick machine, and eyeliner pencil machine, Jen Dietrich says her growing E Pike company will be able to simplify a process currently done in her open lab that’s super labor intensive.

Formerly located within Retail Therapy, she’s since opened her Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty shop on the corner of Pike and Boylston, turning what was once a smoke shop into a toxin-free cosmetics lab and house of beauty thanks in part to glitter, chandeliers, and loads of pink.

“I wasn’t really sure how Seattle was going to respond to an open lab, but people love it. I can tell you I’m making this non-toxic makeup, but you’re actually watching me make it.” Continue reading