Seattle making plans to set a minimum rate for services like Uber, Lyft

Ride sharing has faced a few bumps in its approach to the rider-rich streets of Seattle

Having already led the way on the $15 minimum wage, Seattle is poised to set a minimum rate for car services like Uber and Lyft. The Seattle City Council approved Monday a resolution that will put City Hall on a crash course studying the so-called “transportation network companies” industry in an effort to better understand the possible impacts of forcing a minimum pay rate for drivers.

Monday’s resolution sets a proposed price point of $2.40 for a minimum base fare for TNC rides in Seattle — the companies currently charge a $1.35 minimum. Before Monday’s vote, Uber and Lyft drivers and customers spoke against regulation and what they said was union-driven interference in the industry. Council president Bruce Harrell went off script to forcefully deny that the Teamsters Union is driving Seattle’s effort. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Tool Library is open for lending

CapitolHillToolLibrary_0185-600x400It is that time of year to get out in the garden or finally build that thing you have thinking about, and Capitol Hill’s new tool share probably has something you can use to get it done.

After several years of planning, Sustainable Capitol Hill is holding a grand opening for the Capitol Hill Tool Library on Saturday from 12 PM – 4PM. Sustainable Capitol Hill president Gina Hicks summed up the purpose of the library rather succinctly: “Save the planet and the pocket book and create community.”

In an urban setting like Capitol Hill, many don’t have the space, money, or need to own a ladder or a set of big wrenches. That’s where the tool library comes in with more than 1,000 items now available for the public to borrow. Woodworking, maintenance, and garden tools make up the bulk of the inventory, but the library also has items like a dehydrator, a telescope, and an ice cream maker.CapitolHillToolLibrary_0228

The tool library is located on Crawford Pl. between Pike and Pine in the former temporary home of Red Label Moto. After a long search for a location, Sustainable Capitol Hill sealed a deal with the First Covenant Church last March to open in the Summit Building.

There are two primary ways to put the new community space to use. The first is to check out tools just like a book library: the service is free, you can check out items for a week before renewing, and you can easily setup an account online or at the tool library. You can search the inventory here.

The tool share also has a public work space where anyone can come in to work on a project with their own tools or something checked out from the library. The space has some woodworking tools, like a drill press, table saw, and radial arm saw available anytime the library is open. Plans are in the works to install a bike station. Sustainable Capitol Hill is also helping to organize classes and workshops in the space.

There is a $40 suggested annual donation to help Sustainable Capitol Hill pay rent on the space and keep the tools in good working order. Currently, the library will be open three days a week:

Saturday: 9 AM – 12 PM
Sunday: 4 PM – 7 PM
Wednesday: 6 PM – 9 PM

Saturday’s grand opening will give neighbors a chance to join up, tryout a few tools, and learn more about what the library has to offer through a library scavenger hunt. The tool library is always accepting donations (sorry, no take backs) and the criteria is fairly wide open: “Anything that reduces waste or things that you really only use a couple times a year,” Hicks said. You can find the tool library’s wish list here.

CHS previously reported on the group’s initial efforts to mimic tool shares in West Seattle and NE Seattle, which go back to at least 2012. In 2013 the group refocused with a plan to run the library from an empty shipping container. However, the retrofitted “tool shed” failed to get off the ground when the group struggled to find a location.

Now that the library is finally open, Hicks said Sustainable Capitol Hill is hoping to hire someone soon to staff the space. In the meantime, the group is looking for volunteers to add to the library’s workshop offerings. “We really want to be a place for people to gather to share skills,” she said.

For more information, visit

CHS Pics | In this time of sharing — and getting some work done — check out the Capitol Hill Tool Library


CapitolHillToolLibrary_0230Happy holiday. CHS is going to quiet down for a bit over Thanksgiving but we’re still around. Please feel free to ping us via email, @jseattle, or call/txt (206) 399-5959 if something comes up. Or if you just want to have a nice (brief :)) chat. We’re pretty much always working at least a little bit. Which means we’re pretty much also always on holiday — at least a little bit.

Speaking of bits, manual labor, and breaking news — fix it! — CHS stopped by the neighborhood’s very own Capitol Hill Tool Library last weekend to check out a work party to put the array of donated saws, hammers, wrenches, and more in order and prepare the new lending facility in the Summit Building at 420 E Pike.

The Sustainable Capitol Hill project is volunteer and donation driven:

Don’t know what a tool library is? Imagine borrowing a food dehydrator, a ladder, a fishing rod, much like you would borrow a book from SPL. Imagine learning how to fix your broken toaster, building a worm bin, preserving your summer bounty. Enjoy a local community of knowledgeable fixers, tool lending, and workshops at the new Capitol Hill Tool Library.

To join, you can donate equipment or your time or both. You can view a roster of available implements of construction here. Contact the group for the logistics of checkout. Ideas for what to build with all this DIY goodness? How about some “tiny houses?” Here are some more organizations and groups you can lend a hand to this winter.



With location secured, it’s time to start building the Capitol Hill Tool Library

(Image: Jeremy Hurd via Flickr)

(Image: Jeremy Hurd via Flickr)

There is gardening to be done and spring cleaning and repairs to take on. But in a dense, urban environment, you might not have room for a shovel or a saw or a set of giant wrenches. A project a few years in the making, the shared Capitol Hill Tool Library finally has a home. Now, Sustainable Capitol Hill says, it’s time to start building it:

We found a location! Thanks to the generosity of the First Covenant Church in providing a location, Sustainable Capitol Hill is proud to announce that the Tool Library is planning to open by early Fall of this year. It will be located at the Summit Building on 420 E. Pike St., with the entrance on Crawford Pl., between Pike St. and Pine St. We still have a lot of work to do, and volunteers are a key ingredient to bringing this all together. Join us for our Tool Library Building Meetings on the 3rd Tuesdays of the month. The next meeting will be on February 17. We will also be taking membership pledges, as well as donations, so if you’d like to join our community, let us know! Please drop us a line at and let us know you’d like to help!
Alternatively, you can RSVP and show up to our next steering committee meeting on March 17.

A peek inside the West Seattle library. Also check out Local Tools for a look at how tech can lend a hand.

A look at the Capitol Hill numbers from the first week of Seattle’s bike share

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Source: Pronto/Image: CHS

Some 500 rides per day were taken on Seattle’s new Pronto bike share with about 42% of those traveling around Capitol Hill in the system’s first week of operations, the nonprofit’s director Holly Houser tells CHS. CHS got a look at the data and found out where around Capitol Hill people rode the most in Week 1. We also took a tour of our own to visit each of the dozen new Pronto stations around Capitol Hill and First Hill.

One Capitol Hill station ranked among the top five busiest in the first week. Here are the city’s top 5 busiest Pronto stations: 3rd & Pike, Harrison & Broadway, Pier 69, REI Flagship Store, Occidental Park. The second most popular Hill station at 11th and Pine near Cal Anderson Park came in 6th. Continue reading

Speaking of sharing, Ada’s new coworking space is open on 15th Ave E


David and Danielle Hulton doing a little coworking at The Office (Image: CHS)

David and Danielle Hulton doing a little coworking at The Office (Image: CHS)

You can now cowork on 15th Ave E. Ada’s Technical Books has debuted its new “upstairs” coworking space The Office just a few weeks from the one year anniversary of the opening its new Hilltop location.

Resident in the “modern wing” addition to the old house and bookstore rebuilt as Ada’s store and cafe, The Office offers monthly memberships and daily desk space. For now, the $375/month memberships are sold out. Daily desk access at $20 per drop-in is available every day from 8 AM to 10 PM. You’ll get a sweet fat pipe full of internet, a complimentary beverage from the cafe, and all the benefits of coworking like having people around to judge your use of time or for asking what’s a better word for “leverage.” To get your spot, sign up at the cafe’s front counter.

Ada’s, by the way, is a CHS advertiser.

The Office joins a solid foundation of mobile office culture across Capitol Hill starting with its numerous coffee shops and including a few hundred members at dedicated concerns Office Nomads, The Mill, and Agnes Underground. In 2012, Boylston Ave’s Office Nomads doubled in space. Next to join the flock will be more office space from developer Liz Dunn inside her soon-to-open Chophouse Row development on 11th Ave.

The Office is located above Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe at 425 15th Ave E. You can learn more at