How a Capitol Hill swastika was painted over: ‘LOVE WINS’

In the wake of terribleness following the election victory of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, a swastika appeared on a utility pole at Mercer and Belmont. One may have appeared there before but, before Election Night 2016, we had never seen that symbol, that bold.

“This is a historic LGBTQ neighborhood in Seattle,” a Capitol Hill resident who recorded the scene said, according to the Stranger. “Overnight, a swastika has appeared on a light pole… the after effects of Trump are real.” The Stranger reports a local business owner quickly painted over the hate symbol “so people in the neighborhood didn’t have to see it.”

Instead, they saw something else. Neighbor Roy sent CHS the pictures at the top of this post showing “the quick and awesome response by the community.” Continue reading

What happened to Capitol Hill ‘conspirators’ in the FBI’s 2010 Russian spy case

The story is something out of a Cold War thriller, with a Capitol Hill twist. Buried cash, “deep cover” spying, “brush passes” at train stations to exchange bags of money, all ending with a U.S.-Russia spy swap on a Vienna airport runway.

Russian intelligence called it the “Illegals program” — an ambitious multiyear spy operation carried out by at least 11 deep cover Russian agents in the U.S. that all came crashing down five years ago this summer. Two of those spies, a married couple with children, lived in Seattle as early as 2004 and left in 2009.

They lived on Capitol Hill.

Known in the U.S. as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, the couple lived relatively quiet lives. He purported to be from Yonkers, New York while she claimed to be Canadian. Their spycraft never drew any suspicion from neighbors or their landlord at 424 Belmont Ave E.

In 2010, after the couple had moved to Virginia, they were arrested as part of a major FBI surveillance investigation into the Russian spy ring. It wasn’t until then that the true identities of Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva were revealed. FBI agents called them the “Seattle conspirators.” Continue reading