COVID-19 updates: ‘Broadening the criteria’ — Inslee briefed on testing, isolation, and tracing

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and response around the Seattle region, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

From the IDM analysis (PDF)

  • Testing, isolation, and tracing: Gov. Jay Inslee addressed the state Wednesday but held off on any announcement regarding Washington’s “stay home” order set to expire June 1st. The governor is slated for another session Thursday or Friday and said he was considering possibly “broadening the criteria” for moving to the next phase of reopening after a briefing this week with researchers from the Institute for Disease Modeling. King County would need to achieve an infection rate of 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period to meet the state’s planned thresholds for Phase 2 reopening. Earlier this week, CHS reported that King County’s number of new cases remains around 3x higher than the target. Continue reading

With ‘one-way foot traffic,’ Central District’s farmers market reopens for 2020 season

(Image: Madrona Farmers Market)

The Central District will have a new grocery store by mid-June. Its weekly farmers market reopened last week.

The Madrona Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Grocery Outlet at MLK and Union opened in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions last Friday with safety measures in place including one-way foot traffic and a request to, please, don’t touch the produce.

The weekly market will return this Friday 3 to 7 PM after a successful debut: Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Letter from a small business owner at 12th and Pike

From Jessica Trimble, owner Enchant Vertical Dance

To my fellow Capitol Hill residents,

No matter the situation, we are all struggling in these times. Many find themselves without work and struggling to pay their bills and even those with jobs are facing stress, anxiety and depression in these uncertain times.

We all hear it daily: small businesses are being hit the hardest by COVID-19, but what does that truly mean? Aren’t there grants, loans and assistance in place for small businesses? The short answer, no, there really aren’t, but let me fill you in on the long answer.

I own Enchant Vertical Dance, a contemporary pole dance studio on 12th and Pike. Enchant opened in December 2014 with a focus on combining classic dance technique with stunning pole tricks. We offer everything from beginner pole dance classes to Adult Ballet Fundamentals and pride ourselves in creating a supportive and inclusive community for anyone who wants to dance. Enchant has been very successful, expanding three times, twice within 2019 alone.

We saw our attendance start to drop in early February and received numerous emails from people asking to cancel or reschedule due to COVID-19. We closed our doors on March 15th per Governor Inslee’s shelter in place mandate. Continue reading

PCC grocery store, delayed by COVID-19 crisis, sets June opening date in Central District

(Image: PCC)

23rd and Union will have its new grocery store. After delays due to the coronavirus outbreak, PCC Community Markets says it will open June 17th in the Central District.

The Seattle-region cooperative chain also announced a new community partner for the soon to open store. “Like all PCC locations, the Central District store will serve more than just its members and shoppers. PCC is partnering with Byrd Barr Place, a beloved neighborhood institution, to address food and nutrition access needs in the community,” the announcement reads. “As the newest partner in PCC’s Food Bank Program, the Central District store will provide a range of quality groceries to support those who trust Byrd Barr Place to bring food to their tables.” Continue reading

Frank Chopp is ready to defend his 25-year ‘strong, progressive record’

Chopp began his first term in the state legislature in 1995

Frank Chopp, one of the longest serving members of the Washington State House of Representatives, officially filed for reelection of the 43rd district this week. Rep. Chopp, whose district includes Capitol Hill, Fremont, and Madison Park, has been serving since 1995 and was Speaker of the House for 20 years before stepping down last year.

“We have a more progressive legislature now than we had in the two previous ones, so a big part of my effort will be working on solving the budget dilemma,” Rep. Chopp tells CHS, “which is obviously caused in large part by the COVID virus.” Continue reading

21-story First Hill ‘Living Building’ up for design review

Seattle’s streamlined design review process seems destined to keep the city’s “stay home” population entertained. There is another comment deadline on a central city project up for administrative review this week.

Today is the final day for comment on the proposed 21-story, super-green “Living Building” apartment tower being planned for the corner of Madison and 9th where the Quarter LoungeGeorge’s Delicatessen, and the former home of Lotus Asian Kitchen stand.

CHS wrote about the project from developers Sustainable Living Innovations and architect CollinsWoerman last in February as it was geared up for a postponed design review. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Bossy — but not as fast as he used to be — Dash on 17th Ave

Dash and his pal Christopher were out walking their neighborhood along 17th Ave and Roy when CHS spotted them. Dash is ten, and maybe not as fast as he once was. But according to Christopher, he has found new ways to contribute. “He’s very bossy,” Christopher said.

Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.


Dear humans, it’s time to help shape the design of new housing across from Broadway Hill Park

“Dear humans, I’m sad to say this will be my last spring bloom with you all…” (Image: @maniftendst)

There is good reason for the City of Seattle’s streamlined design review process. And there is good reason for new housing across from rare Capitol Hill parkland. But it doesn’t make the scene passed by on so many COVID-19 walks at Federal and Republican any less melancholy. The little house and the blossoming tree are, indeed, enjoying their final season.

The proposed project by Mercer Island-based Sealevel Properties at 1013 E Republican will use the outbreak-streamlined administrative design review process and is part of a sudden, busy pulse of review activity across Capitol Hill. It’s time to add your comments before the proposal is assessed. Owing to coronavirus restrictions, the city has adjusted development regulations to cut out the in-person meeting with the design review board and allow developers to instead go through an administrative process with a public comment period. The comment period for the project opened with notices to neighbors two weeks ago. It closes May 26. Continue reading

No updates in case of teen gunned down on E Union in May 2019

A memorial for Royale Lexing after the teen was gunned down in an E Union shootout last May (Image: CHS)

A memorial for Royale Lexing after the teen was gunned down in an E Union shootout last May (Image: CHS)

In the Central District in May 2019, the community around 21st and Union mourned and worked to do more to stop street violence in the area after 19-year-old Royale Lexing was gunned down in a chaotic daytime shootout.

The investigation around the case remains unresolved a year later.

A Seattle Police Department spokesperson told CHS this week he was unable to provide updates in this week due to the “active and ongoing investigation.” Continue reading

COVID-19 updates: the ’10 new cases per 100,000 residents’ threshold, Seattle anti-Asian hate assaults, signs of Capitol Hill normalcy Vita edition

Caffe Vita is back (Image: Caffe Vita via Instagram)

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and response around the Seattle region, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • June 1 and Phase 2: Eager for a June move to Phase 2? To meet the “10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period” threshold set by the state of Washington for counties applying for early reopening, King County would have to keep its count ar around 224 new coronavirus cases in the 14 days leading up to June 1. Halfway through the two-week period, King County has already tallied 350 coronavirus cases. We’ll record about three times the threshold come June. The Seattle Times reports on the “stubbornly high rates of infection” and “uneven and local nature of the statewide epidemic” in a Memorial Day Weekend report on more counties considering the next phase of reopening. That case count threshold developed from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines might not hold, however. “The criterion recently used to allow additional counties to apply for a variance … will not necessarily be the criterion used to lift the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order,” Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said in a statement reported by the Times. “We are actively discussing what the criterion might be.” Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest “stay home” order expires June 1st. Continue reading