Guilty verdict in cop killing of George Floyd that sparked Seattle’s year of Black Lives Matter protest and CHOP

A Seattle protester holds a portrait of George Floyd in the days following his May 25th, 2020 killing

E Pine’s BLM mural Tuesday afternoon (Image: CHS)

The demands for justice that sparked a year of protests across the country including the formation of CHOP and clashes with Seattle Police here on Capitol Hill are still far from being met but the cop who killed George Floyd has been convicted of murder.

A jury of his peers Tuesday convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter for killing the 46-year-old Floyd last May, a police killing that set off a wave of protests that have continued into 2021.

The verdict marks an unusual conviction in the prosecution of law enforcement personnel and a victory for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison who said Tuesday that much more beyond the Floyd case still must change to address inequity in the justice system. “This has to end,” Ellison said of deadly police violence. “We need true justice. That’s not one case. That’s social transformation that says no one is beneath the law and no one is above it.” Continue reading

Arson fire singes Capitol Hill apartment building under construction

(Image: Renee Raketty)

Seattle Police are investigating after a fire was intentionally set inside a four-story apartment building under construction near 10th and Roy Monday night.

Seattle Fire says its investigators ruled the just before 10:30 PM fire incendiary and say it was set intentionally in the interior of the building under construction just north of where Broadway jogs to become 10th Ave E.

SFD was able to knock down the flames but not before an estimated $4,000 in damage to the structure. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Scaffolding covers Cal Anderson’s Waterworks, a symbol of what lurks below

Work began this weekend to restore the Waterworks fountain in Cal Anderson, leaving the crumbling stone and cement structure covered in scaffolding, plywood, and tarps.

While the city enjoyed a bout of Seattle hot temperatures in the 70s, the fountain continued its long dry spell as contractors began the process of pulling the surface of the sculpture apart piece by piece to strengthen the structure, figure out what is wrong in the inner workings of the fountain, and, hopefully, get the whole thing pumping again. Continue reading

‘Social cohesion,’ Seattle Police legitimacy top Capitol Hill, Central District concerns in crime survey

Lack of police capacity, property crime, and homelessness are Seattleites’ top safety concerns, according to a new report, below, by Seattle University researchers. Meanwhile, in the East Precinct covering Capitol Hill and the Central District, fear of crime remained low while concerns about “social cohesion” and the legitimacy of the Seattle Police Department spiked.

The annual survey, released this month by the university’s criminal justice department, includes input from over 11,000 Seattle residents and gives a snapshot of what continues to worry them after a tumultuous 2020 that saw policing and racial justice at the top of the agenda locally and nationally. It also gives an idea of how residents of various neighborhoods feel about issues of public safety in their communities.

“Understanding the public-safety concerns of Seattleites is an important part of the ongoing discussion about the best path forward to support communities of color and to produce equitable outcomes for those who encounter the criminal justice system,” Seattle University researchers wrote in a November op-ed in the Seattle Times promoting the survey.

For example, in Capitol Hill, homelessness trumps police capacity — which includes worries about delays in police response and a lack of law enforcement personnel — followed by property crime. Continue reading

Sawant proposal would prohibit student family and teacher evictions during school year

Flanked by the director of the Seattle school board, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant unveiled legislation Monday that she says would prohibit evictions of school children, their families, and educators during the school year.

““When landlords evict families with school-aged children, especially during the school year, the eviction has a devastating impact on the children’s academic achievement, health, and development. The vast majority of evicted schoolchildren have to change schools, abruptly leaving behind their friends, teachers they know and trust, and their social supports,” Sawant said. Continue reading

Everyday Music will close on Capitol Hill in May — But Almost Everyday Music could live on in Lower Queen Anne

The music heroes of the story (Image: Almost Everyday Music)

You have even less time than you thought to enjoy Capitol Hill’s Everyday Music but the heart and soul of the CD and record shop might live on in Lower Queen Anne.

In February, CHS reported the sad news that the 10th Ave location of the Portland-based tiny chain of stores would close by June as challenges of COVID-19 coincided with founder Scott Kuzma’s hopes to downsize his business. We now have a date for the last planned day of business: May 16th.

But before one of the last record stores on Capitol Hill shutters, two of the store’s vital music experts are hoping to pick up the mantle and are beginning a $25,000 fundraiser to back the Almost Everyday Music venture to create a new shop in Seattle: Continue reading

Police search for suspect after arson fire damages emptied First Hill restaurant

(Image: @gordonwerner)

A recently vacated First Hill restaurant suffered an estimated $21,000 in damage after a man suspected of another recent fire was seen breaking the building’s glass and setting it on fire late Friday night.

Seattle Police say they are continuing to search for the arson suspect they believe was contacted earlier by officers for an unrelated reckless burn.

Friday night’s just before 10 PM fire burned the front area of the restaurant space previously home to Little Neon Taco on Boren just off E Madison. Seattle Fire says investigators determined the fire was intentionally set and ruled it “incendiary.” Damage included combustibles in the front window space of the restaurant. Continue reading

CHS Pics | What it looked like when the farmers market moved into its new Capitol Hill Station home

After 11 years and one pandemic, the Capitol Hill Farmers Market debuted Sunday in its new forever home on Broadway amid the Capitol Hill Station plaza, the city’s converted “festival street” that runs through it, artwork of the under construction AIDS Memorial Pathway, hundreds of new market rate apartments, more than 100 new affordable apartments, and thousands of square feet of new retail, grocery, and restaurant space hoped to be full of activity over the summer.

That bounty of change was greeted by a Seattle spring day imitating August with sunny blue skies. Here’s what it looked like.

CHS reported here on the new home and new layout for the weekly market bringing fresh fruits and vegetables, and vendor creations to the neighborhood. For now, the market will continue with its every Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM schedule but the future could bring expanded days and hours. The market is currently operating under pandemic restrictions with about half as many vendors as will eventually fill the space. Continue reading

A growing Seattle Central talks near-term changes to improve its streetscape, plans for new Broadway tech building, and student housing to replace its E Pine parking garage

The proposed Information Technology Education Center could eventually be part of the growing campus along Broadway

Coming decades will bring big changes to Seattle Central College with plans for several new developments currently being proposed.

The school plans to build a six-story Information Technology Education Center on Broadway with nearly 200 underground parking spots next to the Capitol Hill light rail station on Sound Transit property. The space, divided between classrooms, laboratories, and other student uses as well as office space, would be funded by the college from sources outside the state, architect Stephen Starling said in a meeting last week with the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council.

On the site of the massive, 510-stall E Pine and Harvard parking garage, there would be over 500 beds of student housing. That existing garage would be demolished and rebuilt with about 260 parking spots, which would include charging stations for electric bikes and cars, and the housing built above. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | How to be part of the City Nature Challenge on Capitol Hill

(Image: iNaturalist)

Spring is a time of wakefulness. A time to pull out of our winter funk, poised for the leaves and blooms bursting forth, pollinators and migrants winging back. Spring is the watchful season too.

Instead of anxiously staring at the vegetable starts on your windowsill, direct that nervous energy towards an upcoming opportunity to help monitor your local ecosystem. The City Nature Challenge calls for us to engage in the spirit of “nature, everywhere.”

Beginning in 2016 as a competition between San Francisco and Los Angeles aiming to engage community members in documenting as much urban wildlife as possible, the Challenge has become an international affair. In 2020, 244 cities across the globe participated and over 32,000 species were documented with 1300 of those being rare or threatened. The Challenge concept is simple: during specific dates, get outside and document nature with nothing more than a smartphone and curiosity. Continue reading