Pikes/Pines | Behold a Hill of Himalayan Blackberry, seeded by many experiences good and bad

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Growing up in Seattle, summers meant good things: weather warm enough for swimming, time to poke about on foot, and blackberries by the handful.

I gorged on the fruit wherever I wandered. There was never any worry I wouldn’t find them either, because Rubus armeniacus, the Himalayan Blackberry, was everywhere.

Those of us on the Hill who spare thought for plants likely have a complicated relationship with blackberries. As a former arborist, I can say they make working in overgrown areas of the Greater Duwamish hellish. As a gardener, there are few more unwelcome guests. As a human who doesn’t appreciate their skin being perforated and cares deeply for native flora and fauna, I’m increasingly less of a fan. And yet, I love their berries and I frequently have my eye on arcing, sundrenched patches both for birds and fruit.

But let’s back up a moment for the folks that are new to the area or have never considered this: Himalayan (also known as Armenian) Blackberries are an introduced species native to Armenia and Northern Iran. They were brought here for their heavy production of large, delicious berries that spill from hardy, fast growing stalks. Give them a moment anywhere on the Hill and they will take over. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | ‘Last call’ shootings, Bernie Sanders at the Comet, pedestrian only E Pike

Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:



Capitol Hill Housing unveils plans for eight-story ‘LGBTQ-Affirming Affordable Senior Housing’ development on Broadway

Remember the Capitol Hill deli+speakeasy financial mess? Sibling fashion boutique Estate now shuttered over unpaid rent

Continue reading

11th and Pine had a communal piano for a week — Now it’s gone

As the City of Seattle looks to permanently incorporate some of the art and energy of CHOP in Cal Anderson, one element that appeared in the area after the protest camp faded has gone missing: a communal piano.

The piano, situated in front of the southeast entrance of Bobby Morris Playfield, was reportedly purchased for $22 from 11th and Pike’s Out of the Closet thrift store and then placed on the street corner for public use, according to local resident Teri McClain who first came across it on July 30.

“I bought a piano for the city and someone FIXED IT! A full 88 keys functioning on 11th and Pine,” the reported “owner” of the large musical instrument known as Sundae tweeted.

McClain told CHS she thinks the piano was a positive asset to the community, allowing her to connect with strangers and support them with pizza and chocolate as they played.  Continue reading

‘KILLER COP’ — Why they busted into Rove

Groups smashed and burned their way across Capitol Hill in a night of protest late on a Wednesday two weeks ago. It wasn’t a new scene — Capitol Hill has seen “direct action” protests before. But as larger marches and rallies have stepped off on an expanded effort to reach more communities and different parts of the city, groups seeking to make a more forceful statement or simply looking to do more damage have increasingly marched alone across Capitol Hill and the Central District.

That night in late July, the damage to buildings and businesses by some in the groups may have looked like random vandalism and graffiti. But it was targeted. And the owner of one of those targets says the message from her shop’s goods being dragged into the street and set on fire has been delivered loud and clear. It is time for Rove to leave the neighborhood.

“It went viral which I was kind of expecting,” Rachel McNew said of the weeks she spent waiting for the threats to come to fruition as the story spread of a store on the edge of the CHOP protest zone owned by a cop’s wife.

“It got real real ugly, real real quick.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Public Art in Progress for Miller Community Center

From Miller CC Art Project

The design process is underway for a new interior artwork at the Miller Community Center. Seattle City Light, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Arts & Culture have commissioned the artwork as part of a larger project to install a power-generating solar microgrid at the Center.

Public Art in Progress for Miller Community Center

This art project aims to involve and reflect as many of Miller Community Center’s patrons as possible. Lead artist Julia Harrison invites the public to participate in the design process in these ways:
SURVEY: Visit the project webpage to respond to a short survey: http://www.juliaharrison.net/miller-community-center.html

Continue reading

RIP Nate’s and its family of good eats at 13th and Jeff

Nate’s in happier times

Nate’s Wings & Waffles, Happy Grillmore, and the Central District Ice Cream Company — a trio of joints co-owned by Darren McGill that made 13th and Jefferson a busy spot for soul food and good eating — are permanently closing up shop as the COVID-19 crisis drags on, adding to the list of Capitol Hill and Central District businesses unable to recover amid the pandemic.

When the coronavirus hit and companies like Amazon and Redfin pulled out of office catering orders, the 13th and Jefferson sister restaurants could no longer stay afloat.

“it was like one thing after another,” McGill said. “It wasn’t just because of COVID — that was the main underlying cause but rent increase, food cost increase, everything was going up and then this happened and it was like the last straw.” Continue reading

In effort to ‘memorialize CHOP’ and improve Cal Anderson, community talks gardens, art, and lighting

(Image: CHS)

Following the central role Cal Anderson Park played in this summer’s Capitol Hill protest zone, Seattle Parks and Recreation is working with design firms to make some long term changes to the park — changes that could include a permanent home for protest art, a community garden program and a revival of CHOP’s “Conversation Cafe” in some form.

Wednesday night marked the first of a series of public meetings held by Seattle Parks in concert with DLR Group and HBB Landscape Architecture to narrow down how the park will change.

“The protests of the past couple months have required that we begin a conversation about how Cal Anderson can better service the community and more firmly speak to our values,” Andy Sheffer of Seattle Parks said at the zoom meeting. “The 2020 Cal Anderson project is about receiving ideas, developing ideas and piloting ideas for new programming elements.”

A second, daytime session is planned for Thursday starting at noon.

The project has a three part process with public meetings and surveys intermixed. While the first and current step is about “setting the stage and collecting ideas” according to Sheffer, September’s part two will focus on testing ‘the viability of ideas based on site constraints, opportunities and interests,” and October’s part three will revolve around “potential implementation of pilot projects and long term strategy around bigger action items.” Sheffer says Seattle Parks plans on designing and rolling out these pilot projects in late October or November.

In the hours after the July 1st police raid and sweep that cleared the protest camp and the area around the East Precinct, Mayor Jenny Durkan said she intended to “memorialize” CHOP with art and permanent features in Cal Anderson.

Although the City of Seattle is facing a $300 million budget deficit this year likely to continue into 2021 and the budgeting process for this project has yet to begin, Seattle Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin told CHS that Seattle Parks is “committed to making it work.”

Seattle Parks and the design consultants put forth three initiatives up for preliminary live polling at the meeting: a gardening program in line with the Black Star Farmers garden plots, retaining CHOP artwork, and forming a “conversation corner” reminiscent of CHOP’s “conversation cafe.”

Other things CHS heard at the meeting: Continue reading

Murder charge filed in killing of 19-year-old at CHOP as search for suspect continues

The King County Prosecutor has filed murder charges in the June 20th shooting of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson on the edge of CHOP as a search for the suspected killer continues.

Prosecutors say 18-year-old Marcel Long shot and killed Anderson at 10th and Pine in a fracas after what witnesses said was a night of gambling and fireworks on the edge of the CHOP protest camp.

Continue reading

‘It was a realization that we had an opportunity’ — After months of protest, Seattle’s moment to defund its police force is here — UPDATE: 43%

A massive march continued the call to defund Seattle Police Wednesday

UPDATE 8/6/2020 8:30 AM: The City Council’s budget committee Wednesday set the groundwork for a near halving of what Seattle spends on policing with a plan for layoffs, cuts, and new approaches to be implemented in the coming weeks and months.

“We’ve outlined and identified possible transfers, cuts and reductions in the fall budget to get to a 43% cut to SPD,” public safety and human services chair Tammy Morales said following Wednesday’s budget committee votes. “We look forward to working with community in the upcoming weeks to get us to the guiding principle of defunding SPD by 50% and reinvesting in community.”

As the council committee deliberated Wednesday, thousands marched from the King County youth jail and justice facility on 12th Ave to City Hall in a show of support for the defunding effort. Organizers of the Every Day March vowed Wednesday to continue their efforts to protest and rally in the streets.

With the time needed to meet requirements around most of the planned layoffs, actual savings to the city this year will be minimal. But other pushes forward to reducing the city’s dependence on police will move more quickly. The plan calls for moving around $14 million in early funding to begin building the network of city and nonprofit resources required to move forward on social and community programs hoped to provide non-police solutions. Continue reading

August Primary results: Lascelles will face Chopp in race for 43rd

(Image: Sherae for State)

Sherae Lascelles, an activist who put aside more traditional campaigning efforts to focus on their work with Decriminalize Seattle and securing emergency housing for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis will take on incumbent Rep. Frank Chopp in the race to represent Capitol Hill and the rest of the 43rd District in Olympia.

That result was one of the few unknowns sorted out in the first ballot counts in Washington’s August Primary Tuesday night. Now, we also know which Republican will take on incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee in November. Continue reading