Seattle will spend $2M through end of 2020 on team to provide homelessness outreach services — without police

(Image: CHS)

The Seattle City Council Monday voted 7 to 1 to spend more than $2 million through the end of 2020 on a homelessness outreach effort to replace the scuttled Navigation Team program.

The spending will fund an eight person team providing behavioral health services, case management, and assistance to help campers and those living outside find shelter — housing navigation services. But it won’t include police.

“There were folks in public comment who were stating their frustration about the city, having been bogged down and really important disagreements about the future direction of what our homelessness response is going to look like,” Andrew Lewis, chair of the council’s committee on homelessness and the bill’s sponsor said about the vote. “And this is the first step to all of us realizing our common interest in this and moving forward in a way that can hopefully finally bridge the divide and get people to the really critical resources that they need and that this council has appropriated money to address.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary joins network of school clinics working to keep families healthy

The school-based health center at Rainier Beach High School (Image: Public Health)

With reporting by Jake Goldstein-Street

Though Seattle’s public schools will continue to focus on online education through at least January, many campuses are open to provide in-person health-care services. Thanks to a new partnership, two new school health centers are opening this fall in the Central District and on Capitol Hill.

The Seattle School Board approved $315,000 in funding earlier this month for a new school-based health center at Lowell Elementary in Capitol Hill aimed at providing quality care to the school’s population that is disproportionately made up of homeless and low-income students.

The project, a partnership between the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Country Doctor Community Health Center, with a total cost of about $615,000, is also being funded through a $300,000 “Distressed Schools Grant” from the state awarded earlier this year.

The money is being tapped from a nearly $700 million capital levy passed by over 70% of Seattle voters in 2013.

“I just want to say how excited I am to finally see this come forward, we’ve certainly been talking about it in community for a long time,” board President Zachary DeWolf, whose district includes the school, said about the plan as it was brought before the board last month. Continue reading

Business and community group letter: ‘Spiraling public health and public safety crisis’ in Cal Anderson and Seattle’s parks

Cal Anderson still closed

A group led by the Downtown Seattle Association and including representatives from business and community groups across the city has joined the call for repairing Cal Anderson and a roster of Seattle public parks they say are “experiencing a spiraling public health and public safety crisis.”

In a letter sent to Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials and shared with media Monday, the DSA and the roster of groups including the Alliance for Pioneer Square, Visit Seattle, and the West Seattle Junction Association joined with Hill-area organizations Seattle Central College, Freeway Park Association, and the 15th Ave E Merchants in calling for the creation of an “interagency team” and “an immediate action plan” to address disrepair and encampments in the parks. Continue reading

Latest batch of Office of Police Accountability findings includes dismissed East Precinct biased policing complaint

The process continues to play out for the Office of Police Accountability to make its way through thousands of complaints against the Seattle Police Department after months of protests and demonstrations in the city. The OPA last week released a second batch of decisions in protest-related cases including findings of police misconduct. The findings also illustrate the value of body worn video in monitoring police conduct.

Seattle City Council Insight examined the latest reports including one sustained finding that officer use of force in a June 7th protest was “reasonable and necessary, but it was not proportional given that the demonstrator was not physically resisting and was not a physical threat.” Continue reading

Seattle Central will make new home for Intiman Theater on Capitol Hill — and new opportunities for diverse crews to work behind the scenes

(Image: Broadway Performance Hall)

Someday, actors will again put Seattle Central’s Capitol Hill theater spaces back to work. When the lights come up, the spotlight will fall on a new partnership for the Broadway school that will shine light on social justice — and equity in the vital theater roles behind the scenes.

Last week, the college announced it is making a new home for longtime Seattle arts group the Intiman Theater that will create a new associate degree program emphasis in Technical Theatre for Social Justice at the school — and help to provide training and roles for diverse designers, lighting techs, and theater crews.

“We look forward to working with Intiman to provide students with a pathway into the world of technical theater. This partnership is a vivid model of how to better serve our students and how to close the opportunity gaps in our community,” college president Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange said in a statement. Continue reading

Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Retail Therapy makes it safe and easy for customers to enjoy shopping for creations from independent artists

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is an occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Gabrielle Locke

“We are riding the rollercoaster, like everyone else,” Wazhma Samizay said.

Samizay opened Retail Therapy nearly 18 years ago after traveling through Europe, “At the time, Seattle didn’t have many shops with a mix of art and goods. I wanted to do something like that here, to have a way for artists to show their work, and that’s how I did it. I just came back and took a leap of faith.”

The small E Pike shop specializes in gifts, clothing apparel, jewelry, and, cards all created by independent artists.

“Retail therapy is all about making people feel good. If you buy something from me, I want it to be something that you’ve worn and worn, and you have the stories to match it. It’s not necessarily about the thing; it’s really about you” Samizay said. Continue reading

Seattle University announces Peñalver as next president, taking over for ‘Father Steve’

Peñalver (Image: Seattle University)

Eduardo Peñalver, currently the dean of Cornell Law School and a Puyallup native, will return to the Pacific Northwest to replace Father Stephen Sundborg as president at Seattle University, the private Jesuit school serving around 7,000 students from its campus on the south end of Capitol Hill.

Peñalver will become the university’s 22nd president, its first Latino president, and the first layperson to take the helm since Seattle University was founded in 1891, the school said.

“I am so grateful to join Seattle University, excited about its future and looking forward to working with all of the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Seattle University to bring that future into being,” Peñalver said in the school’s announcement. “It is an honor to follow Father Steve, who has expertly steered the university these past two-plus decades and for the opportunity to build upon the solid foundation he has laid.” Continue reading

911 | Life in Mars suffers break-in as Capitol Hill burglaries surge

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

East Precinct reported burglaries

  • 2020 East Precinct burglaries have been spread across the area but the SPD beat covering central Pike/Pine and Broadway to I-5 has been the center of break-in activity

    Life on Mars burglary — While overall crime has actually dropped across Capitol Hill through the COVID-19 shutdowns and summer’s CHOP protests, one category of criminal behavior has surged throughout 2020 starting well before the pandemic and ongoing social unrest. With more than 1,300 reported break-ins across the East Precinct, the area has already reported more burglaries in 2020 than it did in all of 2019. One of the latest targets was Pike/Pine bar Life on Mars which suffered a costly break-in early Tuesday morning. “Got word our bar was broken into. They took an electric saw to our lockbox outside for 10 min. 5am. No one noticed,” co-owner and KEXP DJ John Richards wrote. “Then walked in. Trashed the bar and went to town on our audio equipment that we spent a lot of time, love and $ on. Spirit is finally broken. I hate Tuesdays.” According to Richards, the burglary could have been worse but the bar, like many reopened venues, has gone cash only as food and drink businesses struggle to cobble together takeout and delivery programs to help cover expenses. Richards also posted a short clip of the security video with some humorous play by play of the burglar in action. There have been no arrests. SPD is investigating. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Help guide the future of Terry Avenue

From the First Hill Improvement Association

Join the First Hill Improvement Association and your neighbors online via Zoom tonight (Tuesday, October 20th) at 6PM for the second community visioning event to share ideas and priorities for the future of our neighborhood greenway. The meeting link is:
Continue reading

You can try on history again as Seattle cap and jersey maker Ebbets Field Flannels teams up with Throwbacks Northwest at Capitol Hill vintage shop

(Image: Throwbacks Northwest)

Tuesday night brings the first pitch of the 2020 World Series which pits the storied franchise of the Los Angeles Dodgers dating back to their roots in 1883 Brooklyn against the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that traces its history all the way back to… 1998. For baseball lovers, it will be a moment of nostalgia worth celebrating. Back in March as Spring Training came to an abrupt end, it seemed possible there wouldn’t even be a 2020 season.

In that spirit, there’s a new team in Pike/Pine pairing up and hoping to rise amid the ongoing pandemic. Capitol Hill vintage retailer Throwbacks Northwest has welcomed Seattle’s Ebbets Field Flannels to join its retail mix on E Pike. Continue reading