Three arrests as protest marches on Capitol Hill for ‘essential workers’

Protests in the street on E Olive Way (Image: SDOT)

A Black Lives Matter march for essential workers part of “Black Friday” protests across Seattle ended with arrests Friday night at Denny and E Olive Way on Capitol Hill.

A group marching through the neighborhood was reported blocking traffic and had been given dispersal orders, Seattle Police said. Continue reading

Another 2020 holiday bummer: Capitol Hill Christmas trees will be a little harder to come by

It brings CHS no joy to deliver such Grinch-y news.

In 2020, it’s better if you keep your Thanksgiving feasts small and socially distanced.

And it’s not going to be easy to find a Capitol Hill Christmas tree.

Stevens Elementary, site of one of the neighborhood’s big annual holiday tree sales, has announced what you probably might have expected — there will be no trees at the North Capitol Hill school this year: Continue reading

A ‘Capitol Hill Cooks’ classic recipe post with Thanksgiving inspiration from 12th and Madison to 15th Ave E

Thanks so much to Em for so many great ideas… and pie

Distanced from friends and loved ones, you might consider channeling your love directly into your belly this Thanksgiving. For those who decide to cook on their own, there are sure to be a few experiments and new skills developed as neighborhood chefs try to spread their turkey wings to achieve full feast menus including maybe taking on some of those classics usually left to mashed potato expert friends and cranberry dressing connoisseur family members.

The CHS archives might help broaden your offerings a little. Our Capitol Hill Cooks series from a few years back now qualifies as “classic” CHS content. Below, we’ve selected a few Thanksgiving 2020-appropriate highlights and a helping or two of nostalgia for the Capitol Hill and Central District kitchens of the early 2010s.

Have a favorite recipe to share? Let us know in the comments.

Capitol Hill Cooks Thanksgiving Cookbook

  • Sweet Potato Pie inspired by 12th and Madison: This pie makes sweet potato and marshmallow magic; you fold mini marshmallows into the sweet potato filling and they disappear, leaving a sweet and fluffy pie with little hint of the marshmallow secret.Sweet Potato Pie
    Adapted from Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes, by Dani Cone
    Pie crust, homemade or store bought (here’s my favorite), including extra dough for turnovers or muffin-pan minis
    4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
    1 c. milk
    ¾ c. brown sugar
    3 eggs, lightly beaten, plus one more if you’re making turnovers
    1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    2 Tbsp. melted butter
    1 Tbsp. cinnamon
    ½ tsp. ground allspice
    1 tsp. salt
    5 c. mini marshmallowsPreheat oven to 375. If you are making turnovers, lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Continue reading

Washington rolls out $135M relief package to help state through latest lockdown

A new aid package to help businesses and residents get through the state’s COVID-19 restrictions will total $135 million, Gov. Jay Inslee has announced.

The new aid comes as Washington has entered a new lockdown phase some 250 days after the start of the first restrictions in March. Officials hope the speed of the spread of the virus will slow to a point that the lockdown can be lifted by mid-December.

Inslee said the state is also considering ways to ease the burden from an expected increase in taxes on businesses to replenish the state’s unemployment-benefits fund, a possible “hundreds of millions of dollars” in relief to state businesses, the Seattle Times reports.

The state says the new funding breaks out across small business support, loans, and rental assistance

  • $70 million in business support grants. 
  • $30 million for the recovery loan program.
  • $20 million for rental assistance.
  • $15 million for energy bills for low-income households

State relief also includes a moratorium on commercial and residential evictions through at least the end of the year.

The City of Seattle has compiled information about available relief programs at seattle.gov/mayor/covid-19

Seattle’s Equitable Development fund awards COVID-19 grants

The City of Seattle has announced $1.77 million in additional grants from its Equitable Development Initiative Fund for “community organizations for projects and programs that respond to displacement pressures.” The new awards are earmarked for “groups that are supporting communities of color and small businesses responding to the devastating economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic,” the city says.

The money will be spread across 36 different organizations. The full list is below.

The fund began its awards in 2018. The COVID-19 funding joins what the city says is about $6 million in boosts that will put three Central District-area properties into community ownership awarded as part of the EDIF’s annual process. Continue reading

Roger Winters, who gave keynote at first Seattle Pride, remembered for lifetime of LGBTQIA civil rights work

By Renee Raketty

Seattle mourned the passing of Roger Winters, an early pioneer in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. He passed away this week in his Shoreline home after suffering a recent bout of pneumonia. The former Capitol Hill resident and property owner was 75 years old.

“The Seattle community — and the world at large — lost a true champion for gay rights with his passing,” said Krystal Marx, Executive Director of Seattle Pride. “Roger’s decades of advocacy and political savvy helped to propel LGBTQIA+ rights forward in a way we would not have had without his involvement.”

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan agreed. In a written statement to CHS, she spoke of his relentless efforts to obtain equality for the LGBTQIA+ community. “Roger Winters worked for decades to ensure the dignity, rights and true equality for LGBTQ individuals. His voice and personal courage were unflagging over the almost 30 years that it took for LGBTQ people to get civil rights legislation,” said Durkan. “In the last four years, we have seen that these rights are far from guaranteed. This administration has directly targeted the transgender community and critical LGBTQ protections. In just the last few weeks, a U. S. Supreme Court Justice stated that hard fought wins for LGBTQ equality should be rolled back, and that some discrimination against LGBTQ individuals is a constitutional right. To honor the memory of Roger Winters and all of the other LGBTQ leaders we have lost this year, we must continue to fight.”

Susan Priebe, who met Winters in 2002 and became close friends, spoke with me to discuss Winters’ passing. She has agreed to handle his affairs on behalf of his family.

“Roger was deeply intellectual and also a fun-loving character — going from a profound philosophical statement one minute, to singing a ditty from a 50’s sitcom the next. He was a very loving and caring person, spending hours upon hours of personal time on issues and projects to improve everyone’s lives,” she said. “Roger was an insanely involved person, politically astute, a creative soul, and a very devout atheist… In the LGBT arena alone, Roger was involved with many groups from 1977 through the rest of his life.”

“Roger was a go-to leader and pioneer who helped pave the way for LGBTQ equality,” former Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said.

Winters grew up in a conservative Christian household in Indianapolis and spent time on farms during his youth. He attended Indiana University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. He went on to attend Harvard University on a fellowship where he became a Senior Tutor at Dudley House on campus and, later, graduated with honors in Political Science. He became an intern for Senator Birch E. Bayh, Jr., a Democrat from Indiana. In 1972, he joined the faculty of Central Washington University, where he was a Assistant Professor of Political Science. It was here, when he became involved in Seattle politics. He traveled from Kittitas County, where CWU is located, to attend board meetings of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington in Seattle.

“We white boys started out conservative because we were invisible enough to pass in a gay-unfriendly world,” Winters wrote to me in a text on March 23, 2019, while discussing his upbringing and personal growth. “Those of us who got active recognized that other people who couldn’t or wouldn’t pass were really needing the legal protection and anti-discrimination [law] we were after but we didn’t understand their point of view. We embraced diversity and sought to be inclusive.”

Continue reading

Busy times for Central District food+drink: Communion announces opening date, Cortona to give way to Melo Cafe, plus Temple Pastries and Alexandra’s Macarons now open

Communion’s buildout in progress from this summer at 24th and Union (Image: Communion)

For all the changes in Capitol HIll’s higher profile venues through the COVID-19 crisis, the food and drink community of the Central District has also been busy with a mix of new additions and a couple sad goodbyes. And there is more to come including one of Seattle’s most highly anticipated new restaurant openings.

  • Communion: Plans for a summer opening are long gone thanks to the challenges of the pandemic and opening your own small business but Kristi Brown’s highly anticipated restaurant Communion is ready to debut at 24th and Union. Service will begin under the state’s stepped-up restrictions but the bar and restaurant in the equitably developed, affordable housing project The Liberty Bank Building will be ready when the prohibition on indoor dining is lifted. In the meantime, Communion’s menu honed from Brown’s decades of “Seattle soul” cooking will be available fpr delivery and takeout. “I would say that it really describes my journey being from Kansas City and living in Seattle and all the different neighborhoods that I’ve lived in,” Brown told CHS about her creations earlier this year. “I just take a little bit of all of those things and merge them together.” A bar from Brown’s son Damon Bomar is also part of the appeal. Opening details are coming soon with a first day of official business planned for Saturday, November 28th. You can check out @CommunionSeattle to learn more. Continue reading

City’s Shop Your Block map joins Shop the Hill effort in helping to get the word out about neighborhood small businesses

The City of Seattle has rolled out a new map to help you connect with Capitol Hill retailers. Meanwhile, you’ll see new Shop the Hill posters around the neighborhood.

Shop the Hill, the long running effort from CHS, is partnering again with the Capitol Hill Business Alliance for the free service to help promote local retailers and small businesses and share updates on promotions, deals, and holiday offerings. Participating merchants and venues are complying with COVID-19 safety measures and many offer online ordering and curb pick-up. Check it out at capitolhillseattle.com/shopthehill/

City Hall is also hoping to help boost local shopping with its new Shop Your Block map effort:

The map allows users to find small retailers near them to support this holiday season! You can filter by business name, neighborhood, and by key words like ‘toys’ or ‘pet store. The map will also display operation days and hours per business, identify if a business is open for in person shopping, online shopping, curbside pickup, or appointment only. Businesses are able to display if they are BIPOC, Woman, LGBTQ+ or Veteran owned. Business owners can add themselves to the map by completing a short questionnaire here.

CHS reported here on the new statewide COVID-19 rules that have added new restrictions and reduced capacities for businesses to help slow the spread of the virus as numbers continue to surge. For Capitol Hill small businesses, bars seem to be the most solidly impacted by the changes that include a ban on indoor service with many venues opting to close until conditions improve and the restrictions can be lifted. Retailers, meanwhile, are limited to 25% occupancy. The state says the current restrictions will be in place through at least December 14th.


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Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Raygun Lounge transforms into a gift shop to stay in the game

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

By Gabrielle Locke

“We have re-opened into a little shop with a semi-cranky old man,” owner Eric Logan tells CHS.

We talked with Logan before the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions added new limitations on in-person shopping. It’s possible Logan is a little crankier now.

Eric and Amy Logan opened a specialty retail shop on Capitol Hill 12 years ago called Gamma Ray Games.

“My wife and I share a passion for creating and building intersectional environments and the original store was a way for us to do that together,” Eric Logan said.

Logan and Amy began to see a need for an event oriented space and opened Raygun Lounge on E Pine, eventually consolidating the businesses.

Now the game play of life is completing a circuit of the board. The lounge is going back to being a game shop.

The First Annual Raygun Lounge POP Up Store is now open. Continue reading