This week in CHS history | Summit/John skatedot controversy, Sitka and Spruce closure, Value Village RIP

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



$15 now? Nah. Chef Matt Dillon says try ‘triple net’ when sorting out why he’s closing Capitol Hill’s Sitka and Spruce

How $150K ‘Public Life Study’ could be start of creating a Capitol Hill pedestrian and bike-only superblock

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Will there be a Hilloween in 2020? — UPDATE: Trick or treat safety tips

Wear a mask

There are bigger worries in the world but CHS is here to also help give some thought to the smaller things. Neighbor Leo writes:

Hey @jseattle can we talk publicly about Halloween? I live in one of Seattle’s trick-or-treating hot spots where in normal years we get >1,000 kids at our door. This year, we are doing nothing. Lights out. No candy. Stay home. Do you have a sense for what’s happening this year?

Pre-COVID, Pike/Pine and Broadway are typically a Hilloween circus and the trick or treat hot zone stretching south from Volunteer Park, a candypalooza of unearthly delights. And most of it is community driven, organic, and fully unplanned. The effort, however, is high, with some spending hundreds on candy and putting hours and hours into costumes and displays.

The only thing CHS knows for sure is that will not be happening in 2020. Continue reading

COVID-19 outbreak reported at First Hill’s Harborview

First Hill’s Harborview Medical Center is working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has killed one patient and sickened three others. Ten staff members have also tested positive for the virus and 30 are quarantining after possible exposure, the hospital says.

The Seattle Times reported details Friday of the outbreak in an undisclosed surgical unit including the patient’s October 8th death:

Three patients who contracted the virus had been at Harborview for more than 14 days, which indicates they likely caught it at the hospital. Harborview is working to determine how the virus got into the surgical unit, Lynch said. The surgical unit, which serves patients coming into and out of surgery after trauma, isn’t accepting new patients. Susan Gregg, a Harborview spokesperson, said the hospital would not disclose the specific name of the unit out of concern for patient privacy, but she said the outbreak is contained to that one unit.

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Checking in: Glo’s Cafe is adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions while giving back to Capitol Hill

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is a new 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 just had to pivot, just like everyone else,” Julie Reisman, the owner of Glo’s Café, says.

Reisman and her business partner, Steve Frias, bought Glo’s in 2007. Reisman describes owning a small restaurant as having its ups and downs, like any job. “We largely wanted to be in control of our own destiny in the restaurant industry (which is funny given the current world we live in where everything seems a bit out of control),” she says.

Glo’s operations changed from dine-in to take-out only and amidst the pandemic, “We had to make tough calls in order to look out for the best interest of our staff, guests and neighborhood.” However, the circumstances have made the staff stronger. “Recently, we haven’t been flinching, as much at each hit that comes our way,” she said.

Since COVID-19 hit, Glo’s has seen a serious decline in business during the weekdays. However, despite the adjustments Reisman and Frias made to stay afloat there have been some noteworthy positive outcomes. Continue reading

SPD’s new Community Response Group makes arrests — including juvenile — after reports of 12th Ave property damage

Seattle Police say five people were arrested — including one juvenile — in a demonstration Thursday night near Seattle University.

According to SPD, the arrests came around 10:20 PM after police from the department’s newly formed Community Response Group ordered the demonstrators to disperse. Police say the group continued pushing dumpsters and objects into the street. There were also reports of vandalism to buildings in the area, according to East Precinct radio.

Officers arrested five people for “obstructing and resisting” near 12th and E Spring. Four of the individuals are adults and were booked into King County Jail. Police said a teen was taken into custody at the precinct before being released to a parent.

The department’s new 100-strong Community Response Group has been created to provide faster response times to 911 calls across the city while providing SPD support in response to ongoing demonstrations and protest activity, SPD interim Chief Adrian Diaz said.

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Capitol Hill Community Post | Free neighborhood Pumpkin Patch Pop up on First Hill

From Birch Road Cellar

Let’s celebrate fall! Join us for a socially distanced Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up hosted by our friends at Birch Road Cellar and Burke & Butler Real Estate (Windermere Mount Baker Seattle). Kids, dogs, families are welcome to a complimentary pumpkin and family photo with our professional photographer and autumn backdrop. RSVP required for timed entry to keep everything safe and socially distanced. Birch Road Cellar opened over a year ago as your private “home away from home” right here in First Hill. This is a great opportunity to tour the club and learn more about this Third Place where you can safely meet a friend for drinks or co-work comfortably.

RSVP required to maintain social distancing standards. RSVP here.

Saturday, October 17th 1PM-4PM
1212 Minor Ave (parking lot in front of Birch Road Cellar at the Stimson Green Mansion)


Your civic duty: Last day to be counted in the 2020 Census

Here’s some Thursday civic duty for you.

Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling to allow the Trump administration to cut collection short, Thursday, October 15th is the final day to participate in the 2020 Census, a key government effort every ten years to count its citizenry and determine congressional reapportionment.

If you haven’t participated yet, go to, click start and type in the 12-digit alphanumeric code sent you this spring and possibly still in a pile in your kitchen. You can also enter the address where you lived as of April, 2020 to look up your code. You will then be asked a series of questions, and can choose one of 13 languages. Questions include how many people live in your household, their name, age, gender (only male or female options) and race (a lot of options, including the option for multi-racial people to check more than one box). There’s also a question about if you own your home (with or without a mortgage) or rent. Continue reading

A mixed-use Neumos? Venues post mock land use signs, ‘missing’ posters in bid to save live music in Seattle

That Notice of Proposed Land Use Action sign that has gone up outside Neumos is, fortunately for Capitol Hill music lovers, only a warning.

They’re going up across the city outside the Tractor Tavern, El Corazon, Central Saloon, Wild Buffalo, Jazz Bones and more of Seattle’s remaining live music venues.

But fortunately, nobody has decided to sell out and redevelop the corner of 10th and E Pike — yet.

“These signs are a call to action for the public, designed to raise awareness about the stark reality that permanent closure of these venues could occur if we do not, as a community, come together to keep music live,” write backers of a campaign to support Neumos and the rest of the live music scene in Seattle and across the state. Continue reading

King County raises sales tax in plan to create more homeless housing

The King County Council voted Tuesday to add a 0.1% sales tax expected to raise around $70 million a year to fund housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness.

When proposed by Executive Dow Constantine in September, the plan was hoped to raise more than five times as much funding in a regional approach to addressing the region’s ongoing homelessness crisis. Instead, cities like Issaquah and Bellevue moving quickly to opt out of the plan and implement their own taxes, Continue reading

Cal Anderson Park Alliance Letter

Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre:

As residents and community stakeholders of Capitol Hill, we are writing to request a meeting with you to discuss how we can work together to safely and immediately reopen Cal Anderson Park. Despite the current COVID-19 closure, we must reopen the park so that regular maintenance can resume and the community can organically come together to activate their public space and counter the dangerous decline we’ve sadly witnessed.

The Cal Anderson Park Alliance (CAPA) represents a broad and diverse group of Capitol Hill neighbors, businesses, and community leaders who have for decades successfully brought our community together to focus on the park that connects us all. Invested neighborhood organizations like CAPA are integral to a city’s future, and we believe we are uniquely positioned to help the City guide the safe opening of our park. We represent neighbors, community organizations, and businesses in properties immediately surrounding the park, including leaders from the Capitol Hill Farmers Market, the GSBA, Capitol Hill’s EcoDistrict, and  Seattle Central College. Many of us live within a block and have been intimate first-hand witnesses to the evolving events of the summer of 2020.

Thanks to the hard work of community members before us, Seattle and Cal Anderson Park were honored in 2009 by Forbes as having one of “America’s Best City Parks,” affirming CAPA’s unique efficacy. Capitol Hill has a long track record of successful citizen involvement: Since our beloved park was established in 1901 (then known as “Lincoln Park”), those surrounding it have been deeply enmeshed in its affairs and invested in its outcome. In 1993, CAPA (then known as Groundswell Off Broadway) was responsible for advocating for park improvements that resulted in the redevelopment of the grounds we are familiar with today, ultimately re-naming the park in 2005 to honor Washington’s first openly-gay legislator.

CAPA hopes to carry forward the passion and dedication of those who came before us as well as those who have been historically left out of community dialogue. We share the belief that this public park is vital to the health and wellbeing of Capitol Hill and visitors to our city. 
Our uniquely urban environment is an immensely popular and natural gathering space, and the park’s history, design, and accessibility combine to serve a wide number of people who need access to safe open spaces as a respite from pandemic confinement. In recent years CAPA has sponsored and organized programs and events to activate Cal Anderson Park and inspire healthy, safe, and diverse usage. Sadly, with the park officially closed, we are not able to engage our community in the rebuilding of our shared space or healing from recent events. In fact, for those who pass by the park today, it’s nearly unrecognizable. Park garbage cans are currently overflowing, lights are broken or not working, and water features remain turned off, inviting graffiti, vandalism, and damage to critical community infrastructure that has certainly incurred more cost to repair than any funds saved. As a result of these disturbing developments, our dense neighborhood of people who live and work here (ranging in age from children to seniors) stays away from the park, fearful for their health and safety.

Together, we know our community can find constructive solutions… but only if the park is officially opened and maintained. We strongly believe that, aligned with the latest pandemic-related guidance from our public health officials, the community can work in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation and other City departments to safely re-open Cal Anderson Park. We are hoping to find a time to meet with you to discuss the current untenable conditions of the park and to chart an action plan for reopening the park again this fall. Issues we would like to discuss include:

  • Continued public health and safety concerns
  • Damaged and nonfunctioning park and community infrastructure, including Seattle’s first all-gender public restrooms
  • Ongoing and unaddressed backlog of maintenance issues
  • Opportunities for better communication with neighborhood and community organizations

On behalf of all Capitol Hill residents, visitors, and stakeholders, we would like to meet with you and urge you to address these issues immediately before more damage and harm occurs. We need your leadership to ensure that Cal Anderson Park is welcoming and safe at a time when the Capitol Hill community needs it more than ever. We are uniquely capable of galvanizing our community to ensure solutions are authentically community-owned, and we stand ready to work with you.

Cal Anderson Park Alliance (CAPA)

Jennifer Antos, Executive Director, Capitol Hill Farmers’ Market
Thatcher Bailey, President, Seattle Parks Foundation
Don Blakeney, Neighbor
Louise Chernin, President & CEO, GSBA/Capitol Hill Business Alliance
Jill Cronauer, Chief Operating Officer, Hunters Capitol
Taha Ebrahimi, Neighbor, Historian
Dr. Sheila Edwards-Lange, President, Seattle Central College
Erin Fried, Senior Community Development Associate, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Akeyla Jimerson, Community Development Associate, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Brie Gyncild, Board Member, Capitol Hill Champion
Michele Hasson, Board Member, AIDS Memorial Pathway
Julia Levitt, Neighbor
Donna Moodie, Executive Director, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Jason Plourde, Executive Director, AIDS Memorial Pathway
Jill Sherman, Partner, Gerding Edlen
Michael Wells, Board Member, Capitol Hill Champion