Spectator: 4 reasons for non-students to visit Seattle U campus + 1 reason for your dog to

The Seattle Times recently paid a visit to the Seattle University campus to write up our new $55 million library. More on that below. While you can’t check out a book at the Lemieux Library, there are a few features mentioned in the Times article (and not mentioned) that Capitol Hill, Central District and First Hill neighbors might like to know about. The advantages Seattle U has to offer to community members are not limited to the campus green, a popular dog run in the evenings. 

September 13, the renovated Lemieux Library (or, “New-mieux” in campus slang) and Mcgoldrick Learning commons opened for business. And while it truly is a great study space, it is also a social space, as was noted by the Times. Non-students cannot check out books but the Byte cafe on the second floor offers a wide selection of tea, coffee and treats as well as a nice view of campus and the Hill. Here’s more from the Times article:

Seattle University’s new library creates casual, social place to study

Photo: John Lok/SEATTLE TIMES with permission

By Katherine Long
Seattle Times higher education reporter

Seattle University senior Kevin Eggers has already found his favorite study spot in the school’s new $55 million Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, a six-story building of glass and brick in the heart of the First Hill area campus.

Eggers likes a table just outside the library’s Byte Cafe, in a lobby space that’s open 24 hours a day and overlooks the school’s plaza. “I like to grab a little space by the window,” said Eggers, a philosophy/political-science major and student- body president.

For years now, college students have gravitated to “third places” in their communities — often, a coffee shop where they can spread out their books, fire up their laptops and study with friends while keeping tabs on e-mail and texts.

Now, academic libraries are trying to lure them back with spaces that are casual, collaborative, chock full of technology and — yes — where it’s OK to eat, drink and be noisy.

more…

Beyond New-mieux, the Lee Center for the Arts offers plays and art exhibitions that are open to the public and, while the majority of productions are performed and produced by Seattle U students and faculty, artists from the wider Seattle community occasionally grace the stage and certainly the gallery walls. “Reckless,” a comedic play about a woman on the run from her husband’s hit-man will be performed from Nov. 8-21 at the Lee Center and is directed by  Braden Abraham of the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

The Vachon gallery in the Fine Arts building is also open to the public during business hours and features student work and the work of established artists throughout the year. “Paradoxes of Living on Holy Land: Photographs from Jerusalem and the West Bank” by Rajiv Kapoor is on display in the Vachon and Kinsey galleries until Dec. 3.

And, of course, free copies of The Spectator can be found at many of these location.

CHS Summer 2010 intern Frances E. Dinger is beginning her first of two years as a editor in chief of Seattle University’s The Spectator student-run newspaper. CHS and The Spectator are collaborative partners. A portion of revenue generated from the work goes to support area nonprofits.

El Cuento Spanish immersion pre-school moves to 19th Ave East

The Capitol Hill small business world is a blur of food and drink. Bars replace bars, restaurants replace restaurants. Retail shops close and a bar or restaurant more often than not fills their space eventually, too. But not every new thing on Capitol Hill is a bar. Rosie Rodriguez has been running a full Spanish immersion pre-school since March 2009. It started in her home, financed by a state granted CASH loan, but recently she moved to Capitol Hill out of necessity. Rodriguez needed more space for the kids in the El Cuento language school and many of her clients live in the area. The school now serves 20 children during the week and is currently enrolling more.

“We’ll go to the park and say this is the tree, this is the car, this is the sign, but all in Spanish,” Rodriguez said. After hours, she will sometimes receive phone calls from confused parents asking for clarification on what their child is saying.

The school replaces a physical therapist that recently left the 19th Ave location across the street from the Country Doctor medical clinic.

Rodriguez’s pre-school is a busy place. It’s a language school but the students are still learning math and science and putting on puppet shows — but all of it is in Spanish. They even go on field trips to explore their world in the language.

“People want to learn Spanish,” said Rodriguez’s husband Fernando Alarcon. “There’s a big demand for it.”

First-time students are often timid and limit responses to “hola” but Rodriguez has found a way to construct meaning for even the newest students. To help the students understand the day’s schedule, different songs are sung at different times of day to signal when it is time to do different activities. Eventually, the kids catch on and associate the song–and maybe even some of the words in it–with the activity. After enough exposure children become proficient and are eager to share their knowledge with adults.

From Seattle Woman Magazine:

At her El Cuento Spanish Immersion Preschool, children who are not native Spanish speakers switch back and forth between Spanish and English. Rodriguez speaks to them only in Spanish:

“I want orange Play-Doh,” 2-year-old Emily says.

“En Español, por favor,” Rodriguez replies.

“All I could say when I got here was “Feliz Navidad,” 5-year-old Ivan tells me. “I can teach you some words.”

He points to a colored mat on the floor:

“Rojo” is red.
“Verde” is green.
“Perro” is dog.
“Gato” is cat.”

Rodriguez’s goal is for the students to eventually be able to read and write in Spanish as well but for now they are settling in to their new space.

“Sometimes the kids tell me they don’t want to go home at the end of the day,” Rodriguez says. “They are having fun while they are learning.”

Parks dodgeball hearing draws a crowd, decision due in October

Players from all sides of the fence spoke out at a hearing Thursday night as Seattle Parks considers a set of proposals to open up city tennis courts to “emerging sports” like dodgeball.

Players like Mark Fasse said they found a family in dodgeball and (although some players offered alternatives to the Cal Anderson plan) would not have started playing if it hadn’t been on Capitol Hill.

“All of us started by walking past that fence,” said Fasse about Cal Anderson’s Bobby Morris courts.


Editor’s note: When originally posted, this article misidentified speakers. It has since been updated.

Dodgeball player Sean Kauffman offered a cautionary anecdote suggesting that, if alternative sports are not given space on the tennis courts, they could displace people with greater needs. He said his group tried reserving a basketball court for awhile but every time they went to play, there were neighborhood kids using the court for basketball and the group had to tell them, “we’re sorry but we reserved this space.”

“If we’re not allowed to play in tennis courts, we’re just going to displace different people.” Hoffman said.

Officials remained quiet for the most part at Thursday night’s Parks and Recreation Department meeting, which served as a public hearing for the case of dodgeball and other alternative sports conducting events on tennis courts in Seattle parks.

The Parks board made it clear before the hearing that it had not yet made a decision on the issue of alternative sports and was waiting to hear from the rest of the community before doing so, though one parks official spoke in support of alternative sports before the hour and a half long public comment session.

“Dodgeball is growing and it’s not going away,” said Dennis Cook, Parks athletics manager.

A decision on the proposal is not expected until the end of October. The Parks board will accept written comments from the public until Oct. 26 — they can be e-mailed to sandy.brooks@seattle.gov — and will make their recommendation to the Parks acting superintendent Christopher Williams Oct. 28. According to a Park memo reported by CHS, the decision on which courts will be included will be made on the following criteria.

  • The geographic dispersal of the court locations throughout the city
  • Proximity to other tennis courts
  • Maintenance history and general condition of the court
  • The court surface material
  • Frequency of use by tennis players
  • Demonstrated high demand for alternative uses

“It’s sad I have to think about getting in a car to play [tennis] when I live five blocks away from Cal Anderson,” said Capitol Hill resident Gavin Lunde who opposes giving alternative sports space on the two tennis courts in the park.

Tennis players who spoke at the meeting said they were concerned that the Parks Department’s “low use” designation for some tennis courts was inaccurate because many tennis players had stopped using the courts after they were damaged by alternative sport players.

Tennis players were mostly steadfast in their defense of their space but one player said he had been converted by the words of the alternative sport players toward the end of the meeting.

“I’m persuaded, these people need a place to play,” he said.

See the Hill on film: Northwest Film Forum celebrates 5 years on 12th Ave, 15 years in Seattle

The Northwest Film Forum describes its 15th anniversary like second growth beginning to sprout beneath old growth forest. To celebrate putting a few rings in their trunk, the Forum will be bringing Arboring Film, a six day festival of local shorts and features, to 12th Ave. The festival begins this Saturday, September 25.

“There’s been a natural evolution of all the different elements of what we’re up to,” said programming director Adam Sekuler. “We’re not just an exhibitor, we’re a hub for film making, a place to learn how to make films […] The energy has really been about unifying those elements.”

NWFF is a partner of ours and we’ve collaborated on bringing attention to each others’ work. But the NWFF has also been a Capitol Hill asset for much, much longer than CHS has been around. The Forum started on 23rd Avenue in a basement and spent some time in the University district before moving to 12th. For awhile, NWFF maintained two theaters but the 12th Ave storefront combined the previously divided elements of education, film making and film viewing (and the viewing comes at a lower cost than many of the downtown megaplexes). It also put the organization in a neighborhood with a lot of foot traffic where people can come in off the street out of curiosity.

Sekuler describes the process as very natural, definitely growth and not change. The next 15 years are hard to predict but Sekuler noted a hope for continued expansion bringing more workshops, outside film makers and maybe even a real film school.

Last summer, NWFF overcame a $70,000 budget gap to stay in business and continue its mission.

Even though the Forum may not have the commercial backing of venues like the Landmark Egyptian Theater, Sekuler says its organizers are happy with the niche the theater has found in the art community. Forum employees mused on the theater’s humble beginnings on their website:

It was a bold mission, inspired by the double notion that the region held in its light, soil and climate all the nutrients that a filmmaker’s seeded idea needed to thrive, and that an ideal environment could be found in a habitat other than New York or Los Angeles. And so we began our quest to sow a new cinematic timberland.

Fifteen shorts and 15 features will be showing between September 25 through 30 and, according to Sekuler, many of them have been filmed on the Hill. Brand Upon the Brain, a semi-autobigraphical film about director Guy Maddin described as a “delirious fantasy of familial discontent,” was filmed in part at Volunteer Park

Sekuler couldn’t pick any must see films as he appreciates all of them for different reasons. He encourages viewers to pick a few or just one, try something new and try to find a unique experience.

CHS says check out Police Beat on the big screen. Written by the Stranger’s Charles Mudede, it’s a vision of the life of a Seattle cop as a confused dream. It’s a good Seattle film for, if no other reason, trying to guess where in the city each confusing, dreamy vision was filmed.

Parks memo lays out path for Seattle’s tennis courts to make way for dodgeball, bike polo, more

dodgeball!
dodgeball! — Photo originally uploaded by Fecki to flickr

Next week, supporters of alternative athletics like dodgeball and bike polo will have an opportunity to make their case before the Seattle Parks Board in a public hearing on opening the city’s tennis courts to other “emerging sports” use. CHS has obtained a memo that lays out the framework that Seattle Parks will propose be put in place to open some courts to alternative play. The two-page memo, below, was discussed by the board this week in preparation for next week’s hearing.


The memorandum lays out the proposed process by which a tennis court would be deemed available for “non tennis court activities” and documents issues that Seattle Parks believes could be raised by the public regarding the plan. The memo does not attempt to describe what types of non-tennis uses would be approved.

Courts Memo

Following the Seattle Weekly’s report in August that park rangers broke up a game of dodgeball at Cal Anderson Park in late July leaving dodgers without a place to play because of Parks restrictions, CHS learned that the department was beginning a process to open up some courts to alternative sports.

“We know dodgeball is a great game and great exercise and creates a sense of community, and that we need to find a place or places for it,” Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad told CHS.

In 2008, a pilot project was conducted allowing dodgeball for two nights a week on the tennis courts in Cal Anderson but at that time, the board ultimately decided the courts continue to be used only for tennis. Of course, at Cal Anderson games of dodgeball and bike polo continued even as signs went up informing players the courts were to be used for tennis only.

More recently, the dodgeballers were offered a space in Judkins Park that could have been converted at a low cost but Parks has said the players were not satisfied with the offer and no effort to raise funds was ever mounted by players. The Judkins courts are two miles away from Cal Anderson. According to the memo, complaints from community members have been submitted to the department and to the Citywide Athletics Office  regarding the alternative use of Cal Anderson’s Bobby Morris courts and West Seattle’s Hiawatha tennis courts.

The memo lays out a six-step process groups would have to go through to open a court to non-tennis use that would include a 30-day public comment period for each location considered. Parks superintendent would have the final say. According to the memo, the decision would be based on six criteria:

  • The geographic dispersal of the court locations throughout the city
  • Proximity to other tennis courts
  • Maintenance history and general condition of the court
  • The court surface material
  • Frequency of use by tennis players
  • Demonstrated high demand for alternative uses

At least on that final bullet point, the Cal Anderson decision would be a slam dunk.

Parks reported that dogeball, bike polo, street hockey and roller blading groups have contacted the citywide athletics coordinator to discuss possible space for their activities and have tried to run activities in low use tennis courts over the past year.

The memo also makes it clear that Parks remains especially concerned about conflict with neighborhood residents and tennis players and is considering day and time of week restrictions on the alternative use:

There may be complaints from neighbors or tennis players.  We would mitigate  this by signing the court with the permitted non-tennis uses in an effort to provide  communication and let them know about change of use and evaluation.   Identifying the days and times of the week the low used tennis courts would be  available for the non tennis court activity groups. The parks department will have  to set up a fee to permit the venue along with developing rules and regulations for drop in use.  […] The availability of tennis courts is a concern of tennis users.

The parks board met September 9th as part of their regularly scheduled session to discuss the proposals and prepare for the September 23 public hearing when sports players and community members can “mitigate conflict” before a final recommendation for action is made to the parks superintendent October 28, according to parks spokesperson Sandy Brooks.

The public hearing on the proposals is Thursday, September 23rd at 7 PM at Parks Headquarters, 100 Dexter Avenue North, 7:00 PM. Sign-in for up to two minutes of public comment starts at 6 PM. Your comments can also be submitted in writing or by e-mail to sandy.brooks@seattle.gov until October 26th.

Capitol Hill business celebrates 50 years within 15th Ave East ‘2-block radius’

Last week, CHS reported on a long-time Hill business closing shop after serving the area for 74 years. Today, we want to celebrate another Hill old timer that is about to mark its golden anniversary on the Hill. In its 50 years of doing business on Capitol Hill, family-owned Spangler Insurance hasn’t moved very far.

Now on 15th Avenue next door to Coastal Kitchen and Cafe Ladro, Spangler started in the back of the Spangler family home on 16th Avenue where Tom, son of the founder and the company’s current owner, and his nine siblings grew up.

“My dad was really a life and health insurance salesman and my mom started selling property and casualty insurance in 1972,” he said. The business started way back in 1961.

Tom has been working for the family business for 16 years — he bought it from his parents 10 years ago. According to Tom, Spangler has grown threefold since 1995. The insurance agency serves 1,700 families in Washington, Oregon and California with clients including homeowners, local business owners and members of the local media. Tom, a lifelong Capitol Hill resident who even attended O’Dea High School and Seattle University, says 15th Ave East is as close as they will get to Manhattan. Spangler is a family-run, Pacific Northwest business.

“We’ve always been very involved in Capitol Hill,” Tom said. “My dad kind of regenerated the Chamber of Commerce. I’ve been involved with the Broadway Association and Community Council. […] We love the neighborhood, the eclectic people and residents.”

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the business, Spangler will be giving away reusable grocery bags and baseball caps in 2011. Tom encourages his Hill neighbors to walk into the business at 431 15th Ave East, say hi, and grab a birthday cap. Learn more at http://spanglerinsurance.com/

CHS Pics: Melrose Market BBQ, guerrilla g-sale, Japanese fashion, St. Joe’s party

The Melrose Market street festival, part of a slew of summer festivals on the Hill this year, brought locavores and foodies out for a partly sunny Sunday of fresh and local artisan foods like gourmet cheeses from the Calf and Kid and BBQ sandwiches from Sitka and Spruce, among others.

There was also live music and fashion shows from Velouria Boutique but, for the most part, the day was about hanging out and enjoying local, sustainable, organic food.

With one more block party coming up this next weekend hosted by the Pearl Apartments next Sunday, we’re curious to know what you’ve thought of this summer’s selection and which events you’ll add to your calendar again next year.

In the meantime, it was a busy weekend for photogenic Capitol Hill moments. Here are a few images from us. We’ll watch for more from you over the coming days.


Look, the Melrose fair even had models:

Just up the street from the Melrose activities, we found a guerrilla garage sale underway around the edges of the People’s Parking Lot at Belmont and Pine. We talked to a couple of the people selling their goods and it sounds like the space works out nicely as long as you clean up your junk. You might give it a try if you are looking for a place to hold a little closet sale and don’t have a garage of your own.

Even farther up the Hill, we found St. Joseph’s parking lot filled with bouncy houses and cotton candy for their annual parish picnic.

Meanwhile, thanks to a connection we made at the Melrose party, we got a look at the Bunka Women’s University Japanese Fashion show that went down at the Broadway Performance Hall on Saturday afternoon thanks to Capitol Hill photographer @LawrenceLeung. You can find more images from the show at Lawrence’s site, CURIOUSANGLE.

 

CHS history lesson: Seattle’s first alternative weekly was started on East Denny Way

Though the sun has set on Seattle’s first alternative newspaper, City Council member Nick Licata still remembers the weekly that printed from 1975 to 1982 as being a champion for the arts scene and provider of hyperlocal before CHS was even a glimmer in jseattle’s eye.

Licata founded the Seattle Sun in 1973 and printed a trial broadsheet edition at the end of the year before it began to print weekly in 1974. The money for the venture came from the Seattle Information Project, a project originally formed by Licata to print the People’s Yellow Pages. 

For a time, the paper was a competitor to the Seattle Weekly, which began printing in 1976.

Looking through the pages of the old paper is striking. Civil rights events and dealings with shady landlords and other darker stories graced the front pages often but the tone of the old issues is also humorous and speaks to a somewhat unchanged Capitol Hill counter-culture. In an October 5, 1975 issue of the paper, a story appeared about women dumpster diving for free food. These days, that would be called “freeganism” and was reported on just last year by Seattle University’s student newspaper, The Spectator.

The paper included sections including “The City,” which covered Capitol Hill, University District, Central District and sometimes downtown or Queen Anne news, “The Neighborhoods,” “Letters” to the editor, ” an events calendar and a general arts and entertainment section that worked to popularize the Seattle live theatre scene.

The Seattle Sun printed 20,000 copies each week originally and, towards the end, circulation was around 24,000 copies. For comparison’s sake, the Seattle Weekly currently distributes 80,000 copies each week. The Stranger’s run totals, by the way, are about the same. (The Stranger wasn’t founded on Capitol Hill, you might be interested to know. Its hyperlocal start was in the U District in the early 90s. We’ll dig deeper into the history of that Capitol Hill media institution later.)

Licata says 1975 to 1979 was the paper’s high point but things began to slow down in the 80s.

A two page ad advertises the September 1975 grand opening of QFC on Broadway.

“People were no longer willing to work 20 to 30 hours a week as volunteers,” he said. “It was beyond a labor of love at that point. […] It was love slavery.”

Eventually, the Sun spun off its music section into a separate paper called The Rocket to make money. The venture didn’t pan out, Licata said, and the jettisoned Rocket was able to outlive the Sun.

The former address of the Sun, 1201 East Denny Way, is now a residence that sits across the street from the Artist Trust and Louis Collins Books.

This is about all we know about the Sun. There is almost no information about the paper online and efforts to contact other contributors met mostly dead ends. So, for you long-time Capitol Hill residents, do you remember it? Did you contribute? Any lessons from the Sun that CHS should consider?

Capitol Hill back to school: changes at area public schools

It’s the end of the first week of school for Capitol Hill kids in Seattle public schools. Now that the students have found their lockers, settled into their homerooms and memorized class schedules we can start to look ahead at what the rest of the year holds for students in the central area (Capitol Hill and the Central District) of the district. Kay Smith-Blum, the district five representative on the school board, took some time to speak with CHS about what area students and parents can expect.

This fall, area high schools are no longer application based, meaning students will now attend the high school in their neighborhood by default rather than applying to go to the high school of their choice. At a hyperlocal level, this mean every eighth grader at Washington and Hamilton Middle Schools will be guaranteed seats at Garfield High School for their ninth grade year. CHS covered the changes to the assignment system for Seattle Public Schools last fall.

“The preference has now shifted back to the neighborhood rather than resident,” Smith-Blum said.

However, this means that more than 100 extra students will be attending Garfield this year and there are challenges to hosting them, more crowded classrooms, longer lines at lunch, but the change in policy could also mean greater academic equality in area schools.

Previously, Garfield was the only high school in the area where a full selection of advanced placement classes were offered but, according to Smith-Blum, the majority of these classes will be offered in every school.

By the way, the Alliance For Education awarded Garfield principal Ted Howard a $50,000 grant for outstanding leadership in March, which he can spend how he sees fit within the school.

For the big kids at Capitol Hill area colleges and universities, it’s still summer break — for a few more days. Seattle U kids hit the books again soon with the first day of fall classes slated for September 22. Broadway’s Seattle Central starts its fall quarter on September 27.

At the primary school level, there are no major changes but some elementary schools like Lowell and Montlake are operating just under capacity this year and Seattle schools says it does not anticipate a major influx of new elementary school students to enter the system for another three years. Stevens Elementary, in the meantime, has a new interim principal.

If there is a major influx of kindergartners in 2013 and more space is needed for students, there is a clause in the district’s contract with the Hamlin Robinson school currently occupying the T.T. Minor building that would allow Seattle Public Schools to take the facility back in the third year.

 But Smith-Blum says population trends will be difficult to predict with any conviction until new census data is released next year.

“When you haven’t had a census in ten years and you’re working at the tail end of really old census information, it becomes almost impossible to make predictions,” Smith-Blum said. “We think we won’t need T.T. Minor for three to five years but it could be we need it sooner. The good news is that we have a couple schools that are not to capacity.”

Other goals in the near future for the area include putting a wellness clinic on the Meany School campus that is home to the NOVA High School program and the Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center and the district is exploring possibilities to create more opportunities for students to have proficiency in a foreign language at a young age.

Smith-Blum will be at 23rd Ave’s Douglass-Truth Library September 25th at 10 AM to talk with area parents about the year in Seattle schools.

Tech star-backed energy tech start-up moves headquarters to 12th Ave

EnergySavvy.com is Capitol Hill’s new ‘clean tech incubator,’ as shared on CHS by scottcase. The two-year-old company moved to Capitol Hill from Lake Union last month from a building where they say they inhaled exhaust fumes from the car repair shop below them to the definitely more pleasant Coho Building on 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine.

The company employs less than 10 people and, according to spokesperson Amy Ring, about half of the employees live on Capitol Hill, which was part of the motivation for the move. Ring noted that they are a 100 percent bike, walk or bus company– none of them take their cars to work for the sake of energy efficiency. But Ring noted incentives for the move other than convenience.

“We wanted to move to the new neighborhood because of how vibrant it is out here and because there are other start-up companies in the area,” she said. “We saw this as a great place to grow our business.”

You can learn more about EnergySavvy’s new HQ and its history in a blog post on their site:

After lots of work, we’re now happily settled into our new space in the Coho Building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood (pictured here from 1937). The Coho Building was built in 1917 by Ira Harding, the founder of Seattle Empire Laundry. Today, we’re ready to proclaim the Coho Building a new center for cleantech in Seattle – on the basis of, well, at least two cleantech companies, EnergySavvy and our new neighbors, Tuusso Energy. Tuusso is a developer of mid-sized solar power plants – to supply utilities with clean, renewable power. We love solar power, especially when it’s implemented in conjunction with cost-effective energy efficiency programs.

Energy Savvy designs software to aid homeowners in making their houses more energy efficient. Using the company’s energy calculator, homeowners can estimate where they could be saving energy and money. The site does not yet offer an apartment energy calculator due in part to the fact that there are only so many changes renters can make to their homes, according to Ring. Renters cannot, for example, change their insulation to better control room temperature and cut heating costs. But for those that can take action, the company aims to be there to provide the tools and knowledge necessary to do so.

“A lot of times, home owners don’t really understand what energy efficiency is,” Ring said. “Energy efficiency is about having the right kinds of materials in your home, using less energy to get the same or more comfort.”

EnergySavvy’s new neighbors include the Northwest Film Forum to the south, the SPD’s East Precinct headquarters to the north and Revival Home and Garden at street level in the Coho. According to a recent posting on Facebook, Revival’s space is about to undergo an overhaul:

Our building is soon to undergo a giant remodel, and rather than store our large pieces, we are putting them ON SALE. Save up to 40% on sofas, cabinets, and other especially gigantic items.

We’re not entirely sure what the remodel entails and our e-mail to Revival Home was not answered. There are no construction permits on file for the address with the city.

The building is owned by Todd Shumsky and Michael Malone of Hunters Capital who purchased it in 2008 for $4.25 million according to county records. It wasn’t long ago that the peculiar Carburetor Specialty’s also operated in a space at the street level.

Capitol Hill’s start-up scene is filled with hundreds of smaller players, of course, but for every ten CHS-sized entities on the Hill, there’s one or two larger efforts making a play at Internet/mobile app/social networking billions. The biggest player in recent memory, iLike, was swallowed up by MySpace and moved downtown out of its Boylston office space last year.

There’s no telling if such riches await EnergySavvy. One familiar name behind the company is chairman and company co-founder Karl Siebrecht. Siebrecht helped lead aQuantive to a $6 billion acquisition by Microsoft in 2007 and is currently president and COO of online advertising service adReady.

Energy Savvy is looking to connect with other businesses on the Hill but Ring said they have not yet discussed outreach to Hill homeowners.