About jseattle

Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959. Follow @jseattle on Twitter or be best pals on Facebook.

No updates in case of teen gunned down on E Union in May 2019

A memorial for Royale Lexing after the teen was gunned down in an E Union shootout last May (Image: CHS)

A memorial for Royale Lexing after the teen was gunned down in an E Union shootout last May (Image: CHS)

In the Central District in May 2019, the community around 21st and Union mourned and worked to do more to stop street violence in the area after 19-year-old Royale Lexing was gunned down in a chaotic daytime shootout.

The investigation around the case remains unresolved a year later.

A Seattle Police Department spokesperson told CHS this week he was unable to provide updates in this week due to the “active and ongoing investigation.” Continue reading

COVID-19 updates: the ’10 new cases per 100,000 residents’ threshold, Seattle anti-Asian hate assaults, signs of Capitol Hill normalcy Vita edition

Caffe Vita is back (Image: Caffe Vita via Instagram)

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and response around the Seattle region, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • June 1 and Phase 2: Eager for a June move to Phase 2? To meet the “10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period” threshold set by the state of Washington for counties applying for early reopening, King County would have to keep its count ar around 224 new coronavirus cases in the 14 days leading up to June 1. Halfway through the two-week period, King County has already tallied 350 coronavirus cases. We’ll record about three times the threshold come June. The Seattle Times reports on the “stubbornly high rates of infection” and “uneven and local nature of the statewide epidemic” in a Memorial Day Weekend report on more counties considering the next phase of reopening. That case count threshold developed from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines might not hold, however. “The criterion recently used to allow additional counties to apply for a variance … will not necessarily be the criterion used to lift the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order,” Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said in a statement reported by the Times. “We are actively discussing what the criterion might be.” Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest “stay home” order expires June 1st. Continue reading

Five years later, arrest made in Devan Schmidt case — UPDATE: MURDER CHARGE

Devan Schmidt

Devan Schmidt

Police have arrested a man suspected in the 2015 death of Devan Schmidt.

The 47-year-old was booked into King County Jail Thursday afternoon as part of a homicide investigation, according to jail records.

The suspect has not yet been charged. Bail was denied.

Five years ago this month, the 29-year-old Schmidt was found dead in the Madison Valley home she shared with roommates. The medical examiner said circumstances around her death were “concerning for homicidal violence,” and asphyxia “could not be ruled out.” The county investigator also noted “superficial blunt force injuries” to Schmidt’s head, torso, and limbs, but authorities were ultimately unable to determine a cause and manner of death. Schmidt’s family said drugs found in her system complicated the investigation.

Derrick Levasseur, the host of a true crime series that featured Schmidt’s death last year with cooperation of the victim’s family and local investigators including SPD Detective James Cooper, announced the arrest Thursday night: Continue reading

Adana joins Capitol Hill’s still thankfully short list of permanent COVID-19 closures

A dish at Adana

(Image: Adana)

Be prepared. The joy of “Phase 2” reopenings around Capitol Hill will be joined by the reality that many neighborhood favorites won’t be part of any recovery.

Thursday, Capitol Hill restaurateur Shota Nakajima announced that his upscale Adana at 15th and Pine will remain shuttered.

In the restaurant business, especially, “permanent” can be a loaded term but in the case of Adana and a thankfully short list so far of Capitol Hill and Central District businesses, the decision looks like a done deal.

“I signed my lease at age 25. I’ve had thousands of people come through my place called home for the last 5 years who have created what kind of restaurant it is from each employee to each guest,” Nakajima wrote in a Facebook post announcing the closure.

Last month, CHS spoke with Nakajima about his focus on a smaller, more nimble space at Taku on E Pike through the continuing COVID-19 restrictions and into whatever recovery comes next. Continue reading

911 | Suspect uses threatening note to hold up First Hill Subway sandwich shop

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.

  • City Market ripoff: Three suspects attempting to shoplift at City Market Wednesday night sparked an armed robbery investigation after one of the trio reportedly showed what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband. Seattle Police were called to the Bellevue Ave E store just before 10 PM to a report of a disturbance in the store. Police and a K9 unit searched the area where the three male suspects were last seen fleeing the market. There were no reported injuries and no immediate arrests.
  • Subway hold-up: A First Hill sandwich shop was held up Wednesday after a suspect handed an employee a note demanding cash and threatening to shoot the worker. Police were called to the 1100-block Madison Subway around 7:40 PM to the reported robbery. The worker told police the suspect was described as a black male around 6 feet tall, and was wearing sunglasses, and a black jacket over a floral print dress at the time of the hold-up. According to East Precinct radio updates, the description matched a suspect identified in a previous robbery in which a note was used to make a threat. CHS reported on a similar robbery at a nearby First Hill bank earlier this month. Wednesday, police searched the area but were unable to track down the suspect. There were no reported injuries. UPDATE: Sounds like SPD found their man Thursday afternoon in the Central District:

    Officers arrested a 31-year-old man wanted for a series of robberies this afternoon in the Central District. He was booked into the King County Jail after being interviewed by detectives. Robbery detectives were investigating four separate robberies to businesses where a gun was implied by the suspect. The first occurred on May 11th on Capitol Hill, followed by a second on the 17th downtown, another on Queen Anne on the 19th, and again on Capitol Hill last night. During the course of the investigation detectives developed possible suspect information and shared that with patrol officers. Just before noon Officers Donavan Lewis and Spencer Kurz spotted the suspect near 29th and Madison and took him into custody without incident. The suspect was transported to SPD Headquarters where he was interviewed by detectives. The suspect confessed to all four robberies and was later booked into the King County Jail. This remains an active and on-going investigation.

  • SWAT standoff: Wednesday afternoon’s SWAT standoff near South Dearborn and Rainier ended without an arrest after a suspect in a reported armed robbery apparently slipped away from inside a building before police could surround it. Here are a few details posted by the EastPAC group:

    From East Precinct Acting Captain Leung: “The victim, a disabled vet in a wheelchair, was transiting along the sidewalk in the 600 block of Rainier Ave South when an unknown black male exited an abandoned building, robbed him of cash at gunpoint, then fled back inside the same building. Patrol arrived in the area as the victim was calling 911 and quickly established containment. East CPT obtained a signed search warrant. SWAT arrived, took over containment, and eventually cleared the building. The suspect was not inside. Robbery detectives responded, interviewed the victim, and will take over the follow-up investigation.”


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Northwest Film Forum remembers director Lynn Shelton with We Go Way Back stream and chat

Lynn Shelton

Shelton (Image: NWFF)

Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum will honor Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton — a director who put so much of the city including Capitol Hill and Central District neighborhoods into her works — with a special live broadcast Thursday:

Director Lynn Shelton passed away suddenly on Friday, May 15th, 2020. A long-time friend of Northwest Film Forum and one of the Seattle film community’s brightest lights, she will be deeply missed.

On Thursday, May 21st, Lynn had planned to chat along to a livestream of her film We Go Way Back on NWFF’s Facebook Videos page. This event will still take place, with the accompanying live chat repurposed as a space to share memories of Lynn.

The livestream event and screening of Shelton’s We Go Way Back will show on the NWFF Facebook page at 6 PM Thursday, May 21st. Continue reading

Fuel to join Ada’s family, adding books to blend of coffee, community

(Image: Fuel Coffee)

(Image: Fuel Coffee)

It’s a blend that should work out, mixing the 15-year-old creation of a Seattle coffee veteran  with the energy of two Capitol Hill entrepreneurs who have a vision for growing cafe communities and independent book retail.

Fuel Coffee and its three locations in the 19th Ave E Stevens neighborhood, Montlake, and Wallingford is becoming part of the Ada’s family of bookshops and cafes. The merger is the outgrowth of conversations that started well before the outbreak and is ready to move forward now that reopening plans are taking shape, both sides say. It’s now a vision that seems even more clear after weeks of COVID-19 restrictions with neighbors sticking mostly to their nearby streets.

“Community is even more important,” Danielle Hulton says.

The new Fuel will be a flip of how the original Ada’s was shaped on 15th Ave E. Ada’s is a community built around books — Fuel shops will be built around coffee. Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s reorg? Pot retailer seeks cannabis board approval as it prepares to open new Capitol Hill shop

Uncle Ike's 15th Ave E

Uncle Ike’s 15th Ave E (Image: CHS)

Filings with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board indicate that Uncle Ike’s founder Ian Eisenberg is reorganizing the corporations and partnerships behind one of Seattle’s largest marijuana retailers as the chain is preparing to open a new Capitol Hill location later this year.

The applications for a transfer of existing licenses to a new Jet City Retail corporation were filed earlier this month.

Typically, assumption applications are part of the acquisition process for a new owner of an existing licensed business. But for the five applications filed May 7th for the various Uncle Ike’s locations around the city, the process appears to be corporate housekeeping and consolidating of the various limited liability corporations and companies brought together to form the various Ike’s entities. Continue reading

Design review: Seven-story Jewish Family Service ‘Conover House’ development on 16th Ave

(Image: Weinstein A+U)

CHS reported on Seattle developments lining up to opt in to the city’s new streamlined design review process hoped to help unclog the project pipeline during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Turns out a few are out in front of the pack including one 16th Ave project CHS noticed just in time for a brief about the proposal just as its 14-day public comment is coming to an end.

You have until the end of the day May 20th to weigh in on the 1620 16th Ave proposal for a new seven-story, 88-unit apartment building with space for a ground-level restaurant, and underground parking for 105 cars. Continue reading

COVID-19 updates: Will June 1 bring Phase 2? Inslee ‘hopeful’ — Also: Washington wants businesses to encourage masks, Seattle launches face covering marketplace, and no extra days added for Seattle school kids

(Image: sea turtle via Flickr)

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and response around the Seattle region, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

  • How we looking for Phase 2? In a morning session focused on 10 of the state’s smallest counties being cleared to apply for early “Phase 2” reopening, Gov. Jay Inslee provided an update for the rest of us — Washington is on track for moving to the next phase in June. Inslee said Tuesday he is “hopeful we can move forward” on June 1. “I would love to be able to say, ‘here’s the date,'” the governor said but reminded that measurements of new cases and availability of testing and medical resources will be the deciding factors. You can find our overview of Washington’s reopening phases here. Phase 2 will bring loosened restrictions including the reopening of restaurants for sit-down service at 50% capacity, the return of hair and beauty services, and “limited” non-essential travel. Continue reading