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.

After COVID crisis cut to enrollment, Capitol Hill’s private Bright Water says will close after school year

Happier times as Bright Water held its Medieval Games in Volunteer Park in 2018

The COVID-19 crisis has sickened more than 25,000 and claimed nearly 800 lives in King County. The economic toll has included dozens of Capitol Hill businesses including restaurants and independent retail shops.

You can add a Capitol Hill private school community to the sad tally.

Waldorf-focused Bright Water School has announced that it will close after the 2020-2021 school year.

“The pandemic has painted the school into a financial corner from which we can find no escape,” the board said in its announcement to parents and guardians of the independent school that calls Saint Mark’s North Capitol Hill campus home.

Board chair John Healy said the closure stems from a downturn in enrollment during the crisis as families face new choices and challenges with ongoing distance learning and work from home requirements. Continue reading

Lawsuit over Capitol Hill protest zone can move forward: City of Seattle loses important first round in CHOP legal battle

A lawsuit brought by a collection of 12th Ave real estate developers, small businesses, and residents against the City of Seattle and Mayor Jenny Durkan over the handling of this summer’s CHOP Capitol Hill occupied protest zone can move forward, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case, ruling in favor of three of the four claims against City Hall alleging that city leaders violated property rights by allowing a dangerous protest and encampment to continue for weeks.

“Plaintiffs plausibly allege that the City’s actions — encouraging CHOP participants to wall off the area and agreeing to a ‘no response’ zone within and near CHOP’s borders — foreseeably placed Plaintiffs in a worse position,” the judge wrote in his decision. The full decision can be found at the end of this post. Continue reading

More Seattle protest arrests as police move in on march in Central District after reported property damage

“What’s your name, comrade?” demonstrators shout as one of the marchers is taken into custody (Image via @R3volutionDaddy)

A protest bolstered by “a very large patio umbrella” and marchers from Portland joining Seattle demonstrators ended in a flurry of arrests Saturday night in the Central District.

Seattle Police and participants in the demonstration posting to social media reported multiple arrests around 10:30 PM after bike officers moved on the crowd as it moved through the area near 15th and Spring.

SPD said the demonstration began around 8 PM on Capitol Hill with marchers leaving Seattle Central and traveling through neighborhood streets. Police reported a small fire was set near 12th and Remington and rocks were thrown as “some demonstrators were also spray-painting parking signs and buildings as they went” using “a very large patio umbrella to obscure officers’ view of these acts of property damage.” Continue reading

After September spike in Seattle Police ‘separations,’ Durkan warns against deeper department cutbacks

SPD officers at work outside the East Precinct in an image posted by police union president Mike Solan

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis and better career prospects outside the Seattle Police Department might achieve what anti-police demonstrators, funding cuts, and hiring freezes could not — fewer cops in Seattle.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office says City Budget Office and Seattle Police Department reporting shows an unprecedented spike in cops leaving the department last month and trends that could put the total number of 911 patrol officers on the streets of Seattle back at numbers last seen in the 1990s when the city’s population was around 30% smaller.

The mayor’s release of the information comes amid ongoing 2021 budget deliberations and increasing criticism from policing advocates including the Seattle Police Officers Guild, the union Durkan is destined to tangle with as contract negotiations come to a head in 2021.

According to the analysis prepared for the “Seattle Police Department Year-to-Date Attrition Levels” report, posted below, if Seattle continues an SPD hiring freeze in 2021, the department’s number of officers available for 911 response could drop to 1,139 by 2022, down 154 officers 2020, a 12% drop to nearly the same number of officers SPD says it had available for patrol 30 years ago. SPD says it employed 1,271 sworn officers in 1990. Continue reading

Inside the Eisenberg-Neighbor Lady lawsuit: urinal cakes and $200K in bar furnishings

The battle at 23rd and Union between landlord and pot shop owner Ian Eisenberg and former tenant the Neighbor Lady bar turns out to be more than a war of words. Behind the scenes, CHS has learned Eisenberg is suing the bar owners for more than $300,000 over removed furniture and what the retail marijuana entrepreneur claims is a campaign of disparagement against him including the ultimate insult — urinal cakes bearing his likeness in use at Neighbor Lady’s sister bar, The Twilight Exit.

Lawyers for Stephan Mollman and Thomas Vivian have denied the allegation.

The lawsuit, filed in April and amended to include allegations including the urinal cake episode this summer, continues with the latest filing earlier this month moving the case forward. In it, lawyers for Eisenberg say they are seeking $200,000 over the removal of “light fixtures, neon signs, bar sinks, hooks, speakers, table tops, a bar, and a foot bar” from the bar adjacent the 23rd and Union Uncle Ike’s, as well as $50,000 each in damages from Mollman and Vivian over the disparagement allegations, as well as an additional $50,000 from the Neighbor Lady business, plus “indirect and consequential damages,” and legal costs. Continue reading

Unlawful dumping: Police make arrests after group tosses trash over East Precinct wall

Multiple people were taken into custody late Wednesday night after a small group threw bags of trash over the concrete wall outside Capitol Hill’s East Precinct.

The King County Jail registry shows at least three people booked for charges including unlawful dumping, resisting arrest, and obstruction.

According to East Precinct radio updates and social media reports, the group was reported outside the precinct around 11:30 PM when police responded and began taking multiple people into custody. Continue reading

Durkan names 28 to Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force to set course for $100M in Seattle BIPOC spending

Mayor Durkan’s $100 million pledge came as the city set about dismantling CHOP this summer

Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced the members selected for the 28-person Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force, a group her office says will “spearhead a community-led process” to allocate “a historic $100 million new investment in Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities” and “address the deep disparities caused by systemic racism and institutionalized oppression.”

The task force will include District 3 connections in the pastor of 14th Ave’s First AME Church, the president of Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central College, the head of Central District nonprofit Byrd Barr Place, and Ray Williams of the Black Farmers Collective, the urban farming group active in the Yesler neighborhood and the Central District. Continue reading

Kshama Solidarity campaign raising thousands in recall fight

The City of Seattle is covering the legal costs in Kshama Sawant’s fight against a recall campaign. The incredibly popular socialist leader’s fans — most also Seattle taxpayers — are giving to the cause, too.

“We’ve set a goal of raising $100,000 by October 31st, the end of our first full month of fundraising,” the pitch for the Kshama Solidarity fund reads:

We need to make abundantly clear to our opposition that working people won’t stand by while our movement is under threat. Defending Kshama’s city council seat is critical for continuing to build the movement to defund the Seattle Police Department by at least 50%, to win progressive funding for community programs and affordable housing, for community oversight and control of the police, and for working people to continue to have our voice in City Hall.

Kshamasolidarity.org shows more than $80,000 has already been raised.

The Sawant fundraising effort officially registered with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission last week with an opening filing of nearly $30,000 in donations — most in amounts of around $150 or less, and most from people listing Seattle addresses. Continue reading

Group calls on city to immediately ‘safely re-open’ Cal Anderson Park — UPDATE

(Image: CHS)

A group of business and community leaders and the organization formed to help create and maintain the public space are calling on city officials to immediately reopen Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park. The reopening would restore much needed resources and basic upkeep and repair on a regular basis in the park, the group says, and would require city officials and Mayor Jenny Durkan to find a constructive way to move campers from the park and offer them safer, longer lasting shelter options.

“It’s heartbreaking to see Cal Anderson Park closed for months on end—this is a critical community asset that now is damaged, poorly maintained, and sits closed without a plan for reopening,” Don Blakeney, a neighbor and member of the Cal Anderson Park Alliance tells CHS. “Our center city public parks must work for everyone, especially during COVID, at a time when our parks are one of the only places people can safely interact. Cal Anderson Park provides essential outdoor space for over ten thousand people who live within a five minute walk of the park—most of whom are apartment renters and have little space of their own.”

Provided to CHS, the letter sent by the group including Blakeney, who also serves as vice president of advocacy and economic development at the Downtown Seattle Association, and a roster of community and business leaders including Thatcher Bailey, president of the Seattle Parks Foundation, Dr. Sheila Edwards-Lange, president of Seattle Central College,  Louise Chernin, president and CEO GSBA, and Donna Moodie, executive director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, demands that Seattle Parks superintendent Jesús Aguirre immediately meet with the group to plan a fall reopening of the park.

Continue reading

CHS Pics | The colors of fall crepe myrtle breakage season on Capitol Hill

Image from reader Robert in the CHS Facebook Group

No, a bolt of lightning probably did not split the crepe myrtle tree this weekend on Capitol Hill. And it probably was not antifa.

The CHS Facebook group filled up with posts of concern on Saturday and Sunday. Sometime — probably Friday night — the blooming tree just across from the Harvard Market QFC ended up split down its center, pink flowers scattered to the wind. Continue reading