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

Seattle City Council approves 2023 budget with money for more cops, increased spending for human services

A recent “women in law enforcement hiring event” (Image: SPD)

The expected rift didn’t close but the Seattle City Council was able to pass a new budget plan for 2023 with a 6-3 vote Tuesday.

CHS reported here on the unusual alliance shaped as District 3 representative Kshama Sawant continued her annual opposition to the compromise spending plan while finding common ground in opposing the budget this year with citywide representative Sara Nelson and U District, View Ridge, Wallingford, and Wedgwood rep Alex Pedersen who complained the package didn’t do enough to address public safety issues and fund policing in the city.

Despite the last minute politics, the final budget heads to Mayor Bruce Harrell’s desk with much of his Seattle Police Department spending for hiring new officers and retention intact, including using savings from vacant SPD positions to provide the department with additional funding.

“This budget will allow us to move forward as a City and heal. I am both proud of the final product, and also energized by taking the vital steps forward today to make Seattle a city where all our residents are cared for and housed, connected and resilient, and healthy and safe,” budget chair Teresa Mosqueda said in a statement.

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13,000 without power across Capitol Hill, Central District, and Madison Park — UPDATE: ‘Winter storm warning’ snow

Thanks to a reader for this snowy overnight picture

UPDATE 11/30/2022 6:36 AM: Streets were reported bare but there were plenty of slushy sidewalks and gutters early Wednesday morning across Capitol Hill.

Rising temperatures should mean no more accumulating snow through the day with the forecast calling for a mix of rain and snow Wednesday night. Several power outages continue through the north of the city with small pockets without power in the area of North Capitol Hill.

Sorry, kids, no snow day. Seattle Public Schools in Central Seattle were fully operational.

King County Metro, meanwhile, has lifted its short-lived shift to snow routes in the central city. You can check the CHS Traffic Cams page to see conditions in the Broadway and Pike/Pine core.

UPDATE 12:45 AM: We’ve added a few pictures from snowy Volunteer Park to the post. City Light was reporting 81 active power outages in the city and several locations around the Hill and beyond reported utility wires for services like phone, internet, and cable television down from falling snow-laden branches. Around the Hill, wires were reported down at the 600 block of E Pine, 17th and Yesler, the 900 block of 20th Ave, 14th and Aloha, the 500 block of 17th Ave E, the 700 block of 22nd Ave E, and the 1000 block of Boylston Ave E.

UPDATE 11:00 PM: About an inch had accumulated at Capitol Hill’s highest points as snowfall outpaced predictions and the expected transition to warmer temperatures and rain failed to materialize late Tuesday night. Meanwhile, areas north of the city were being hit with heavy snow. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area with Capitol Hill falling right at the dividing line where rain was expected.

While temperatures are still expected to warm overnight, accumulations could persist and make for a slippery morning. Slippery streets were reportedly already claiming a few sliding and skidding cars on the Hill’s most most notorious steep routes like Denny Way. If it comes to it, stick to the city’s planned snow routes where plowing will take place if conditions warrant.
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911 | Driver hits scooter rider on Summit Ave, arson fire singes Garage planter, teens arrested for CD armed robbery

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt/Signal (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.

  • Scooter collision: A man riding an electric scooter was struck by a driver and sent to the hospital in an early Saturday morning crash at Summit and Republican. Seattle Police and Seattle Fire were called to the scene around 12:30 AM where the rider was reported down after being hit while riding through the area. Seattle Fire says it treated an approximately 19-year-old man for his injuries and he was transported to the hospital in stable condition. There were no reported arrests.
  • Garage fire: A major response to the auto row-era building home to the Garage bowling alley early last Tuesday morning was quickly reduced after Seattle Fire reported the arson blaze was limited to a planter outside the building and a handful of rubbish fires set in nearby streets. Seattle Fire sent out a full response to the fire around 1:45 AM Tuesday, November 22nd. Smaller fires were also reported nearby on the surrounding block. According to SFD, investigators determined the fire outside the garage was intentionally set. Seattle Police was investigating.
  • E Union gunfire: Gunfire reported late Friday night near 15th and Union brought a police response but no victims or significant damage were reported. SPD says two shots were reported just before midnight. Arriving officers found shell casings at the scene.
  • Teens arrested: SPD reports it arrested three teen suspects aged 12, 15, and 16 after a man was robbed at gunpoint and a woman was punched in the face and her pack stolen Friday afternoon in the Central District:
    Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Seattle Police responded to 16th Avenue and E Yesler for a report of a robbery. The 39-year-old female victim said three teens grabbed her fanny pack and struggled with her to take it. They punched her in the face and fled on foot without the fanny pack. The second victim, a 39-year-old male, said he was contacted by three juvenile males at 17th Avenue and Spruce St. One of the juvenile males pointed a gun at the victim and demanded he give them his cash. The victim complied and the suspects fled on foot.
    SPD says the teens are also suspected of stealing a delivery driver’s wallet from his car earlier in the day. SPD did not say how officers located the teens but reports that a handgun was recovered during the arrest. The teenagers were booked into Youth Services Center for investigation of armed robbery, according to SPD.
  • Goodwill shoplifting fracas: A Monday, November 21st noontime reported shoplifting incident at the Capitol Hill Goodwill turned ugly when the suspect threatened she would shoot staff as they attempted to bar her exit. SPD sent a rush of officers to the Belmont store around 12 PM to the reported disturbance and took the suspect into custody for investigation of robbery after the escalated threats. There were no reported injuries.

Happy holidays from CHS. We love providing community news at NO COST to thousands of readers. What sustains the effort are voluntary subscriptions from paying supporters. If you enjoy CHS, SUBSCRIBE HERE and help keep the site available to all. Become a subscriber today at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


This year, Sawant has company in annual Seattle budget ‘no’ votes

Seattle Channel: 11/28/22 Budget Committee

Kshama Sawant is not alone in 2022 in her yearly dissent against Seattle City Hall’s annual budget compromises.

Monday, the socialist city council member and longest serving member of the body cast a vote against the compromise 2023 budget package in a procedural committee vote ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s final vote on the proposed spending plan by the full council. She was joined by unlikely collaborators —  citywide representative Sara Nelson and U District, View Ridge, Wallingford, and Wedgwood rep Alex Pedersen — in voting no on the package.

The budget proposal still moved forward on the 6-3 vote.

When it comes to these final votes, the District 3 representative for Capitol Hill and the Central District has made a tradition over the years of standing up against the compromise packages she has helped forge. Continue reading

Despite Capitol Hill and Central District smash and grabs, East Precinct burglary reports have plunged

Aftermath of a recent break-in at the Hillcrest Market

With reporting by Hannah Saunders

Despite a rise in concern over property crime in the city to end the year, Seattle Police statistics show that either people aren’t reporting the crimes, or a return to more normal patterns and increased emphasis on organized retail theft have put a dent in surging shoplifting and burglary totals in the city and across Capitol Hill and the Central District.

Still, around 100 break-ins are reported every month in the East Precinct, most targeting commercial buildings. And the individual anecdotes are frustrating. A week before Thanksgiving, the manager of Capitol Hill’s Hillcrest Market posted pictures to the CHS Facebook Group showing the aftermath of a break-in that targeted the Summit Ave grocery for thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes. It was the third time in a month the shop had either been ripped off or broken into. Continue reading

Starbucks to close Broadway shop, first in Seattle to unionize and coffee giant’s last standalone cafe on Capitol Hill — UPDATE

The location debuted in December 2017 (Image: CHS)

Labor activists say it is “the most clear-cut case of retaliation” yet in the Starbucks unionization battle. The coffee giant said this week it is closing another store on Capitol Hill, with plans to shut down the Broadway at Denny location, the first of the company’s Seattle cafes to unionize in its home city.

The closure is slated for December 9th 11thfive years after the company “moved” its Broadway at Republican cafe to the space in new construction across from the Capitol Hill Station light rail facility and mixed-use development. Continue reading

911 | Police surround 15th Ave 7-Eleven after reported gunpoint hold-up — UPDATE: 11th/Union shooting

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt/Signal (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.

  • 7-Eleven armed robbery attempt: Police surrounded the 15th and Denny 7-Eleven store early Sunday after a gunman was reported at the Capitol Hill convenience store. According to East Precinct radio updates and witness reports, police with ballistic shields were in position outside the store around 4 AM after a 911 caller reported a man had a gun at the location and an employee was locking himself inside. Arriving police ordered two people outside of the store and face down on the parking lot pavement before taking them into custody without incident. Neither turned out to be the suspect who reportedly fled with a handgun after attempting the just before 4 AM armed robbery. There were no immediate arrests and no reported serious injuries.
  • Shooting victim at Swedish ER: Police and Seattle Fire were called to the First Hill Swedish emergency room around 12;30 AM Sunday after a man in his 20s who had been shot in the chest was dropped by a private vehicle at the Minor Ave hospital. Seattle Fire took over on CPR for the victim and was preparing to transfer him by ambulance to nearby Harborview. According to radio updates, the victim had been reportedly shot at a McDonald’s on Rainier Ave but police had not been able to locate the shooting scene. There were no reported arrests.

    Broken glass at 11th and Union. Thanks to a reader for the pictures from the scene.

  • UPDATE — 11th and Union shooting: A business suffered a shattered window and multiple 911 callers reported at least 15 shots fired in an incident in the street at 11th and Union early Sunday. Reports of the gunfire began coming in around 2:50 AM with a report of at least one shooter seen in the street at 11th and Union. Police arrived to find the shattered window at the Boat Bar and Bateau restaurant but nobody injured at the scene. According to East Precinct radio updates, police also found multiple shell casings at the scene and were searching for an older red Jeep Cherokee and silver Bronco-style SUV believed to have been involved in the incident. They were also checking into a reported collision near 12th Ave possibly involving one of the vehicle. There were no immediate arrests. The shooting follows a shots fired incident the previous weekend outside nightlife venues on 12th Ave. Nightlife safety and gun violence were part of discussions with Mayor Bruce Harrell held during the mayor’s recent tour and visits with neighborhood businesses on Capitol Hill.

Happy holidays from CHS. We love providing community news at NO COST to thousands of readers. What sustains the effort are voluntary subscriptions from paying supporters. If you enjoy CHS, SUBSCRIBE HERE and help keep the site available to all. Become a subscriber today at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Mixed-use development to replace Hilltop Service Station finally ready to break ground on Capitol Hill

(Image: CHS)

After years of process, pandemic, and soil remediation, construction is ready to begin on the five-story, nearly 70-unit mixed-use apartment building with underground parking for 21 vehicles that will reshape the corner of Capitol Hill’s 15th and Mercer.

The old Hilltop Service Station is being readied for demolition. A representative from Capitol Hill developer Hunters Capital said the project to replace it is finally ready to break ground. Continue reading

Fais de beaux rêves, Joe Bar — The French Guys are moving in

Chausson aux pomme (Image: The French Guys)

Seattle’s “first mobile French bakery” will have a place to park on Capitol Hill. The French Guys are making plans for a new cafe and bakery shop in the former Joe Bar.

Thibault Beaugendre tells CHS he hopes to continue the sense of comfort and peace that Joe Bar brought to E Roy for 25 years while investing in repairs and upgrades to the old cafe space.

The charming touches like the mezzanine seating will stay, Beaugendre says, and you will still be able to swing through for a coffee but the new life for the old space in the Loveless Building will also include fresh-baked breads, buttery pastries, and the class and comfort of a French cafe. Continue reading

An apparent end to Jai Thai’s good times — and laughs — on Broadway

(Image: Jai Thai)

Speaking of landmarks, it appears Broadway’s affordable food and drink venue Jai Thai is permanently closed.

CHS reported here on the landmarks process underway for the 1903-built building the shuttered Thai joint has called home since the 2000s as a developer prepares the southwest corner of Broadway and Thomas for a new affordable apartment building.

Jai Thai has been shuttered for weeks but attempts to contact ownership to find out more about the status of the longtime Broadway restaurant have not been successful. The company is listed as closed by the state’s department of revenue and the liquor license for the address is reported as “on hold.” The restaurant’s phone number has also been disconnected. Continue reading