About Lena Friedman -- CHS Intern

Lena Friedman was born and raised in Capitol Hill and studies psychology at Whitman College. She covers news for Whitman’s student paper, The Wire, during the school year and enjoys singing a cappella, running a food instagram @sweetnseattle and reading memoirs during her free time. Find her on Twitter @LenaSFriedman or email her at friedmls@whitman.edu.

Frank Chopp is ready to defend his 25-year ‘strong, progressive record’

Chopp began his first term in the state legislature in 1995

Frank Chopp, one of the longest serving members of the Washington State House of Representatives, officially filed for reelection of the 43rd district this week. Rep. Chopp, whose district includes Capitol Hill, Fremont, and Madison Park, has been serving since 1995 and was Speaker of the House for 20 years before stepping down last year.

“We have a more progressive legislature now than we had in the two previous ones, so a big part of my effort will be working on solving the budget dilemma,” Rep. Chopp tells CHS, “which is obviously caused in large part by the COVID virus.” Continue reading

As facilities evolve and adapt to the COVID-19 crisis and Seattle’s homelessness priorities, the Central District welcomes two new shelters

Mary’s Place has a new place in the CD (Image: Mary's Place)

Mary’s Place has a new place in the CD (Image: Mary’s Place)

Outside the 18th and Yesler building (Image: Mary's Place)

Outside the 18th and Yesler building (Image: Mary’s Place)

The COVID-19 crisis has posed a unique challenge for homeless shelters across King County as congregate shelters, housing people in shared spaces, have seen outbreaks amongst their guests and staff, and new strategies for providing safer services to the homeless are being implemented. Two new shelters — one planning to open at the end of the month and one recently starting service — are joining the efforts to meet housing needs in the Central District.

Mary’s Place signed a two-year lease to open a new shelter on 16th and Yesler in the space formerly home to Keiro Northwest Rehabilitation & Care Center. The new shelter space is well-suited to meet social distancing guidelines and will have 46 private rooms with bathrooms inside, according to Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary’s Place.

“When COVID hit then we had to start de-intensifying our shelters [to create social distancing],” Hartman said. “We actually ended up closing three shelters and consolidating, and we knew that this building provided everything that could provide a healthy, safe place for families that was less traumatic for them.” Continue reading

Fries a casualty of social distancing at Broadway Dick’s Drive-In

Customers line up at the Broadway Dick's

Nothing unusual about a line at Dick’s (Image: CHS)

A burger and fries

(Image: Dick’s Drive-In)

“All locations are OPEN today, Thursday, May 14th… Fresh hand cut fries🍟 are available at all locations with the exception of Broadway”

It might be one of the cruelest blows of COVID-19-locked down Seattle mass culture — the small semblance of normality that Dick’s Drive-In is open and serving in the middle of these strange days with burgers, shakes, and fries… with the exception of Broadway.

“Our primary product is a burger and fries are a side,” Jasmine Donovan, president of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants tells CHS. “It was the way that the kitchen is set up and the way the food flows from production to the window where the customer’s ordering — it was fries that cause the biggest bottleneck and the one thing that we could offer potentially an alternative product for.”

The Broadway exception is not some kind of Trump-era retaliation and is probably not a punishment by god. It’s about architecture. Continue reading

At height of Seattle’s surge in pandemic booze sales, Capitol Hill Safeway nailed for selling to minors

A sign tells part of the story at the 15th and John Safeway

A sign tells part of the story at the 15th and John Safeway (Image: CHS)

Just when the neighborhoods around 15th and John apparently needed it most, the liquor aisle inside this Capitol Hill Safeway is off-limits.

How does a major grocery chain lose its license to sell booze in the middle of Seattle’s pandemic-driven surge in alcohol sales?

The grocery store has had its alcohol retailer license temporarily suspended from May 7 through 22. To keep customers away from the alcohol aisle, the shop has barricaded the entrances with stacks of chips and other goods.

According to Julie Graham of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, the temporary suspension resulted from sales violation, the store’s third reported violation in sales to minors over a two-year period.

“If there were further violations in the future, the consequences would likely be more severe because certainly with increased violations comes increased sanctions,” Graham said.  Continue reading