Urban Bee, a Capitol Hill honey producer, creates small biz buzz

Beekeeping in Capitol Hill has kept Urban Bee owner Bob Redmond busy as a … well, you know.

With seven years under the netted hood and 15 apiaries in backyards across the city, the 18th Ave E headquartered Urban Bee has turned into a neighborhood institution. It supplies local, naturally grown honey to various Capitol Hill retailers, runs a bicycle-delivered CSA for subscribers and even has a nonprofit arm that spreads information about ecological sustainability and restoration.

“I didn’t start it with a big business in mind,” Redmond said. “By two years, we were in eight spots. Hives themselves are scattered all around the city. But we process all the honey here in Capitol Hill.”

It started with friends, and friends of friends, offering up their backyards around the city to housing bee hives. Now, Redmond runs Urban Bee with two part time employees and, “very informally,” his wife and three-year-old son. Continue reading

Meet the architect who wants to build a lidded park over I-5

(Image: Patano Studio Architecture)

We’d pay $5 to see the plans for this (Image: Patano Studio Architecture)

With Wednesday’s announcement of the $147 million sale of Convention Place Station and the end of buses in the transit tunnel by 2019, the way is now paved for the $1.4 billion Washington State Convention Center expansion to open in 2020. Another nearby project of even larger scope might soon take smaller steps toward joining the new convention center wing in improving the connection between downtown and Capitol Hill.

Small steps is the way architect Christopher Patano, the man who wants to put a lid over the I–5, believes the 45-acre urbanist’s fantasy park can eventually become reality. Patano believes crowdfunding is his next step.Seattle CAP2 Seattle CAP

Patano’s architecture studio is carrying forward the seemingly quixotic idea to construct a lidded park over the interstate. The plan would cover the stretch of I–5 from First Hill all the way up to the Roanoke exit with a public, two-mile park. Patano’s plan would also include an expanded meeting facility, a hotel and an arena.

Ever since he made the first pitch, Patano said that the response has been overwhelmingly positive and the studio is ready to move forward. The studio has the ideas — now it needs the money. Continue reading

Colombian filmmaker finds magic realism on Capitol Hill



Capitol Hill will have a starring role in at least one of the films featured in this year’s Seattle Shorts Film Festival this weekend at the SIFF Film Center near the Seattle Center.

Filmmaker Julio Ramirez’s new short Signs Everywhere, will come to the fifth annual festival, premiering Saturday, November 14. He shot a great deal of the 11-minute movie on the streets of Capitol Hill.

The short, starring Tony Doupe and Cynthia Geary is a magical realism tale of perception. According to the festival’s website, it follows a “man’s attempt to disconnect from reality, [which] results in an unusual visualization of signs from people’s struggles.”

After his first feature, 2013’s Nothing Against Life, Ramirez said he was diagnosed with cancer. It took him a while to return to health and his filmmaking career, but local help brought him back behind the camera.

Andrew Kwatinetz, a colleague from the The Film School, presented Ramirez with a screenplay for Signs Everywhere. The filmmaker responded to the story’s content and wanted to tell the story.

“He approached me and said, ‘I love your feature film and would you be willing to direct this if you like it?’” Ramirez said about Kwatinetz. “It came out of nowhere for me.” Continue reading

BadWill kicks off Capitol Hill pop-up shopping season with ‘tailgate’ edition

Get your holiday shopping and your tailgating started early this Sunday. BadWill Market returns to the Rhino Room with a special Seahawks-themed edition of the grandmama of Capitol Hill’s all-star squad of pop-ups markets.

With a rash of retail pop-ups having appeared on the Hill, especially over the holiday season, BadWill is one of the oldest, weighing in at five years. It’s a one-stop shop for crafts, clothing, and miscellany from local vendors.

It’s also a chance to do a little day drinking.

“Five years ago there really wasn’t a market on Capitol Hill that took place inside a bar,” Osiris Navarro, owner of BadWill Market said. “Add drinking to any shopping event, and the results are awesome for the vendors. My friend Phil helped me start BadWill and we approached our good friend Marcus Lalario if we could use his bar The War Room to host a market.”

Though they only post up about once a month, due to limited space and event coordination with bars, Navarro said the scene has been extremely welcoming.

“The reception has been so good, to the point where it’s hard for me to keep up,” she said. “My inbox is full of interested vendors, and I feel bad because I don’t have a market every Sunday to accommodate all of them.” Continue reading

Central Lutheran celebrates 125 years of evolving faith on Capitol Hill

IMG_5463Changing with the needs of the community can keep you alive for 125 years. That’s what the leadership of 11th Ave’s Central Lutheran Church believes as the congregation prepares to celebrate the esteemed anniversary November 1st.

“The building continues to change,” Pastor Cindy Salo said of the aged brick chapel and administration buildings along 11th. “But the building hasn’t changed as much as we have. The church has had to become something different to survive in 2015.”

2015 has been an important year for big milestones for Central Seattle houses of worship. 19th and Madison’s Mt. Zion also marked 125 years of community.

Since its establishment in 1890, Central Lutheran, today sitting on the east side of Cal Anderson Park, has managed to continue its service to the neighborhood and its worshippers with openness and a dedication to equality and fairness for all people.

The church was first founded at 7th Ave and Union in a remodeled tin shop as a dedicated English-speaking Lutheran church, contrasting the various Lutheran institutions that catered to immigrants and their languages. The Capitol Hill location’s land was purchased in 1901 for $2,300, according to the Central Lutheran archives. Continue reading

Amid worries about Capitol Hill demolitions, J.W. Bullock Residence a step closer to landmarks protection

10th Ave E's J.W. Bullock house (Image via Seattle Landmarks Board nomination)

10th Ave E’s J.W. Bullock house (Image via Seattle Landmarks Board nomination)

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.43.00 PM_all_2015

Tearing down Ballard? DPD demolition-related permitting activity, 2015 (Source: seattle.gov)

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.19.01 AMWith most development comes destruction. Before construction cranes can loom large over city streets, the past’s buildings must be razed. Last year, the City of Seattle received 711 demolition applications. That’s compared to the scant 14 received ten years ago. The demolition increase has led some on Capitol Hill — like the owners of the Gaslight Inn and most recently the owners of the J.W. Bullock Residence — to seek shelter under landmark protection.

UPDATE: The Urbanist has blown apart the “711” demolitions stat. We’ll stick with our pull of seattle.gov numbers for Capitol Hill, however —  94 permits in 2013, 70 in 2014, and 67 through September this year. Thanks to @bryceroda for pointing out the issues raised with the citywide numbers.

Last week, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted to move the 1220 10th Ave E house forward in the process to be considered for official landmarks protections. CHS reported on the details of the nomination here.

First defined in 1977 as the Landmark Preservation Ordinance, the Seattle municipal code states, “the economic, cultural and aesthetic standing of this city cannot be maintained or enhanced by disregarding the heritage of the City and by allowing the unnecessary destruction or defacement of such cultural assets.”

Around 30 single family homes are permitted for demolition across the Capitol Hill area every year. For a few, landmarks designation has become a way to keep properties away from the growing reach of Seattle development.

That’s the route taken by J.W. Bullock-owner Dr. Valerie Tarico. Although she says she has no personal vendetta against the rising density of Capitol Hill, she said she wants to protect the 103-year-old J.W. Bullock house from that particular fate.

“It’s something I’ve thought about for years,” Tarico said in an interview prior to last week’s vote. “It’s a stewardship issue. This building was made by our ancestors that put a lot of care and precision into their craftsmanship. Buildings like this are not going to be made again.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Up Dog Toys has designs on making big play in pet accessory market

Moy and Odin with The Odin (Image: CHS)

Moy and Odin with The Odin (Image: CHS)

As the 12th/Pike dog bar doesn’t exist yet, the entrepreneurial ideas behind Capitol Hill resident Michelle Moy’s start-up Up Dog Toys sprung, instead, from a talk with the Broadway Farmers Market mushroom salesman.

In the last few weeks, the 28-year-old Moy began the first steps on her entrepreneurial dog walk by launching a Kickstarter campaign to formally begin the company and bring her uniquely designed toys to dog lovers everywhere. The first brainchild of the operation is The Odin, a 3-D printed puzzle toy that is meant to be both modular and stylish.

The toy, named after Moy’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a sleek, geometrically planed ball that allows all different sizes of treats to fit inside, necessitating the dog plays with it before the treat comes loose for the hungry pooch. Moy said she loved puzzle toys like this for Odin, who can be a bit rambunctious at times. She said it kept him busy and rewarded him for his work. Continue reading

What to expect when The Egyptian’s cleaned-up curtain rises following 25-year SIFF intermission

(Image courtesy Serena Preston - SIFF)

(Image courtesy Serena Preston – SIFF)

In Capitol Hill: The Movie, the best characters are never truly dead.

Not two years after Landmark Theaters shut the doors on the historic Egyptian Theatre, the Seattle International Film Festival will present a re-boot of the much-loved Capitol Hill movie venue. SIFF will re-open the newly renovated 99-year-old building at 801 E Pine this week for program members and follow that with a weekend-long celebration of the theater’s past, future and its place in Seattle.

“The timing is perfect right now,” Carl Spence, artistic director at SIFF said. “We’re preserving a venue that we created to begin with.” Continue reading

In big week for Capitol Hill film, Local Sightings festival returns for 17th year

With scenes from across Capitol Hill, Local Sightings film Nothing Against Life explores depression and suicide

With scenes from across Capitol Hill, Local Sightings film Nothing Against Life explores depression and suicide

Courtney Sheehan is at the helm for the 17th annual Local Sightings film festival (Image: NWFF/Sarah Styles)

Courtney Sheehan is at the helm for the 17th annual Local Sightings film festival (Image: NWFF/Sarah Styles)

Regional filmmakers will again flock to Capitol Hill as the Northwest Film Forum opens the Local Sightings Film Festival Thursday night.

“It’s definitely one of the tentpoles of the year,” program manager Courtney Sheehan said. “I’m super excited. I’m really excited about the many different things we will have.”

The event features a host of local screenings, expansive classes and an extended Seattle Film Summit, which aims to bring together filmmakers in the Seattle industry into a forum of open discussion about the state of making movies in the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading

24th and John’s Starbuds stands confident on medical marijuana’s shaky ground

Braeutigam and Ibarra (Image: CHS)

Braeutigam and Ibarra (Image: CHS)

One local collective remains unworried facing medicinal marijuana’s uncertain future in Washington.

As I-502 ever-so-slowly makes its way into reality, so does a host of questions about what might happen to the medical marijuana structure that’s existed since voters approved Initiative 692 in 1998. While the state determines whom to license for recreational marijuana and the legislature decides whether it wants to reconcile the two industries, a lot of uncertainty exists in the future of medical marijuana.

1385068_212948782213770_350961081_n Starbuds on E John and 24th Ave E has only served marijuana patients for about 10 months, but the business has found committed customers, a sense of community involvement and a healthy attitude about that might come.

“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing until we’re told not to,” Steve Braeutigam, manager of Starbuds tells CHS. “Things are great right now and the rest of the country is looking to us as pioneers.”

For Braeutigam, a line in the sand exists between collectives and the coming recreational stores. Continue reading