Here’s how you can help these Central District schools have bands that look more like their student populations

(Image: Jazz Up Jackson Street)

By Audrey Frigon, CHS Fall Intern

The Earshot Jazz Festival is again underway in Seattle and, included among the great performers like Cécile McLorin Salvant and Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá, will again be students from across the Central District and Capitol Hill performing with their Seattle Public Schools music programs. But this year’s appearance by the award winning Garfield High and Washington Middle School bands is about more than great jazz.

Along with jazz greats, the festival will be featuring Seattle students in a fundraising effort. Washington Middle School and Garfield High School students are tuning up to perform a benefit concert called Jazz Up Jackson Street. The goal of Thursday night’s performance? To raise awareness and funds for Seattle’s Central District schools’ music programs as they embark on a daunting new initiative — giving every single student an opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

Arlene Fairfield, an organizer of the event, said the music program does not reflect the diversity of Washington and Garfield’s demographics.

“School music programs in the Central District have a long history of excellence that has been recognized both regionally and nationally,” she tells CHS. “However, the student musicians in these programs have historically underrepresented the diversity in our schools.” Continue reading

Developer says return of City Market in the plans for seven-story E Olive Way development

Developers working on the project to create a new seven-story, mixed-use building at the site of Capitol Hill’s City Market say the popular corner store is part of the plan.

“I am happy to report that City Market will be coming back into the new building,” Charlie Bauman of developer Barrientos Ryan tells CHS. “We are excited to be working with them to integrate their new store into the development.” Continue reading

Di$trict 3: Independent expenditures now total more than $1M and favor Orion. Plus: Dale Chihuly, Scott Lindsay, Lyft and Seattle Fire Fighters join the fray

With ballots landing in mailboxes in just a couple of weeks and the November 5 General Election just a month away, campaigns for City Council are heating up — and so is the independent spending from Political Action Committees, which has soared to unprecedented heights.

For the final weeks of the run for the District 3 seat, CHS will keep you updated on the dollars with regular updates dedicated to looking at campaign finances. We’ll report where campaign money — whether from PACs or the candidates’ campaign coffers — comes from, and how it is spent.

With over $1 million raised in total and the two candidates headed to the general election with hundreds of thousands of dollars in their campaign coffers, the District 3 race keeps its top spot as the most expensive in the city. Incumbent Kshama Sawant has raised a total of $374,108; challenger Egan Orion tallied $296,728. 

Some notable recent Orion backers include the famed glass artist Dale Chihuly and his wife who donated $500 each, and Scott Lindsay, a former adviser to Ed Murray and father of the “Seattle is Dying” trope.  Continue reading

New Capitol Hill Business Alliance launched to advocate for neighborhood business community

The Capitol Hill Business Alliance has launched.

The GSBA-backed small business resource and advocacy initiative was set into official motion Tuesday morning with an event at 15th Ave’s Ada’s Technical Books.

“Do you need help with marketing, programming, meeting each other, networking, communicating? What is it you need? Because, we want to be that group for you,” the group’s CEO Louise Chernin said kicking off the initiative Tuesday. Continue reading

After big time attention, Capitol Hill ‘Hot Guys Serving Hot Coffee’ stand has new name, remains shirtless

After only one month of business, Broadway’s coffee Dreamboyz are now men.

Dreamguyz Espresso, to be exact.

After making international news with Seattle’s second* ever man-kini coffee shack, the business had to make a quick shift, owners tell CHS, after some ownership issues came up with a company in the United Kingdom over the coffee window’s original Dreamboyz name.

The Dreamguyz folks aren’t naming names but The Dreamboys male strip shows do big business “every Saturday night in 13 UK cities.”

Meanwhile, the show goes on at the Broadway walk-up and drive-thru coffee business under the new Dreamguyz Espresso name.

In debate over arts and culture in Seattle, District 3 candidates again paint ‘tax the corporations’ vs. ‘pro-business’ contrasts

Homelessness and housing. Gentrification and displacement. Transportation and the climate. Equity and minority rights. Crime and police accountability. Education and the city’s schools. The final weeks of the race for District 3’s seat on the Seattle City Council are filled with topical forums dedicated to specific problems — and opportunities — for the city.

There are so many issues for candidates to discuss ahead of next month’s general election arts, culture, and heritage programming could be easily overlooked. At a Monday night forum at Town Hall, incumbent Kshama Sawant and her challenger Egan Orion got to discuss their approaches to preserving and enhancing the arts community in District 3, a cultural hub for the city. Continue reading

‘Very early’ but City Market property being lined up for new E Olive Way mixed-use project — UPDATE

City Market (Image: CHS)
(Image: @officialcitymarket)

They had better include a giant wall for the City Market poster sign maker to continue their impressive body of work.

Early filings with the City of Seattle show plans are in motion for a “Olive + Bellevue” project, a planned seven-story “multi-family building with ground floor commercial space” to rise along E Olive Way above the property currently home to City Market and its laundromat sibling.

Developer Barrientos Ryan and architect Caron have begun the process of planning the new project. Charlie Bauman of Barrientos Ryan tells CHS his firm is “very early in this process.” Continue reading

Reminder: First of three weekends with no light rail between Capitol Hill and SODO

Where you can catch the Sound Transit “bus bridge” this weekend

This coming weekend will be the first of three planned this fall with no light rail service between Capitol Hill and SODO as Sound Transit prepares for major construction of its coming new line:

We’re laying the groundwork to open the Blue Line, a new Link line that will begin taking riders from Northgate to Redmond in 2023. As part of that work, we need to reduce Link service for three weekends this fall. On the weekends of October 12-13, October 26-27, and November 9-10, there will be no Link service between SODO-Capitol Hill. Trains will run from Angle Lake-SODO and UW-Capitol Hill, and free buses will connect the six stations in between.

CHS reported on the planned closures in August when October probably seemed like a long time away. But now the first weekend of service disruption is here. To try to help cover the gap, Sound Transit will be offering bus service between Broadway and John, downtown, and SODO Station. Sound Transit says it chose these weekends because there are no Seahawks or Husky football games. Continue reading

Campaign for District 3 being managed from two different corners of the Central District

As the race for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council plays out, challenger Egan Orion’s campaign has picked an unusual headquarters as the organization tries to map out a course to victory in November.

Orion organizers have created a campaign office in the old gas station at 21st and Union where a big Egan Orion campaign mural has joined the streetscape next to Chucks Hop Shop CD and the new home of machine learning-powered — and roasted corn genius — El Costeño.

In a brief conversation on the sidewalk in front of the campaign office, Orion said the location is in the heart of his campaign territory and his home neighborhood and that he was proud to be part of activating the corner lot. Continue reading

‘It’s rooted in the 1970s-era conception of environmentalism’ — Seattle looks to rein in state policy used to push back on big projects and developments

(Image: CHS)

To rise above Capitol Hill, the Bullitt Center, the world’s first super-green “living” office building, faced a nearly unbelievable fight. Owners of a neighboring building used the State’s Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to fight against the structure’s vital solar array and, even more audaciously, tried to force the net zero waste building to provide more parking. They lost — but not before lengthy, costly delays.

There is another story.

Redeveloping Magnolia’s Fort Lawton was first floated in 2005 and the possibility remained a tension point in the community for over a decade as the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to move forward on a major affordable housing project at the old Army Reserve Center site earlier this year.

Slowed by lawsuits and the Great Recession more than a decade ago, the project was met with opposition from some saying that green space needed to be preserved over housing and others talking about the effects of bringing low-income housing to the affluent neighborhood.

Magnolia activist Elizabeth Campbell and others were first able to halt the project in 2009 with a legal challenge against the City of Seattle claiming there were several technical violations of the law in the plan. Both the King County Superior Court and the state Court of Appeals took Campbell’s side.

When the city came back with a similar plan two years ago, Campbell and the Discovery Park Community Alliance were back to sue once again.

“This is the way to tackle the City. You need a lawyer and a litigation plan – you need to go guerrilla,” Campbell told the Magnolia Voice in 2017. “To me it’s like a war. You use the tools you have available. This city knows they can ignore the people because no one will come after them legally. I’m for taking a hard stand with the city.”

While the Fort Lawton redevelopment is finally moving forward, its saga is one of many examples cited by advocates of a new measure moving through the Seattle City Council to reform the use of SEPA in Seattle that aims to minimize these sorts of long and winding appeals that delay what they see as much-needed development.

UPDATE 4:55 PM: The council has approved the legislation 8-0.

“When our collective house is on fire, having a reasonable timeline for when someone contests our right to build affordable and climate-friendly housing is really a problem,” said Alice Lockhart of 350 Seattle, a climate-justice organization. Continue reading