Capitol Hill, Central District students speak out against gun violence for #NationalWalkoutDay

With reporting from Michelle MacKinnon and Alex Garland

Students and supporters walked out of their schools across Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Seattle Wednesday at 10 AM to come together for 17 minutes of silence to honor the one month anniversary of Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting that has reignited calls for gun control reform.

The actions Wednesday are part of a wave of activity including town halls with Governor Jay Inslee and Rep. Pramila Jayapal leading up to the March 24th March for Our Lives protest march starting at Cal Anderson Park.

At the Central District’s Garfield High School, student organizers were looking beyond school shootings. “We are planning March For Our Lives and participating in school walkouts because we want change and refuse to be ignored in our pursuit of it,” student Bridget Fox told CHS. “We hope to bring attention to the fact that gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color and other marginalized communities, and we strive to find methods of legislation that won’t have further unintended consequences in such places.” Continue reading

Power knocked out to 12th Ave and eastern edge of Pike/Pine — UPDATE

UPDATE 9:01 PM: And, just like that, Seattle City Light has restored most of the customers in the area. As you were.

12th Ave from Cherry to Pine was dark Saturday night as a power outage stretched across the area starting around 7:45 PM.

911 callers reported an explosion and sparks near 12th and Cherry but Seattle Fire checked the area and found nothing to respond to and Seattle City Light was continuing to search for a cause of the outage as of an hour after the area went dark.

Several businesses in the area along 12th and the eastern edge of Pike/Pine were forced to close their doors as they waited for power to be restored.

Leschi shooting
If you heard a lot of sirens after the start of the outage, you might have heard the Seattle Police and SFD response to a shooting at a residence on E Superior north of Leschi Park where a teen girl was reported shot in the back. According to radio dispatches, the victim was alert and conscious before being transported to Harborview after the 8:15 PM shooting. Police were searching for a victim reported leaving the scene. UPDATE: SPD says it appears the teen was shot when someone fired a gun from outside the residence and a bullet crashed through the house’s front door.

Protestors against Children and Family Justice Center block 4th Ave

A group of protesters targeting King County Executive Dow Constantine and the under construction 12th Ave Children and Family Justice Center blocked the street outside the county administrative building at 4th and James Friday morning.

Seven demonstrators including members of the Ending the Prison Industrial Complex activist group were locked together in a “moving blockade” with a large group of protesters also on the sidewalk and others waving flags to help block the street. Continue reading

Absolute Tea to bring the wonders of cheese tea to Capitol Hill

Vince Shi sees cheese teas in Capitol Hill’s future. Along with his wife, Kathy, Shi is the future proprietor of Absolute Tea, a shop slated to open in new construction at 1715 12th Ave in late summer.

Shi will serve cheese tea—or zhī shì chá in Mandarin—a drink originating in Taiwan that quickly became all the rage in China and throughout East Asia over the past few years. It consists of a green or black tea topped with a slightly salty froth made of a mixture of cream cheese, milk, and whipped cream. It will be served along with a selection of bubble and traditional teas, matcha, and light snacks.

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Shi’s passion for teas was stirred when he first tried matcha at Cha Cha Matcha in West Seattle. “I fell in love with matcha. It really gives you energy but it’s not so strong compared to coffee. It’s energy throughout the day, not just a short burst.”

Vince and Cathy (their English names—“Easier to remember” says Shi) initially looked into franchising a bubble tea shop, but they were put off by all the prefab powdered ingredients that go into many of their drinks. “We want to provide real stuff—real purees, real teas,” he says.

Shi estimates that they’ll probably open by September after completing the city’s arduous permitting process. The shop will be located on 12th Ave across from Bergman Lock & Key and Scratch Deli, a block from Cal Anderson Park.

More 12th Ave food+drink
Here’s a quick note about a new restaurant coming to a 12th Ave space a few of you have asked us about. Mr. Saigon is the new joint being readied to take over the space formerly home to the University Market and Deli at 12th and Columbia.

Cold, wintry winds rip loose construction scaffolding at 12th and John

(Image: @ShellyShelly via Twitter)

An under construction Capitol Hill microhousing development became one of the city’s centers of attention Sunday as a cold winter storm blew into Seattle and tore loose scaffolding while sending a wall of plastic sheeting into a flapping fit at 12th and John.

Traffic in the area was detoured for hours and the sidewalk closed after the scaffolding came loose and could be seen rocking and swaying in the wind. Continue reading

Capitol Hill renters group to send ‘housing justice’ Valentines to elected officials

The Capitol Hill Renters Initiative, the community group formed to help give renters a voice in the city’s political and development processes, wants to spread some love this Valentine’s Day to local elected officials and community organizations about “housing justice and related issues.”

Capitol Hill Renters Initiative – General Meeting

The group’s February meeting naturally falls on Valentine’s Day so it plans to spend a portion of the night eating chocolate and making Valentines using postcards from neighborhood artist — and renter — Myra Lara. Lara is also a member of the CHRI leadership committee.

If you’re interested in getting involved, next week’s meeting should be a fun way to check out the group. They’ll also be be talking safe consumption sites. Bring some ideas for creative poetry — “Mike O’Brien, how do i love thee? Let me count the ways…” — and a pen. You can also borrow some inspiration from CHS.

CHS Comics | Capitol Hill Valentines


Morfire’s hot pot will warm you up on 12th Ave

CHS took a summer news break last year after ten years in the business. We’ve mostly caught up but there are a few stories from that dark period in Capitol Hill history that need to be told. One warm story we’ll shine some light on this dreary, drizzly January happened on 12th Ave, where Monchaya “Taup” Paitoonnerarmit opened Morfire with its “do it yourself” hot pots and Thai specialties. We caught up with Taup and made a recent visit to check out what we had missed.

“In the past couple decades, Thai food has made its way into one of the common cuisines in the US, especially in Seattle where there are hundreds of Thai restaurants,” Taup says about the proliferation of Thai in the city. “But there’s been one type of the Thai cuisines missing from the area, Thai hot pot.” Continue reading

Baking for both sides of Capitol Hill’s Gluten Divide: Q&A with Toby Matasar

Toby Matasar is rapidly diversifying her mini-empire of baked goods on Capitol Hill.

A second-generation pastry chef trained in New York and Paris who moved here in 2000, Matasar gained a loyal following running Eats Market Café in West Seattle for a decade. Following the cafe’s 2015 closure, Matasar started a new venture, the Niche Gluten Free Café and Bakery on 12th Ave across from Seattle U, which coincided with her own transition to a paleo diet. In 2017, she bought Crumble & Flake on E Olive Way from acclaimed baker Neil Robertson.

The two daytime eateries are now doing brisk business serving both sides of the gluten divide. Matasar continues to expand and adapt their menus, and she speaks with enthusiasm about her evolving craft and growing clientele. I asked Matasar a few questions about her upcoming plans (French ice cream! Candy!) and the challenges she faces balancing decadence with dietary restrictions.

Is baking a science, an art, or some sort of alchemy? It’s both a science and an art. Those are good words to describe it. There’s definitely a science side to it—you have to be willing to be very technical and the procedures have to be the same every time. There’s definitely an art to it, too, because it’s very visual—you have to know what the bubbles are supposed to look like on your caramel, what the batter should look like. You can’t just look at the picture in a book and expect to get it right if you’re not aware of the ripeness of the fruit or the humidity for certain cakes and cookies and whatnot. Also, a lot of art goes into the techniques for plating, which is the beautiful part because I’m the worst artist. This is my only medium—I can’t draw at all! Continue reading

Why Roy Street Commons, a short-term rental exception, stands alone on Capitol Hill

When the Seattle City Council passed a set of regulations designed to boost affordability by reeling in short-term rentals, one Capitol Hill property owner got very lucky.

The regulations passed in December generally restricted the number of housing units a person can operate as a short-term rental to a unit in their own home, plus one more unit. There were a couple exceptions which allowed for grandfathering operators of properties to continue doing so, with some restrictions which vary by where in the city the units are. The rules will go into effect January 1st, 2019.

But there was one more exception.

A very carefully worded exemption which seems to apply only to a single building in Seattle — the Roy Street Commons at 621 12th Ave E. Continue reading

Now a teen, Children’s Film Festival Seattle celebrates all-ages cinema on 12th Ave

While we’re talking about a new kid-friendly hangout added to Capitol Hill, let’s talk about one of the neighborhood’s greatest ongoing kid events. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle returns to the Northwest Film Forum later this month. Like most things child-oriented in Seattle, parents need to get on the ball early to make sure their wee ones have spots at the pancake table:

The family-friendly extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema that is age-appropriate for ages 2-14, and will include 168 films from 55 nations, spanning the globe from North to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The festival includes animation and live-action shorts, features, and hands-on filmmaking workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to a wide range of age groups.

This year’s festival runs January 25th to February 10th with screenings at NWFF’s 12th Ave theater following an opening night party at the Egyptian.

Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2018

“We want children to come to the festival not only to be entertained by funny and fantastic films, but also to discover common ground, to build empathy and envision their places in the wider world,” director Elizabeth Shepherd said in this year’s announcement of the 13th year for the film fest. Continue reading