Suddenly a flashpoint in mayor’s new response to Seattle homelessness, Capitol Hill’s Seven Hills Park to be cleared of encampment Thursday — UPDATE

Groups of residents and protesters awaited a Friday night tour of Seven Hills planned with city officials. Public safety director Andrew Myerberg met privately with a smaller group, instead.

The notices went up Tuesday at the park. Thanks to a neighbor for the picture.

The city has posted notice that Capitol Hill’s Seven Hills Park will be cleared of tents and belongings Thursday as Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office says it is responding to concerns following months of complaints from neighbors about tents and disorder in the 16th Ave at E Howell park.

Officials say they requested “that outreach efforts at Seven Hills Park intensify” in advance of the Thursday sweep.

“At the beginning of this week, city staff observed 12 tents, and outreach has identified eight individuals residing at this location long-term,” a Seattle Parks spokesperson said.

Officials say the effort had resulted in two referrals to “24/7 enhanced shelter” — “outreach is ongoing and those remaining onsite will all receive offers of shelter prior to an encampment removal,” the spokesperson said.

UPDATE 2/17/2022 9:30 AM: The clearance is underway:

The sweep follows months of complaints from residents in nearby buildings about camping in the park that began at the height of the pandemic with the number of tents ebbing and flowing along with clearances at other nearby parks spaces including Cal Anderson, Williams Place, and Miller Playfield. Continue reading

Design review: Seven-story Jewish Family Service ‘Conover House’ development on 16th Ave

(Image: Weinstein A+U)

CHS reported on Seattle developments lining up to opt in to the city’s new streamlined design review process hoped to help unclog the project pipeline during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Turns out a few are out in front of the pack including one 16th Ave project CHS noticed just in time for a brief about the proposal just as its 14-day public comment is coming to an end.

You have until the end of the day May 20th to weigh in on the 1620 16th Ave proposal for a new seven-story, 88-unit apartment building with space for a ground-level restaurant, and underground parking for 105 cars. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Conover House set for demolition after board splits on landmarks bid

The 126-year-old Conover House just down 16th Ave from the Central Co-Op will not be eligible for landmarks protections after last week’s split 3-3 vote on its merits.

The split decision paves the way for the house’s demolition to make way for planned development. Continue reading

Tree of Life: Sadness — and calls to action — at Seattle vigil

Mourners gathered at Seattle’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai Monday night to commemorate those lost in Pittsburgh over the weekend and build community through the tragedy.

“Tonight Pittsburgh is a town in Washington state, and the Tree of Life synagogue is a synagogue in Washington state, and the reason for that is that we have one heart over the loss of this assault on the Jewish community,” Governor Jay Inslee said. “We all share a common destiny of hoping for survival and that survival depends on eliminating the concept that there is an other.” Continue reading

Temple De Hirsch Sinai to host Seattle Tree of Life vigil

(Image: Temple De Hirsch Sinai)

16th Ave’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai will host a community vigil Monday night to honor those who died and speak out against violence following the weekend’s shootings at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue.

The community event begins at 7 PM at the 16th Ave house of worship.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and to the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh as they try to understand, mourn, and process this grievous attack,” organizers write.

Community Vigil for Pittsburgh

11 people were gunned down Saturday by an attacker who reportedly said he came to the Pittsburgh synagogue “to kill Jews” capping a week of radical, political and hate motivated terror across the county.

Monday night’s Seattle vigil is organized by Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

Attendees are asked not to bring backpacks or large bags. All bags will be checked — please consider leaving yours at home. You can learn more about the vigil here.

Capitol Hill’s Jewish Family Service deals legal blow to Trump refugee restrictions

Tuesday, CHS reported that the groups planning separate marches to mark the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Seattle Women’s March against Donald Trump were joining forces for a 2018 march. That is good. Another good thing when it comes to resisting the policies of the Trump administration is a victory in court.

Capitol Hill-headquartered Jewish Family Service announced its part in a major legal victory battling Trump’s refugee restrictions last week:

We are gratified by U.S. District Judge James Robart’s rulingin the Jewish Family Service v. Trump and ACLU of Washington v. Trump cases, issued on December 23. Judge Robart’s order largely blocked implementation of the Trump administration’s most recent refugee restrictions, which suspended the admission of refugees from 11 countries, nine of which are predominantly Muslim, for a minimum of 90 days. The restrictions also stopped the follow-to-join process, which reunites family members with refugees already in the U.S. The decision follows our December 21 hearing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

“We are grateful families will be reunited, and refugees who have suffered so much will be able to make it to safety,” Jewish Family Service president Michele Rosen and CEO Rabbi Will Berkovitz write. “As we celebrate this moment, we remember our ancestors who did not have anyone standing with them or for them.”

The ruling on the Trump ban “granted a nationwide injunction that blocks the administration’s restrictions on the process of reuniting refugee families and partially lifted a ban on refugees from 11 mostly Muslim countries,” the Los Angeles Times reports. The JFS case was joined with a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

JFS is located on 16th Ave. In 2012, the nonprofit celebrated 120 years of service and the opening of its new headquarters. Continue reading

Synagogue hate graffiti part of string of Trump-echoing vandalism around Capitol Hill, Central District

Another case of hate tagging -- thanks to EV for the picture

Another case of hate tagging — thanks to EV for the picture

“LOVE WINS,” read the sheet quickly put up by a neighbor to cover the hateful graffiti found Friday morning targeting 16th Ave’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai on a day when even a box of old history books left innocently for the synagogue’s rabbi caused fear and uncertainty. If love wins — and is going to keep winning — it has some work to do around Capitol Hill and the Central District where Friday’s vandalism appears to be part of a string of similar property damage with messages hitting all of progressive Seattle’s deepest fears about the Trump administration.

Neighbor EV sent us the example seen outside an apartment complex in the Central District and quickly painted over. EV writes: Continue reading

Design review: Country Doctor’s 19th Ave E expansion

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-15-25-pmA crucial Capitol Hill project for one of the city’s only providers of nonprofit, low-income health care will take what should be its final step in the Seattle design review process Wednesday night.

The Country Doctor Community Clinic’s plan will create a new four-story building on the site of its 19th Ave E offices:

The new facility will provide medical services including a new dental clinic, and expanded services for WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Maternity, HIV and Chronic Pain. The project will also provide expanded administrative office and meeting space for the entire Country Doctor Community Health Centers network. The current 2,350 square feet of medical services and administrative offices provided on-site will be expanded to 9,000 square feet on the 1st and 2nd floors.

Meanwhile, the project’s top two floors will house eight workforce apartments in a mix of studio and one-bedroom units. Country Doctor had hoped to to develop the housing as affordable apartments but that the project was too small to attract a development partner.

The new $6.5 million facility is being funded by a capital campaign, $1 million in federal grants, and a $1.2 million grant from the city to support the clinic’s new dental services.

Design review: 510 19th Ave E

Executive director Linda McVeigh told CHS last fall the construction will also add more private rooms, sorely lacking in the current space. “A lot of services we provide are best provided in a one on one environment,” she said. Continue reading

Recovery and restoration at Capitol Hill’s communal PRAG House

“I went to work at 7 in the morning. Everything was normal. Then at 1 PM, I didn’t have a house,” said Leah Iraheta. Iraheta lives in the PRAG House on 16th Ave E and E Aloha which burned in June of 2014. “I don’t think you really can quite absorb it at the time,” Iraheta told CHS.

The fire was just part of the problem. While the flames did their damage, the water used to douse the fire caused problems of its own -– a typical situation in house fires. But there isn’t much typical about the PRAG house, one of a dozen or so remaining communal living houses from the movement’s heyday in the 1970s and 80s. The 2014 fired didn’t bring PRAG house’s community to an end. But it did plenty of damage.

“When you see the flames coming out of the roof, you think that’s going to be the worst damage,” said Robert Mech of Board and Vellum Architecture, the Capitol Hill firm that designed the home’s rehabilitation after the fire.

As fire burned at the top of the house, the water ran down, essentially melting the lathe and plaster walls, pooling in the basement, and creating conditions that could lead to mold and rot, so a large portion of the house needed to be rebuilt. Continue reading