What is the ‘Spirit of the Hill’ in 2020? Sugarpill’s Schwartz and Poppy’s Traunfeld reflect on small businesses ‘holding space’ on Capitol Hill

Times change in any neighborhood. The group serving as Capitol Hill’s chamber of commerce will honor two members of the neighborhood’s business community Tuesday. The Spirit of the Hill awards are about as close to a tradition as the neighborhood’s shops, bars, and restaurants come. Better honor these two quickly. One has already moved away for a new life in Palm Springs. The other?

“I’ve got to decide this year if I’m going to continue,” Karyn Schwartz says of the current lease status of her E Pine Sugarpill apothecary. “I have yet to make a dollar.”

The Spirit of the Hill awards, given out now by the Greater Seattle Business Association’s newly formed Capitol Hill Business Alliance, honor the work owners and, sometimes, public officials have done “on behalf of Capitol Hill’s small business community.”

Schwartz will be the first to say they don’t hand the award out based on sales and revenue.

“I’d love to think an honor like this is about people holding space for community. It’s the whole reason I have the store,” she said.

“I’m lucky to still be there.”

Jerry Traunfeld is also feeling blessed. Last year, he stepped away from the restaurant business, selling his north Broadway creation, Poppy, after 11 years of thalis, garden fresh herbs, and eggplant fries and making a new start in Palm Springs.

“If you water things, you can grow anything you want,” Traunfeld says of the new climate’s effects on his gardening.

Traunfeld, too, will be recognized by the GSBA Tuesday night with a Spirit of the Hill legacy award meant to recognize his long, successful presence on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

‘Two amazing, kick-ass women’ — Developers recognized with Capitol Hill Spirit Award

Adele wasn’t the only award winner hoping to share her praise in recent days.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my neighborhood than at this moment,” Pike/Pine developer Liz Dunn told the crowd as she reflected on the wave of activism in the neighborhood at last week’s State of the Hill event held at Optimism Brewing. Continue reading

The Uberization of Seattle news

Those $54 bottles of award ceremony wine aren't going to buy themselves

Those $54 bottles of award ceremony wine aren’t going to buy themselves

Wednesday, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will present a resolution to a committee of the Seattle City Council recognizing that the local media landscape is all hosed up and confusing:

Public broadcasters have a legal – and moral – responsibility to inform the public in times of emergencies. It is in those times of need that the local community relies on professionals at local news stations like KING 5 and others. Tegna, the company that recently took over operations at several stations such as KING 5, is replacing those professionals with amateur citizen reporting. Local leaders believe that would jeopardize the public safety at a time when professionalism and experience are most critical in maintaining the public trust.

At the heart of this — out of all the things to worry about in the death spiral of legitimate local news — is an app and crowdsourcing effort being rolled out to turn “citizen journalists” into cheap freelancers that has sprawling broadcasting conglomerates salivating. The app and the direction it represents are summed up as the “Uberization” of local news in the announcement of a Wednesday morning press conference featuring Sawant, various Council members, and union representatives.

We’re not expecting a resolution but CHS certainly plays a (puny) role in the changes underway. Continue reading

Spirit of the Hill nominees announced ahead of Wednesday ceremony

The 2016 State of the Hill event goes down Wednesday night at Grim’s. It’s a chance to celebrate the businesses that help define Capitol Hill as well as one special attendee that best represents “community service, excellence, and passion for this neighborhood.” The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce recently polled its members on who best exemplifies those traits for the 2016 Spirit of the Hill award. And the nominees are… a developer, an attorney and developer, a restaurateur, a community volunteer, an architect, and a community group:

  • Liz Dunn, developer at Dunn + Hobbs, for leadership and commitment to preserving the Pike/Pine corridor
  • Jerry Everard, attorney at Groff Murphy, for years of philanthropy and commitment to the Capitol Hill neighborhood
  • Rich Fox, owner at Rhein Haus and Poquitos, for years of advocacy surrounding small business in Capitol Hill
  • Don Jensen for his work with Capitol Hill Community Lunch
  • Jeff Pelletier, principal architect at Board & Velum, for stewardship on 15th Avenue
  • Volunteer Park Trust — for community engagement and beautification of Capitol Hill.

This year, CHCC director Sierra Hansen will deliver her first State of the Hill address after taking over for Michael Wells last year. You can purchase the $40 tickets for the event here. Members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Who should CHS nominate for the 2016 ‘Spirit of the Hill’ award?

Our favorite paperweight in the whole world

Our favorite paperweight in the whole world

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is taking nominations this year for its annual Spirit of the Hill award. Last year’s winner was a questionable choice. More worthy past award recipients include light rail station development community advocate Catherine Hillenbrand, Cal Anderson Park champion Kay Rood, and preservation-minded developer Michael Malone.

But who — in 2016! — best exemplifies Capitol Hill through “community service, excellence, and passion for the neighborhood?” Sorry, the nominations are for chamber members only. But you can let us know who CHS should put on the list in the comment below. Continue reading

CHS to be honored at 2015 State of the Hill event

693The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Hill event returns again later this month and we’re happy to report that CHS and publisher Justin Carder will be honored during the annual review of the chamber’s efforts and look ahead at “the work plan and goals for the coming year.”

Carder will be presented with the 2015 Spirit Award in recognition of his efforts as publisher of this site. The publisher and the writers, photographers, and community contributors of CHS have provided daily coverage of the Capitol Hill neighborhood and surrounding contributors for years after starting as a hobby blog way back in 2006. Today, CHS is 100% advertising supported and serves more than 150,000 readers every month.

Past award recipients include light rail station development community advocate Catherine Hillenbrand, Cal Anderson Park champion Kay Rood, and preservation-minded developer Michael Malone.

The State of the Hill even will be held February 19th at Melrose Market Studios. Details and the announcement from the chamber, are below. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Bullitt Center recognized as ‘the most sustainable building in the world’

(Image: Bullitt Center)

(Image: Bullitt Center)

One of the most important Capitol Hill stories of 2013 was the Earth Day opening of The Bullitt Center at 15th and Madison — the greenest commercial office building in the world. The Center’s designers — The Miller Hull Partnership — are celebrating an important recognition to finish the year.

Here’s an email from The Bullitt Foundation’s Denis Hayes about the $18.5 million center’s latest accolades:

In a December 18th email, I alerted many of you that World Architecture News had selected the Bullitt Center as one of six finalists — and the only finalist from the United States — in its annual contest for the most sustainable building in the world. To be included in that elite group was, by itself, a singular honor.

Tonight I am delighted to announce that the judging has been completed and the Bullitt Center has been selected as #1 in the world! Continue reading