Equity, sustainability, and maybe a ‘superblock’ — Capitol Hill business owner is new EcoDistrict leader

Moodie at a conference with Capitol Hill business owners discussing the COVID-19 impact earlier this month (Image: CHS)

By Andrew LaChapelle, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

There are other problems in the world — and opportunities to address them — beyond COVID-19. Donna Moodie, a longtime Seattle restaurateur and owner of 14th and Union’s Marjorie, is already thinking about how to solve them.

Moodie took the helm as executive director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict program to start 2020.

Her organization is dedicated to equity and sustainability.

“I’ve been really inspired with the youth movement, trying to be more aware of the state we are leaving things in for the next generations to come,” Moodie said. Continue reading

‘Amazon Tax Legislation’ unveiled — Plan would tax payrolls of Amazon and Seattle’s ‘825 biggest companies’

Swatting away ethics concerns, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant unveiled her proposal Wednesday morning that would raise $300 million for housing and environmental initiatives with a tax on Amazon and Seattle’s largest payrolls.

“On behalf of our movement, I’m excited to put forward this bold, transformative proposal,” Sawant said. “We know that big business, the wealthy, and the political establishment will staunchly oppose this, and that we will need a powerful movement. If we win, this will not only transform the lives of Seattle’s working people, it will set a historical marker for cities around the nation.”

The online giant remains in Sawant’s crosshairs. Sawant’s official Seattle City Council press release on the announcement calls her proposal the “Amazon Tax Legislation.” Continue reading

Design review: First Hill ‘Living Building’ will climb 21 stories and be constructed like LEGO, piece by piece

CollinsWoerman’s designs for 901 Madison

Madison Street’s next contribution to Seattle’s ultra-green Living Building program could be a 21-story apartment tower set to rise in unique fashion on First Hill. The development takes its first bow in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

Plans for the 901 Madison project detail a more than 170-unit building — around 45 of those units will be affordable using two housing programs, MFTE and Mandatory Housing Affordability — with new street level retail, and, yes, even though it will be super green, underground parking for 40 vehicles.

Developers Sustainable Living Innovations and architect CollinsWoerman plan to make use of the city’s Living Building incentive program that will allow two additional floors of height in exchange for meeting ecologically friendly building standards. The two floors, by the way, would boost the total units in the building by about 12%

The building is planned to generate 105% of the power it uses through a mixture of wastewater heat recovery (using the heat from hot water that goes down the drain), efficient heat pumps, and solar panels. They are also exploring the idea of using wastewater heat from nearby buildings. Continue reading

It’s about that bold climate action, boss — Youth climate activists push Mayor on Green New Deal executive order

Three young climate activists let Mayor Durkan know that they are looking to her for “bold climate action” (Image: SCCI)

With reporting by Seattle City Council Insight

In December, Mayor Jenny Durkan was named a “City Leader of the Year” in large part for her pledges to tackle climate change. 2020 begins with work to live up to the accolade.

Wednesday, Durkan signed an executive order specifying several actions that her administration will take to advance a “Green New Deal for Seattle.”

Last year the City Council passed a Green New Deal resolution and established an oversight board for environment-related work by the city. The resolution lists many actions, including studying the feasibility of the city purchasing renewable natural gas for use in buildings and the city’s transportation fleet and writing a “Green New Deal budget memo” as part of the annual budget process. Continue reading

Rent on Capitol Hill is too high for human composting — Neighborhood-born Recompose unveils plans for first facility in Seattle

(Image: Olson Kundig)

A revolution in “death care” with Capitol Hill roots will take first shape in a SoDo warehouse.

Rent on Capitol Hill is too high for composting humans.

Recompose has announced the location for its first human composting facility and unveiled architecture firm Olson Kundig’s designs for the 18,000+ square foot facility:

at the core of the recompose center is a modular system containing approximately 75 of these vessels, stacked and arranged to demarcate a central gathering space. there are also spaces for the storage and preparation of bodies, administrative back-of-house areas, and an interpretive public lobby which describes the recompose process. porous connections between indoor and outdoor spaces further blur the boundary between the human experience and natural processes.

Continue reading

Paving the way for taller buildings on smaller lots, 21-story First Hill apartments will be super green and use modular construction

A rendering of the planned 901 Madison high-rise

(Image: Sustainable Living Innovations)

A new high-rise residential building along Madison Street will make use of both the city’s Living Building initiative and a new modular construction technique as it climbs above First Hill.

The land on the corner of 9th Ave and Madison is currently home to the Quarter Lounge, George’s Delicatessen, and the now-empty former home of Lotus Asian Kitchen.

The building will be demolished to make way for a 21-story residential structure, with ground floor retail, being built by Sustainable Living Innovations.

Plans call for a 176-unit building, of which 47 will be affordable units, using two housing programs — MFTE and Mandatory Housing Affordability. The building will have a mix of sizes including efficiency, and 1- and 2-bedroom units. The affordable housing component will similarly have a mix of efficiency and 1- and 2-bedroom units. Five of the 47 affordable units will be 2-bedroom units.

The developers of the 901 Madison project say they are working with the existing retail tenants, and talking with the First Hill Improvement Association to find the best fit for retail in the area for the corner across the street from neighborhood icons Vito’s and The Sorrento Hotel. Continue reading

How $150K ‘Public Life Study’ could be start of creating a Capitol Hill pedestrian and bike-only superblock

It took two decades of community planning to guide the affordable housing and community space-rich “transit oriented development” set to open above Capitol Hill Station in 2020. Proponents hope a new community-driven plan will play out faster to grow the neighborhood’s Capitol Hill EcoDistrict and — ultimately — create a pedestrian-and cyclist-first “superblock” in the middle of the neighborhood.

The start of this new “Public Life” plan began this summer in Copenhagen and will, officials hope, take a small, $150,000 step forward this fall as the Seattle City Council puts its touches on the city’s next fiscal budget. The discussion will begin Friday in council chambers.

“It’s about focusing on the EcoDistrict to make it more pedestrian friendly and a model for sustainability,” citywide representative Lorena González tells CHS about her proposal to add funding for a “Public Life Study” of Capitol Hill and the longterm hopes for the plan to shape the neighborhood: Continue reading

The Heart of Transformation: Healing and Sacred Service on Earth – a Workshop with Michael Meade

Join renowned author, mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade for a day-long workshop of myths of renewal, tales of transformation, and a call to find unity in this time of conflict and confusion.

This workshop will draw upon the redeeming function of myth as a vessel of imagination and regeneration that can open new ways to envision life and new paths of initiation to follow whether at a younger or older stage of life.

It is our collective fate to live in a time of climate crisis and eco-disasters that call for fundamental changes in our relationship to the living earth. The change from an isolating world view to one that realigns with the heart of nature involves not simply a shift of attention, but acts of true imagination and heartfelt service. We are in the midst of a collective rite of passage that requires that we not simply change, but truly transform our way of being in the world.

Hard facts must be faced and scientific data must be accepted and utilized. However, if we reduce the world to what we can measure and count, we lose all that is immeasurable and transformative about life. A true transformation moves the heart as well as the mind and carries us beyond our current understanding of both ourselves and the living world around us.

Awakening at the level of the heart and soul becomes necessary to change the collective attitudes about the earth; acting upon what moves our hearts can connect us to the heart of nature. The heart’s purpose appears as both deeply personal and world involving, as both unique vision and world connecting.

In terms of mythic imagination, the seeds of renewal can be found precisely within the conditions of chaos, disorder and disintegration. Awakening the soul leads to acts of truth and courage, but also practices of devotion and sacred service. The awakened soul becomes the source of vision and creative agency that can inspire a collective renewal at both the level of survival and of transformation.

THEMES INCLUDE:

  • Myths of restoration of the Earth and renewal of life that help us see the world with different eyes
  • Working with the genius loci or spirit of place
  • Aligning our inner genius and character with service in the world
  • Finding a “dharma path” that helps us live amidst chaos and can help restore the life force of the world
  • Using healing rituals that can deepen our sense of community and create reservoirs of hope

“The agony of the earth calls for each of us to defeat the growing alienation and isolation of life in order to become more human and be more present. The issue is not the pretension of “saving the planet,” but rather finding deeper ways of serving the earth.”     — Michael Meade

 

TICKETS:

$85

 

DATE:

Saturday, November 23

9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

 

LOCATION:

First Baptist Church

1111 Harvard Ave

Seattle, WA

 

CONTACT INFO:

Mosaic Multicultural Foundation

info@mosaicvoices.org

206-935-3665

www.mosaicvoices.org

 

LINKS:

Ticket link:  https://www.mosaicvoices.org/shop/#!/The-Heart-of-Transformation-Seattle/p/149578323

Event Website: https://www.mosaicvoices.org/events

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeadeMyth

Podcast: https://www.mosaicvoices.org/podcast

Video: https://www.youtube.com/user/mosaicvoices/videos

Chaos, Climate and Creation: Transformation and Renewal on Earth – an evening with Michael Meade

Join renowned author, mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade for an evening of myths of renewal, tales of transformation, and a call to find unity in this time of conflict and confusion.  

As the chaos in the world increases, most ideas of the future become fatalistic. Yet, the situation only seems “hopeless” when viewed from the narrow logic of a collapsing world view. Old ways of seeing the world are blocking more vital paths of imagination, vision and healing.

The point is not simply evolution or progress, rather there needs to be a collective rite of passage that transforms our world view. Transformation is required to move us from despair and overwhelm to awakening and imagination. We are either on the way to transformation or on the road to greater tragedy.

The agony of the earth calls for each of us to defeat the growing alienation and isolation of life in order to become more human and be more present. The issue is not the pretension of “saving the planet,” but rather finding deeper ways of serving the earth.

This world, despite all its troubles, remains a place of ongoing creation. Yet, creation can only work through the souls of those alive at a given time. What we learn from mythic stories and imagination is how our human nature can make us part of the ground of being and the vital pulse of the living world.

 “Climate change and eco-degradation can become the context in which the core values of humanity become redeemed rather than lost.”   – Michael Meade

 

TICKETS:

$15 General / $10 Student

Doors open at 6:30 pm

 

DATE:

Thursday, November 21, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

 

LOCATION:

First Baptist Church

1111 Harvard Ave., Seattle, WA 98122

 

CONTACT INFO:

Mosaic Multicultural Foundation

info@mosaicvoices.org

206-935-3665

www.mosaicvoices.org

 

LINKS:

Ticket link: https://www.mosaicvoices.org/shop/#!/Chaos-Climate-Creation-Seattle/p/148612459

Event Website: https://www.mosaicvoices.org/events

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeadeMyth

Podcast: https://www.mosaicvoices.org/podcast

Video: https://www.youtube.com/user/mosaicvoices/videos

‘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