Capitol Hill massacre victims unforgotten at 22nd and Republican

Capitol Hill Shooting Memorial 2.JPGFriday will mark 10 years since six people were killed by a single gunman in an early morning shooting rampage at a Capitol Hill house party. The victims were 14-year-old Melissa Moore, 15-year-old Suzanne Thorne, 21-year-old Christopher Williamson, 22-year-old Justin Schwarz, 26-year-old Jeremy Martin, and 32-year-old Jason Travers.

As with so many mass shootings since, there is still no real explanation for what prompted 28-year-old Kyle Huff to embark on what was likely the most violent 10 minutes in Capitol Hill history. Stories and letters published in the days following the tragedy painted Huff as an introverted and isolated young man. Those who knew him from his hometown of Whitefish, Montana remembered him and his twin brother as inseparable outcasts, quiet and shy. Huff’s north Seattle landlord described him as respectful.

On the night of the shooting, residents of the 22nd and E Republican house were hosting an afterparty following a rave, billed Better Off Undead, at the now-shuttered Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Ave. Huff was reportedly invited to the house while at the rave, but was not close with anyone at either party. After arriving to the house and making some small talk, Huff left. A short time later he returned, heavily armed, just before sunrise.

Across the intersection, a longtime resident named Susan was looking for her morning newspaper when she noticed a man across the street spray painting “NOW” on the sidewalk.

She thought it was strange but not alarming, and went back inside. Minutes later Susan heard what she initially thought were firecrackers. Then came the screams. She went outside again and watched as the man she saw spray painting emerged from the house, placed the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. “It was very traumatic,” she said. “I remember it all.” Continue reading

CHS turns 10

A scene from one of our biggest news stories... ever

A 2013 scene from one of CHS’s biggest news stories… ever. Thanks, Macklemore.

Ten years ago today, CHS published for the first time. The post still makes me cringe. January 12, 2016 marks our 10-year anniversary, of sorts. Back then, we clung much closer to the “community” part of community news. Some of you were there. You might — sometimes — miss those days. In the decade since, CHS has grown into something else. At first, it was my own curiosity and the questions from regular readers that drove the site. There were days without posts. There were no ads. But the questions got more complicated and the time spent answering them, more involved. Within two years, CHS was a puny little news operation, paying people to report and take pictures. Within three years, our taxes started getting complicated. Four and five years in, this had become serious stuff. But not too serious. We still try to find time for a goof. We’ll still push an unvarnished “community post” onto the homepage. The whole point has been to do this in a different way. So far, so good.

Below, I’ve taken the easy way out from trying to explain the past decade by listing our biggest news days in the past 10 years:

  1. 4/1/2014 — 16,683 readers — E Madison property home to Piecora’s sold to developer in $10.29 million deal
  2. 8/6/2015 — 16,762 readers  Police investigating after man shot in gunfight outside club at Pine/Melrose
  3. 1/23/2015 — 19,608 readers — Anheuser-Busch acquires Elysian Brewing Company — including E Pike brewery
  4. 10/27/2015 — 20,636 readers — Garbage truck gone rogue closes streets around E Olive Way
  5. 6/22/2015 — 21,031 readers — Mayor Murray set to unveil ‘Rainbow Crosswalks on Capitol Hill’
  6. 1/1/2014 — 22,692 readers — New Year’s fire incident at Neighbours investigated
  7. 7/5/2013 — 24,036 readers — Standoff with armed suspect locks down Bellevue/Denny area
  8. 11/22/2015 — 27,198 readers  Five injured in shooting at Broadway and Pike
  9. 7/24/2013 — 27,198 readers  Reddit, street closure fuel rumors of Macklemore Broadway Dick’s video shoot
  10. 6/16/2015 — 27,356 readers — Broadway says goodbye to Charlie’s — UPDATE: Confirmed :(

6016178You’ll note that six of our ten biggest readership days were in the past year — the CHS audience continues to grow. Here are a few more stories from over the years where we had more visitors than average. They range from…

If you are new to CHS, the list above illustrates only a small part of what we’ve been up to. More important has been the day in, day out dedication from every person who put time and effort into being part of the site. The three, four, maybe five or six stories we bring you every day — 18,245 so far. The 2 AM sirens. The unbelievable scenes that play out in this fantastic neighborhood. The awful, amazing, relentless change. The people, places, and things that somehow manage to stay the same.

Thanks to the contributors. Thanks, advertisers. Thanks, subscribers. Thanks, family for accepting this weird way to make a buck in our lives. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being part of CHS.

Central Lutheran celebrates 125 years of evolving faith on Capitol Hill

IMG_5463Changing with the needs of the community can keep you alive for 125 years. That’s what the leadership of 11th Ave’s Central Lutheran Church believes as the congregation prepares to celebrate the esteemed anniversary November 1st.

“The building continues to change,” Pastor Cindy Salo said of the aged brick chapel and administration buildings along 11th. “But the building hasn’t changed as much as we have. The church has had to become something different to survive in 2015.”

2015 has been an important year for big milestones for Central Seattle houses of worship. 19th and Madison’s Mt. Zion also marked 125 years of community.

Since its establishment in 1890, Central Lutheran, today sitting on the east side of Cal Anderson Park, has managed to continue its service to the neighborhood and its worshippers with openness and a dedication to equality and fairness for all people.

The church was first founded at 7th Ave and Union in a remodeled tin shop as a dedicated English-speaking Lutheran church, contrasting the various Lutheran institutions that catered to immigrants and their languages. The Capitol Hill location’s land was purchased in 1901 for $2,300, according to the Central Lutheran archives. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Station ‘launch’ planned for March, indeed

IMG_8039-600x900CapitolHillStationSign-600x112 (1)March 2016 will be an epic month for Seattle’s transportation system. Sound Transit officials are planning for a “launch” event that month for the new light rail extension from downtown to Montlake via Capitol Hill, according to a Wednesday morning Seattle “special events” planning session.

Meanwhile, state officials are also planning a March 2016 grand opening event for the 520 bridge replacement project that will include a fun run across Seattle streets and WSDOT’s new floating bridge. No, the westside portion of the project won’t yet be complete. The Cascade Bicycle Club is also planning an Emerald City Bicycle Ride as part of the grand opening festivities, according to Wednesday’s meeting.

The opening of the two major infrastructure projects will be big news for transit geeks and commuters alike. The March 2016 light rail launch event will involve both Capitol Hill Station on Broadway and the UW Station near Husky Stadium. No specific dates for the events have been announced. Continue reading

‘Something to get motivated’ — Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival turns 20

After attending a gay film festival in San Francisco’s in the early 1990s, artist Skylar Fein knew he wanted to create the same kind of celebration in Seattle. He tested the waters in 1995 then held the first Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 1996. Since then the SLGFF has grown into a Capitol Hill tradition. This year, more than 10,000 people are expected to attend the festival’s 20th anniversary.

The reels get rolling Thursday with a showing of Freeheld at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

“It’s something to get motivated, this bittersweet story about a woman dying and a fight for basic civil rights,” says Three Dollar Bill Cinema executive director Jason Plourde. “It’s also a reminder of how far we’ve come as a community and a movement.” Continue reading

Mount Zion marks 125 years of community

19th and Madison’s Mount Zion is celebrating its 125-year history in Seattle with a year of focus on the church’s dedication to community. Last weekend, the pews were filled in a celebration to honor city and community leaders on Beloved Community Sunday.

“We have come far together, and there is still a lot of work to do. I look forward to continued and new strong partnerships,” Senior Pastor Rev. Aaron Williams said in a statement. “Together, we can move the community forward and possibly become a model for the nation.”

Honorees included Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney who pretty much outdid just about anything you or I can achieve by receiving an award named for him:

In celebration of 125 years of serving the community and being a leader in the fight for civil rights, Mount Zion will honor community leaders and organizations who have been part of their journey to build a more equitable community for all. Honorees include Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, who will receive the first annual Samuel B. McKinney Beloved Community Lifetime Achievement Award.

McKinney will be among nearly two dozen notable honorees, including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole (represented by Deputy Chief Carmen best), Seattle Colleges Chancellor Dr. Jill Wakefield, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, the Urban League of Seattle, King County and the NAACP.

According to our Re:Take history of the church, Mount Zion was founded in the 1890s, and for its first decade rented a few different spaces downtown. Church members date Mount Zion to 1890 when “a small group of African Americans held prayer services in their homes.”

The church eventually bought its own property and moved to 11th and Union joining another African American — First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) at 14th and Pine.

24 years later, Mount Zion moved to its present day home:

Mt. Zion raised their building and added a floor, but they were never happy with the results. Finally in 1920 they bought the larger property we know on the southeast corner of 19th and Madison.

Today, Mount Zion remains one of the largest African American churches in the city. Given the pace of development in the area, it’s probably not surprising to learn the church has been working on a “master plan” for the 19th/Madison property that could one day lead to a new church campus and development. For now, congratulations on 125 years, Mount Zion.

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Hopvine marks 20 years on Capitol Hill with week of craft brew events, special open mic

While Capitol Hill celebrates the birth of another beer-y establishment as the EuroPub opens on Broadway, the legendary Hopvine Pub is ready to mark its 20 years in the neighborhood by doing what it does best with a week of the best in craft brewing, open mic, music, and fun.

11885777_10153001283966283_3404742398035636549_oHere’s the lineup for Hopvine’s 20th anniversary celebration week:

  • Monday September 28th 6pm – Naked City Cask Night .
  • Tuesday September 29th 7pm – Two Beers Brewing
  • Wednesday September 30th 8pm – Anniversary Open Mic Sponsored by Black Raven
  • Thursday October 1st 7pm – Stoup Brewing Hopvine Beer Release
  • Friday October 2nd 9pm – Anacortes Karaoke
  • Saturday October 3rd 8pm – Anniversary Week Finale with Schooner Exact Brewing and the Lonely Mountain Lovers Band.

The Washington Beer Blog has all the details about the hoppy events.

CHS visited 15th Ave E earlier this year to tell the story of 20 years at the Hop:

Two decades of ‘American beer and American comfort food’ at the Hopvine
Bob Brenlin
loves to talk about beer. He has spent nearly three decades in the business of selling suds as a co-owner of three pubs in Seattle, including 15th Ave East’sHopvine, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015.

When he opened the Hopvine in September 1995, he had already been running the Latona Pub in Green Lake since 1987 (the third pub is the Fiddler’s Inn in Wedgwood), so he had time to get the business model down. When he opened, he said he hoped to accomplish two goals.

“We wanted to be part of a local community, a nice neighborhood, and introduce them to interesting craft beer,” he said.

The Hopvine’s open mic events, meanwhile, have become a showcase for up and comers — and everyone in between.

Over the years, the comfy pub on what used to be the comfiest commercial strip on Capitol Hill has also become known for its simple pizzas and warming soups that were made to accompany a pint — or two. “Pairing is a bonus, but at the end of the day, it’s about what you like,” the Hopvine’s kitchen manager Michael Congdon told CHS. “It’s American beer and American comfort food. It’s kind of tough to screw up.”

The Hopvine is located at 507 15 Ave E. You can also learn more about its anniversary week events on the Hopvine Facebook page.

Two decades of ‘American beer and American comfort food’ at the Hopvine

Bob Brenlin and Michael Congdon in front of Hopvine's evergrowing photo wall (Images: CHS)

Bob Brenlin, left, and Michael Congdon in front of Hopvine’s evergrowing photo wall (Images: CHS)

WP_20150312_004Bob Brenlin loves to talk about beer. He has spent nearly three decades in the business of selling suds as a co-owner of three pubs in Seattle, including 15th Ave East’s Hopvine, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015.

When he opened the Hopvine in September 1995, he had already been running the Latona Pub in Green Lake since 1987 (the third pub is the Fiddler’s Inn in Wedgwood), so he had time to get the business model down. When he opened, he said he hoped to accomplish two goals.

“We wanted to be part of a local community, a nice neighborhood, and introduce them to interesting craft beer,” he said.

Brenlin has no sense of how many different beers he’s been able to introduce to the neighborhood over the years, but with 12 ever-rotating taps multiplied by 20 years, the number is well into the thousands. In particular, all of his pubs feature what he called “creative, hop-forward” beers, particularly IPAs which he called the perennial best sellers from all of the craft breweries.

Brenlin always tried to focus on breweries from Washington and Oregon, he said, and it has been fun watching the number of small breweries grow. When the Hopvine opened, there were around 12 craft breweries in the state, now there’s more than 200 with more added regularly, he said. And when one of his bartenders pours one of those beers, Brenlin said they have one goal.

“Try and get the best pint as possible. Try to pour a beer as close to what the brewer intended as possible,” he said. Continue reading

‘Well-worn but cozy’ on North Capitol Hill, Roanoke celebrates a 20th anniversary

Chris Price shared this, "the oldest photo I can put my hands on right now - most likely from the late 90's, possibly 2000, since it's pre-liquor. Note the cassette tape rack! And the tall blond guy in the middle is Greg, the regular most everyone would recognize. He died in 2013 and there is a little plaque marking his spot at the bar..." (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

Chris Price shared this, “the oldest photo I can put my hands on right now – most likely from the late 90’s, possibly 2000, since it’s pre-liquor. Note the cassette tape rack! And the tall blond guy in the middle is Greg, the regular most everyone would recognize. He died in 2013 and there is a little plaque marking his spot at the bar…” (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

"The original cooler we had until it died in 2015," Price says (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

“The original cooler we had until it died in 2015,” Price says (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

The Roanoke isn’t fancy, and it doesn’t try to be. The bar, celebrating 20 years under the ownership of Chris and Jeff Price with a big 10th Ave E party Saturday, goes for more of a comfortable, living room vibe.

“It’s well-worn but cozy, like your favorite pair of tennis shoes,” Chris Price tells CHS.

The Prices took over in May of 1995. Jeff had been working for his parents at the now closed Factoria Pub. That place had a change of ownership, and Jeff didn’t fit with the new owners, so he left to find new opportunities, as Chris Price tells it. They had some connections to the broker selling the Roanoke, and the couple looked at it and snapped it up.

Roanoke 20th Anniversary Party
Saturday, May 16th 5 PM
Roanoke celebrates its 20th year with raffles, grilling, and special deals on drinks!

Since then, Chris Price said, they’ve tried to keep it much like it was back then, outside of repainting the place 10 or 15 years ago. She said some actually criticize the place for being on the dingy side in some spots, but it doesn’t bother her.

“That’s probably true, but we like it that way,” Continue reading