11th and Pine had a communal piano for a week — Now it’s gone

As the City of Seattle looks to permanently incorporate some of the art and energy of CHOP in Cal Anderson, one element that appeared in the area after the protest camp faded has gone missing: a communal piano.

The piano, situated in front of the southeast entrance of Bobby Morris Playfield, was reportedly purchased for $22 from 11th and Pike’s Out of the Closet thrift store and then placed on the street corner for public use, according to local resident Teri McClain who first came across it on July 30.

“I bought a piano for the city and someone FIXED IT! A full 88 keys functioning on 11th and Pine,” the reported “owner” of the large musical instrument known as Sundae tweeted.

McClain told CHS she thinks the piano was a positive asset to the community, allowing her to connect with strangers and support them with pizza and chocolate as they played.  Continue reading

‘KILLER COP’ — Why they busted into Rove

Groups smashed and burned their way across Capitol Hill in a night of protest late on a Wednesday two weeks ago. It wasn’t a new scene — Capitol Hill has seen “direct action” protests before. But as larger marches and rallies have stepped off on an expanded effort to reach more communities and different parts of the city, groups seeking to make a more forceful statement or simply looking to do more damage have increasingly marched alone across Capitol Hill and the Central District.

That night in late July, the damage to buildings and businesses by some in the groups may have looked like random vandalism and graffiti. But it was targeted. And the owner of one of those targets says the message from her shop’s goods being dragged into the street and set on fire has been delivered loud and clear. It is time for Rove to leave the neighborhood.

“It went viral which I was kind of expecting,” Rachel McNew said of the weeks she spent waiting for the threats to come to fruition as the story spread of a store on the edge of the CHOP protest zone owned by a cop’s wife.

“It got real real ugly, real real quick.” Continue reading

Murder charge filed in killing of 19-year-old at CHOP as search for suspect continues

The King County Prosecutor has filed murder charges in the June 20th shooting of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson on the edge of CHOP as a search for the suspected killer continues.

Prosecutors say 18-year-old Marcel Long shot and killed Anderson at 10th and Pine in a fracas after what witnesses said was a night of gambling and fireworks on the edge of the CHOP protest camp.

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Police release new information in 11th and Pike shooting outside CHOP

SPD is asking for help identifying these “persons of interest” in a June 20th shooting at 11th and Pike (Image: SPD)

Seattle Police says its investigation has thrown a shooting victim’s story into question and that detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying “several persons of interest” in the incident that took place on the edge of the CHOP protest zone in June

The new information is related to the second shooting on June 20th, the night 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson was gunned down at 10th and Pine.

Another victim from that deadly night was reportedly found shot at 11th and Pike. SPD reported the incidents as a single shooting and media outlets included that information in their reporting. KIRO later broadcast new details from the second victim in his account of a previously unreported second shooting perpetrated by group of men a block from the first shooting just off E Pike. “I’m not sure if they were Proud Boys or KKK,” the 33-year-old victim told KIRO. Continue reading

Reopening: Capitol Hill’s Office Nomads leads way in figuring out what COVID-era coworking means

(Image: Office Nomads)

The new world of COVID-19 brings drastically changed landscapes for many Capitol Hill businesses. Born on Boylston 13 years ago, “Seattle’s original coworking community” Office Nomads has left its street behind and transitioned online after closing its office space at the end of July.

“The thread that binds all of our members is that they can work from anywhere,” Office Nomads co-owner and founder Susan Dorsch said. “All of our members prefer to work together and to work in a shared workspace, I do as well, but what we’re doing right now is not about preferences. What we’re doing right now is about safety.”

Office Nomads has long served as a hub for remote workers seeking a communal working environment — including students, entrepreneurs and freelancers — at its Boylston Ave spot. Since the business began in 2007, a burgeoning scene of coworking spaces has emerged on the Hill. But coworking’s day appears to have been a short one. COVID-19 has snuffed out thousands of jobs here and sent thousands more into a semi-permanent “working from home” lifestyle. Office space and social distancing just don’t mix. Continue reading

Weigh in on $10M in upgrades to improve Freeway Park’s connection between First Hill, Capitol Hill, and downtown

(Image: City of Seattle)

With a new initiative underway to add new features to Cal Anderson Park recognizing the power of the occupied protest camp and Black Lives Matter movement of the summer of 2020, another central city park is also in the middle of a public design process to upgrade the important public space.

Freeway Park, a public space connection to downtown through the convention center, is lined up for $10 million in upgrades — minus some consulting and design fees — thanks to the $80 million community benefits package formed to cover the value of public right of way being dedicated to the convention center’s expansion. Continue reading

Police say van abandoned at East Precinct after protest property damage held fireworks, improvised weapons

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) said Wednesday that it found fireworks, improvised spike strips, nails, and bear mace in an impounded car parked near the department’s East Precinct during Saturday protests that the SPD declared a riot.

Police say they saw a van following protesters on 12th Ave Saturday afternoon, which was later abandoned in front of the precinct. Concerned that there could be explosives in the vehicle after a witness reported seeing baseball bats and pyrotechnics being distributed from the van, it was impounded and police were granted a search warrant on Tuesday.

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More protest on Capitol Hill following Saturday ‘riot’ — UPDATE

UPDATE 8:51 PM: After hours of back and forth around the East Precinct on the night of the hottest day so far this year in Seattle, demonstrators rallied at Broadway and Pine with dozens of protesters and makeshift plywood shields when organizers began urging the crowds to head home. Not all left the area but the crowd thinned considerably as large groups of police and bike officers waited nearby.

ORIGINAL REPORT: A day after a massive protest march turned riot on Capitol Hill in which 47 people were arrested and the Seattle Police Department says 59 of its officers were hurt with injuries including “abrasions and bruising to burns and a torn meniscus,” a smaller crowd of demonstrators again formed Sunday evening on the Seattle Central lawn to make plans for another night of calls for Black Lives Matter causes including cutting the city’s police budget in half. There is, of course, no official count of how many protesters were injured Saturday.

Earlier Sunday, SPD moved early on protest organizers who had planned a rally and march against the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement wing of the Department of Homeland Security by making arrests and removing several support vehicles from downtown’s Westlake plaza. Meanwhile, signs went up at Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson announcing the park’s closure. City parks department officials have not returned our calls for explanation of the closure. That didn’t stop another crowd of protesters from gathering there Sunday night.

Early reports had the crowds leaving their gathering places and hitting the streets around 6:45 PM. Continue reading

‘Tough days ahead’ — Seattle braces for ‘solidarity w/ PDX’ clashes — UPDATE: Saturday big march and fire at the youth jail leads to riot on Capitol Hill

Saturday’s protest carried into the night. More updates below.

UPDATE 7/25/2020 4:15 PM: A massive march from Broadway and Pine circled the East Precinct and rallied as more protesters joined Saturday in a solidary action with Portland that included more targeted property damage including large fires set to the ongoing construction site at the 12th Ave youth jail and broken windows and smoke inside a Starbucks on 12th Ave. Broken windows were also reported at other nearby businesses.

The large crowd numbering in the thousands began its march around 2 PM and rallied with groups including .Wall of Moms rallying support for protesters in Portland and calling for a list of Black Lives Matter demands in Seattle including defunding the Seattle Police Department. Continue reading

Groups smash glass, set fires across Capitol Hill in burst of protest mayhem — UPDATE

The fire outside Rove (Image: Matt Mitgang)

Protesters smashed glass and set fires across Capitol Hill Wednesday night in a bout of mayhem organizers said was a “call for direct action” against Seattle Police and federal agents.

The night’s early targets included the E Olive Way Starbucks and the soon to open new Uncle Ike’s nearby where fireworks were reportedly used to start a small fire on the outside of the building that was quickly extinguished by Seattle Fire as the protesters marched on. The Uncle Ike’s at 23rd and Union was also damaged by a suspected arson fire involving fireworks in early July.

Starbucks continues to be a target in Seattle protests over its support of the Seattle Police Foundation.

The Blu Dot showroom and the Neko cat cafe also suffered damage during the riot involving around 100 people who marched from Cal Anderson starting around 10 PM. UPDATE: Sounds like the report of damage to Neko wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Ownership reports the building was hit with graffiti. Thanks for checking on the kitties. E Pine’s Plant Shop also suffered a broken window.

Seattle Police were present in large numbers following the crowd and collecting evidence at crime and fire scenes.

As the demonstrators marched near the East Precinct later in the night, protesters ripped down plywood and busted into the Rove vintage store and were reported gathering clothing and items from inside and setting the goods on fire. Continue reading