City says vandalism putting parking pay stations out of commission around Capitol Hill protest zone

Seattleites who seem to have both an unending appetite for paid parking and complaining about it might have a new reason to support the controversial “direct action” protesters who gather and march on Capitol Hill nearly every night.

The city says protesters have destroyed dozens of parking pay stations and there are currently no plans for repairs. The vandalism has caused thousands of dollars in damage and lost revenue for the city.

“It is unfortunately true that close to 80 pay stations have been seriously vandalized, and graffiti has abounded,” a Seattle Department of Transportation representative wrote to a CHS reader who contacted the city about the problem and shared the message with us. “The Capitol Hill neighborhood has taken the brunt of much of the damage to the City’s parking infrastructure.”

Some of the lost revenue might be offset by an increase in parking tickets with parking enforcement officers again issuing fines after this summer’s COVID-19 grace period. With the pay stations busted, many more drivers are risking a ticket over using the city’s online payment system. And searching for a working meter is a waste of time. Vandals have destroyed pretty much every station for blocks around Cal Anderson.

SPD says it is looking into parking enforcement issues related to the damaged stations but has not yet provided an update to CHS. Continue reading

Amid *huge* early turnout and hope of leaving 2016 behind, Capitol Hill faces Election Night 2020 — UPDATE

2016 was a long time ago

Four years ago on Election Night, CHS readers went to bed with excitement about the strong showings for Pramila Jayapal, Nicole Macri, and Sound Transit 3 — and worries from the just before midnight concession of Hillary Clinton in her defeat by Donald Trump. An overnight protest gathered groups at 10th and Pike and small fires were reported set across the Hill and in Cal Anderson Park. There were no reported arrests and Seattle Police mostly stood by to monitor the small crowds but it was a sign of the years to come.

In 2020 as we prepare again for Election Night in Seattle, there are reasons for optimism even as already boarded business districts add new corners of plywood to join the blocks that have stayed boarded up throughout the pandemic and ongoing protests. Polling has improved thanks to increased effort at the state level. And turnout is surging across much of the country boosted by gains and improvements in by-mail and absentee voting in many states.

In King County, turnout has already reached 72% with 1,014,557 ballots returned as of Sunday night’s update. Continue reading

Checking in: Bimbos adds new paint, dividers, and a new street taco menu overhaul — and, yes, even the Cha Cha has added social distancing measures

Bimbos — now with dividers (Image: Bimbos Cantina)

Checking in is an occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

Not every check-in with an old friend has to be a drawn out affair. Not a lot has changed with Bimbos Cantina and the Cha Cha other than months of pandemic — and new plexiglass dividers and a new coat of paint.

“Well, we are definitely struggling with being a small restaurant and only being able to operate at a limited capacity, it’s been difficult,” owner Jeff Ofelt tells CHS. Continue reading

Seattle marks 150 days of protest with march from Capitol Hill

“Seattle organizers are planning a protest against police brutality as clashes with cops and rioting in Minneapolis have continued in the fiery unrest following the killing of George Floyd,” CHS reported Friday, May 29th.

That May march was organized by Central District anti-police and gun violence group Not This Time and activist Andre Taylor. But by the end of the night as thousands moved through the streets of the city and across Capitol Hill, it was clear that something larger was taking place.

150 day later, organizers of the groups that have formed and galvanized in the months since that first night of protest in Seattle gathered smaller crowds Monday night in Cal Anderson Park. Still measuring in the hundreds, the demonstrators heard organizers plead for those who showed up to mark the milestone and recommit to bolster the ongoing demonstrations and Black Lives Matter cause. Some expressed surprise at the large turnout as smaller groups have been continuing to protest, march, and sometimes take direct action with property damage and vandalism in the weeks since the larger citywide protests have ended.

A CHS timeline of the “150 days” is below. Continue reading

Hawaiian and Filipino BBQ, cocktails, and a probable goodbye to Cal Anderson — Cure expands with Remedium Island Grill at 15th and Pine

(Image: Remedium Island Grill)

An opportunity for expansion in a big, new space only blocks away on Capitol Hill will be a welcome change for Nagle Place cocktail and charcuterie bar Cure after a year of tear gas around Cal Anderson Park and business survival amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on bars.

Now at 15th and Pine, the brothers behind Cure have opened Remedium Island Grill, a Hawaiian and Filipino BBQ taking over the space formerly home to upscale Japanese joint Naka Adana. Cure will put the upper bar space into motion as a new home as it likely says goodbye to Nagle and Cal Anderson Park.

“Since March 15th and Inslee’s bar closure mandate – to the scattered phases, tear gas at Cal Anderson, the creation of CHOP and more, we’ve been pulling through as a family and small business as best we can,” owners Sean and Joe Sheffer say in their announcement.

Adana, from chef/owner Shota Nakajima, closed in March as the early waves of the pandemic slowdown hit the food and drink industry. Continue reading

Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Retail Therapy makes it safe and easy for customers to enjoy shopping for creations from independent artists

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is an occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Gabrielle Locke

“We are riding the rollercoaster, like everyone else,” Wazhma Samizay said.

Samizay opened Retail Therapy nearly 18 years ago after traveling through Europe, “At the time, Seattle didn’t have many shops with a mix of art and goods. I wanted to do something like that here, to have a way for artists to show their work, and that’s how I did it. I just came back and took a leap of faith.”

The small E Pike shop specializes in gifts, clothing apparel, jewelry, and, cards all created by independent artists.

“Retail therapy is all about making people feel good. If you buy something from me, I want it to be something that you’ve worn and worn, and you have the stories to match it. It’s not necessarily about the thing; it’s really about you” Samizay said. Continue reading

Arrests and charges against duo in bat and Molotov cocktail attacks on East Precinct — and a glimpse inside black bloc

Charges against two friends police say were responsible for Molotov cocktail attacks at the East Precinct, fires in the streets of Pike/Pine, and the bat attack on a riot officer during a September clash with police that made national headlines provide a glimpse into the ongoing black bloc demonstrations on Capitol Hill and across Seattle and reveal the simple clues that allowed detectives to track down the suspects.

Seattle Police and the King County Prosecutor announced the arrests in the most high profile recent protest incidents and charges against Jacob Greenburg, 19, and Danielle McMillan, 29, this week.

Greenburg, a Kirkland resident, is charged with first degree attempted arson, reckless burning, and first degree assault for the September bat attack on an officer after police moved in on a large crowd of protesters demonstrating against injustice in the Breonna Taylor case as a grand jury in Kentucky declined to file homicide charges in the March 2020 killing of the 26-year-old Black woman. Greenburg also faces a charge of being armed with a deadly weapon in the attack. Police say the teen has no known criminal history.

McMillan, who lists an Everett address, is charged with first degree arson and also has a limited criminal record. In 2018, she was busted for reckless driving, and was charged with obstruction in 2011. She also faced minor drug charges in 2009, the court records state.

Both are scheduled to enter pleas on the charges next week.

The prosecutor’s office says the case is one of around 20 it is handling from arrests made during months of protest across the city. “The overwhelming majority of protest-related arrests are never referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” the office said in a statement.

In the court documents, police describe the baseball bat attack that left the officer stunned but not seriously injured, and a series of Molotov cocktail attacks and arsons around the East Precinct that Greenburg and McMillan are alleged to have planned and taken part in. Following the attack on the officer, police asked for the public’s help tracking down the suspect and began searching for more information about the person seen striking the officer in video of the assault circulating online. Police say the duo also made incriminating statements to each other via text. “can we like pls slit every spd throat,” the 19-year-old is alleged to have texted. Continue reading

You can try on history again as Seattle cap and jersey maker Ebbets Field Flannels teams up with Throwbacks Northwest at Capitol Hill vintage shop

(Image: Throwbacks Northwest)

Tuesday night brings the first pitch of the 2020 World Series which pits the storied franchise of the Los Angeles Dodgers dating back to their roots in 1883 Brooklyn against the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that traces its history all the way back to… 1998. For baseball lovers, it will be a moment of nostalgia worth celebrating. Back in March as Spring Training came to an abrupt end, it seemed possible there wouldn’t even be a 2020 season.

In that spirit, there’s a new team in Pike/Pine pairing up and hoping to rise amid the ongoing pandemic. Capitol Hill vintage retailer Throwbacks Northwest has welcomed Seattle’s Ebbets Field Flannels to join its retail mix on E Pike. Continue reading

Capitol Hill home decor retailer Stock and Pantry announces permanent closure

(Image: Stock & Pantry)

Another one of a kind Capitol Hill retailer has announced it is permanently closing due to challenges from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Owner Sasha Clark announced she is closing Stock and Pantry after a final day of business on Friday, October 23rd:

The store, and our wonderful community of designers and customers (friends!) has been our passion for over 4 years, and while we have done everything possible in order to stay open, and exhausted every avenue for help, we’ve had to make the heartbreaking decision that we can’t make it work any longer in this format and during these times

CHS reported on Stock and Pantry’s home decor retail business joining a roster of bigger chain names in the massive Excelsior mixed-use development that rose above the former “Bauhaus block” and opened for residents and new retail tenants in 2017. Continue reading

Lawsuit over Capitol Hill protest zone can move forward: City of Seattle loses important first round in CHOP legal battle

A lawsuit brought by a collection of 12th Ave real estate developers, small businesses, and residents against the City of Seattle and Mayor Jenny Durkan over the handling of this summer’s CHOP Capitol Hill occupied protest zone can move forward, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case, ruling in favor of three of the four claims against City Hall alleging that city leaders violated property rights by allowing a dangerous protest and encampment to continue for weeks.

“Plaintiffs plausibly allege that the City’s actions — encouraging CHOP participants to wall off the area and agreeing to a ‘no response’ zone within and near CHOP’s borders — foreseeably placed Plaintiffs in a worse position,” the judge wrote in his decision. The full decision can be found at the end of this post. Continue reading