Uncle Ike’s Capitol Hill, the neighborhood’s second retail pot shop, opens Friday

(Image: Uncle Ike's via Twitter)

(Image: Uncle Ike’s via Twitter)

The largest pot retailer in Seattle — and the second largest I-502 shop in the state — is set to open its Capitol Hill expansion.

Uncle Ike’s announced Monday that its 15th Ave E location will be open for business starting Friday. Continue reading

7th District race to represent Seattle in Congress goes ‘contrast’

Jayapal didn't hide her skepticism during Walkinshaw's explanation of going "contrast" Monday night (Images: CHS)

Jayapal didn’t hide her skepticism during Walkinshaw’s explanation of going “contrast” Monday night (Images: CHS)

We don’t know about any nasty women but a nasty ad has put the race to represent Washington’s 7th District in Congress into a new light.

“They’re not negative. They’re contrast ads,” Brady Walkinshaw equivocated Monday night in a candidate discussion at Seattle University that began with the unavoidable: questions about the negative “We Have A Choice” ad campaign and PramilaFacts.com site that attacks Pramila Jayapal’s record in Olympia as ineffective.

Monday’s Seattle U discussion, moderated by the school’s public administration program director Larry Hubbell and journalist Joni Balter, was held in Pigott Auditorium and was lightly attended. Its timing was coincidental to the new ad campaign but the argument made for a livelier than expected start to the hour-long discussion that eventually touched on the issues the 7th District candidates plan to tackle and ended with the kinds of topics only the best kind of student questions can raise: automation tax, TPP, transgender bathroom rights, and injection sites. Continue reading

Six important things about the proposed affordability zoning changes on Capitol Hill

mha_draft_zoning_changes_first_hill_capitol_hill15% of Seattle is slated to be rezoned to allow for taller buildings as part of Mayor Ed Murray’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. The largest concentration of rezones includes a swath of land covering downtown, Capitol Hill, and the Central District.

Most of the area’s multifamily housing zones would get the standard “HALA bump” — a one story increase in allowable building height along with new “mandatory housing affordability” requirements for all new residential construction. As part of Seattle’s “Grand Bargain,” MHA will link the creation of affordable housing with market-rate development by requiring all new multifamily buildings to make 5-11% of their units affordable or require developers to pay into an affordable housing fund. That part of the program has already been approved by City Council. Over the next year the city will hammer out how to handle the zoning.

Much of the First Hill-Capitol Hill urban center residential zones would receive the one-story bump along with a requirement that all new development include 5-7% of affordable units. Some would be required to meet higher affordability mandates. But the devil is in the details, and there are plenty of details to sift through when it comes to the zoning maps on Capitol Hill.

1. Auto-row incentives (probably) maintained

The Pike/Pine Conservation District is a unique incentive zoning program in Seattle responsible for most of the auto-row preservation projects on Capitol Hill. Changes proposed under the HALA map appear to undercut the program, but a upcoming tweak to the building code would likely keep those incentives in play.

Under the preservation program, developers get to build seven stories instead of six for preserving an old building facade in Pike/Pine. In the proposed HALA map, an up-zone in Pike/Pine would automatically allow for seven-story buildings. While preserving a facade would still get developers a one extra story, it seems unlikely they would take it. Building codes mandate that any building higher than seven stories must be entirely concrete or steel framed instead of wood, making an eight-story project vastly more expensive. Continue reading

Gift of Julia Lee’s Park celebrated in Madison Valley

#seattle #VSCOcam

A photo posted by Patrick (@patrickirl) on

Central Seattle has a new city park though neighbors around the Madison Valley are pretty familiar with the neighborhood open space. In a ceremony Monday, members of the Knudsen family celebrated the donation of the quarter-acre Julia Lee’s Park to the City of Seattle.

The plaza-like park at 27th, MLK Jr. Way, and E Harrison was established by Calvert Knudsen in 1993 “as a statement of his love for his wife and life partner Julia Lee Roderick Knudsen who passed away in 1990,” according to a statement from Seattle Parks and Recreation about the gift.

“Our father created this park as a physical representation of the depth and power of love between him and our mother,” daughter Page Knudsen Cowles said in the parks department statement. “He believed that a small neighborhood park in Madison Valley would uniquely serve as a memorial to her, while further enhancing the greater Madison Park community with a natural, quiet place for reflection and enjoyment.” Continue reading

Here is why there is now a box for free socks at Broadway and Pike

“Some of the organizations we work with call clean socks ‘white gold,'” WeCount director Graham Pruss tells CHS. With no access to laundry, a clean, dry pair of socks can be a critical comfort if you’re living on the streets. They can also be the difference between sickness and health.

“We want to address that immediate, imperative need, and really engage people to be part of that,” Pruss said.

The WeCount nonprofit quietly distributed the new boxes around Seattle in the wee hours of Friday morning. They have been added alongside groups of existing newspaper boxes. You might walk by without noticing these aren’t filled with the local auto trader or real estate flyers. You’ll find the Capitol Hill box at Broadway and Pike. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Chelsea Clinton gets out the vote on First Hill


“I don’t think there can be a compromise for bigotry.” Chelsea Clinton championed her cause to help her mother Hillary Clinton to defeat surprisingly popular bigot Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election with a stop in Seattle at First Hill’s Town Hall Saturday.

The forum’s Great Hall which holds more than 800 appeared filled to capacity with many children in the crowd of the free event positioned as a “get out the vote” rally for Democrats looking to both build a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton and a tailwind rally for the party’s candidates in state races across the country. Continue reading

Down Pour aims to be new off-Broadway coffee spot

Capitol Hill’s coffee scene may have a neighborhood vibe but you’re still most likely to find cafes on the main drags like Broadway or Pike and Pine. Down Pour, born in Redmond two years ago, is expanding to Capitol Hill, opening on Monday just off Broadway on the ground floor of the Rubix Apartments at 515 Harvard Ave. E.

Down Pour owners Steve and Ronni Fields didn’t have plans to expand out of Redmond, but the owner of the building approached them about opening a location there.

“We spent a lot of time here and really got excited about the idea,” Steve said. Continue reading

Blotter | Police search for Saturday morning Broadway bank robbery suspect

(Image: SPD)

(Image: SPD)

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Broadway bank robbery: Seattle Police and the FBI are searching for the suspect in a Saturday morning hold-up at the Wells Fargo branch inside the Broadway Market shopping center. The robbery was reported around 10:45 AM Saturday. Monday morning, SPD distributed these security images of the suspect described by witnesses as a white male, dressed in black “from head to toe.” He reportedly had what was described as a Russian accent. It’s not clear if the suspect was armed or implied he had a weapon and police typically won’t say what if any cash is taken in bank hold-ups. He was last seen fleeing the area on foot, eastbound on E Republican. If you can help identify the suspect or have information that might help the investigation, call 911.

  • Purse snatch: A woman had her bag stolen in a purse snatch at Harrison and Belmont around 11 PM Sunday night. The victim’s son contacted CHS with details of the mugging and said a group of three had jumped the woman and stole her bag. If you see a ditched purse, call 911 or turn it in at the East Precinct at 12th and Pine.
  • Seattle U bias investigation: Seattle University is trying to find out who is responsible for swastikas drawn on white boards on the school’s campus earlier this month: Continue reading

100 dumpsters pulled off Capitol Hill’s streets and sidewalks

Hot Trash

Businesses participating in the bag pick up program. (Image: SPU)

Approximate locations of dumpsters before the bag program began. (Image: SPU)

Around 75 trash and recycling dumpsters have been tossed by Capitol Hill businesses for high-frequency bag pick ups starting last week. Another 36 dumpsters have been pulled off streets and sidewalks and on to private property.

It’s part of a city-mandated program to improve safety in Capitol Hill’s core restaurant and nightlife area by moving the large metal containers out of the public right-of-way.

Half of the businesses in the corridor — roughly bound by Melrose, E John, E Union, and 15th — were able to keep their dumpsters by storing them on private property. Some of those businesses may still be dragging dumpsters into the street for pickup, but Seattle Public Utilities officials say they should not be out for long and certainly not over night. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Meet Hybrid_Space: a Local Art / Architecture Venue – Call for Artists

Hybrid-Call-for-Artists_Page_1Hybrid Space is a Public Venue for Discussions about Urbanism, Art, and Design.

We provide Artists, Urbanists, and Educators a Space to discuss larger Urban Issues. We hold 12 Events a Year, Sponsoring 6 – 12 Artists & Educators to Produce Thought Provoking Events. We reach out to individuals and organizations in the community to discuss ideas and issues that affect our Community. A Sustainable City is not just Energy Efficient, but Socially Engaged as well. Originally starting as Site specific Art installations, our events have expanded to include educational exhibitions, Urban Research, and Interactive Experiences. The space is open to the Public during Capitol Hill’s Art Walk as well as for private showings. Continue reading

After encampment backlash, mayor rolls out ‘Interim Action Plan’ on Seattle homelessness

It doesn't cost anything to keep your convictions

In the wake of intense backlash against proposals from the Seattle City Council earlier this month, Mayor Ed Murray took a quieter route to officially unveil his plan to change how the city sweeps encampments and what can be done in coming months to address homelessness in Seattle. In a late Friday announcement, the mayor said he remains committed to a long range overhaul of Seattle’s homelessness resources under his “Pathways Home” strategy but that short-term solutions are also needed.

“Pathways Home remains our long-term plan to transform the way the City invests in programs to address homelessness,” Murray said in the announcement sent to media headed into the weekend. “Today’s announcement, however, recognizes our need to bridge the gap as we still have over 3,000 people living unsheltered on our streets. We need to ensure we are providing safer alternatives for those living on our streets, increasing our outreach efforts, focusing on a more compassionate set of protocols when clean cleanups are necessary and offering trash and needle pickup services to address public health and safety issues.”

The interim plan, included in full at the bottom of this post, will include four new sanctioned encampments boosted by $900,000 in funding plus a new Seattle Navigation Center “to bring adults living outdoors into the Center and work to transition them to stable housing within 30 days.” Two of the sanctioned encampments will be Representatives from Murray’s office have said details on the locations of the encampments and the center will be released in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Spare the Change panel: Get to know your Capitol Hill homeless neighbors

Spare the Change attendees help assume care packages with donations for people homeless in the area (Images: CHS)

Spare the Change attendees help assume care packages with donations for people homeless in the area (Images: CHS)

Many Capitol Hill residents want to do something to help their homeless neighbors, but don’t know where to start or how different organizations are involved. Spare the Change, an open house and forum Thursday night on homelessness in the neighborhood, provided those with homes information and resources for helping those without.

Long-time Seattle resident Jean Fukuda, who moved to the Hill a few months ago, came to the forum to learn about what each organization represented there does and to find a volunteer opportunity to help those living on the streets.

“It’s just such a heartbreak to see people struggle so hard,” she told CHS.

Fukuda knows money is important for the organizations, but she said it doesn’t feel as meaningful as volunteering. She previously helped build five Habitat for Humanity houses and would like to do some hands-on work for the homeless whether it’s serving a meal or something else. Continue reading