• Search Council Connection



  • Council Photostream



    Archives





What’ll It Be, Honey? Memories of the Dog House

I read Bethany Jean Clement’s recent article about the Hurricane Café’s impending close with a heavy heart. Old Seattle is about to lose another landmark.  Final day for the Hurricane Café at Seventh and Bell is set for Jan. 1, 2015. Acorn Development (an affiliate of Amazon) will be tearing down the nearly 100-year old building to make way for yet another slick skyscraper.dog house 2

About the only thing that won’t be lost during the demolition are customers’ memories of the Hurricane’s last two decades and — even before that – stories from the Hurricane’s predecessor, the Dog House.

Let’s first be clear about the Dog House’s place in old Seattle, pre-World’s Fair, pre- WWII, even pre-Viaduct. It was in the 1930s, … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Celebrating Yesler Swamp

On Sunday, dozens of neighbors and volunteers brought crockpots full of baked beans, bowls of potato salad, trays of summer fruits and vegetables and loaves of bread to share. Cheering along with the Cajun band Folichon, they were celebrating the completion of the first phase of the Yesler Swamp boardwalk. Yesler 8

The swamp, a wooded wetland, is a natural treasure that has suffered neglect and misuse for years. It is now being restored through the efforts of an inspired group of dedicated workers, the Friends of Yesler Swamp.

They, along with their partners, have contributed thousands of volunteer hours – more than 3,000 in 2014 alone – to remove invasive species, plant native trees and shrubs and construct … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Gender Wage Gap: A Report Card

It’s taking time, more time than anyone would like, but we’ve rolled up our sleeves and are laying the ground work necessary to address the region’s jumbo-sized gender wage gap.ReportCard

Last year, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported that the Seattle area has one of the widest wage gaps in the nation: on average, women make 73 cents for every dollar men earn.  City leaders, responding to a request from the Women’s Commission, studied our own gender wage gap and learned we’re not off the hook:  the City’s gender wage gap is 99 cents on the dollar and much worse in certain departments.

As chair of the Seattle City Council’s first committee to oversee the work to … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in the Workplace: Marination

What do you do when the world hands you a lemon? Folk wisdom says you make lemonade. The Marination duo had a different answer: Make Hawaiian-Korean tacos.Marination3

Marination is a crazy, runaway success story that co-owner Kamala Saxton likes to talk about.  The story began five years ago when Kamala and co-owner Roz Edison, had some financial reverses, like many of us who weathered the Great Recession.

Roz and Kamala became acquainted while both were working in educational programs in Boston. Kamala, a one-time Seattleite who grew up in Hawaii and California, has degrees in education and public policy and a professional background at the Gates Foundation. Roz, who was born in Greece and has lived in Romania, is Chinese and Filipina and … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in the Workplace: Joanne Ort CPA

When Joanne Ort went off to the University of Washington in the 1980s, she thought she’d emerge as a doctor. That was before organic chemistry. The college class left her scratching her head. Instead she enrolled in accounting and discovered a perfect fit.

The switch shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Joanne’s dad and one of her sisters were CPAs and she was about to become one. She graduated with a business degree, later acquiring a master’s with a tax concentration. Joanne Ort

She says, “I always knew I wanted to have my own practice.” And, after raising two children and working for three accounting firms, she has reached that goal with Joanne Ort CPA. Hers is a small business with one … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in Business: Spinnaker Bay Brewery

When you think of a brewmaster, you probably envision a rotund Germanic fellow with a Walrus mustache. But not at Spinnaker Bay Brewery, a thriving new enterprise in Hillman City. The lively brew pub is 100 percent woman-owned and operated, arguably the only completely woman-owned brewery in the state.

Spinnaker3

Elissa Pryor and Janet Spindler

I sat down last week with the owners, the brewer Janet Spindler, and the accountant, Elissa Pryor. Elissa explained the division of labor: “Janet makes really good beer and I cook the books.” The partners both are sailors and they derive the names of their distinctive brews from nautical terms.  (The list might include Fraid Knot™, High Heel™, Don’t Panic Porter™ and … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in the Workplace: North East Seattle Together (NEST)

There’s a retired chef in Northeast Seattle who, not so long ago, gave up driving. But he still manages to get to the grocery store once a week. And he has help with some of his other chores and needs, thanks to a new organization, a nonprofit that enlists seniors, recruits volunteers and has created a “virtual village.”

NEST members gather for a summer cookout

NEST members gather for a summer cookout

I first heard about the village idea from Debbie Anderson, a former director of senior programs at Overlake Hospital. Anderson is president of the board of directors of NEST, an acronym for North East Seattle Together. She shared her vision with me two years ago.

What we need, … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in the Workplace: Kate Vrijmoet

Kate Vrijmoet is a curator, an artist and a passionate activist. She keeps a studio in Pioneer Square, a small business, but one that, although she manages to pay her taxes, she operates at a loss.  K-Vrijmoet-#3Col

As she points out, regretfully, there’s a big gap between male and female artists. The stats are grim: Although 60 percent of arts graduates are women, galleries display only about 25 percent of women’s work nationally. Seattle’s record at 39 percent is somewhat better. Less than 4 percent of museum collections are credited to women artists.

When asked why this is the case, Kate reflects that salary negotiation and having a family have been obvious barriers in her own art career. However, it is clear that … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in the Workplace: Kaffeeklatsch

kaffee 1Annette Heide-Jessen has felt the sting of the gender gap. She says that, in many ways, it’s still a man’s world. But she is candid about what brought her, a native of Berlin, to Seattle: It was a man. By the time the two parted, however, she’d fallen in love with the city: the mountains, the water and, more importantly, the people.

It was partly that connection to people that drove her to open Kaffeeklatsch, her coffee shop and bakery, in Lake City in January, 2011.  As she explains, “I had lost my job and been unemployed for two years.  There were not any independent coffee shops in Lake City, so I borrowed money with a business … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]

Women in the Workplace: Mobile Electrical Distributors

Colleen Hallett has a stock of stories to share about being a woman who owns a mobile4traditional blue-collar business, an electrical supplies firm on Lake City Way Northeast.

She says, “One day a guy came into the counter. When I asked, if I could help him, he said, ‘Oh, I’ll wait for one of the guys.’” “Finally my part-time truck driver came in and asked the guy what he needed. After he ordered, the truck driver had to turn to me to find out where the part was located.”

Hallett, president of Mobile Electrical Distributors since 1998, laughs at the memory. She says, “I guess the guy just wanted to wait.”  Hallett has been working at the family-run business since 1967. She … Continue Reading »

[Full Post]
© 1995-2018 City of Seattle