Archive for March, 2015

Mayor Murray’s “Move Seattle” — Find out what it means to Pioneer Square and Speak Up

March 25, 2015  |  Announcement, Call to Action  |  No Comments

 By Sarah Norton

I know that when I read last week about Ed Murray’s “Move Seattle” plan, I was impressed by its comprehensiveness and its cost to homeowners in the city. Living in Pioneer Square, my husband and I most often walk, ride our bicycles, and use the public transportation, so I wondered how much the plan would do for us.

Personally, I’m waiting not-so-patiently for the First Hill streetcar to make getting up to Pill Hill and Capitol Hill easier, but I’m not sure that’s included in the plan. And then Tuesday afternoon, I was caught in the traffic snarl trying to get across town on a bus after that fish truck overturned on Highway 99! So, yes, I think we need a comprehensive transportation plan!!!

Get Involved

Timeline: The Mayor’s office has just sent out a plea for us to get involved, since the public engagement period for the levy proposal will run through April, and Mayor Murray must send his final proposal to the Seattle City Council in May. The City Council will need to submit a final levy proposal to King County be early August for it to be on the ballot in November 2015.

Resources: The Seattle Department of Transportation’s website has got lots of good  information. I found their Frequently Asked Questions to be an excellent outline of the program. But they also have a downloadable brochure, a video, and a slide presentation, if you prefer those methods of learning.

Community Conversations: SDOT is holding three community conversations for you to listen and speak out. Pick the most convenient:

Saturday, March 28
New Holly Gathering Hall (7054 32nd Ave S, Seattle 98118): 10 AM –12 PM
Monday, March 30
Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th St, Seattle 98115): 6 – 8 PM
Tuesday, March 31
West Seattle High School (3000 California Ave SW, Seattle 98116): 6 – 8 PM

Public Survey: Another SDOT option for expressing your opinion is the short Transportation Levy Proposal Priorities survey. (Note: as of March 25th, I’m getting a “Page cannot be displayed” notice at this link.)

And, please feel free to leave your opinions here on our New Pioneer Square Blog!

Intrigue Chocolate Co and Community Sourced Capital Collaborate on New Location

March 8, 2015  |  Business, Food, PI  |  No Comments
Image Courtesy of Intrigue Chocolate Co.

Image Courtesy of Intrigue Chocolate Co.

by Courtney Crockett

To realize construction of a new tasting bar, build a scullery and paint the walls, Intrigue Chocolate Co Founders, Karl Mueller and Aaron Barthel, partnered with neighborhood financial start-up, Community Sourced Capital.  Stationed out of Impact Hub at 220 2nd Ave S, CSC helps small businesses acquire loans smaller than banks generally provide by accessing capital from people within one’s own community.

Intrigue Chocolate Co. Founders Karl Mueller and Aaron Barthell

Intrigue Chocolate Co. Founders Karl Mueller and Aaron Barthell

“We are so thrilled to be opening a new shop and honored that our community would come together with us to make our dream a reality,” said Karl.

Intrigue Chocolate Co’s current kitchen is on the second floor of the historic building between 1st Ave S and Western Ave, and only doubles as a retail space during the afternoon. Difficult to find; the inside joke is to call it “an adventure” for customers to climb stairs and travel down dark hall ways. It has always served as a make-shift retail location and the simple fact is Intrigue Chocolate Co has outgrown its space and is out of room.

The new retail shop at 157 S Jackson St is along the new Seattle Streetcar line and a few short steps from vibrant Occidental Square. Key elements from the “behind-the-scenes” converted kitchen experienced in their original space will remain. As part of a community out-reach program architects and interior designers from Olson Kundig pitched in to consult on the interiors of the project.

Image Courtesy of Intrigue Chocolate Co.

Image Courtesy of Intrigue Chocolate Co.

Aaron and Karl settled on creating a space akin to a Chocolate Tasting Room with a central bar inviting guests to engage in flavor tasting. Additional design plans include a fully stocked “flavor wall” behind the bar heaping with colorful and fragrant ingredients used to make chocolates. They anticipate expanding their dry good retail items to include tea blends, flavored sugars, cocoa mixes and cacao along with their amazing hot chocolate. A new Lotion Bar made from food quality beeswax, cocoa butter and whole vanilla bean are in the early development stage.

Community Sourced Capital offers loans sums between $5000 and $50,000 by aggregating micro-loans from the community, neighbors, friends and family. Lenders are called “squareholders” and loan segments “squares.” Each square is in $50 increments of the greater loan total. The minimum square is $50, the maximum $1000 per person. Each month CSC works with Intrigue Chocolate Co to review their profit numbers and determine responsible payment back to the lenders based net profit, plus a $50 fee-for-service to CSC.

Community Sourced Capital CEO, Rachel Maxwell and CSC Team

Community Sourced Capital CEO, Rachel Maxwell and CSC Team

Only one week into their campaign on Community Sourced Capital, Intrigue Chocolate Co nearly hit their fundraising goal minimum of $9000 with 38 of their community-based lenders. The goal is to raise $20,000, which then will be matched by Pacific Northwest non-profit community development financial institution, Craft3 for a total loan of $40,000. The new storefront is targeted to open in May.

Intrigue Chocolate Co  website at Information about Community Sourced Capital found at

Soccer is Back!

March 6, 2015  |  Event, Families, Fun, Personal, Residents  |  2 comments

by RaNae Vodder 

image4I live just a few hundred feet from Century Link field and am ignorant about the sport of soccer.  I decided to interview some local, die hard soccer  fans to find out what I need to know about soccer and what to do in Pioneer Square before and after the game.

I learned that soccer is a very popular sport in countries around the world.  The American fan base was jump started by the World Cup in 1994.  Before that, fans were only able to watch international games on TV. Major League Soccer (MLS) might not have happened this year due to negotiations between the players union and the league. They came to agreement just this week!

What you need to know about soccer and what to do in Pioneer Square according to:

Matt Goss: • Played D1 soccer in college and current recreational player • Coach (under 9 years old) • 2014 World Cup attendee

Susan Behroozi • Played D3 soccer in College • Sounders Season Ticket Holder • Aspiring Soccer Mom


Why do you love soccer?

Matt:  I grew up playing soccer and love to see the athleticism of the players in the game, especially the things I can’t do.  Plus- there are only commercials at half time so the game really is only 90 minutes long!

Susan:  I have created life-long friendships from playing soccer and my seats are close to the field so I can actually see the game. Now that I have Miles, it has truly become a family activity.

Who is your favorite team? (both qualified this is their favorite MLS team)

Matt:  Seattle Sounders- their ownership model is unique and it’s great to be in the home town!

Susan: Seattle Sounders – I would be a Sounders fan whether I lived in Seattle or not!

What do I need to know about soccer to understand the game?


  • The Portland Timbers hate us more than we hate them
  • Learn the Boom, Boom, Clap
  • Get a team scarf to hold up at the right times during the game


  • You can’t use your hands when you play
  • It is ok to end the game with a tie score
  • There are two 45 minute halves

What must I do in Pioneer Square before or after the game?

Matt:  Attend the March to the Match, starve yourself before and after the game to take advantage of the 2 for $5 hot dogs.

Susan:  Have a beer before the game at Elysian and enjoy being with great friends.

If you wrote Soccer for Dummies, what would you include?

Matt: A clear and simple explanation of what it means to be off-sides.

Susan’s depiction of being    off-sides

Do you have any insider tips?

Matt:  If you need a ticket, go to FX McRory’s for a tall boy and they might have one there.

Susan:  Pick a spot to meet up with friends for Tecate half time.  It’s a great way to drink, catch up and talk about the game.

Now that I am armed with this great advice, all I need to do is visit to the team store for a proper Sounders jersey!

Pioneer Square Blog readers:  What do you think I need to know about soccer or things to do in Pioneer Square?

The New Foundation Seattle

March 5, 2015  |  Art, First Thursday, PI  |  No Comments

by Courtney Crockett

This March First Thursday Art Walk is the perfect time to share discovery of The New Foundation Seattle. Having passed by the location at 312 2nd Ave S on any number of occasions since its opening 6 months ago, I made my way through the unassuming doors to find an organization run by 3 outstanding women, all with serious and longtime commitment to the arts.

NFS Founding DIrector, Yoko Ott and Associate Director, Jessica Powers

TNFS Founding DIrector, Yoko Ott and Associate Director, Jessica Powers

The powerful forces behind non-profit TNFS are its President, Shari Behnke, a longtime art collector and benefactor having introduced the Neddy award program to Cornish College of the Arts and the Brink award in conjunction with the Henry Art Gallery. She is a former board trustee for Artist Trust. The Founding Director, Yoko Ott brings her background as both curator and educator having developed programs and initiatives for Bumbershoot, the Frye, the Hedreen Gallery and Open Satellite, and Associate Director, Jessica Powers, is a founding member of curatorial collective TARL and former curator of Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery.

Yoko and Jessica acted as my guides and it was refreshing when told that TNFS chose Pioneer Square as their destination. In learning about the space I indulged in the glimmer of nostalgia, briefly transported to the way back days when the Square was a center for Seattle’s arts community. Home to the city’s most prominent galleries and replete with artists living and working out of their slightly illegal and affordable studios.

The New Foundation Seattle emphasizes Seattle-based contemporary artists, it contributes to the contemporary art dialogue as well as nurtures the art community through shared events at Town Hall Seattle, University of Washington Jacob Lawrence Gallery and Henry Art Gallery, and On the Boards. For Pioneer Square, TNFS is a cultural resource center providing to the public free events and services in both the library and presentation rooms.

The Library offers access to regularly updated arts and culture periodicals and trade journals inside a comfortable reading room with plush pillows and chairs. Reading material complimentary to current art programming is available as well as suggested reading relevant to works on display throughout the city including the Seattle Art Museum.

The Presentation Room is a collective laboratory for contemporary art featuring exhibitions, lectures, performances and workshops.

Image Still from HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Courtesy of Artists

Image Still from HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Courtesy of Artists

Screening Now – 28 March and 5 March First Thursday Art Walk until 8pm. HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Artist Christa Bell and YAMS added to the dialogue of “subjective authenticity” in part by withdrawing their operatic video from the Whitney Biennial in 2014. The central question posed, “What happens to the black body when it is haunted by ‘a blackness’ outside of it?

The New Foundation Seattle Presentation Room

The New Foundation Seattle Presentation Room

Literary Event Tuesday 10 March at 7pm. Readings by Poets Chris Nealon and Robert Mittenthal. Introduction by Maged Zaher.

Literary Event Friday 27 March at 7pm. Topic Ecopoetics: An Evening of Poetry with readings by Rob Halpern, Angela Hume, Gillian Osborne, Joan Retallack, Evie Shockley, and Jonathan Skinner.

The New Foundation Seattle is open Thursdays – Saturdays from 11am to 6pm. For more information on programs and events visit