Thursday, January 31, 2008

Murder Suspect Caught in South Beacon Hill

According to the Seattle Times, Police caught him at a house near the intersection of Cloverdale and Beacon around 11 a.m. today. The police department will hold a press conference at 1:15 p.m.

Note that at the end of the story, the Times reporters quote census tract police statistics that may have come from the same city website that returned questionable results for me.

While some residents said crime in the neighborhood had seemingly escalated in recent years, a check of reports taken by police in four surrounding census tracts shows crime has decreased in the past 10 years. During that time, murders have fluctuated from a high of six in 2003 to none in 2006. There were three slayings in the area in 2007, according to Times research of police reports.

Murder Suspect from Beacon Hill?

Looks like the man who shot at a house on Delridge then shot and killed someone at a restaurant in the CD (and shot and wounded another man there) yesterday lives on Beacon Hill. From today's P-I:

Police served a warrant Wednesday night at a house in the 2200 block of South Forest Street on Beacon Hill. While officers searched the car and house, they did not locate the suspect.

The tinting on the suspect's car was so thick that officers broke the windows on the passenger side to make sure he was not inside. The car was impounded for evidence. At the house, they also talked with a woman who was described as a mother figure to the suspect.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Three Hours of Vintage MTV

Boing Boing reports that a dude in Belgium has posted three hours of MTV from 1983.

If you were to sit at your computer and watch all three hours, here's what you would find.

Night Ranger - Don't Tell Me You Love Me
Huey Lewis - Heart and Soul
The Tubes - Monkey Time
Prince - Little Red Corvette
George Thorogood - Bad to the Bone
Police - Synchronicity II
Sammy Hagar - Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy
Steve Miller Band - Jet Airliner
Kansas - Fight Fore with Fire
Michael Bolton - Fool's Game
Quiet Riot - Cum on Feel the Noize

"October 29th in Alabama is Lionel Richie Day, as proclaimed by Gov. George Wallace"

Bow Wow Wow - Do You Wanna Hold Me?
The Who - You Better You Bet
The Motels - Suddenly Last Summer
Madness - Our House
Nick Heyward - Whistle Down the Wind
ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man
Garland Jeffreys - 96 Tears
Stevie Nicks - If ANyone Falls
Elton John - I'm Still Standing
Thompson Twins - Lies
Billy Idol - Dancing with Myself
Men at Work - It's a Mistake
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson - Say Say Say

"because coffee lets you calm yourself down... join the coffee achievers"

Quarterflash - Take Another Picture
David Bowie - Modern Love
Billy Quier - Lonely Is the Night
INXS - The One Thing
The Romantics - Talking in Your Sleep
Jefferson Starship - Be My Lady
Robert Plant - Burning Down One Side
Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
Split Enz - One Step Ahead
The Fixx - Red Skies
The Pretenders - Back on the Chain Gang
Joe Walsh - I Can Play That Rock & Roll

SPD Crime Data: ?

A week ago, the mayor and the police department were crowing about how the Seattle crime rate has reached a 40-year low.

At the top of the list, they pointed out that the murder rate has dropped 20%, which didn't seem to jibe with the number of homicide incidents I heard about last year.

Oh, yeah. In 2006, Kyle Huffs killed six people one night on Capitol Hill. If you were to disregard that one unusual mass killing, the murder rate reported by the SPD from 2006 to 2007 would have been static, at 24 people each year.

But there still feels like there were more murders than that. Did the SPD forget some?

I've been looking at the monthly census tract data for 2006 and 2007, and I don't see some of those who were killed around here last year.

The Seattle P-I reported a murder (and nearby suicide) on December 15, 2007, at a "house in the 8600 block of Beacon Avenue South."

Yet when you enter an address in the mid-8600s in the city's neighborhood crime statistics website, it shows you that there were no homicides in that whole census tract that month:

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And the P-I also reported that my neighbor was shot and killed in his front yard in the 2100 block of S. Graham Street on September 9, 2007. (That note about how the P-I originally misidentified the neighborhood was put up after I chewed the reporter out for calling it Rainier Valley.)

Yet when you enter that address (I know the exact address, so that's what I used) in the city's neighborhood crime statistics website, it shows you that there were no homicides in that census tract that month:

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I'm not saying there's anything fishy going on. I'm just saying that the city seems to be showing us bad data, and I'd love to see the real information instead. I'll e-mail my neighborhood's SPD liaison Mark Solomon ask him what's up with this.

A Cold Saturday in Georgetown

Your options are limited at 11 a.m. on a Saturday in Georgetown if you're hungry and not in the mood for breakfast or vegan food.

I wasn't sure if the Hangar Cafe would be serving lunch yet. And we were so hungry that we weren't sure if we could wait for any crepe people ahead of us to get served anyway.

Smarty Pants does its brunch menu until 3 p.m. Stellar's not open until 3. Georgetown Liquor Company's not open until 2.

I kind of wanted sushi and would have tried Daimonji, but they're not open until dinner on Saturdays.

However, Calamity Jane's and Jules Maes serve lunch at 11 on Saturdays. Since we went to Calamity Jane's on Monday, we went to Jules Maes today. The BLT and tomato basil soup were perfect.

It looked like Georgetown Tile Works was open, what with the beckoning clown out front and all, so we decided to go check that out.

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First we passed a couple of closed storefronts.

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Full Throttle Bottles should be opening soon.

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We hung out quite a while in the tile and gift shop, wasting the owners' time chatting about leatherwork, Chris Crites, Chemical Wedding, tiles, belt buckles, outsider art, the east side of Beacon Hill, remodeling, and their new view from the shop. They can see the I-5 signs for Vancouver, Tacoma, and Portland now.

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I love the tile they're making. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before.

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I think I like this even better.

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And these metallic glazes remind me of Tau Ceramica's lovely Corten tile that we currently have in our bathroom. (I say "currently" because we already have some remodel plans drawn up, though we're not sure when they'll actually happen.)

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We finally left the GTW folks alone so they could get some work done. I was too lazy and cold to cross the street like these other folks and get a closer look of the demolition.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Photos of the Stock House Demolition

Tonight at Calamity Jane's Pabst was sponsoring an art show and swag giveaway. I was just there for the all-you-can-eat spaghetti.

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We ran into a friend, and a neighbor, and my brother-in-law and his fiancee.

After dinner and some free beer we checked out the demolition down the street.

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Sabey's Jim Harmon, who seemed unfazed by the cold, pointed out the roof damage from a 1988 fire.

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He said things are about on schedule and that the crew will be taking a day off tomorrow, though he'll still be there. I would have asked him some more questions, but I was fucking freezing out there.

Inside the warm confines of Jules Maes, I saw some dudes adding flowers to the fence.

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Things will never be the same around here.

Misc. South End News

Decrepit building on its way out: The Paper Noose reports that the DPD has asked the owners of this old Georgetown building to fix it up pronto. Somehow I'm guessing it's going to end up getting torn down and rebuilt.

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Call for submissions: The Paper Noose (whom I really should start calling by his new SEO-friendlier name, Blogging Georgetown) also reports that Georgetown's third annual Super 8 Film Festival is coming up. Your three-minute-long entry's due Feb. 6.

Sad news: After 60 years in business, Andy's Diner has closed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Portland to Seattle

After playing with an 8-week-old black lab puppy in Portland (and seeing my neighbor CJ on Alberta -- hi, CJ!), we headed back to Seattle.

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We stayed on back roads until north of Olympia.

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Winlock, Washington, claims to be home to the world's largest egg.

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Southwest Washington is definitely home to a bunch of anti-government blowhards.

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A couple months ago, floods in this area shut down I-5 for days. Some areas still look pretty wet.

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When we get home, I am delighted to see that our mean neighbor appears to be moving! I like to think that he's decided to move out of hatred for us. I'll kind of miss glaring at him from our yard, but I think I'll get over it.

Seattle to Portland

Went to Portland on Friday.

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We stopped in Vader, Washington, because I've always wanted to go there because it's called "Vader."

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We did not continue on to Ryderwood.

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In Portland, I had deviled eggs, Waldorf salad, and tomato bisque soup at the Savoy Bistro.

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Stock House Demolition Continues

I've been out of town, but I snapped a photo on Friday morning.

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All lanes of Airport Way should be open again on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beacon Hill Elementary to Become International School

The Times and P-I are reporting that Beacon Hill Elementary is going to start offering immersion courses in Spanish and Mandarin starting this fall. The school will also have an English-immersion program for non-English speaking students.

Bueno!

In unrelated news, it looks like the city is not going to go after Councilmember Richard McIver for allegedly assaulting his wife. His wife has recanted her story and now claims she lied to police about the assault because she was mad at him. Hmm. Seems to me that one of them should face charges -- him for committing the crime, or her for lying about it.

In other unrelated news, it looks like the SPD has found a person of interest in the Shannon Harps murder. I wasn't going to say anything about this because it's already gotten so much media attention (so much more than any South End murder ever would, even when the victim is a 14-year-old boy). But I hope they found their man. I didn't know Shannon, but through my local Sierra Club work last year, I know people who knew her, and I know that she had dedicated her life to helping the world. There are not many people like that. I want to know that the person who took her away from us does not get to go free.

Concerns About the Stock House Replacement

I didn't go to the Georgetown Community Council meeting on Monday. I know that Holly Krejci would be totally welcoming, but I've still been reluctant to attend these meetings since I'm not a neighborhood resident. (But just now I took a look at their website, and I saw that "All residents or friends of the Georgetown neighborhood are encouraged to attend." OK, now I have no excuse.)

It sounds like the Paper Noose showed up, though, and he's provided a good account of what happened.

I haven't been down there since early Saturday morning, so I haven't seen the demolition so far. But apparently everyone has discovered that downtown Georgetown now has "a view of the interstate, as well as increased noise, normally buffered by three stories of brick."

Oh, yeah. I didn't even think of that.

Holly has summarized the community response about the demolition and building replacement in a letter to the Landmarks Board. I'm not surprised, but I am a little disappointed with the community's insistence on having Sabey's architects try to emulate the gorgeous 100-year-old buildings on Airport Way. I'm afraid that any Johnson Architects attempt at "classic and traditional ... brick" will end up looking less like the rest of Georgetown's Airport Way and more like Disneyland's Main Street, USA.



But Johnson's efforts at modern and industrial might have failed spectacularly as well. And, as I've said before, the community's opinions are worth more than mine. I'm sure if Sabey builds something that Georgetown is happy with, I'll be happy with it too.

From Holly's letter to the Landmarks Board:

1. With regard to the design of the new building, the community is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping with the classic and traditional design elements of the other buildings, including the brick and arches. We very much want a design that is compatible and complementary with the remaining buildings rather than something that is a radical departure and modern. Ultimately, we do not want to see something magical replaced with something ordinary.

2. With regard to setting the new building back, there was a simple majority in favor for the new building being set back 10 feet from the street. This will of course depend on the design of the new building and its ability to maintain continuity with the mass of the buildings as a whole.

3. With regard to the remaining portion of the stock house wall, the community is overwhelmingly in support of preserving the remaining portion of the wall to help maintain the continuity of the mass of the buildings and to protect the business district from additional industrial views.

For over a century, the mass and scope of the brick buildings, including the Stock House wall, has protected the Georgetown community from the freeway and the railroad. The buildings provided beauty in our gritty industrial area. And when the Stock House wall was partially removed, the view was that of the freeway and the railroad. It, in effect, added more industry to our already industrial-burdened community...

Always with the Exclamation Point, Please

Today I found out the name of this Georgetown car:

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Monstero!

According to the owner:

Our giant skull car -- it's name is Monstero! (always with the
exclamation point, please, if you should need to write it somewhere).

Reconsider Windows

Saturday night a friend had to leave book club suddenly because his house had been broken into. On Tuesday, another friend told me someone had gotten hold of her bank account and cleaned it out. Today I got a message from a reader about a break-in at her house near Cleveland High School:

I thought it would be good to share with you that our house was broken into Monday morning about 7:15AM right after we'd left the house. They broke 2 well secured basement windows that they couldn't get through before breaking a larger window on the main floor and crawling inside to steal most of our small electronics and our spare car keys (leaving blood on our floor no less -- lovely to come home to). Needless to say it was disheartening and so I've been trying to talk to as many neighbors as I can so we can all try to look out for each other. It was a great reminder to keep our eyes open and talk to people we see around our house and our neighbors.


Yes, please, everyone watch out for each other. Because I don't know what else you're supposed to do when the creeps are willing to break three of your windows and then crawl through broken glass in order to get in the house. (Except maybe reconsider windows.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fearless Raccoons(?) in North Beacon Hill

Some critter crawled into the Pac-Med parking garage and was checking out my car today. I rarely see raccoons in the daytime, or in structures, but I can't think of who else could have done this.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Today's Seattle Times has a cover story on Maria Federici, a woman who lost her sight and most of her face four years ago when her car was struck by a board that flew out of someone's unsecured U-Haul truck. Since then, the state has passed "Maria's Law," which made it a crime to carry an unsecured load.

Jesus Christ, people. I don't ask much of you, but before you get on the interstate, please tie down all that loose crap in the backs of your pickup trucks.

Yesterday I was driving north on I-5, and suddenly in front of me, there were these 8-foot-long sections of pipe bouncing up and down, like 10 feet into the air. Lucky for me, they settled down before I got up to them, but I still had to swerve wildly on the wet pavement to avoid running over them at 60 miles per hour. I somehow came out fine, but I swear to God, I was just seconds away from having that shit come right through my windshield.

I don't know if they came from an unsecured load in one of the zillion Saturday afternoon pickup trucks on the road ahead of me, or if they came from an unsecured load from a vehicle on the overpass above me (it must have been the latter, given the height of the bouncing), but it's clear to me that Maria's Law isn't really working.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Airport Way Open for the Rest of the Weekend

It was closed when I was there this morning, but it reopened at noon and will stay open for the rest of the weekend. It will be closed again next weekend.

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From Sabey:

Hey all: Just to let you know, our work for the weekend was completed
this morning and Airport Way was re-opened at Noon for the rest of the
weekend. Our final closing of Airport Way will be next weekend. This
weekend's closure allowed folks to see what it will look at next
weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Where on Beacon Hill Am I? #1

I thought it would be fun to take photos around the neighborhood and ask you guys to guess where the photo was taken.

We'll start with what I think is an easy one. Where was this shot taken?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The 1992 Washington State Caucus

I just posted about the locations for the upcoming Democratic caucus. And I got all mad about it because I hate the caucus system.

I've never actually participated in a caucus. I was out of town for the 2004 caucus. I was registered in Oregon (which has a meaningful primary system, as Washington should) in early 2000 and in 1996. And I was shut out of Washington state caucus in 1992 -- the first year that I was old enough to vote in a presidential race -- because I had to work.

I'm less indignant about it now, but I remember at the time, I was outraged that young/poor people like me who had to work in the evening had no opportunity to cast a vote.

And it's not like I didn't have an opinion. I was so intensely excited about Bill Clinton's candidacy that I attended all his rallies, which were like super-crowded rock shows. I'd transcend my claustrophobia and politely push my way to the front so I could be as close as possible to him. And when he got close, I'd thrust my hand out and hope he'd grab on, preferably with both his hands, preferably with a local photojournalist capturing it for a feature story in the paper several days later.

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11th District Dem Caucus Locations Announced

As The Paper Noose noted today, the 11th District Democrats have posted the locations for the caucuses on Saturday, Feb. 9. The 11th District encompasses most of the west side of Beacon Hill (though not north of Holgate); you can find your 11th District precinct on this map.

If you're not in the 11th here on the hill, you're in the 37th, which seems to cover everything north of Holgate and most of the hill east of Beacon Ave. The website for the 37th says they'll be posting their caucus locations tomorrow. You can find your 37th District precinct here; you can find all the district maps for the county here.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Flat Tire in Georgetown

January in Seattle is glum. It's wet, it's cold, it's dark. It's an especially lousy time of year to get a flat tire and have to pull over into a pawn shop parking lot to deal with the spare.

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Grr!

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Since my web search on them comes up nil, I'm assuming that dairy no longer exists. Hope they didn't go out of business because of milk crate theft.

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I like to think I could do this on my own if I ever had to. If we ever get a flat on a warm summer afternoon, maybe I'll volunteer to try to change the tire.

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Beautiful Georgetown. So hip, so happening.

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He's kneeling on a Goretex jacket I last wore in the 1990s. I figure it's a good thing to have stashed in the trunk.

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Those are called lugnuts.

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The first time either of us has even verified the existence of the spare.

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Ta-da!

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