Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ceanothus and Honeybees

I'd been thinking about doing a post about Ceanothus in Seattle.

I would have included these two May 4 photos of the Ceanothus drift near University Village (which I posted before).

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I probably would not have included this other shot of them with waning blooms on May 23.

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I definitely would have included this May 22 shot of a Ceanothus a block from my friend Kim's new place on Capitol Hill.

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And this closeup of it as well.

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I would have tried to get better shots (with the good camera instead of the point-and-shoot) of my own Ceanothus plants around their peak (but really just starting to wane) on May 23.

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But I decided not to because I felt that I did not take photos of many of the best Ceanothus plants this year. The ones you see when you're driving by and you take your eyes off the road too long and almost cause an accident.

Also, I never got any good shots of the incredible number of honeybees that swarm Ceanothus bushes, especially the ones in my backyard. A friend from Portland remarked on it this weekend. She said she had never seen so many honeybees in Portland. I told her that's why I couldn't do any weeding around them in May -- it would be like sticking my hand into a hive.

It didn't occur to me until tonight that they might actually live in the yard. Until a neighbor knocked on our door, very concerned about the bee swarm situation in the back of our yard. She wasn't sure if they were bees, wasps, yellow jackets, or what, but that they were scaring people and making a big racket.

So we went down there to investigate. What kind of insect makes a brown, bumpy-looking nest?

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Oh, that's not a nest. That's a mass of honeybees crawling all over each other.

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Cool!

I feel honored that they chose a home in our yard. But I don't want to freak the neighbors out. And if they established a hive there, it would be much more intrusive to them than to us.

So we're going to see if Jerry the Bee Guy can come down and find a good home for them.

Bye-bye, bees!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vandalism in Georgetown

A lot of vandalism and other petty crime happens in Georgetown. Cars are prowled, buildings are tagged, windows are smashed. Unfortunately, things aren't much different on Beacon Hill (or Capitol Hill, or the U-District, or Wallingford...).

Unless I'm making a plea to a specific business owner to please clean up the mess that they've been given, I usually don't photograph or describe the exact location of specific problems, mostly because I don't want to give the vandals the publicity. We all know these problems are everywhere; we all know it sucks.

I think good business owners see cleanup of graffiti and broken windows as a cost of doing business in an urban area, and they file police reports to get it on record and deal with fixing things right away. And if they're also very, very, very lucky, they are able to see the perpetrators apprehended and punished.

The owners of 24 Karat Antiques in Georgetown had their windows smashed out early last Friday. I believe they are relative newcomers to Georgetown and hadn't suffered significant damage to their store before, and I feel very sorry for them that they had to start the lovely Memorial Day weekend on such a shitty note. But they're relatively fortunate in that there were witnesses to the crime, and the perpetrator was caught and taken to jail.

Thes 24 Karat owners recently bought the property that their store is located in, and they have been criticized for not announcing to the community what their plans are for the space (and its longstanding tenants, including Georgetown Pharmacy). As I mentioned a month ago (and the bona fide Georgetown blogger provided more details on), there's been talk that the 24 Karat owners might not be committed to ensuring that these longtime Georgetown businesses keep their spaces. I figured that the 24 Karat folks would eventually pipe up, but I haven't heard a word. (I must also disclose that I have not gone there to investigate. I'm a full-time worker, a Beacon Hill blogger, an avid gardener, a third-trimester mother-to-be, and a summertime layabout -- my amateur Georgetown journalist hat is not getting a whole lot of use these days.)

Anyway, today the 24 Karat folks shared their sad news from the weekend and said they wanted to start a discussion about what happened. In a long e-mail to the neighborhood mailing list, they suggested that they might have been singled out as victims of community animosity and explained that a thoroughgoing criminal investigation is underway.

I was hoping that their call for a community discussion was a prelude to an explanation about what their plans are for the building, but they didn't mention anything about it in the e-mail. So I asked them about it. And many other community members did too. They have yet to respond, but I hope they do. They sound like they want to feel like they're more part of the community, and I think a simple e-mail about their plans would go a long way toward helping that happen.

Details on Upcoming Georgetown Art Attack on June 14

From Kathy Nyland at George:

GEORGETOWN SECOND SATURDAY ART ATTACK ON JUNE 14!

Adventurous Seattle art enthusiasts are invited to celebrate the arrival of summer at the Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack on Saturday, June 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. In only its fifth installment, the Georgetown Art Attack has established itself as one of the region’s most colorful cultural outings. The June 14 event features an impressive array of exceptional local, national and international artists in a variety of disciplines.

Among the many highlights:

The Seattle debut of photographs by Johanna Breiding of Zurich, Switzerland at Bella Vitale Studios. Her arresting images of abandoned European architectural environments can be previewed at: www.johannabreiding.ch/index.html.

A multimedia presentation, “Accidents Will Happen,” at Belle & Wissell. This exhibition is organized by Gabe Kean of Born Magazine and Georgetown Records’ Marq Dean, with EMP curator Jacob MacMurray and photographer Curt Doughty. The show examines the evolution of music photography in the Northwest through film, photographs and digital media. Featured artists include Seattle’s legendary seminal rock photographer Jini Dellaccio, as well as current masters on the genre Charles Peterson, Lance Mercer, David Belisle, Morgan Keuler, and others.

“Carnival de Monstruos,” Bruce Christian Andersen’s show of recent figurative ceramics and banner paintings by at Georgetown Tile Works – a three-dimensional retrospective of some of the most unusual and fascinating midway performers of the early 1900's.

A show of drawings and prints by sensational Southern California artist Josh Agle (aka SHAG) at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. “SHAG: A to Z” celebrates the pleasures of a hedonistic lifestyle and the virtues of overindulgence in his seductive and singular rendering style.

A display of power tool racers by Georgetown’s provocative collective Hazard Factory and a performance by musician Anna Coogan at Full Throttle Bottles; Rebecca Bolte’s work in music photography and album art at Bolte Creative; boisterous drinking, delicious dining, and exotic shopping experiences at over 30 locations throughout Seattle’s historic Georgetown business district.

The June 14 Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack coincides with the annual Georgetown Music Festival. For more information on the music festival visit: www.georgetownmusicfest.com.

The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a production of the Georgetown Merchants’ Association. A selection of images in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional information contact GMA chair Kathy Nyland, or Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid at numbers above. Website:
www.georgetownartattack.com.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mari and Andrew's Garden in West Seattle

My friends Mari and Andrew's West Seattle garden has grown up a lot since the last time I visited it almost a year ago.

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That mass of green vines is now mostly concealing a sculpture of a cannon.

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Complete with loaded projectile and everything.

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Behind it, construction of the shop is well underway.

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A bench loaded with cat mint.

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Another spot for resting.

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One of many gorgeous welded planters.

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Pipe railings.

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Mari said she thought all the exposed concrete and steel (which she is trying to soften with plants in every conceivable space) made the garden look a little hard, but personally I love it.

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Mari and our friend Daniel.

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Softness around the edges.

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My midsection thick with a 6-month-old baby and a huge slice of coconut cream pie from the Vashon Hardware Store restaurant. (I ignored the two extra forks left on the table for Mari and Daniel and ate the whole thing by myself.)

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Andrew the builder and his brother on the shop rooftop.

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Clearly Mari didn't really need to take the sedum planting class at Dig with us.

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A Few Photos from Dig Nursery

The Northwest summer is so luscious that occasionally I am going to need to share with you photos of plants that happen not to have been planted in the South End.

Yesterday I went to a sedum planting class at Dig Nursery on Vashon Island. I only took a few photos because it was the middle of the day.

Actually, some of the starts here in Sedumville are destined for a home in the South End -- hopefully today, in my front yard.

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Oh, forget it, these photos are terrible. Too much sun. Let's see what I came up with instead the home store at Dig.

Here's the Blu Dot rocker that I used to want. Maybe I still do; I don't know.

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Nice lawn chair!

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This water feature is incredible.

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I like this bird bath too.

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See you later, Dig!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mid Beacon Hill Down One Grow House

From the P-I:

Seattle police raided a suspected marijuana grow operation early Wednesday morning at a Beacon Hill home, where they seized 244 plants.


Just off Beacon on Graham Street.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finally

From today's P-I website:
Seattle police say they have suspect in groping cases
P-I STAFF

Seattle police detectives were looking Wednesday for a man they have identified as a suspect in the groping of more than 20 Asian women in South Seattle during the past two years, including another attack this week.

"We think we know who this guy is, and we think we're close to an arrest," police spokeswoman Renee Witt said.

A man who witnessed the latest attack Monday picked out the possible suspect's photo in a montage, which detectives were checking out. Witnesses also saw the attacker's 1994 Jeep Cherokee, which has provided a lead, Witt said.


UPDATE from the P-I:

Police arrest suspected groper
By SCOTT GUTIERREZ
P-I REPORTER

Seattle police have arrested a man they suspect groped a woman last week in South Seattle and may be responsible for some of the similar attacks on more than 20 women during the last two years.

At a news conference Thursday, police announced the arrest of the suspect, identified in court documents as Darin Boler. They said the assaults on the women may have been committed by more than one suspect.

The King County Prosecutor's Office said it had charged Boler with second-degree robbery and fourth-degree assault in the incident on Saturday, when a man was seen putting his hand under a woman's buttocks. She screamed and fled.

She remains unidentified. The robbery charge stems from a witness, whose cell phone Boler is accused of taking.

Court documents say Bolar is a registered sex offender with a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for robbery and rape of a child. Prosecutors said they want him held on $500,000 bond.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When Being Nice Isn't Nice

For the last few days there's been a sign on a car that I pass in my neighborhood. This morning I finally slowed down to see what it said.

The car is a new-looking black SUV parked in the gravelly area in front of someone's house. There is no sidewalk or curb there, and it's nowhere near other peopls's houses.

The sign says something like: "Please move your car from our house within one week."

It's sad, but I had to laugh. The homeowners think that someone needed to temporarily park their car in their gravel area, nowhere near other homes, and they're being amazingly considerate to give the person a week's notice before calling it in.

Except what I suspect is going on is that the car was stolen and dumped at the house, and that week's grace period is just another week that the car's owner is going to be separated from their vehicle. Sometimes it really is nicer to just call the city, really.

Another case in point: Surely I wasn't the only one bothered by the blaring music that suddenly came on at 2:00 a.m. last Wednesday. It was coming from a car parked several houses away, yet it rattled my bedroom windows.

In the old days, when I lived on Capitol Hill and then in the Eastlake neighborhood, I would go over to neighbors' places in middle of the night if their loud music bothered me. Me and my husband paid many middle-of-the-night visits to neighbors when the music got loud enough to rattle windows.

But ever since my Beacon Hill neighbor a few blocks away went out at 2:00 a.m. last September to deal with some noisy people and got shot to death for his troubles, I am not having any more middle-of-the-night noise discussions. Unfortunately, if you have a late-night noise complaint and you don't want to risk getting shot, the city forces you to tie up the 911 system. (The noise complaint line is unstaffed, as is the precinct non-emergency number.)

But what are you going to do, just let someone wake up the whole neighborhood at 2:00 a.m. on a Wednesday and keep them up for half an hour? How nice is that?

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Beacon Hill" "Groper" Strikes Again

This time down by the Othello Playground at 10 o'clock in the morning.

From Mark Solomon, community liaison at the South Precinct of the SPD:

There has been another assault by “the Groper.” The incident happened Saturday, May 17th at approximately 10am on the 7500 Block of Renton Ave S. An Asian female was walking northbound on Renton Ave S with a young child, approximately two-years of age. The suspect approached the adult woman from behind. The suspect was seen groping the woman’s buttocks. The suspect backed away when the woman screamed. The scream drew the attention of several witnesses in the area. The female victim was seen running northbound with the child along Renton Ave S.

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 40 years of age, 5-10, flesh colored shaving bumps on left side of face. Suspect vehicle is a 1994 green Jeep Cherokee.

The adult female victim has not yet come forward to speak with police about the incident. We very much need to speak with this woman. She is described as an adult Asian female, possibly in her 40’s-50’s, wearing a white top and black pants. She was walking with a 2-year-old child on Renton Ave S at about 10am on Saturday May 17th, 2008. If you know this woman, please encourage her to come forward. It is extremely important that detectives speak with her. Please contact our Sexual Assault unit at 206.684.5575.


Update: The Seattle Times is reporting that one of the witnesses took a cell phone photo of the suspect's getaway car and license plate, but the suspect stole the phone from him. I saw on the news this morning that the car is described as a green 1994 Jeep Cherokee. If you see anyone matching the suspect's description and driving that type of car, I'm guessing the police would appreciate a phone call.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Beacon Hill Library Hold Names

While picking up some stuff on hold at the library today, I was struck by how very Asian our neighborhood is.

Teng, Wong, Truo, Woo, Wu, Vu, Yama, Yu, Yuen, Zeng, Zhan, Zho, Zhou, Ziem.

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And on the other side, La, Lee, Li, Leun, Hong, Lieu, Loui, Kwon.

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I wonder what the (up to first four letters of the) names at other branches look like.