News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Entries from June 2010

Wallingford could lose crime prevention coord.

June 30th, 2010 by master

The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job. The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including North Precinct coordinators Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out.

Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen

The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money. That ends on March 31 of next year.

“We are the link between the community and the police department,” said crime prevention coordinator Terrie Johnston from the west precinct. “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out. We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”

Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year. She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one on one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.

“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”

Councilmember Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council. If you’d like to voice your opinions, here’s a link to the mayor and City Council.

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Wading pool will open despite low temps

June 30th, 2010 by master

Earlier this week we reported that the low temperatures could keep Seattle’s wading pools closed all week long. This morning we were surprised to learn that despite a forecast of temperatures in the 60s (70 is the threshold for opening the outdoor pools), wading pools will open today.

We checked in with Seattle Parks and Recreation Aquatics Manager Kathy Whitman to find out why she decided to open the pools today.

She wrote:

It is not a perfect science. Staff check a variety of weather sources and focus on sunny skies and warmer temperatures that will draw folks to the wading pool.  We should not open unless it is 70 degrees, but some weather reports called for 69 and sunshine this afternoon, so staff decided to open. We will monitor attendance today to see if this was a good decision.

Based on weather reports, they were not open on Monday and it turned out to be 72 degrees. Yesterday they were closed which was a good decision.  It is doubtful that we can open on Thursday based on the most recent forecast.

Looking forward to sunshine…

Even if it doesn’t feel warm enough to adults, we know quite a few children who would enjoy the pool regardless of the weather.

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Help Senior Center, get good fireworks view

June 30th, 2010 by master

Update 7/1: Last night the folks at Not a Number sent this message: “Rocking Chair Races canceled due to lack of volunteers and time. Replacements being planned.” Stay tuned…

Here’s an opportunity to get a prime seat for the July 4th fireworks at Gas Works Park and help out the recently revived Wallingford Community Senior Center: Volunteer to help with rocking chair races during the pre-fireworks festivities.

Not a Number and the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce are putting together the fundraiser for the Senior Center, which for years hosted popular and successful rocking chair races.

Kara Ceriello, Not a Number’s co-owner and the president of the Chamber, said that she’s 90% sure the rocking chair races will happen, but she’s waiting to hear from the fellow who developed the contraption that counts the rocks and displays them on a screen.

Even if the rocking chair races don’t happen, they’ll still fundraise for the Senior Center with a raffle and are looking for donations from local businesses. Not a Number co-owner Jon DeLeeuw said that his business, as well as Yazdi, Trophy Cupcakes, Sock Monster, Fainting Goat Gelato, have donated prizes for the raffle.

DeLeeuw is lining up volunteers for 2-hour shifts at Gas Works. Contact him at or call Not a Number at 784-0965. He said he’ll save space in Not a Number’s booth area for volunteers to watch the fireworks.

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Maria Hines to compete on "Iron Chef"

June 29th, 2010 by master

Following in the footsteps of Joule chefs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Tilth’s Maria Hines will compete on “Iron Chef” in an episode that will air on August 1, according to a tweet that Hines sent out today.

Hines will compete against Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in the show that pits two chefs against each other to create many dishes using one (often unusual) theme ingredient.

The show description says:

Celebrated Seattle Chef Maria Hines enters kitchen stadium to challenge the master himself, Iron Chef Morimoto. Will Chef Hines be able to stand the heat of Kitchen Stadium, or will she leave with the bitter taste of defeat in her mouth? Tune in to see whose cuisine reigns supreme.

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See local crime with new online map

June 29th, 2010 by master

The Seattle Police Department just launched on online map of police reports, available for anyone to see. You’ll need to register to see the redacted police reports linked from the map.

This screenshot shows reports from June 22 to June 29.

The Seattle Police Department describes its new online map:

The Police Reports Map will show mapped crime icons based on initial police reports taken by officers when responding to incidents around the city. After the information enters the Department’s Records Management System it populates this map.

Links directly to the related police reports from the map icons will also become available. As with the existing Police Reports application announced earlier, care is taken to redact victim and other sensitive information from what is available online.

The crime reporting map is a short-term view of crime: it provides a good sense of what is reported to be going on in a certain neighborhood or the city at large at any time. It is also good for seeing patterns of types of crimes happening (such as an unusual amount of reported bike thefts in your area).

The Police Reports Map will not link to a redacted narrative of a police report on every crime. However, every icon on the map will have a related General Offense (GO) number. You may use that number to request a copy of any unavailable report.

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SPD to shut down roads near Gas Works on July 4

June 29th, 2010 by master

Most Wallingfordians live within walking distance of the July 4th events at Gas Works Park, and we count ourselves lucky not to get stuck in those traffic jams out of the neighborhood around 11 p.m. We’ll pass along this information, though, for our readers who might be tempted to drive and park near Gas Works on Sunday.

In anticipation of the large crowds that will descend on lower Wallingford this July 4th, the Seattle Police Department will close off streets near the Gas Works beginning at noon. Only residents and “others with legitimate business in the community” will be able to drive through.

The SPD also closed roads in the area last year, the same summer that saw a kerfuffle about Porta Potties. Event producer One Reel encourages biking or taking the bus to the Family 4th and the fireworks, but adds this caveat about the bus: “If you plan to take the bus to the park, please prepare an alternate method of return transportation; the available buses after the fireworks will not be able to accommodate all guests.”

For much more information about Sunday’s events, see the Family 4th site.

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The Fourth of July in Green Lake: A history

June 29th, 2010 by master

Our new sister site, My Green Lake, has posted a history of Green Lake’s Fourth of July fireworks, which were the Seattle destination of choice for 60 Independence Days. The fireworks display didn’t move to Lake Union/Gas Works Park in Wallingford until 1980. Read the history here.

Independence Day fireworks over Green Lake, Seattle, July 4, 1947
Seattle P-I Collection, MOHAI – Used with Permission

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Reminder: Spoke and Food Tuesday night

June 28th, 2010 by master

This cool weather is perfect for a nice evening bike ride, and tomorrow you can bike to a restaurant where you’ll enjoy dinner and help out Lettuce Link, a program of Solid Ground. Tuesday night is the inaugural Spoke & Food event; two Wallingford restaurants, Cantinetta, and Blue Star Cafe, will participate.

If you feel like leaving Wallingford, you could make your destination any of a dozen restaurants in nearby neighborhoods.

The Spoke & Food folks posted some instructions to ensure your participation in the event is noted:

Important participant instructions for the evening of the event

Upon arriving at the participating restaurant of your choice, please mention to the host and your waiter that your are participating in the Spoke & Food event. Please thank the restaurant for agreeing to donate a percentage of your dinner bill to the Lettuce Link program at Solid Ground. All of our host restaurants have been provided with instructions on how to track your attendance and to tally the total donation that they will make.

Since it is a first year event, at the time of paying for your dinner, please remind your waiter that they are to donate a percentage of your bill to the Lettuce Link program.

Twelve of the fourteen restaurants will have Spoke & Food volunteers at them. Be sure to introduce yourself to the volunteers so that they know that you are dining in support of the event. The volunteers will also be available to answer questions you have about the Spoke & Food event while also helping to count the number of people who are participating in the event.

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How long will temps keep wading pool closed?

June 28th, 2010 by master

Update on June 30: Despite a cooler-than-70 forecast, the Parks Department will open wading pools today (June 30)! They were closed Monday and Tuesday. The Wallingford wading pool will be open from noon to 7 p.m.

Looks like we’ll need to put off that summer afternoon wading pool ritual another week or so, if the weather forecast is accurate. The Wallingford Playfield wading pool is scheduled to open this Wednesday, June 30, but the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department only opens wading pools when the forecast is for 70 degrees or higher. We won’t hit that magic number till next Wednesday, July 7, if the forecast holds.

Remember, the pool’s schedule has been reduced to three days a week — Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays — because of budget cuts.

If the opening of the wading pool is delayed another week, that cuts the pool’s open weeks to a mere seven. On the bright side, we’re saving a lot of money on sunscreen.

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Why are huge crows attacking my head?

June 27th, 2010 by master

Our sister site Maple Leaf Life posted this timely, fascinating explanation for why crows seem downright Hitchcockian lately.

And is it our imagination, or are they also depositing their bodily waste in places we’re more likely to see it (at the foot of our stairs, on our car, etc.)?

From Maple Leaf Life…

Photo courtesy Simone Lupson-Cook

Ever wonder why the crows in your neighborhood suddenly start frantically cawing at you, dive bombing you and possibly even hitting you in the head as you innocently walk down the block?

Simone Lupson-Cook, a Maple Leaf resident and falconer who has previously written here on local owls, has some answers.

Simone says:

May and June are important months for our local crows. Their babies are fledging (i.e. coming out of the nest and learning to fly) and are very vulnerable at this stage. The adults are trying to keep predators away from the young as they learn what is and isn’t safe.

Many crows live in family groups. There is a main pair but their offspring from previous years may help raise their younger siblings. This is why you might have more than just two crows yelling at you as you walk down the block.

Continue reading on Maple Leaf Life.

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