Author Archives: Lake City Live

Street trees cut down in front of Rick’s, replaced with much smaller trees

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Back in May we reported that DreamGirls at Rick’s trimmed back street trees in front of the business. At the time the pruning seemed severe. It prompted complaints from the community.

They were then required by City of Seattle arborists to replace the trees along Lake City Way that were pruned, because at the time it was thought the trees may not survive the pruning or were damaged. The city determined then that topping of the trees was illegal.

From a KIRO Radio report at the time:

The strip club will have to pay for the city to replace the five trees on SR 522 and restore the area to its former appearance. The city won’t say how much it will cost to remove the damaged trees and replace them with new trees of similar size. “The cost will be ‘substantial.”

But over the summer the previously pruned trees recovered and filled out with new branches and leaves, regaining some of their previous size. They survived just fine and looked healthy.

Now those trees that survived the shears, have been cut down. They have been replaced with much smaller trees. The new trees are shown above. The previously pruned trees below.

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Your help needed to advocate for new community center, Monday deadline

This message comes from the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and is an important one. The deadline to write the City Council to advocate for a new community center is Monday, November 10:

The current Lake City Community Center

The current Lake City Community Center

IF YOU HAVE JUST FIVE OR TEN MINUTES TO DO SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY—DO THIS. We need you to write to the Seattle City Council in support of a full-service Lake City Community Center. Please do this by Monday, latest!

Background

Over the past several weeks, the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance has been steadily advocating for a full-service community center in Lake City, to serve children, youth, seniors, and all of us. Lake City offers pitifully few services for our children, youth, and older adults. Those of us with means and mobility can go to other neighborhoods, but our many neighbors who don’t are left behind. We need and deserve the recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities that come with a full-service facility here in Lake City.

Right now

Three of our City Council members, Sally Clark, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien, are sponsoring a “Statement of Legislative Intent” that calls upon the Parks Department to report back to the Council by August 2015 with alternatives, including funding plans, for rehabilitating or rebuilding Lake City Community Center. Council Member Nick Licata has been the driving force behind this, but because he is the council budget chair and needs to be a neutral negotiator, he did not sign on—although he can still vote to support.

What we need from you

As an individual or a representative of a group, write an email to all of our City Council members, expressing in your own words why we need a full-service community center in Lake City. We need these communications to go out as soon as possible. You can do it over the weekend, but do it by Monday!

Here are some factors:

  • A growing population of children and youth
  • Many older adults with few senior services
  • Very little park space
  • No consistent programming such as that found at other neighborhoods’ community centers

What would you like to see—sport courts? A pool? A senior center? A community kitchen? Meeting rooms? All of the above? Tell the Council!
We have an historic opportunity, here. We must show a groundswell of support for the current council action, as it is a critical first step on our way to getting a full-service community center in Lake City. We want all of the Council members to vote in favor of this project!

You can send just one email to all the council members at once. Cut and paste these addresses into your recipient line and write your unique request:

sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

sally.clark@seattle.gov

bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

nick.licata@seattle.gov

mike.obrien@seattle.gov

kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

jean.godden@seattle.gov

tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov

tim.burgess@seattle.gov

Thank you, friends! Let’s make this happen together.

 

Fright Night Trick-or-Treat walk, party October 31st

The Fright Night haunted house from 2012

The Fright Night haunted house.

It’s that scary time or year again! And once again, neighborhood organizations are stepping up to provide some fun —and fright— to trick-or-treaters.

The Children’s Home Society of Washington’s North Seattle Family Center and the Lake City Lions have teamed up for the 22nd annual Fright Night.

This event is fun for the entire family, especially children ages 2 to 12.

The walk takes place 5:15-6:15 pm.. You can begin the walk and pick up a map and treat bags at CHSW’s North Seattle Family Center (2611 N.E. 125th St., Suite 145 in the Lake City Professional Building) or Lake City Court Computer Lab (12536 33rd Ave. N.E., Seattle).

The walk ends with the Fright Night Party from 6:30-8 pm. at the Lake City Community Center (12531 28th Ave. N.E., Seattle). Sponsored by the Lake City Lions, the party includes games, food, crafts, costume contest, prizes and a haunted house.

Old Aqua Dive building demolished

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Many longtime Lake City residents learned to swim in the pool at the old Aqua Dive Swim and Fitness Club.

A few months back, a Facebook thread about the old swim club had people waxing nostalgic about the sound of kids echoing from the ceiling, swimming lessons, parties there, and of course the strong smell of chlorine that came from the facility.

There were lots of memories made in that old facility.

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Today, the forgotten Lake City swim club, where generations learned to reach, pull and kick, was turned into a pile of rubble.

The building sat vacant for years after it was closed. The building had become a sort of magnet for illegal activity and had regular homeless encampments inside. A neighborhood effort got the attention of the current owner of the property, who agreed it needed to come down.

From a blog post when the facility permanently closed in 2006:

Lake City has lost a warm and welcoming community gathering place –not to mention the cleanest and clearest pool water found in our city.  Nothing like a huge, over-sized sand filtration system (built when land was cheap) for clean water.  Your locker rooms might have seen better days, but they had accumulated decades of stories and friendships.  Your hot tub might have been intermittently hot in recent years, but it was always full of friends when your boilers ran full steam.

RIP AquaDive. You are irreplaceable to so many of us.  We relied on your calm, warm water for rehab and friendship. We’ll miss you.

$75,000 Camaro stolen, crashed through showroom windows at Lake City auto dealership

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A rather dramatic theft took place at a Lake City auto dealer early Tuesday morning in the 11300 block of Lake City Way. A thief made off with a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 after crashing the car through the locked showroom doors.

From the Seattle Police Department:

At the scene, police found tire tracks on the dealership’s tile floor, and evidence that a burglar had smashed their way into the business, grabbed a set of car keys, and then crashed the $75,000 Camaro through the locked front doors of the building. Both the brand new Camaro and the dealership were badly damaged during the suspect’s hasty retreat.

The suspect ditched the car just half a mile from the dealership in the driveway of a home. After recovering the car, officers called for evidence specialists to search the vehicle for any evidence that might lead police to this lead-footed larcenist.

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KIRO/7: Post office box holders say they were never notified by USPS about break-ins

Coming just on the heels of the breakup of a major mail theft ring in north Seattle, it has been revealed that mailboxes at the Lake City Post Office have been targets of thieves. The problem has become significant enough that the U.S. Postal Service has changed the hours the lobby and mailboxes are available to the public, inconveniencing some that pay for boxes there.

From the KIRO report:

“It makes me consider whether or not I want to continue to have my mail delivered to the post office,” said Chris Rich, who rents a post office box at that location.

She and other neighbors say they rented the boxes because of an increase in mailbox thefts in the area over the past few years.

“We pay for post office boxes so there ought to be some level of service to folks to have their mail delivered there,” said Rich.

kiroThe U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office told KIRO/7 that breaking into post office boxes is both a state and federal offense that could carry a 15 year prison sentence.

‘World Of Tastes in the Heart of Lake City’ kicks off at last Farmers Market of season

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Today, Thursday, October 2nd, is the final day of the 2014 farmers market season. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of tasty food-centric events in the neighborhood. At the market, Lake City Future First is kicking off its “World Of Tastes in the Heart of Lake City” business support program.

The goal of the program is to support our diverse neighborhood food establishments, and to help community members discover some of the offerings here in Lake City. “We want to support our local establishments and enhance our economic development model to both retain and attract businesses,” said an announcement from the organization. Info follows:

We want to strengthen all the ties within our community and connecting you to some of our fantastic food offerings here in Lake City in a meaningful way will further our growing sense of community and place.

Let those business owners that you are familiar with know that you are glad they took part and use this as an opportunity to visit the places you had been meaning to check out but hadn’t found the time.

How Does It Work? Simply stop into any one of our participating businesses to pick up a passport and get started. Visit all seven locations and make your purchase to receive your stamp. Purchase a single entrée from a participating restaurant or spend $10.00 at one of the specialty markets and earn a stamp from each location. Once you have completed the passport with all seven stamps, return it to the Kaffeeklatsch by October 31, 2014 and you will automatically be entered to win our grand prize. One winner will be chosen at random and notified via the contact information they provided on the card within 24 hours of the drawing.

Who is participating? The following restaurants and markets are taking part in our first effort:

Mania Manila / Elliot Bay Brewing Co. / Pho An / Erawan Bankok Thai / Lake City Gyros / Beer Authority / Kaffeeklatsch

The generous prizes and additional support through donations to cover costs associated with the passport are provided by Two Dog Yoga – Kaffeeklatsch – Elliot Bay Brewing – Print Fusion

What can I win? $50 Gift Cards to both Kaffeeklatsch and Elliot Bay – 5 Free Yoga Sessions at Two Dog Yoga (over $100 value) and a $50 VISA gift card.

Don’t see your favorite spot on the list? We had so many wonderful businesses to choose from and not all were able to take part at this time. Let your favorites know that you would love to see them get involved next time.

Please join us in engaging with our business community by participating in the first of what we hope will be an ongoing support program.

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Seattle Police: Major Crimes Unit Unravels Prolific North Seattle Crime Ring

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Items recovered by Seattle police are shown. (SPD photo)

After a bit of controversy over an internal memo saying that Seattle Police may not fully investigate all home burglaries because of a lack of detectives to work cases, the Seattle Police Department released the following story on their Blotter Wednesday afternoon.

Although the story doesn’t specifically mention Lake City, it does give a glimpse of how a major crime operation can work and may help people here be more alert and aware. And often theft rings like this are not necessarily limited geographically to a specific neighborhood, so chances are this ring has operated a bit farther north in Lake City. You can read the SPD post below.

A stolen car, a wanted woman, and her diary detailing “what I stole today” has led SPD’s Major Crimes Task Force to unravel a prolific crime ring, which detectives believe is responsible for hundreds of break-ins, car prowls, thefts and identity fraud in North Seattle.

In all, police arrested four suspects and seized hundreds of pieces of stolen mail, IDs, and boxes of packages, stolen right off of victims’ porches, with one of the suspects telling police that unwrapping stolen packages was “like opening Christmas presents.”

Detectives got their first major break in the case on September 11th when Seattle police and Department of Corrections officers went to a University District townhouse near NE 50th Street and 11th Avenue NE to arrest a 26-year-old woman wanted on a felony warrant. After officers took the woman into custody, they discovered a stolen car parked outside the two-bedroom townhome. Officers called detectives in SPD’s Major Crimes Task Force—who had been working a complex auto theft case around the city—to come to the townhouse and interview the woman. Detectives found a trove of around 100 stolen packages when they arrived, containing everything from ceiling fans to strollers, all in their original packaging. “When we left her house,” says MCTF Det. Todd Jakobsen “we had four SUVs and two cars stuffed full of packages she’d stolen off people’s porches.”

Detectives found duffel bags filled with stolen mail, more than 70 IDs, credit cards and passports, $37,000 in fraudulent checks, and mail stolen from at least 180 victims. They also found books and ledgers tracking thefts and tallying sales on online sites, as well as pages and pages of victims’ birthdates, social security numbers and credit card numbers. Detectives say the woman had created “profiles,” compiling personal information from pieces of stolen mail. With that info in hand, she and other thieves had everything they needed to open credit accounts in their victims’ names.

Police later learned the townhome, much like the mail and stolen items inside it, did not belong to the woman either. “She never even rented this place,” says Major Crimes Task Force detective Todd Jakobsen. “The people that lived there moved out and she just moved in. She never paid rent.”

Detectives say the 26-year-old woman and her 34-year-old boyfriend been burglarizing and stealing from victims all over the University District and Greenlake. She said they had been working with a 31-year-old-woman she’d met in prison and another man, who she described as the ringleader of the group of thieves, although she claimed to only know by his nickname. The group, the woman said, had made crime a full-time job, stealing mail or breaking into homes seven days a week over the last two or three months.

After arresting the 34-year-old boyfriend for auto and mail theft, detectives began searching for the other two accomplices.

Four days later, police found the third member of the crew of thieves—the 31-year-old woman—in a tent at an encampment along Interstate 5 near NE 50th St., about half a mile from the University District townhome.

In the encampment, police found more stolen mail and about 200 pounds of copper wire, which police believe was stolen from the Museum of History and Industry’s Montlake building after the museum relocated in 2013.

After searching through the encampment and arresting the 31-year-old woman, detectives had tracked down three of the four members of the theft ring, but were still searching for their alleged ringleader.

Police finally got their man on September 22nd after West Precinct patrol officers pulled over a 25-year-old man in a stolen car near 6th Ave and Weller St. in the International District. Once again, patrol officers called MCTF detectives to come check out the stolen car and talk to the driver, who just so happened to have a name closely matching the nickname of the alleged theft and fraud ringleader.

The man in the stolen car was elusive during an interview with detectives—“things just weren’t adding up with what he was saying” Det. Jakobsen says—and police quickly discovered he was wanted for more than a dozen cases of auto theft and fraud in Pierce County. When police searched the suspect’s stolen car, they found documents and evidence connected to several cases of bank fraud in Seattle.

With the evidence found in the 25-year-old man’s car and information they’d received from other suspects about their ringleader, detectives were now certain they had found the man leading the North Seattle crime ring. “Once I started interviewing him everything started falling into place,” Det. Jakobsen says.

Detectives arrested the man and turned him over to authorities in Pierce County, and the MCTF is now working with Pierce and King County officials to bring charges against the man. Police are also investigating him in connection with a number of recent burglaries along the University of Washington’s Greek Row.

“These arrests should drastically reduce property crimes” in the North Precinct, says Coordinated Criminal Investigations Captain Eric Sano.

Detectives are still combing through all of the stolen items recovered during their investigation, and will also look at where the suspects were selling their stolen items, and whether they were trading pieces of stolen mail with other criminals.

Olympic Hills Greenway lined with new stop signs

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Chances are if you have driven in the Olympic Hills neighborhood in recent weeks you have noticed lots of changes on some roads.

A neighborhood greenway on 27th Avenue NE from NE 145th Street to NE 130th Street is taking shape. The route will give cyclists and pedestrians the same priority on the roadway as automobiles.

Crews from Seattle Department of Transportation were out on Monday preparing dozens of intersections for new stop signs. Pavement markings were applied and temporary stop signs placed at dozens of intersections along the route.

So as you drive through the neighborhood, be aware that some intersections that used to have roundabouts or no signage may now require a stop.

The route is expected to be done in coming weeks and is the first part of a proposed network in Lake City.
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City Council, Mayor seek candidates for positions on Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

parkslogoThe following press release was sent to us here at Lake City Live, with a note encouraging people from Northeast Seattle to apply for a position on the Seattle Park District’s new Community Oversight Committee.

We often hear from people in our community that Lake City is underrepresented at a city level. Well, here is your chance.

SEATTLE – The City Council and Mayor Ed Murray are seeking candidates to fill seven positions on the Seattle Park District’s newly created Community Oversight Committee. The Seattle Park District was approved by Seattle voters in August 2014, creating a sustainable and long-term source of funding for the Seattle parks system.

The Community Oversight Committee will provide advice to the Mayor, City Council and the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, as well as provide oversight of projects, programs and services undertaken by the City and the Seattle Park District. The committee will meet quarterly to:
• Make recommendations on the allocation of the Major Projects Challenge Fund;
• Hold public meetings and make recommendations to update the next spending plan;
• Review the Department of Parks and Recreation Annual Report; and
• Provide the Mayor, City Council and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation with annual reports on the progress of expenditures and projects.

The Committee will be composed of 15 members, seven members of the public (one from each Seattle district), four Board or Commission members to be recommended by Seattle City Boards & Commissions and four members from the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners. Each will serve either a one, two or three year term, to be determined during the selection process. The City seeks to appoint Community Oversight Committee members with a diversity of expertise and perspectives including, but not limited to parks management, public financing, urban horticulture, landscape architecture, contract management and the interests of low-income and communities of color. The Committee’s first official meeting will be held in April 2015, but members should be available to meet before this date, in early 2015.

The Council and the Mayor are committed to promoting diversity in the city’s Committees. Women, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and persons of color are highly encouraged to apply.

To be considered, please send a letter of interest indicating which district you represent and resume by October 20, 2014 to Councilmember Jean Godden, jean.godden@seattle.gov. Please title subject line: Oversight Committee Application. Electronic submissions are preferred.

To send a paper submittal, please address to:

​Councilmember Jean Godden
​PO Box 34025
​Seattle, WA 98124