Category Archives: News, etc.

$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.

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

New DreamGirls at Rick’s illuminated video sign stirs controversy

Update: A City of Seattle inspector visited DreamGirls at Rick’s and found that the images displayed on the sign over the weekend were in violation of the permit issued for the illuminated video sign. You can see a report from KOMO/4, which happened to have a crew present during the visit, below.

The sign controversy and Rick’s management’s toeing the line on the rules is getting the business and their logo plenty of airtime.

(Original report below)

The new Rick's sign is causing controversy.

The new Rick’s sign is causing controversy.

A large video sign permitted by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development in front of DreamGirls at Rick’s strip club is causing controversy. The sign has been installed on the property adjacent to bus stops used by many Nathan Hale students.

We originally published a story about the coming sign in June. You can read that here.

The permit issued by the City of Seattle for the 8-foot by 16-foot sign atop a 30-foot pole says images on the sign “shall not change more than 7 times per minute. No flashing, no video display methods, and no off-premises advertising is permitted by city ordinance.”

When viewing this sign during its first weekend of operation, it did seem to violate the “video display methods” requirement as there was motion in some of the images. It also quickly changed its state of illumination in a way that could be perceived as flashing.

You can see the sign operating in the video below and be the judge if it is following the rules set by the city:

In recent years, DreamGirls, owner of Rick’s, has battled with the Seattle Mariners over the location of a strip club and notably the illuminated sign next to Safeco Field. The dispute over the strip club led the Mariners to sue DreamGirls’ and the City of Seattle. Lawsuit filed here.

The Mariners eventually dropped the suit in an agreement with DreamGirls after the strip club chain agreed to not show certain types of images during days that the team was hosting events for children.

The City of Seattle is limited in its ability to dictate rules for signs because ones like Rick’s are legal and legislation and rules have not kept up with changing technology.

Over the last year the strip club has found itself in hot water with the City of Seattle and community groups after it topped the street trees in front of the business (our story here). The City has ordered the business to replant trees equal to the size they would have been before the aggressive trimming.

A community group also fought the placement of a large van with provocative imagery parked at the business and illuminated backpack signs people were paid to wear and walk along Lake City Way at night.

KING/5 reported on the sign over the weekend. In their report they found some of the images on the sign provocative enough that they blurred out images of dancing women and jiggling body parts. You can see their report below.

Over the weekend the sign caused many people to contact Lake City Live to voice concern. The sign sparked a discussion on our Facebook page about Lake City Way and the perception of the road that runs through our community.

The permit for the new sign also required removal of the classic neon Rick’s.

Seattle Drum School building being sold, looks to old Fire Station 39 as possible new location

Steve Smith, owner of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building  in north Seattle on May 4, 2013. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Steve Smith, director of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building on 15th Avenue NE. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

In a post on The Stranger’s Slog, writer Trent Moorman reports that the Seattle Drum School in NE Seattle will likely have to move because their building is in the process of being sold. The building is in need of extensive and costly code updates.

City leaders and Lake City residents gather at the old Fire Station 39. (LCL photo)

City leaders and Lake City residents gather at the old Fire Station 39. (LCL photo)

The post on Slog titled “DEAR MAYOR MURRAY, Please Don’t Let an Automotive Parts Storage Lot Go Where Seattle Drum School Could Go” says that school owner Steve Smith is working to convince the City of Seattle that the school should be allowed to reopen in Lake City’s old Fire Station 39 building.

The City of Seattle has announced previously that a lease was being worked out with Pierre Auto Centers to use the building as parts storage for the car dealerships until a permanent decision can be made on the future of the property. That lease was planned to be for two years and was supported by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance as a mechanism to buy time while plans for the future of the civic core of Lake City are drawn up.

From The Stranger’s post:

Drum School director Steve Smith says the city has other options for this fire station property, and they need supporters to let the Mayor’s office and the city council know that Seattle Drum School belongs in Lake City.

Smith said, “What we need now more than anything is the city’s cooperation and support. We think there’s a lot of enthusiasm inside the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) for our attempt in acquiring the fire station. They have stressed repeatedly that getting politicians involved in the process is going to be critical to our success.

However, relocating to the old fire station is complicated. Like their current building on 15th Avenue Northeast, the fire station needs significant updates to bring it to code, including a seismic retrofit. And in a recent social media post, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance representative Janine Blaeloch —acknowledging the importance of the Seattle Drum School to the community— explained that Lake City is in the middle of creating an Urban Design Framework for Lake City’s Hub Urban Village and that the Pierre storage lease would keep the site as-is for two years while the Urban Design Framework is formulated. It has also been proposed that lease money paid to the City by the Pierres could go to help fund the Urban Design Framework effort.

“This is a more complicated siting issue than it may appear,” Blaeloch wrote. “It’s clear the Drum School has a lot of good will in the community, and I, too, hope they can stay in the Lake City area, but the old FS 39 site is not the uncomplicated solution it may seem.”

We will keep you updated as we get more info on the future of the Seattle Drum School. If you know of a good and available location that could keep the beloved school in Lake City please share it in the comments or email lakecitylive@gmail.com and we will pass it along.

Seahawks player, Sea Gals deliver needed school supplies at Olympic Hills Elementary

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is introduced by Mark Traylor of Chevron as members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is introduced by Mark Traylor of Chevron as members of the Sea Gals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students at Olympic Hills Elementary had a big surprise Tuesday morning when Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse dropped by the school with members of the Sea Gals, staff from Woodland Park Zoo and representatives of Chevron. The entourage showed up at the northeast Seattle school to deliver school supplies as part of an online request made by first grade teacher Julie Solarek.

Kearse and the other visitors opened a pair of boxes that included learning games and supplies for first graders at the school.

Television cameras and photographers were there capturing the moment as staff members and officials from Seattle Public Schools watched the excited students. State Senator David Frockt of the 46th Legislative District attended the event and staff from Woodland Park Zoo even brought along their spectacled owl Coba for the visit.

After the official school supply hand-off, Kearse and Sea Gal Jackie and Sea Gal Kylie briefly visited a few other classrooms, getting everything from chants and cheers to reserved smiles and a few shy shoulders. They posed for photos as they walked through the school.

The photos below are shared courtesy of the Seattle P-I. You can see more photos from the visit by clicking here.

Students look over new supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students look over new supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron’s “Fuel Your School” campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and State Sen. David Frockt participate in a presentation by staff from the Woodland Park Zoo as they deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and State Sen. David Frockt participate in a presentation by staff from the Woodland Park Zoo. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Principal Helen Joung speaks as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Principal Helen Joung speaks as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

First grade teacher Julie Solarek thanks donors as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to her first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

First grade teacher Julie Solarek thanks donors. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students look at their new classroom supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students look at their new classroom supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seagal Jackie and Seagal Kylie talk to students as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seagal Jackie and Seagal Kylie talk to students. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Karen Ofsthus of Woodland Park Zoo shows the zoo's spectacled owl Coba as school supplies are delivered to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Karen Ofsthus of Woodland Park Zoo shows the zoo’s spectacled owl Coba. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is introduced by Mark Traylor of Chevron as members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Woodland Park Zoo’s spectacled owl Coba is shown during the event.. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Car crashes into Backdoor Pub, injuring woman

A car smashed into the back side of the Backdoor Pub on Lake City Way early Thursday morning injuring a woman. A woman suffered a broken leg and was transported to Harborview Medical Center after she was pinned between the car and the rear wall of the business.

The first rescue call came in at 12:35 am and Seattle Fire dispatched 15 units to the heavy rescue.

There was initial concern that the building was structurally compromised but it was determined to be safe.

The owner of the business told a reporter for Q13 Fox News that they still plan to be open for Thursday night’s Seahawks season opener.

Lake City Halloween, Christmas decorations in need of a home

Holiday decorations are put up along Lake City Way in 2013. (LCL photo)

Holiday decorations are put up along Lake City Way in 2013. (LCL photo)

The holiday decorations that make Lake City come alive each Halloween and Christmas are in need of a new home. Pierre Auto Centers loaned a house to the Lake City Lions for storage of the Christmas street decorations and some Halloween items. For the last three years the space was provided for free.

But this summer the house was remodeled for use as a rental and all the decorations had to move. The decorations have since been kept in a storage locker for the short term, but at the end of September they will need to move again.

A new, free space is being sought for storage of the decorations. Ideally about 800-1000 square feet so there is room to repair the wreaths and bells as well as store them, said North Seattle Chamber Executive Director Diane Haugen.

If a new home for the decorations cannot be found it is feared that they may be lost.

You can contact Haugen via email if you have a lead on a new storage spot for Lake City’s decorations: northseattlechamber@gmail.com