4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter

2015 May

1 Meeting to Connect

Police Patrols and 9-1-1 at annual Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Concerned about safety in your neighborhood? Want to see more police officers out of their cars and proactively preventing crime? Want to know what happens when you call 9-1-1?

Bring your ideas and questions to May’s Meeting to ConnectPOLICE PATROLS AND 9-1-1

Public safety officials finally started to crack down on the rampant street disorder / open-air drug-dealing in downtown and to see results from a new strategy called L.E.A.D. that sends low-level offenders to social services instead of jail. For a summary from Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat, CLICK HERE.  But what about getting results in our neighborhoods like the U District, Lake City, and other parts of Northeast Seattle?

If you have an immediate safety concern, obviously call 9-1-1. If you have concerns or ideas about crime trends, first contact your community policing officer (see list below).

Questions that might arise at this month’s Meeting to Connect:

_ MORE OFFICERS: What can we do to support our men and women in uniform AND get more of them? And can we hire more police officers from Seattle who are committed to effective policing? Seattle is making progress on reforms to prevent inappropriate use of force, so now would be a good time to encourage and celebrate our officers. Thank a police officer by CLICKING HERE.

_ BURGLARIES: How are officers preventing home and car burglaries in Laurelhurst, Roosevelt, etc and stopping open air drug dealing on The Ave? (The new Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole addressed burglaries at the Dec 2014 meeting of the Laurelhurst Community Club, but not everyone was satisfied — especially with long wait times on 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line 625-5011.)

_ COMMUNICATING: Can the Police do a better job informing the public when a suspect is on the loose in our neighborhood and also when the suspect is finally apprehended? This is especially important when schools are in a “lock-down” (Moms and Dads all know about the Key Bank robberies on 35th Ave NE, for example.)

_ NORTHEAST SEATTLE: Should NE Seattle have its own Precinct Station? (The current single station is west of I-5 and west of North Seattle College. A replacement station is being built even further west — on Highway 99. But our North Precinct is the city’s largest.)

_ DEPLOYMENT? What is the status of the $500,000 “deployment” analysis the City Council funded for SPD (see p. 339 of 2014 Adopted Budget)? What is taking so long?

_ PERSONNEL:

– a new Captain for our North Precinct: Sean.ODonnell@seattle.gov — and he grew up in NE Seattle!

– Community Policing Officers (solving community issues rather than reacting to 911):

  •    Michael.Lanz@seattle.gov: serves U District, Ravenna, Roosevelt, Maple Leaf.
  •    Kipp.Strong@seattle.gov: serves Laurelhurst, View Ridge, Magnuson Park, Lake City.

– Crime Prevention Coordinator (helps set up a neighborhood block watch) Elizabeth.Scott@seattle.gov.
– City Attorney Liaison to SPD (nuisance properties): Brendan.Brophy@seattle.gov.

SPD recently introduced “micro community policing plans“. Click here to find what SPD thinks are the biggest concerns in your neighborhood and their plans for solving them.

If you want to connect at a more micro-level, here are links to some of our community councils:  Ravenna/BryantHawthorne HillsLaurelhurstRooseveltU-DistrictView RidgeWallingfordWedgwood, and others. The LCC is among the many community councils that connect to our Northeast District Council (NEDC), chaired by Gabrielle Gerhard and Tony Provine.

In addition, we will soon be able to vote for a neighborhood-based City Councilmember, who will need to understand and be responsive to our neighborhood issues, such as the need for more police officers on the streets.

1 Issue to Engage

City Transportation Tax Doubling?

Our State’s resistance to enacting a progressive income tax or to tax non-retirement investment income, requires cities to impose taxes on property owners to fund many operations and capital projects. Those who received their property tax bills this year know that these costs to families and seniors on fixed incomes are rising. Landlords can also pass these costs onto renters and small businesses, which contributes to Seattle’s Affordability Crisis.  Tax rates will jump again in 2016 (including the recent doubling of the Parks levy) and now City Hall is proposing a DOUBLING OF OUR CITY TRANSPORTATION TAX — unless we express concerns about it.

Our newsletter “4 to Explore” talks a lot about Transportation because we know our readers care a lot about it.  The City currently funds a $365 million a year transportation levy “Bridging the Gap“, but City Hall is now proposing a $900 million Levy dubbed “Move Seattle.”  According to SDOT’s website, the expanded tax “would cost the media Seattle household (valued at $450,000) about $275 per year, for nine years” — more than doubling the $130 paid per year.

Here are some concerns and questions neighbors have been asking about the $900 million Move Seattle proposal:

(1) Prioritizing: Does it really need to be $900 million?  Why not first take care of basic, urgent needs that serve the most residents rather than spend money on new projects because interest groups lobby City Hall (which plagued the expensive Parks Levy)?
(2) Economizing: Are overblown pension and health insurance costs for city employees contributing to the rise in levy costs?
(3) Accountability: Why is there a nearly $2 billion backlog in transportation projects from the previous levy? What will be done differently to repair roads and bridges efficiently? How will results be tracked and communicated? Who will be held accountable this time?
(4) Listening: Will City Hall listen to neighborhoods when designing specific projects or will it pave over community concerns to satisfy the interest groups that fund the campaign for the ballot measure?
(5) Prospecting: What other sources of revenue are available, other than increasing taxes again on homeowners and potentially increasing rents on small businesses and tenants?

Another key concern: Will the sticker shock of doubling this transportation levy jeopardize next year’s Affordable Housing Levy and other priorities such as renewal of the city’s Education and Preschool Levies?

If the City Council could muster the political will, it could scrutinize the proposal, delete at least $100 million in non-urgent projects, find less expensive ways of accomplishing the remaining line items, and obtain other revenues such as For-Profit Developer Impact Fees. Considering the interest groups and officials in the photograph when the Mayor announced the $900 million proposal, genuine scrutiny is not likely from our city’s legislative branch.

You can take a “survey” on the SDOT website by CLICKING HERE. Many have criticized SDOT’s survey as faulty and misleading. For example, as with many of the vague line items presented in SDOT’s “detailed” budget, the survey cleverly lumps bicycling together with walking — even though they are different modes of transportation. When it comes to cost and who uses them, crosswalks for children and seniors are totally different from mile-long protected bike lanes. If you want to provide more direct input, contact “Levy Outreach Lead” allison.schwartz@seattle.gov 206-386-4654.

The City Council could simply extend the existing levy to clear the backlog of critical road and bridge maintenance priorities or wait until January 2016 when Councilmembers officially representing our neighborhoods are in office and can learn more about what residents — rather than interest groups — consider critical.

NEXT STEPS:

  • May 2015:  Mayor submits levy legislation to City Council.
  • June and July 2015: Council public hearings.
  • August 2015: Council places nearly $1 billion measure on November ballot.
  • November 2015: After being inundated by slick political ads funded by interest groups, vote.

1 Fun to Enjoy

“Opening Day”

On a single day at the start of May, you can cheer as crews race to Portage Bay. Experience some of the thrill of the bestseller “Boys in the Boat.” Then admire an armada of boats brightly bobbing on Lake Washington and the Montlake Cut. It’s time to welcome Spring to your front porch in Northeast Seattle:

Hooray — it’s “OPENING DAY!

CLICK HERE for the schedule. The Windermere Cup crew races start shortly after 10:00 a.m. when you can watch the Husky crews row their hearts out against an array of challengers. The colorful boat parade follows at Noon.

Here are directions to the viewing areas and parking info. Or you can bike there from the Burke-Gilman Trail. Pack a yummy lunch in a backpack and dress warmly.

Opening Day Trivia:  It was 48 years ago on this same day that the young Tim Burgess (now City Council President) landed his job as a news reporter for KJR Radio by recording the horn blasts of the boats on Opening Day.

  • WHAT: “Opening Day” with crew races and boat parade.
  • DATE: Sat, May 2, 2015.
  • TIMES: Crew Races: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Boat Parade and Cannon Blast: 12:00 noon.
  • LOCATION: Montlake Bridge and Cut.
  • COST: Free.

If you have not had the opportunity to enjoy Boys in the Boat, detailing the humble, hard-working, and heroic University of Washington crew teams of the 1930s and their epic journey to the Olympics against Nazi Germany, CLICK HERE for a short video about the award-winning book.

Families can find other fun events this month on the calendar websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10.

1 Store to Adore

Katterman’s Pharmacy

When you need a store to take care of you in Northeast Seattle — a flu shot, gift cards, steak sauce, bamboo PJ’s, and a pharmacist both personable and knowledgeable — this month’s “Store to Adore” has it all. If you think we are referring to Bartell’s at U Village or Rxtra Care Pharmacy in Wedgwood, you’d be close — it’s KATTERMAN’S in Laurelhurst.

  • Does Katterman’s deliver? YES.
  • Is Katterman’s an expert “compounding” pharmacist for both humans and pets? YES.
  • Does Katterman’s provide the vaccines you need when you travel abroad? YES.
  • Does Katterman sell Gustaf’s Dutch Licorice Caramels? YES.

Katterman’s was founded when LBJ was President. Per their website, “The present owners Beverly Schaefer and Steve Cone have owned the business since 1996. Both were hired by Don Katterman as pharmacy students and continued to work after their graduation…until purchasing the store from Beverley Katterman…”

  • LOCATION: 5400 Sand Point Way NE (Laurelhurst neighborhood across from Hawthorne Hills).
  • HOURS: Mon thru Fri, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. (but closed Sundays July 4 to Labor Day)

MORE: “4 to Explore,” has highlighted other gems of this quaint shopping strip called “Sand Point Village”: City People’s Mercantile, University Wines, Sandpoint Grill, and Gretchen’s Cafe.

NEIGHBORHOOD:  To explore more of Laurelhurst, subscribe to the Laurelhurst Blog and attend the Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC). The LCC is among the many community councils that connect to our Northeast District Council (NEDC), chaired by Gabrielle Gerhard and Tony Provine. Sand Point Village is located in the newly created City Council District 4, which also includes neighborhoods from Eastlake to Wedgwood.

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