Survey – COVID-19 Impacts on Community

Seattle Office of Emergency Management has a survey out. From the email:

Please complete our short survey about your experience during the COVID-19. pandemic. We want to learn more about impacts in our community so we can help people be more prepared in the future.



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Tips to Cope With Wildfire Smoke

Those scarce N95 masks you’ve been hoping to find as part of your COVID-19 stay-safe strategy? It turns out, there’s a time you may need to use them even if no one else is around: during wildfire season., unlike cloth, dust and paper masks, can filter out the most harmful particles in wildfire smoke, thanks to their tight-fitting design and layers of protection.* But unlike wildfire seasons in years past, it’s difficult for most people to buy N95 masks right now because they must be reserved for COVID first responders and healthcare workers.

Fortunately, even without an N95, you can stay safe when air quality drops by limiting your exposure:

  1. Keep doors and windows closed. Rely on air conditioning, but close the fresh air intake and replace the air filter more often. For added protection, use towels to seal cracks under doors and around windows. In your car, use recirculated rather than fresh air. Once air quality improves, open windows to freshen your home and change your car’s air filter.
  2. Postpone yard chores and exercise. Also avoid vacuuming the carpet, which can send settled particles floating back into the air.
  3. Invest in an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. The pleated filters capture and trap particles suspended in the air. When you’re choosing an air cleaner, check its Clean Air Delivery Rating (CADR) to make sure it’s appropriate for the size of your room and is efficient at removing smoke. (If you’re buying a filter for your furnace or air conditioning system, always follow manufacturer’s recommendations.) Be mindful of devices advertised as “air purifiers.” They often generate ozone, which is widely recognized as a lung irritant.

Finally, even if you’re doing everything right to minimize smoke exposure, know when to get medical help. A scratchy throat, mild cough and itchy eyes are normal during poor air quality. However, a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, fatigue, unusual weakness or chest pain and tightness should be checked out.

*Air-quality experts note that an N95 mask doesn’t give wearers a “free pass” to carry on as normal during poor air quality. They can’t filter noxious gases you might encounter near a fire and, for a few sensitive groups, may worsen existing breathing problems and associated health risks because of reduced airflow through the mask. 
From Pemco Insurance’s Perspective Newsletter

North Precinct Advisory Council Captain’s Report – July 2020

NPAC July Report by Captain Eric Sano, North Precinct Commander
To all North Precinct residents, business owners and workers, I hope this report finds you all well during these still crazy and unprecedented times. Between our COVID response and what has been occurring elsewhere in the City with all of the impromptu protests and marches, we’ve had to adjust our response protocols. This makes crime analysis very difficult because, we are limited to responding to priority calls only. We did, however, continue to take a lot of calls over the phone through our North Precinct in-house Telephone Reporting personnel.

I am continuing to encourage our citizens to utilize our online reporting, CopLogic ( ), to report crimes and/or our telephone reporting to minimize face-to-face contact. However, call 9-1-1 if you believe a crime is occurring, about to occur or has just occurred. We are still responding to priority calls or other calls for service all over the North Precinct.

Now, for a little bit of unexpected news…I am being transferred to take over the East Precinct effective August 5th. A lot has happened to that Precinct during the CHOP takeover of the streets just outside the Precinct and they need a veteran Captain to go there and restore morale and to mend fences with the community. I guess Chief Best thinks I’m the person who can do that…let’s hope she’s right. You will be getting newly promoted Captain Brain Stampfl. He is currently the Operations Lieutenant for the West Precinct.

So, let’s talk about the important stuff!

The City continues to amend their response to encampments due to the COVID protocols. Our Community Police Team (CPT) is monitoring existing encampments and is working closely with the City’s Navigation Team to determine how best to proceed with problem encampments. All encampment removals, however, must be approved through the Mayor’s Office.

In regards to crime: after seven months, we’re currently down 4% in crime and my only plus categories are auto thefts, which are up 11% (+89); burglaries, which are up 19% (+295) and arsons, which are up 47% (+7). Violent crime is down 10%, with nothing in the plus category.

However, in the last 28 days, while we’re down 21% in overall crime, arsons are up and leading the way with a 400% increase (from 2 to 8), robberies are up 40% (+12) and burglaries are up 23% (+46). Auto thefts, though, are down 8% (-12). Our aggravated assaults are also down 8% (-4) and our rapes are down 82% (-9). I have no explanation for the increase in arsons; they are up Citywide. I am having the Arson/Bomb Squad do a deeper dive to see if some of these are reckless burning cases from homeless encampments.

Of the 194 shots fired calls in the City, year-to-date, only 27 are in the North Precinct, which is roughly 14% of all the shootings in the City. Not bad for the largest Precinct in the City and we’re actually down 10 from this time last year. And, of the 13 deaths Citywide from shots fired, only 3 are in the North Precinct. Two of those three are from the Everspring Inn.

Speaking of the Everspring Inn, the City did serve them with a Chronic Nuisance Property letter on July 20th. It is now up to the property owner to meet with SPD to explain why the property shouldn’t be abated.

So, regarding the “Defund the Police” issue…I would suggest that ALL North Precinct residents and business owners contact their appropriate City Council Member and the two at-large Council members and voice their opinion. I will repeat what Chief Best has said publicly in that it is reckless to defund the Police Department by 50%, especially when you don’t have a plan in place to explain how police services would be handled with a 50% cut and/or what they would do with the money cut from the police budget. I’m not interested in buzz words like “more money for housing” or “more money for social services.” What does that really look like? How are they really planning to invest those funds? Next, can you think of any other business or government entity that could be effective with an immediate 50% cut across the board? What would happen if they cut the Fire Department’s budget by 50%; how would that affect responses to fires or aid calls? What about a 50% cut to hospitals? Schools? The City Council will vote on the 50% defunding on August 3rd. Irrespective of which way members of NPAC feel, they need to get their voices heard. The Councilmembers represent YOU. If the majority of Seattle wants to defund the police by 50%, then so be it.

There will be no new Precinct given the current budget crisis. Substations may be possible. We have an existing space at the Ballard library and the UWPD.

We are having numerous protests and demonstrations at the homes of Councilmembers Alex Pedersen and Deborah Juarez, who are voting NOT to defund the Police Department by 50%. We have had several protests near the Mayor’s house. We have had several protests at the Precinct. We have had a number of BLM marches around the North Precinct from Magnuson Park to the U-District to the Maple Leaf Reservoir. Thankfully, thus far, the protests have only resulted in minor property damage in the North Precinct. But, it’s just a matter of time, as they become more emboldened, before we see the kinds of things occurring downtown and on Capitol Hill happen here.

Lastly, this is a reminder to you: as the weather starts getting nicer, the inclination is to keep doors and windows open. Unless you can monitor those points of entry, don’t do that! Also, for those of you that live in secure apartment buildings, be cognizant of people following you in. Unless you know, for a fact, that they live there…keep them out. We are having a number of package thefts from supposedly secure buildings, where the mailboxes are in the lobby area. Lastly, for those of you that have secure parking garages, be cognizant of people following you in there. We’ve had an uptick in car prowls in supposed secure parking garages. Stay vigilant, be smart but stay safe. If you see something suspicious, call 9-1-1 right away. We’ll determine if someone belongs in a secure location or not.

It has been a pleasure and a true honor to have served as your North Precinct Captain the last year and a half. I have the fullest confidence in Captain Stampfl as he takes over next month. Be well and I hope our paths will cross again someday.

Significant Incident Reports Now on SPD Blotter

The Seattle Police Public Affairs Unit will begin sharing the Department’s Significant Incident Reports (SIRs) on the SPD Blotter. Every Friday, the week’s SIRs will be published and can be found here:

The types of reports that qualify as “significant” varies, so here is what SPD considers significant:

  • -Assault with significant injury
  • -Bias crime
  • -Event likely to generate media attention
  • -Event likely to generate community concern
  • -Hostage/barricade
  • -In-custody death
  • -Officer assaulted
  • -Robbery
  • -Shots fired (with damage or evidence)
  • -Type II and Type III use-of-force investigations
  • -Any other event a sergeant believes is significant

Previously, SIRs have been circulated internally within the SPD in order to share information on significant incidents and police response across SPD units and precincts. Edited/redacted versions of SIRs are now being made available to the public in an effort to better inform community members about the incidents police respond to daily across the city. The Public Affairs Unit will edit and redact the SIRs prior to publishing. Certain SIRs will NOT be published based upon the content of the investigation(s). Incidents such as homicides, domestic violence, and custody dispute calls, while significant, contain information that may identify the victim(s) involved and will not be posted here.

These reports are a small portion of the information SPD gathers at an incident and are based on early information. Information in an officer’s final report may differ from the text contained here and should be considered more accurate.

Street Treats – August 4, 2020

The past few summers one Pinehurst neighborhood has made a tradition of Seattle’s Night out as a time where they repaint and touch up their street mural on 9th Ave NE and NE 115th Street.

This year out of an abundance of caution due to covid-19 repainting the mural is postponed until next year – August 2, 2021.

But not to fret, just so we don’t forget that it is Seattle Night Out on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 (also technically cancelled, but the city encourages safe-distanced alternatives), from 5:00-7:30 p.m. those neighbors have invited Street Treats to their block between 9th Ave NE and NE 115th Street.  They will serve up some pre-packaged delicious goodies for purchase via credit card or cash.   Tell your friends and neighbors to stop by with their mask!

Join the Racial Equity Council

Adjacent neighborhood Victory Heights (there’s actually some friendly overlap since Pinehurst Community Council counts Northgate Way as our south border and Victory Heights Community Council counts NE 115th St as its north border) is setting up a Racial Equity Council. You can be a founding member, and help determine the goals for this group! See: to indicate your availability for Zoom meetings.

Time to Vote – August 4, 2020 Election

IT’S TIME TO VOTE! OUR MAIL-IN BALLOTS ARE DUE AUGUST 4 — Here’s everything you need to know:

Ballots are due August 4. That means that they must be postmarked — not just in the mailbox — so King County Elections is encouraging voters to get them in their USPS mailbox by Saturday to ensure they arrive on time, or find a ballot drop box if you’re cutting it close.  The box nearest Pinehurst is at the curb in front of Lake City Library, 12501 28th Ave NE.

But wait, is USPS reliable right now? As a federal service dealing with cuts and service interruptions, folks might be wondering if it’s safe to put their ballot in the mailbox. If you haven’t had any issues with your mail recently — you’ve been receiving things and sending them normally — there shouldn’t be any issue mailing your ballot. But again, if you want to be extra-careful, find a ballot box.  Then, make sure you check that your ballot has been counted to close the loop.
Lost your ballot or need a new one? You can always access a replacement ballot from King County Elections. They can also help if you or someone you know needs translation services or accessibility measures.
And remember — it’s not too late to vote until the election is over. If you need to register, you have until the 4th to go to the elections office in person.

Kids’ Art in Pinehurst Pocket Park

August’s art in the pocket park is by … anonymous. It was made by a young person at last year’s Pinehurstfest. Notice how clever it is – in the pocket of the T-shirt is the pocket park, including the T-shirt drawing in the kiosk, which also has a pocket park in its pocket!  Go look at it in the park kiosk at NE 117th St and 19th Ave NE and you’ll be part of yet another iteration of this infinite regression marvel!

If you would like to submit your child’s artwork (or yours!) for the Pocket Park, please email

Tips for Vacationing During the Pandemic

If you’re planning to take a vacation right now during the pandemic, travel smart. Here are tips from local and national experts for staying safe when getting away (from Pemco Insurance newsletter):
  • Plan. Love unscripted days and discovering charming roadside inns? It might be better to hold that thought till 2021. This year’s trip will be a safer with an itinerary and reservations. Avoid overcrowded attractions, verify ahead of time that your destination is open, and consider vacationing a little closer to home.
  • Pack. A travel-ready COVID kit includes masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and a table cloth. And remember to pack plenty of picnic goodies from home – doing so will help you avoid those extra unnecessary stops along the way.
  • Clean. If you are getting a room for a night (or more!), open the windows when you arrive and dive into that COVID kit. Even if your room’s been serviced, take a few minutes to wipe down door handles, light switches, bathroom surfaces, TV remotes and the microwave and mini-fridge. Looking “clean” doesn’t necessarily mean “disinfected.”
  • Take care of yourself first. If you’re traveling with people who live outside your home, take separate cars. Ditto for RVs or camping tents. (Enclosed spaces with prolonged exposure are germ incubators). Outdoors is generally safer than indoors, but mask up in public and anywhere you can’t maintain six feet of separation. Wash your hands thoroughly after visiting pay stations, campground laundry facilities, cooking shelters, public restrooms and potable water faucets. The best way to be vigilant is to do the little things the right way, every time.
  • Boat wisely. Mask etiquette, disinfecting surfaces and keeping your distance at the dock are all good places to start. Swimming’s fine as long as the water is uncrowded, but make sure you can keep a safe distance when getting in and out.

Getting Kids Back to School Safely in Fall 2020

Do you want kids to go back to school safely in the fall? A new report called “Schools are not islands: we must mitigate community transmission to open schools” was put out by Washington State Department of Health and Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM). The report is the result of modeling data that describes the transmission of COVID-19 to determine how it may spread in the future, depending on how effective Washington is at preventing its spread. It then predicts the course of the epidemic under various conditions in our communities and schools.

One can ask the model what happens if we follow the guidance we have developed for schools, and what are the chances that we can open schools without causing a spike in the epidemic. Read about it at Important predictions are summarized here:

Opening school safely depends on continuing to reduce the amount of moving and gathering we do within our communities.

  • The researchers estimated that now, in King County, folks are doing about 65% of the moving and gathering we used to do prior to COVID-19.
  • If we continue to keep our travel and gathering less than 70% of pre-pandemic levels, we may be able to reopen schools safely, as long as we are using all the precautions in the schools — face coverings, screenings, social distancing, etc.
  • If our travel and gathering increase to 80% or more of our pre-COVID lifestyles, there is nothing we can do that will allow us to open schools without causing an increase in the epidemic.

Community transmission is increasing all over the state. We must stop this increase by the end of August in order to reopen schools. We are more likely to be able to reopen schools if we all:

  • Continue to restrict our travel and the number of people we see socially.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public.
  • Stay six feet or more away from other people.
  • Get a COVID-19 test if you feel sick, even if you don’t have a fever.
  • Stay home if you feel at all under the weather.
  • Wash our hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

If the virus is spreading in our communities, it will spread in our schools. Help our kids get back to school by doing your part to control the spread of COVID-19.