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NPAC May-June Captain’s Report

NPAC May-June 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 crazy and unprecedented times. As we continue to struggle through the Governor’s modified Stay-at-Home order, we are now faced with an even greater challenge as the City is struggling to respond to multiple “Black Lives Matter” protests throughout the City, including an occupation of a portion of Capitol Hill by CHOP. Even our own North Precinct has not been immune as we’ve now had three demonstrations by the “Noise Brigade” on College Way, where black-clad AntiFa protesters have attempted to bait us into a conflict. As you are all aware by now, these are a direct result of the murder of Mr. George Floyd by police officers with the Minneapolis Police Department.
Let me first start by saying that I was sickened by what happened to Mr. George Floyd. It infuriates me, as it should anyone who saw the video. It was WRONG and there’s no other way to describe it. There is absolutely no way to explain those actions away.

However, despite the incomprehensible and reprehensible actions of those Minneapolis Police Officers and the resultant protests across the country, we remain committed to providing professional and dependable public safety services to the citizens that live here in the North Precinct. Yes, we’ve been pulled to the East Precinct and to the Downtown Core, but we’ve kept a portion of our officers up North to handle 9-1-1 calls for service. I can also promise you that, with the de-escalation training we receive and the expectation of Chief Best of being professional and using only that force that is necessary, reasonably objective and proportional to the resistance being offered, that what we saw in Minneapolis will NEVER happen in Seattle. I can say that with confidence because our Department now is considered the Platinum Standard in de-escalation techniques, crisis intervention, use of force and use of force reporting. We have layers of accountability and transparency. All of our patrol officers wear body-worn cameras and all of our patrol cars have in-car video that records directly in front of the car and inside the car in the back seat.

But, also know this, the SPD will not tolerate officers standing by and watching a fellow officer violate his/her oath of office. We fully expect our officers to intervene if they see another officer doing something that is unsafe, out of policy, unacceptable, or illegal. We prioritize the sanctity of life in ALL situations irrespective of a person’s position in life, their race or socio-economic status.

Again, while we are continuing to encourage our citizens to utilize our online reporting, CopLogic (https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting ), or telephone reporting to minimize face-to-face contact, call 9-1-1 if you believe a crime is occurring, about to occur or has occurred. We are still responding to priority calls or other calls for service. We are still getting dispatched to calls all over the North Precinct.

While the response to encampments has been temporarily modified, CPT Officers are also continuing to monitor the situation at Ballard Commons Park, Lake City Mini Park and in the 8800 block of Nesbit Ave N. due to some of the crime issues that are popping up around those encampments. We are trying to work with the NAV team despite the restrictions being placed on them.

So, let’s discuss crime since I know that’s part of what we discuss at NPAC. After five and a half months, we’re down 2%, year-to-date, in overall crime and my only two plus category are auto thefts (+18%) and burglaries (+15%).

However, during this last month, the good news is that our overall crime has been down 28%, with the only plus category of significance being auto thefts. They are up 7%. Yes, arsons are up 100% but they went from 3 events last year to 6 events this year. Our violent crimes are down 33%, with every category being down by double digits. Unfortunately, due to a homicide at the Everspring Inn and another stabbing death at 130th and Aurora, we’re also up 100% on homicides.

Still, of the 136 shots fired calls in the City, year-to-date, only 18 are in the North Precinct and of the 8 deaths from shots fired, only 1 is in the North Precinct (the aforementioned homicide at the Everspring Inn).

Year-to-date, our calls for service are down over 14% and our on-views (officer-initiated activity) are also down about 4.5%! I attribute the decline in on-views to being tied up the last two weeks on protests, demonstrations and responding to priority calls only. The statistics for the last month bear that out as we are down over 37% in on-views after being up earlier in the year.

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

SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator

Our North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator left the force for another job. Due to the economic deficits in Seattle created by the pandemic, hiring her  replacement is on hold. Here is a message from the CPC team for what to do in in the interim if you need help:

Hello everyone,

My name is Jennifer Danner and I am the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the SW Precinct, which covers the geographic area of West Seattle and South Park. In the interim, when the North Precinct does not have a Crime Prevention Coordinator, our team from the other precincts is doing its best to fill the gap!

For any questions related to Block Watch, Night Out, safety assessments or upcoming community meetings/events- please contact our Sergeant – Sergeant Heidi Tuttle (Heidi.Tuttle@seattle.gov). For long-term and chronic problems in your neighborhood- please contact the North Precinct Community Policing Team Sergeant- Sergeant Cory Simmons (Cory.Simmons@seattle.gov). I am also happy to be a point of contact for questions and concerns. My contact information is listed below!

As always, please call 911 as soon as possible to report suspicious and/or criminal activity. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this challenging time. Please continue to look out for one another, and remember we will make it through this and be together very soon.

Stay well!

-Jennifer Danner

Crime Prevention Coordinator

Seattle Police Department- SW Precinct

Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov

 

Local Kids Step Up For Anti-Racism

In the last couple weeks, school kids around the city participated in – and led – protests against the inequality of treatment of Black Americans by police departments and other institutions. We are so proud of our young people and how they are learning about and acting against systemic racism.

Here are some kid-led marches that happened right in our area:

On May 30th, Nathan Hale High School Student Racial Equity Team led a bike and car parade through Lake City “to encourage our community to strive towards an antiracist mindset, to show our commitment to antiracist action and to demonstrate our solidarity with those who have been victims of racial injustice throughout our nation…”

June 3rd there was an elementary aged kid-lead, hyper-local, spur of the moment march in Pinehurst that wound around residential streets, then took over 15th Ave NE briefly before reaching Northgate Way. Chants of ‘Black lives matter’ and ‘no justice, no peace’ brought honks of agreement from passing cars.

 

Thank you to our youth for pushing us to improve!

2020 Pinehurstfest Canceled Due to Pandemic

Pinehurst Community Council is sad to report that Pinehurstfest is canceled this year due to the uncertainty of when Seattle will open up enough to allow events like this. Usually it’s held the 3rd Saturday in July. We had the equipment ordered from Parks & Rec, and were working on the local musical lineup before the pandemic swooped down on us. Let’s hope we’re good to go next year. We’ll miss seeing our neighbors there this year!

And it goes without saying (ha ha, I’m saying it anyway) we won’t be scheduling any council meetings until it’s legal and safe to meet again. We used to meet at Amante Pizza, and we’re happy to say that its successor in that space, Unique Cafe and Wine, will let us continue to meet there.

2020 Public Safety Focus Group – Online Survey

May – August 2020 Public Safety Focus Groups
As part of the SPD’s Micro-Community Policing Plan (MCPP) process, those who live and/or work in Seattle are invited to respond to focus group questions from May through August, 2020. The focus group questions are an opportunity to provide feedback to SPD on crime and public safety in Seattle every fall.
As a result of the COVID-19 situation, this year the focus group questions are online via a short open-ended survey that includes a question on perceptions on the impact of COVID-19 on crime and public safety.
Please offer your perspective on crime and public safety in Seattle via the survey.
Those of us in Pinehurst who live east of 15th Ave NE are in the Lake City MCPP, and those living west of 15th Ave NE are in the Northgate MCPP.
NORTH Precinct online focus group questions are here:

Register Your Bike on Bike Index

Now is a good time to make sure all of your bikes are in Bike Index and all of your bikes’ information is up-to-date. You can log in and register a new bike in just a few minutes to make sure that all of your information is linked to you.

The serial number you need for registration is usually where the arrow below is pointing.

Northgate Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Construction Update – May 2020

The following activities will be taking place over the next several weeks during construction of the Northgate Pedestrian/Bike Bridge:

Northbound I-5 express lane  (nighttime work continues until early June)

Work on the I-5 median, near the northbound I-5 express lane off-ramp at 1st Ave NE and NE 103rd St, will continue this month and into early June.

Nighttime work will take place between 9 PM and 5 AM, starting and ending 2 hours earlier than the regularly scheduled express lane closure hours . During this time, crews will install an underground drilled shaft (see photo of shaft rebar cage below) and will conduct quality assurance testing following construction.

  • Alternate route: Exit 174, NE 130th St/Roosevelt Way NE (one next exit past the closed express lane off-ramp at NE 103rd St)

West side of I-5 (north side of North Seattle College and along N 100th St)

  • Installation of underground drilled shaft structures
  • Quality assurance testing of bridge drilled shaft structures
  • Structural excavation work
  • Preparation of bridge shaft tops for column installation
  • Concrete work on the abutment wall structure:
    • Placing forms and rebar cages (see photo above)
    • Placing concrete
    • Allowing concrete curing time
    • Removing the forms

East side of I-5 (1st Ave NE between NE 100th St and NE 103rd St)

  • Ongoing intermittent lane closures between 7 AM and 3:30 PM, with northbound and southbound traffic maintained
  • Sidewalk demolition
  • Structural excavation
  • Preparation of bridge shaft tops for column installation
  • Retaining wall construction
  • Quality assurance testing of bridge drilled shaft structures
  • Ongoing concrete work for several pier columns:
    • Placing forms and rebar cages
    • Placing concrete
    • Allowing concrete curing time
    • Removing the forms

What to expect during construction

  • Some noise and construction vehicle activity, including cranes
  • Some nighttime and weekend work
  • Detours for people walking and biking
  • Lane reductions on Northgate express lane on- and off-ramp
  • 2 freeway closures and detours (on weekends and at night only)
  • Construction staging and parking impacts near the construction sites, including at the northern side of North Seattle College along N 100th St and on NE 100th St at 1st Ave NE
  • Closure of the North Seattle Park & Ride on 1st Ave NE

Northgate Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Safety Features

Designing for a safer bridge

During each phase (planning, design, and pre-construction) of public outreach, we heard that bridge safety is a priority for all bridge users. The sections below outline how safety is incorporated into all aspects of the bridge’s design.

Design
Throughout the design process, we used an approach called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). This approach is based on the idea that people’s behavior within an urban environment is influenced by the design of that environment.

CPTED strategies include things like providing ample lighting to avoid blind spots, maximizing sight distance and visibility (sometimes called “passive surveillance”), and using materials that promote easy maintenance. This strategy also aims to create spaces that give a sense of ownership of public space and a sense of shared responsibility for personal security.

There are several safety elements on the bridge, including:

  • Minimal surface area for vandalism
  • Overhead pedestrian lighting
  • Emergency call boxes
  • Pedestrian guardrails
  • Lighting on handrails
  • Throw fences

Materials 
All bridge materials and connections will go through intensive testing during construction, including the spans across I-5, which will undergo rigorous quality assurance testing during fabrication, assembly, and installation. The trusses of our bridge will be made of steel, a common and proven material and design for hundreds of bridges across the nation.

Life expectancy
Our bridge was required to meet the 75-year design life expectancy criteria consistent with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design codes. Not only does our design meet this standard, it’s expected to exceed a lifespan of more than 100 years with routine maintenance during its service life.

Environmental
We selected vegetation and greenery around the bridge with safety in mind. Creating park-like qualities on the trails and spaces near the bridge will provide a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere and a “sense of place” for all users. Examples of this can be seen on the west side with a wildlife overlook, and on the east side where we’re proposing a “gallery forest,” or screen of tall and narrow trees between the bridge and the freeway, providing relief from views of the freeway and filtering air quality.

Additional environmental features include:

  • Planting low-growing shrubs and bushes around the bridge
  • Trimming, thinning, or removing existing trees and undergrowth to create open sightlines
  • Carefully designed plantings on the west side of the bridge so that pedestrians on the landing will have a clearer view of North Seattle College (NSC), and those on the NSC playing field and in the parking lot will see bridge users approaching

Pinehurst Steps Up During Pandemic

I am so proud to be part of this community during the difficulties resulting from covid-19 pandemic. Here are some ways Pinehurst shines:

  • We are doing a very good job of respectfully maintaining physical distance. Almost without exception when I walk our streets for exercise people carefully adjust to allow at least 6 feet separation. And we are waving to each other way more than usual.
  • Many are sewing and donating face masks. And many are giving fabric or elastic to them.
  • Our neighbors have also been finding fun ways to be connected:
  •       Some have painted and hidden rocks for kids (and adults) to find.
  •       Others have put fun things in their yards for people to discover.
  •       There was a movement early-on to put teddy bears in windows for kids to have a bear hunt.
  •       People are drawing beautiful chalk designs on sidewalks.
  •       Some have organized mini porch concerts to entertain strollers, and don’t forget the young man who played the bagpipes for us.
  • Some younger adults have offered to shop for at-risk folks to help keep them healthy.
  • Two young brothers made a Thank You poster for essential workers and put it up in the pocket park kiosk.
  • We are supporting restaurants in Pinehurst by getting take-out when they’re otherwise shut down.
  • On the Pinehurst Seattle Facebook group, people are alerting others to availability at stores of scarce goods such as hand sanitizer and flour.
  • On Facebook’s Buy Nothing, people are sharing scarce essentials like toilet paper and yeast.
  • Pinehurst pooch, journalist Ceiba Bunny, launched The Puppyhurst Doggo News reports on Facebook to to lighten our mood.

This is of course not a complete list!

Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to make this horrible time a little easier for us. Thank you to essential workers who leave Pinehurst every day to keep things running for us and the rest of the city. Thank you to the business owners and workers who come to Pinehurst to keep essential businesses near us open.

I know I’m growing weary of all the restrictions, and long to be released. But as a high-risk senior, I’m counting on us all to continue to follow the governor’s four phase plan to get us through this.

Stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands, and wear your masks, fellow Pinehurstians, and thank you again for making me love my neighborhood.

 

 

Beloved Pinehurst Building Owner Sy Iffert Died at 100

IN MEMORIAM – This past Friday, May 22, Sylvester “Sy” Iffert, was laid to rest. He celebrated his 100th birthday last September. Sy was known by many in the Pinehurst neighborhood, on which he left a lasting legacy.

Read on to learn the remarkable story of this amazing man who will be dearly missed by many. He leaves behind his wife of 48 years, two daughters and a granddaughter, who he dearly loved.

Sy owned and managed several commercial properties in Pinehurst, including The Pinehurst Building (where Century 21, Northgate Rare Coins, and other businesses are located), Northgate Pointe (my office at Roosevelt Law Center and other professional offices), Northgate Landing (Bark Espresso and Great Dog), Atrium Square (Zylberschtein’s), and many others. All of Sy’s tenants have described him as a humble, kind, man – a caring and generous landlord who took a genuine interest in our businesses.

Local longtime neighborhood attorney, Mike Bugni, wrote the following tribute:

At age 24, Sy was wounded during combat in North Africa in 1943 (a landmine exploded) and left for dead on the side of the road. He heard a jeep drive by and someone in authority tell the driver to “throw him in the back.” Sy later found out that the man who saved his life was General George Patton. Eventually they transferred Sy from the field hospital to a hospital ship. As the ship was sailing toward the Rock of Gibralter it was hit by a torpedo and sunk.

The ship was on fire, so all they could do for Sy was to lift him into a makeshift harness and ease him overboard (with a broken back) to a lifeboat. The harness broke and he banged into the side of the ship, then plunged into the sea. He couldn’t swim. Sy took what he thought was his final breath when he realized he’d been dropped onto a massive oil slick (part of which was on fire) which was keeping him on top. He just floated there, hoping a life boat would find him (and they did) before the flames.

After the war, Sy got a job fueling aircraft at Boeing field. Someone thought he ought to learn how to fly the planes instead, so in the end Sy became a long-haul pilot for United Airlines (747). He flew all the Asian routes until they forced him to stop at 60. So he got into property management, rather than retire. That’s when I met him, in 1981 (Sy was 61 and I was 23). He told me once that as he was gasping for air in a sea of flames, he swore to himself, “If the Germans don’t kill me then I’m going to live to be 100.” Think about that when you see the flag on our building. 🇺🇲

If you’d like to read messages being left about him, or post a message yourself in memoriam, go to: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/seattle-wa/sylvester-iffert-9180070