May 2, 2007

Public Safety Update

Club Chocolate City closed on March 1st, Deano's Grocery store closed a couple of weeks ago (and Ms. Helen resurfaced) and most of the street issues that used to plague our neighborhood seem to have moved on. Here's what I've heard:

  • Still occasional apparent drug deals in alleys
  • Some of the familiar faces seem to have resurfaced downtown
  • Most of the remaining drug activity in our neighborhood seems to be on 22nd, between Madison and John. Seems to be partly because of the proximity to Elizabeth James House, a 90 unit senior/disabled apartment building on 23rd, owned by Capitol Hill Housing (CHHIP). They are aware of assorted issues there (outsiders in building, passers by, people hanging out etc) and are working with the Police and City Attorney's office to craft solutions.
  • A lot of the "action" seems to have moved to 23rd & Union, as many people expected it would: people are hanging out around the Key Bank, near Thompson's Point of View, and in the plaza by the Post Office. When I've walked by the crowds seemed younger than those I recognized on Madison (though I did see the gold football helmet lady).
The "action" seems to have spilled over onto 24th Avenue (between Union and Olive) and the residents there were very upset by a couple of shootings on the street (and one at 23rd/Union) in a short period. Many of them came to King County Prosecutor Ellen O'Neill's Madison Street taskforce meeting last month. They then met (at Thompson's Point of View) to form blockwatches, and some of them attended the last East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meeting. The Police have stepped up emphasis in the area, and have relocated Lt. Hayes' outreach efforts (the Get Off The Streets program) from Madison to 23rd & Union. All these efforts seemed to have resulted in peace for now, though there are still very disturbing events in the area.

In summary, our immediate area's amazingly quiet now, most of the issues seem to have moved to 23rd & Union and some to 22nd & Madison. Law enforcement activities seem to be keeping things under control.

For much more detail, see this annotated summary of excerpts from E-mails that have come my way.

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