Alemu attackers sentenced

Two of the men who attacked Dawit Alemu last June at 13th and Holgate near Beacon Hill International School were sentenced yesterday for their roles on the attack. Jaynus Speed and Kenneth Fisher pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and first-degree attempted robbery. Speed was sentenced to three years and Fisher to two years and eight months in prison. Last September a third attacker, Justin Phillips, was sentenced to ten years in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and first-degree attempted robbery. A fourth attacker who, like Speed, Fisher, and Phillips, was photographed by a nearby witness has not been found. has a report including comments from Alemu, who has made a remarkable recovery from the severe injuries he received in the attack, which occurred one day before his community college graduation.

Jefferson Park opening delayed by a month

It will all be worthwhile when the fences come down. Photo of Jefferson Park last year by Joel Lee in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
Andy Sheffer from Seattle Parks and Recreation sent out a letter yesterday with some disappointing news:

Dear Jefferson Park Community,

We are all excited about the opening of Jefferson Park and the construction crews are on the home stretch. We were hopeful that we would be able to open the park early because the general contractor was ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, we need to change the proposed park opening date from Saturday, September 18, 2010 to October 23, 2010 (or thereabouts) for the following reasons:

  • Despite commitments, the landscape installation is not progressing at the rate needed for completion by September.
  • If we hurry the contractor to complete the final work I know that a lot of important “finessing” will be omitted. Our commitment is to ensuring that the final product is as optimal as possible.
  • Several areas on site contain unsuitable soils for paving. These areas have to be over-excavated and filled with suitable material. We waited until now in the hope that the areas would dry out but that has proven not to be the case.

I was made optimistic by the progress of general contractor at the onset of the project. Unfortunately, the detailed finish work has been painstakingly slow. The contractor was given a specific number of days to finish the project and it’s their prerogative to utilize as many contract days as necessary to finish.

While I understand that this is disappointing news, I hope that you will understand a delay of one month will pay great dividends in terms of delivering a park project that is as nearly perfect as we are able to achieve. And, the news is not all bad. We anticipate that the play area will open by the end of August. (Emphasis ours — BHB.) I look forward to celebrating the grand opening of this wonderful park with you in October.

Please feel free to contact me anytime to further discuss the project.


Andy Sheffer

If you have questions, you can reach Andy Sheffer at

Construction, Seafair to cause traffic delays

Look up next week and you might see these guys flying right over your head. Photo by Wendi.
It’s construction season, which means there are a lot of projects that will cause delays and reroutes to travelers on Beacon Hill and in nearby areas. There are so many projects that rather than list them all, we’ll send you to the lists on the Seattle Department of Transportation website: Sodo projects, South Seattle projects.

You might particularly want to note a few special events. The Seafair Torchlight Run will cause the northbound lanes of the Alaskan Way Viaduct to be closed tonight from 5:45pm to 7:45pm, and the Torchlight Parade will close Fourth Avenue all the way from Broad Street near Seattle Center, south to Qwest Field. Next week, the Blue Angels will return to buzz Beacon Hill on August 5-8, in the process closing I-90 to traffic from 9:45am to noon and 1:15 to 2:30pm on August 5, and from 12:45 to 2:40pm on August 6-8.

Among other construction projects in the area, this week a crew worked on the new pedestrian-activated flashing light crosswalk that is being installed next to the library at Beacon and Forest. Photo by Jason.

Jefferson CC hosting LEGO camps for kids

Photo by Alan Chia.
Jefferson Community Center is hosting LEGO day camps from August 30 through September 3. There are two camps offered, a Pre-Engineering camp from 9:00am – noon for ages 5-6, and an Engineering Fundamentals camp from 1:00 – 4:00pm for ages 7-12.

In the Pre-Engineering camp, kids will build cities, bridges, and motorized cars and planes, with the help of a Play-Well Engineering instructor. In the Engineering FUNdamentals camp, students take on real-life engineering challenges that explore concepts in physics, architecture, mechanical and structural engineering with over 100,000 pieces of LEGO material. It is a “hands-on and minds-on course suitable for LEGO novices to ‘maniacs.'”

The activity fee for the camp is $125. For registration information, please contact the Community Center at 206-684-7481.

Beacon Bits: Deer sighting and lion dancing

Photo of a city deer by micklpickl.
Most of us probably don’t think of Beacon Hill as home to forest wildlife such as deer. There are occasional deer sightings, however, usually near one of the greenbelts. Neighbor Tom wrote to us last week about a deer that got a to a more unusual location:

“This past Saturday at around 4:00 am I was just south of South College and 15th South when I heard some noises in some bushes of an apartment on the west side of the street. All of a sudden, and I kid you not, a deer jumped out of the bushes, crossed over 15th and into the yard of a house across the street. I could not believe my eyes.”

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Kerrie Carbary at Volunteer Chore Services sent us an appeal for volunteers:

“Volunteer Chore Services, a program of Catholic Community Services, is a “safety net” for elders and adults living with disabilities who are unable or ineligible for state/paid chore services. All recipients are low-income, have health problems or difficulty with mobility, and most live alone. A growing volunteer opportunity in your neighborhood consists of driving clients to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or other chores. We carefully match volunteers to opportunities based on their personalities, neighborhood, and preferences.

“Currently, volunteers are donating over 3000 hours a month in the Seattle area. However, there is still a huge number of people waiting for help, and a shortage of volunteers. Volunteers are needed all over Seattle and South King County, but especially in areas like South Seattle.”

For more information on volunteering through this agency, call Kerrie at 206-328-6858, Volunteer Chore Services main intake line at 206-328-5787, or email

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There is another fundraiser scheduled for the Bar del Corso pizza restaurant on August 1 from 3:00 – 7:00 pm. Jerry and Gina say, “If you are from Beacon Hill and are curious about us, please come to this event if you can. We’d love to meet more of our neighbors!”

There will be antipasti, brick oven pizzas, and more. There will also be a special musical guest, King Corso.

The event is “pay what you can,” but suggested donation is $100. Those who attended the first fundraiser are invited to come without obligation to donate again. To reserve your spot and get the address of the event, email info@bardelcorso (please put RSVP in the subject line).

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As part of Seattle Night Out on Tuesday, August 3, the Jun Hong Kung Fu and Sports Association is hosting an event that evening from 7:00 until 9:00. There will be a Lion Dance performance, a Kung Fu demonstration, and coconut ice cream. Please bring a dessert to share. All are welcome! The Jun Hong Kung Fu and Sports Association is located at 4878 Beacon Avenue South.

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Application has been made to the city’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to subdivide two sites, at 4010 and 4012 14th Avenue South, into five unit lots each. For more information, see the website here and here. The commenting deadline is August 1.

“Fuel smell” stinking up North Beacon Hill

Photo by Brian Fitzgerald.
Neighbors on North Beacon Hill have been complaining recently on the BAN list about an odd, periodic “fuel smell” in the air. Some have described it as “a diesel smell,” while others are not so sure, and have described it as a “burning” or “jet fuel” smell. Various theories have been posted on the BAN list about where the smell could be coming from, including diesel fuel from refueling at the shipyards, and fumes from the Emerald Services solvent recycling plant, just down the hill on Airport Way South.

Complaints have been filed with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, but the PSCAA needs to know immediately when the smell returns, so they can get up here and smell it for themselves, and track down what the smell is and where it is coming from.

If you notice the smell of fuel fumes, please call 206-343-8800 immediately to report the problem so the PSCAA can follow-up.

12th Avenue apartment building a “nuisance property”?

Discussion has been hot and heavy on the BAN mailing list lately about an apartment building at 1308 12th Avenue South. Neighbors in the area have complained of drug dealing, violence, and a slum-quality building with broken windows, an unfinished room, and garbage strewn everywhere.

Craig Thompson recently wrote about an assault at that location and the history of trouble at the building. Neighbors are now hoping that the Chronic Nuisance Property Ordinance will enforce changes at 1308. On the website, Rose Egge points out that the police have nine documented complaints of crimes committed at 1308 in the last 60 days. If three of these are confirmed and qualify under the ordinance, further action could be taken. Egge followed up with a story today reporting that police and representatives from the Department of Planning and Development will be meeting with the owner of 1308 tomorrow, but police aren’t yet pursuing this as a “nuisance property” under the CNPO.

If you live nearby, please post your experiences living near 1308. For the rest of you, are there other buildings on Beacon Hill that you feel qualify as “chronic nuisances”?

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Classes for kids this summer at ROCKiT space and Denise Louie

ROCKiT space is offering afternoon workshops for kids aged 8-13. The workshops will run from to 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays from July 28 to August 18. Kids in the workshops will be building Rube Goldberg Machines, making and studying space goo, sculpting robots from recycled materials and more. The classes are $5 per student, per class. Sign up in advance by calling ROCKiT space at 206-323-7115.

Business hours at ROCKiT space have changed for the summer; the new hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm, and weekends 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm.

For younger kids, Denise Louie Education Center is hosting a drop-in preschool program at Denise Louie Education Center, 3327 Beacon Avenue South, from 10:00 to 1:00 pm every third Saturday. The free preschool program for kids 3-5 years old is called Playtime Plus, and kids will be able to work on early learning activities and build math and science skills. The next session will be August 7. If you have any questions, please contact Tom Ulie at

Fun at the Piñata Party

There was much fun to be had at yesterday’s Piñata Party at Stevens Place Park, including music, dance, and martial arts performances, donut fishing and face painting for the kids, tasty potluck food, and of course, the piñatas. Here are some views of the festivities, and a couple of videos, too.

Photo by Wendi.

Donut fishing. Photo by Jason.

Photo by Jason.

Photo by Jason.

Photo by Jason.

Photo by Jason.

Photo by Jason.

Lushy sings “Tiki Oasis” at the Piñata Party:

And a time-lapse video of the whole day’s festivities. Can you find yourself?

Beacon Bits: 26 seconds, Three Brothers, and one more photographer

These unwanted phone books, wrapped in plastic bags, sit forlornly on the sidewalk in front of Yoga on Beacon. Photo by Wendi.
“Twenty-six seconds.

“That was the elapsed time between the delivery of our ‘Dex’ phone books and their arrival in our recycle bin.”

Beacon Hill neighbor Willie Weir has some thoughts about the waste of space and resources that old-style paper phone books have become for many of us. Read his article “26 Seconds” on his blog, Yellow Tent Adventures.

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Estela Ortega of El Centro de la Raza writes,

We know it’s summer… finally! But we need your valuable input on a potential winter fundraising idea!

Do you buy a Christmas tree during the holiday season? If so, would you be interested in buying one from El Centro de la Raza, meaning your purchase would directly support El Centro’s 30 important programs?

We’re considering selling Christmas trees this year, but we want to know if our community thinks it would be a good idea.

The folks at El Centro have posted a survey for community members to give their opinions on the Christmas tree question. Follow this link to fill it out.

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Thrillist has a video visit to Tasha’s Bistro Café along with a brief blurb about Tasha and the restaurant.

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Three Brothers Cleaners will close soon. Photo by Wendi.
We hear that Three Brothers Cleaners, located at 3210 Beacon Avenue South, will be closing at the end of this month, and the gift shop located in the same space will close too. If you have any clothes that need to be picked up, or any gift shopping that needs to be done, better get in there soon.

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Rebuilding Together Seattle (RTS), a nonprofit organization, is currently accepting applications from homeowners in need. RTS provides free home repair services for low-income homeowners through the support of sponsors and community volunteers. To qualify for the program, homeowners must be low-income and unable to complete the work independently. RTS also assists non-profit or community organizations in need of facility repairs. For more information or to apply, see the website.

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The 2nd Annual Beacon Hill Photowalk will take place on Sunday, July 24 between 12 noon and 1:30 pm. Organizer Amanda writes, “Last year, we explored the Jefferson Park and Golf course for an hour on a lovely Saturday afternoon. This year, I want to explore the Beacon Ave commercial district, starting at Firehouse 13 (at the corner of Beacon Ave S and S Spokane), following Beacon Ave north past the library and down to the new linklight rail station! I would love to include some local businesses in our walk, so if you have a local business and would allow us to stop by, please let me know! For more info and to sign up for the walk, please follow the link.”

The event is limited to 50 people and there is only one space left, so hurry! And check out the photos from last year’s photowalk here.

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Last but definitely not least, Tamara Dyer, Piñata Party planner, sends this reminder:

This is just a quick reminder that the Piñata Party is this Saturday, July 17 from 12 noon – 3:00 pm.  Hope you can make it—because you are the party!!

It’s in its usual location in the center of Triangle Park (Stevens Place Park — Ed.) across from the Beacon Library on Beacon Avenue. This year we’re doing it potluck style so pack a blanket and if the spirit moves you—maybe something to share. But, no worries if you just wander over with your fabulous selves.  We’ll have piñatas, snow cones, fun drinks, snacks, a Lion Dance, traditional Oaxacan music and a performance by our much loved Lushy.

We’re excited.  Hope to see you Saturday and bring your neighbors!