Category Archives: Health and Safety

Gas leak near station construction

Jacqueline just wrote to the mailing list about a major gas leak reported at 16th & Lander (presumably at the light rail station) “in case you were wondering about the smell and commotion.” Nineteen units are responding.

Update from Tri Nguyen via Twitter: “Beacon Ave S northbound blocked.” Gabe confirms: “Just drove past. Beacon Ave is all closed down.”

Update from KING5Seattle: “2-inch natural gas line break at Beacon Hill light rail station. People in area advised to keep windows shut and stay inside.” Story here.

Check the comments for more updates.

Another update from KING5Seattle: “Gas has been shut off and final repairs are underway.”

Reader mootkat has posted a video showing the wide area that was closed off:

Local restaurant health inspection results posted online

The King County health department restaurant inspectors recently made a tour through North Beacon Hill, visiting some of our favorite establishments. No one failed an inspection, though a few restaurants did have some violation points. Most violations were relatively minor. Curious? Click through to the results for Galaxie/Victrola, Chinatown Café (in the Red Apple), El Centro de la Raza, El Quetzal, Beacon Pub, Kimball Elementary School (no violation points at all!), and Kusina Filipina.

This page lists the food establishments in the 98144 area code. As you can see by browsing through them, most restaurants have a few points against them, so don’t take the presence of a few points as an indication you shouldn’t eat in a particular restaurant.

When we visited London recently, we noticed the “Scores on the Doors” program, in which restaurants had stickers in their front windows touting their recent inspection results. This would be a great idea here, wouldn’t it?

Community Safety Fair at Cleveland High School, January 10

Steve Louie at the Department of Neighborhoods writes,

The Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Police Department, Seattle Public Schools, and the Greater Duwamish District Council are hosting a Community Safety Fair for the Beacon Hill community on Saturday, January 10, 2009 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Cleveland High School (5511 15th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108). This event is free to the public.

The Community Safety Fair will provide community members with tools to affect positive change in their communities. This is not a forum for people to vent and take no action.

The “Community Safety Fair” will offer break-out sessions on three topics: the 911 system; emergency preparedness & home security; and, finally, dealing with neighborhood nuisance concerns (property laws and problem-solving).

City Departments will also have staffed resource booths for community information.

For more information, please call Steve Louie, Greater Duwamish Neighborhood District Coordinator (Department Of Neighborhoods) at 206-233-2044 or 206-396-0200 (C) or e-mail

Attached is the flyer for the event in translated languages. If you know of someone who is non-English speaking and know would be interested in attending the event, please pass this along. Interpretation services will be available. Please let me know at least 5 days in advance what language is needed. Thanks, Steve

Snow-day news roundup

Weather and travel hints, tips, and news for Sunday:

  • South Orcas Street is now closed at MLK
  • Private towing company calls are taking 5+ hours to respond to calls
  • SDOT has run out of street closure signs — West Seattle Blog via Twitter
  • Streets on top of the hill are icy — drive carefully! — Brook Ellingwood via Twitter
  • Graham Street off of the Albro exit is closed, detour via Othello — Joe Sunga via Twitter
  • Holgate is closed at 7th Ave

Got some street closures or other weather news relevant to Beacon Hill? Please add it to the comments here, to the weather thread in the forum, or email us!

Cold front coming — are you prepared?

Snow on Beacon Avenue, December 2007. Photo by Wendi.
Snow on Beacon Avenue, December 2007. Photo by Wendi.
A winter storm watch is on starting this afternoon. The National Weather Service says we can expect an “explosively developing low pressure system… accumulating snow is possible over the Western Washington Lowlands.” They also currently say that the snow level will drop as low as 200 feet tonight. Beacon Hill is around 320, depending on where you are on the hill. Even the Rainier Valley is not as low in elevation as you’d think. So in other words, things could get very messy, though they say that no accumulation is expected.

Later in the weekend, more snow is predicted, and then the arrival of a serious cold wave. On Sunday night, the low temp is expected to be around 18. Monday, the high won’t even reach 30. I hope you have hats, scarves and gloves ready; you’ll need them.

The folks at Seattle Public Utilities want us to warn you to prepare for the cold weather and save yourself the money and hassle of emergency repairs to your water pipes. Here’s what they suggest:

  • Prepare your water pipes for cold weather, ahead of time. Shut off outside faucets, drain the water and protect them by insulating them with rags or foam covers. Pipes in exposed or unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) should be wrapped with tape and insulating materials, available at local hardware stores. Drain and remove all outdoor hoses, and shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
  • Once it drops below freezing, protect indoor sink pipes that are against exterior walls, by opening under-sink cabinet doors, allowing heat to circulate. During severe cold, allow the faucet farthest from your front door to slowly drip cold water. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, day or night (even if you are away).
  • Do not leave water running in unoccupied buildings.
  • Please don’t use hair dryers to thaw frozen pipes!
  • If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop excessive flooding. If you cannot turn off the main shut-off valve, SPU customers can call (206) 386-1800 and a crew will turn off the water at the meter for a standard service charge.
  • In the event of snow, residents are asked to help keep street drains clear by removing snow and other debris — if it can be done safely. As the snow melts, blockages in the gutters or drains will hinder runoff, increase the risk of flooding, and make the morning commute more difficult.
  • If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call SPU at (206) 386-1800.

Beyond those suggestions, SPU adds that:

‘Heavy rain following closely after heavy snowfall can increase the chance of landslides due to soil saturation that reduces slope stability. Property owners on slopes are advised to clear both drains on their buildings and storm drains near their property. If a landslide damages your property and you have an immediate concern for your safety, leave the premises and call 9-1-1.

“Seattle property owners with structures affected by or endangered by a landslide may contact the Department of Planning and Development at 206-684-7899, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., for a rapid evaluation of damage. Such evaluations are not meant to provide a comprehensive assessment, which will need to be completed by a private structural or geotechnical engineer.”

Find out more at the SPU website.

Medicare plan workshop Thursday at the Beacon Hill Library (聯邦醫療保險-處方藥物計劃)

A Chinese-language workshop for Medicare beneficiaries and their family members to learn about plan changes in 2009 is this Thursday afternoon from 1:30 – 3:00 pm at the Beacon Hill Library branch. The workshop is free and everyone is welcome; registration is not required. For more information, please call the Beacon Hill Branch at 206-684-4711.

Here is the description in Chinese, from the SPL website:
聯邦醫療保險講座’。《聯邦醫療保險-處方藥物》計劃於11月15日至12月31日開始接受參加。請來了解2009年的新改變。此講座特別為Medicare 受益人及家庭成員而設。費用全免,歡迎參加。

Flu shots available near Beacon Hill

Is this the vaccine standing between you and two weeks of misery later this winter? Photo by IamSAM -- thanks!
Is this the vaccine standing between you and two weeks of misery later this winter? Photo by IamSAM -- thanks!
It’s that time of year again: time to get a flu shot before the evil influenza virus comes around. Here are some places near the Hill where you can get a flu shot if you want it:

If anyone knows of flu shot clinics available up here on top of the Hill (Red Apple, maybe?), please let us know and we’ll add the info to this post.

Halloween Beacon Bits: BRAAAAINS… and Jamie Moyer

This pumpkin may need to protect its brain from imminent ZOMBIE ATTACK! Photo by Brett L.
This pumpkin may need to protect its brain from imminent ZOMBIE ATTACK! Photo by Brett L.

Time to prepare for Old Man Winter

Seattle Public Utilities would like us to remind you that, despite the gorgeous weather we’ve had lately, the winter weather is on its way, and everyone needs to do a few things to keep safe and sound:

  • keep your storm drains clear of leaf debris
  • build an emergency supply kit (including water, radio and light)
  • create a family disaster plan (and practice)

For more information about wintertime safety, please visit
Take Winter by Storm,’s Emergency Resources page, and SDOT’s Winter Storm Information page.