Category Archives: Life on the Hill

Stolen computer returned, apparently not by God

Neighbor Jonathan sent us this tale of theft and recovery:

“On Wednesday, November 23rd, I left my messenger bag in the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station as I absent mindedly boarded the northbound train. As soon as I realized what I had done, I switched trains at the International District station and headed back. By the time I got there it was gone. It was either turned in or stolen.

“I called Link Light Rail and talked to the security guard on site, neither were of any help and so I waited, just hoping it was turned in to the next train operator. Turns out it was stolen. However, the taker or takers ultimately were not interested in the bag, only the computer in it. The bag was dropped on my front lawn/sidewalk on 16th Ave at around 10:00pm or so. At that point, I knew it was stolen of course and so gave up hope of finding it. I started checking Craigslist for computers of my specs to see if it was being turned around for a quick buck.

“However, the next morning, Thanksgiving Day, my computer was sitting safely on my front porch chair. There was still a lot of juice left in the battery and a note written on the back saying, ‘God did not return your computer, I did. Ha!’ During the day on Wednesday, I was able to use the Find My iPhone app and remotely wipe and lock the computer, which rendered it useless and unmarketable. So they brought it back. No harm, no foul as they say. And I got a good laugh out of the note too.”

Glad to see it came back!

Mean cat bullies humans and cats alike

Neighbor Kasey writes with a plea for feline peace. Is this about your cat?

There’s a cat in our part of the neighborhood (19th and Stevens) that has shown aggression toward felines and humans alike. Not a night goes by without the terrifying sounds of a cat fight alerting all of the dogs on the block. This buff-colored, medium-haired cat is small to medium in size and ruthlessly stalks indoor/outdoor kitties. My own cat has been bullied by the predator for about the last four months and I can’t seem to get it to leave him or our yard alone. He or she has also fought with our housemates’ cat as well.

I wish I had more information to share, but I would really appreciate taking the chance that the cat’s owner isn’t aware of how mean it is to other animals. I don’t want to see it end up at the Seattle Animal Shelter, but that’s my next call.

Beacon Lutheran Church to close

Beacon Lutheran Church under construction in 1947. Photo courtesy of Beacon Lutheran Church archives via John Graham.
The 70-year-old Beacon Lutheran Church (1720 S. Forest St.) will close at the end of this month, with a final worship service and farewell dinner planned for Sunday, October 30. Community members are invited to the closing events.

The church was founded in 1941 by members of Hope Lutheran Church in West Seattle. For the first few years, the group met at the Garden House on 15th Avenue South, then moved into their current building on South Forest Street in 1948.

Membership numbers have been gradually declining since the early 1970s, and so in March of this year, the congregation voted to disband, as the smaller membership could no longer keep the church functioning.

Ownership of the building and its contents will be transferred to the Northwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Rainier Valley Cooperative Preschool, which currently rents space in the building, will continue to rent there through at least the end of this school year. Long-term plans for the site are unknown.

John Graham sent us this invitation to the community:

You, our Beacon Hill neighbors, are all invited to the closing service and farewell dinner for Beacon Lutheran Church on Sunday, October 30th, 2011. Worship will begin at 10:00 am for the event. Afterwards, about noon-ish, we’ll gather for a potluck dinner and brief program to celebrate 70 years of God’s blessings to our congregation. There will also be photographs on display and hopefully, we can get a reminiscence or two out of our older members. Please come and share in one or both parts of the event. For more info, you can e-mail me at

On behalf of the congregation, I’d like to thank you all for letting us be a part of the community on Beacon Hill. God’s richest blessings to you all in the years to come.

John Graham

Here are some photos from the 70-year history of Beacon Lutheran Church.

Music during a worship service at Beacon Lutheran in about 1970. Photo courtesy of Beacon Lutheran Church archives via John Graham.
Beacon Lutheran Church's first confirmation class at the Garden Club House, 1942. Photo courtesy of Beacon Lutheran Church archives via John Graham.
Sunday School, January 2011. Photo courtesy of Beacon Lutheran Church archives via John Graham.

ROCKiT space says: “Thanks for the apples!”

Betty Jean Williamson from ROCKiT space writes:

ROCKiT space would like to recognize the generous efforts of our neighbors and partners City Fruit and Jose Rizal Park Orchard for picking and delivering 300 pounds of apples to Garden House! These little beauties will be pressed into cider at the Beacon Hill Harvest Fair October 22. The cider will be shared with neighbors who attend the event. Folks should bring clean jars or containers to take some home!

The Harvest Fair will run from 2-9 p.m. on October 22 at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S. Stay tuned for more information later this week!

Big trucks busy on Beacon Hill

A sturdy tent is being constructed for fire trucks to park in during the seismic upgrades at Station 13. Photo by Melissa Jonas.
There’s lots of construction happening on the hill right now. Work on Beacon Mountain has begun in Jefferson Park. Fire Station 13 is getting a fancy temporary parking structure for the fire trucks in preparation for construction work to make the building more stable during an earthquake. The temporary public pay lot at El Centro is being graded and drainage installed; the goal is for the lot to be completed within a month.

Each project is noteworthy in its own way, but all Beacon Hill toddlers and preschoolers need to know is: BIG TRUCKS! Lots of big trucks! Please allow extra time on your next outing to appreciate them.

Construction of the Beacon Mountain Playground is underway. Photo by Melissa Jonas.

Blue Angels to buzz Beacon this week

Blue Angels flying directly over 17th Ave. S. Photo by Wendi.
The Blue Angels are back in town for Seafair, which means that Beacon Hill residents can expect the usual close-up view of the Angels as they practice and perform their choreographed aerial acrobatics directly over our neighborhood.

The squadron will practice on Thursday, August 4 from 10 a.m. until noon and again from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Actual performances will be on Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7, each day from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Practices and performances will force complete closures of I-90 due to Federal Aviation Administration safety rules, so be aware that there will be congestion. If you need to drive across the lake using I-90 on Thursday – Sunday mornings, you should drive at least one hour before the closure times.

On Thursday, I-90 will be closed twice. The express lanes will close at 9 a.m. and reopen by 3:30 p.m., and the mainline will close from 9:45 a.m. until noon, and then again from 1:15-2:30 p.m.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the express lanes will close at least two hours before the shows and reopen by 3:30 p.m., and the mainline will be closed from 12:45 – 2:40 p.m. each day.

There will be loud noise from the jets during the practices and performances, so take special care of your pets. As on the Fourth of July, some pets react negatively to the loud noise from the Blue Angels and may run away.

For further information about this year’s air show, see the Seafair website.

Congratulations to Beacon Hill graduates!

We had some responses to our call for Beacon Hill graduates. Here they are! Congratulations to these graduates and everyone else from Beacon Hill who graduated during the 2010-2011 school year! (Your BHB editor is a graduate this year as well.)

Lindsey Herron earned her Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington this year. Congratulations, Lindsey!
Brook Ellingwood earned his Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington. Congratulations, Brook! (Photo by Scott Macklin.)
Catherine Graham earned her high school diploma via homeschooling in December 2010, and is looking forward to attending Pacific Lutheran University in the fall. Congratulations, Catherine!