Tag Archives: graffiti

Amor Spiritual Center vandalized with hate graffiti

On Wednesday morning, October 21, Beacon Hill residents were shocked and disturbed to find the Amor Spiritual Center, 2528 Beacon Ave S., had been defaced overnight with a swastika and the words “Hate in many la language” (sic), most likely referring to the Center’s slogan “Love in many languages.”

When neighbor Callista Chen posted the above picture to the Facebook group Beacon Hill Social Club, neighbors rallied to denounce the graffiti and offer to help clean up. Later on Wednesday, second- and third-grade students at Beacon Hill International School sent artwork and messages of support to decorate the Amor building.

Though one or two people posted comments blaming “gentrifiers” for what happened, most neighbors in the Facebook group avoided the temptation to use this event to add divisiveness to the community. Gentrification certainly is an important topic, one that should be discussed, but it seems unlikely that affluent new residents go around tagging Beacon Avenue buildings in between shifts at Amazon.

The people at Amor have scheduled an Amor Love Circle Event for this Sunday, October 25, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. “Join us to create a Love Circle on Beacon Hill. It is time for us to transform all the hatred, bigotry, and racism with our love. We have tried countless other ways; let us now choose love.” All are welcome.

Mysterious graffiti gives neighbors jitters

Photo by Reis O'Brien.
This odd symbol has appeared recently on 15th Ave. S. Photo by Reis O’Brien.
Neighbor Reis sent this query to the Beacon Hill Blog Facebook page:

“Hi all. I realize that this is about to sound very paranoid, but my neighbors and I have been noticing these strange symbols appearing on our houses/steps on our street (15th, between McClellan and Spokane).

“Each symbol is written in chalk and all seem to be placed in what seems to be very specific spots on each property (not like a tag, more like a sign). More appear every day.

“Yes, these could just be some very poorly done tag, but we’ve heard stories about symbols on houses used by homeless/burglars/hackers to signify information (open wi-fi, no alarm system, etc.).

“I know this sounds crazy, but I just thought people should be on the lookout for this sort of thing on their property.

“If anyone knows what this symbol may mean (if it means anything at all), please let us know.”

Another neighbor, Stephanie, says “My neighbor keeps getting these on his steps and has been broken into twice. And they seem to be on a few different houses along 15th but only on the east side of the street, between Spokane and McClellan.”

We checked it out and, yes, there are symbols chalked along 15th in front of the houses. However, the symbol is also chalked on a random sale sign tacked to a post south of Spokane Street, next to Jefferson Park and not near any homes at all. Most likely it is just a tag, somewhat reminiscent of the old Dead Kennedys logo (which, according to Jello Biafra, was intended to be “something simple and easy to spray-paint so people would graffiti it all over the place”). If anyone knows otherwise, let us know.

Wall along trail is “graffiti hotspot”

Publicola reports that the retaining wall along the Mountains to Sound Trail at the north tip of Beacon Hill has become a big graffiti headache, requiring heavy maintenance from Seattle Public Utilities’ Graffiti Rangers:

“‘We check it every day, and we’ve been painting it over every other day for the last two weeks,’ Stoltzfus says. ‘There are other [graffiti hot spots] in the city, but not one that has been covered as frequently and to such an extent.'”

The graffiti issue was discussed at last week’s North Beacon Hill Council meeting. Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith mentioned that a mural on the site to deter taggers is a possibility, but current city rules state that a permit is needed to install a mural, with an agreement to maintain the artwork on an ongoing basis. Whoever steps up to install a mural or other artwork needs to be able to meet this responsibility.

Graffiti-fighting program starts today

Today is the first day of a new city program, “Summer Paint Out,” providing neighbors with free paint, rollers, scrapers, and gloves to paint over unwanted neighborhood graffiti. Supplies may be picked up at 3633 East Marginal Way S. from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on July 2, 16, 30, and August 6 and 20, however, pre-registration is required.

(Thanks very much to the Rainier Valley Post for drawing our attention to this!)

Beacon Bits: Bazaar, barista, and a giant teepee

Victrola is looking for a "Barista w/BeaHill love & skills." Is that you? Photo by Wendi.
Beacon Hill International School is hosting their annual Beacon Bazaar on Saturday, June 12 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, on the 14th Avenue South sidewalk in front of the school. If you would like to rent a table to sell items, you can find a registration form at the above link.

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Also in Beacon Hill International School news, two members of the school’s Chess Club competed in the 2010 Washington State Elementary Chess Championships on April 24 in Tacoma. Congratulations to first-grader Jay Zinschlag and fourth-grader Paul Wickward who each won two of five games in their tournament.

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Victrola recently posted a help wanted ad for a barista, and said “interests in coffee processing, roasting and cupping and the BeaHill/SouthSeattle area are important.” Know your way around an espresso machine and Beacon Hill? See the ad for more info.

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The Seattle school district has been awarded grants totaling $5.76 million over three years for three schools under the School Improvement Grant program, including Cleveland High School on Beacon Hill. The three-year grants, awarded by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) with funding from the federal stimulus package, will support school improvement plans at Cleveland as well as at Hawthorne and West Seattle elementary schools.

The additional resources will be used to support the transformation of Cleveland High School into a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) school.

Here is a fact sheet about Cleveland’s plan.

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Joaquin Uy writes, “A few of us were wondering what happened to the giant teepee that used to be seen driving down McClellan. I believe there were protest signs by the teepee too.” Anyone know?

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Franklin High School is taking it to the streets for the Franklin Arts Festival on Saturday, May 15 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in front of Franklin High School, 3013 South Mount Baker Boulevard. There will be music by the Nyamuziwa Marimba Ensemble. Franklin’s Marching Band, Lion Dancers, and other talented student groups will be there too, and there will be displays of the visual arts and crafts including ceramics, drawing, woodworking and painting. The event is free.

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The City of Seattle Office of City Auditor is conducting a review of the City’s response to graffiti, and has set up a questionnaire to help gather information from individuals, businesses, and organizations about how graffiti affects them.

The questionnaire is here. The deadline to complete it is May 10.

Crime notes: Safes, stalking, and spraypaint

Photo of a safe combination dial
Multiple safes were stolen from houses burgled on Wednesday near 13th and Forest. Photo by squacco.
On Wednesday around noon, multiple homes near 13th and Forest were burglarized. The reports we’ve received indicate that the suspects were two medium-build Asian men in a white van. They appeared to be especially interested in jewelry and safes, removing such items from at least two houses.

If you saw anything that might be helpful in tracking down these men, or if you see any further suspicious activity, please don’t hesitate to contact the police and report it. And, of course, keep your doors locked and an eye open for your neighbors.

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A series of messages on the mailing list recently mentioned that signs, buildings, and even cars in alleyways near 13th and Nevada and perhaps as far north as Spokane St were tagged with graffiti on the same day, Wednesday, some time prior to about 6pm. Information on dealing with and preventing graffiti vandalism is here.

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“Give me all of your stuff, or I will stab you!”SeattleCrime.com details the stalking and knife-point robbery of a 15-year-old girl, apparently followed on the bus from Red Apple to Beacon and Dawson by her assailants. One wonders if these youth might be some of the same that have been involved in other robberies and muggings lately.

Crime notes: Muggings and taserings

B - Burglaries, R - Robberies, O - Other

“chanman” wrote to the mailing list and described a mugging that occurred last night at about 9pm near the Valero station on Beacon where he was attacked by one of group of three teens:

Three high-school aged young men passed me on the sidewalk when I was walking home from the light rail station and one of them ran from behind and tried to grab my bag. When I resisted, he started punching me in the face and we tussled on the ground.

He also provided a pretty good description of the group:

They are 16-18 years old. The two onlooking friends: one is African-American, about 5’11, wearing a black baseball cap, while the second friend is lighter complected, possibly Caucasian and shorter, around 5’3-5’5 with large, bushy brown hair and a black jacket. The feisty manbag-grabbing/combat enthusiast was 5’6-7, either Asian or Hispanic, had a dark baseball cap, a white or grey hoodie with a logo on the front, and jeans. While he was pummeling me on the sidewalk I scratched his back in defense, which certainly left a mark. They headed north on Beacon Ave after the incident. The police were notified by passerby (thanks neighbors!) and the incident number is 10-102895. Please let them know if you have any information.

He’s OK and still has his bag and was composed enough in the aftermath to remind everyone that positive outreach and intervention to “written-off” kids can make a difference.

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Holly Park home invasionSeattleCrime.com

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A federal appeals court says the 2004 use of a stun gun on a pregnant mother on Beacon Hill who refused to sign a traffic ticket is A-OK. — KOMO

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Selected items from the bhnw.org scanner logs:


  • 3/19 12:45pm near 12th and Stevens
  • 3/23 11:45am near 13th and Lucile — Occupied forced entry burglary
  • 3/24 2:30pm near 16th and Lucile — Aubile alarm
  • 3/25 2:30pm near 14th and Atlantic


  • 3/25 8:30pm near 14th and Walker — Strong arm robbery


  • 3/19 7:45pm near MacPherson’s Produce — Fresh gang tagging


Graffiti clean-up, reporting tips and you

Report graffiti, phone 206-684-7587
Report graffiti by phone or online

Seattle Public Utilities hosts a Graffiti Prevention & Removal site that includes instructions on reporting graffiti (by phone or online), tips on removing graffiti, volunteering on a “Red Wagon Program” neighborhood graffiti clean-up and paint-out crew (for which free supplies are available from the city), waivers for private property owners (PDF) to receive Red Wagon graffiti removal, and numerous additional tips to prevent graffiti.

We’re working with our neighborhood news partners through the Seattle Times to find out more about graffiti issues around Beacon Hill and the rest of the city, and we’d like your input.

  • Where do you find graffiti to commonly be a problem on the Hill?
  • Have you volunteered on a Red Wagon patrol?
  • Do you have an experience dealing with graffiti you’d like to share?
  • Have you found the police to be responsive to reports of vandalism in-progress?
  • Do you know what gangs are tagging in your area?
  • Is there more that the city should do to combat and clean up graffiti?

We’d love to pass along your comments, tips, and questions. Thank you!

The city has a Graffiti Nuisance Ordinance that requires property owners to remove graffiti in a timely manner or be subject to fines. If your property is vandalized by graffiti, take photos before removing it and make a police report to (206) 625-5011. The photos may be useful for the police to track gangs and for insurance reimbursement purposes. SPU has a “Paint it out” PDF brochure with information to print and keep for reference.

Some of SPU’s tips include:

  • Install motion-sensor lighting.
  • Grow vines or vegetation to cover unpainted retaining walls.
  • Install a graffiti-resistant coating on your walls.
  • Keep matching paint on hand to quickly paint out graffiti.
  • Install cameras to monitor activity on your property.

Thanks to Christine Cole who shared the SPU link with the BAN list a week or two ago.

What do you do about graffiti?

Photo by Jason
Perhaps you’ve noticed a burst of graffiti vandalism around the neighborhood lately. Hazel gives some very sound advice on dealing with it on the mailing list:

Be sure to call the graffiti hotline, especially if it is on public property. The number is 206-684-7587 and they are very responsive. The faster you get it off the more effective. If it is public property, the city will arrange to have it removed. If it is on private property, you should also take a photo of it and send to the police department and the city.

Thanks Hazel!