Tag Archives: slog

Beacon Bits: Vote Now edition

No more in-person voting at places like El Centro -- now you need to mail your ballot in. Photo by Wendi in 2008.
No more in-person voting at places like El Centro -- now you need to mail your ballot in. Photo by Wendi in 2008.
It’s election day! If you haven’t voted yet, you can vote today by getting your ballot in the mail before today’s pickup, or dropping it off by 8:00 pm at one of the six Neighborhood Service Centers (Ballard, Central, Delridge, Lake City, Southeast, and University) that serve as drop-off locations for election ballots. Additionally, the NSCs will be hosting open houses for any and all residents to drop in, enjoy refreshments, receive giveaways, and learn more about the Department of Neighborhoods, City services, and opportunities for civic engagement. In our neck of the woods, the place to be is the Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, 3815 South Othello Street #105, from 3:00 – 7:00 pm. The Center is just a couple of blocks west of Othello Station, past the Safeway.

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In the Slog, Charles Mudede has some uncomplimentary things to say about the Beacon Hill Library and its public art, but the commenters vehemently disagree.

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Speaking of public art on the Hill, the Times has a feature about artist Dan Corson, who created the “space forms” in the Beacon Hill light rail station. (Thanks for the tip, Joel!)

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Crime confusion in SE Seattle

“Crime Is Actually Down in Southeast Seattle” said a headline in the Stranger Slog yesterday. Jonah Spangenthal-Lee’s post lists SPD statistics that supposedly back that up. Is it just me, though, or is the math completely off here? Here’s what the article currently says (emphasis added is mine):

“According to SPD records for the South Precinct—which covers everything between Georgetown and Lake Washington south if I-90—as of the end of September, there have been 821 assaults—including 401 shootings—193 strong-arm robberies, 120 burglaries and 9 murders.

“Last year, there were 1,214 assaults, 202 strong-arm robberies, 955 burglaries and 7 murders (statistics on shootings aren’t available) in the South Precinct. That’s 400 fewer assaults, and 800 fewer burglaries.

“In 2006 there were 1,388 assaults, 232 strong-arm robberies, 1218 burglaries and 6 murders.”

Comparing “as of the end of September” totals with whole-year totals and then claiming the numbers are lower is not particularly useful. Of course the numbers could be lower; there were still three months left in 2008!

But here’s the rub — the numbers aren’t even necessarily lower. When you do the math and consider that the totals for this year only include 9 months, some of the numbers are lower, but others are not. We are on track for 1095 assaults this year, so, yes, that’s a downward trend. Good. But we are also on track for 257 strong-arm robberies, a substantial increase. Burglaries are down, but they are down so far that I suspect something is glitchy with the numbers there. You don’t go 1218 to 955 to 120 without a darn good explanation. If they are down that far, that’s great — but I don’t believe it.

And then you get to the murder stats. As of the end of September, we were on track for 12 murders this year. 12. That is twice the number of murders in 2006, and nearly twice the number in 2007. This is not what I would call a drop in crime.

Over at the Mid Beacon Hill blog, JvA has done a great job of reporting that the city’s crime stats are often, well, wrong. And then on November 2, the P-I published a story claiming that, according to the King County Medical Examiner, there were no shooting homicides in Seattle between April and October, which is demonstrably false.

So then we get to this week. Multiple shots were fired in the area of 5400 23rd Avenue South. Two kids shot in the Central District on Halloween, one killed. Then further shootings in the CD, in what the Central District News suggests has become a “gangland revenge free-for-all.”

So, do you really feel like crime is going down in Southeast Seattle, or not?