Tag Archives: things we don’t love

Sewage spill latest problem for 12th Avenue building

Some North Beacon Hill folks had a smelly problem recently when a backed up drain caused raw sewage to back up in the parking lot of the apartment building at 1308 12th Avenue South. Neighbors on the BAN list reported seeing cars driving through the sewage and people walking through it, and that the smell was very bad.

A KOMO report showed a rather disturbing sea of brownish sewage with floating waste, and people wading in the spill, scooping the mess up with buckets and dumping it onto a walkway where it ran directly into a storm drain. The building’s owner, Walford Eng, told KOMO reporter Michelle Esteban that the cause of the problem was that a “stranger came in our apartment and peed.” The city is investigating, and the Department of Planning and Development website shows that a notice of violation was issued to the property owner on January 13, with compliance due today.

The apartment building has had quite a few reported code violations in the last few years, including reports of roaches, weeds and vegetation violations, junk storage, and other violations. Last July, we wrote about neighbors’ concerns regarding criminal activity, garbage, and broken windows at the building.

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Neighborhood Service Center closed, changes coming

Cuts to the city’s budget have led to the closure of the Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center, located in the Beacon Hill Library on North Beacon Hill. District Coordinator Steve Louie will be relocated across the bridge to the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. He sent out the following letter with information about the closure and the resulting changes to the Neighborhood Service Center program:

Happy New Years. As a result of the 2011-2012 Adopted Budget and Department changes, here is an update on my status. I am currently in the process of closing down the Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center on Beacon Hill and will now be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. Now that we are down to 10 from 13 District Coordinators we will be serving the City through a team approach. I will be working with 3 other District Coordinators and the 4 of us will be covering the South Division. The Districts we will be covering are SE, Greater Duwamish, Delridge, and Southwest. Below is more information from our Department.

Neighborhood District Coordinator Program Changes and Neighborhood Service Center Closure: Background and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As a result of the 2011‐2012 Adopted Budget, the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is restructuring services provided by the Neighborhood District Coordinator Program as well as the number of open Neighborhood Service Centers. Following are frequently asked questions and responses. If additional information is needed, please contact Pamela Banks, Neighborhood District Coordinator Program Manager at 206‐233-5044 or Kimberlee Archie, Deputy Director, at 206‐684‐0463.

DON 2011 Budget Impacts:

  • Neighborhood District Coordinators (NDCs) reduced from 13 to 10, effective 1/4/11. The Neighborhood District Coordinator (NDC) interim service plan divides the city into 3 geographic areas, each served by a team of NDCs.
  • Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs) reduced from 13 to 7, effective 1/4/11. The remaining NSCs are all payment sites where few changes will be experienced for those who visit for information or payment services; however, co‐locators and those who utilized space at nonpayment sites will experience major changes with the closures of the 6 non‐payment sites.
  • Continue reading Neighborhood Service Center closed, changes coming

Tasha’s Bistro Café closing for business on Sunday

On Sunday, the door will close on Tasha's Bistro Café. Photo by Wendi.

Hampered by current economic conditions, Tasha’s is closing after just over three months in business. From a post in our forums:

It is with great sadness that Tasha’s Bistro Cafe will be closing our doors after breakfast on Sunday, November 7th. We have enjoyed meeting each and every customer over the past several months. Your support has been great, however it is apparent that with the economy, we are unable to sustain our type of restaurant in Beacon Hill without an investor or interested restaurant owner.

More from Tasha in the original post.

Opinion: Alley speeders need to slow down

(Do you have something to say? Send an emailed letter or opinion piece to the BHB editors. You must sign your full name and address for your letter/opinion piece to be published.)

by Jennifer Zwick

I live on 14th and South Hinds Street, an area right by the freeway exit. People often drive very fast on this almost one-lane neighborhood street, in order to cut down to the freeway (thus bypassing 15th and therefore saving seconds of time). Since we don’t have sidewalks, and the road has two curves, it is very dangerous—poor visibility, and literally nowhere for pedestrians to go.

When even this shortcut takes too long, they also often bypass even 14th/South Hinds Street, and instead cut at high speeds through my alley. This is even worse, since it’s very narrow and abuts right next to all property—and of course, no alley sidewalks as well.

A few days ago, I was walking in the alley to my house (I take the alley due to lack of street sidewalks) when a man, smoking and driving a silver Lexus SUV, sped towards me up the alley from the freeway. Please keep in mind that I am very obviously pregnant, which makes me slower than normal. Regardless, apparently this short pregnant pedestrian didn’t move out of “his” way fast enough, so, barely stopping, he rolled his window down and shouted “this road is for cars.” No sir, it is not. It is an alley. It is for property access. There are actual roads to the left and right of this alley. This kind of thing is, unfortunately, common.

I feel this is very unsafe but don’t know what to do. My dream would involve a speedbump or two in the alley to prevent speeding impolite people shaving off fractions of a second of their drive by taking the alley instead of a road, and sidewalks on the curved stretch of South Hinds Street.

(Anyone have any advice for Jennifer? We suggested that she check out the SDOT Neighborhood Traffic Operations: Traffic Calming Program website, but we hope some of you have better advice.)

Top of the Hill Survey Results Part 3: Wishes and reasons

The next group of results in the Beacon Hill Blog Top of the Hill are about the things we want, the reasons we live here, and the reasons why some might consider leaving Beacon Hill. Previous results are here, and there will be more results soon — stay tuned.

(Editor’s note: As with the earlier results, some of these results don’t add up to 100% because people gave multiple answers.)


What do you think is Beacon Hill’s most-needed amenity? We asked for one answer here, but some people listed as many as 17 different amenities!

It seems that, for the most part, Beaconites have food on their minds. The most popular answer was “More restaurants/cafés/coffee shops“, given by 29% of those surveyed. It was followed by requests for two specific kinds of establishments that people would like to see more of: a pub/brewpub/gastropub (a few people specifically mentioned Columbia City Ale House or West Seattle’s Beveridge Place Pub as the type of establishment they’d like to see here), mentioned by 18%, and a pizza restaurant, mentioned by 17%.

More retail in general was mentioned by 14%. 9% of you want more or better grocery stores (and a fair amount of you mentioned Trader Joe’s); one neighbor mentioned the need for a full-service grocery store south of Beacon and Columbian. Some of you are craving hamburgers; 8% of you want a restaurant with hamburgers, sandwiches, and general old-fashioned American “comfort food”. (Many people who gave this answer added that it needs to be kid-friendly, too.)

Beacon Hill once had a drugstore or two, and 8% of you think that a drugstore is our current most-needed amenity.

One neighbor’s answer to this question was a veritable wish list of places:

“pizza joint. drug store. vietnamese/thai/korean restaurants. flower stand. antique/junk/vintage store. ice cream stand. street vendors. vintage clothing store. hamburger joint. wine store. tea house. dessert/wine bar. book store. more of any kind of restaurant. A bread bakery. farmers market.”

Another neighbor’s answer was pragmatic: “Cops and social services that will deal with the dopers in and around Beacon Hill Elementary playfield and that bus stop on 14th across from the school.”


What do you think is the best reason to live on Beacon Hill? That’s an easy one: “location, location, location.” 57% of you said that the Hill’s central location and proximity to other places you might want to go are the best reasons to live here. (10% gave a related, but distinct, answer — our easy accessibility to I-5 and I-90.)

33% of you cited the “the United Nations diversity” of the Hill as a best reason to live here: “There’s no majority. You look at the faces on the 36 and it looks like the world.” Apparently our neighborhood is not just diverse, but friendly as well: 21% of you mentioned your nice, friendly neighbors. One neighbor wrote, “I feel like it’s an incredibly friendly place to live, and that our neighbors genuinely care about one another. And that’s not even our neighbors who profess to live in ‘community’ households the way that we do!” Another said, simply, “My neighbors rock.”

16% mentioned the affordability of living on Beacon Hill, and 8% specifically mentioned the new light rail.


On the other hand… what is the best reason to move away from Beacon Hill? Lack of retail and other amenities in our business district was the reason selected by 29%. One-third of people who gave this answer (10% of the overall total) explicitly stated that they wanted those amenities to be walkable. 12% of you specifically referred to a lack of restaurants, pubs, or coffee shops. Crime is a concern mentioned by 18% of you. 6% mentioned decreasing affordability, and another 6% mentioned noise (almost entirely airplane noise, but one person mentioned light rail noise as well).

7% of you said that there is no reason to ever move away from Beacon Hill. However, two optimistic people said that the best reason to move away would be “winning the lottery.” And one neighbor faced the sad reality of life on Beacon, answering “hard to pursue career as singing cowboy on the hill.

Top of the Hill: our first annual survey, open now

Summer’s almost over, and it’s time for the first annual Beacon Hill Blog “Top of the Hill” survey!

The survey lets you tell us what your favorite places are on the Hill, or, sometimes, your least favorite. Some of the questions are serious, some are frivolous, but the results should be entertaining, at the very least.

The survey will be open for two weeks. It will close on September 11. We’ll show you the results shortly after that.

The survey is open to anyone who lives or works or spends lots of time on Beacon Hill.

Go here to fill out the survey, and have fun!

Improving Beacon Hill: your suggestions

Old laundromat, tagged with graffiti. Photo by Laura Hadden -- thanks!
Old laundromat on Beacon Avenue, tagged with graffiti. Photo by Laura Hadden -- thanks!
Recently we asked you “what are some things you’d like to improve on Beacon Hill?” The ensuing discussion was lively, to say the least. In comparison to the recent discussion about things we love about Beacon Hill, the answers to this one were more diverse.

The answers could be broken down into two broad categories: Stuff We Want, and Stuff That Needs to Improve.

Please read on to see what people said. Continue reading Improving Beacon Hill: your suggestions

What are some things you’d like to improve on Beacon Hill?

Our position under the Blue Angels flight path during Seafair is one of those things that some people love about Beacon Hill, and others would probably prefer to change. Photo by Wendi from the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
Our position directly under the Blue Angels' flight path during Seafair is one of those things that some people love about Beacon Hill, and others would probably prefer to change. Photo by Wendi from the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
A while ago we asked you “what are five things you love about Beacon Hill?” There were a lot of great answers describing the wonderful things to be found on the Hill. But now it’s time to go the other direction. What are some things you wish could be improved on Beacon Hill?

Here are a couple of mine, in no particular order, to get you started. They don’t have to be issues of huge importance, though those are fine, too. Some of mine are a bit frivolous, but that’s OK:

  • We could use a few more restaurants, particularly pizza, and a good brewpub. (And can you get breakfasts on the Hill?)
  • Speaking of pizza, Pagliacci is one company that will not deliver to us or open a store in Southeast Seattle; our delivery options are fairly limited, compared to other neighborhoods.
  • I love our local coffee shops, but wish they’d stay open a bit later; there’s no real gathering place for people in the evenings other than the few bars.
  • I would like to see the Hill be a bit more self-contained, so we can avoid driving our cars more, though the light rail will help quite a bit. There used to be a drugstore up here, and a movie theater. Wouldn’t it be great to have those again? How about a book shop or newsstand?
  • I really, really want to see a regularly-scheduled street market up here on the hill. Not even necessarily a Farmer’s Market, though that would be wonderful, of course — but one that has things besides food. Art and crafts, maybe? Or collectibles? Why not give people from outside the area a reason to come up to Beacon Hill once the train is running? Maybe then they will spend money elsewhere on the Hill, too.