“Not only do we dream the ideas, we do the ideas,” said vice president Karl de Jong, toward the start of last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting. And with that, the toplines, including updates on some of the ANA ideas that have become reality – first, though, the crime-trends update:
CRIME TRENDS: Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca says Admiral and vicinity currently isn’t standing out as a particular “hot spot” for property crime, though there have been a few auto thefts in the past month. “Call data” for the past month has been “fairly low,” he said, including “reportable accidents” – damage above $750. Many calls in the area are actually initiated by officers, doing “park checks” at places like Hamilton Viewpoint during hours when the parks are supposed to be closed, according to Officer Mazzuca. Of course, he cautioned, “the weather hasn’t really drawn out the crowds yet” in terms of warm-weather problems such as underage drinking, though he acknowledged that Alki activity has “picked up the last couple days” because of the weather. They’ve been working with other city agencies such as SDOT and Parks to clean up areas where transients have been living – under bridges, for example. And they’ve been watching vacant homes – most of which turn out to have been foreclosed on – to get or keep squatters out, though he said there are “so many” that sometimes it’s tough to track down the owners. He said the same thing his colleagues have said in different forums – if you see something suspicious or have an ongoing concern, call 911. ANA’s David Whiting asked about the always-a-hot-topic speed limit on Admiral Way hill – does it work? Yes, said Mazzuca, adding it always reminds him to slow down too, and he believes “the speeds have come down considerably” as a result of both education and enforcement.
CRIME PREVENTION: Officer Mazzuca handed the baton to Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon, saying nothing is as effective as neighbors getting organized and being watchful – they will notice problems before police, because they know their neighborhoods. “You know (that) – we don’t, because we don’t live there,” Solomon said. “If you don’t tell us, we don’t know, and if you don’t call, we’re not coming.” He also reminded everyone that “most residential burglaries happen during the day” – so know who’s home during the day. He’s the guy to contact if you want to set up a Block Watch (here’s how). ANA president Katy Walum noted that two members suggested last month that an ANA Crime Prevention Committee would be a good idea – and that they could regularly attend the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council (next meeting one week from tonight) on ANA’s behalf. Solomon summed it up, “You don’t have to get all up in your neighbors’ business – but at least get to know each other,” and that will make for a stronger community. Wave and say hi when you see ANYONE on your street – whether you know them or not – if it’s a stranger, that lets them know, if needed, that you acknowledge their presence and if they do anything wrong, you’re watching. He also pitched Night Out – first Tuesday in August – as well as the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network, which meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
WEST SEATTLE HELPLINE: Now that Helpline’s Clothesline clothing bank has moved to the Admiral area (as reported here), executive director Tara Byrne came to ANA to tell them more about what WSH does. The Clothesline alone “gives out $70,000 worth of clothes a year” to people in economic emergencies, she explained, adding that the Admiral move has drawn new support from local businesses, such as Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) and Umpqua Bank. Accompanying Tara was Helpline team member Nadine, who said they can use volunteer help and clothing donations. The new location can’t accept dropoff donations but their office at 35th/Morgan can, according to Nadine, and they accept monetary donations through their website. You can also get tickets for their upcoming Taste of West Seattle fundraiser at The Hall at Fauntleroy on May 17th – Tara said more than 50 food/beverage establishments are participating this year – they had to turn some away! – and they’re selling VIP tickets (half-hour early admission, $80) as well as regular admission ($40). The Helpline has been serving about 3,000 people a year, according to Tara. “We’re about neighbors helping neighbors,” she summarized. ANA will explore other ways to team up with and help Helpline, given its new Admiral ties.
LIFELONG RECREATION: ANA heard from Roberta Fowler of the Lifelong Recreation Advisory Council, who talked about the Lifelong Recreation courses and programs, geared for people 50 and over, at city-run community centers and swimming pools around the city. “The benefits of seniors staying active has been proven in many studies,” she observed. She also said they’re trying to schedule more programs in the early evening, especially to reach those on the younger end of the demographic, since historically the seniors’ programs have been in the morning and afternoon, but that puts them all but off-limits to people who have not yet retired. (You can see the LR program’s spring brochure in PDF form here.)
COMMITTEE UPDATES: This is where the ANA dreams-turned-reality updates came in. One project come to fruition in the past year is the new Admiral District business organization; vice president Kirk Mead from Umpqua Bank presented an update; he’s the vice president, Parris Sadow of Atomic Boys is president, Eric Renn of CrossFit West Seattle and Krystal Kelley of Mind Unwind are secretaries, and Jay Wergin of Heartland Café/Benbow Room is treasurer. They’ll have a logo and slogan soon, he said. The group will meet again in May (it usually meets on the second Monday). They were heartened to see the success of last Saturday’s egg hunt at Life Care Center of West Seattle (WSB sponsor). In response to a question, Mead said that the group has not yet decided whether to seek “business improvement area” status (which for example is what The Junction has). … The slate for this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha will be announced next month, and Walum says ANA has received a much larger grant than in the past to help fund the event and promotion. There will be a barbecue at the August 23rd concert as a community-center benefit, to try to raise a little money in the face of ongoing budget shortfalls. “So come hungry,” said Walum. The community centers’ combined egg hunt last Saturday is one of the things the combined, staff-reduced West Seattle Community Centers have tried (a debriefing is coming up, said a community-center rep at the meeting; she added that 1,600 people turned out for it). The mention of the benefit barbecue kicked off a discussion of why local restaurants aren’t selling food at the concerts (one answer: they haven’t sponsored the concert series; another, there’s a lot of red tape, and Parks would take a share of the proceeds). Mead suggested they could revisit the issue by talking again with local restaurants.
COMING UP: In the Admiral District, VP de Jong said, West Seattle High School and Madison Middle School are two of the locations for the Democratic Party caucuses at 1 pm Sunday (more information on the 34th District Democrats‘ site).