Category Archives: Neighborhood Security

That would not have happened to a white girl.

June 4, 2020

Earlier this week I called a friend in to check on another friend. She and I had a conversation about the protests and about race. She told me a this story. (Names are changed):

… I always told my boys, if the cops stop you, don’t run, or anything like that, just stop and do what they say. Don’t talk back to them!

Darren (son) was coming to pick me and Tiana (daughter) up to go camping and he couldn’t find a place to park in my apartments so he parked sideways behind cars while we were loading the car. We got ready to leave and I said, Wait Darren! I forgot something.” I ran up the stairs and opened my apartment and then Darren rushed in and said he had to pee before we left. I said, “Where is Tiana?” Darren said he locked the car.

Volunteers are needed!
by appointment
please email

Darren started back outside and down the steps and saw four cops standing around his car with their flashlights on and pointed inside the car and Tiana was in there. Darren slowed down. I started to run down the stairs and I could hear Tiana crying. Darren said, “Stop mom.” He was worried that I was running with cops nearby.

I’m like what the f? I can hear Tiana crying and the cops had their flashlights pointed at her. She was seven Ruth.

The cops said, “Someone called us from this complex and said there was an incident” … or something like that. We didn’t interact with anyone that morning.

Ruth interrupting, “Do you think you might have been double-parked behind a tenant who knew the cops would not come about the parking so the caller inflated the situation?”

I’m not sure. Think about how that affected her. Now she’s scared to death of cops. That really scared her. She was seven. It’s hard to convince her that the cops are there to protect her.

Ruth responding, “The cops would not have acted that way if she had been white.”

Thank you …When the police were leaving they were trying to hand Tiana a police sticker. She was behind me hanging onto my leg. She didn’t want anything to do with it.


State Of The Onion Address

July 18, 2015Egyptian walking onion WP_20150713_006

On June 15, after four years of lugging water, we turned on a spigot. Wow! The sound of water rushing into a bucket; it actually took some getting used to! What a wonderful resource, especially with this record hot and dry summer. Our cisterns were installed just after the big February storms so we must rely mostly on City water this summer. The spigot WP_20150713_004cost of both the cistern and City water installations were paid for by a City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Grant.

We had to start watering early this year, May 25th, and it takes about three hours per week to water all of the plants. Thanks to those who help with watering: Jennifer, Justin, Nancy, Joan and 37 youngsters from the Kids Co summer care program at McDonald elementary.

Access to water allows us to test out a few vegetables this summer.nan pepper WP_20150704_001 I picked our first Anaheim pepper July 6 and it was just a little start when it was planted May 25th!

In the next several months, we will construct garden beds and a path. Volunteers are picking up pieces of concrete from construction sites and piling them up to frame garden beds and make an herb spiral. In August, a professional will take up grass to make way for the path. We will recycle that good soil onto the garden beds.

flower close up WP_20150622_002Can you identify this flower? (See photo of flower & leaf.) There is a vote 150704 hibiscus leaf WP_20150704_002for hibiscus and for white swan. Nature brings in some challenging plants to the orchard but this newcomer is lovely.

We need a sign maker. You just need to design a template, have it reviewed, and then order the signs. We will need to post signs relating to safety during path construction so we need a design by August 8. Can you help?

We need help recruiting volunteers for the August 22 & 23 gravel work party. Please Please email us if you can find a volunteer or two.

Tues, Aug 4, 6-9, Night Out
Bring a dish and utensils.
Sat, Aug 22, 10-2, Path Building
Sun, Aug 23, 10-2, Path Building
Sun, Aug 23, 11-12, Qi Gong
No experience necessary

Also, help report illegal dumping at the orchard. The City of Seattle has a new mobile app for reporting illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, potholes, and streetlights that need repair.

You can also use their online service request form. (

Or, call this number: Illegal dumping -206-684-7587

Thank you for all that you do for gardening and community.


Heed the Mayor’s Advice – Call 911

June 14, 2013

The conveniences that make our neighborhood desirable also make it vulnerable: easy freeway access, many buses and the ability to walk to most everything you need.

A package was recently stolen off a neighbor’s porch. We had a similar experience and now have a sign on our door: Do Not Leave Packages on Porch. Please Ring Bell. However, there is a new UPS delivery person in our area. He wears ear buds, drops the packages and practically runs to the next house. He does not ring the bell. I emailed UPS to explain and a representative called back the same day to assure me that packages will not be left outside our house.

We can all do more to reduce petty crimes, but we need to work together. A significant number of people in our area work from home and should be able to keep ‘eyes on the street,’ as Jane Jacobs would say.

Speaking of ‘eyes on the street’, I walked up the steps of Russ’s house today, corner of NE 63rd 061413 Russ DSCN0649 smand 6th Ave N. He was doing what he does best – sitting on his porch, looking around. Just last week he watched a couple who were surveying the neighborhood, one pushing a bike. To Russ, they appeared to be canvassing our area. He said he called the cops, but no one came out.

Bravo Russ! Perfect. “Call 911 when you see something that gives you a bad feeling in your gut, or makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up,” was the suggestion given to me by our Community Policing Officer (CPO) Loren Street.

Mayor McGinn is asking people to call 911 to report any crime or nuisance. It’s part of the Police Department’s new program “Predictive Policing”. Officer Street said not to be shy about dialing 911. The dispatch people know what to do. They will decide whether to send out an officer, but the incident posts to the computer and that’s the important part. Reported crimes push more resources to the appropriate areas. The idea is to prevent the crime in the first place.

Orchard Announcements/Updates
We encourage you to email Gary Hren (SDOT) to thank him for the superb mowing job at the Orchard!

Officer Street came out, at my request, to survey the Orchard area and around the freeway embankment near our house. He walked around, spoke to a few men hanging out at the bus stop, and then came to my door. He is now the CPO for Green Lake, Fremont, Phinney and Wallingford.

He agreed that, since most of our houses are too small to fit a large groups of neighbors, the Orchard might be a good place to host a ‘living room talk’ this summer. Several officers come out, bring food and answer questions. It’s a way for the police to get to know a neighborhood.

If anyone wants to help to organize this event, please leave a comment or email us.

On a related note, the annual neighborhood night out is August 6 and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) has funding available to help you host. You would need to get in touch with them before July 1. Visit or call 206-733- 9916. Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit