Car strikes local convenience store; driver injured

Just after 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 16, Seattle Fire and Police units responded to a car-into-building call at the Wedgwood Mart (6236 35th Ave NE).

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A man in a silver Lexus had a seizure (per Seattle Fire PIO Sue Stangl), and ended up driving up over the sidewalk along 35th Ave NE and into the convenience store’s parking lot, coming to rest on the front sidewalk of the store and against a brick pillar.

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A witness who called 911 on the convenience store’s phone told us that the car struck a small tree in the parking strip before it struck the building. She also said that the shopkeeper was standing just to the left of the car’s final position and was nearly hit as well.

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The witness also said that first responders broke a window of the vehicle to gain access to the driver. The adult male driver was later removed from the vehicle, conscious and alert from our vantage point, and was taken to a nearby hospital in an AMR ambulance.

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Above, an officer stands nearby the vehicle as it is prepared to be towed out of the parking lot. Traffic nearby was impacted only briefly as the tow truck entered and exited the lot.

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After the damaged car was removed, it appeared as though very little damage was done to the convenience store.

Heavy police activity in area Thursday afternoon (UPDATES)

Not long after 3 PM on Thursday afternoon, Seattle Police Department officers with a K-9 unit began searching yards in the area of 25th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, assisting the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office with a robbery case.

 

Cops in the hood and helicopters overhead

A neighbor in the area got a picture of a group of officers searching along 26th Avenue NE.

 

Cops in the hood and helicopters overhead

As officers searched, streets were blocked by SPD patrol cars. Southbound 25th Avenue NE was blocked for a time, then officers moved eastward.

KIRO’s Chopper 7 was in the area for some time, and we snagged a couple screenshots from the live feed:

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This (fuzzy) shot is of the K-9 unit searching down an area street.

 

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And this shot is of a white van on the 2100 block of NE 61st Street that may be related to the case. Police were calling for a tow truck for this vehicle (per scanner) during the time when all the other activity was happening in the area.

We’ll update this post when we have more information.

UPDATE (4:33 PM): MyNorthwest.com is reporting that the suspect is Timothy Lussier, a convicted felon being sought by Everett police in connection to an armed robbery in July.

A violent offender task force tracked [Lussier] down to the Kenmore area Thursday, where he fled in a stolen car.

“There was a brief pursuit that followed and the suspect then ditched the stolen vehicle in the Ravenna area,” Ireton [with the Sonohomish County Sheriff's Office] said.

Lussier is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, call 911 immediately.

Picture of Timothy Lussier (Washington's Most Wanted)

Picture of Timothy Lussier (Washington’s Most Wanted)

UPDATE (4:52 pm): The Everett Herald describes Lussier as being 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He is 35 years old.

UPDATE (11:37 PM): Lots of folks, ourselves included, reported hearing hovering helicopter noise again this evening, starting around 10 PM.

Turns out it was air support courtesy the King County Sheriff’s office, looking for the suspect. But they didn’t find much:

35th Avenue NE business district survey ends this Sunday — take it now!

Members of the Wedgwood Community Council and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, together with other neighbors and local business owners have combined to form a group working on a neighborhood plan for 35th Avenue NE.

And part of that plan involves asking users of 35th Avenue NE what they think of the place, so the group has put together a survey.

If you find yourself on 35th Avenue NE on a regular (or even irregular basis), no matter where you live, your input is requested, and appreciated.

The survey has 31 questions, and takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Click the image above to take the 35th Ave NE Business District survey (through July 14th)

Click the image above to take the 35th Ave NE Business District survey (through July 14th)

Learn more about the 35th Avenue NE neighborhood planning group/process here.

Common themes to residents’ NE 75th Street safety concerns revealed

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SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin (in white) talks to a group of residents about NE 75th Street concerns at the April 25 meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Current Department of Neighborhoods Northeast District Coordinator Jenny Frankl also attended (in blue).

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Coordinator, Jim Curtin, sent an email to the NE 75th St email listserv this week, summarizing the input shared by neighbors about NE 75th St.

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Those attending the community input meetings were directed to describe street safety issues on Post-It Notes and stick them directly to maps of the area around NE 75th Street. The red stickers also indicate residents’ trouble spots.

Curtin’s email said “[h]undreds of comments have been collected through three public meetings and we’ve received more than 100 emails, letters, and completed comment sheets.”

The common themes of these comments have been:

  • Channelization improvements were requested along segments of NE 65th Street, NE 75th Street, 25th Avenue NE, 35th Avenue NE and Banner Way NE and at several signalized intersections.

  • Speeding is a problem along the NE 75th Street corridor and along segments of nearby arterial streets.

  • The eight schools in the area increase pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle volumes twice a day. Speeding on non-arterial streets during drop-off/pick-up hours is a problem near schools. Many students walk and bike to school and student safety is a priority for residents. New construction at Thornton Creek Elementary will likely change traffic patterns.

  • There is a strong desire to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout the area. Suggestions included adding more and improving existing marked crosswalks, constructing sidewalks, adding bicycle facilities to NE 65th Street and NE 75th Street, and improving signal performance for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Improve access to parks throughout the area and reduce speeds on adjacent streets Improve existing traffic signals to reduce turning movement conflicts with pedestrians and bicyclists and improve traffic flow.

  • Encroachments in the right-of-way limit pedestrian mobility and reduce visibility for all.

  • Congestion is an issue along several corridors during peak hours. This often leads to cut through traffic on non-arterial streets.

  • Existing parking restrictions should be reviewed and existing parking laws should be more strictly enforced. New parking restrictions are needed in a couple of locations.

  • Increased enforcement efforts are needed area-wide to address speeding, distraction driving, impaired driving, and pedestrian and bicycle safety issues.

  • Educational efforts should focus on behavioral issues like impairment, speeding, and distraction with more information about student, pedestrian, and bicycle safety.

Next week, a map of geographically-specific concerns and suggestions will be sent out to the listserv, Curtin said. You can request to receive future NE 75th St Road Safety Project emails here.

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Chief Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang (white, center) and Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty (navy, right) listen to residents concerns and take notes at the RECC community meeting held April 25.

After the map is complete, SDOT’s next steps in the NE 75th St Road Safety Project involve combining this public input with the already existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans and traffic data. Options for future improvements will then be developed and presented to the community in July.

Bike-to-School Day ride and rally at Bryant Elementary (UPDATES, VIDEO)

Wednesday, May 8 was Bike-to-School Day, and Bryant Elementary School students and family turned out in force.

Participating cyclists started their ride to school at the Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts, who provided morning treats. About 40 minutes later, and under Seattle Police escort, the group headed south on 35th Avenue NE toward Bryant Elementary (on NE 60th Street).

Once at school, everyone gathered on the playground for a rally and press conference. Speakers included:

    • Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. José Banda
    • Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
    • Seattle School Board President Kay Smith-Blum
    • Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director Julie Salathé
    • Bryant Elementary School Principal Kim Fox

And Ravenna Blog was there! Taking lots of pictures.

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 View from the Top Pot driveway off NE 70th Street as families gathered.

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Lesile Loper (AKA The Bike Fairy) in blue, next to Seattle Schools Superintendent Dr. José Banda in bright green. On the left in red is Michele Solis with her son, Linus (who I think had just taken a bite of a powdered sugar doughnut).

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 Overflow bike parking at the Wedgwood Top Pot along 35th Avenue NE.

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 This pink beauty was the first bike here this morning, as you can see in the tweet below:

 

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Clint Loper (Walk.Bike.Schools co-founder, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board member, father of Bryant and Eckstein Middle School students, and husband to The Bike Fairy) was handing out these smiley bike pins. (The eyes are the wheels, get it?)

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A gaggle of bikers walks their rides through the crosswalk at NE 70th St and 35th Ave NE.

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KOMO TV morning photographer Fred Veinfurt let a few kids check out his camera gear while he was on scene with reporter Kelly Koopmans. Here’s Fred and his “students” from another angle:

 

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Many of the kid’s bikes were decorated. This one is even sporting a Seattle Children’s Bike to Work Month seat cover.

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 GIRLS RULE indeed.

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Another view from the NE 70th Street side of Top Pot, as the crowd swelled (in numbers and with doughnuts consumed).

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Here, Clint Loper (in black, with the bullhorn) thanks Bike to Bryant attendees for coming, and Top Pot Doughnuts for supporting the cause.

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Seattle Bike Blog‘s Tom Fucoloro (center) interviews Car Free Days‘ Anne King (right) while Robyn Ellis (behind the camera) records the conversation.

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Members of the Seattle Police Department line 35th Avenue NE and look for the start of the ride.

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The front row of riders get a briefing just before heading out onto 35th Avenue NE. Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director Julie Salathé is in the yellow jacket at right.

A *lot* of riders, no?! For contrast, here is the first Bike to Bryant Donut ride:

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And they’re off! Banda and The Bike Fairy lead the way.

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A number of Cascade Bicycle Club members were along for the ride, wearing red, white and black wool cycling shirts. The rider on the yellow bike here happens to be Kathy McCabe, Deputy Director of the Cascade Bicycle Club.

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Cyclists of all ages and sizes, heading to school.

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No worries: Her dad had the other wheel. (Two unicyclers in the family!)

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 Cyclists fill the streets while the media lines the sidewalks.

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The Seattle Bike Blog people-powered news van on its way to the rally.

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Back of the pack. Clint, armed with his cowbell, is on the far left.

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And Michele Solis and her moving sculpture-style ride brought up the rear.

The Cascade Bicycle Club has a video of the start of the ride, as well as a sped-up version of the route to school:

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One the primary school peloton arrived at Bryant Elementary, everyone cruised around to the playground behind the school for the Bike to School Day rally.

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Ready to ring, or tweet, at a moment’s notice.

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 Bryant Elementary School Principal Kim Fox addresses her students.

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Cascade Bicycle Club recorded Superintendent Banda’s speech, and you can view it below:

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This is Brian Dougherty, the Safe Routes to School Coordinator with the Seattle Department of Transportation, dressed for the occasion.

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Here, a KIRO TV photojournalist gets an exclusive with The Bike Fairy.

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I took a picture of this balance bike, thinking it was an ancient family heirloom. Talking to the family that owns it revealed that the bike was only about two years old — it gets USED.

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 Councilmember Sally Bagshaw spoke to the crowd as well.

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And here’s Seattle School Board President Kay Smith-Blum speaking to the kids from the podium, the younger ladies literally hanging on her every word.

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Shots from the PACKED bike racks behind Bryant.

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Who doesn’t love a miniature vanity license plate?

 

Tim King of Bike Free Days tallied the kid’s bikes at the end of the ride:

 

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UPDATE (Thursday, May 9): Here’s Q13FOX’s coverage of the event (not embedded here due to its autoplay feature).

And here is the video of the event that the Seattle Bike Blog put together. Includes an interview with Car Free Days’ Anne King:

And here’s KIRO TV’s coverage, including the video of the event once it reached Bryant Elementary:

Children’s Home Society land FOR SALE: 3.7 acres on NE 65th St could be yours

The Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) posted on their website today information about the sale of the Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW) property at 3300 NE 65th St.


View Children’s Home Society of Washington land for sale in a larger map

CHSW owns the entire block of 3300 NE 65th St, which neighbors the private Catholic school Assumption-St. Bridget, the Bryant Corner Cafe, the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library, and lots of single family housing.

Offers on the property are due by Friday, May 17. A source of ours said that CHSW expects to raise $12-15 million dollars from the sale.

From the offering memorandum (PDF):

The Property encompasses the entire city block bounded by NE 65th Street, NE 68th Street, 32nd Avenue NE and 34th Avenue NE in Seattle’s Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood. The Site totals 3.7 acres and has seven existing buildings. The Site has been home to CHSW for over 100 years, receiving its first intake of children in 1908 when the area was still a woodsy exurb of bustling Seattle. Since the closure of the Cobb Center for Youth in 2010, the Site has been used by CHSW solely as administrative office space. CHSW currently operates out of the office building on the south end of the property and one of the cottage buildings. The two remaining cottage buildings are currently unoccupied.

The property carries three different zoning designations across its length: NC 1-30, LR-2, and SF-5000. (More information on what these zoning classifications mean here.)

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At the RBCA’s next board meeting on Tuesday, May 7, the sale of the property will be discussed. All residents are welcome to attend.

According to HistoryLink.org, “[t]he National Children’s Home Society was formed in Illinois in 1883 on the new idea of placing orphaned children for adoption in family foster homes rather than in orphanages.” Reverend Harrison D. Brown and his wife Libbie Beach Brown, who first oversaw the society’s work in Oregon, built a small receiving home in Green Lake in 1899. After it was destroyed in a fire in 1905, a new building was constructed in Ravenna, on donated land. Brown Hall (named for the Reverend) stood from 1907 until it was demolished in the 1970s to make way for more modern facilities.

NE Seattle daylight robber strikes again; victim unharmed (UPDATE)

On the Wedgwood Community Council Facebook page today, someone mentioned yet another daylight robbery had taken place. We called the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department and learned that this was indeed true.


View Robberies by knifepoint in February (4) in a larger map

From Terrie Johnston at the North Precinct:

[A]t 2:45 pm today in the 7000 blk. of 35 Ave. NE an elderly developmentally disabled female was walking home from Safeway and the suspect ran up behind her and grabbed her purse from over her head. He then ran off eastbound. No weapon seen, no suspect located. Description of the suspect was white male, 20s, 5;8” and skinny.

No knife or other weapon seen this time, but the rest of the robbery sounds just like the others: Skinny, tall male comes up to older pedestrians from behind, during daylight hours, and takes off with personal belongings.

As we walked through the neighborhood while on the phone with Terrie, she gave us a lecture, and said, “Swivel your head like a great horned owl.” We advise all of you to do the same.

The description of the suspect (combining details from this and the first two attacks) is: White male, 20-30-years-old, 150-180 pounds, 5’8″ to 5’10″ in height (described as being tall and skinny), seen wearing dark clothes that cover his head and face during the robberies.

All four attacks (February 14, TWO on the 20th, and 25) remain active and on-going investigations. Anyone with information about these incidents or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect(s) is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police and refer to the appropriate incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Previously: Our post about the first two attacks. And the third. And safety tips on the Personal Safety page of the Seattle Police Department’s website.

UPDATE (Tuesday, February 26): KING 5 TV’s Chris Daniels visited the scene of Monday’s robbery on Monday night, and filed this report:

Wednesday afternoon area robbery by knifepoint is second in less than a week (UPDATES)

This Wednesday afternoon, we were forwarded an email by a concerned resident regarding a robbery by knifepoint that occurred a week ago, on Thursday, February 14, a block from Bryant Elementary School, during school hours.

On Wednesday evening, the Seattle Police Department’s Blotter website posted information on a very similar crime, having occurrred near the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library, around the same time of day, but on Wednesday, February 20.

There have been TWO robberies by knifepoint during daylight hours in our neighborhood within six days of each other.


View Robberies by knifepoint in February in a larger map

1st Assault, at NE 60th St and 32nd Ave NE, around 2 PM, on Thursday, February 14

The victim was taking an afternoon walk from his home and noticed a suspicious male near a home under construction on the 3400 block of NE 62nd st. The male followed the victim from there until 35th Avenue NE and then passed him, while talking on his cell phone.

When the victim reached the corner of NE 60th St and 32nd Ave NE, the suspect came up behind him, used a knife to cut the victim’s pants where his wallet was located, and yelled, “Give me your f—ing wallet.” The victim tried to prevent the suspect from robbing him, and was thrown against a concrete retaining wall. The suspect then ran down a nearby alley with the wallet.

The victim sustain a few scratches to his right arm, and hit his head on the wall. Seattle Fire Department units responded and treated his minor injuries.

The victim did not see the face of the suspect, but described him as a white male in his thirties, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 180 lbs. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, and blue jeans. The victim described the knife as a folding knife with a black handle and a thin three-inch blade.

The police report for the first robbery by knifepoint is available on the city’s website (PDF; registration required). Bryant Elementary School The “Bryant Teaching Team” sent out an email to parents on Tuesday, February 19 about the incident. [Correction note: We have been told by parent volunteer who sends out email on behalf of the Bryant Elementary School PTSA that the school itself did not send out any emails to parents about this incident. CORRECTION UPDATE: The email was sent out from a preschool in the area.]

2nd Assault, in the 6500 block of 36th Avenue NE, around 3 PM, on Wednesday, February 20

From the SPD Blotter post:

Preliminary investigation indicates that the 65-year-old female victim had just gotten off the bus and was walking north on 36th Avenue NE on the east side of the street when she was attacked from behind by an unknown male suspect wearing a black mask, black hoodie and jeans.

The suspect forcefully grabbed the victim’s purse in an attempt to steal it.  As the victim attempted to retain her purse the suspect pulled out a knife and cut the purse straps and in doing so cut the victim’s hand.  The suspect fled the scene on foot with the victim’s purse, running northbound on 36th Avenue NE and then westbound on NE 68th Street.

The victim was treated for her minor injuries by Seattle Fire Department staff, then was driven home by a patrol officer.

The suspect in this assault is described as “an unknown race male in his 20′s, 5’9″ tall, 150 pounds, thin build, and was last seen wearing a black mask over his face, a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head, and gray pants.”

We will be in contact with staff at the North Precinct on Thursday and will add further updates to this post.


UPDATE (Thursday, February 21): The PTSA of Bryant Elementary School sent out an email today regarding this recent criminal activity, and included the following safety information:

Seattle police have provided the following safety tips aimed at keeping you and your students safe when walking in our neighborhood. They are also available on the Seattle Police Department website.

  • Pay close attention to your surroundings; avoid “automatic pilot.”
  • Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
  • Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
  • Stick to well-lit areas.
  • Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
  • If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
  • Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
  • Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.

More safety tips beyond these are located on the Personal Safety page of the Seattle Police Department’s website. Recommended reading.

UPDATE (Friday, February 22): The police report for the robbery on Wednesday afternoon is now available (PDF; registration required).

The victim, a 65-year-old woman, got off a bus at 35th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, and walked east along 65th. She walked to 36th Avenue NE, turned left, and headed north along 36th Ave NE on the eastside sidewalk.

She was attacked from behind. The male suspect grabbed her purse, which the victim then attempted to hold on to. The suspect then cut the straps of the purse with a “box cutter,” cutting the victim’s hand in the process. He ran north on 36th with the purse before turning left on NE 68th St.

The victim described the suspect as “5’08 to 5’09 in height with a slim build, approximately in his twenties but she was unable to determine his race. She said she thought he was armed with a box cutter due to the small size of the blade.” He was also described as wearing a black mask, and black hoodie, and black jeans.

A person across the street saw the attack occur, and described the suspect in a similar way. This witness thought that the suspect was a white male, but was not sure due to the mask and hood.

A second witness in a residence north of the location of the robbery saw the suspect running away from the scene, toward NE 35th St, wearing all black.

The victim was treated at the scene by Seattle Fire Department staff, and advised to have her laceration stitched up at a hospital.

Both attacks (February 14 and 20) remain active and on-going investigations.

Anyone with information about these incidents or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect(s) is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police and refer to the appropriate incident. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: Bryant Fire Hydrant

I can’t quite recall the cross streets where this guy lives — it’s NE 60th St and 3somethingth Ave NE. And I’m not sure how legal he is — painted city fire hydrant and all. But he is quite, quite cute.

Do YOU have a Moment of Ravenna Zen to share? Email rebecca@ravennablog.com, or use our handy dandy comment form to tell us about it.

Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: 5744

So you buy a house on a hill. And no one can see it clearly from the street. And your friends can never find the place. (And neither could ambulances or the police, if it came to that.) So what is a home owner to do?

Well done, 5744.

Do YOU have a Moment of Ravenna Zen to share? Email rebecca@ravennablog.com, or use our handy dandy comment form to tell us about it.