Sunflour Bakery Cafe hit with graffiti; plus, how to report

Reader and long-time resident, Richard, wrote in yesterday to say that the Sunflour Bakery Cafe (3118 NE 65th St) had been tagged by some rather sizable graffiti:

Graffiti found on the east side of the Sunflour Bakery Cafe building

He’d like to find those responsible and see them made to account for their misdeeds (as would we).

Close-up of the graffiti/tag

If we learn anything more about this tagging (we left contact information at the Sunflour this morning), we’ll be sure to post an update here.


So, what can you do if you spot some new graffiti/tagging in the neighborhood?

If the graffiti is on public property, you can call the Graffiti Report Line at (206) 684-7587. Additionally, Seattle Public Utilities has an online Report Graffiti Form which includes sizeable text boxes in which to describe the vandalism, location, and any other comments you may have. I would also recommend taking a picture of the graffiti and saying you have such on the form or within your phone call.

If you have graffiti on your own private property, call the Seattle Police Department at (206) 625-5011 to file a police report.

If you see graffiti in progress, however, DO call 911. Graffiti vandals must be caught in the act to be prosecuted, says the SPD.

More information on Seattle Public Utilities Graffiti Prevention and Removal can be found here.

Snow! Were you ready? (Updated)

In case we wake up on the morning and it’s ALL GONE like the weather folks are forecasting, here are a few pictures and one video of my corner of Ravenna in the snow.

Ready for its close-up.

Frosty? Indeed.

Nice swag you got there.


UPDATE (11:11 PM): My final tally (on the back porch table) —

Three inches!

Old University Village appreciation post

With the news yesterday of the Miller-Pollard store at University Village closing (and a Microsoft store opening in its place), there’s been a lot of chat on twitter about University Village and the other stores that used to be there.

University Village in 1962 (from the Seattle Municipal Archives; click to view a larger version)

And, as much as I tire of hearing about all the cool things that USED TO BE in this area, I thought I might open up a post so we could remember the good old days of Ernst, Lamonts and the Village Lanes that used to be down the street.

To get things started, here are some of the things that the Ravenna Blog tweeps (“twitter peeps”) have had to say about both the old and the new University Village  (I’m updating it through the day):

  • maggim Miller Pollard was awful enough, now we have to have the blight of a Microsoft store on our precious village? #bahhumbug
  • SarahSchacht Oooh! The drama! Apple & Microsoft Stores to face off, glaring at each other from across the U Village parking lot in Seattle.
  • RavennaBlog I can’t wait for the rumbles in the parking lot a la West Side Story! #MSFTvsAPPL
  • maggim When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, from your first MacBook Pro to your last iPod day. @sarahschacht
  • NorthESea Yep. I will miss Miller Pollard for sentimental reasons. I remember wandering around that store as a kid.
  • lukobe Oh no! The transformation of University Village is nearly complete…. now all they have to do is get rid of the Ram
  • CamanoCommunity I remember Lamonts. Hell, I remember Rhodes. Geez…
  • SivPrince I still miss Lamonts and Ernest hardware. #olduvillage
  • NorthESea Yes! When I went to Roosevelt HS you used to be able to take bowling, at Village Lanes, as a gym credit. And I’m not that old!
  • arrrmin Yeah, the U-Village bowling alley was where Office Depot is now…and Lamonts department store is where QFC is now!
  • pokano QFC used to be where Restoration Hardware, etc. is. There used to be a wonderful little plant store across from it.
  • pokano @arrrmin No, QFC bought the old Carnation dairy. The old Lamont’s is where Barnes & Noble & Eddie Bauer are now.
Neighborhood: What do you remember about the early days of University Village? Leave your recollections in the comments.

Stay Safe: Driving in Winter Storms

Resident Ravenna Safety Girl, Shannon, has another emergency preparedness column for us this Tuesday. You may find it extremely relevant to your lives in the next couple days.


East-bound NE 75th St at 4 pm on November 22

You’ve all now seen first-hand the organized, thoughtful way most Seattle residents respond to winter weather. Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you go through the next several days:

Before you go

Keep your gas tank full

A glance at the television shows you the importance of this one. In heavy winter weather, there is no way to know how long it will actually take you to get somewhere, so a full tank will give you peace of mind and get you home. It’s also important to keep your car full of gas when the temperature drops, as it will help prevent your gas line from freezing.

Carry a storm kit

Before leaving for a trip or even a long commute, equip your car with blankets, bottled water and food (a jar of peanut butter or a bag of trail mix is good), flares or a safety triangle, car charger, and anything else you think is necessary for your trip. Put it all in a cardboard box and drop it in the trunk, and you’re good for the winter.

Remember to include a sack or two of cat litter for traction. If you are skidding, dig out the area just in front of your tires and pour some litter there to help get out of a slick spot.

On the road

Chain up

If you have chains for your car, make sure you know how to use them… the side of the road in Snoqualmie Pass is not the ideal time to learn the quirks of your particular set of chains. When you go out to chain up, pull the passenger-side floor mat out of the car to kneel on as you work– much better than lying in the snow. Use cable ties to help secure the loose ends of your chains, especially if your set just has S-hooks at the end.

Remember, if your car is chained up it is NOT safe to drive over 30 miles per hour. You don’t want to drive faster than that anyway though; if you’re driving at near-highway speeds and one end of your chain comes unfastened, it will chew up 4+ inches of your car fender in seconds.

Drive safely

Use your noggin here… if it’s a steep hill, don’t drive down it. If local residents have blocked off a side street, assume they have a good reason for warning you away from it. Stick to arterials, and leave extra time to get to your destination. If you can avoid driving in to work, do so- it’s safer to be on a Metro bus or a train in winter weather.

Learn to steer out of a skid! Braking is what will get you in trouble on snow and ice. Road Trip America has more information about how to recover from a skid.

And, of course, if you can telecommute or take the day off, it’s safest to just stay home in snowy and icy conditions.

An aside about power outages

If you’re at home and your power goes out, turn off your main breaker until the power comes back on (you can tell by watching the streetlights). Especially around dinnertime or during chores, it’s hard to remember what was turned on and what was hot after the electricity has been off for several hours.

Many fires are started after power outages end because people forget that they were cooking, using irons or hair appliances, or doing other work when the electricity was cut off. If we’re in the middle of cooking dinner and the power goes out, what do we tend to do? Go out to eat! In the hustle to get oriented and find a place to go, many folks forget that they left the stove on and so come home to a fire afterward. Turning electricity off at the breaker during an outage will keep you out of this situation.

You can get more local information at (they have a mobile site as well) or @WinterByStorm. Stay safe out there!

Snow-bound information (last updated at 4:44 pm)

I’m going to keep this page updated throughout the day on things that are open, closed, working, frozen, covered, etc.

Please email in your updates as you come across any information, and I’ll add them to the list.

Furthermore, if you have a question about whether something is open, closed, working, etc., send it on in!


Newest information at the top:

Seattle Public Libraries – Closing today at 5 pm. Open Wednesday from 12-5 pm, and closed on Thursday (Thanksgiving).

Harrissa Mediterranean Cuisine – OPEN as usual, AND on Thanksgiving

Crepe Cafe – CLOSED

Ravenna-Bryant Community Center – Officially open from 1-4pm today. Tomorrow looks like 11 am-6 pm, but that is not official yet.

View Ridge (and other) PCC – OPEN (via twitter)

Seattle Public Utilities (garbage, recycling and yard waste) – Put your bins out on their normal day of collection. If they are not collected, leave them out for the next day. If your bins have still not collected after two days, put them back out again on your next regular pick-up day.

NO SOLID WASTE PICKUPS TODAY. Put bins out on next regular pickup day (twice as much for no extra charge). Updates here:

Seattle Public Libraries – open at 1 pm as warming centers
Parks/Community Centers – to close at 4 pm

Postal Service – You know the jingle. They should be out there.

Seattle Public Schools – CLOSED. That goes for classes and activities alike.

University of Washington – CLOSED. They call it “suspending operations,” but they ARE a university, after all.

Snow! (updatedx2)

UPDATE (Monday evening): Two LOVELY photos from reader Annie (click images to view full size).

UPDATE (Monday morning): I took a Ravenna snow picture to start things off.

The car in the driveway at 7 am.


As I write this, from a church basement in downtown Seattle, it is snowing in Ravenna.

The lens on my camera is not *quite* good enough to catch any shots of snow in Northeast Seattle from here, but if YOU have any good pictures, feel free to send them in.

In times of interesting weather, I’d love to have an open post going on the site that we can keep update with pictures from the neighborhood.

Three burglars caught breaking into North Seattle home this afternoon (updated)

Potentially great news on the burglary spree front.

From an article by Jonah at Seattle Crime:

Seattle police have arrested three teens caught breaking into a North Seattle home this afternoon, and a department source says the teens are likely connected to a string of burglaries in the neighborhood.

You can read the whole article here.

We will still be holding our Crime Prevention meeting next Tuesday, however, since those three aren’t likely to be the only burglars in town.

UPDATE (4:25 pm): The Maple Leafer alerted us to an update on the burglar arrest post at Seattle Crime.

From the updated Seattle Crime North end burglars post:

We’re now hearing police arrested six suspects in total. The teens tried to run from police but were caught several blocks away from the scene.

Some details in the comments there, too. It’s a good read.

Is crime really up? YES, but numbers are hard to come by.

[A summary, and a list of the good links to go follow, is included at the end of this post.]

Yes, there have been a lot of burglary-related posts on the Ravenna Blog lately. Enough that it prompted the following comment from a reader (via email):

A thought – how about a post comparing crime stats in Ravenna versus neighbouring areas? Me wife gets freaked out when she reads your posts on crimes so I’m looking for a little context.

A fair question.  Is crime really up? Or is it just that crime reporting is up?

Certainly, crime reporting is up here at the Ravenna Blog.  And, I’m here to tell you, this is in direct response to the increase in crime in the neighborhood over the past month.

I’m hoping to get some more specific historical data for our neighborhood, but here’s what North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Diane Horswill had to say about the statistics about Ravenna for October (via email; emphasis mine):

I have attached a recap of burglaries and car prowls and would say that the Ravenna burglaries in particular [compared to Roosevelt’s] are somewhat higher than is average for the neighborhood especially since many areas are experiencing lower than average rates right now.

In the recap she mentioned, there were 12 burglaries in Ravenna in October. (Of the four car prowls mentioned, two of them occurred on Roosevelt Way, which I would not consider to be in Ravenna.) What the count was in October 2009, I do not know at this time. But Diane says that it is up, and that works for me, for now.

Mike at Maple Leaf Life made a valiant effort at trying to decode the statistics for his neighborhood at the city’s My Neighborhood – Crime Statistics site. I read the post (“The problem(s) with trying to track crime in Maple Leaf“), tried my hand at looking up old crime statistics myself, and had even worse luck than he did. Read his post (we share a police beat with Maple Leaf, so the post is rather pertinent to our crime cause as well) and have a go a finding the data yourself.

Failing finding actual numbers, another Seattle news site, with an emphasis on crime reporting, has mentioned the increase in burglaries as well.

Just yesterday, Seattle Crime posted a story about the rise in property crime in our area (“North end neighborhoods hit hard by burglars“), mentioning specifically “Roosevelt, Ravenna, and Maple Leaf neighborhoods.” Also mentioned in this post are a few more details as to who might be responsible for these burglaries in the first place.

Now, to sum up for emailer Matt and his wife, and everyone else:

  • Crime is definitely higher than normal in the neighborhood right now;
  • Other people see the uptick, too, (Seattle Crime “North end…” post);
  • It’s hard to find the hard data yourself (Maple Leaf Life “The problem(s)” post;
  • And having crime prevention coordinators around to help with this stuff is really fantastic…but they’re probably going away (“Crime Prevention Coordinators face the budget axe“).


Was this helpful?  Have more questions? Email me, or leave a comment below.

VOTE (updatedx3)

UPDATE (5:55 pm): Picture of the ballot box in question is now posted (thanks, U District Daily).

And Husband tells me that the ballot box hasn’t been IN the University Service Center for a few years now. I maintain that calling it the “University Service Center Ballot Drop Box” yet not having it in/near the University Service Center is still notable.

UPDATE (12:59 pm): We have learned, via twitter, that the reason for the multi-colored “I VOTED” logo was “This elections ballots are green themed and we wanted the stickers to match the ballots.”  MYSTERY SOLVED. Thank you to Paul at @KIRO7Seattle for asking the question!

UPDATE (9:09 am): The University Service Center ballot box is back at the corner of University Way NE and NE 50th Street, and is reported to be in heavy use. It should be accepting ballots until 8 pm this evening.

Not the most patriotic color scheme I’ve ever seen, King County Elections, but at least you’re making the effort to make up for the loss of the “I VOTED” stickers (I believe they were considered “gifts” or “payment” or some such and done away with).

If you’re around the University District today, and want to save your 44 cents, the University Service Center‘s ballot drop box is BACK.

Photo courtesy of the U District Daily (

However, it might not be where you think it is.

The U District Daily reported yesterday that the drop box is not located IN the Neighborhood Service Center, but at the corner of “Northeast 50th Street and University Way NE in the University District Farmers Market parking lot.”

However, as the comments on the U District Daily story show, the box has since moved, AGAIN, and voters are urged to drop their ballots off at the nearby University Heights Center.

On second thought, maybe you SHOULD spend that 44 cents on that stamp.

Halloween activities this week at the Northeast Library

Halloween is coming up on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean your kids can’t put their costumes on earlier in the week!

The Northeast Library (6801 35th Ave NE) has FOUR upcoming Halloween activities for your boys and ghouls to enjoy.

Both Story Times this week will include some Not-So-Spooky stories. Costumes are encouraged, and Children’s Services Librarian Erica will be wearing one herself!

  • Tuesday, October 26 at 10:30 am – Preschool Story Time (geared for ages 3-5)
  • Thursday, October 28 at 10:15 & 11:15 am – Toddler Story Time (geared for ages 1-3)

The Northeast Library is also participating in the Wedgwood Halloween Trick-or-Treat on Friday, October 29 from 4-6 pm.

And, last but not least, the library will also receive trick-or-treaters during their open hours on Halloween itself (October 31, from 1-5pm).


We’ll also mention that on Saturday, October 30, at 10:15 am, Children’s Librarian Marita will be back to treat you to more Spanish and English stories and songs.

Thank to you Erica for the information for this post!