Archive for December, 2013
Below is a letter from a local resident and business owner, concerned about the increase in violent crime in the neighborhood. Please read through the email and add your voice of support to the neighborhood.
Friends and Neighbors,
Pioneer Square has been fortunate over this past year to see a great many new businesses and exciting changes happening in our beautiful neighborhood. Most of these changes have come as a result of hard work by many people all working together towards the goal of making this neighborhood something special. Unfortunately, I am not writing this letter to celebrate those accomplishments but rather to make a call yet again to each and every one of you to please help one more time.
Many of you may already know that I sit on the West Precinct Advisory Committee (WESTPAC). For those of you who do not know, it is a Citizens Advisory Committee that connects with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to make them aware of neighborhood issues. I am contacting all of you to make a plea for you each to make a commitment to call 911 each and every time you see or hear anything out of the ordinary. SPD uses a great deal of data driven programs and algorithms that are all based on 911 calls.
Recently there have been a lot of police arrests in the International District in an effort to deal with the wide spread gang problems they are facing. It would be pure speculation on my part but I fear those gangs may start to become even more active in our neighborhood. Pioneer Square has a disproportionately smaller number of residents compared to other parts of the city. We all need to act as 10 citizens in order to get the response we need from SPD. Even if the incident you witness is over, call 911 to report what you saw and give as much details as possible.
These past months have seen a starling rise in violent crimes within Pioneer Square, specifically gun and gang related violence. This most recent double shooting in Occidental Park comes on the heels of a violent group fight that also resulted in a man being shot in that same park and is only 5 weeks from the shooting at Union Gospel Mission.
All of this does not include many unreported and/or under reported violent incidents within Pioneer Square in recent weeks. Underreported? An example of that would be an incident that I witnessed just hours before the violent group fight mentioned above.
I was walking my dogs along 1st Ave S and as I turned onto S. Jackson I heard 3 clear gunshots from a vehicle. The vehicle was firing upon another vehicle as they both turned on Occidental from S. Jackson. I did not see a gun nor could I identify the vehicles as it happened so unexpectedly. I did get my dogs to cover (yes dogs first). I did however smell the gun smoke and have enough experience with small firearms to know it was gunshots. The police responded rather quickly but without sirens or lights as the 911 call only reported a “disturbance” and mentioned nothing about guns.
I found myself standing on the corner of Occidental and Jackson with my dogs, another neighbor who had made the call, and another business owner. We talked with the police about what happened. Less than two hours later, a fight and shooting happened not 2 blocks away. This incident involved a music promoter that was working at Club Volume.
As a small business owner and someone who has worked as a bartender in many clubs, I do not make a habit of calling the head of a business. However, Club Volume has been under the Liquor Control Board and City “probation” for some time now. For those of you living near Club Volume this call to duty is especially needed. The choices those business owners have made to work with promoters that have reputations for attracting gang elements has put them on that list and now those decisions are putting us at risk. It is especially important that citizens in that area of Pioneer Square call 911 no matter how trivial the issue may seem. It is the best chance we have to change or close Club Volume.
My next WESTPAC meeting is this coming Wed 12/11. I would appreciate if those of you that have witnessed criminal activity or simply wish to make your voice heard would take the time to write a letter. I will bring your letters with me to the meeting to be given to Captain Dermody. I have included my email address so you can send your letters directly to me. We all need to be vigilant and work together as I am very concerned by the recent trend of criminal activity. I am sure you all are as well.
If you want to email Mike with your concerns/thoughts, you can reach him at MikeK@gcrestaurants.com
If you’re looking for unique gift ideas this holiday season, look no further than Pioneer Square. Seattle’s historic neighborhood has a few surprising, eclectic retail shops that offer original gift ideas.
Check out this site for more details.
The Alliance for Pioneer Square is working on potentially securing a block of secure parking for residents in a garage.
If this is something that you would be interested in, email Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past two years, the Alliance has expended considerable effort to change the story and media image of the neighborhood. Pioneer Square has been re-branded as an artsy, fun place to be: the “Real Seattle”. We are advertising, participating in subsidized parking to entice visitors, and aggressively pursuing retail recruitment based upon a retail strategy for the neighborhood. Our recruitment efforts have been one of the most visible successes of our work, with 19 new retail businesses coming to the neighborhood in 2013 and more on the way.
As we move into a new era for Pioneer Square, we want to keep the momentum going by following a vision embraced by a broader group of neighborhood stakeholders. A significant number of people have stepped up and we want to leverage their passion and commitment to Pioneer Square as we continue our work in our five focus areas; Organizational Capacity, Marketing and Promotion, Business and Retail Development, Appearance and Pedestrian Environment and Clean & Safe.
We need your help to continue forward. What the Alliance for Pioneer Square does may be considered boring by some. We are not curing cancer, saving the world, or developing new vaccines. And yet what we do is very important for the vitality and success of Pioneer Square – for the businesses and the residents. It is the construction impacts, street accessibility, business recruitment, neighborhood design discussions, and collaborations with other groups on public safety.
We know that public civility and safety is a big issue for Pioneer Square. For every neighborhood challenge you see or hear about, there have been many others that we have been able to get out in front of to minimize the impact.
Surrounded by Seattle’s downtown core, waterfront, sports stadiums, and the International District; historic Pioneer Square is Seattle’s latest up-and-coming neighborhood. Considered a premiere historic district with the largest collection of Victorian Romanesque architecture in the nation, it is home of the nation’s oldest and longest running Art Walk and the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
A highly walkable neighborhood, Pioneer Square is located at the nexus of light and heavy rail, buses, the Washington State Ferry system, and a new Seattle streetcar line; with an estimated 384,000 people through the neighborhood every day.
We have an amazing history and we are positioned for an amazing future. Your support plays a crucial role in our ability to continue our work for the neighborhood. Every donation, no matter what the size, helps the Alliance continue to be the voice of the neighborhood.
Please consider making a contribution. You can access our online giving page at http://allianceforpioneersquare.org/support/
Leslie G. Smith
‘Tis the season for fast, cheap parking in downtown Seattle. Holiday shoppers, event goers and visitors can easily locate participating garages in advance, or find spots in real time by bookmarking the mobile-optimized DowntownSeattleParking.com website.
This season, nearly 7,000 discounted, short-term parking spaces are available in Pioneer Square, the waterfront and retail core, all conveniently located just a few steps from holiday festivities, shopping, dining, music and events. Special holiday lighting along pedestrian routes near the 17 participating garages adds to the holiday cheer.
”Garages like the Pike Place Market are offering rates this holiday season that are the same as or less than on-street parking,” said Ben Franz-Knight, Executive Director, Pike Place Market PDA. “We want holiday shoppers to enjoy this special time of year. Fast, affordable, covered parking at the Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square and the waterfront makes the holiday experience easier.”
Drivers can pinpoint available spots 24/7 through DowntownSeattleParking.com. The mobile site has seen a steady increase in traffic since it launched in July, and now more than 300 users access the site through their mobile device each day.
The mobile site is part of a larger effort to help drivers find parking downtown during construction to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Led by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the City of Seattle and Downtown Seattle Association, the parking mitigation program helps maintain the vitality of Pioneer Square and the waterfront as major commerce hubs and tourist destinations.
Just a reminder that the Pioneer Square Residents Council is having the last meeting of the year this Wednesday — come and meet your neighbors and enjoy drinks and light appetizers from Rain Shadow Meats.
Wednesday, Dec. 4th
@ “the nolo” rooftop deck (520 Occidental Ave S. – new apartments in the North lot)
5:30 PM – 6:00 PM
social mixer w/appetizers and drinks
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
All Pioneer Square residents are invited to attend
• Business Sponsor introductions
• Financials and 501(c)(3) status
• Grant writing possibilities
• By-Laws and next steps
• DSA (Downtown Seattle Assn.) report
• BBQ report
• Alaskan Way update
• Street Car update
• New Seattle Council Districts/map
• Resident Parking Survey Interest
Man found stabbed, bleeding in Pioneer Square (KOMO)
Seattle police say they found a man bleeding profusely from the head and neck in the street following a stabbing in Pioneer Square.
Police look for suspect in Pioneer Square stabbing (KIRO)
According to police, the victim didn’t realize the severity of his injuries and resisted assistance.
Violent fights, shootings, injure man in Pioneer Square (KOMO)
A series of large fights outside of a Pioneer Square nightclub ended in gunfire early Saturday morning.
Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square Entices Shoppers With Holiday Deal (PR News)
The Pioneer Square hotel’s Deck the Malls Package, with rates from $179 to $249, offers deluxe accommodations and a $50 Visa gift card for every night booked. Vacationers who stay at the hotel in downtown Seattle for two nights can earn $100. Guests who are visiting family for three nights score $150 in gift cards.
The Rebirth of Smith Tower (Seattle Weekly)
I’m accompanied by Petra Franklin, an artist and longtime Pioneer Square resident who’s walking me through the ups and downs of the skyscraper she calls home.
Suspect, 82, in Union Gospel Mission shooting likely won’t face charges (Seattle Times)
Police this week said they have determined that Mize was acting in self-defense and doubt that charges will be filed.
Seattle ‘street scene’ putting millions in tourism dollars at risk (My Northwest)
“On a daily basis, I hear three to four comments about the homeless problem, the drug issues, the aggressive panhandling, people who have been robbed,” he said. “I had some people who said that Seattle, in certain ways, seemed worse off than New York.”