Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Ol’ Seattle - The Other Disjunction

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger image]

Disjunction: a sharp cleavage…

We are certainly looking at a disjunction in Perugia, a pretty, gentle, and likable town which a lot of students and a lot of tourists make a beeline for. And where, despite some drugs, violence only happens about once every 10 blue moons.

Seattle is not so very different. It is a pretty, gentle and likable town which a lot of students and a lot of tourists make a beeline for. And where, despite some drugs, violence only happens about once every 10 blue moons.

Okay, maybe every five blue moons! But still, Seatle is a smart, safe town, with a high median IQ and a great university and some exceptional industries (Boeing and Microsoft). All in all, a very desirable place to live.

In both cities (twin cities, by the way) there is something of a pinch-me quality about the case we are following.

And now in the news? Seattle’s comparatively firm property values are reflecting this. It seems that people want to live in Seattle more than they do in many other places.


I was raised in Seattle and I love this city.

My family takes advantage of the following outdoor activities all available within 15 minutes to an hour’s drive: mountain climbing (I summitted Mt. Rainier 3 times in one month);  snowboarding; cycling; sea kayaking; scuba diving; mountain biking; skiing; hiking; snowshoeing; camping, and hanging out at any one of the now “hip” lease-free dog parks. 

Others go fishing, river kayaking and rafting (the Boulder Drop is a “not to be missed” adventure for those hold at heart), bird watching; hang gliding and ice climbing. Lots to do. From BS degrees to PhD’s, family members have attended Western Wash. Univ., Wash. State Univ. and the Univ. of Wash. 

My city pride has taken a plunge nearly as low as the economy due to “FOAK” PR campaign.

I am inclined to remove my UW license plate holder because I don’t like the fingerprints Knox left here. Obviously her family does not hold any stakes in our community.

Mind you, it’s not the (IMHO) murder by Amanda Know that kills me, it’s the image her family and friends have given this city.  Lovely to know we have this sort of people in our neighborhoods, NOT!

So just what type of neighborhood do they come from anyway? Does Seattle have crime just “once in a blue moon?” 

Here is what I recently posted on Perugia Murder File forum: 

In my opinion, the accused doesn’t even come from some “middle class good family” as people seem to believe she is.

“White Center is a census-designated place (CDP) in King County, Washington, United States. It lies between Seattle and Burien. The population was 20,975 at the 2000 census. White Center is regarded as an impoverished area with high crime rates. While some gentrification has recently occurred due to its proximity to Seattle, the area still faces significant issues relating to car theft, drugs, and violence. Poverty rates here are among the highest in the Seattle metropolitan area.” (From

Now for some local reporting -  from our good buddy Steve Shay:



Senior Center break-in: Investigation ongoing By Steve Shay April 13, 2009

The Senior Center of West Seattle was burglarized at 10:45 p.m. Sunday following an accordion club that rented out the space. An investigation is ongoing.

And his colleague Megan Sheppard – this is for ONE WEEK people!

Police Blotter Week of 4.13.09: Who needs enemies? By Megan Sheppard April 13, 2009

When a woman decided to terminate a friendship, the former friend tried to kick in her door, punctured the tires on her car, and—most recently—called repeatedly to say, “I’m going to kill you.”

When an 83-year-old woman came across a man threatening and berating an injured woman in the elevator of a local apartment building, she intervened, invited the victim inside a nearby apartment, and called 911. The suspect was gone when officers arrived. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment and assistance with social services.

Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, a 25-year-old was walking near Alki Avenue and 58th Southwest when he was assaulted by three Asian males in their teens, all about 5’5’,” who demanded his wallet.

Monday morning, in the 1500 block of Southwest Thistle, an officer spotted a partially clothed man walking down the street. He wore underwear, remnants of a torn shirt, and pieces of cardboard tied to his feet. He turned out to be a 31-year-old Tacoma resident who was wanted by King County on two felony counts: one for 3rd degree assault and the other for failing to appear to face burglary charges. Bail exceeded $40,000. He was booked into King County Jail.

The Veteran’s hospital readmitted a local 61-year-old whose living conditions, according to an officer, bordered on “the unacceptable.” Concerned neighbors had contacted authorities about the man’s situation and about the fact that he has spoken of killing people. Because the gentleman was known to keep a handgun at his side, officers first spoke with him by phone. At first he asked that police “shoot him in the head,” but he eventually came outside to talk and be transported for treatment.

A 54-year-old Issaquah woman jumped to her death from the West Seattle Bridge around noon on Thursday.

A woman wanted to stay and resolve a disagreement she was having with her ex. He wanted her to leave. When she didn’t, he allegedly grabbed her arm, dragged her to the front door and threw her over the porch onto the lawn. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of domestic violence assault.

Several children at South Park’s Concord Elementary dropped their backpacks and ran into the school building saying two men had pointed and fired guns at them. Officers spotted and detained a 19 and 17-year-old—both holding BB-guns—in front of a nearby house. The guns were confiscated and the suspects were questioned and released to a parent.

A Highland Park woman came home for lunch and discovered that someone had broken in and stolen two handguns—a 9mm and a .38 caliber—from the bedside nightstands.

After wandering around the roadside and into South Park traffic, a man was detained by officers. He was wanted on a Seattle warrant for dangerous drugs and was booked into King County Jail.

Hang onto your purses: Someone stole a handbag from a shopping cart at the Admiral Safeway on Saturday afternoon.

Burglaries/break-ins/car prowls by block: 5200 17th SW, 7600 7th SW, 7000 15th SW, 800 S. Henderson, 7700 Highland Park Way SW, 1300 Harbor Ave. SW, 3700 SW 100th, 8000 Fauntleroy Way, 3900 39th SW, 3200 40th SW, 2700 Alki SW, 10400 42nd SW, 2900 SW Raymond, 3500 SW 110th, 2600 49th SW, 6300 SW Hinds, etc.


For your consideration, an opposite neighborhood comparison of the South end and the East side:

Burien/White Center Population 31,772 Median Family Income $65,604. (Again, White Center not listed as one of the top 100 best places to live). Burien is next door.

Sammamish Population 34,237 Median Family Income $132,065

Sammamish stat / White Center stat:
Murders 0 / 0
Forcible Rapes 1 / 24
Robbery 3 / 74
Aggravated Assault 9 / 98
Burglary 113 / 368
Larceny or Theft 345 / 1107
Car Theft 34 / 449
Arson 8 / 10
From &

I am just sick of hearing how she represents the typical American family. Well, I guess come to think of it she does represent a special class.

Professor Snape
“Wizard of Healing Potions and Alibis”

Posted by Professor Snape on 05/04/09 at 05:02 PM | #

Sounds like a real north-south divide. I had to check recently where White Center is, and it turned our to be that area the taxis scamper north through, with me in them, on the way from SeaTac Airport to the Seattle downtown.

The main university and the most expensive property are north of the city. Boeing is north of that again, though it has installations around SeaTac, and Microsoft is off to the north-east, at Redmond.

Amanda Knox’s clan lives to the west of White Center. A pity Steve Shay doesn’t connect up the dots. This case could be a real opportunity.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/04/09 at 08:25 PM | #

A tip o’ the wizard’s cap to Prof. Snape, for pointing out the multitude of breathtaking, wholesome things to do and see in Seattle, when one is not content to lie about in a drug-addled stupor. It is a pity that AK, surrounded by equal opportunities to appreciate the beauty, history and exquisite culture of Perugia, chose to gravitate instead to the gutter of base bodily gratification. (Couldn’t whip up a batch of Veritaserum for the accused, Professor?!)

I did not grow up here, in Seattle, but I am finding, in spite of the trashier elements in the police blotter ( I live in “Delridge”,and never leave my door unlocked, by the way), I still feel safer here than I have in other places I’ve lived (including Chapeltown, Leeds, Glasgow,  Chicago, IL, Lafayette, Indiana, Miami, FL, and Brooklyn, NY!). Never having stayed in one place for long enough to say “this is where I am from”, I do hope to stay here, as I am currently employed (it takes 2 part-time jobs and shared housing to pay all of my bills) and, after 2 false starts, have found a flatmate who does not appear to be certifiably insane.

I do not frequent White Center shops after dark. There is a heavy police presence, due to the inevitable sidewalk brawls which break up outside the bars. I do not own a car, but know few people who have not had their rides “prowled” for the spare change they foolishly left lying in cupholders. Now at my third address here in four years, and I have yet to live more than two blocks from a crackhouse or meth lab. No, I’m wrong on that. My first flat was in Ballard, and the weirdness there was the “coven” of cat-sacrificing witches… I have seen a fair number of shady characters trolling the alleys, wheeling carts of unidentifiable booty without much purpose in their step. And I have seen people sleeping rough, as well. I walk people’s dogs several mornings a week, and I hope to afford one of my own, eventually, as I do feel safer with a hardy canine by my side!

As for the Knox residence, I have not seen it. I am not inclined to stalk celebrities, and wouldn’t care to actually set eyes upon Edda and Co., as I’m sure I would not feel inclined to be polite. I do have friends who live in Arbor Heights, which borders White Center in south West Seattle, and is pleasant, tree-lined and suburban to the point of nearly rural, when compared with other neighborhoods of Seattle. According to Curt (or was it Mellamind?), Little Amanda had never been exposed to “scary people” before entering Italy. This must mean that she traveled between home and school, apartment and campus, toured downtown Seattle from birth with a sack over her head?

Posted by mimi on 05/06/09 at 08:48 PM | #

By tjcchamp, moved here from the post ‘The Puzzle Of The Cell Phones: Was Rudy Doomed From The Start?’.

Professor Snape

“Wizard of Healing Potions and Alibis” I did not see where you are or grew up. I am also a lifer Seattle native from B town (Burien) 6 blocks from Normandy Park, lol. I did grow up in Boulevard Park, which is really rank now.

I did not know about the Rat City (White Center) beginnings of AK, I thought she went to Seattle Prep because she lived near the U. Mimi, sorry that you have to be on Delridge, that takes some guts.

Peter, there is a huge North South divide right at DT Seattle, which both sides brings arguements to a fever pitch at times, but not in a bad way. There are also many places north, south, east & DT that are in the expensive areas, not any one place.

Posted by tjcchamp on 05/06 at 02:14 PM | #

Posted by The Editor on 05/07/09 at 12:31 AM | #

Okay, tjcchamp, I guess I have a confession! I spend more time south, in the SeaTac area, than anywhere! Because that is where the meetings are, in the airport hotels. Plus I was a couple of times at Redmond.

I must say, cruising the city incessantly in my time off (whenever I dont head for Vancouver) I am not very conscious of these divides. I guess one has to live there to appreciate them!

I still think all of the above reads more like Little Trouble In Paradise than Place To Make Sure You Fly Over. And I think you would all agree.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/07/09 at 12:34 AM | #

That’s right, Pete, Seattle is a real mixed bag sort of city!

Hi mimi, welcome to Seattle and glad to hear you enjoy it, too.  I failed to mention a sport AK herself allegedly DID – rock climbing.  But I would personally prefer to know what type of activities Meredith enjoyed.
Interesting the one time I went to White Center to see a friend in a band the drummer was stabbed right there on the stage just feet away from me.  I’ve never had a reason to go back but I have friends near there I visit often, near where you live I bet and I might want a dog, too if it wasn’t for all the raccoons I enjoy around my yard!

Now about that potion…, you guys are relentless!  I have that request all the time. Must be something about AK’s popularity!  Did you know it takes two months to brew?

Dear tjccamp, I live on Vashon Island (West side of Seattle/ Puget Sound, for those unfamiliar with our landscape) but I was not born here so I cannot claim the “lifer” title- but that is okay because it sounds a bit like I am in prison and I don’t think of Seattle in that way but chose to live here.  When I think of Burien I think of SeaTac but I know one of the local schools hosts’ slack key music every year and that ranks high by me!

For the record, although I have not been to our Italian sister city yet, but having enjoyed other lovely Italian cities, I am going to put my chips on the table and claim that Perugia far out classes the landscape and culture when compared to Seattle.  Totally charming!

Posted by Professor Snape on 05/07/09 at 01:53 AM | #

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Or to previous entry Alarming Exploitation Of Meredith’s Death By The Abnormally Aggressive Knox Campaign