911 bombarded with Capitol Hill calls after more middle-of-the-night fireworks

In the grand scheme of things, finding out those booms in the night are fireworks and not gunfire could bring a sense of relief. But after another night of sleep-shattering booms on Capitol Hill, we’ve heard from a lot of you with questions about what, exactly, is happening with all of the pyrotechnical activity going on around the neighborhood.

We don’t know either. But we do know the CHS inbox and Twitter feed blew up with reports of loud explosions again Tuesday morning. According to East Precinct radio (listen above), 911 calls “spiked” to more than 20 reports of the overnight explosions. Here is one of the emails we received:

Have you heard anything about the loud explosions/fireworks early this morning around the block of Harvard/Boylston and mercer/Roy? There were a series of probably a dozen between 2am and 3am. It wasn’t the first I’ve heard them in the area around that time, but definitely the most extreme.  Not fun waking up to a game of “gunshots or fireworks?” Curious, irritated, concerned and very tired.

Another reader sent in these photos showing debris and smoke before police checked things out on Broadway overnight: Continue reading

Is Capitol Hill really the noisiest neighborhood in Seattle?

You’ve probably seen this map from online real estate service Trulia that shows the “noisiest” areas of Seattle. Depending on where the editor took a screen grab from the animation — which is showing noise complaint locations by month, by the way — Capitol Hill and the University District either look really “noisy” or really super “noisy”

While it’s true that Pike/Pine noise is significant enough that leases for new buildings in the area are including clauses stating that tenants acknowledge they are living in a “vibrant” area for nightlife, we took another look at noise issues that shows a slightly different view.

Looking at SPD incidents involving noise — not just the formal complaint filings — shows a much noisier city as a whole. Continue reading

Joe Buckets busted for Pike/Pine street noise

"35 years old and originally from Rhode Island, Joe has been living in Seattle for about 13 years but has been homeless for the last several..." (Image: Tim Durkan)

“35 years old and originally from Rhode Island, Joe has been living in Seattle for about 13 years but has been homeless for the last several…” (Image: Tim Durkan)

While local businesses are making calls for increased police patrols and the city is putting up money to study a pedestrian-only block of the neighborhood, maybe it’s also time to consider a busking permit program in Pike/Pine. Especially if Joe the street drummer ever gets his buckets — and his glockenspiel — back.

Slog reported on the apparent arrest of Joe Buckets last week. CHS was also working on finding out more about the situation after learning Joe had been taken into custody during a Saturday night performance in Pike/Pine. CHS has learned that Joe was interviewed and released but police placed his gear — “4 plastic buckets, 4 high-hat cymbals, a glockenspiel, a plastic bell, and other assorted percussive instruments” — into evidence pending the outcome of his case which is in the hands of the City Attorney. Continue reading

The Pike/Pine bucket drummer honor code

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 2.08.31 PMSPD has its own problems to solve right now. And while there are bigger questions about our neighborhood identities, and smaller but important questions about those identities, too, CHS has another riddle of living in the big city to solve: At what hour should the bucket drummers of Pike/Pine cease operations?

Here’s an email we received from a reader:

I live on the corner of E Pine and Broadway.  Bucket drummers have been playing at all hours and the SPD have done nothing about it. This has been going on since the summer.  I figured that when the weather turned cold it would cease but that has not been the case.   It is my impression that during the day this may be legal but that noise ordinances kick in at 11pm.  Last night they started at 10:30pm and ended a little after 4am.  This has become the norm.  Sometimes they start around 1am or so.  Myself and other tenants have called the police many times (including last night) and nothing is ever done.  I have asked officers about how this gels with noise ordinances and have not once been given a straight answer.  Can you assist? Can you throw this problem out there so more people who are affected by it can chime in?

Continue reading