From Brad Trenary <bradford53@hotmail.com>, 7/22/04

 

Subject: Cal Anderson Park and Broadway Activity

Hello Interested Friends,
I wanted to update you on issues and concerns here on Capitol Hill,
specifically on Broadway and Cal Anderson Park. It was a year ago this past
weekend that I began my own personal involvement in our community.
As we predicted, with summer came an increase in the problems and issues
we are attempting to confront and resolve. I have re-evaluated my
expectations and goals, but continue to be focused on finding ways to solve
problems and participate in solutions.
Many have commented to me that they have been well aware of increased
police presence in the form of the bike patrol and a more obvious presence
of the police in general on Broadway and other areas of Capitol Hill. For
that, we are grateful. Up until about three weeks ago, I was also receiving
comments that the problems didn't seem as severe as last year.
But this past three weeks have been difficult. We have seen a surge in
the number of "travelers," those who come from outside the area to live on
the streets and in the parks through the summer. These people tend to be
older and more hardened, for lack of a better word. They are more
aggressive and less connected with the community. I am seeing some that I
haven't seen since last summer. It is impossible to traverse Broadway these
days without encountering panhandlers on each block, to see drug deals
taking place in front of the post office, Jack in the Box and Hollywood
Video. This past two weeks, I've witnessed numerous people who are
obviously high, either nodding out on the sidewalks and grass or "twitching"
about on some kind of "speed," or amphetamine. Many have dogs, primarily
pit bulls, and they are frequently left off-leash in the parks.
This past weekend was particularly tough. There was a lot going on in the
city with Bite of Seattle, the Governors' Conference downtown with the
accompanying demonstrations. The police were not evident in the parks or on
Broadway, being occupied with activity elsewhere. And the street
populations seemed to know it.
We had one fellow come up into our front yard on Friday, trying to stash
his bike beneath our shrubbery. When I confronted him, I realized he was
high by his jerky body motions and his inability to form coherent sentences.
He told me he was going to leave his bedroll hidden in our ivy and I told
him he was not going to do any such thing. Two days later, I encountered
this same fellow on Broadway. He was in a much "happier" state, dancing and
singing all by himself on the sidewalk from the post office on Broadway down
to the US Bank and back. When he saw me, he stated that he recognized me.
He then became angry and said to a companion that when he got a chance, he
was going to "put my boot up (my) ass." I don't easily get creeped out, but
this definitely did not feel comfortable, given that he knows where I live.
There was a significant increase in Chronic Public Inebriates over the
past week. Numerous men were passed out along Jack in the Box and in the
park. One man, passed out behind the restrooms in Cal Anderson Park, was
completely unable to stand up and move on when the police told him to leave.
He managed to get up briefly, evidently satisfying the police who then
left. Within moments, he fell to the ground where he stayed. The bicycle
patrol came back by and the process was repeated. Six hours later when I
came back through the park, the man remained exactly where he had collapsed
when I had last seen him.
I have been finding IV drug use materials along 11th Avenue again, much
like last year, and in the stairways that lead to Seattle Central Community
College. Last week, I found two hypodermic needles along the street and one
immediately outside the men's restroom. Other evidence of IV drug use is
obvious to those who know what you are looking for. This is particularly
true if you walk along the construction fence at the north side of the grass
bowl behind the Shelterhouse. I am reluctant to walk off the pathways or
sidewalks through the crowds of persons sitting along the fence all day or
in the evenings. This morning, though, there was no one there, and I walked
along the fence line. At Captain Mike Meehan's suggestion, I looked through
the cyclone fence for any evidence of drug use. I was amazed at all the
materials that have been thrown over the fence into the construction area:
metal caps, syringe caps and wrappers, alcohol swabs; too, a significant
amount of beer cans