Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Seen or heard in the ‘hood

A Madison Park resident reports that while out for an early-morning walk last Tuesday she spotted a “scrawny” coyote at Madison Park beach.  She tells us that at about 6:30 am she was strolling along 43rd Avenue E., near the Bathhouse, when the coyote suddenly ran up from the beach, crossed the street, and stopped to survey the Park from the high point of the embankment, near the children’s play area. Moments later, an unsuspecting squirrel crossed the street under the watchful eye of the coyote, who then took off in hot pursuit of the prey. Fortunately for the squirrel, it was quick enough to scamper up a nearby tree just in the nick of time.  What happened to the obviously hungry coyote thereafter is a mystery, since our informant had to get to work and couldn’t stay around to monitor the situation.  She wonders:  Was the coyote spotted by anyone else later that day? (By the way, anyone missing a cat?)

We have it on good authority that the police recently accosted a bunch of high school kids who had been using the roof of a Madison Park commercial building as a regular partying venue.  It seems that the business owner whose shop occupies the space below became suspicious of the illicit activity, apparently because of the debris being left behind each night by the revelers.   Acting on his suspicions one evening last month, he returned to the premises and caught the culprits red handed. He then called in the authorities to administer a stern warning to the kids, though we understand that they were all allowed to vacate the area without charges being pressed.   Reports indicate that at least one of the partyers was wearing a Seattle Prep-emblazoned article of clothing when confronted by the police.  Whether he or any of the other miscreants were actually students at that august school is, however, a matter of conjecture.

A more exciting police intervention occurred in the Park last Wednesday, when two police cars, sirens blaring, rushed down Madison Street and screeched to a halt in front of the KeyBank branch at 4105 E. Madison St.  According to a witness, the police came prepared for action.  With assault rifles in hand, they immediately surrounded the building and ordered all passersby into the building’s lobby. Once they had the situation under control they discovered that the Bank’s alarm had been triggered accidentally (or something like that).  At any rate, no one was actively robbing the bank. Nevertheless, it was apparently quite a scene for those who got to observe the police response. It’s certainly not unprecedented for a bank branch here in the Park to be robbed.   How often this has happened is a subject of speculation (we’ve heard there’ve been four such incidents in recent years, but we don’t have a verifiable source).   The Madison Park branch of Bank of America (then known as Seafirst Bank) was famously and successfully robbed by “The Hollywood Bank Robber” in the 1990s.   Bestselling local true-crime author Anne Rule chronicled the saga of this local-boy-makes-bad in her book, The End of the Dream: The Golden Boy Who Never Grew Up.  We’re now busily reading it to see if there’s a future blog posting in there somewhere. (We’ll let you know).

Our final entry for this edition of Seen & Heard is this report from a disgruntled former patron of the now-defunct Island Video:  It seems that although the sign on the door states that those who had deposits with Island Video could ask for a refund, actually receiving a refund is proving a more difficult proposition. Or, at least that’s the predicament of our informant.  She says she’s made repeated calls to the number listed on the notice, but has had no response whatsoever to her voicemails seeking her money back.  We tried to get some answers by calling Island Video’s owner, but we also got nada.  Anyone else having the same experience?

[Photo of Western Coyote by Rebecca Richardson (Red-Star) on Wikipedia.  This is not the scrawny coyote mentioned in the posting.]


  1. Well, it sounds like the SPD had a stellar week in the Park. Letting crimes slide when they shouldn't and coming prepared for armed battle when they didn't need to. Thank God the squirrel didn't run past then, or several people may have been shot in the crossfire! SPD is a little jumpy, you know.

    What are they teaching kids at Seattle Prep these days anyway? What kind of morons a) party on top of a one-story building and b) do so 30 feet from and in plain sight of a bunch of houses. Then one of the rocket scientists wears his school's clothing when doing something he isn't supposed to be doing? Kids in the past were at least a smarter brand of stupid.

    BTW, the cops should have thrown them up against the car and cuffed them to scare the pee-pee out of them, but I am sure they weren't minorities and chances are, mommy and/or daddy is a lawyer.

    Thanks for the chuckle, Bryan.

  2. Last week we came out into our front garden and found a lot of white cat fur and blood on the ground. It looked to us like a coyote had killed and carried away a white Persian cat we have seen coming around the 42nd and E Highland area.

    I had a bad experience with the Island Video people a couple of years ago, where I was threatened by one of the sales people. I could not get a response from the owner and canceled my account. 15th Street Video is a great place, but probably also doomed due to Netflix.

    I hope the SPD does not kill any more people defending property. I'd rather have a bank robbed than someone killed in the process.

  3. After you read this message I'm sure you'll understand why I'm asking you to post it for me while allowing me to remain anonymous. Lots of people have difficulty understanding squirrel love, and life is challenging enough without being hassled about my situation already. Two whole days without Susie have driven me to distraction, so please help me out and post this on your blog:

    Last Tuesday morning I was taking my pet squirrel, Susie, for a walk near the beach when she managed to slip her leash when she spotted what appeared to be a medium-sized dog leering at her. Susie is very proper and shy so she immediately ran up a tree and wouldn't come down, no matter how sweetly and loudly I called her. I eventually had to get to work, so I left the pocketful of acorns I always carry for her on the grass beneath the tree. After she finishes these off, she'll likely head for the Green Onion where I regularly take her for a big dinner of delicious beer nuts. You can easily distinguish her from the other squirrels because none of the others will come when you call "Here Susie, Susie, Susie". When she comes to you just give her a peanut or maybe an almond or acorn, gently slip her into your purse or pocket and walk over to the Green Onion, where she'll feel at home, and the bartender will call me to come pick her up.
    Thank you so much in advance for helping reunite me with my sweet Susie.

    Anonymous squirrel fancier

  4. Sorry, does anybody know of the Green Onion????? Does the squirrel fancier mean the Red Onion? I would sure like to help - sounds like a very nice squirrel!!!! Anon, MP


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