Two weeks ago, we said we would be posting the second part of our recap — to include “recent crime hotspots, park improvements, a forthcoming mailer, and this year’s snow plow protocol” — the next day. That clearly didn’t happen. As is so often the case, day jobs and holidays had to take priority over blogging.
So, without further delay, let’s address those topics.
At this time of year, there is crime all over Emerson-Garfield — and indeed Spokane. Thieves take advantage of the reduced daylight hours and the holiday shopping frenzy. They will steal bikes, tools, toys, lawn ornaments, wiring, pets, children, old mattresses, rocks… in short, anything that’s not bolted to the floor of an underground steel bunker surrounded by a magical forcefield. And they will take your stuff to pawn shops or flea markets (not always locally) or try to hawk it online on Craigslist or eBay.
At November’s Neighborhood Council meeting, we heard from police that thieves were prowling alleyways in Emerson-Garfield and taking bolt cutters to garage padlocks. Your only real defense against this is increased vigilance. This means getting to know your neighbors, keeping an eye out on their behalf (and vice versa), and perhaps installing a video surveillance system or a motion-sensor light.
They’re also driving off with mid-’90s Hondas, since it’s easy to used shaved keys to jimmy their locks. (Good news? There’s apparently a fairly high recovery rate for stolen vehicles.) Any cars they can’t steal outright are targets for break-ins. If something that could be considered to be of any value is in sight, thieves will smash the window to get to it.
What else can you do, besides despair?
- Hide or remove anything of value. Take your iPod charger inside with you. Don’t leave CDs, cassettes, or even 8-tracks on the front seat. Stow that ashtray full of parking-meter change.
- If possible, note the serial number of the item. All pawn shops in the area have to upload the serial numbers of incoming items into a database every night. The police then cross-reference this database with reported stolen goods.
- Report the stolen item. This is essential. Even if you think there isn’t much chance of getting your stolen item back, or that the police don’t care, it’s important that you at least try. If the police don’t know of the theft, they can’t investigate it. And if they also don’t know where thefts are occurring, they can’t assign any of their limited resources to that area.
As for park improvements: The new swingset is ready to be installed in Emerson Park. It might have to wait until spring. At any rate, it will bring a much-needed feature to the traditionally more neglected of Emerson-Garfield’s two parks. Corbin will also be getting a swingset, as previously noted here.
Both Corbin and Emerson now have electrical drop-boxes — which means the ability to hold concerts, movie nights, and all sorts of entertainment. Now all that’s needed is the people to make those events happen.
The neighborhood is looking to send out a print mailer in the near future. Here are some of the suggestions for what it should contain:
- Sign up for e-mail newsletter
- Invite to annual holiday potluck (Dec 12)
- General news about the EGNC
- Call for video submissions (for a proposed neighborhood movie)
- Neighborhood survey
- Call for sidewalk, trees and street improvement requests
- Alert residents and business of this website
- Plowing information
If you have any of your own suggestions about what you’d like to see on the mailer, please leave a comment or get in touch.
On the subject of the last of those bullet points, there’s a snow plowing protocol. Although most people ignore it, it still exists. And there’s every indication that the city is getting fed up with folks who flout that protocol — which means, among other things, that your car will be towed away at your expense.
During even years, park your car on the even (usually north or east) side of the streets when plowing is taking place. During odd years, park your car on the odd (usually south or west) side of the street. Opt to ignore it and you risk a $200 ticket and/or towing and/or the plow driver taking justifiable pleasure in trapping your car within a fortress of plowed snow and ice that will not melt until spring.
Despite the busy holiday season and year-end workload, we’ll try to have regular news and event updates. Most important among them: the annual holiday potluck on Wednesday, December 12. It’s at Corbin Senior Center and will start at 7pm. Mark your calendars!