Dear me. Maybe those people will save SDOT the trouble, and dynamite the Magnolia Bridge to keep the hordes out of the neighborhood.


The notion that crime is underreported in affluent neighborhoods is lolz.


They sure don't have the excitement that they have down in SODO on a Saturday night!


over the last 2 decades, if I had a nickel for every time my car got rifled because I left it unlocked outside my house, I'd have 25 cents. didn't report these crimes, though.


Was your stoner friend by any chance thinking of what Herodotus wrote about the Scythians?

Which is an odd story in that it reports hotboxing with hemp seeds, eww. But possibly Herodotus was stoned.


lol. I lived on Magnolia for 8 years along Gilman Ave just a couple of blocks from the Midnight Mart and the local railyard hobo camp. Other than the hobo camp catching on fire that one time, I've never had a single damn problem.

What I have noticed in the last few years is an increase in the number of non-white people living on the hill now. I'm sure these people who can't possibly be living on the hill flail hands in the air are the reason for all this unreported crime. It's old WASPs upset about all the new club members and "slipping" standards.


I lived in Magnolia for a while. There are vagrants near the railroad tracks and people living in RVs. People have a right to expect a safe neighborhood especially if they are paying HUGE BUCKS in taxes. Also, I do not appreciate white people being mocked and vilified for being white and "boring". If it was turned against ANY OTHER COLOR, the screams of racism would be deafening. Stop insulting people, it's not cute, modern or fair. White people are just trying to live their lives and mocking them is so ignorant. SO IGNORANT. I've always liked CM but this crosses the line and I AM OFFENDED.


@10, CM is openly racist against white people. I also think he's written pieces stating that you can never oppress a white person in any way.


1) Vagrants and people living in RVs are not inherently unsafe, so pointing to one specific area in a neighborhood as an argument about crime rates doesn't hold water. There are homeless people living in much higher concentrations in other areas of Seattle.
2) People pay big bucks to live in Belltown and Capitol Hill too.
3) People in Magnolia aren't saying their expectations of safety aren't being met. They are saying the actual statistics are wrong, and that their neighborhood is just as dangerous as Belltown, which is false.
4) I'm white, and I do not give a rip if people call white people boring. Get over it.


Well, I suppose if you're used to not seeing any crime, and then you see a little bit of crime, technically you could correctly conclude your lily-white upscale enclave is experiencing an "increase in crime". But it's like saying, because you hear one dog barking three blocks away on an otherwise quiet weekend afternoon, that suddenly you have a "noise problem".



Nice whataboutism, because of course, even if an individual black person could oppress an individual white person, it would still be a false equivalency, unless you can prove that black people categorically have been systematically oppressing white people, for oh, about the past 400 years or so on this continent.


So, when we see studies such as this one:

“Even if cities were to reduce their levels of crime, poverty, or unemployment, urban residents would still be less happy than those living elsewhere.”

We should disregard it as Charles’ perceptions trump facts in that case. Got it.


To be fair, the article had something similar to say about South Beacon Hill:

"Take South Beacon Hill. It has the lowest crime rate in the city, at just 23 per 1,000 residents — that’s less than half the Seattle average. But the fear of crime reported by residents is 49.8, the 12th highest neighborhood."

There was plenty of push back from people in this neighborhood too, indicating that the statistics tend to under-report crime in that neighborhood. This is something I've heard before and it actually does seem plausible to me.


Interesting about South Beacon Hill displaying the exact same dynamic as Magnolia. I think the whinging is not reactive but rather proactive - these neighborhoods preserve their low crime status by some minority of their populations going full on Chicken Little about everything all the time. Then don't get ignored when resource and policy decisions are made.

I and many people I know have had cars smashed and grabbed in Interbay; a nanny I know who works in Magnolia had her car window smashed in Magnolia village a few weeks back. 11am. She reported that the police said there's been a rash of smashed car windows in that area. I'm sure that since Magnolia is essentially an island it has that sort of island culture wherein people actually know each other and see outsiders as outsiders. Outsiders feel butt hurt and respond with garden variety haterade, but the island doesn't give a fuck, enjoys the upside of larger and stronger networks and the better quality of life to which that always correlates. Downside is negative things get amplified too and some people become fear-biters


I live in the “safe” neighborhood of North Ballard. Just 6 days ago, someone walked up my driveway, went behind me house, and stole my motorcycle.

I guess I simply imagined being the victim of crime, since most of the people here are white.

Luckily, the police found the motorcycle two days later. Just happened to be parked in a parking lot, right next to a major RV/homeless encampment. But I’m sure that was just coincidence.



If the fear is based purely on perception, devoid any evidence to support it, then that sounds like a pretty classical definition of an irrational fear, or "social ill" as you prefer to characterize it.

If you are afraid of people driving-while-texting, why would you immediately jump to the conclusion someone would perceive your fear as having some racial motivation (since there's no evidence that POC d-w-t at any greater degree than any other racial group)? However, if you accuse someone else of attributing your fear to racism, even though they have never in point-of-fact actually done so, then, yeah, maybe you ARE a racist.



Was the perp located? Were they in fact a homeless person living in an RV? Sometimes a coincidence really is just a coincidence...


Magnolpudlians have each other in a daily dither on Nextdoor, touting every "suspicious" character (which in Mag means anyone out for a walk w/o a dog), not to mention car break-ins (they took my expensive laptop which I left in plain sight on the backseat!) & unsavory door-to-door religious proselytizers (at least there they're on to something).


@20 - the article did not say “no individual here has ever been the victim of a specific crime.”
It also didn’t say people weren’t allowed to be frustrated about even minimal amounts of crime. It merely pointed out that people is certain neighborhoods had more concern about crime than other neighborhoods.

It was a really mild article. The fact that people were so sensitive about it is depressing.

As for Chales Mudede trolling Magnolia, it’s not unexpected and really - come on - it’s fair. Magnolia is very white, very suburban. The notion they are under an unreported onslaught of crime is laughable. They sound like Trump obsessing over hordes of rapists and drug dealers pouring through our weak southern border. Maybe they should replace the bridge with a wall?


@22: Good question. We should expect the police to make an arrest only if the motorcycle thief has a permanent residence, because our homeless generally, and RV-dwellers in particular, get to flout our laws with utter impunity.


Man,these people should pay a visit to some real shit ghetto areas like Rainer Beach,Columbia city,Dunlap and many more or move south of Tacoma in Lakewood and see how the crime is THERE! It makes magnolia look like fucking Pleasantville...


@1, @6 - yes, people who pay more for their house should expect better service. Society is here to deliver them comfort and convenience. People in the poorer neighborhoods are entitled to drown in shit.


@20 My bike, backpack, and barbecue were stolen 25 years ago when I lived in Wallingford. I'm still struggling to recover.


I hate car prowls, and i hate the homeless camps; but neither are all that much worse than they’ve ever been - ive noticed no increase. The net impact of impatient rich folks in making this city unliveable is actually greater. Rising costs for fancier everything, rushing everywhere behind the wheel, complaining endlessly about city government - i hate all of that baggage even more.


Someone clearly hates well-off white people. What a stupid example of journalism. There is literally no deep evaluation of crime stats beyond a dumb summation. I would wager home break-ins are higher in magnolia to a very significant degree. I wonder if the author will examine such a thing. I bet not. Nice try Stranger, but you are embarrassing yourselves with this high school level journalism.


@30-I'm not making any judgment on homeless camps good/bad here, but the idea that you have not noticed any increase means that you are a) living somewhere other than Seattle or b) blind.


@33 - my memory and my vision are as reliable as my presence in the city. homelessness in seattle is nothing new. With the closure of the jungle, it has been forced more out into the open. What is new is seattle’s affluence and its distaste for being reminded of the folks falling off the back of the wagon. Or at least to the extent both have increased, the latter has grown out of all proportion to the rise in the former.


@32, @35 - read the original times article. It has stats.


oh wow another "nope, that's not crime you are seeing its the DIRECT EFFECT of mean ol landlords and mean ol terrible people with enough drive to own their own home"

get a fucking job or move. far far away


I don't know much about Magnolia, but I do know that as recently as 2015 Beacon Hill had the highest burglary rate of any neighborhood in the city-- as reported by The Seattle Times, no less.

So maybe the freaked-out gentrifiers there get bit of a pass, at least until the news gets out that things have done a complete 180 in just two years.


At least now we know how Seattle Times’ data wonk, Gene Balk, really feel about these neighborhoods with his tweets.

Not sure how the non-whites or just ordinary, far from rich, working folks living in these neighborhoods might think about all of this, but looks like Balk, Barnett and Charles Mudede have just made them a convenient target with their journalistic hubris.

No secret why Fox News thrives. It’s pretty easy to get people riled up and hate these days.


@17: Have you ever been called boring?
It can really sting.

@2: 'Check points'?
Say, that's brilliant!
Check fucking mate.
The Prez's ONIT.
Code Fucking RED.

The bloody Commmies are commmmin'!


@25: NO check point: a fucking Wall.
That's really brilliant!
Keep EVERY one out!
Expect Federal Subsidies* post haste.

*Mexican, but still.

@28 "People in the poorer neighborhoods are entitled to drown in shit."
Obviously. They're fucking Poor.
They fucking DESERVE it.
Oh, and their kids should all wallow it shit schools, too.
That'll teach 'em to be born to Poor people.

Problem solved!

@29: Thanks for the great Apple Blossom weekend!
(you can recover your stuff in Wenatchee.)


I’ve treated people who are victims of violent crime in various settings and I have to say people react pretty similarly immediately after. While people with means and those who have good health insurance may have better resources to get help and recover, the trauma isn’t lessened because they are better off.

It’s a very dangerous new world when some people get to decide who should be allowed to feel threatened or unsafe based on one’s skin color or SES. When strangers are wandering around our home, going through our mail and stealing our belongings, most of us are going to feel victimized and angry. Car prowls and break-ins may not be dramatic or violent, but for those victims who need their vehicle for work or to take their kids to daycare, who had expensive tools stolen or paid out of pocket to get their windows replaced, that’s the hundreds of dollars and hours of missing work and a paycheck.

We already have significant problems with our flawed judicial system. The answer isn’t to worsen it by treating people poorly because of our own bias regarding who is more deserving.

A couple of things journalists can do to investigate reports that people aren’t reporting crime. Check with Ring app. Or Home security systems. There are video feeds available. You can match the info and addresses with police reports.


If you're smart enough to earn the money to buy a million dollar house, you're smart enough to read what you're buying, and what you're not buying. You have to maintain right of way for your sidewalk. Things like that.

Where on your deed does it say that because your house cost X dollars you're entitled to a certain level of police presence? Where does it say that with your million dollar home, you're entitled to a certain crime rate? What did you think you were buying? Did you even bother to find out?

It's a laugh, like those rubes who think their house comes with a right to a view. Read your deed. The airspace over those other properties isn't yours. You could buy it from them, and then you might protect your view, if you're that rich. If you're that rich.

That's what this really comes down to. People who are kind of rich. Rich compared to most Americans. Rich enough to live in one of Seattle's smug white neighborhoods. That's pretty rich!

But not quite rich enough, is it? Not Medina rich. Womp womp. You don't have a guarded gate, with uniformed security saluting you, radioing updates to you when someone who doesn't belong is on your street. You're not that rich. Go make a real fortune if you want to live like that, or else learn your place.

What Seattle's loony neighborhood cranks are doing is pretending they're richer than they are, pretending they've bought rights and services they haven't bought. Pretending they're entitled to all sorts of things they are in no way entitled to. They've convince themselves they deserve all these luxuries. They live in an online echo chamber and reinforce each other's delusion.

Then your Genes Balk or Charles Mudede or Ericas Barnett write about how cray cray these loony toons rich (but not that rich) people are, and they get maaaaaaaad! Pisses them off to have their fantasy deflated like that. They're like the guy who thinks he's Napoleon Bonaparte, and you're publicly telling him he's no such thing.

The guy living in a cardboard box yelling at the voices in his head and the entitled whiner online yelling about his Audi's glove box brutally raped of its virtue are pretty much the same. Except Seattle has some sympathy for one of them, not the other.

You panicked crime wave loons putting on airs like you're in a gated community are a laughingstock.


Well if journalists want their words to matter and be believed, then facts have to be a part of their world.

The problem here is the survey itself. That survey (and people can look it up) doesn’t parse out violent and non- violent crime. The survey actually doesn’t say many of the things that have been inferred in this piece. There’s a question of statistical significance and self-selection bias of that survey. All that wonky stuff matters when it comes to factual reporting.

So this is where news becomes battle cry and faux.

A race to the bottom where: two wrongs don’t make a right.


@42 - “dont be mean to rich people. Theyre traumatized. Prove to me crime stats arent underrpeorted - go watch their doorbell cams. Go ahead - ill wait.”

Yeah, fuck off. Trauma is trauma, but rich people are traumatized by the illusion of crime. We arent comparing the perception of assault by a rich assault victim and a poor one - we’re comparing perception of crime by populations more or less likely to have exlerienced crime.

Why on earth would crime be underreported in magnolia (which is clearly filled with paranoid people) but not in cap hill?


SEATTLE is seattle's crime infested ghetto


The World is a ghetto.



It’s a problem if you don’t have your facts straight. Very easy to infer too much, exaggerate, leave out and distract. But if you want to be believed and your words to matter as a journalist, then facts matter a great deal. Not just in the news, but in the policies we make. It’s already an unequal and frequently shitty world. There’s no need to make things worse. It’s also about how each of us wants to be valued and treated as an individual.

Otherwise, Trump is exactly what we deserve.


@48 - from the original Times article:

“I calculated the crime rates for Seattle neighborhoods, using Seattle Police Department data for 2016 and 2017...”

You're the one who’s inferring and ignoring facts you don’t like. The survey’s wrong. The crime data are wrong.

You are right about one thing, though - that is how we get Trump.



The survey itself isn’t wrong. But that survey wasn’t scientific, wasn’t randomized, wasn’t controlled and wasn’t meant to portray accurately any one neighborhood. It was a survey which most of Seattle didn’t even know about and those who did had to choose to take it. With that set up, you have to be pretty leery to use that result to start this hate fest over.

Pulling data to use against groups of people is exactly what Fox News does best like using high arrest and incarceration rates of African Americans or fixated on gangs and illegals if people speak Spanish. Tactics like this ignore the dangerous reality of being black and brown in America and how easy it is to call the police on you if you are black or brown.

And yeah, that is how Trump prevailed.


@51 - no one is “using the study against” anyone. The SPD isn’t going to start ignoring 911 calls from Magnolia (although if you read NextDoor, Magnolians are absolutely convinced they already are), and the greatest risk to people of color is white fear.

The only point I agree with you on is - yes, we are all criticizing and alienating a group of people, which doesn’t accomplish anything. But the people in question - especially the ones who complained to Balk in follow-up - are peprpetuating a very real problem and then refuse to accept the data, so if we can’t criticize them and they won’t listsn, then what is the solution?



Sorry, did I use too many big words?

Here, I'll dumb it down for you: If can equate someone driving-while-texting to being afraid of Black people, then you're probably a racist.



If we're talking data number 52, Magnolia's average income is 10% less than that of Crown Hill and all other demographic features are virtually identical. Neighborhoods along Lake Washington are significantly more wealthy on average and just as white or whiter. The North End of Capitol Hill is richer.

I think the commenters who are getting it right here are the ones who are pointing to geography, not demographics. Magnolia has a geography that presses people into larger and tighter social networks. Areas like this tend to attract families, and when people have young children they tend to become even more closely network with more people. If you look at renter demographics in Magnolia you'll see that they are dominated by older people and families who aren't particularly well-off but still want the benefit of a tightly networked community for their children.

The place is practically an island. It has very little transient traffic. Virtually no one in Magnolia is just passing through. As such, as in any city, it probably attracts people who need to be in the city for a job, but left to their own devices would choose to live in a place like Mill Creek. It also attracts people who want cake and to eat it too, who very much like the city but also want quiet and peaceful surroundings. Lastly I think Magnolia also attracts people who have some means and who want old school Seattle. Ballard is almost unrecognizable compared to 20 years ago; Magnolia is almost exactly the same.

If you look at political demographics in Magnolia, it's quite blue compared to the state. Compared to the city it's close to the same level of Democrats, what tends towards Clinton Democrats. It has a clot of Sammamish Republicans as well, essentially apolitical business types who are progressive on social issues generally but don't believe that big government does much to help.

So it's not like a bunch of Sugar Land Texas demons have colonized the place. Rather people who have strong interest in maintaining the aspects of the community they value, like lower crime rates than the rest of the city. There's a small but vocal faction who cluck and run around in circles at every little raindrop. Probably the majority of the people living in Magnolia also think that they're alarmist idiots, but then again even if unnecessary, these people are filling sandbags meant to protect things that the neighborhood generally values.

To some extent, the idiot preemptive squawking maybe works? Or maybe it's just panicked and embarrassing. Laurelhurst - whiter, far richer, way more exclusive, still hires men with guns in Humvees - doesn't make a peep and never gets dragged into these discourses. North Capital Hill is richer and just as white. . Maybe as a poster pointed out above, the vocal fringe of Magnolia's greatest sin is not actually having the elite social capital to be able to get their way without even asking?


Sorry 10% more than Crown Hill, point being the place seems richer than the rest of the city but actually its zeitgeist is more driven by geography



A couple of thoughts.

I love journalism. I’ve been reading the Stranger for over 22 years and have watched it evolved. The danger of overeach is very real. Most People don’t have time to dive into details to make sure what they read as news is factual or not. It’s far too easy these days to blur the line where news becomes propaganda, perpetuating lies and distorts.

I have to check myself frequently not to get used by all of this. In my job, I treat all kinds of people. Occasionally, I face ethical challenges, but to do my job well, I strive for fairness and some level of impartiality.

To fight this stuff isn’t to go where they go. There’s no need to exaggerate when you already have events happening when police are called on black people for doing stuff everybody else is doing- shopping, sleeping, going to the pool etc. Report on that and what it means tohave an arrest record. What it means when you apply for a job and having some computer algorithm kicks out your resume based on that. Or how you have to explain that it was a false or misleading call to the police that led to the arrest and charges were dropped, etc., but now you are regarded as having a “troubled” history even if you were completely innocent.

If news is being weaponized and used to deliberately polarize folks, then that isn’t news anymore.

And cranks are cranks regardless of their political hue or zip code.


@54, @56 - i feel like youre both quibbling. It doesnt change the validity or substance of the central point: a group of people are dramatically overestimating the prevalence of crime in the neighborhood and aggressively questioning the validity of even the statistics on crime.

That - not Mudede’s mockery or the statements in this thread - is a real problem. Why are you trying so hard to explain it away?


@57 For the same reason cranks thought it wasn’t a big deal since no one was killed or physically hurt when a black Harvard grad student fell asleep and had a dormmate called the police on her for it. Or being stopped by police because you went 3 miles over the speed limit. Or being followed while shopping.

It’s a constant state of degradation and it’s a dehumanizing process of a group of people.

The fix here isn’t to target a whole neighborhood with one easy-to-hate stereotype. That serves only those who benefit from polarizing people.


My bad. It was a black Yale student who fell


@58 - ITS NOT A STEREOTYPE. It was a study, and after a journalist had the temerity to talk about that study, a group of the people reflected in the study harassed him, basically proving how true the study was.

Your faux concern for fairness and over the treatment of people of color is a transparent apparent attempt to change the subject. Stfu dya diaf.


Correlation is not causation Charle's. It's stunning when you pretend to understand data and statistics. He're more likely simply skewing to an older population, not any single neighborhood.


Strange how South Beacon Hill's residents have the lowest rate of reported crime, a higher-than-average concern about crime, and yet Charles doesn't engage in lazy ethnic stereotyping against them.

@60: "...a group of the people reflected in the study harassed him, basically proving how true the study was."

Or showing they feel their concerns about under-reporting of crime in their neighborhood is justified. Maybe they believed a reporter would investigate this alleged under-reporting if they made a ruckus.


Racist Charles at it again. He loves his White cherries.

Perception of increased crime stratifies all racial groups, including racist Blacks like himself.

The good news about all of his racist pieces is this racist trash will be read by likely tens of thousands over the coming years, and to them it will be clear as day that his hate for Whites has infected his existence right down to it's marrow.

Could you imagine the turmoil racist charley wakes too each and every morning. What a sad, and pathetic existence.


that my northwest article was hilarious, the comment thread was 100 deep screaming Fake News!!! at balk.


@62 - i live in a neighborhood where people think crime is rampant and that the police dont care and crime is underreported because no one bothers to report blah blah blah.

Crime is no different than it’s ever been - its just now they have Nextdoor to fan the flames of paranoia, and people feel like they have no control as the city gets more and more expensive and order seems under threat from the very public eyesore of homelessnes.

Those feelings are valid. The way people process them is not - channeling their anger against imaginary crime isnt helpful. Its dangerous.


@43: Imagining your rant shouted at residents of South Beacon Hill brings a smile to my face.

(I haven't seen you comment in awhile. Did checking the validity of all 47,000 signatures to repeal the head tax keep you occupied? That repeal drive sure was a waste of all the time, effort, and money put into it, now wasn't it? I hope you now have time to shower us with more of your brilliant ideas about Seattle.)


@65: Complaining about NextDoor isn't exactly new, either:

Order doesn't just seem "under threat from the very public eyesore of homelessnes[s]," it definitely is. Camping on public property is illegal, as is the drugs trade, and stealing to support drug habits. Yet all of these happen in daylight, within sight of the Space Needle. I report these encampments, and occasionally one gets removed, but then other campers plop down. Stolen property is brazenly on display at many campsites. Little wonder folks who live in Seattle believe, rightly or wrongly, that crime is higher than reported.

Having Charles belittle their concerns -- if they're white and well-off -- does nothing to improve matters.


@67 - oh, Nextdoor was mentioned once before so we dealt with that and can never mention it again? That’s asinine.

As for the camps...I love how nimby’s want to bang their fists and bring back law and order. Think about the amount of time it would take to arrest all the campers and process them for a misdemeanor. And them house then in jail until their cases are heard. Is that a good use of the police people complain are “stretched too thin?”

In the meantime, unsightly as they are, unsanitary as they are, the camps are not causing a widespread breakdown in order in the city. The perception of crime is - again, as the study showed - not proportional to actual patterns of crime.

Conservatives always think the homeless should just get jobs - take individual initiative! So on that note, if you think crime is out of control, you want to live in a city without a visible homeless problem, move to Bellevue!! Too expensive? Sacrifice. Save. Pull yourself up by those bootstraps.


“That’s asinine.”

No, just noting that blaming NextDoor isn’t original.

“I love how nimby’s want to bang their fists and bring back law and order.”

There is currently one set of laws for the housed, and no laws for anyone who wants to plop a tent down and steal to get high. Either you believe in one set of laws for everyone, or you don’t. You do not, so please spare us all of the concern-trolling about how people who obey laws should not dare talk to each other on NextDoor about people who do not obey our laws.

“Think about the amount of time it would take to arrest all the campers and process them for a misdemeanor.”

Please. Give them citations. Once faced with the choice of payment, jail time, or leaving, they’ll take the last.

“...unsanitary as they are,”

Yes, we’re risking an outbreak of Hepatitis A. Your tender concern for persons who might die because we won’t enforce laws against illegal camping is quite touching. (Or are you hoping Hep’ A will spread via NextDoor?)

“...the camps are not causing a widespread breakdown in order in the city. ”

“Open flouting of the law is a widespread breakdown in order.” Fixed that for you; you’re welcome. Have some Hep’ A while you’re at it.


@70 - serious question: how do you plan to restore order? Citations? Mass arrest? Construction of thousands of shelter beds?

I don’t love the camps, I am not arguing that there should be two sets of laws, but i recognize that when you have a few thousand people camping on the streets, any course of action - even mass arrests - is extremely expensive.

So yes, i do begrudge law-abiding people getting together on Nextdoor to exaggerate the nature of the problem and demand some symbolic action that won’t do shit to solve it and them waste SPD’s time deamding they correct their crime stats.

Use Nextdoor for good. Read the city's pathwaya home plan and offer constructive changes. Identify a different funding plan to replace the head tax.

Funny how i never see those discussions on there. People are too busy organizing citizen bigrades to catch package thieves.


@66 It looks like you make a career out of slamming the less privileged people in this city. Its good that there are many that don’t buy your irrational claims about the poor who you apparently know nothing about. Are you a banker?


If you are a banker then you helped create homelessness but you don’t go to jail.


@70 - also couldnt help but notice you ignored my bellevue quip. Im guessing you cant afford to move somewhere else, and you dont want to adit that all of us have a little more in common with the homeless than we like to admit. We may not be living in tents, but unless our names are bezos or gates, none of us feel too secure in the city.


Bankers openly flouted many laws but we don’t see you demanding they be punished. Do we?


@74: “...also couldnt help but notice you ignored my bellevue quip.”

Of course you couldn’t. How could any human being worthy of the name possibly ignore your divine brilliance? (I hope you didn’t lose too much sleep over it...)

Seriously, though, it’s not actually anyone else’s job to shovel away every pile of your wet, steaming “wisdom” you just so happen to dump on a comment thread.

“Im guessing you cant afford to move somewhere else,”

You guessed wrong. Straight-up housing costs for my family would be lower in most of Bellevue. The commute would be a pain, as all of us either work or go to school in Seattle. (Most of us commute on foot; we do not own a car.) Why should we move from Seattle, which we love, just because you’re too foolish, cheap, or whatever to understand our laws should be enforced? How about you move to some shithole where junkies, drunks and tweakers can rob you with even more impunity?

As for your stubborn insistence that crime just cannot possibly be under-reported, consider all of those illegal encampments, piled high with stolen property. Do you believe every last stolen item was reported to the police?


@76 - such anger. All you’ve done is prove mudede’s point - people like you are out of touch with reality, consumed by fantasies of revenge for petty crime. Get some sleep. Maybe if you rest up youll better enjoy this city you claim to love so much.


@77: “- such anger.”

No, anger reads like this: “Stfu dya diaf.”

“All you’ve done is prove mudede’s point...”

That persons concerned about possible under-reporting of crime are to be mocked if they are white and well-off, and ignored if they are from multiple ethnic groups and more working-class? Nope, not my point, I’m very proud to say.

“...out of touch with reality,”

Which of us has mentioned a possible outbreak of Hep’ A?

“...consumed by fantasies of revenge for petty crime.”

You might want to have a child explain to you the difference between “justice” and “revenge,” because you’re showing no understanding of that distinction here.

“...better enjoy this city you claim to love so much.”

Sorry, stayed up late on the balcony to watch the Summer sunset over the Sound and behind the Olympics. (Had a beer, too.) It’s quite a view.

I couldn’t help but notice you ignored my question: “Do you believe every last stolen item was reported to the police?”

Or is crime in Seattle under-reported?

Let us know when you’ve made a decision.


@76 - also, i imagine it takes a lot of energy to jerk it while uploading a photo of that suspicious guy you caught on your doorbell cam. “And then he....unnnh...stole my amazon package...ohhhhhh...i think he was....oh my god oh my YES YES YES!”


@78 - how long have you lived in the city? During that time, how many crimes have you been a victim of?

I want to separate fantasy (oh, please, let me catch them in the act! Oh, i want to be mr, tough man..) from reality (facts, actual things that have happened to you in real life).

Reporting a homeless camp doesnt count, unless you were assaulted on your way past.


@78 - i ignored your because it was a stupid question. What i imagine is true or untrue about a stat makes it no less valid.

Brw, I have been the victim of four crimes in seattle in 20 years, all reported. None in the last five.


"What i imagine is true or untrue about a stat makes it no less valid."

It's a really simple question: do you believe that all of the thefts, all of the resultant fencings of that stolen property, and all of the drug purchases with the monies made from those fencings have been reported? If you truly believe that crime is not under-reported, then all you have to do is answer yes. It really is that simple.

" long have you lived in the city?" Over twenty-five years.

"During that time, how many crimes have you been a victim of?"

Two bicycle thefts, both reported. (I grew up in New York during the high-crime period, so I'm usually pretty cautious. Everyone slips up now and again, though.) One of my overnight guests had her car's window smashed so the ever-so-bright thief could take her vehicle's cheapest-of-the-factory-options stereo.

"I want to separate fantasy (oh, please, let me catch them in the act! Oh, i want to be mr, tough man..) from reality (facts, actual things that have happened to you in real life)."

The longer you persist, the less evidence you provide of your ability to make such a distinction. Despite your comic-book level of fantasy, I'm neither paranoid about crime nor some Batman-style wanna-be crazed vigilante. I just recognize there is no benefit in our allowing encampments full of drug-using drifters to steal our stuff, endanger our children and seniors, and leave actual human shit, as well as garbage including needles, strewn about our public spaces. If you believe there is some function of local government which is more deserving of our tax dollars than protecting our health and safety, I'd honestly like for you to explain, in detail with examples, exactly what it is. I freely admit that I have no idea as to what it could possibly be.

(Finally, we residents here pay our complex's employees to watch the security cameras. It's a lot more efficient that way. As is having controlled entries into our residential hallways.)


@82 - if youve been the victim of call it three crimes, one every eight years give or take on average, the camps offend you on a more or less cosmetic basis. They flout a law. They’re unsightly. Theyre gross.

I agree with all those things, but they dnt justify the level of fear and anger. And while yes, i want the city to come up with policy that will improve the situation, it is not the most deserving use of resources as of right now, not even the most deserving use of law enforcement resources (im guessing they have aome murders and other crimes committed by sheltered residents that should probably take precedence). The eectorate agrees with me - both of the last two attempts to fund the homeless response have gotten brutally shut down.

Again - i agree with you that the camps are a problem - i just dont believe that:

there has been some massive uptick in crime
the city is somehow falling apart (or inasmuch as it is, unchecked development is having a far greater negative impact than the camps)
the fear and apocalyptic posturing on venues like Nextdoor is in any way justified or helpful
homeless encampments are even close to the #1 policy priority for city government (affordable housing, which would help the less visible segment of the homeless, actually would be my #1 priority for the city).

But again - i would prefer there not be camping or open drug use or public defecation. I am against all those things, just like you.


"They flout a law. They’re unsightly. Theyre gross."

They are an outbreak of disease waiting to happen, and Summer has just started. Los Angeles and San Diego dealt with Hep' A outbreaks recently, traced to homeless persons. Maybe we can give Ivy a job disinfecting our sidewalks after encampments are swept. ;-)

"I agree with all those things, but they dnt justify the level of fear and anger."

They justify some level of fear, as anything which can hurt us should. The inaction by our city to protect us from this needless threat should cause anger amongst us citizens.

"The eectorate agrees with me - both of the last two attempts to fund the homeless response have gotten brutally shut down."

The EHT ("head tax") wasn't going to do squat to end homelessness, and everyone not on the City Council knew it. Hence union-represented iron workers yelling at CM Sawant not to tax their jobs to fund more boondoggles. A proposal to give police and social services more money to sweep the camps and house the inhabitants might have a very different fate.

We're making progress on housing those who want our help:

"Among the sheltered population, the number of persons residing in emergency shelter increased by 3% (94 persons) and the number of persons residing in transitional housing and safe havens decreased by 17% (460 persons). The decrease in the sheltered population was due in part to the successful conversion of transitional housing to permanent housing."

But our homeless population keeps increasing. Why?

"The largest increase was observed among individuals living in vehicles. In 2018, there were an estimated 3,372 persons living in cars, RVs, and vans. This represented a 46% increase compared to 2017, when there were an estimated 2,314 persons living in vehicles."

How many of those are chronic drifters? Plenty, I'd wager. (Deeper in the report, the number of RVs doubled from the 2017 count. Either run-down RVs reproduce by some form of cellular mitosis, or a lot of them were driven here over the past year.) Many of these people don't want our help. They want to drink or get high, pay no rent, and steal to get by. It's upon them we visit the most expensive solution, that of police action. And to justify resources spent on more police, we have to ensure crime does not go under-reported, as it most definitely is now.

And one point on which the Seattle electorate does agree with you, at least in part:

"Seattle voters signed on to a $290 million property-tax levy for low-income housing Tuesday, twice the amount approved seven years ago at the tail end of the Great Recession.


"Amid rising rents, homeless encampments, bidding wars and displacement, the measure was passing with 68 percent."

We gladly voted to spend money on affordable housing. (Maybe we are actually decent people, after all...) But few if any of the tent city tweakers will ever live in any of the units we build.


@84 - you sure do worry a lot about hep a.

Again, not a fan of encampments. Dont think its as simple to solve as you think it is. If it were as easy as writing citations, the city would gladly go that route versus the hassle of the camp sweeps.

The other part of this is i guess your feelings were hurt because charles mocked the fine denizens of magnolia. After this long, long discussion, ive realized he was wrong. You guys arent overreacting. You dont spend dawn to dusk building homeless people up into the focus of all your anger. He was clearly 100% wrong and shpuld be fired.

I wish i could continue this debate, but me and some friends, after reading your posts, have decided to go beat some homeless people with baseball bats. Busy busy!


It blows my mind that Gene failed to even mention parental status as a possible explaination for greater fear of crime. SFH areas have a higher percentage of adults with kids - and parents see danger EVERYWHERE. They are hard wired to vigilance, and keeping their children safe. Areas of density where young, single, childless people live - are areas where young people, still in their 'risk taking years' congregate. When I was a 20-something partier, it was a badge of honor to go to clubs in dangerous areas. Can you imagine parents with kids doing the same?


Jesus, arguing about un-reported crimes is just a sideshow. If we all agree that crime is probably worse than the stats (how much? who knows!) and that un-reported crimes are a thing, then can we just proportionally increase the rates across the city by, say, 10%, and table that discussion? So Magnolia gets a bump, yay! Their crime is worse than the stats say it is! Just like everywhere else in the city!

Everyone hates crime! But the points raised by the articles are still valid: Certain areas of the city that have lower rates of crime relative to others have a disproportionately greater fear of crime. That is an interesting phenomenon, owing to NextDoor/Facebook awfulness, more local news watching/reading/sharing, white people being scared of brown people, homeowners being scared of seeing homeless people, etc.

This is a very real issue, and will be an issue even if the crime rate is 0.1%. That .1% will drive everyone crazy.


@85: "you sure do worry a lot about hep a."

As @86 perfectly noted, I have a child who is not yet old enough to have had a Hep' A vaccination. The thought of my child suffering and/or dying because enforcing our laws against camping is JUST! TOO! HARD! doesn't sit well with me. Puzzle over that all you like.

"The other part of this is i guess your feelings were hurt because charles mocked the fine denizens of magnolia."

For, um, being perhaps overly concerned about the state of affairs in their city while, at the very same time, not living on South Beacon Hill. What a horrible thing for citizens to do! Who do they think they are? Why couldn't they just obey Mayor Murray's order to stop using NextDoor? Or they could have moved to South Beacon Hill! Then everything would have been just peachy.


@88 - oh, you have a child? I understand now. No cost is too high to keep your child 100% safe.

With my kid, i was forced to teach him some hard lessons about hep a.

If you see humam excrement, dont eat it.
Never have unprotected anal sex with a homeless person.
Dont shoot up with discarded needles, no matter how tempting it might be to get high.
Never let fear allow you to overreact or treat a class of people as subhuman.

It was tough but he learned.


My beloved car was broken into and rifled through for drug money by gang wannabes three times in the mid nineteen nineties---until the Eastside slumlord we rented from finally sold his Ballard tax write-off to an exponentially more responsible older couple living in Sandpoint who knew to put in a garage door ("D'uh!"). That solved that problem (although we still moved out in '97). That was twenty-three years ago. I can't imagine living in Seattle--let alone Ballard---nowadays.



"The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with fecally contaminated environments. The majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A during this outbreak have been homeless and/or illicit drug users."

Too bad the entire San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, everyone working there all together, could not do as good a job as you all alone by yourself were easily able to do. How about you move there and show them how it's done? You could start by telling them about all of the local government spending which is way, way, WAY more important than sweeping illegal homeless encampments. I'm sure they'd appreciate knowing such a vital part of avoiding future outbreaks of Hep' A.

"If you see humam excrement, dont eat it."

Not only did you impart this vital knowledge, you did so in direct contravention to the only method of ingesting knowledge that you yourself have ever used. That just makes your accomplishment all the greater!

San Diego awaits!


@91 - i find it totally normal that you follow hep a outbreaks in another city. That doesnt seem like a bizarre fascination at all.


@92: Because outbreaks of easily-preventable diseases are just so gosh darned common in countries with wealthy, well-educated populations, a person would need to make a special effort to find a particular one. Such an outbreak just wouldn’t be nationally newsworthy, all by itself.

Plus, with a name like San Diego, it’s probably in Latin America anyway, right? As far as you know.

(Try no to eat your best work. Hep’ A and all that.)


@90 - compared to three times in quick succession, its better. Your car will get smash and grabbed if theres something of obvious value left out in plain sight. Leave your car unlocked overnight, and chances are higher than 50-50 itll get rifled through. Compared to some other cities i experienced in the 90’s, endemic prowls for loose change are not a thing anymore - used to be any car was a target if there was any change at all visible. Not sure why the pattern has changed, but from personal experience, it has. Thats not to say theres no car prowls, but theyre different and easier to discourage.


Gene Balk took an internet survey that was not meant to accurately profile any neighborhood and used it to do just that. This survey was an opt-in survey. Gene Balk and the survey designers don’t know the relationship between the sample (the people who took the survey) and the population as a whole. Which means you don’t know how accurate the answers reflect the population as a whole. This speaks to respondents’ bias and the motivation behind why they took the survey- i.e. were they crime victim, have time on their hand to take the survey, easy access to the internet, etc.?

That’s a big deal. Data wonk people know this. They know how hard it is to clean up this type of survey even when weighted. You can’t figure out sampling error or accuracy, etc.

That’s why to use this opt-in internet survey by the Balk’s article deserves scrutiny. If other journalists want to pile on to make some kind of editorial point, then they need to be very, very careful. It is far too easy these days to spread misinformation, even unintended, and we see this happening daily in our newsfeed. It’s how news is being weaponized and used to interfere very effectively to make huge changes on a national and international scale. As in Trump and Russia, Brexit and Russia, EU and Russia, China’s One Belt, One Road and so forth.

If some people think to win this by copying what the opposition (Fox News or the Russians) is doing, think again. The money is not on your side. If you start off alienating vast swath of people, peoole pwho actually have far more in common with you, by whole scale demonization of them and using contorted data to fit your narrative, then all you have achieved is to make sure news is now a lie and only those with the biggest bullhorn such as Sinclair Media and the Murdochs, prevail.

From the Pew Research Center:

“Historically, public opinion surveys have relied on the ability to adjust their datasets using a core set of demographics – sex, age, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, and geographic region – to correct any imbalances between the survey sample and the population. These are all variables that are correlated with a broad range of attitudes and behaviors of interest to survey researchers. Additionally, they are well measured on large, high-quality government surveys such as the American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, which means that reliable population benchmarks are readily available.

But are they sufficient for reducing selection bias6 in online opt-in surveys? Two studies that compared weighted and unweighted estimates from online opt-in samples found that in many instances, demographic weighting only minimally reduced bias, and in some cases actually made bias worse.“

“Another internet survey strategy relies on convenience samples of internet users. Researchers use one-time surveys that invite participation from whoever sees thesurvey invitation online, or rely on panels of respondents who opt-in or volunteer to participate in the panel. These surveys are subject to the same limitations facing other surveys using nonprobability-based samples: the relationship between the sample and the population is unknown so there is no theoretical basis for computing or reporting a margin of sampling error and thus for estimating how representative the sample is of the population as a whole.”


@95: Thank you for doing some of the heavy lifting about statistics. Often lay persons miss the overarching importance of having a random sample when conducting surveys of the public. If the sample is not random, it may or may not be worthwhile to attempt data processing, as you noted.

Balk did three things, all of them misleading*. First, as you noted, he used the survey for a purpose for which it had not been designed. Second, as you also noted, he assumed the responses were actually representative of the population surveyed. Third, he simply assumed the official crime statistics were valid, even though that was the very point the survey's respondents had contested. He then scolded entire neighborhoods for having an unrealistic view of events, when it was his approach which actually lay at the origin of the problem. When some citizens complained, fools like Mudede and his commentariat here were more than happy to pile on the abuse. (I had expected more of Erica Barnett, though.)

*I'm not accusing him of attempting to mislead anyone.


Charles, you’re not from Seattle and therefore don’t understand the way the city has changed for the worse. You spreading false narratives and fake news are part of the problem. People are tired of it and are finally waking up


I have lived here my entire life, and i just do not recognize the city all the people so vehemently disagreeing with charles are describing. Are there homeless? Yes. Is there crime? Yes. Is it susbtantially worse than it’s ever been? No. Does it justify this intense demonization of the homeless, this frenzy of security cam screen caps and anger at the city? Not even close.

I guess people have forgotten or don’t know what a pit downtown was, back when neiman marcus closed up shop and woolworths was still open, back when we didn’t have a Pacific Place. There were obituaries written for the beloved downtown retail core. There were homeless and junkies then, just like there are now (i would go so far as to say it was worse then - a lot worse).

Remember three short years ago when crime and drug use downtown were soooooo bad, the seattle police decided to crack down and the city council made it a crime to be in an alleyway? Everyone thought it was a disgrace and tourists would never want to be here. That was approximately 14 billion cruise ships ago.

Could things be better? Sure, but charles isn’t wrong to say that the reaction of people in certain neighborhoods is completely out of proportion to the actual problem. People who haven’t known a truly dangerous ‘hood make it sound like they’re living in Beirut.

Finally, is charles being glib? Totally. Unfair? Sure. Is he wrong? Nope. This fear of crime is like a religious hysteria.


@98: Piling on your opinion doesn't actually change any of the problems related @95. If you'd stop and read that comment, you'll see that Charles is the one making hysterical statements here. The survey was not necessarily representative of the city as a whole, and it was never intended to describe individual neighborhoods. We have no idea if people in Seattle really over-rate crime or not; this very point you keep claiming is not, in fact, supported by the data Gene Balk and Charles are citing. (They just wrongly believe it is.)

As to whether crime is under-reported, we've already noted that not every chopped-up bicycle in every illegal encampment was reported as stolen, so of course crime is under-reported. The question is, does that make a difference? Nobody knows. Charles just claims he does, and uses that ignorant claim to lambaste any citizens he happens already not to like.

Finally, if you want people to believe you're the rational one on this topic, you might not want to ignore the rather obvious health and safety issues posed by filthy, crime-ridden illegal encampments.


The thing that has changed - and changed dramatically - is the cost of things and congestion. The demand for housing, services, road space - all that has increased tenfold.


@99 - let me be really clear. Just because you and mallow decided you dont agree with the interpretation of the survey in the times doesnt mean anyone else here has to address those contentions before commenting further on this thread. And just because something strikes you as “rather obvious” doesnt mean its obvious at all.

You seem to think just because you comment ad nauseum on every article on this site and end every comment thread with a self-congratulatory circle jerk that you get to decide what's valid and what’s not.

I trust Gene Balk - a professional journalist - more than i trust you and mallow. I also trust what i can see with my own eyes on this and other sites: an overstated hatred/fear of petty crime and the homeless. You can dress it up with pseudo statistical opinions all you like, you can condescendingly post links to sources youve misinterpeted until youre blue in the face; but from where i sit, youre just a pathetic troll who ignores his family so he can play judge dredd of the comments board of a site you love to hate. Its really pathetic.

I see you in the other thread, conflating a slowdown in an increase in prices with a decline in prices, and thats when i know youre not operatiing in good faith. Dont know what you get out of it, but it definitely doesnt earn you the right to tell me or anyone else how i or anyone can or cannot comment.


@101: “...right to tell me or anyone else how i or anyone can or cannot comment.”

The only person in this thread who has told anyone else not to comment was you, @60, when you told mallow to “
Stfu”. (It appears his blithe disobedience of your impertinent order is really getting to you.) We merely advised you to consider the consequences of accepting dodgy information to support claims. If you want a day-drinking hipster lifestyle columnist here at The Stranger to lead you along by the nose, we can’t stop you.

“I trust Gene Balk - a professional journalist - ”

That’s called “appeal to authority,” and it’s not a valid argument, but rather the opposite: a logical fallacy. It actually lowers the credibility of any argument it is used to support. (Just thought you should know.)

You wanted to issue scolding, judgy dismissals of your fellow citizens’ conversations about crime — to be the self-appointed Thought Police of our collective civic dialog — and you didn’t like hearing that your evidence was actually garbage. Too bad for you.

(Oh— and you already told us everything we need to know about your tender concern for family when you mocked a parent for showing concern over a child’s health.)

Has anyone from Magnolia gotten back to you yet?


I live in an apartment building in Upper Fremont, right next to ~million dollar homes.
There were a couple of burglaries of lower floor apartments, and car break ins in the accessible part of the garage; however the struggle with package thieves breaking into a locked hallway over the last two years, for me, is really illustrative of the situation in Seattle. They've installed cameras and lights to no effect (property crime in Seattle is not prosecuted). They've installed metal net on the glass portion of the door because the package thieves would break the glass and open the door. Then they've installed a drill-proof (?) lock because the less fortunate were drilling the lock out, but then the door was pried open with a crowbar or something. They've now installed a metal plate making the latter hard to do, and the packages are safe for a time because the people who just need to get back on their feet haven't stolen a battering ram yet I guess. Even the trash containers are being locked at night because someone was stealing recycling, and apparently discarded documents for identity theft, and making a huge mess, when they weren't. The police doesn't even come for minor stuff like breaking and entering.

I ride the E and I saw people assaulted a few times with no consequences whatsoever; my wife is afraid to ride buses in Seattle by herself.

This qualifies as lawlessness. As such being a full on liberal 3-5 years ago, I'm now a qualified centrist and would personally pitch in for the bullets if SPD got an lawful order to shoot petty criminals on sight. Comparing to worse neighborhoods is about as meaningful as when republicans claim American poor are not poor because unlike the world poor they have Big Macs and cable TV.

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