Tuesday, January 30, 2007

City Light Warns Customers About Scams

SEATTLE- Seattle City Light is urging its customers to be on guard against telephone con artists posing as utility bill collectors.

Recently, several customers reported that they received phone calls from people claiming to be City Light bill collectors. The callers claimed there was a problem with payment of the customer's bill and demanded credit card information to resolve the matter.

The scammers appear to be targeting the elderly and customers who may have a primary language other than English.

Carol Dickinson, director of customer relations and account services, said City Light wants to help its customers protect themselves from such scams.

"We do not make outbound calls to customers asking for money to pay their bill or to ask for personal account or customer information as part of our daily work," Dickinson said. "We respect customer privacy and take security of customer account and payment information seriously. We take many pro-active steps to ensure that customer information is kept safe."

City Light sends at least two written warnings to customers who are about to have their power turned off, asking them to contact the utility directly to make a payment.

City Light also would like to remind customers:
  • Seattle City Light never asks customers over the telephone for credit card information to pay their bills.
  • Seattle City Light does not call customers on weekends.
  • Seattle City Light employees carry identification with the City Light logo and will always display it when asked.
All City Light customers are advised to take down the name and telephone number of anyone who calls and represents themselves as a City Light employee. Also, before a customer provides anyone with credit information, they should call City Light at 684-3000 to verify that the request is legitimate.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

StarTrek/Stranger/Work/Music & Hablas Espanol

Star Trek Enterprise.

I bought & watched the entire 4 seasons of Enterprise. I had seen the show before when it ran on tv but seeing it again made me realize how much I really liked the show and how much I miss Star Trek.

Two artists I been listening to alot lately.

Rookie Of The Year reminds me of what The Juliana Theory used to sound like.

Powered by iSOUND.COM

Clair De Lune has an amazing sound, reminds me of "at the drive in"

American Idol
I love this show. It's like watching some terrible car crash. You know you probably should turn away but you cant. I laughed so hard last night when this girl freaked out.

Hablas Espanol
I have been trying to practice my spanish. I used to be really fluent but its been a long time. In late March Matt and I will be in Europe. We plan to spend a few days in Spain and I would really like to feel comfortable speaking spanish again. I have been watching lots of Univision, Canal 52, and listening to ABC news in spanish. If there are any fluent spanish speakers out there that would like to practice with me over lunch or coffee please let me know. I could use the practice.

The Stranger Blog(slog)
Probably one of the most entertaining blogs out there. http://www.thestranger.com/blog/

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Seattle Apartment Rentals on the Rise

Here is an interesting article I read today about the Seattle Apartment Market
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Seattle is among the top 10 apartment markets for 2007 (Seattle ranked 7th, New York 1st). Which means it is going to get harder and hard to live downtown region. Expect rent to go up in 2007. ( "average asking rents will climb 5.4 percent to $980 a month.")

Seattle Apartment Rentals on the Rise

Here is an interesting article I read today about the Seattle Apartment Market
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Seattle is among the top 10 apartment markets for 2007 (Seattle ranked 7th, New York 1st). Which means it is going to get harder and hard to live downtown region. Expect rent to go up in 2007. ( "average asking rents will climb 5.4 percent to $980 a month.")

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I know this is late but check out this crazy car crash

I wanted to post this early but I was waiting for this to appear on YouTube. Check out this car crash in Portland from a few days ago.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Olympic Sculpture Park Grand Opening Jan 20th

Taken from www.seattleartmuseum.org

Olympic Sculpture Park Grand Opening Celebration
Presented by Target

Two-Day Celebration: Saturday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 21
January 20, 2007
11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Olympic Sculpture Park

You are invited to celebrate the opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park. Two full days of free festivities will kick off this historic occasion in grand style. Events and activities will include two stages of live music and dance, art making for kids and adults, artist demonstrations, self-guided park tours, and more!
Get detailed visitor information about the park.

Saturday, January 20
Free Shuttles to the Park!
Every Hour, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA
1700 23rd Ave., Seattle

Shoreline / South County YMCA
1220 NE 175th St., Shoreline

Highline YMCA
17874 Des Moines Memorial Dr., Burien

Every 15 Minutes, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Seattle Center Parking Lot
308 Roy St., Seattle

Art Institute of Seattle Parking Lot
2323 Elliott Ave., Seattle
(Pick up at Alaskan Way)

Saturday, January 20, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
11 a.m. Park Dedication
Noon Josephine Howell
1 p.m. North Indian Dance by Archana Kumar/South Indian Dance by Adhithi Verkat
1:30 p.m. The Radost Folk Ensemble
2 p.m. RED HOTZ
3 p.m. Gansango's Mandinka Music Trio
3:30 p.m. Nu Black Arts West Theatre
4 p.m. Acrobatics by Circus Contraption's Jason Williams and Evelyn Bittner
4:30 p.m. Heather Rastovac Iranian Dance
4:30 p.m. Bishnutz on Buckets w/ Electronics
5 p.m. Choklate
6 p.m. Sabzi (from Blue Scholars)
7 p.m. Breakdancing by the Massive Monkees
8 p.m. Sabzi (from Blue Scholars)
Check out Sunday's line up.

This event is free!

First Hill/Capitol Hill Condos and Townhomes

Here are some Condos/Townhomes under 299,000 Click to View
Here are some Condos/Townhomes 300k to 425k Click to View

New First Hill/Capitol Hill Conversion : The Decatur

The Decatur was a very nice apartment building so I am actually very excited to see what it looks like as a condo.

Here here are some details I have recieved regarding some of the conversion upgrades

1 bedroom 1 bath will run between 225,000~305,000
2 bedroom 1 bath will run between $345,000~425,000

Some of the upgrades you can expect at Decatur will include

  • Luxurious formal lobby with daytime concierge

  • The homes have hardwood floors in the entry and kitchen; slab granite countertops, mosaic tile backsplash in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, hex-tile bathroom floors

  • If anyone is interested in checking them out with me let me know.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Now that the snow is melting, head over to Barnes & Noble

    Barnes & Noble is having a 2 for 1 sale on all tv shows.
    I ran out and got Season 1 and 2 of the short lived Enterprise Show

    Some good shows worth picking up
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Battlestar Galactica

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Let's get high and rob banks!

    Apparently thats what Seattle is good at.

    Seattle ranks 2nd nationwide for highest drug use (article)
    Seattle ranks 4th for bank robberies (article)

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    For those who have wanted to visit the neighborhood Georgetown

    Yelp recently sent out a newsletter that was all about the Seattle Georgetown Neighborhood. I thought it was pretty interesting so here it is.

    With a catchy slogan like, "Georgetown, it's not just for hookers anymore" who can resist checking out this burgeoning little community? Nestled under the Boeing flight path, and home to numerous quirky businesses, this is one unique neighborhood worth exploring.

    If you are going to fit in with the locals down there you're going to need to pick yourself up a scooter. Everyone in Georgetown seems to travel via scooter, and the best place to pick one up is Vespa Seattle. These folks helped ease Robby M through the scooter buying experience by humoring him for over an hour and ensuring he found the perfect scooter. Put on your helmet, we're going to Georgetown!

    Go get your motor running with a little liquid fuel. Yep, it's coffee time. There's nothing better than picking up some freshly brewed Vita at All City Coffee. With free wi-fi, great music and friendly patrons Magalie D likes to call this spot "Georgetown's living room." Hmm...maybe that's why people actually talk to each other here.

    All that socializing really works up an appetite doesn't it? Luckily, Georgetown is home to several amazing diners. The Georgetown Truckstop might not be fancy, but it sure does serve up some amazing grub. Bounce B says "The owner pulls off daily miracles of perfect eggs, god's own hash brown casserole, Seattle's best breakfast burrito, and homemade cookies." If it's a "bikerish atmosphere" and delish sandwiches you are craving Michelle R says to head to Smarty Pants. We've heard they also serve up some mean hash browns and the spiciest bloody mary's in town!

    Now that your belly is full, take a stroll over to the newly opened Fantagraphics Books to check out some of the best indie comic books ever published. Serene C declares that there "Ain't no shame in being a comic loving girl in this day and age, mostly due to legendary Fantagraphics Books." What these folks have done for the art of comics is unparallel and we have them in our own backyard. Go check 'em out. OK... OK... so comic books aren't for everybody. So simply turn your head and check out Georgetown Records , it's housed under the same roof. There now, this place has a little something for everyone!

    Wait a minute, what's that sound? Beer. Freshly brewed beer to be precise. Run on over to Georgetown Brewing Company where Jon B recommends picking up a growler of beer. What's a growler you ask? Why, it's a half gallon of beer! Unfortunately you can't drink it at the brewery so go stash it under the seat of the scooter and walk across the street to the 9 LB Hammer to grab a pint and a bowl of peanuts. Matt K warns that the "9lb Hammer is addicting" and he has done serious damage to his liver here. Let's drink to Matt K's health, and to Georgetown!

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    Ballard one of America's Best Eco-Neighborhoods

    From the Natural Home and Garden Magazine
    Top 10 Eco-Neighborhoods

    "Our picks for the country’s top urban neighborhoods encourage the healthy, eco-conscious good life. These burgs boast community involvement; shopping, libraries and schools within a walkable area; public transportation; and locally owned businesses."

    Ballard comes in at Number 10

    10. Seattle, Washington

    Located in northwest Seattle close to downtown, the Ballard neighborhood has a rich maritime history, Scandinavian roots, varied architecture and an energetic business district with nightlife, coffee shops, boutiques, wine bars and a lively music scene.

    Curb appeal:

    • Lots of trees, nearby parks, access to kayaking and sailing
    • Roof with 18,000 low-water-use plants atop the Ballard Branch of the Seattle Public Library.
    • Successful curbside recycling program
    • High-density neighborhood: empty lots transformed into condos; run-down industrial sites razed and turned into homes
    • Green, LEED-certified condos in Hjärta (“heart” in Swedish) building

    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    Who would make the best running mate for Hillary Clinton?


    Volunteer Opportunities Available at Discovery Park

    Great Winter Volunteer Opportunities Are Available at Discovery Park

    2007 Discovery Park Volunteer Open House
    Saturday, January 13, 1 to 3 p.m.
    Interested in making a difference? Kick off the new year right by exploring the possibility of becoming a volunteer at Discovery Park. Join us for our annual open house. Meet current volunteers and find the perfect niche for your skills.

    Vacant Volunteer Positions:

    • Docent (volunteer naturalist - please see information below.)
    • Habitat restoration steward (please see "Adopt-an-area" information below)
    • Bird sightings database entry

    Docent Program 2007
    Interested in learning more about the flora and fauna of the Puget Sound region? Do you love sharing nature with others? Then you might be the perfect candidate for the Discovery Park docent program. Docents (volunteer naturalists) participate in 12 weeks of training and commit at least one year to volunteering at Discovery Park. Responsibilities include everything from helping children catch a tadpole for the first time to teaching the public the important role spiders play in the world. Docents help park visitors of all ages discover the wonders of nature. They do this by leading programs for school groups, teaching interpretive programs on the weekends, and staffing hands-on discovery stations in the busier areas of the park. Docents' backgrounds are as varied as the people they teach - the common thread is their desire to share nature with park visitors.
    Applications are due February 1, 2007, and training starts February 21.
    For more information, please call Dan Moore, the docent coordinator, at 206-386-4231, or e-mail him at dan.moore@seattle.gov

    Habitat Restoration "Adopt-an-Area" Program
    The purpose of Discovery Park's "Adopt-an-Area" program is to improve habitat for wildlife in the park's 550 acres. Volunteers perform a number of tasks, including removal of invasive plants, beach cleanups, and planting trees. We match people their interests and time commitments. You can volunteer as an individual or as a group.
    For more information, please call Dorothy Guernsey, the "Adopt-an-Area" supervisor, at 206-386-4295, or e-mail her at dorothy.guernsey@seattle.gov.

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Mayor Urges Action to Prevent Gun Violence

    SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels today called again on state leaders to pass common-sense gun laws to help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and give cities more tools to protect neighborhoods from gun violence.

    Nickels urged lawmakers in Olympia to ban assault weapons, close the gun show loophole that allows criminals to buy weapons without background checks, and require trigger locks and safe storage of firearms.

    “With guns, it only takes a moment to take a life,” Nickels said. “When it comes to stopping the flow of illegal guns on our streets, we don’t have a moment to lose.”

    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Washington State a D+ for its efforts to shield families from gun violence. State law preempts local communities from passing stricter gun regulations, leaving cities few options for curbing criminal access to guns on a local level.

    Although Seattle remains one of the safest major cities in America, guns have been involved in far too many crimes in the city. Like other major cities, Seattle is dealing with an increase in gun crime.

    Seattle police report aggravated assaults with a firearm rose 19 percent through November 2006 and were up 48 percent compared to the same period in 2004. Firearms were used in 22 of Seattle’s 31 murders through October of last year.

    “No one knows more than Seattle police officers the terrible price we all pay for not having reasonable and common-sense gun laws in this state,” said Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske. “This is about addressing the volume of guns on our streets and the ease criminals have in arming themselves.”

    Seven states have passed full or partial assault weapons bans, including California, New York and Hawaii. Seattle police seized more than 140 of these military-style weapons over the past five years. They were used in 37 violent crimes, 11 drug crimes, 14 parole violations and 25 cases of unlawful possession.

    “There is no logical reason to allow criminals access to this kind of firepower,” Nickels said. “We need a tough ban on assault weapons to get them off our streets.”

    Nationwide, 18 states have closed the gun show loophole, which allows anyone - including a convicted felon - to buy a weapon without a background check. According to a study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, gun shows are a significant source of illegally trafficked guns, supplying as much as 30 percent of all guns sold in violation of federal law. There were 42 gun shows in Washington in 2005, including 22 in the Puget Sound area.

    Passing a requirement for trigger locks and safe storage would help prevent the theft of guns from homes and reduce the chance of accidental shootings, especially among children.

    Seattle has been recognized nationally for its efforts to identify the traffickers and “straw” purchasers who supply many of the weapons used in crimes. The city has taken the lead in working with other law enforcement agencies to develop a database that will assist police in identifying the sources of guns used in crimes, known as “gun-trace data.”

    The information will be used to ensure that all licensed gun dealers in the region are playing by the rules and following federal, state and local firearm regulations.

    Nickels is a founding member of Mayors Against Gun Violence, an organization that now includes 123 mayors nationwide. This month the mayors will convene in Washington D.C. to urge the new Congress to defeat a series of gun bills that would protect criminals by making it harder for ATF and law enforcement agencies to share information on gun crimes.

    Some Good Condos/Townhomes in Seattle

    With the holiday season in the past Real Estate usually starts to pick up and we see more and more listings on the market. Seattle has 194 new listings as of Jan 1st 2007. Here are some of my favorite listings currently on the market.

    Capitol Hill Townhomes
    $384,888 108-B 21st Ave E Seattle 3 Bed 1.5 Bath 1350 Sqft
    $399,000 138-B 21 Ave E Seattle 2 Bed 2.5 Bath 1358 Sqft

    Green Lake Townhome
    $359,950 1155 N 91st St Seattle 2 Bed 2.5 Bath 1200 Sqft

    Capitol Hill Condos
    $315,000 Mezzo 711 E Denny Way unit 106 1 Bed 1 Bath 688 Sqft
    $339,990 Bolero 1323 Boren Ave unit 210 2 Bed 2 Bath 771 Sqft

    Lake Union Condos
    $258,700 2012 Waverly Pl N Unit 5 1 Bed 1 Bath 641 Sqft

    Belltown Condos
    $339,000 76 Cedar St Unit 707 1 Bed 1 Bath 640 Sqft

    If anyone is interested in checking out these units or others in the Seattle Metro Area
    Feel free to contact me

    Alex Garcia
    Keller Williams Realty
    Seattle Metro West
    4452 California Ave SW