Won’t you be my neighbor? : Today so far


Fear of crime is down in Seattle. Crime reports are on the rise. And people can feel closer.

This post originally appeared in KUOW’s Today So Far newsletter on April 26, 2022.

Up to point: Fear of crime is at an all-time low in Seattle, but reported crime is on the rise across the city. And one of the factors behind it all is how close you feel to your neighbors.

That’s the big takeaway from Seattle University’s 2021 Public Safety Survey. It examines local crime and perceptions on an annual basis.

“Overall, city-wide and precinct-wide, fear of crime rates has decreased, which is surprising given the concerns people have expressed about particularly violent crime becoming the main concern,” Seattle University professor Jacqueline Helfgott said in a conversation with KUOW’s Kim Malcom.

I’m not going to try to explain Seattle’s big brain in this story. But I will point out something Professor Helfgott said about how the survey tries to measure “social cohesion”.

“Social cohesion measures the degree to which people know their neighbours, talk to their neighbours, rely on their neighbours. One of the interesting things about the 2021 results is that social cohesion appears to have increased. Historical research has shown that when people are closer to their neighbors, and when there is greater social cohesion, they have less fear of crime.This could be a potential explanation for the lower scores on fear of crime across the city.

Do you feel closer to your neighbors? I confess that I am not the best neighbour, the most sociable. Of course, I can type remotely in my work environment in pajamas optional. But talking to someone in person and conveying something resembling a personality? It seems so exhausting. But I have a feeling most of Seattle has had a different experience over the past two years with people working from home, taking on gardening projects, or stopping to chat on walks around the neighborhood. What has your neighborhood experience been like lately?

You can read the full survey here. Briefly, it has two main groups of conclusions. Top concerns of people who live and/or work in Seattle are: police capacity; property crimes; homelessness; road safety; and public safety and community capacity. The main themes people talked about were: property crimes; public order crime, violent crime; public safety and community capacity; and city politics.

Be advised: This next story is going to involve sex work. But I think it speaks to this concept of “neighbor” and the people who live around us.

There’s a documentary that just debuted at the Seattle International Film Festival that’s sparking local conversation. “Sweetheart Deal” follows four sex workers along Aurora Avenue in Seattle. Anyone who’s been through this stretch knows what this movie is about. It’s not like it’s a big secret. But if you’re like me, you just go on thinking, “Wow, it’s really cold too.”

KUOW’s Sound side recently spoke with Dr. Shireesha Dhanireddy who works with many sex workers on Aurora Avenue. She also founded the SHE Clinic. This issue is complicated and covers various life situations, addiction, homelessness, etc. But Dr Dhanireddy notes that at the heart of this problem are our neighbours.

“One of the things we often hear is that people feel invisible,” Dhanireddy said. “Being homeless robs them of that dignity of being seen and heard. And I think it’s really important in our community to recognize that they’re all our neighbors.”

“When you think of the women of Aurora, that’s your survival sex. That’s exchange sex, that’s housing sex, or heroin, or meth, or whatever. what they need right now is not to make a profit, and some would say that’s not a choice.


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EJ Strickland, dressed for graduation from Auburn High School, with his parents, Kathleen Keliikoa-Strickland and Enosa Strickland Sr. The Strickland family has filed a federal lawsuit against Auburn Police Officer Kenneth Lyman and the city ​​of Auburn, alleging that Lyman’s negligence and unconstitutionally excessive force resulted in the death of their son on May 20, 2019. The lawsuit says that since joining the Auburn Police Department in 2016, Lyman has been the subject of at least a dozen use of force reviews. (Courtesy of the Strickland family)


There are many brand names we use for generic items. For example, you probably say “Hacky Sack” when referring to a footbag. The “Hacky Sack” brand was invented by Mike Marshall and John Stalberger in 1972 in Oregon City, Oregon. Today it is owned by the Wham-O toy company. But they weren’t the first to come up with the idea of ​​riding around in a bag full of sand, beads, etc.

Footbag games and similar games have always been common in cultures around the world, especially in parts of Asia where people also play around something resembling a shuttlecock. The game of “jianzi” in China dates back to the Han dynasty, nearly 2,000 years ago; it was used in military training. In Vietnam, it is called “đá cầu”. There is also Chinlone in Myanmar. And there is Bass in Norway. There are variations on the theme, but the basic idea is to prevent an object from touching the ground using only your feet. I recommend you take a look at sepak takraw from Thailand which brings this concept to a volleyball court.

But in the United States we know it as Hacky Sack. As the Hacky Sack legend says, Stalberger was recovering from a knee injury and Marshall introduced him to using a foot bag as an exercise. Marshall said he learned it from a Native American while serving in the military (they were in jail for being absent). Exercise became a popular pastime with Stalberger and Marshall, who said they would “hack the bag” every time they went to play. And the brand was born.


Matthew Ansley 1189637 Unsplash

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Biden says he will give millions for jobs and housing for formerly incarcerated people

The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled a plan that will allocate $145 million to develop “reintegration plans” for those incarcerated that would connect them to resources, such as jobs, housing and loans upon release. . The plan is Biden’s latest move to tackle the criminal justice reform the president has incorporated into his 2020 presidential campaign.



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