Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AM PM closed looks like this AM PM store finally closed. It's difficult to imagine that this was a business decision based on revenue as this location was always busy. Does anyone have any clues?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Seattle Abandon Properties

The City is targeting the process of dealing with empty/troubled properties, you can read more about it here.
from the Seattle Times: "The standards and penalties related to vacant-building upkeep wouldn't actually change themselves. But the proposals reflect the city's work in preventing vacant buildings from deteriorating, keeping them safe from squatters and animals, and helping a neighborhood maintain property values and aesthetics."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Naomi Klein: Addicted to Risk talk at TED

Naomi Klein had a talk at TED about BP and addiction to risk that I enjoyed. Why did BP jump in without a backup plan? Why did we let them? You can watch it here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Oil has been Stopped

After 85 days of dumping oil into our oceans, BP has finally stopped the leak.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Shocking New Numbers

The government has released new data on the BP Deepwater spill, from the article
"By comparison, Exxon Valdez, the previous worst U.S. oil spill, was just about 11 million gallons. The worst peacetime oil spill, 1979's Ixtoc 1 in Mexico, was about 140 million gallons over 10 months. The new figures mean Deepwater Horizon is producing an Exxon Valdez size spill every five to 13 days."

An Exxon Valdez is pouring into our oceans every 5 to 13 days?!?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

BP Protests/Boycott

The NY Times has a good article about protests at BP stations including AM/PM stores and it also includes a link to the Boycott BP Facebook page which currently has over 300,000 members.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Biggest Oil Spill in History

New Government estimates now place BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the largest in American History. "Even using the most conservative estimate, that means nearly 18 million gallons have spilled so far. In the worst-case scenario, 39 million gallons have leaked." This kind of makes the Exxon Valdez look like chump change with it's 11 million gallons.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Puget Sound

Sightline has a good article that puts the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill into a local perspective. Imagine every inch of every beach that you have been to around Puget Sound covered with oil. Unfortunately there is a lot more than that, about 222 times the size of Lake Washington! This leads to another article which you can see the oil spill on an interactive map. Informative and sad.

Monday, May 10, 2010

98 Ton Cement Dome Failure

Unfortunately it sounds like BP's 98 Ton Cement Dome that was intended to act as a funnel to control the main oil spill in the Gulf has failed, so they are going to have to try something new to stop the leak.

The good news is that we could put the 98 Ton Dome to work right here in South Seattle! BP could drop that very same dome on top of their AMPM store at 5620 MLK to control the amount of trash that spews out onto the streets from their property! Unlike the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico I'm almost 100% sure that the the dome would be effective here!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

BP's trail of Shame Shame Shame

How often do I quote a Republican in an environmental blog? According to a great article in today's Seattle Times "Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told BP executives during a heated September 2006 hearing. "I'm even more concerned about BP's corporate culture of seeming indifference to safety and environmental issues. And this comes from a company that prides itself in their ads on protecting the environment. Shame. Shame. Shame."

There are too many great anti-BP articles out there to even read right now, let alone re-post for you. But are you listening South Seattle? What BP is doing in the gulf coast they have been dumping directly on us in a much smaller way for years.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

BP is Slick with their Green Washing Campaign

Mother Jones has a good article about BP's greenwashing campaign. As expected BP is trying to deflect blame from themselves and onto the offshore drilling contractor. Hmmm...why does this sound so familiar?

Could it be because this is EXACTLY the tactic that they have been using here in Columbia City for the last five years? Trying to blame their inability to pick up trash around their store on an obviously oblivious franchise owner despite the fact that BP is the actual property owner? It's nice to see that BP is at least very predictable and that their problems seem to stem from their uncaring and irresponsible corporate culture.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

BP Oil Spill Updates

The EPA has launched a website to track the BP oil spill

I wish they would launch a website to track all of the trash not being picked up around BP's AMPM store here in south Seattle, but I guess that is asking too much?

Bloomberg is also reporting that "BP’s Response to Oil Spill Lacking, Officials Say". I got a good laugh out of that one. BP must have an entire department dedicated to avoiding responsibility, it will be interesting to watch them squirm out of this one.

Friday, April 30, 2010

BP Oil Spill and Columbia City

I've been posting over on the Columbia Citizens Wiki about BP's environmental practices in our own neighborhood. Am I the only one that is not surprised that this company with a deep lack of caring for our neighborhood is also responsible for one of the largest environmental disasters of all time? The Seattle Times has updates on the oil spill here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

BP Oil Spill 5x Worse Than They Thought

It sounds like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is 5x worse than they originally thought and that as much as 5000 barrels a day are headed for sensitive environmental areas. They are attempting to drill 'relief wells' but this will take as much as 90 days to slow the flow.

Remember folks, act locally! BP owns the AMPM gas station at 5600 MLK in Columbia City. They have one of the worst environmental records in history and they have a long history of not picking up their trash right here in our neighborhood. Please do not support this store or this company.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BP Oild Spill From Outer Space

Treehugger has posted some NASA photos showing BP's oil spill from outer space.

This got me thinking that I should look at Google maps to see if you can actually see the trash piles around BP's AMPM gas station from outer space. Although it's not nearly as dramatic, you can in fact see trash piled up behind the store and in the empty lot that BP owns next door. You have to zoom in, but take a look!

View Larger Map

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day?

What did you do for Earth Day? Take the bus instead of drive? Plant some trees? Pick up trash in the neighborhood?

Well..that is not what BP did! In case you have not been watching the news...that is BP's oil rig that exploded and sunk in the Gulf of Mexico. Does this come as any surprise to anyone? BP already has the record for the largest OSHA fine in history, but maybe they will top it off by having one of the largest environmental disasters in history?

Is it any surprise that BP can't seem to take responsibility for cleaning up it's AM PM store here in South Seattle? They seem to have a deep lack of caring about the environment that seems to go through their entire company. I wish they would spend less money on green-washing advertising and more money on safety and cleaning up after themselves.

Friday, April 16, 2010

P Patch Program

The city of Seattle is looking for areas to develop new P Patches. It would be so awesome if they were able to develop the unused portion of this AM PM to be used as a P Patch rather than a trash-patch which BP seems to use it as now.

Maybe if you are feeling kind you could take a minute to suggest that to the city of Seattle? They are looking for new p patch locations and you can suggest one here. you can read more about the program here.

If you are filling out the form, the address for this location is 5620 Martin Luther King Way South and the owner of the property is BP WEST COAST PRODUCTS LLC 6 CENTERPOINTE DR LA PALMA CA 90623

Monday, March 22, 2010

G2B Ventures

I was just reading about G2B Ventures, a green company that specializes in refurbishing residential real estate in a environmentally friendly and energy efficient manor. I hope to see more of this in the future and I look forward to checking out the house they are currently working on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

derelict properties

I guess the derelict properties laws are now in place?


Friday, March 12, 2010

Responsible Property Owners

I was just reading about Umpqua Bank of Oregon, the Central District News ran a story about trash on one of their lots and they quickly came out and cleaned it up. I wish there were more responsible business property owners like this.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 2010 trash update

It is difficult to describe just how much trash sits around the AM PM Store located at 5620 Martin Luther King Way South, so I decided to post a few of the photos that I took yesterday. It is still amazing that a national chain lets them get away with this. Notice that large pile of concrete that someone dumped on their property? I first reported that in October 2008!!! A few minutes a day of picking up trash would clean up the whole neighborhood, but they just won't take care of their property.

There is a lot of new construction now along MLK including a new store going in right across the street. The neighborhood is booming except for this one store that refuses to take responsibility for itself.

Friday, December 25, 2009

What to do about Graffiti ?

Do you have graffiti in your neighborhood in Seattle and you are wondering what to do about it? Depends on if it is on private or public property according to an article in the PI. They also ran an article on what can be done about the problem. And the Stranger had an article awhile back about Seattle's Graffiti Rangers.

If you see someone actually tagging call 911 to report it. But it you don't actually catch someone in the act you can still call the police non emergency number to report it, even if it's on private property. That phone number is 206-625-5011 and I'm putting it in my cell phone soon. My New Years resolution is to report more graffiti in my neighborhood, will you join me?

You can also fill out an online form here, or call in a report to the city at (206) 684-7587

Saturday, December 19, 2009

reporting illegal dumping

Just a reminder that Seattle Public Utilities does take illegal dumping seriously. People can report problems by calling (206) 684-7587. An online report form and more information is available here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Landscaping and Old Trash

There have been very few good things that I could say about the AM/PM convenience store on MLK for the years and years that I have been tracking the trash problems at this store. But I have to admit that they kind of did a good thing recently by cleaning up and landscaping a small section of the land around their store. Now a thin strip of their property has risen to the same level as the other stores in the AM/PM chain and I'm happy to see this small improvement.

However if you look directly across the sidewalk to the parking strip it is still absolutely packed full of garbage. Do they not know that they are responsible for the upkeep of this area? Or do they just not care?

Of course the large pile of cement still sits in their alley and there has been no improvements to 85% of their greenspace. It still sits next to the store as a chained off empty lot full of garbage but I'm happy that they are finally taking some small steps to improvement.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Illegal Dumping

The PI ran an article today about illegal dumping. You can read about it here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Public Drunkenness

Travis Mayfield over at the KOMO news blog had a post about reporting public drunkenness which reminded me to put a link for the Washington State Liquor Control Board on our homepage.

If you discover a business selling alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated, Please report them at 206.439.3703

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beacon Hill Blog

Thanks for the link from the wonderful Beacon Hill Blog

I've gotten a few discouraging emails from residents of Beacon Hill that are dealing with these same issues. Keep fighting the good fight and keep reporting illegal dumping!

Nuisance Properties Update

The nuisance properties ordnance is continuing its way through the system, a full vote is expected by November 30th.

from the article in the PI

"The ordinance would define "chronic nuisance properties" as places where crimes or drug dealing or other nuisance activities occur at least three times within 60 days, or seven times in a year. Offenses such as prostitution, weapon violations, assaults or gang-related activity would be included in the definition.

The police chief would be given authority to declare a property a chronic nuisance. The owner would be notified in writing and given seven days to respond. The property owner would then have 30 days to work with the police on a plan for clearing out the nuisance activity, or face penalties of up to $500 per day for not complying."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Abandon Vehicle

People often wonder what the rules are in Seattle when it comes to abandon vehicles. This is often a problem next to the AM/PM store on MLK as they have created a perfect place for people to dump abandon vehicles and the owners of the store never seem to get around to turning them in. Just in case your looking for information on what to do, here is the city of Seattle's municipal code.

See links on our home page for info on where to report illegal dumping and abandon vehicles.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Problem Properties Ordinance

The city council is considering passing an ordinance to give police further powers in policing 'problem properties' such as AM/PM, I hope it passes and gives police more powers to clean up this property.

a quote from the story "That's huge for Erin Ehlinger, whose brother was killed in 2005 in a motel on Aurora Avenue North. "There's very simple things owners can do to make their place not a magnet for a bunch of criminal activity," she said. "The (existing law) is too fuzzy and didn't specify these kinds of activities."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Record OSHA fine against BP $87M!!

I just read that BP (AM/PM's parent company) received a record fine from OSHA for refinery violations of $87 Million! Is it any wonder that they can not clean up their gas stations? I'm wondering if there is just a uncaring culture within this company that trickles down to the local stations. Is it any wonder that they can't be bothered to pick up trash on their own property?

p.s. what was the second biggest OSHA fine ever given? $21 million, also handed out to BP for safety violations.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Still Trashy, after all this year

If you look closely at my post from October 1st, 2008 you can see where somebody dumped a tv on top of some cement on AM/Pm's property. The reason that people dump things like cement and TV's is that it costs money to take them to the dump. Cement weighs a lot so it is particularly expensive to throw away.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it has been over a year now that the cement has been sitting behind the AM/PM and nobody from the store has yet bothered to pick it up. What a terrible member of the community this store is. It is hard to imagine that a national chain would continue to allow a store to operate like this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Alley Maintenance

I just ran across this link from the city of Seattle

The city states 'Property owners are responsible for alleys next to their property. (Alleys are defined as any unopened street areas next to their property.'

I guess I assumed this, but it is nice to get confirmation that this is actually the law. Keep in mind however that most of the dumping that I list on this site is actually on AM/PM's property, not just in the alley behind their property.

Keep in mind also that they own a dumpster, it would only take them a few minutes a week to maintain their property and the public access next to their property, but they still refuse to do this.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Parking Strip Maintenance

I just found the Seattle municipal code pertaining to parking strip maintenance, I'm posting it here because AM/PM is CONSTANTLY in violation of this law by simply not picking up the trash that accumulates around their store.

The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC)
10.52.030 requires the adjacent property
owner or tenant to maintain the vegetation
that impacts the sidewalk and planting strip
area immediately adjacent to their property.

Friday, July 03, 2009

BP Consumer Relations Service Request Acknowledgement

I got another letter from BP, here it is with my response

BP WRITES TO ME! Wed, 01 Jul 2009

> Dear Joel,
> Thank you for taking the time to email us. We are always pleased to hear from our valued customers. We apologize for the problem you have encountered at the ARCO station located in Seattle, WA. Providing quality fuels and customer service is very important to BP. The event you described occurred at an independently owned and operated ARCO station. We have forwarded your concerns to the station owner and have requested they respond directly to you regarding your experience. We have also notified a BP field representative to review your comments. Please allow at least 3-5 business days for a representative to follow-up with you directly.
> Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact BP Arco Consumer Relations at 1-800-333-3991.
> Once again, thank you for your recent email. We hope we have been of service to you.
> Thank you for your business.
> BP/ARCO">BP/ARCO Consumer Relations | USA
> Phone: 800-333-3991
> FAX: 630-300-5253

From me...July 3rd, 2009

Dear BP,

Thank you for your reply concerning the mounds of trash piling up at your Arco AM/PM station at 5620 Martin Luther King Way South.

I really don't care who comes over from your company to pick up the trash, but if you don't pick it up soon and start picking it up regularly that I will have no choice to turn you over to the DPD for failing to maintain your property. Your lot is an eyesore and a detriments to the whole neighborhood.

I think it's great that you think this is the responsibility of the 'independently owned and operated ARCO station.' however when I look up the parcel data for this lot it is clearly owned by BP WEST COAST PRODUCTS LLC 6 CENTERPOINTE DR LA PALMA CA 90623. Guess what?!? That means that the maintenance of the property is the responsibility of your company despite your seemingly inept business structure which attempts to put the responsibility on an obviously uncaring franchise owner.

If you continue to operate this way it either means that you are terribly un-knowledgeable or you must think that I am stupid? Either way I hope that your company takes the initiative to PLEASE PICK UP YOUR PROPERTY!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

E-Mail Exchange with BP continues

I still have not heard back from BP, the trash still sits on their property so I wrote another email.

Dear BP,

Attached you will find a photo of trash located on your property at 5620 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Seattle WA. This is the same trash that was located on your property that I brought to your attention on June 15th that has still not been picked up (service request 1-246954357) exactly half a month ago. If you look closely at the overgrown weeds you can also see the trash that someone dumped on your property some time last year which has still not been picked up by your company.

I'm just curious if any headway has been made on this issue and if you are going to ever start holding this franchise to the same high standards to which you hold your other stores by picking up the trash that has been lying on your property for months.


Monday, June 15, 2009

email saga continues June 15, 2009

Dear BP,

I wrote you this email a few weeks ago and have still not heard back
from you. Attached you will find a photo showing trash at one of your
stores that has not been picked up in months despite my repeated
requests for you to pick up your lot AND if you will look closely you
will notice that there is a whole new pile of trash on top of the old
pile of trash. The reason that there is a new pile of trash on top of
the old pile of trash is that when you leave trash on your property then
people assume that you don't care. It's called the broken windows
theory and you can read more about it here.

It would be really great if your company started picking up the trash
that is lying all over your property. I really don't have very high
expectations of your company and your property. It would just be nice
if you kept this store to the same standards as the rest of your stores
and just did the simple neighborly thing by picking up your trash.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Thanks to the Columbia Citizens Wiki for the link. It's good to know that people in the neighborhood keep up with this issue.

Monday, June 08, 2009

E-Mail Exchange with BP

photo of large pile of trash piled behind behind Columbia City AMPM just the other day!

3/12/09 (letter from me to BP)

Dear BP,

I have a problem with an Arco AM/PM gas station in my neighborhood and I only recently discovered that BP is actually the parent company for Arco so I thought that I would bring this matter to your attention directly. My problem is trash, lots and lots of trash being dumped and left on the Arco property in my neighborhood and Arco not taking the time to pick it up. This has become such a problem that I actually keep a blog about it, which you can visit here.

I have never gotten anywhere by writing anyone in your company with any of my concerns, and I don't expect this notice to get any results either, but I thought that I should continue to try as I realized I have been tracking the problems at this particular station for almost 4 years now, but you are welcome to read all about that in my blog.

Sincerely yours,


(almost a month later, trash still has not been picked up at the site.)

Dear BP Customer Service,

It has been several weeks since I sent you this email detailing trash problems at your store and I have not heard back from you. I'm just curious if any headway has been made on this issue.

04/09 (A letter from BP!!!)

Thank you for taking the time to send us an email recently. We are always pleased to hear from our valued customers. We have located this station and we apologize for the problem that you encountered at the BP/Arco station in Seattle, WA. However this is an Independently Owned Station and we have forwarded your concerns to Upper Management over the station for proper handling and also requested for a follow up call to you regarding this matter. Please allow 3-5 business days for a follow up call from Upper Management not including weekends. Once again thank you for your recent email, and we hope we have been of service to you. Thank you for your business.

(they never called, trash still on site)

4/30/09 (from me to BP, nearly a month and a half after trash reported)

Thanks for your email on April 9th letting me know that someone from Upper Management will be contacting me in 3-5 business days to discuss this situation. It is now April 30th and I still have not heard from anyone. Are you sure that somebody is going to contact me?
thank you,

5/4/09 (almost 2 months since trash reported)


We apologize if you have not been contacted. We have notified the BP Field Representative for this station and advised that this is your 3nd request for a follow-up. They will request that the independent owner follow-up with you directly at their earliest convenience.

We appreciate your patience with this matter and apologize for the delayed response.

(I was never contacted by BP management or an independent owner)


FROM ME to BP(nearly two months since trash reported, some clean up has happened but trash pictured above still on site)

Thank you so much for your email. I just went by the store and I was impressed to see that the noxious weeds and 'lawn' had been mowed. I was amazed to see that most of the trash had actually been picked up except for a large pile of concrete and some barbed wire and some traffic cones it was looking pretty good. I was even more impressed that they threw their trash in the dumpster this time rather than dumping it on the neighboring property.

I'm curious if this was a one time clean up or if your company is going to start holding the franchise owner to the same standards as your other stores?

thank you,

P.S. you misspelled 'Acknowledgement' in the subject line of this email, if that is being auto-generated you might want to make sure and fix that.

June 9, 2009

Some trash still on site several months after being reported to BP they still have not contacted me saying when this will be taken care of or if there is going to be any regular maintenance on this site. BP is trying to spin this as being the responsibility of the franchise owner HOWEVER BP is actually the owner of the property and it is therefor ultimatley their responsibility.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

another abandon car

I just reported another stolen vehicle that was dumped on the side of the AMPM Arco station on MLK. This is a HUGE problem in my neighborhood and I'm really bummed that Arco is not taking steps just to report stolen cars being dumped on the side of their property. As a matter of fact they are encouraging this by allowing the weeds to grow so tall that it gives cover to potential car problems. I let it sit for a few weeks this time hoping that I could just get in touch with someone from their company and get them to report it, but their customer service department won't respond to my messages. A sad day for my neighborhood.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 16, 2009

BP Customer 'Service'

I contacted BP customer service again exactly one month ago. They wrote back for address confirmation which I happily provided to them (they could have just found it if they read this blog) and after a few weeks they still had not gotten back to me so I sent a follow up email and they wrote me back and said "Thank you for taking the time to send us an email recently. We are always pleased to hear from our valued customers. We have located this station and we apologize for the problem that you encountered at the BP/Arco station in Seattle, WA. However this is an Independently Owned Station and we have forwarded your concerns to Upper Management over the station for proper handling and also requested for a follow up call to you regarding this matter. Please allow 3-5 business days for a follow up call from Upper Management not including weekends." But that was over a week from why do I get the feeling that they are avoiding me?

In the meantime there is another abandon car on their parking strip, I guess I will turn it in eventually. I think that this is about the 15th stolen car that I have turned in parked next to or on their property? It's actually quite sad for my neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Watching TV

I just walked by today and this TV is still sitting on their property. I kind of joked that maybe they were waiting for it to biodegrade, but maybe they really are?!? They picked up the tires (or somebody did) but no other real changes. How long has this tv been here now?

Monday, March 23, 2009

BP, one of the most polluting corporations in the world

I emailed BP customer relations again with more photos of the trash around their store, they emailed me back for some clarification but other than that I have not heard back from them. It's funny to me to see some BP commercials where they pretend to be environmental but in reality they can't even pick up the trash around their own store. Nice Greenwashing!

The truth is that Mother Jones named them one of the worst companies in the world in both 2000 and 2005 and is considered by the EPA to be one of the most polluting companies in the country.

Really BP...if you can't even pick up the trash that is on your property right in our neighborhoods, why should we believe that you care about the environment at all?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

still life with stacked tires

Although Arco AM/PM gas station is still not picking up their trash. At least someone in the neighborhood has started stacking their trash tires to make it look more artsy. Way to go Arco!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

This is an old article, I remember reading it last spring...but it's basically an overview of the improvements being made along MLK as light rail comes into the neighborhood. I only wish that Arco would get the clue and clean up their property. I guess that this is too much to ask.

Google adsense comedy

As part of the blogger deal Google puts little advertisements on the right hand side of this blog. I was looking today and noticed that the ad was for Arco! How funny is that? Please feel free to click on it over and over again as it will cost them a quarter every time you click on it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

trash still sits

I can't even remember when I first took a photo of this TV someone had dumped and Arco had decided not to pick up. Maybe they are waiting for it to biodegrade? It's been sitting on their property for a long long time. It's Chinese new year and the neighborhood temple is really hoping, I love all of the life and good will for this Columbia City Neighborhood, it's too bad that Arco does not take better care of their property.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

shots fired

no surprise, shots fired outside of Arco am/pm the other day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

View Larger Map

Ha! I was looking at Google maps for something else and realized that they took photos of the arco am/pm with trash, so now you can visit the virtual trash at any time.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

pissing on Arco

I was leaving my house yesterday when I noticed a young man pissing on the fence that surrounds the Arco AM/PM. When I approached him and asked him to not piss on my neighborhood, he instantly got very defensive. 'whats your problem? why you getting all up in my face? I will piss wherever the hell I feel like!' I tried to explain to him that this was my neighborhood and it would be nice if he didn't piss on it, how would he feel if I came and pissed on his neighborhood? 'this is your f__kin hood?' he pointed to the empty lot full of trash and weeds surrounded by barbed wire that Arco owns 'this aint nothin but a sh_t hole!'

How could I argue with him? the Arco AM/PM lot is a sh_t hole! Why should I expect anyone in seattle not to come over and piss all over it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

more proof of how much arco sucks

I'm not sure if Arco expects these tires to grow feet and walk off on their own, or are they actually going to pick up their property? More proof of how much they suck.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

As if you didn't see this coming...the problem is that when there is a little trash on the street and Arco does not pick it up off their property. Then next thing you know more people start leaving trash in the same area and the problem gets worse and worse. Thanks AM/PM for being the crappiest neighbors on the planet!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

trashy trasherson

No surprise, more trash. It's been lying around the store for awhile. Just in case you cant make out the photo, thats a television and in the other photo is a shopping cart and lots of trash bags and random piles of crap. Why is Arco and AM/PM such bad neighbors? Why won't they ever pick up their property? I would be so embarrassed if I worked for his company.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm sure they Arco/AMPM will never realize this, but they are responsible for the parking strip next to their property. From the cities website -
What is a property owner’s responsibility for streets and sidewalks?
Streets and sidewalks are for everyone's use. They add value to private property by providing access to the property and a way to get to other places in the city.

When property is developed, property owners dedicate part of the land as "public right-of-way" for streets, sidewalks, utilities and similar public uses.

What some property owners do not realize is that they are responsible for maintaining part of the public right-of-way next to their property, including the sidewalk and planting strip, or the roadway shoulder if unimproved. Property owners are also responsible for maintaining unpaved alleys next to their property.

Monday, July 28, 2008

no hope for am pm

Much of the construction is done along MLK, I was hoping that this would get the AM/PM to start cleaning up it's act, but of course I was wrong since Arco seems to be going for being the worst company on the planet. Isn't charging us too much for gas enough? The property is once again over grown with weeds. I took these tires to the dump myself yesterday since they seem utterly uninterested in picking up their own lot.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trash Trash Trash part two

One more photo of all the trash collecting at the AMPM

Trash Trash Trash

I wish I had something new to report, but it is the same old problem at the same old location. Trash, trash and more trash being dumped at the AMPM on MLK in Seattle and the owners still not doing anything about it. Here are some photos.

I think that the thing that is most sad to me is that the whole neighborhood is improving. New business are moving in, new family's are moving in and fixing up their homes, a new light rail line is going in. An only AM/PM seems to be the business that is missing the boat and holding the rest of the neighborhood back.

I have to keep documenting all of the trash that is being dumped at this location because I have caught AMPM employees dumping their trash on other peoples property in the past. Lets hope they don't try to do it again.

Friday, October 13, 2006


The Arco AMPM is the center for drug trade in my neighborhood. It is difficult to go near the place without someone offering to sell you drugs and people are often doing drugs all around the store parking lot. It is amazing to me that a national chain of a well established business is allowing all of this to go on right under their nose. Although I don't know a lot about drugs, I understand from a neighbor that has had problems with AMPM for a long time that crack is sold in little 'dime bags' that are often decorated with popular logos (playboy, nike, mercedes etc) these empty bags can be seen scattered all over the parking lot of the Arco AMPM. Too bad that they don't even bother to try to clean the place up. Here is a photo of some of them that I picked up while walking my dog this morning.


We had another lockdown in our neighborhood the other day as some violent crime that originated at the Arco/AM-PM store spread out into the neighborhood. It is frustrating that a business that is so obviously the center of the crime problem in the neighborhood does so little to help with the problem.

I wrote a note to Ron Scherman of their "*elite* Customer Solutions" whom of course did not even bother to respond to my email, this seems to be their standard way of not dealing with all of the problems from their store.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

stump watch

Remember that stump that they dug up and put on the side of their property? Were you worried that something might happen to it? That maybe somebody might steal it and want the old dead stump for their own yard? Well don't worry, it's still there! You can visit the old dead stump any time you like! I don't think they will ever clean it up!

Friday, June 30, 2006

arco the bad neighbor

I realize as I post these that it must seem like I am making this all up, there is no way that a company can keep doing business while having such complete disregard for the community, right? Another cell phone photo of the trash currently on the side of the building, maybe this is their attempt at landscaping?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Arco's downward spiral

I noticed yesterday that the trash had at long last been picked up. I don't think that the city took care of it because Arco / AMPM had dumped it on someone elses private property making it a police matter. It took them so long to clean it up that I started filling my own trash can out of the pile, (here is a photo) but at the rate I was going it would have taken me months to get it all cleaned up. Thank you to whomever finally cleaned it up and thank you to all of the city and local departments that I contacted, including the police, the city engineers, the DPD, the Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce and others. I'm sure we have not heard the end of it but it is a small start.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

AMPM, too much bad stuff

No suprise here, the trash is still on the neighbors property and sadly someone else has started to add to it. Which is of course the main problem when the AMPM does not take care of it's property, it spreads to the rest of the neighborhood. I've reported them to the city engineers office yesterday and I'm going to make some more calls today.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

AMPM, the armpit of my neighborhood

Remember yesterday when I was gushing on about how AMPM was actually being a good neighbor and cleaning up their property? Well guess what? When I went by the property this morning while walking my dog I realized that they took all of the trash that had been dumped on their property and simply dumped it in the back yard of a nearby abandon house! Not only is AMPM not helping with the problem, they ARE the problem! Unfortunately they are so dumb that they don't realize that I have posting photographic proof on the web for over a year now (including a photo of the guy that actually did the dumping) and I am going to of course call the police immediately after posting this. I'm so frustrated with this businesses total lack of respect for the community that I don't know what to do. I've contacted Carol Lawson ( their local community relations consultant, I've contacted Richard Smith ( with website community relations and I've even tried contacting John Browne, the group chief executive of BP Global, AMPM's parent company ( Not only have they not cleaned up the problem but the only written response I've ever gotten from them has blabbed on about trying to be a good neighbor and then stated "while our efforts have been to maintain our own property we respect your concern as a neighborhood resident, with collection of trash on the city street". Guess what AMPM? It is clearly defined by law that in the city of Seattle that the property owner is responsible for maintaining the 'parking strip' or area between the private property and the road. I would think this would count double when you have been caught red handed dumping trash. Obviously AMPM is not taking my threats seriously so I hope that anyone that reads this and is concerned about the neighborhood takes a minute to email the people above and to let them know that this will not be tolerated.

Friday, April 28, 2006

giving credit

although it pains me to admit it, AMPM actually did something right today. I was driving home from work when I noticed someone behind their shop. It seemed suspicious so I went to investigate and was shocked to find someone actually cleaning! It had been so long since anyone had cleaned or mowed that he was forced to use a weed wacker to get to all of the trash. BUT SOMEONE WAS ACTUALLY CLEANING THE AMPM!!!! Way to go AMPM! I tried to ask him some questions as this may be the only time they actually clean up their property, but the guy is wasn't very helpful. Oh well... an excellent start.

UPDATE: I thought he was cleaning only to find out the next day that he had taken the trash and dumped it on the neighbors property. Way to go AMPM!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

ampm never enough trash

Here is the photo that started it all, trash and abandon van along side of an AMPM for weeks without anyone from the store reporting it. I mailed this photo to their public relations dept in Feb of 2005.

AMPM is a dark hole in the universe

I know that this is getting old, but I am just on a role today and I can't believe that after working on this for a year they are still not picking up their garbage. Here is a copy of emails that I sent to Richard Smith at BP community relations (AM/PM's parent company) which they still have not even bothered to respond to. Try to keep in mind that AMPM brags on their website that " At ampm, we believe in giving back to our local communities" Giving What?!? Trash? Urban blight? Underage drinking? What a bunch of hypocrites.

Hello Richard,

It has now been over a year since I first contacted you about the trash problem at the AM PM at 5620 Martin Luther Jr Way. In this last year I have not seen any improvement in cleaning up of the area. As a matter of fact I have seen the area get worse and worse, is there nothing that can be done to improve this store? I travel extensively for business and I have noticed clean and well landscaped AM PM's in many cities that I have visited as well as many well kept stores here in Seattle. Why is it that this particular store is so neglected? I'm attaching a photo taken today behind the store of some old chairs and a shopping cart that have been there over a week (please excuse the phone camera quality). Simply adding trash cans, reporting illegal dumping and doing some basic landscaping would make a huge difference. There is even a stump lying on the side of the store that has been there for well over a year. Taking pride in your business would help others to take pride in our neighborhood.

Thank you,

Joel L

Joel wrote:

> Hi Richard,
> Thank you for your prompt response. I live in a neighborhood that has an AM PM at 5620 MARTIN LUTHER JR WAY
> SEATTLE, WA 98118-2239. Along the edge of the property is an empty lot which is also owned by your parent company which you have chosen to fence off. Unfortunately this has created a situation where people feel comfortable dumping abandon cars and piles of trash along the side street South Findlay . This has become a hazard to my neighborhood and is attracting other crime including homeless people and even now people abandoning animals in the abandon cars. I realize that you can't control the actions of others but I do feel that your company can do more to help clean up this area and make the neighborhood safer for everyone including your customers and employees. At the very least I think that your employees could be reporting abandon vehicles and trash to the city rather than leaving the task to others. I think that it also might a good idea to post no dumping signs along your property rather than the beer and cigarette advertisements that you post along your fence now, these banners only provide more cover for people engaging in illegal activities and make it harder for neighbors to keep an eye on what is obviously a problem area. I am open to any other suggestions on how you can help deal with this situation and I wanted to give your company ample opportunity to respond to these problems before it needs to be dealt with by the city and with the press.
> I am enclosing a photograph of how the side of your property appeared just the other day.
> Thank you,
> Joel
> Smith, Richard wrote:
>> Please mail to this email address.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: WEBSITE - DO NOT REPLY [] Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 10:45 AM
>> To:; Smith, Richard
>> Subject: ampm Website Customer Relations Feedback
>> MLK, Seattle, WA
>> Comments:
>> I am having an ongoing problem with one of your stores and I have some
>> digital pictures that I would like to send you but I need an actual
>> email address that I can send them to.
>> Thank you

AM PM Minimart, sucks the life out of the neighborhood

Remember my post from October about the uprooted stump that I said had been there for months? After talking to neighbors I now realize that the stump has been there for years! Way to go AM PM Minimart! Nice addition to the neighborhood, do you think the old dead stump to going to start growing soon? Business along MLK in Seattle have been struggling because of the impact from Light Rail construction, but AM PM minimart seem to just be shooting itself in the foot by having such a trashy business. Special thanks to the homeless people that stopped drinking their 40oz beers and got off the stump long enough for me to take another picture.

AM PM Minimart, worst neighbor on the planet

Ok, it's been over a month now since I posted about the trash behind their building (but still on their property!!) and guess what?!? Even after writing several letters to their corporate headquarters and telling the clerks that work there, the same trash is still there! Please excuse the crappy cell phone photos but you get the idea. And as a bonus other people have started dumping trash across the alley. Why shouldn't they? If it's ok to dump trash on AM PM property then for sure it is ok to dump trash out in the public alley! AM PM Minimart is the worst neighbor on the planet and getting worse every day

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

not even trying

I see AM PM minimarts everywhere I go, it seems like they are in every major city (at least on the west coast) Some are better than others when it comes to being clean. Except of course for the one in my neighborhood, it is a total pit that is constantly spewing more garbage into the local area. If you will excuse the lousy cell phone picture, here is yet another image of trash stacked up behind the building. It's been there for weeks, I finally just decided to take a picture of it and share it with the world.

Yup, those are some chairs that someone dumped and if you look closely behind that you can see a whole shopping cart full of crap. At least they are not even pretending to care.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

drinking in neighborhood

Homeless people are buying beer at the store and drinking it in the back yard of a nearby abandon house. I got the Department of housing to come out and look at the situation but they say there really is not much that they can do because the house is still up to code. Why is it that bars can not sell beer to be consumed off site but this store can? I also found out that nearby schools have the right to veto a liquor license in Seattle but because the local school is a private school they do not have this right. I have decided however that this stores liquor license is probably their Achilles heal.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

more photos of trash

The shopping cart has been there about a week, the uprooted tree stump for months.

more trash

I realize it's getting old, but I happened to have my digital camera with me today as I passed AM/PM Minimart. Here are just some of the piles of trash piled around their property which they refuse to pick up. These are not along side their property, these are right in the middle of their lot. I've become sort of an AM/PM expert and have been trying to stop at them whenever I pass one. They all seem to be the trashiest convenience stores and I think that it is an institutional problem. Mainly by inadequate trash cans but I think also poor design and space planning. The one along MLK in Seattle is probably the worst I've seen to date.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

plastic not glass

I've contacted someone in community relations to ask them how other communities have handled some of these issues. But of course dealing with a large corporation is like dealing with a brick wall. Some ideas I've had include replacing the single serving beers with plastic bottles instead of glass bottles, relocating trash cans so they are near property exits, better lighting etc. But I have yet to hear back from anyone. I wonder how these business get away with selling beer that they know people are going to be drinking right outside their doors?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

crime rates compared

Being a police officer is considered the most dangerous job in the US, but do you know what statistically is the second most dangerous job? Convenience Store Clerk! Because of a variety of factors convenience stores are magnets for crime that are unfortunately often times located right in residential neighborhoods. Although one of the easiest solutions is simply to limit night hours of these businesses the convenience store industry has fought to keep laws that would limit their hours off the books.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I've been reading a lot about the special traffic problems that face convenience stores. Because of their eclectic mix of candy for the kids, cigarettes for the teenagers, cheap beer for the drunks and quick gas for those in a hurry all crammed into a cost efficient compact space. Convenience store parking lots are a recipe for disaster and many large convenience store chains still only provide the most basic framework for safety in these areas.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Convenience stores suck

I have an AM/PM mini mart gas station in my neighborhood that sucks and is causing a lot of problems in my neighborhood and I'm starting this blog with the hopes that other people out in the world will find it and be able to share similar problems and solutions and maybe even tips for dealing with these kinds of stores.

Although there is a lot of crime, the real problem is trash. There is trash all over the sides and back of their lot. It creates an environment where people don't care. And when people don't care it leads to more problems and more trash.

I've talked to the staff at this store several times and asked them to pick up the trash (or to at least report illegal dumping to the city) but have not been able to motivate them to pick up their property. If this was not enough, they also fenced off a side of their property making a convenient area for people to dump stolen cars and mounds of debris without being noticed. All things considered they are detracting from the quality of life in my neighborhood and I'm wondering if there are any others out there that have had similar experiences with convenience stores and how some of these issues have been addressed.