“Socktober” Huge Success

Donations of new socks fill a table.

“Socktober,” a drive to get donated new socks and clothes for the homeless, was a huge success at the October Victory Heights Community Council meeting.

Read the entire minutes of this month’s meeting.

115 pairs of new socks were collected, as well as 8 winter coats, 10 gloves, 9 hats and 7 scarves. Great work, Victory Heights!

This month’s speaker at the meeting was Scott Thomsen, from Seattle City Light, about the new “advanced” power meters that will be installed in houses around Victory Heights starting in January 2018. This city-wide $95 million upgrade will replace the 1950s technology “spinning wheel” electro-mechanical meters that have been in use until now. The new “advanced” units will use Wi-Fi to send updates six times a day of your power usage which eventually (ETA December 2018) will enable users to see their real-time power consumption and perhaps adapt accordingly. It will also help City Light pinpoint power outages faster, bill more accurately, and allow for faster reconnection service. Multiple notices will be sent to each household prior to the switch over at your house, the actual work will only take 5 minutes when the power will be cut off.

You might have noticed the gardening efforts on a traffic circle near you. Seven hundred flower bulbs have been purchased (part of our grant from the city) and are being planted. Next Spring we will have a neighborhood walk to see all the beautiful flowers come up.

Have you seen me?

Two of our Victory Heights yard signs have gone missing. One was on 15th Avenue NE, the other on 23rd Avenue NE.  Please contact us if you have any information regarding their whereabouts.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 21st at 7 PM at the co-op preschool in Victory Heights Park. We hope to see you there!

October Events Calendar

Here are things happening in and around Victory Heights during October:

Wednesday, October 11th: Thornton Creek Natural Drainage System Drop-In Session. The Thornton Creek Natural Drainage Systems Project is beginning the design phase of the project and the project team seeks input to help inform site selection.  This drop-in session will re-introduce the project purpose and need; and provide an opportunity for community members to talk one-on-one with the project team and help inform project design. 4:00 PM, NE 113th ST and Goodwin Way NE.

Thursday, October 12th: Lake City Neighborhood Alliance.  Monthly meeting. 6:30 PM, Lamb of God Church, 12509 27th Ave. NE.

Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15, Arts North! Studio Tour. Visit 10 studios in north Seattle and enjoy the opportunity to see a wide variety of arts and traditional crafts from 28 artists. This would be a great time to do your holiday shopping early. FREE. Maps will be available at all studios and online. Look for the yellow & black signs. 10 AM – 5 PM both days. www.artsnorthstudiotour.com

Tuesday, October 17th: Victory Heights Community Council Meeting. Featuring Socktober! We’re collecting SOCKS (and coats, gloves, hats, etc.) in support of the Solid Ground family shelter. The North Precinct’s goal this year is 6,000 pairs. (Socks must be new but the rest can be used, but clean). We’ll be distributing “collection boxes” that kids can use while trick-or-treating to collect donations for the North Helpline food bank. Speaker: Scott Thomsen, Seattle City Light’s “Advanced Metering” program will discuss the upcoming roll-out of smart meters. 7 PM in the Victory Heights Co-op Preschool Building in the park.

Thursday, October 19th: The Great Washington ShakeOut. Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:19 a.m. on October 19th during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills! Washingtonians can join them today by registering for the 2017 Great Washington ShakeOut. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel.

Thursday, October 19: Thorton Creek Alliance general meeting. The featured speaker will be Luis Ramirez of Seattle Public Utilities. He will discuss Natural Drainage Systems, and take your questions. 7 PM, Maple Leaf Lutheran Church, 10005  32nd Ave. NE, Seattle.

Monday, October 23rd: Lake City Library Open House. The Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., is tentatively set to temporarily close in early 2018 for about six months for improvements. Patrons are invited to learn more about improvements planned for the library at an open house at the branch from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 24th: Victory Heights Prepares! Our Emergency Communication HUB is almost complete.  We have a disaster drill planned for April 2018.  The scenario… the power grid goes does from a windstorm, not an earthquake.  So…  Let’s get our community prepared!! Join me to strategize on how best to proceed. Please respond to the doodle poll so we can accommodate as many folks as possible.  https://doodle.com/poll/tfqryqcn754pyaag

 

Disaster Preparedness Suggestions

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council (read the full minutes here) we heard all about disaster preparedness and tips that could really make a difference. Think about recent events in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City. Is it so incredible to think about a massive earthquake hitting the Puget Sound area?  Even if there were no substantial damage in our neighborhood, it’s estimated it could be two weeks before we would see outside assistance (other higher priority areas, debris, damaged bridges). Here are some suggestions that would make survival a whole lot better:

  • Sturdy shoes and socks under each bed
  • Flashlight under bed
  • Remove or secure pictures / shelves around bed
  • Secure refrigerator to wall
  • Plug-in-the-wall flashlights that come on automatically when the power is cut
  • Know where the water cut-off is inside your house.
  • Learn how to turn off your gas at the meter if you smell/hear gas leaking
  • Designate an out-of-town contact person
  • WATER! (assume 1 gallon per person per day x 14 days, don’t forget your pets)
  • Strap down water heater
  • Food – do you have enough to last two weeks in your house?
  • Make/buy an emergency toilet (5 gallon buckets work)
  • Find emergency communication HUB closet to your house, work, schools (in Victory Heights there will be one set up in the park)
  • Assemble a “Get Home Bag” for your car or work
  • Scan important documents and upload to the cloud
  • Have cash in small bills stashed away, assume ATMs will not work

Here is a list of further resources:

Resources:

Securing household items http://www.earthquakecountry.org/step1/index.html

Securing refrigerator to the kitchen wall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaMqz9Q_vgc

Turning off the WATER to your house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvE6n7rTGnM

Turning off GAS to your house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keNdbAs-sBk

Twin-Bucket Emergency Toilet http://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/article/394125

 Map of HUB locations in Seattle http://seattleemergencyhubs.org/seattle-emergency-neighborlink-map

 Seattle Hazards Map http://seattlecitygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=0489a95dad4e42148dbef571076f9b5b

Alert Seattle http://alert.seattle.gov

Smart 911 https://www.smart911.com

Add Emergency Contact Number to your phone’s lock screen http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2489237,00.asp

GPS Apps for Offline Navigation https://www.wired.com/2015/04/offline-gps-apps/

http://mashable.com/2015/09/16/offline-maps/#gT52NaBjG8qn

Seattle Resilience Survey http://www.seattle.gov/resilience/get-involved

The next meeting of the community council will be Tuesday, October 17th at 7 PM in the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park.

Victory Heights September Calendar of Events

Here’s what’s going on in and around Victory Heights this month:

Tuesday, September 19th: Victory Heights Community Council meeting.  We’re back after two months!  Find out the latest news about the neighborhood, post-social report, and what’s coming in the autumn.  7 PM in the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park.

Monday, September 25th: Emerald City Women’s Chorus try-outs.  This is an invitation to all women who want to sing with a non-audition chorus in North Seattle.  The Emerald City Women’s Chorus is looking for new members.  The chorus meets in the Wedgwood neighborhood on Monday nights (7:30-9:30 p.m.) during the “school year.”  Fall quarter 2017 starts September 25 and wraps-up with a community concert on December 4.  Cost is $117 for the quarter.  The music sung is a mix of genres, from show tunes to classical to folk and rock and roll, with the occasional song in a foreign language. For information about the chorus, call Sharon Glein at (206) 525-7497 (please leave a message), or register through Music Center of the Northwest by calling (206) 526-8443. 7 PM, Wedgwood Community Church, 8201 30th Avenue NE.

Victory Heights August Events Calendar

Here are events in and around Victory Heights in August:

Thursday, August 3rd: Northgate Pedestrian Bridge Open House.  Hear the latest about the span over I-5 that will connect North Seattle College with the new Link Light Rail station.  5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Hampton Inn & Suites, 9550 1st Avenue NE.

Saturday, August 5th: Lake City Pioneer Days Parade. 7 PM in Lake City, as it has been for over 5 decades.

Sunday, August 13th: Idriss Mosque 16th Annual All American BBQ. The coolest structure in Victory Heights open its door to its neighbors for this BBQ which will feature hamburgers, hot dogs and vegetarian options. 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, 1420 NE Northgate Way.

Saturday, August 19th: 15th Annual Jokumfest. Victory Heights’ own annual free jazz festival is again in Gary Schudie’s backyard, live music from 3 PM until 9:50 PM. Beer available, bring a side dish. 2021 NE Northgate Way.

Wednesday, August 23: Thornton Natural Drainage System drop-in presentations. Here updates from the project team and chat one-on-one.  Two locations: 23rd Avenue NE at NE 105th St, and 30th Avenue NE at NE 87th St. 4:00 PM – 6 PM.

Saturday, August 26th: Standard Bakery Opening. The pop-up bakery will have a permanent location up in Pinehurst at 11752 15th Avenue NE. Their grand opening is 10 AM – 2 PM with samples of fresh baked good, live music, and a bouncy house.

 

Emergency Communications HUB Drill Connects Victory Heights With City

On Saturday July 29th, the new Victory Heights emergency communications HUB did its first drill in conjunction with a city-wide event. Tables were set up and volunteers (including a local scout troupe) held different positions or played out various scenarios using scripts. Organized by Victory Heights Community Council President Ann Forrest, various staff were given color-coded caps so they could easily be identified: greeters, person reunions, information, medical, and information posting.  The only resource a HUB has is information but in an emergency situation that can mean a lot when it comes to finding out who has what resources or where the greatest need is.

Local ham radio operators were also set up to allow our HUB to communicate with others nearby in Lake City, Meadowbrook and Maple Leaf.  They could also receive messages from the city’s “central command” downtown that would broadcast general information messages every 30 minutes to update HUBs around the city.

Over two dozens people participated in the drill, a great turn-out for our neighborhood (by contrast, the central part of the city including the Central District and Beacon Hill doesn’t even have any HUBs). Drills will continue to be held in the coming months. They are fun to participate in and extremely useful training should that day come when we need an emergency communication HUB in case of a natural disaster.

Park Renovation Project Delayed But Tennis, Anyone?

Appearing at last night’s Victory Heights Community Council Meeting, Bronwen Carpenter, the Senior Landscape Architect with Seattle Parks, announced that the playground renovation project in Victory Heights Park will be delayed.

Read the complete minutes of the June meeting.

Carpenter did say there was good news and bad news about the park. The good was that the tennis courts, which originally were going to be needed as a staging area during the entire construction period, will be opened during hours when actual construction is not going on. However, users are reminded that if a ball goes over the fence into the construction area, not to go after it.

But the bad news was two things are contributing to a delay in construction: one, the contractor has to finish another job first, and two, tests need to be done and a plan worked up to comply with the new 2016 storm water code. It’s hoped all this will only add two months at most to the project with work completely maybe by October. The playground will be done first and opened, and then the work on the field will be done. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget the annual Victory Heights Ice Cream Social is just one month away, on Tuesday, July 18th. Mark your calendars; signs, posters, and flyers will be seen in the coming weeks.

Victory Heights Scores $4,157 Grant From City

Thanks to the efforts of the Victory Heights Community Council (especially President Ann Forrest), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has awarded a matching grant of $4,157.25 for various signs and expenses to be used around the neighborhood.

Read Minutes from the May Victory Heights Community Council Meeting

Read Minutes from the April Victory Heights Community Council Meeting

This money is in exchange for volunteer hours we have pledged including maintaining the traffic circles around Victory Heights. The funds include purchasing “Welcome To Victory Heights” signs from the city to be placed on arterials, banners, copying flyers, and buying ice cream for the social on Tuesday July 18th.

In other business at the Community Council meeting, we heard from David Johnson of Sustainable NE Seattle. These great folks organize urban farms, school gardens, the NE Tool Library (which is awesome!), the emergency preparedness HUB in Wedgwood, skills fairs, and garden tours.

Despite a fancy display shown to the Council last year, the Northgate pedestrian/bike bridge has been radically redesigned to be narrower, shorter, and more importantly, cheaper than the initial design.

The next meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council will be Tuesday, June 20th at 7 PM at the co-op preschool building and will feature a speaker from Seattle Parks about the renovation project in our park.