Emergency Preparedness HUB News and More

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council (read the complete minutes here) in addition to an election to vote in a new President and Vice-President (congrats to Ann Forrest and Monica Harris, respectively), there has been much movement on the plan to install an emergency preparedness HUB in Victory Heights Park. Originally the community council was going to apply for a matching grant from the city in order to buy and maintain the supplies for the HUB. The “matching” was done using volunteer hours in the community. However, the city’s Office of Emergency Management has decided they really want more HUBS in the city (“200 in 7 years,” or one within 1/2 mile of every resident in Seattle) and so they have made it much easier to obtain a grant and done away with the matching requirement. They are also offering to sell a $1500 “HUB-in-a-box” starter kit with nearly everything (except radios) to get going setting up a HUB.  The logical place to store it (and set up) is in Victory Heights Park, and the Parks Department has agreed to let us use the concrete pad next to the playground. We are still looking for ham radio enthusiasts in the neighborhood to help with our communication needs.

Speaking of the park, the planned playground renovation has been pushed back yet again, and construction now will start in Spring 2017 and take place during the summer. Designers were also persuaded to use wood chips under the equipment instead of “synthetic turf.”

And the Seattle Police Department’s 36-foot-long “mobile precinct” will be visiting Victory Heights next month! It will be stationed next to the park in time for our meeting on October 18th and the public (and kids) are welcome to get a tour.

New Little Free Library At Bottom of 20th Avenue NE

little-library-4A new Little Free Library has been added to Victory Heights, this one is located where 20th Avenue NE turns into a walking path down towards Thornton Creek.  If your kids take the big stairs up to Sacajawea Elementary, then they would walk past it every day.  This is the sixth Little Free Library in Victory Heights (see map below). The others are located on 15th Avenue NE just north of the mosque, on 14th Avenue NE just north of NE 107th, on NE 106th Street just east of 17th Avenue, on NE 105th just east of 20th Avenue, and on 23rd Avenue NE at NE 104th Way. Visit them today! “Add a book, take a book,” as they like to say.

librarymap2016

September Victory Heights Events Calendar

Here are activities occurring this month in and around Victory Heights:

Sunday, September 4th: Pinehurst Adopt-A-Street Litter Pickup. Volunteers will be picking up trash in the Pinehurst neighborhood along Pinehurst Way and also on NE 115th Street from 20th Avenue NE and Pinehurst Way. 10 AM.

Thursday, September 8th: Kombucha Workshop. Learn how to home-brew kombucha (a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar and a starter culture) from a Seattle Tilth certified instructor. Lake City Farmer’s Market, NE 125th Street & 28th Avenue NE, 4 PM – 5:30.

Saturday, September 10th – 11th: Arts North Studio Tour. The Arts North! Studio Tour is a self-guided tour that includes 10 studios and over 30 artist. Enjoy the opportunity to see a wide variety of arts and crafts, chat with the artists and sample appetizers and sweets. 10 AM – 5 PM both days. Maps available at all studios or on the website.

Monday, September 12th: Community Discussion on Gun Violence. State Senator David Frockt will appear at this “quick brainstorming exercise” that “is not a rant session to bash guns or the NRA, but conversation for anyone interested in reducing senseless and violent shootings.” Lake City Library, 6 PM.

Tuesday, September 20th: Victory Heights Community Council Meeting. Election time! We need to vote for a new President and anyone willing to become a board member. It’s less work than you think, and a great way to get involved in the community. The Co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park, 7 PM. Bring a chair.

Don’t forget the Lake City Farmer’s Market is every Thursday afternoon at the library, and the play street closures on 23rd Avenue NE each Sunday.

Volunteers’ Hours Will Help Build Emergency HUB in Park

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, over 20 people agreed to volunteer their time during the next year to help secure funds to build an emergency communications HUB based on Victory Heights Park.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Communication HUBs have been set up around the city by volunteers to be used to gather and disperse information in the case of a disaster.  There has been one in Lake City at the Fred Meyer parking lot for several years now (read about a drill held there several years ago).

On September 12th, Vice-President of the community council Ann Forrest is going to apply for a matching grant from the city. To match the amount requested, community members must pledge to volunteer a certain number of hours (calculated at $20 per hour worked) over the next year (starting on the 12th). So if 10 people each pledged to work 5 hours, that would be 50 hours or $1000 we could receive in matching funds. The cost to set up the HUB will be between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on how much equipment and supplies would be purchased. It would be stored in a locked box in the park, pending approval of Seattle Parks.

In case of emergency, always check your home and family are safe first.  Then check the neighbors.  Then find out how the community is doing.  That is what the HUB is for, especially when conventional communications might not work in an emergency. The HUB would be fitted with ham radios to keep in touch with Seattle officials and other HUBs in the network. Drills would be conducted periodically to help train volunteers and establish procedures to better cope with likely events (earthquakes, massive power outage, volcanos) that likely would mean first-responders would not be able to reach us for hours or possibly days due to infrastructure damage and other priorities.  Keeping people informed about the situation and connecting up resources with needs is the primary function of a HUB.

If you would like to know more, or to volunteer to help put in hours, please write us and we will let the organizers know.

The next meeting of the Victory Height Community Council is Tuesday, September 20th in the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM. We’ll be electing a new president and several board seats are now open.  Come be a part of our great community!

Victory Heights August Events Calendar

Plenty of summer activities in and around Victory Heights.  Check ’em out:

Tuesday, August 2nd: Neighborhood Night Out. Folks all over the country are gathering on porches, driveways, and backyards to get to know their neighbors a little bit better.  If you are part of a gathering, please contact us with details and our community-building volunteers will show up with free ice cream! What a deal, huh?! Sponsored by your Victory Heights Community Council!! Happy NNO!!

Wednesday, August 10th: Seattle Police Department’s Micro-Community Policing Plan focus group. They are interested in talking to all the micro-communities in the North Precinct area about about the plan, interactions with the Seattle Police Department, crime and safety concerns and suggested improvements for each of our unique neighborhoods. The focus groups are semi-structured and typically last one hour. The groups are open to anyone living or working in the specific neighborhoods. Lake City Library, 12501 28th Avenue NE, 6 PM- 7 PM (if you can’t make it they’ll be at the Northgate Library on Thursday night, same time).

Saturday, August 13th: Lucky Leo’s Grand Opening. Yes, Victory Heights actually does have businesses, they are all down on Lake City Way of course.  Leo’s say, “We are a local (And online!) store that has tons of cool vintage, collectables, electronics, and anything else you might be able to think a store could supply. We are having a grand opening event on Saturday, August 13th… come check us out and see what we have in-store. We’ll be hosting a bunch of activities such as a raffle, discounts, and even provide some super good food!” 10522 Lake City Way NE, C202

Saturday, August 13th: Live In District 5. City Councilperson Debora Juarez is hosting an event featuring “Live music, neighbors, family fun, food, beer.”  1-5 PM, Hubbard Homestead Park, 11203 5th Avenue NE

Sunday, August 14th: Idriss Mosque Annual BBQ: Yes, it is that time of year again. Sheikh Idriss Mosque and the Islamic Centre of Washington (ICW) are hosting their 15th Annual BBQ. You, your families and guests are all invited to this fun event. Hamburgers, hotdogs and vegetarian options will be served. 1420 NE Northgate Way, 2 PM – 5 PM.

Tuesday, August 16th: Victory Heights Community Council Meeting. Normally we don’t have a meeting in August but we are trying to get a grant in order to set up an emergency communications HUB in Victory Heights and the deadline is September 16th before our next scheduled meeting.  The goal tonight is to educate people about the HUB concept and ask folks to agree to donate time in support of the HUB (if we get the money).  On the picnic tables in Victory Heights Park, 7 PM.

Saturday, August 20th: 14th Annual Jokumfest: Victory Heights’ annual jazz festival is free, just as it is every year. Complimentary beverages and a main dish will be provided, please bring a side dish.  The music is all free too, starting at 3 PM and going all the until 10 PM.  In Gary Shudie’s backyard, 2021 NE Northgate Way.

And don’t forget the Lake City Farmer’s Market is every Thursday starting at 3 PM.

Victory Heights Social Calendar

Hopefully you have your calendars marked for the 5th Annual Victory Heights Potluck/Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, July 19th.  It’s our big event for the year!  But it’s not the only event going on in our neighborhood this month…

Friday, July 15th: Northgate Community Centers’ 10th Anniversary Party. “Free hot dogs, juice, wood building projects for children, music-Route 66, games for kids.” 6-8 PM, 10510 5th Avenue NE.

Saturday, July 16th: Pinehurstfest.  “A free festive family outdoor celebration for everyone in our neighborhood.” 2-5 PM, Pinehurst Playfield, 12029 14th Avenue NE

Wednesday, July 20th: Share A Story, Craft a Lantern. The Seattle Public Library invites families to create lanterns and share stories about people who live and have lived in the Lake City area from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 at the Lake City Branch, 12501 28th Ave. N.E., 206-684-7518.

Tuesday, August 2nd: Neighborhood Night Out. We’re not throwing a big party this year (that’s on the 19th of this month–see above) but you should get together with the neighbors on your block to work out emergency procedures and get to know each other.

Saturday, August 13th: Live In District 5. City Councilperson Debora Juarez is hosting an event featuring “Live music, neighbors, family fun, food, beer.”  1-5 PM, Hubbard Homestead Park, 11203 5th Avenue NE

And don’t forget the Lake City Farmers Market is every Thursday through September. The Library usually sponsors some sort of interesting activity to accompany it.