Restoration at Kingfisher Natural Area

Rick Swing, a Volunteer Forest Stewart with Green Seattle Partnership updates us on work at the Kingfisher Natural Area (aka Thornton Creek):

Hey Folks, 
I want to express my sincere gratitude for your help in the past weeks at Kingfisher Natural Area. Together we planted over 250 plants and great conifers over 4 weekends! I hope that you all will come back and visit, admire your work, and watch over time, with patience as the fruits of your labor reach wonderful heights and provide greater ecological and human benefits for all. The trail continues from our work area to the East along the creek for another half mile, and boots are highly recommended.  
Us stewards, Lynnette, Jim and myself with help from neighbors will endeavor to keep these plants watered during the summer drought season, and free of weeds the best we can. Given that much of our restoration work occurs in an ad hoc and unadvertised fashion, if you are interested in lending a hand in the future or know of others in need of community service hours, please feel free to reach out. We can set something up, generally working around the rain and hydrologic impacts. This includes potential weekday events for those indicating free time mid-week. I have found it is often easier, safer, and less negatively impactful to run smaller work parties for more technical/adventurous type restoration work. You can also keep an eye out for events listed on GreenSeattle.org  Please share this website widely. 
Please enjoy the picture above, It is a 15′ tall Douglas Fir that mysteriously appeared recently in the chute that we had planted in. I suspect this was brought in by parks contractors or SPR but who knows. The tree is a welcome new guest and will give the area and the smaller new trees an appreciated jump start.  
Have a wonderful New Year, and thanks again! 

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Ben Cober New Victory Heights Community Council President

At the December meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, Ben Cober was selected as the new President.

Read the entire minutes of the December meeting.

Ann Forrest, the outgoing President, finished a term that began in September 2016, leading our community (especially in the area of emergency preparedness) for 4 years and 3 months, and was ready to move on (she’ll be helping the city reach out to non-English speakers).

Ben Cober

Ben, you might recall, spearheaded the recent successful effort to get a grant from the city to have artists decorate utility boxes around the neighborhood. He has lived in three different parts of Seattle and says Victory Heights, “is the Goldilocks neighborhood.” In addition he said, “This is the kind of opportunity I’ve been waiting years to find. I come from a long line of community-engaged Cobers, and I believe very strongly in giving time, energy, and brain-power (and often sweat and blood) to bettering a neighborhood, region, or city. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve pursued business development in attractions like zoos, museums, aquariums, and the like – the belief in the power of placemaking and bettering a community. Additionally, I think you could count on me to pour my heart into the role, and be very collaborative and diplomatic.”

Welcome, Ben, we look forward to your contributions. Read more about him on LinkedIn.

Ben’s introductory video

And we’d really like to thank Ann Forrest for all her hard work over the past 4+ years. She helped us get a grant and set up the emergency preparedness hub in the park, and then made videos showing how it works, started our annual gingerbread house fundraiser, organized efforts to help the mosque and Teen Feed, and so much more! She is a machine and we were very lucky to have her as President for as long as we did.

In other Victory Heights news, sadly because of Covid, we won’t be doing any caroling this year. And our date for cooking for the Teen Feed this month will be on December 23rd. Write to VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com to volunteer.

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Gingerbread House Fundraiser Enters 4th Year

The Victory Heights Community Council will have its Gingerbread House Fundraiser for the 4th year a row this year, albeit with a few changes.

Read the entire minutes of the November community council meeting.

Our Construction Elves have been hard at work building Gingerbread Houses for the Community!  Each kit contains a homemade gingerbread house (~6″ tall) secured to a sturdy paper plate, icing, and a bag of candies for decoration.  $5 per kit.   Kits will be the available the weekend of Dec 19/20.   A table will be set up near the Victory Heights park for contactless pick-up.  (If you can’t make those dates/times, please contact me and we’ll make alternate arrangements.)

Reserve your kit here…  https://signup.com/go/PzRmVGm

For the past three years our gingerbread home sales included in-person decorating at the local preschool.  We will miss seeing all of you this year but would love photos of your decorated houses!  Please send to VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com and we will post for all our neighbors to enjoy!  

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Utility Art Box Project Wins City Grant

A neighborhood project lead by Ben Cober to have all the gray utility boxes in Victory Heights decorated by local artists has won a city matching grant to pay for the artists and the graffiti-proof appliques that will be made. Here is the press release by Ben:

Good morning neighbors,
As we head into our first, windy November weekend, we wanted to share an update with you on our grant application to the City.
It is my pleasure to inform you that we received the notification this week that we have indeed won the grant for our neighborhood art project!
This wonderful project will help:

1. Provide relief funds to Seattle artists, the curators of our regional culture, through an incredibly-difficult time;

2. Facilitate an exciting, uplifting program for us to rally around this winter;

3. Further develop an inviting, creative, beautiful Victory Heights identity.

I can’t thank all of you enough for your support in this project, whether through your assistance in selecting our artists, your donated funds, your volunteer hours, or as one of our project partners. The groundswell of engagement in this initiative was a critical component of the panel choosing to fund it.

With the time needed to finalize paperwork and contracts with the City, giving the artists all the time they need to create their works, finalizing signal box-owner artwork review and approval, and the printing and installation of the vinyl wraps, I do not expect to start seeing this wonderful artwork gracing our streets before the end of the year.
However, once the paperwork is complete and our artists are underway, we’ll begin coordinating our Wonderful Winter Webinars so that you can virtually meet the fantastic artists who are at the heart of this project.
Until then, stay safe and well, and thank you for helping us reach this exciting achievement!


Sincerely,
Ben Cober
On Behalf of the Victory Heights Community Council

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Halloween 2020: How We’re Doing It

Like everything in 2020, Halloween is being disrupted by the novel corona virus this year, with the usual plans thrown out the window. Here’s what we are doing in Victory Heights and neighboring areas this year to make up for it.

Pinehurst will host a “Pup and Kids Parade” on October 31st at 11 AM starting at the Pinehurst Pocket Park at 117th and 19th Avenue and then doing a circuit around the neighborhood. Humans are required to wear masks, pets must be leashed. Click here for parade route. Rain or shine!

In Victory Heights you can help decorate Victory Heights Park by picking up orange poster board at the kiosk and then bring it back when you are done, they will be posted around the park.  And it’s okay to “Walk The Loop” in the park on Halloween.

Some people (and houses) will be trick-or-treating, others will sit it out this year. The CDC has this to say about it, “a “moderate risk activity” even when individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).” So proceed at your risk and be careful if you go out (or distribute candy) this year.

Monica will have cider available at her house as well as candy. Everything will be sanitized, packaged, gloves used, etc. She’s at the intersection of 17th Avenue NE and NE 106th Street, just southwest of the park.

Next Door has an interactive treat map available, use that to plan your excursions.

Next year we hope to do something in the park. Happy Halloween!

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Victory Heights Co-Op Preschool Fundraiser Underway


The Victory Heights Co-Op Preschool (where we held our meetings in the Beforetime) is currently doing a fundraiser. They are selling various kinds of coffee, greenery, and cookie dough that you can preorder and will be delivered to you or picked up at the school.  Please fill out the order form and email to Jess.Silvers@gmail.com – or print out and drop in their secure mailbox at 1747 NE 106th with your check. Payment (due with order) can also be done online via Venmo @silvjl1.

Read the entire minutes of the October Victory Heights Community Council Meeting.

In other news, the Sock Drive was a big success with 500 pairs donated for the scouting project.  If you have adult-sized long-sleeved shirts or pants, these could be donated as well still. Email victoryheights.seattle@gmail.com for the drop off location.

TeenFeed Program: A number of folks provided food at the beginning of October when it was our turn to make the meal for the day.  Our next date is Tuesday, November 3rd (yes, election day) with pretty much the same menu as before except with apple pie instead of peach cobbler. Sign up here…https://signup.com/go/LZNBeZw

Extra yard waste fees are not charged in November, when customers are asked to keep fall leaves out of drains to reduce the risk of flooding. Households can put out up to 10 bags of extra yard waste per collection day for free from November 1 to 30.

Our next meeting (via Zoom) will be Tuesday, November 17th.

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Metro Downsizes 2021 Bus Service

Back in January we mentioned all the changes Metro Transit was proposing when the Link Light Rail opens to Northgate in September 2021. Now, their latest plan has downsized quite a bit from what was originally proposed, partially owing to Covid-related reductions in ridership and tax revenue in 2020.

The main effects to service around Victory Heights are fewer buses along Northgate Way during off-peak hours, and the elimination of the 312 Express route to downtown Seattle.

However, it’s not too late to add your input, Metro is currently conducting a public survey about the proposed routes, so here is your chance to be heard.

Incidentally, Metro returned to collecting fares on its bus routes on October 1st after suspending them in the spring.

Read more about the changes on the Seattle Transit Blog.

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Help Teen Feed With A Meal October 3rd

The Victory Heights Community Council supports the Teen Feed by providing meals once a month.

Read the complete minutes of the September community council meeting.

Teen Feed is a non-profit that works with the community to offer support to meet basic needs, build strong relationships and ally with homeless youth as they meet their future off the streets.  Founded in 1987, operations shifted with the emergence of COVID but TeenFeed remains a low-barrier organization that provides a hot meal to ~80 homeless youth every day of the year.   

They need our help!   

Sign Up to help us provide a hot, nutritious meal on Saturday, October 3rd. More details provided on the SignUp…

Food can be store bought or homemade – no pressure to be a Chef Boyardee! 

Menu for October:
Teriyaki chicken
Sesame noodle salad
Roasted broccoli
Peach cobbler

This is a great opportunity to come together as a community and support those less fortunate.  Please reach out with additional questions.  If you can’t help this month but would like to be contacted in the future, please contact Ann at VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com to be added to our list of Community Cooks!

In other community council news, we have applied for a Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to apply artwork to the utility boxes around the neighborhood.

There is a sock drive being organized by a local Eagle Scout. New white socks preferred, but they’ll take anything. Write VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com for drop-off location.

Metro Transit is now soliciting public input on the changes to area bus routes that will be implemented next September when the new Link Light Rail stations open at Northgate and Roosevelt. Visit this site to fill out the survey and check out the new and changing bus routes: https://publicinput.com/P2143

Next month’s meeting (Tuesday, October 20th) we’ll be (virtually) discussing how Halloween might be done this year. Mark your calendar.

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What is a HUB?

You’ve probably heard us talking about Emergency Communications HUBs, including the one here in Victory Heights, in the park. Contrary to how it may seem, these are not run by the city but by volunteers just like you and me. The HUB would be opened in case of a citywide emergency (e.g. an earthquake) as a means to disseminate and share information.

Victory Heights Community Council President Ann Forrest explains how it all works here in this 23 minute video:

Other video Public Service Announcements are also available on these topics:

School Reunification Plan

Get Home Bag

Technology CAN Be Useful After An Emergency

Riding Out An Earthquake In Bed

Twin Bucket Toilet

For more information, please write info@seattleemergencyhubs.org.

Please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook page.

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Help Choose Our Victory Heights Artists

Seattle artists will soon be painting the utility boxes throughout Victory Heights. If you would like to help select which artists we bring to the neighborhood, visit this link and send in your scores by midnight, Saturday August 22nd.

If you would like to stay up-to-date on this initiative, please email VHArtBox@gmail.com.

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