How The Police Deal With Homeless Issues In Seattle

This month’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council featured returning speaker, Seattle Police Department Officer Bryan Kennedy, speaking about “How the police interact with homeless individuals.”
Read the entire minutes of the May meeting.
Officer Kennedy said, “Our goal is not to arrest our way out of this issue.” The city council calls the shots, and that policy includes at the moment non-enforcement of laws about sleeping on sidewalks, in parks, etc. Typically officers try to do an assessment of any homeless persons and try to hook them up with services, but often they are dealing with people with mental health and addiction issues. There is a Navigation Team to deal with large encampments. If you see someone sleeping on public property, use the “Find It, Fix It” app (or website) to report it. On private property where trespassing is an issue, or if there is a crisis moment occurring, you should call 911. Ultimately he said of homelessness, “This kind of issue isn’t resolved quickly.”
Upcoming Events:
Saturday, June 16th: Neighborhood-wide Yard Sale.  We will be closing NE 106th Street just west of the park if you want to set up as a group, or you can sell things directly from your yard or garage.
Tuesday, June 19th: Victory Heights Community Council Meeting, probably in the park (we can’t use the preschool during the summer). Guest speaker: Tracy Cramer, sharps disposal educator.
Tuesday, July 17th (note new date!): Our annual Victory Heights Potluck and Ice Cream Social. 6 PM on NE 106th Street on the west side of the park.
Tuesday, July 24th: Block Leader Meeting, which will feature our local crime prevention coordinator.
More events coming including a “Stop The Bleed” first-aid course, soliciting for paint designs for the traffic circles, a “Tallest Tree in Victory Heights” contest, and an Urban Survival Skills demonstration in the park this autumn after the path is finish.
Don’t forget the Lake City Farmer’s Market starts Thursday, June 7th, every Thursday through September. They have 14 new vendors this year.

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Despite Rain, Emergency Communications Drill A Success

Despite steady rain all morning, on Saturday the Victory Heights Community Council successfully hosted a drill for our emergency communications HUB in Victory Heights Park. Part of a city-wide drill, “No Power, No Bars,” to simulate an area-wide prolonged power outage, pop-up tents were set up in the tennis court area for our HUB.  Nearby, amateur radio operators had their own area set up to receive messages being broadcast by the city, and to communicate with other HUBs.
Volunteers trickled in all morning to work the various HUB operations, as well as participating in mock “needs” that the workers would attempt to resolve. This was a good way to simulate what would happen during an actual crisis.
The HUB is not intended to provide first-aid or any type of physical supplies in the case of an emergency, but rather to allow members of the community to communicate with each other, by hooking up people with resources with people who have needs.  Hopefully most people have prepared with enough provisions to ride out an event where outside help might be days or weeks from coming.  Here are some tips to get started.
The supplies in the HUB, which are stored in the park, were supplied by the city thanks to a matching grant we received last year.  We are currently running a GoFundMe to help supplement supplies.  Thanks to everyone who participated and ignored the rain!
Please “Like” the Victory Heights Blog Facebook page.

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Idriss Mosque Battles Religious Extremist

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council (read the complete minutes here), we heard from Hisham Farajallah about an unfortunately problem they’ve been having at the local Idriss Mosque on Northgate Way. A religious extremist has taken it upon himself to show up outside during Friday afternoon prayers with very offensive signs, a video camera, and the hopes of sparking a confrontation that he can “document” and go viral with. The feeling at the mosque is the best way to deal with this protester is to ignore him, apparently he hates that. They are hoping volunteers can show up on Fridays to help attendees avoid interactions. They don’t want a counter-protest. They don’t want to engage him. Just have everyone ignore him.
On the plus side, the mosque will be hosting an open house pre-Ramadan event on Saturday, May 5th starting at 5:30 PM that will include tours and a potluck. It’s worth checking out.
In other news, our emergency communications HUB in the park has been installed (or at least the storage box we got from the city using the grant we won). And we’ll be testing it at our “NO POWER, NO BARS” drill on Saturday, April 28th between 9 AM and noon. This is a city-wide event to simulate what would happen if the electricity failed for a long period of time. We need HUB volunteers (no experience necessary, and you get to wear a neat hat), as well as actors who will be given scripted scenarios to help the volunteers practice (again, no experience necessary). You might end up doing both. Bring the kids, last year’s drill included a very helpful Scout troupe. Our GoFundMe campaign is still going on, we hope to raise some funds to buy walkie-talkies, tables, and other things that the HUB didn’t come with.
The Victory Heights Neighborhood Yard Sale will be Saturday, June 16th from 9 AM – 2 PM. We have received permission to close NE 106th Street along the west side of the park, if people want to bring their stuff to be sold in one central location. Or let us know where your yard sale will be and we’ll have maps.
The next meeting is Tuesday, May 15th when Officer Kennedy from SPD will be speaking about dealing with homelessness, particularly the person who is camped out on 19th Avenue NE and Northgate Way.

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Support Our GoFundMe For Victory Heights Emergency HUB

Support our GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the Victory Heights emergency communications HUB.  On April 28th we will be holding a disaster drill in Victory Heights Park to simulate an extended power outage in our area.  Our new HUB lock box will be ready, along with the tables, chairs, magnetic boards, hats and other equipment so we can receive and distribute information to residents.  But we need more, hence this fundraising effort to get us more than the “bare-bones”: walkie-talkies, message boards, waterproof maps, rain ponchos, and canopies for starters.  Help our neighborhood be prepared in case of an emergency.  And come participate in our drill on the 28th (9 AM in the park–you can be a HUB volunteer or play out various scenarios that we will provide). The board of the Victory Heights Community Council thanks you!

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Upcoming Events This Spring & Summer in Victory Heights

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Center (see full minutes of the meeting) the following events were announced:
Saturday, April 28th: Emergency Communication HUB Drill. We will setting up and testing our new HUB and participating in a city-wide drill to simulate a widespread power grid outage. Come volunteer, no experience necessary.  9 AM in Victory Heights Park.
Saturday, June 9th: Spring Clean. Still in the planning stage, but a chance to walk around and clean up the neighborhood.
Saturday, June 16th: Victory Heights Neighborhood-wide Yard Sale. We’ll be advertising and putting out signs.  Set up at your house or at a central location near the park.
Tuesday, July 17th: (new date) Victory Heights Potluck and Ice Cream Social.  Our annual party to get together and meet neighbors, eat, have free ice cream and maybe even tour a fire engine. 6 PM on the west side of Victory Heights Park.
Don’t forget upcoming meetings of the Community Council (everyone welcome): Tuesday, April 17, and Tuesday May 15th. 7 PM in the Victory Heights co-op preschool in the park.
Please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook page.

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Handy Links For Emergency Preparedness

Here are useful links for emergency preparedness:
Seattle Hazard Explorer
King County Hazard Explorer
Texting apps when you don’t have wi-fi or data:
https://www.geckoandfly.com/22562/chat-without-internet-connection-mesh-network/
Emergency Alerts and Notifications
Seattle:            http://alert.seattle.gov
King County:    http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/emergency-management/alert-king-county.aspx
Navigation apps when you don’t have wi-fi or data:
https://www.wired.com/2015/04/offline-gps-apps/
Neighborhood resources – find them now or start one
Emergency HUB – or – Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) group:
http://seattleemergencyhubs.org/seattle-emergency-neighborlink-map/
Smart911
Adding your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact number to your phone’s locked screen:
https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2489237,00.asp
Take Additional Classes:
http://www.seattle.gov/emergency-management/training
 
 
 

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Learn Disaster Preparedness 101 on March 18th

Disaster Preparedness 101
DON’T TUNE OUT! I know the subject feels daunting but I can almost guarantee you will feel better after this class. Knowledge is Power!

On Sunday, March 18 from 2 – 3pm at the Victory Heights preschool (1747 NE 106th Street), some of the things we’ll cover: – how to ride out an earthquake in bed – what to do with electricity, gas, and water – what’s the most important thing to stock up on – and much more! 

No need to bring anything except maybe an adult size chair.
Questions? Contact Ann @ VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com.

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Northgate Pedestrian Bridge Drop-In Sessions This Month

The Seattle Department of Transportation has announced three “drop-in sessions” this month to show off the latest design of the proposed Northgate pedestrian bridge over I-5 that will hook up with the Link Light Rail station there.  Working with their partners at North Seattle College, they recently refined the west approach to the Northgate Ped/Bike Bridge. Stop by a session to learn about:

  • Bridge design updates
  • 1st Ave NE protected bike lane
  • Public art
  • Upcoming State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental review and how to provide feedback during the public comment period

Monday, March 19: 12 – 1:30 PM
North Seattle College, The Grove
9600 College Way N
Tuesday, March 20: 8 – 9:30 AM
Aljoya Thornton Place
450 NE 100th St
Wednesday, March 21: 5 – 6:30 PM
Neighborcare Health at Meridian, Room 110
10521 Meridian Ave N
Drop-in sessions are open, informal opportunities for you to come and go as fits your schedule and speak with project staff. Can’t make one of these events? Information will also be posted on their project webpage.
 

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Interested In A Victory Heights Yard Sale?

Let’s have a yard sale in Victory Heights!
We would like to plan a neighborhood-wide yard sale this summer. If you think you might be interested, please take this poll:
https://doodle.com/poll/ssebsagfin82rct8
Each home would sell items on their own property but we would publish a map of participating households. If you are 70% sure you would have items to sell and would like to participate, please indicate what date would work best for your household. Any questions, please contact Ann Forrest @ VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com.

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Help Your Voice Your Choice Improve 104th Way

Your Voice Your Choice is a participatory budgeting initiative in which Seattle residents democratically decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements. A total of $3 million has been allocated in the 2018 budget and residents can participate in the district where they live, work, go to school, receive services, or volunteer.
Victory Heights has three requests up for consideration:
1) Traffic calming measures on NE 115th St between Pinehurst Way and Lake City Way
2) NE 104th Way heading down to Lake City Way NE
3) 24th Ave NE heading down to Lake City Way NE
These projects, along with several others in the area, will be discussed at upcoming meetings. Participants are responsible for evaluating the project ideas that are submitted based on need at the project location & community benefit of the proposed project.
Neighbors, we all know these walkways are hazardous for pedestrians but we’re competing against many other, also worthwhile, projects for funding. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending one, or all, of these meetings.
The more support we can show for these projects, the better our chances of making it happen!!
• Project #1 will be discussed this Wednesday, February 28th, from 1 – 3pm at the Lake City Community Center (12531 28th Ave NE)
• Projects #2 and #3 will be discussed Wednesday, March 14th, from 6 – 8pm at the Meadowbrook Community Center (10517 35th Ave NE)
If you cannot attend these particular meetings, but would like to evaluate the Project List that will be discussed at that meeting, you may attend one of these meetings:
– March 3rd, 11am – 1pm
Little Brook Meeting, Jackson Park Tutoring Center – 14374 30th NE
– March 14th, 3 – 5pm
North Seattle College, ESD/WorkSource Building, Room 142 – 9600 College Way N
– March 15th, 5:30 – 7:30pm
Broadview Branch Library – 12755 Greenwood Ave N
Bring a Neighbor! Each One, Reach One!!
– Need a ride? Contact Ann at VictoryHeights.Seattle@gmail.com, or (360) 550-2234.

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