School Is Open: Bus Etiquette for Cars

School buses will soon roll out across Seattle. Here’s a review of what to do when their red lights flash.

RULE 1 – When you’re behind the bus
Always stop, regardless of the number of lanes. Never try to pass on the right, since that’s where kids are loading and unloading.

RULE 2 – When the bus is coming toward you
Stop unless the road has three or more lanes (at least one in each direction, plus a center turn lane) or the lanes are separated by a physical barrier or median.

Once the red lights come on, you need to stay stopped until the bus driver turns them off.

From Pemco Insurance

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Thornton Creek Homeless Situation

The Victory Heights Community Council has been made aware of a homeless encampment in Thornton Creek in the green belt near 17th Avenue NE.  After talking with stakeholders, they released this statement on how to deal with it going forward:

Dear neighbors,

The individuals camping near Thornton Creek will be approached by the City’s Navigation Team in the next few weeks.  They will be educated about available services and encouraged to take advantage of such.  They will be given three days to remove their belongings from the area and/or their belongings can be placed into storage.   After the three days, the Navigation Team will remove the debris and clean up the site.

Because this site is so important to our neighborhood and the health of all, we encourage everyone to contact City officials and keep the pressure on for the earliest possible resolution.

How the City prioritizes sites:

“The following criteria, which have no relative priority, shall be considered when prioritizing encampments for removal: (1) objective hazards such as moving vehicles and steep slopes; (2) criminal activity beyond illegal substance abuse; (3) quantities of garbage, debris, or waste; (4) other active health hazards to occupants or the surrounding neighborhood; (5) difficulty in extending emergency services to the site; (6) imminent work scheduled at the site for which the encampment will pose an obstruction; (7) damage to the natural environment of environmentally critical areas; and (8) the proximity of homeless individuals to uses of special concern including schools or facilities for the elderly.”

These particular encampments, along the Thornton Creek, address 4 out of 8 concerns.

  1. Human waste is being dumped close to the stream.  The pathogens contaminate ecological systems and also sicken humans and animals.
  2. If someone in that area needed emergency help, it would be VERY difficult for first responders to reach them.
  3. The Thornton Creek watershed is both Seattle’s and Shoreline’s largest watershed, and drains into Lake Washington at Matthews Beach Park. That water ultimately goes through the Lake Washington Ship Canal to Puget Sound. The creek is a historic home to at least five species of Pacific salmon and trout.
  4. That area is used by many children/families as they make their way to Sacajawea Elementary School. The first day of school is Sep 5th.


Customer Service Bureau:

Phone: (206) 684-2489

Customer Service report form

Find It, Fix It app (Android and iPhone users)

Fax: (206) 684-5529

Mailing Address:

Customer Service Bureau
PO Box 94726
Seattle, WA 98124-4726

District 5 Council Member Debora Juarez

Write, call, email. 

Use the talking points above.

Contact the CSB regularly!!


Victory Heights Community Council

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Mosque BBQ, Jazz Festival: August Event Calendar

Here are events in and around Victory Heights in August:
Sunday, August 12th: 17th Annual Idris Mosque Annual BBQ, 2-5 PM, 1420 NE Northgate Way.
Saturday, August 18th: 16th Annual Jokumfest: Victory Heights own jazz festival will again be held behind Gary Schudie’s house, 2021 NE Northgate Way, 3-10 PM. Complementary beverages and main dish will be provided. Please bring a side dish to share.
No Victory Heights Community Council meeting this month, we’ll be back on September 18th.
Enjoy your summer!

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Open Park, New Path, Draw Big Crowds to Potluck

The sixth annual Victory Heights Potluck/Ice Cream social on Tuesday night was another big hit this year with a record crowd of 150 stopping by to sample the food, eat ice cream, and enjoy the new playground equipment and path at the park.
The firemen from Engine 40 in Wedgwood brought their fire truck again for tours, (no doubt hanging out in the shade of NE 106th Street was preferable to their hot-house brick firehouse). Kids (and adults) got to climb over the equipment and sit in the driver’s seat for nearly the entire two hours the event lasted.
The Lake City Farmers Market and the Thornton Creek Alliance both had booths set up, and our emergency communications hub was set up by the tennis courts.  But probably the largest draw was the fact Victory Heights Park is open again, with the path around the field (which is still fenced off to let the new grass grow) having just opened a week ago.
Families from all across the neighborhood continued to show up all evening, the result of which we ran out of ice cream, a first! Sorry for anyone who missed out. There was plenty of food though, most of it homemade.
Thanks to everyone who attended, and those who volunteered during the event. We hope to see you again next year!
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Vote To Improve NE 104th Way

At this month’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council we heard about voting for “Your Voice, Your Choice” and the chance to get $90,000 in funding to improve NE 104th Way.
Read the entire minutes of the June meeting.
The city of Seattle has accepted proposals throughout the city for various improvement projects including one we submitted to put a sidewalk in on NE 104th Way from 23rd Avenue NE to Lake City Way. Currently pedestrians going to the bus stop at the bottom of the street must walk in the middle of the narrow lane. The city has modified our proposal, saying the street is too narrow and steep for a sidewalk, but they can put a shoulder up to Lakeview Lane. You can now vote to fund this project.
Everyone over 15 can vote for three projects by visiting this site: Then select “District 5” then click “Vote Now” and then verify your phone number, so be ready. Once you have received a text message with a code and input it into the site you can vote.  Be sure and vote for Project 5F, the NE 104th Way project. Thanks!
In other news, we heard an update about the Northgate Community Center (they have a Community Festival coming up on June 29th from 5-8 PM), and how to safely pick up used needles that are found on private property (the city will pick up needles on public right-of-ways within 24 hours if you use the Find It, Fix It app or website, but they cannot do it on private property).
Our annual potluck/ice cream social will be Tuesday, July 17th on NE106th Street next to the park from 6-8 PM. This is our big neighborhood event each year that draws scores of families and usually an appearance by the Seattle Fire Department.

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Neighborhood Yard Sales Draw Sellers & Buyers

The first attempt to do a neighborhood-wide Victory Heights yard sale event went very well on Saturday.  Eleven residents held sales in their own yards while six set up next to the park on NE 106th Street.
Vendors began setting up a little after 8 AM and were ready by the time first wave of buyers started coming by at 9 AM. The cloudy skies and mild temperatures were perfect weather for selling.
Maps were available to direct people at the park to the other neighborhood sales.  At 2PM The Salvation Army had arranged to pick up anything leftover that nobody wanted to haul back to their house. Thanks to Ann Forrest for organizing everything.

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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!
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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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