Friday Trash Days And Tree Composting Next Two Weeks

You’ve probably already noticed no trash or recycling pickup occurred today, that’s because we’re on a Friday schedule in Victory Heights this week and next due to the holidays. Also, the city reminds us, “residents who subscribe to curbside food and yard waste collection can put their Christmas trees and holiday greens out on their regular collection day at no extra charge, from Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 13, 2013. Multi-family buildings can put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge during this time.  Trees should be cut into sections of six feet long or shorter, with branches trimmed to less than four feet to fit into the collection trucks. Sections should be bundled with string or twine. Metal, plastic and ornaments in trees and wreaths must be removed.”

City residents can also take trees free of charge to the North and South Recycling stations (1350 North 34th Street is the closest) until January 13th.

Caroling Party on Sunday

Monica on 17th Avenue NE is organizing a Victory Heights caroling party this Sunday the 23rd beginning at 4PM. She says, “Let’s meet at my house – 10512 17th AVE NE – come in through the back gate located on NE 106th St. We will have cider and hot chocolate….Be sure to bring your flashlight!” Several others have volunteered song books and cookies.  Hopefully the rains will hold off for a while that evening. Be prepared to greet these folks if they come to your doorstep.

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Holiday Lights Illuminate Victory Heights

Something that makes the long, cold nights of winter just a bit more pleasant are the many light displays that can be seen at this time of year.  While Victory Heights can’t compete with Ravenna’s famous Candy Cane Lane, many VH residents have put in a lot of effort and creativity with their displays.  If I didn’t include you here, please send me a picture of your lights and I’ll do a follow-up post. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

10324 23rd Avenue NE

2154 NE 100th Street

2024 NE 103rd Street

10754 17th Avenue NE

1515 NE 106th Street

10806 23rd Avenue NE

10814 23rd Avenue NE

2315 NE 108th Street

Year’s First Snow In Victory Heights

Snow in Victory Park on December 19, 2012

The year’s first snowfall in Victory Heights occurred last night with a light dusting.  As of 8 AM on Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-30s and steady rain, the roads were wet and slightly slushy but easily navigable. The snow is expected to be gone by this afternoon.

 

 

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What Does A Community Council Mean For Victory Heights?

On one of the local e-mail lists, there has been some discussion about what the revived Victory Heights Community Council will and will not do.  Inadvertently I poured fuel on the fire when I jokingly suggested that if I were drafted as an officer I would run on a platform of seceding from the city of Seattle and imposing a $5000 assessment on every house to pay for new sidewalks.  THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! A Community Council can no more make demands on residents than a Boy Scout troop can. The Council is merely a way for neighbors to get involved with their area, get to know each other, and provide that great sense of “community.”

Although the new Community Council will have a token annual membership fee (probably $5), in fact it is already flush with cash from the previous Council which was active in the area 10 years ago. So rather than asking for money all the time, the Council will be able to pay for and sponsor events like Easter egg hunts in the park, block parties, and other community building events. Even better, the city has small grants available to help support activities like this but they prefer to give these to recognized organizations with proper by-laws, officers, regular meetings, etc. In addition, it carries a lot of weight with the North District Council to have an official Community Council when looking for grants to pay for things like traffic circles.

The only real work most people have to do is to get involved. Typically that might mean coming to monthly meetings (tentatively planned for the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM at the Preschool in Victory Heights Park, beginning January 15th), listening to proposals and then voting. The more people who participate, the more reflective of the community the Council will be. And nobody is going get taxed, and no sidewalks are going to be built without a lot of public comment and a huge financial commitment by the city which is now virtually non-existent.

Please attend our organizational meeting on January 15th, 2013. The By-laws (essentially, our constitution) will be discussed and voted upon, and officers elected (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary).

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Victory Heights Co-operative Preschool Enters 4th Decade

The former Community Club/voting site building in Victory Heights Park has been used as one of North Seattle Community College’s Co-operative Preschools for at least 40 years now. (Nobody is quite sure exactly when it started however, no documentation exists prior to 1982 but Program Coordinator Val Donato says, “I know there was a group there prior to me starting in 1974.”) Though the Community College provides teachers and materials, it is the parents who really run the show and are expected to put in time during classes each day. These parents (one per family) rotate through assigned tasks including playground supervision or providing the daily snacks, plus hold a permanent position throughout the school year such as safety officer, or parent coordinator.

There are four classes available depending on the age of the child: toddlers, Pre-3s, 3-4s, and 4-5s.  The older children attend more days a week than toddlers. You don’t have to live in Victory Heights to belong to the Co-op, but registration for newcomers must be done through the Community College (read their webpage for full details on applying). As children age, they automatically can graduate to the next older class. Legacies are available for younger siblings of former students.

In addition to activities, playground time, and readings, the children learn to be with other groups of children on a routine basis, and often will see the same people as they move on to elementary school.

While the Seattle Parks Department maintains the exterior building, the grounds, and playground equipment, the parents refurbish and maintain the interior of the building. They would like to have the jungle gym replaced but Parks says Victory Heights is not on the list. Instead, parents are hoping a fundraising effort might be able to pay for one if possible.

In addition to tuition fees ($70-$180, depending on how many days a week their child’s class meets), parents technically are registered as students at North Seattle, pay a small tuition each quarter and receive credits.

Often, parents stay at the Co-operative and become teachers long after their children have moved on. Karen Truelove (her “house” is now a play area–see photo at top) was a teacher for many decades  (with a long waiting list until she retired). Teacher Marianne has also been at Victory Heights for many years and encourages daily playtime outside for the children rain or shine. (By the way, the orange barriers set up when the kids are outside are merely to keep them IN, not the public out. You are free to walk through the park or use the equipment with your kids even when the preschoolers are playing, the Co-op can’t close park.)

Victory Heights is one of over 40 Co-operative Preschools in 13 sites operated by North Seattle Community College, but each one is an autonomous  501(c)3 non-profit organization. The first such Co-op is believed to have been started in the University District after World War II, but Victory Heights is one of the oldest in the area.

According to city records, Victory Heights Park was originally named by the Victory Heights Community Club. The district name originated during WWI. They bought the property and provided volunteer leadership after its development by the W.P.A. But they were unable to pay taxes and it was bought by the city in 1954 (see a pdf document from the city’s Sherwood Historic Files).

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Northgate Sound Transit Presentation Thursday

As part of the regular Pinehurst Community Council meeting on Thursday, a representative of Sound Transit will be giving a presentation on its Link Light Rail extension to Northgate and beyond. The meeting will also include a talk about online communities for Pinehurst, an election for officers, and FREE PIZZA.

What:
Pinehurst Community Council Meeting

When:
Thursday, December 6th @ 6:30 pm

Where:
Pinehurst Amante Pizza and Pasta
12319 Roosevelt Way NE

Also, you can bring new socks/gloves/scarves/hats for the Seattle Police North Precinct Holiday Sock Drive and they’ll deliver them for you.

Dec. & Jan. North District Council Meetings Pushed Back One Week

The North District Council, which normally meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month, has changed the dates for its December 2012 and January 2013 meetings. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 12th at 7 PM at the Lake City Library, 12501 28th Ave NE. The January meeting will be on Wednesday, January 9th. Meetings will return to their regularly scheduled day in February.

See community leaders discuss issues affecting our neighborhoods, although anyone can attend.  Want to know more? Check out these helpful articles:

Part 1: Introduction to the North District Council

Part 2: How Representatives Are Chosen

Part 3: Is the District Council a squeaky wheel or just public relations?

Part 4: Representing Victory Heights

Obama Overwhelmingly Wins Victory Heights

President Obama during the State of the Union Address (official White House photo)

I’m sure to the surprise of no one in Victory Heights, President Obama won a huge majority of votes in last month’s election in the neighborhood’s two main precincts.

According to results on the King County Database, in precinct 2309 (the area between NE 100th and NE 105th east of 20th Ave) the results were:

  • Obama: 214 votes (83%)
  • Romney: 35 votes (13%)
  • Other: 9 votes (3%)

 

In precinct 2316 (between 105th and NE Northgate Way):

  • Obama: 307 votes (83%)
  • Romney: 45 votes (12%)
  • Other: 16 votes (4%)