Thornton Creek Adopt-A-Stream Meeting April 7th

The kick-off meeting for the Adopt-a-Stream Foundation grant will be Monday, April 7th at 7 PM at the Nathan Hale High School Commons, 10750 30th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125. They invite all of you to partner with Adopt-a-Stream and Thornton Creek Alliance as they embark on a major education outreach to creekside residents.

The agenda will include looking for areas, in terms of water quality, that could use some help.  They will be canvassing door-to-door in high-priority areas to identify good potential restoration sites (e.g., Areas with invasives along the bank where the landowner would let us remove and replant a 35’ buffer with natives) and deliver water quality information to people who could use the encouragement (e.g. Areas where there may be excessive pesticide use by private landowners, excessive pet waste, etc.).

Everyone with an interest in the health of the watershed is invited to participate.  Bring your ideas and observations.

For more information contact Brooke Clement with the Adopt A Stream Foundation, 425-316-8592 ext. 113

City Wants Feedback On Hazard Mitigation

The City of Seattle is looking for feedback from citizens who have concerns about how a major disaster could affect their community. You can provide input to a citywide hazard mitigation plan that addresses the potential impacts as a result of a disaster. In addition to a citywide Open House on Tuesday April 8th, they are collecting input during a public comment period March 25 through April 23, 2014. Comments can be provided during this period through an online survey, e-mail, postal mail or in person at the open house on the 8th at the Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. South. The presentation at the Center begins at 7 PM and runs until 8:30.

Take a minute to answer the survey if you can and feel free to add comments at the end that you think will help the city prepare for an emergency.


Community Council Meeting March 18th

The Victory Heights Community Council will be having a meeting on Tuesday, March 18th starting at 7 PM at the Preschool building in Victory Heights Park. The entire community is invited to participate. Among the discussions this month will be finalizing proposals for the CleanScapes Award (due April 15th), and planning for this year’s Neighborhood Night Out that will be held on August 5th. As usual, bringing your own chair means not having to sit in the scaled-down furniture at the school. And thanks to Daylight Savings Time, it will be still be light at the start of the meeting (and no rain, at least according to the forecast).  We hope to see you there!

Sacajawea Playground Public Meeting March 12th

sacajaweaSeattle Parks and Recreation is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, March 12th about the Sacajawea Playground Renovation project. The project will include improvements to trails, wetlands and additional playground equipment. At the meeting, the public can hear more about the project, the proposed timeline, and provide their input on selection of play equipment. Parks staff will attend to answer questions.

The meeting will be held at the school, 9501 20th Avenue NE from 6 PM to 7:30 PM. The project is funded by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, Sacajawea PTSA, Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund, Seattle Schools Self Help Projects, King County Youth Sports and generous community support. Construction would be done during the summer and completed by December this year.


More CleanScapes Award Proposals

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, the results from last month’s SurveyMonkey poll were read out which asked residents which idea they liked best to submit to CleanScapes for the $50,000 award our neighborhood is sharing with surrounding areas.

Read the full minutes of the February meeting.

The most popular choice, adding a greenway or pedestrian path down NE 104th Way to Lake City Way, unfortunately would cost far more than $50,000 because of cost of the sewer work and sidewalks that would need to be installed. Many of the proposals centered around improvements to Victory Heights Park. Annie Fanning, a volunteer forest steward for Green Seattle Partnership, made a presentation for putting some large boulders near the trail head on Thornton Creek at 17th Avenue NE that “could provide seating out of the mud for meditation and quiet enjoyment of Thornton Creek.” She estimates this could be done for less than $5,000, but permission from the city would be required. Remember that anyone can submit proposals to CleanScapes prior to the April 15th deadline, the only requirements are it has to be a community improvement project, located in the “Thursday North” collection area, and “visible and easily accessible to the public.” In March, the Community Council is hoping to crystallize support behind one or more ideas and submit them on our behalf.

Other topics covered in the meeting included an attempted break-in at a residence on NE 106th Street, across from the park, on the morning of February 11th. After a back window was smashed by a large rock, an alert person at the nearby preschool heard the noise, observed a car with suspicious people parked in front of the house, and called 911. The car drove off with three occupants, who never got inside the house. The police arrived 10 minutes later and investigated. Moral of the story: see or hear something suspicious?, call 911!

And planning is beginning for another Neighborhood Night Out street party on Tuesday, August 5th, following up on the very successful one held last year.

The next Community Council meeting will be on Tuesday, March 18th. We love to see new people come and participate!

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Nearly 2 Inches Of Snow But Roads Passable

Looking east down NE 100th Street

Looking east down NE 100th Street

After an overnight snowfall that KOMO is calling the largest in two years, it is still possible to drive around Victory Heights. With nearly 2 inches of snow on the ground that started around 7:30 PM Saturday night, the roads don’t look too bad, although there is some ice present.  If taking a hill to get off Victory Heights seems too daunting until temperatures warm up later today, head for Northgate Way which is plowed and clear. Drive slowly and safely!

Answer Our Survey: How To Spend $50,000

As you have read here and here, CleanScapes has awarded a $50,000 prize to be used somewhere in Victory Heights/Pinehurst/Lake City/Maple Leaf/Northgate for improvement projects. The Victory Heights Community Council would like to hear from residents about what we should put our efforts into for awarding a project in our neighborhood (we may end up splitting money with other communities, it’s not all-or-nothing). We’ve created a survey after a brief brainstorming session and would like you to vote on your favorite proposal (or suggest your own!).


CleanScapes Accepting Project Proposals Through April 15th

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, representatives from CleanScapes described in detail the process of awarding the $50,000 our neighborhood (shared with Lake City, Northgate, Pinehurst and Maple Leaf) received for reducing our waste last year (down 8.37% from 2012–woo hoo!).

Read the full minutes from the January Meeting.

While anyone in Seattle can propose a community improvement project, it must be located in the “Thursday North” collection area and “visible and easily accessible to the public.” The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2014, and afterwards in May and June, a selection committee made of representatives from each neighborhood’s community council will make the final determination of which projects to award the money to. Full details about the selection process can be found here, and a FAQ is available from CleanScapes here. If you have any good ideas, please bring them to future meetings of the Community Council or submit them on your own.

Other business at the meeting included the Seattle Police Department’s Community Police Academy Program, a free series of 11 meetings on Thursday evenings beginning March 13th to help residents become “familiar with various facets of the Seattle Police Department and gain insight into law enforcement’s role in the criminal justice system and the daily work of police employees.” Applications to participate are due in by January 31st.  More info at:

There will be a meeting of the Parks Legacy Committee on January 30th at the Bitter Lake Community Center at 7 PM in order to show support for improved staffing and getting more funding for the Lake City Community Center which is in woeful shape. Currently Lake City is only one of three in the system not staffed by the Parks Department and is so outmoded that it has no sports courts and no elevator.

The Lake City farmer’s market is looking for support this summer (i.e. come and shop!) when it resumes on Thursdays in June with new 3-7 PM hours.

And plans are afoot to replicate the success of last year’s Neighborhood Night Out, scheduled for August 5th, 2014.

The next meeting of the Community Council will be on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 starting at 7 PM at the Preschool Building in Victory Heights Park.

Thornton Creek Gets NPR Shout-Out

Pb180388A story on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” today on daylighting streams mentioned Victory Height’s Thornton Creek. In the piece about efforts in Cincinatti to bring back an underground stream, they said, “It’s been almost seven years since Seattle spent $14 million to uncover Thornton Creek, it spurred $200 million in private development including a retirement community and a movie theater,” referring to Thornton Place at Northgate.  You can listen to the entire three minute story here.

Does 20th Ave NE & NE 105th Street Need Traffic Calming?

Looking north at the intersection of 20th Ave NE and NE 105th Street

Looking north at the intersection of 20th Ave NE and NE 105th Street

A topic that came up during last month’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council was a proposal to do some sort of “traffic calming” [Seattle-ese for traffic circles, yield signs, or speed bumps] at the intersection of 20th Avenue NE and NE 105th Street (the SE corner of Victory Heights Park). The is where 20th Avenue “jig jogs” as it crosses NE 105th to 19th Avenue NE, an uncontrolled intersection with many blind corners. However, speaking with the residents whose houses surround the intersection found most felt nothing needed to be added.  “People are careful,” said Jim whose tan house can be seen in the photo, directly behind where northbound 20th Avenue “T”s out. His driveway is on the 19th Avenue side (facing the park), and although he always exercises a lot of caution when backing out, he thinks people slow down at the intersection.

Jerry, his next door neighbor, also doesn’t see the need for a traffic circle, although he pointed out he never lets his children cross the intersection without him present because of the blind corners. He wasn’t against a yield sign being put in.

His neighbor across the street was very adamant against putting anything in the intersection, particularly a traffic circle, saying, “I’d be against that.”

In fact, four of five of the neighbors I spoke with said they’d never seen an accident at the intersection and seemed to think it was okay as it was.

However this view was in contrast to Sarah, who has lived on the corner for three years, and reported several near misses and an accident a year ago in which a tow truck had been required. She was in favor of yield or stop sign going in.

The consensus definitely was against putting in a traffic circle, like the one that already exists just one block north at NE 106th Street, or the one soon coming a few blocks east at 23rd Avenue NE. But maybe we haven’t heard the last of this. Feel free to add your comments below.

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