Fences Gone At Kingfisher Site

Pa230724After months of work, construction of the Kingfisher Natural Area on Thornton Creek (NE 100th Street and 20th Avenue NE) has been completed and the fences removed. Thornton Creek is now wider and more shallow in order to slow it down during periods of heavy rain such as we have experienced this week (see below):

Water level on a typical dry day (Oct. 24, 2014)

Water level on a typical dry day (Oct. 24, 2014)

Water level during heavy rain (October 21, 2014)

Water level during heavy rain (October 21, 2014)

 

Three different stages of progress at Kingfisher: May 29, 2014, June 26, 2014, and October 24, 2014.

Three different stages of progress at Kingfisher: May 29, 2014, June 26, 2014, and October 24, 2014.

The walkway is now open at all times to allow access between Victory Heights at Maple Leaf at 98th Avenue NE.

The Victory Heights Community Council versus The World Crime League

It may not be a conspiracy, but the level of crime in Victory Heights lately has been unsettling to attendees of last night’s Victory Heights Community Council.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Back at its regular meeting place in the Co-Op Pre-School building in Victory Heights Park, last night the council heard about recent criminal activity including a car stolen just hours earlier from 23rd Avenue NE that had also been stolen just a month earlier from the same location! A number of mail thefts have occurred as well, not only from unlocked mail boxes but the attempted jimmying of locked boxes on 20th Avenue NE. A number of car prowls and burglaries have been reported in recent weeks too.

No doubt the warm summer weather encouraged the criminal element to be out and seize on opportunities, but it’s also very important for residents to always call the police when you see something amiss or suspicious. The police need to know what is going on in our community so they can respond appropriately.

In November, the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department will be sending their community liaison officer to attend our community council meeting, and they will be able to discuss block watches as well as other methods that can be used to deter crime. That will be on November 18th.

In other business, a motion passed to name the new traffic circle on 23rd Avenue NE after the late Susan Causin. And a dog poop bag dispenser is about to be installed in the park in case any dog owners forget to bring their own bags. It will be restocked by volunteers.

The next meeting will be at the pre-school at 7PM on Tuesday, October 21st.

New Traffic Circle on 23rd Avenue NE

traffic circle 3After many years of effort by the community, the new traffic circle on 23rd Avenue NE and NE 105th Street was put in by the city finally.  The circle was installed right after the Labor Day weekend, although funding was originally approved last December. Unfortunately, long time community activist Susan Causin, who was instrumental in getting the circle funded through the North District Council (NDC), passed away over the summer before she could see it installed. Susan helped revive the Victory Heights Community Council in 2012 to help make the case to the NDC, which annually makes recommendations to the city about appropriating money for the Parks and Street Fund projects such as the traffic circle. Susan originally organized the Victory Lane Block Watch for the street she lived on for many years, which included an e-mail distribution list and annual block party. In October 2012 she organized the first meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council to be held in nearly 10 years. Although she made it clear she did not want to be in charge, she did become a board member, and held numerous meetings at her house for emergency preparedness. Her involvement in community activities continued right up through participating in the earthquake simulation drill at the Lake City Hub on May 17, 2014. She was 72 when she passed away from cancer in July, and her friends and neighbors in Victory Heights will miss her spirit and activism.

Pedestrian Bridge Building Over Thornton Creek

P8260653The Knickerbocker Floodplain Project at Thornton Creek continues with the building of a new pedestrian bridge this week to link 20th Avenue NE with Maple Leaf. The old bridge was demolished in July as part of moving and widening the creek and creating a floodplain.

Previous: Kickerbocker Floodplain Work Begins July 1st

Work has been delayed at the site by the large rainstorms, adding several weeks to the project. Originally it was to be completed by the end of August in time for the fish runs, as well as school beginning (many students cross here to reach Sacajawea Elementary school). The plan now is the have the bridge open by September 3rd although construction around the area will continue into October. Safety measures will be added which include:
-Fenced walkways on both ends of the bridge to keep students separate from construction work.
-A flagger at each end of the bridge to alert crews when students are present and guide students safely through the pedestrian path.
-Large equipment will pause when students are present.

The bridge will be open only during school commute times:
-Morning: 8:00-9:00 a.m.
-Afternoon: 2:45-3:30 p.m.

The bridge is scheduled to reopen to all pedestrians when construction is complete at the end of October.

The Countdown to Neighborhood Night Out Begins

This year’s Neighborhood Night Out will be Tuesday, August 5th. Last night’s Victory Height’s Community Council meeting updated us for planning on what we hope is another successful event.

Read the complete minutes of last night’s meeting.

Heidi Smeller is in charge this year of the event which will start at 6 PM on the 5th on NE 106th Street, just west of the park. Like last year, it will feature potluck food and beverages (please bring something), and free make-your-own ice cream sundaes.  No toys this year unfortunately, we couldn’t get another grant from the city. If you would like to help volunteer to bring tables, set up, or distribute flyers throughout the neighborhood next week, please write to Heidi: VictoryHeightsNNO2014@gmail.com.

Last night’s meeting also featured a presentation by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. They are currently working on making 27th Avenue NE in Olympic Hills a safe route for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. This independent coalition is looking for community organizations to join and help “identity, advocate and activate safe and healthy streets for all.”

The only meeting in August is the Neighborhood Night Out, we hope to see you and your family there. The Community Council will be back in September on the 16th at our familiar digs in the preschool building.

Please take a moment to “Like” the Victory Heights Blog Facebook page.

 

Knickerbocker Project Brings More Truck Traffic

The Knickerbocker Floodplains Project off NE 100th Street will be bringing more truck traffic to the neighborhood in the next few weeks. Construction began last week on the project which so far has cleared the land in preparation for the relocation of Thornton Creek (see photo comparing the site over the past four weeks):
Knickerbocker02

In an e-mail to residents Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) said,

We’ve heard concerns about truck traffic in the neighborhood. Because of the nature of the neighborhood streets, our contractor carefully considered pedestrian and traffic safety when they chose a route for trucks to enter and exit the site. All delivery trucks larger than a pickup will follow the directions below.

-Exit I-5 Northgate Way and travel East on NE Northgate Way
-Turn right going South on 23rd Ave NE.
-Turn right going West on NE 102nd St.
-Turn left going South on 21st Ave NE
-Turn left [sic] going East on NE 100th St.
-Back down into site.

We have implemented the following safety procedures for all truck deliveries:
• All deliveries are required to call Project Superintendent 10-15 minutes before entering the neighborhood.
• The contractor will provide flaggers throughout the route for all semi-tractor trailer trucks.
• The contractor will place “No Parking” signs 24 hours in advance for semi-tractor trailer truck deliveries.
• Flaggers and drivers will not allow truck staging or idling on 21st Ave NE.

Why they don’t just go down Lake City Way and then straight up NE 100th Street from Summa is a mystery. It would be a much shorter and direct route rather than through the entire neighborhood. I guess that’s “carefully considered” for you (or a cheap-ass Google Maps route search).

As for the project itself:

Anticipated work during the week ahead
The contractor will:
• Prepare equipment that will divert the creek through flexible pipes while they construct the new creek bed and floodplain.
• Remove the steel frame of the current pedestrian bridge.
• Begin work in the creek July 1 and continue through the fish window.

If you would like to receive e-mail updates about the project from SPU, subscribe to this listserve.

Community Council Tackles Nuisance Houses

Last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council had a focus on the recent SWAT team bust of a house on 19th Avenue NE which resulted in the arrest of the occupant for dealing narcotics (heroin specifically). Drug dealers have apparently been targeting empty or abandoned houses in the area in which to do business.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Nearby residents have attempted to contact the legal owners, some of whom are local, but others are foreclosures now owned by a bank, in an attempt to deal with this situation, either by maintaining the property and keeping out squatters or selling the houses to buyers who will improve them and revitalize the area. Calls to the city do help, as the squeaky wheel does get oil, so if you see suspicious activity around an empty house, call it in. Meanwhile, work continues behind the scenes with the hope of resolving this situation before long without having to resort to mobilizing neighbors and kicking up a fuss in the media.

Also, be on the lookout for a woman who follows UPS and FedEx delivery vans and then steals packages off of porches. She’s been spotted up on NE 113th Street, as well as stealing out of mailboxes.

In other business, not much has happened with the traffic circle project on 23rd Avenue or the proposals that were submitted to CleanScapes to win funding. The Neighborhood Night Out is still in the planning stage and will be held, like last year, next to Victory Heights Park starting at 6 PM on Tuesday, August 5th as a potluck.

Neighbors are encouraged to attend the Lake City Farmers market each Thursday.

The next meeting will be at Heidi Smeller’s house, 1717 NE 105th Street on Tuesday, July 15th.

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!