Park Renovation Begins In April

This week at the Victory Heights Community Council meeting it was announced the long-proposed renovation of the Victory Heights playground equipment, originally scheduled to be completed in 2016 will now begin work “mid to late April and will be complete in late August” according to the official Park Department project website.

Read the complete minutes of the February meeting.

The entire playground of park, including the tennis courts, will be closed throughout construction. The project has taken so long that the original designer will be retiring and new one is taking over to see the completion! The hope is the park will be open for Labor Day and some sort of ribbon-cutting ceremony in September.  Stay tuned!

The park renovation means the deployment of Victory Heights’ first emergency communications HUB will be delayed, as it was going to be situated in the park next to the tennis courts. A temporary location nearby will be secured and volunteer drills will be conducted soon so we will be prepared in the event of an actual emergency.

In other news at the community council meeting, we’re looking to create a mission statement about what goals the council should focus on.  If you have a suggestion, please send it in.

The Lake City Neighborhood Alliance meeting focused on the proposed “upzoning” that is coming to Lake City around NE 125th Street, similar to what just passed in the U District. Needless to say, residents are curious, “What’s in it for us?”

Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 21st.

Snow Delays Garbage Collection This Week

Due to the snow on Feb 5-6, Seattle Public Utilities suspended garbage collection on Monday and announced that all remaining residential services will be delayed one day this week.  If you are in Victory Heights and have a usual pick up on Thursday, it will be on Friday, February 10th.

If your materials are not picked up by the end of the following day, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Customers missed this week will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge, on their next scheduled collection day. For service updates, please check http://www.seattle.gov/util. Follow SPU on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SeattleSPU.

“It’s not a good fit in the eastside or Lake City for an injection site,” Says Juarez Staffer

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council meeting, city councilwoman Debora Juarez’s District 5 Director, Sabrina Bolieu, responding to worries that a heroin injection site was about to be put in Lake City, saying, “It’s not a good fit in the eastside [of District 5] or Lake City for an injection site.”

Read the entire minutes of the January meeting.

Rather, two injection sites have been proposed, one downtown and one in South King County.  Nevertheless, Bolieu said, “Heroin is everywhere” and we should be “prepared to have some hard conversations about dealing with the heroin epidemic.”

Perennial problems like lack of sidewalks, low-income housing, and homelessness also were brought up during the evening’s conversation. If you want to see Councilwoman Juarez in person, you can sign up on her website to meet in her (tiny) office on the North Seattle College campus. Or she will be making an appearance on Friday, February 10th at the Shanty Tavern, 9002 Lake City Way NE, between 6 and 8 PM as a “community celebration” Dive-In.

We got a crash course in how to use the new democracy vouchers we are receiving in the mail, courtesy Wayne Barnett of the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission. They were put in charge of them after a successful ballot initiative a year ago. You can read more about them here.

We’re holding another earthquake preparedness class on Saturday, February 4th at the Northgate Library between 3:30 – 5:15 PM.

The next community council meeting will be Tuesday, February 21st at 7 PM in the Victory Heights Park co-op preschool building.

Please “Like” the Victory Heights Blog Facebook page.

Community Council Hears About Crime Prevention From SPD

This month’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council featured speakers from the Seattle Police Department about crime prevention.

Read the complete minutes of the December meeting.

Crime Prevention Coordinator Mary Amberg, and Officer Bryan Kennedy on the Community Police Team for our area, spoke about how to prevent crime in and around your home. Many of the tips are available here, but include the obvious things like locking windows and doors, not leaving valuables in your car, keep lights on around your house, etc. Call 911 whenever you see suspicious activity, all calls become part of a database that helps put resources where they are most needed. The city’s Find It, Fix It app can report illegal dumping, potholes, trees in the lines, or homeless encampments. Mary will do a a free security analysis of your house and point out weak spots that need attention. You can call her at the North Precinct, (206) 684-0850.

Write down all the serial numbers of valuables in your house such as electronics, TVs, and bicycles (turn them upside, the number is under the pedals).  Other advice includes registering your cellphone with https://www.smart911.com/ so dispatchers know your name and home address in case of an emergency.

In other news, the Victory Heights Survey is still going on until December 31st: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CJJZJR7

The next meeting is Tuesday, January 17th. Sabrina Balieu, city councilwoman Debora Juarez’s right hand, will be the guest speaker and will talk about what’s going on in District 5.

New Emergency Communications HUB Approved For Victory Heights

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council it was announced that our request for funding a communications HUB to be established in Victory Heights Park was approved by the city! Similar to HUBS that already exist at the Fred Meyers in Lake City and Maple Leaf Park (though smaller to begin with), this volunteer-run emergency HUB will allow neighbors to organize after a disaster (most likely an earthquake), trade information and resources, and communicate with the outside world. It will be based in Victory Heights Park.

Read the entire minutes of the November meeting.

tabletop-exAnticipating the HUB, a tabletop emergency preparedness exercise will be held this Saturday, November 19th between 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM at the Northgate Library. One was held last week (see photo) and really helped streamline procedures and problems we might encounter during an actual emergency.

Other bits of news: the annual Christmas Caroling event will be Sunday, December 18th starting at 5 PM.  Let us know if you will be participating or if you’d like us to visit your house and sing a few songs that evening.

The Victory Heights Community Survey is still going on. Take a moment and fill it out so the community council can know how they can better serve you.

A natural gas main will be installed along 19th Avenue NE between NE 107th Street and Northgate Way between November 28-30.

Next month’s speakers on December 20th will include a Crime Prevention Coordinator and a community police team officer talking about “Crime Prevention & Response.”

Please take a minute to “Like” the Victory Heights Blog Facebook Page.

October Events In Victory Heights

Upcoming events in October in and around Victory Heights:

Saturday, October 1st: Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs Table-Top Exercise. With plans moving forward to get a communication HUB here in Victory Heights (read more here), get a jump on how things would work in an actual emergency with this simulation exercise. 9 AM – Noon, Verity Credit Union, 11027 Meridian Avenue North, Suite #102.

Wednesday, October 12th: “Homeless in Seattle” with Mayor Ed Murray. No Murray won’t be homeless, but he’ll be discussing the issue in person at this North Seattle Chamber event. 11:30 AM – 1 PM, Elliott Bay Public House, 12537 Lake City Way NE. Seating is limited and $10 if you want to skip food. Register here.

Saturday, October 15th: Arbor Day in Lake City. The Mayor (again) will attend this celebration of trees. “A fun, family-friendly celebration with activities such as facilitated tree climbing for kids of all ages, apple cider pressing, volunteer tree planting, an ask the arborist booth, a neighborhood Tree Walk, and more!” 9 AM – noon, Virgil Flaim Park, 2700 NE 123th Street.

Tuesday, October 18th: Victory Heights Community Council meeting. Meet our new team of executives, and tour the Seattle Police Department’s 36-foot-long “mobile precinct” which will be parked next to the park. 7 PM – 8 PM, the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park. Bring the kids.

Emergency Preparedness HUB News and More

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council (read the complete minutes here) in addition to an election to vote in a new President and Vice-President (congrats to Ann Forrest and Monica Harris, respectively), there has been much movement on the plan to install an emergency preparedness HUB in Victory Heights Park. Originally the community council was going to apply for a matching grant from the city in order to buy and maintain the supplies for the HUB. The “matching” was done using volunteer hours in the community. However, the city’s Office of Emergency Management has decided they really want more HUBS in the city (“200 in 7 years,” or one within 1/2 mile of every resident in Seattle) and so they have made it much easier to obtain a grant and done away with the matching requirement. They are also offering to sell a $1500 “HUB-in-a-box” starter kit with nearly everything (except radios) to get going setting up a HUB.  The logical place to store it (and set up) is in Victory Heights Park, and the Parks Department has agreed to let us use the concrete pad next to the playground. We are still looking for ham radio enthusiasts in the neighborhood to help with our communication needs.

Speaking of the park, the planned playground renovation has been pushed back yet again, and construction now will start in Spring 2017 and take place during the summer. Designers were also persuaded to use wood chips under the equipment instead of “synthetic turf.”

And the Seattle Police Department’s 36-foot-long “mobile precinct” will be visiting Victory Heights next month! It will be stationed next to the park in time for our meeting on October 18th and the public (and kids) are welcome to get a tour.

New Little Free Library At Bottom of 20th Avenue NE

little-library-4A new Little Free Library has been added to Victory Heights, this one is located where 20th Avenue NE turns into a walking path down towards Thornton Creek.  If your kids take the big stairs up to Sacajawea Elementary, then they would walk past it every day.  This is the sixth Little Free Library in Victory Heights (see map below). The others are located on 15th Avenue NE just north of the mosque, on 14th Avenue NE just north of NE 107th, on NE 106th Street just east of 17th Avenue, on NE 105th just east of 20th Avenue, and on 23rd Avenue NE at NE 104th Way. Visit them today! “Add a book, take a book,” as they like to say.

librarymap2016

Volunteers’ Hours Will Help Build Emergency HUB in Park

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, over 20 people agreed to volunteer their time during the next year to help secure funds to build an emergency communications HUB based on Victory Heights Park.

Read the full minutes of last night’s meeting.

Communication HUBs have been set up around the city by volunteers to be used to gather and disperse information in the case of a disaster.  There has been one in Lake City at the Fred Meyer parking lot for several years now (read about a drill held there several years ago).

On September 12th, Vice-President of the community council Ann Forrest is going to apply for a matching grant from the city. To match the amount requested, community members must pledge to volunteer a certain number of hours (calculated at $20 per hour worked) over the next year (starting on the 12th). So if 10 people each pledged to work 5 hours, that would be 50 hours or $1000 we could receive in matching funds. The cost to set up the HUB will be between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on how much equipment and supplies would be purchased. It would be stored in a locked box in the park, pending approval of Seattle Parks.

In case of emergency, always check your home and family are safe first.  Then check the neighbors.  Then find out how the community is doing.  That is what the HUB is for, especially when conventional communications might not work in an emergency. The HUB would be fitted with ham radios to keep in touch with Seattle officials and other HUBs in the network. Drills would be conducted periodically to help train volunteers and establish procedures to better cope with likely events (earthquakes, massive power outage, volcanos) that likely would mean first-responders would not be able to reach us for hours or possibly days due to infrastructure damage and other priorities.  Keeping people informed about the situation and connecting up resources with needs is the primary function of a HUB.

If you would like to know more, or to volunteer to help put in hours, please write us and we will let the organizers know.

The next meeting of the Victory Height Community Council is Tuesday, September 20th in the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM. We’ll be electing a new president and several board seats are now open.  Come be a part of our great community!

Northgate Pedestrian Bridge Briefing Tuesday

This month’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council on Tuesday, May 17th will feature a presentation by Art Brochet from Seattle’s Department of Transportation about the Northgate pedestrian bridge project. This new bridge over Interstate 5 from the coming Northgate Link Light Rail station across to North Seattle College has been in the planning stage for several years, but funding was in question. However, with the passage of the Move Seattle Levy last year, it is fully funded now and in the design phase for construction to begin in 2018. Come see proposals for bridge design and location and learn more.  The meeting begins at 7 PM at the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park. The chairs are designed for small children, so bring your own for best comfort. We hope to see you there!