Playground At Victory Heights Park Re-opens In February

At the January meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council it was announced the new playground at Victory Heights Park will have a “soft opening” (i.e. unofficial) on Saturday, February 10th from 10-11 AM.

Read the entire minutes of the January meeting.

Under construction since May 2017, the new playground includes equipment for younger as well older kids, and will eventually include a basketball court and a path around the field (coming later in 2018).

Other upcoming events in our area include a Seed Swap on Sunday, February 4th from 3-4 PM (yes, during the Superbowl) at the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park.

District 5 city council representative Debora Juarez will be hosting a “D5 Community Network” on Tuesday, February 13th from 7-9 PM at the Seattle Mennonite Church, 1320 NE 125th Street in Lake City. There will be an opportunity for Q&As.

The main speaker at the January meeting was Brian Mickelson from Seattle Public Utilities who talked about the new Thornton Natural Drainage Systems that will be installed on select streets in coming years.  Open houses around the neighborhood last August and October introduced the concept, which includes drains for rain run off that will filter the water before sending it to Thornton Creek.

Also, you have until February 2nd to nominate projects for the city’s annual “Your Voice, Your Choice” program that will give out $3,000,000 in $90,000 chunks to worthy improvements to streets and parks.  We think improved pedestrian access to NE 104th Way down to Lake City Way would be a good project.  Nominate here.

The next meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council will be Tuesday, February 20th. I we hope to see you there!

Northeast Tool Library Moves to Former Dairy Location

The Northeast Seattle Tool Library, a fantastic resource that until now was located on NE 80th where you could borrow tools for free, is moving to the former LaVilla Dairy location, 10228 Fischer Place, just across Lake City Way on the eastern border of Victory Heights.

It will be fully up and operational by March but meanwhile a major challenge is the monthly rent. The current cash flow is not sufficient to cover it, although long term growth should take care of it. You can help by renewing your membership, starting a membership if not a member, and/or making a one time donation.

For a sneak preview inside, visit during the open house, Saturday January 27th from 2 – 4pm.

Press release!:

Dear NESTL Members Past and Present,

We are incredibly happy to announce that we have a new home!  We have agreed in principle to lease the bottom half of the LaVilla dairy building at 10228 Fischer Pl NE, just east of Lake City Way, north of  NE 98th. This space has many great features, including room for a dedicated shop space, extra space for tool storage, and plenty of parking. The upstairs office space will be leased by CB Construction, with whom we look forward to collaborating.

There will be a few changes as we move north sometime this spring  We’ve enjoyed partnering with the Bike Shack for the last five years, and in our new space we’ll have a bike repair area as well.  This will be managed by volunteers Chad Jacobsen and Sachi Wilson, and will be a Tool Library run venture.  We’ll be looking for volunteers to help staff the bike area, so if you have an interest in this, let us know!  Our branch of the King County Seed Library will come along with us to the new space, with more breathing room to peruse seeds for this year’s growing season.

As we make plans to move, we want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the North Seattle Friends Church.  The generosity of the Friends congregation allowed us to get started and to grow as quickly as we have. Thanks also to Cleanscapes for funding our initial efforts, and to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for funding our first paid staff, Dave Gifford.  We thank Dave and Sara Kautz, our second coordinator, for all the work they did to improve the operations of the library and to recruit and train new volunteers.  Chris Lemmen and Mike Murphy, our current coordinators, are busy planning the move and salivating over the new opportunities this space will provide. Thanks to them as well!

We wouldn’t be where we are now without our paid staff and incredible volunteers.  It’s really the volunteer staffers, tool fixers, bookkeepers, inventory managers, website tinkerers and library steering committee members that have made this project happen. Many thanks to all of you!

There will be lots of chances to help as we get ready to move, but here’s the one thing we ask now- continue to be a supporting member of the library. As we now will have a hefty rent bill each month, we will raise our suggested yearly donation to $50.00.   If your membership has lapsed, take a few minutes today to renew it.  The best way to make sure this amazing community asset stays strong is to support it.   Here’s a link to our paypal  page- you can renew your membership with a donation and a quick e-mail or phone call to the library.

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=wOgffUFDEcCGOL08pR4jzHCeeR72_L-DVVYUTaTrj2pmb0CZ-CiUYZn3e-U9vckckNbteG&country.x=US&locale.x=US

Next time you are heading up Lake City, take a detour on Fischer Pl and check out the cool old dairy building. It’s a local gem, and we are grateful that we get to make it our next home!

All the best for 2018!

NE Seattle Tool Library

Trash Collection on Fridays For Two Weeks

If you are in Victory Heights, the trash pickup for the next two weeks will be Fridays instead of the usual Thursday.  Per a SPU press release:

Due to back-to-back Monday holidays, all garbage, food and yard waste and recycling in Seattle will be delayed by one day for a duration of two weeks, starting Monday, Dec. 25, 2017.

There will be no solid waste collections on Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 and Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. Collections will be delayed by one day from normal schedules (e.g. collections for Monday will occur on Tuesday, Tuesday collections will occur on Wednesday, and so on). Customers should set containers out by 7 a.m. to ensure collection.

Customers can report missed garbage, food and yard waste, or recycling collections after 5 p.m. on their rescheduled collection day by calling (206) 684-3000, or filling out a report at www.seattle.gov/util/MissedCollection.

Post Office Offers Daily Mail Notifications

At the November meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, we heard from Seattle Police Department representatives Mary Amberg and Officer Bryan Kennedy about a great new program offered by the postal service that will notify you daily of the contents of your mail delivery so you can be sure it arrives safely.

Read the complete minutes of the November meeting.

Called “Informed Delivery,” once you sign up it will, “Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon.” Officer Kennedy reminded us that, “Seattle has a huge problem with property crime,” especially this time of year when everyone is getting packages. With Informed Delivery, you know exactly what to expect in your mailbox (or door) every day in case something should go missing.

We were also reminded not to leave your items in the car when shopping at the mall this season.

In other news at the community council meeting, we heard from Katie Bang from Seattle Parks about the playground renovation project.  Originally scheduled for completion last September, due to a concrete strike, a water runoff redesign, and the weather, the playground portion of the project is now expected to be finished in mid-December (ribbon-cutting in January?).  In the spring the contractors will begin work on the walking path around the field and finish the basketball court.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, December 19th at the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park.

Disaster Preparedness Suggestions

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council (read the full minutes here) we heard all about disaster preparedness and tips that could really make a difference. Think about recent events in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City. Is it so incredible to think about a massive earthquake hitting the Puget Sound area?  Even if there were no substantial damage in our neighborhood, it’s estimated it could be two weeks before we would see outside assistance (other higher priority areas, debris, damaged bridges). Here are some suggestions that would make survival a whole lot better:

  • Sturdy shoes and socks under each bed
  • Flashlight under bed
  • Remove or secure pictures / shelves around bed
  • Secure refrigerator to wall
  • Plug-in-the-wall flashlights that come on automatically when the power is cut
  • Know where the water cut-off is inside your house.
  • Learn how to turn off your gas at the meter if you smell/hear gas leaking
  • Designate an out-of-town contact person
  • WATER! (assume 1 gallon per person per day x 14 days, don’t forget your pets)
  • Strap down water heater
  • Food – do you have enough to last two weeks in your house?
  • Make/buy an emergency toilet (5 gallon buckets work)
  • Find emergency communication HUB closet to your house, work, schools (in Victory Heights there will be one set up in the park)
  • Assemble a “Get Home Bag” for your car or work
  • Scan important documents and upload to the cloud
  • Have cash in small bills stashed away, assume ATMs will not work

Here is a list of further resources:

Resources:

Securing household items http://www.earthquakecountry.org/step1/index.html

Securing refrigerator to the kitchen wall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaMqz9Q_vgc

Turning off the WATER to your house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvE6n7rTGnM

Turning off GAS to your house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keNdbAs-sBk

Twin-Bucket Emergency Toilet http://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/article/394125

 Map of HUB locations in Seattle http://seattleemergencyhubs.org/seattle-emergency-neighborlink-map

 Seattle Hazards Map http://seattlecitygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=0489a95dad4e42148dbef571076f9b5b

Alert Seattle http://alert.seattle.gov

Smart 911 https://www.smart911.com

Add Emergency Contact Number to your phone’s lock screen http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2489237,00.asp

GPS Apps for Offline Navigation https://www.wired.com/2015/04/offline-gps-apps/

http://mashable.com/2015/09/16/offline-maps/#gT52NaBjG8qn

Seattle Resilience Survey http://www.seattle.gov/resilience/get-involved

The next meeting of the community council will be Tuesday, October 17th at 7 PM in the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park.

Park Renovation Project Delayed But Tennis, Anyone?

Appearing at last night’s Victory Heights Community Council Meeting, Bronwen Carpenter, the Senior Landscape Architect with Seattle Parks, announced that the playground renovation project in Victory Heights Park will be delayed.

Read the complete minutes of the June meeting.

Carpenter did say there was good news and bad news about the park. The good was that the tennis courts, which originally were going to be needed as a staging area during the entire construction period, will be opened during hours when actual construction is not going on. However, users are reminded that if a ball goes over the fence into the construction area, not to go after it.

But the bad news was two things are contributing to a delay in construction: one, the contractor has to finish another job first, and two, tests need to be done and a plan worked up to comply with the new 2016 storm water code. It’s hoped all this will only add two months at most to the project with work completely maybe by October. The playground will be done first and opened, and then the work on the field will be done. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget the annual Victory Heights Ice Cream Social is just one month away, on Tuesday, July 18th. Mark your calendars; signs, posters, and flyers will be seen in the coming weeks.

Victory Heights Scores $4,157 Grant From City

Thanks to the efforts of the Victory Heights Community Council (especially President Ann Forrest), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods has awarded a matching grant of $4,157.25 for various signs and expenses to be used around the neighborhood.

Read Minutes from the May Victory Heights Community Council Meeting

Read Minutes from the April Victory Heights Community Council Meeting

This money is in exchange for volunteer hours we have pledged including maintaining the traffic circles around Victory Heights. The funds include purchasing “Welcome To Victory Heights” signs from the city to be placed on arterials, banners, copying flyers, and buying ice cream for the social on Tuesday July 18th.

In other business at the Community Council meeting, we heard from David Johnson of Sustainable NE Seattle. These great folks organize urban farms, school gardens, the NE Tool Library (which is awesome!), the emergency preparedness HUB in Wedgwood, skills fairs, and garden tours.

Despite a fancy display shown to the Council last year, the Northgate pedestrian/bike bridge has been radically redesigned to be narrower, shorter, and more importantly, cheaper than the initial design.

The next meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council will be Tuesday, June 20th at 7 PM at the co-op preschool building and will feature a speaker from Seattle Parks about the renovation project in our park.

Victory Heights Park Playground Renovation Breaks Ground

At long last, the playground renovation project at Victory Heights Park (originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016), broke ground last week. Fencing went up, the old equipment was removed, and the concrete broken up. Next month, the Victory Heights Community Council meeting on June 20th will hear from Katie Bang of Seattle Parks about the project.

Stay tuned to the Victory Heights Blog to read further updates on the park renovation.

 

Victory Heights Blog 5th Anniversary

Wow, how time flies. It seems like just yesterday my wife said, “We need a neighborhood blog for Victory Heights. You are the perfect person to do it.”  So I did, five years ago this week. Since then we’ve seen the revival of the Victory Heights Community Council, a traffic circle installed thanks to relentless lobbying, and the start of an annual Ice Cream Social event each August.  Way to go, Victory Heights!

I’d also like to thank the past Presidents of the community council, Ardith Lupton, Sharon Haggerty (acting Vice President), Victor Hernandez, and our current president Ann Forrest. Also to the late Susan Causin for helping get things going in the first place. Great work, everybody.

The community council has great plans for 2017, plus we get to see our park get a once-in-a-generation renovation this summer. What an exciting time to be in our neighborhood!

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