Parks Department Repairs Fence

fence2After many months of cajoling, last weekend the Seattle Parks Department finally repaired the fence alongside Victory Heights Park that was damaged last year.

Previous: Parks Dept Says They’ll Need SDOT Help To Fix Fence

The news was announced at last night’s outdoor meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council that was held by the picnic tables not too far from the newly repaired fence.

Read the complete minutes from last night’s meeting.

The guest speaker this month was Debbie Goetz from the city’s Office of Emergency Management who spoke about SNAP and the neighborhood HUBs that have been organized in case of an emergency. Attendees received a number of informative flyers as well as two cool gadgets: a keychain whistle, and a miniature wind-up light.

Next month’s meeting (on July 21st, also in the park) will be the planning session for the Neighborhood Night Out on August 4th. We need as many people as possible to attend so we can hand out packets of flyers that will be distributed to every house in the neighborhood in late July. Please come and participate and help make this family event great for a third straight year.

Road “Microsurfacing” Coming To Victory Heights

Like me, you probably received a door hanger today from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announcing their 2015 Microsurfacing Project in Victory Heights (though they referred to it as “North Maple Leaf”–boo!). This process will “maintain roads by coating them with a sealant which extends their life by approximately 7-10 years.”

On days when the sealant is being applied, residents will be notified to keep the streets clear.  The time table is notifying homeowners with large trees that need to be pruned by the end of April (presumably this has, or is about to happen), a reminder notice to be sent out three weeks in advance of microsurfacing for your block, and then “No Parking” signs being placed 2-3 days before work which is scheduled between July and September this year.

The city advises that “residents, pedestrians and even pets should be kept off the emulsion until it has dried” and will keep streets closed for up to 8 hours when the work is being done.

The map below details the streets that will have the work done.

May Day Baskets Coming

maydayAt a work party organized by Ann Forrest today, scores of paper  baskets were made today that will be distributed as door hangers around Victory Heights with flowers on May Day (Friday). Mainly children (with some adult help) yesterday and today produced the colorful paper baskets and adorned them with ribbons and stickers wishing people “Happy May Day” or reminding them of our Neighborhood Night Out on August 4th this year (also organized by Ann). So this Friday, if you find a flower basket hanging on your door, now you know where it came from and what it represents. We hope to make this an annual tradition in Victory Heights and perhaps have a May Pole set up in the park next year.

Parks Dept Says They’ll Need SDOT Help To Fix Fence

parkfenceThe stretch of broken fence along the 19th Avenue NE side of Victory Heights Park will finally get some attention this summer via an alliance by two city departments. At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, newly elected President Victor Hernandez said he had spoken with Chris Johnson at Seattle Parks & Recreation. Johnson said he was aware of the issue of the fence (which has been that way since last November) but that Parks alone couldn’t “find time or budget” in order to get it fixed anytime before this autumn. But, teaming up with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to do the work, the hope is to have something by July.

Read the complete minutes of the April Community Council meeting.

Special bonus: Minutes of last month’s meeting.

Other highlights from last night’s meeting include a reminder of Saturday’s May Day basket making party (maybe next year if there’s interest we can put up a May Pole in the park as a fun family event), an April 29th “Community Conversation” in Lake City about the future of urban design there (see http://lakecityfuturefirst.org/ for details), and a District 5 city council candidates forum at Jane Addams school on May 18th.

Don’t forget the Lake City Farmer’s Market starts up again on June 11th. Building on last year’s success, it will feature revolving food trucks, wine tastings, beer, and musicians. And lots of fresh veggies too!

The next meeting of the Community Council will be Tuesday, May 19th, when the speaker will be Art Brochet, SDOT’s communications representative who will provide the latest updates on the Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Project. We hope to see you there!

Victory Heights Park Playground Needs Your Support

Robin from the Victory Heights Co-op Preschool wants us to know:

In February, Victory Heights Cooperative Preschool applied for a City of Seattle neighborhood grant for park and playground improvements at Victory Heights. Great news: the City has invited us to make a presentation at the North District Community Council meeting on April 1st – no foolin’! :)
To help show your support, please take two minutes of your time to answer a 5-question survey by March 31, 2015. Link to the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MGGM5DT

 

 

Trash Pickups On Friday Over Holidays

As residents of Victory Heights are used to every Thanksgiving, we will have trash pickup this week and next done on Friday, December 26th and January 2nd respectively, due to the holidays falling on Thursdays this year. Put your cans out by Friday morning. And when it’s time to finally get rid of that tree, the city says:

Free Holiday Tree Composting: Seattle residents who subscribe to curbside food and yard waste collection can put their trees and greens out on their regular collection day at no extra charge from Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 1, 2015.

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 non-plastic twine. Metal, plastic and ornaments in trees and wreaths must be removed.

Trees that are flocked and/or have tinsel or ornaments will be collected as extra garbage. Customers will need to cut the tree into three-foot pieces and each piece will be charged as extra garbage. Each unit of extra garbage costs $10.20. Plastic trees are not compostable.

Seattle residents can also drop off holiday trees and greens for free at Seattle Public Utilities’ South Recycling and Disposal station from Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The tree sections must be cut to eight feet or less in length and the trunk must be four inches or smaller in diameter. The limit is three trees per vehicle. Only trees and wreaths without flocking or decoration may be composted free of charge.

Caroling, Crime and Elections at Community Meeting

Last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council was a mixed bag of different topics, including a presentation by Alex Vallandry of Seattle Neighborhood Group.

Read the complete minutes of the December meeting.

Alex spoke about the recent spate of car prowls and thefts and what can be done to reduce them (don’t keep anything valuable–or frankly stealable–in your car, park in well-lit areas, don’t drive 1990s era Hondas). But the silver lining if your car is stolen is it’s usually opportunists looking for a quick trip somewhere, 86% of cars are recovered, most within 12 blocks from where they were stolen. Mail theft came up, definitely a hot topic at this time of year (in fact, I found stolen mail alongside the road today and returned it to the owners, the packages had all been torn open and the contents stolen. The mail had been removed from unlocked mailboxes). Possible deterrents include finding a neighbor who stays home and having packages delivered to them instead of sitting on your doorstep, getting them delivered at work, or going in with neighbors to buy a group locking mailbox.

Caroling will return to Victory Heights again this year, starting at 6:30 PM next Tuesday, December 23rd.  Meet up at the Harris house, 10512 17th Avenue NE (enter on the NE 106th side), where music sheets, cookies, and hot cider will be offered before everyone heads out into the streets. Read about last year’s caroling event.

Finally, elections are coming for the board members and officers of the Victory Heights Community Council. These two year positions include the search for a new President and Vice-President. You might think this sounds like a lot of work, but mostly the President delegates the work to someone else and just has to run the meetings once a month, which pretty much run themselves. Interested in running or being on the council’s executive board? Write to Ardith Lupton.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 at 7 PM in the usual location at the preschool building in Victory Heights Park. Happy holidays, everyone!

“Temporary” Fencing Going In At Knickerbocker Site

fenceSeattle Public Utilities (SPU) began erecting “temporary” fencing around the Knickerbocker Thornton Creek site today in order to keep out “people and dogs” to allow the young vegetation a chance to grow. When construction was completed in October for the floodplain project and the construction fencing was removed it was assumed the site would remain open with clear sight lines to the newly restored creek. Alas, worries about foot traffic (both human and canine) around the sensitive new tree plantings on either side of the creek has altered plans, and new fencing will be erected around the entire site except for a gap to allow access to the pedestrian bridge. The fencing will probably remain through the winter and possibly be replaced by trees or some other type of wood barrier eventually.

UPDATE Dec. 10th: John Crawford-Gallagher, SPU’s Community Outreach Specialist, responds:

  1. The fencing will be around portions of the site, rather than the whole thing. There will be fence along NE 100th and a small section of fence on the south side of the creek.
  2. When we remove the fence will depend on how quickly the plants become established. It may be at the end of winter, but it may be longer.
  3. We don’t plan to replace the temporary fencing with trees or another type of wood barrier.

No Trash Pickup On Thanksgiving

Residents in Victory Heights who normally have their trash, yard waste and recycling picked up on Thursdays will instead have it picked up on Friday, November 28th due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday this week. Everything is pushed back a day, so those with normal Friday pickups will have it done Saturday.  Have your cans out by 7 AM on Friday.

With Christmas Day and New Years Day on Thursdays this year, the same situation will occur, pickups in Victory Heights will be December 26 and January 2nd respectively.

 

Burglary Rate Falls But Residents Worry About Crime

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, residents heard a presentation by Elizabeth Scott, the Crime Prevention Coordinator from the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department (SPD), who said that compared with a similar period last year, burglaries are down in the Lincoln 2 sector that Victory Heights is part of.

Read the entire minutes of last night’s meeting.

However this did not assuage the concerns of some residents who, citing personal experience (and recent articles in The Seattle Times), felt SPD was not treating property crime seriously. Even though her job is helping residents with crime preventation, and not being a spokesman for the department, she said dispatchers have to prioritize cases and burglaries can be a lower priority at times depending on what other calls are coming in. “There are limitations to what we can do.”

Given the recent publicity in The Times, the new police chief, Kathleen O’Toole, said they would be reviewing police procedures. It is still important to report any robberies because it does provide data to the police department of what is happening where and how resources are allocated. On the prevention front, Elizabeth reminded us to lock your doors, make sure your house looks occupied even when it’s not, and store and lock up any ladders or tools that are outside that could be used to enter your house.

Meanwhile, if you need to report a non-emergency such as a homeless encampment or abandoned car, you can call 684-CITY, or use the new Find It Fix It app for your Android or iPhone. For added safety, you can register your mobile phone at Smart911.com with your personal information which would then be displayed if you ever call 911 to let them know who you are and your home address, which might be invaluable during an emergency.

And while burglaries are down, car thefts are up, particularly if you drive a 1990s Honda, Toyota or Subaru. Very often these cars are used by joy riders who leave them on the side of the road afterwards. Lock your cars, use a Club, and never leave valuables inside.

The next meeting of the community council is Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at the Co-Op Preschool building in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM.