Little Free Libraries, Car Prowls Discussed At Community Meeting

The April meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council was held last night and among the topics discussed were supporting the Little Free Libraries and the recent string of car prowls in the neighborhood.

Read the full minutes of the meeting.

Little Library signThe two Little Free Libraries, built on spec by Bob Gordon last year, alas did not get a SPARKS grant from the city to help cover the cost of the materials Bob used. With the community council out of pocket for those expenses, anyone who would care to make a contribution to reimburse us would be appreciated.  E-mail Treasurer Brad Cummings for details on where to send a check. Also, it’s been noticed that two or three times ALL the books have been removed from the libraries. C’mon folks, it’s “Take a book, Leave a book,” not “Take all the books.”  It can’t even be theft, the value of the used books wouldn’t justify the cost of gas driving down to Half-Price Books to sell them. So respect the libraries, and as usual report suspicious activity if you see it.

Speaking of which, a rash of car prowls occurred on Victory Lane recently. Aside from the usual advice, “Don’t leave valuables in your car,” what can be done? Maybe a Block Watch needs to be set up, but as always, vigilant neighbors are the best defense.

In other news, the community council submitted five proposals to CleanScapes in hopes of getting some of the $50,000 award. The deadline passed yesterday. Proposals ranged from putting in a solar light on the park’s bulletin board, to a covered picnic area in the park. My favorite suggestion was paying the city ($1200!) for four “Welcome To Victory Heights” signs to be put around the neighborhood. CleanScapes will deliberate over the proposals and then form a committee of neighborhood representatives to make the final determinations of who gets what.

Around the area, Lake City Way is due for a major overhaul by the city as part of its Lake City Traffic Safely Corridor. 35th Avenue NE in Meadowbrook will be closed for six months while work is done on the Thornton Creek confluence. And Lake City’s annual Pioneer Days celebration has been rebranded as “Salmonfest Seattle,” which will be held August 1-3. No guesses what kind of food will be served at this Seafair-themed event.

The next meeting of the community council will be Tuesday, May 20th. We always like to see new faces, come get involved with your neighbors!

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

Support Metro Transit; Vote Yes On Proposition 1

Residents of Victory Heights who support a sustainable city with convenient bus service should vote for Proposition 1 in the special election this month (ballots should be arriving in your mail box any day now). As we wrote last year, if funding is not restored to Metro Transit, Victory Heights would lose direct bus service to downtown. The 72 bus would be eliminated completely, and the 73 would be moved west to Roosevelt Way. In order to get downtown, you would need to transfer from a 372 in the U District to another bus.

Those who oppose Proposition 1 have only one answer to congestion: build more roads. That may work on the eastside but there is nowhere in Seattle to put more roads. And nobody is in favor of additional freeways, like the RH Thompson Expressway proposal which was canceled in the 1960s.

Fewer buses mean more cars and that is only going to make traffic worse. Support Proposition 1, keep buses rolling and transit as a viable transportation option here in Seattle.

The Stranger’s Editorial


“Walk For Safety” In Lake City Friday

On Friday, March 28th you can be part of the Walk For Safety On Lake City Way. Starting at 3:30 PM at two different locations (in front of Lake City Power Sports, 30th Avenue NE & Lake City Way or in front of the Wells Fargo Bank, NE 130th Street & Lake City Way) and then walking to Chase Plaza on NE 125th Street. There, at 4 PM, a Project Launch to promote pedestrian safety will begin that will include free safety gear. “Join the Lake City community as we launch the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project–a community led effort to make Lake City Way a safer and friendlier street for everyone.”

In January 2013 concerned citizens along with local and state agencies first met to kick-off planning for a project to improve safety along Lake City Way from Northeast 78th Street to NE 145th Street.  The task force is working with data compiled between January 2007 and December 2011 that shows that on this 3.7 miles stretch of roadway there have been:

  • 717 crashes (143/year)
  • 21 serious and fatal crashes (4/year) and
  • 438 total injuries (88/year)

The task force is organized into three teams, engineering, enforcement and education, to identify problems and develop action plans using short term, low cost solutions designed to reduce serious injuries and deaths.

For more information about pedestrian safety on Lake City Way click here.


Crosscut: Victory Heights “Most Average” Political Neighborhood

On Wednesday, Benjamin Anderstone writing on Crosscut did a story about Seattle’s five most liberal and conservative neighborhoods, based on voting records. And for a coda, they determined Victory Heights was politically the most average neighborhood in the city.

Victory Heights ranks close to Seattle’s average demographics on race, income, education, and other political predictors. The neighborhood also has a mix of single-family homes, young renters, and senior living facilities. It’s heavily Democratic, culturally liberal, left-leaning on taxes, and a fierce battleground in most competitive local races. If you could bottle Seattle politics, it would taste a lot like Victory Heights.

You might recall I printed election results from the 2012 Presidential race that showed precincts in Victory Heights voted overwhelming for Obama.

CleanScapes Awards $50,000 Waste Reduction Prize To Neighborhood

CleanScapes (our garbage haulers) has announced the winners of their annual Neighborhood Waste Reduction Reward program. The neighborhoods of Maple Leaf, Lake City, Victory Heights, Pinehurst, Wedgwood won the 2012/2013 competition.

They will receive a $50,000 community improvement project selected by community representatives and funded by CleanScapes. In this annual competition, CleanScapes challenges the neighborhoods it serves to reduce their solid waste footprint.

Proposed projects must be easily accessible for active use by the public and can cost up to $50,000. To be eligible for consideration, proposals must be for a capital improvement project located in the winning neighborhood collection area.

The Victory Heights Community Council (along with I’m sure, the councils in Lake City, Pinehurst and Maple Leaf) will have to come up with something that will fit CleanScapes’ criteria. To be honest, I was unaware there was any sort of competition with other parts of the city (but, yea us!), and who wants to sneeze at $50,000 in free money?

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

Caroling and Traffic Circle Coming To Victory Heights

Here are the highlights from last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, where attendees got to munch on delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies:

Read the full minutes of the meeting here.

For the second year running, Monica is organizing a caroling party, which will get started at 6:30 PM Thursday (tomorrow) at her house, 10512 17th Avenue NE (use the gate on the north side). After 15 minutes or so of practicing, the carolers will fan out around the neighborhood for about an hour. If you are interested in participating, come on over and join in! The temperatures will be in the 30s but it will be dry, the forecast says. Leave your porch lights on and you might get some musical callers tomorrow night!

We’re getting our traffic circle! It’s official, on December 4th, the city notified Eileen Canola that the funding had been approved and that sometime next year the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will construct a traffic circle at the intersection of 23rd Avenue NE and NE 105th Street. Read the ongoing saga of this here and here.

The city is holding a Neighbor Appreciation Day on Saturday February 8th, 2014. There’s little time to get a grant application in before the January 8th deadline, but perhaps something on a small scale could be organized. Ideas?

Other topics included the missing vacuum cleaner at the preschool, bike trail proposals in Thornton Creek, and paying for the new Little Free Libraries that have been built.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 21st at 7 PM.

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

Jokumfest This Saturday Features 10 Hours Of Blues Music

Jokumfest 2012

Jokumfest 2012

Jokumfest, the annual free blues festival held in the backyard of Victory Heights’ resident Gary Shudie’s house, returns for its 11th year this Saturday, August 17th with a full day of entertainment.

Related: Scenes from the 2012 Jokumfest

Things get started at noon with three hours of acoustic music. At 3 PM the scheduled acts begin including:

3:00 – 3:50 – Paul Knight (old time banjo & guitar)
4:10 – 5:00 – Papa Bear Band w/ Shawn Stecker, Billy Reed, Jack Cook,  Matt Fogdall & Don “Papa Bear” Buss
5:20 – 6:10 – Reggie Miles
(songster/blues on guitars & musical saw)
6:30 – 7:30 – Hughs Blues   Rhythm & Blues extravaganza  w/G W Levell, Al Farlow, Steve Branca & Bert DeCoy
7:50 – 8:40 – Eric Madis
with John Marshall, Hugh Sutton, Guy Quintino & Dave Hudson
9:00 – 9:50 – Greg Roberts
& Blues of the Past

In addition to the live music, there will be Papa Bear’s deep fried turkey, and a number of ales including a special Jokumfest Pale Ale. It’s all free, and side dishes are welcomed.  Gary’s house is 2021 NE Northgate Way, parking is recommended on 23rd Avenue NE. Just follow the sound of the music to the backyard!

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

Residential Burglaries Increase 157% From 2012

Last night at the Victory Heights Community Council meeting, Community Police Team Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnstone said residential burglaries for precinct Lincoln 2 (which also includes Lake City, see this PDF map from the city, we’re in L2) went from 14 for the first 50 days in 2012 to 36 for the year to date in 2013. Breaking it down further, she said 21 residential burglaries were within the limits of Victory Heights this year so far.

Read the complete minutes of the February 2013 meeting.

Terrie was accompanied by Officer Kipp Strong of the Seattle Police Department and is available to the public for free home security surveys, inquiries about 911 follow up calls, and dealing with chronic crime. She can be reached at 206-684-7711 or . As part of her survey, she advises keeping heavy objects (like lawn ornaments) away from sliding glass doors or large windows where they could be used to break-in. Also, most burglaries occur during the daylight hours between 9 AM and 3 PM when strangers can blend in more easily with delivery and maintenance people in a neighborhood without arousing suspicion.

Burglars like unoccupied houses, so if someone knocks on your door, answer it without opening it, just to let whoever it is know someone is home. Don’t ignore knocking or doorbell rings. And Officer Strong said, “I’d rather be bothered by a suspicious magazine salesman call than having to dust for fingerprints.” He added, “We need your eyes” and that we know our neighbors and what looks suspicious.

And as many people now use cellphones exclusively, it’s important you always know your location if you need to call 911. Unlike a landline, cells don’t automatically display an address for the operator when you call 911. In King County, there is a service called Smart911 where you can register your cell number, so if you do call, information will be available to first-responders.

Other speakers at Tuesday’s meeting included Seattle Department of Transportation representative Art Brochet about the city’s upcoming paving project on NE 125th Street, a summary of last’s month Thornton Creek Alliance meeting about E. coli pollution in the creek, and a Treasurer’s report.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 19th, 7 PM at the Preschool in Victory Heights Park. Speakers will include Sound Transit on the Northgate Link Light Rail station going in at Northgate.

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

GREENWAYS & URBAN FORESTS — An open discussion

Natural Area Restoration, Volunteers, Crime & Personal Safety

Bring your ideas to an open discussion! Participate in brainstorming sessions with neighbors and community leaders. Hear from others working to create better neighborhoods by integrating community interests.

January 26th Thursday 7pm – 9pm
Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave. NE, Seattle 98125

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council Chair of Parks Committee
Terrie Johnston, SPD Community Liaison
Joanna Nelson de Flores, Green Seattle Partnership Project Manager
Chris Saleeba, Seattle Greenways
Emily Lofstedt, Seattle Parks and Recreation

Blockwatch + Educators + Park Stewards + Parks Department + Tree Ambassador Program + Community Activists: Maple Leaf, Pinehurst, Shoreline,..
Anyone who wants to explore how we nurture our natural areas while enhancing our personal safety in and around them.


Agenda for Jan 26, 2012, General Meeting

Meadowbrook Community Center
10517 35th Ave. NE, Seattle 98125

7 to 9 p.m.

7:00 1. Announcements

7:04 2. Agenda Review

7:05 3. Program: Greenways & Urban Forests – Natural Area Restoration, Volunteers, Crime and Personal Safety

City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Seattle Parks’ Emily Lofstedt
Seattle Greenways Rep Chris Saleeba
SPD Community Liaison Terrie Johnston
Green Seattle Partnership’s Joanna Nelson de Flores

–Judy Olson, Program Vice President

8:40 4. Business meeting
Review minutes – Tom Cunningham
Membership report – Ruth Williams
Web Page update – Dan Mahler/Doug Bostrom
Facebook update – Brad Johnson
Treasurer’s report – Gary Olson
Other issues as time allows
8:55 5. A 9:55 5. Adjourn
9:00 6. Room is empty!