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.

“Socktober” Huge Success

Donations of new socks fill a table.

“Socktober,” a drive to get donated new socks and clothes for the homeless, was a huge success at the October Victory Heights Community Council meeting.

Read the entire minutes of this month’s meeting.

115 pairs of new socks were collected, as well as 8 winter coats, 10 gloves, 9 hats and 7 scarves. Great work, Victory Heights!

This month’s speaker at the meeting was Scott Thomsen, from Seattle City Light, about the new “advanced” power meters that will be installed in houses around Victory Heights starting in January 2018. This city-wide $95 million upgrade will replace the 1950s technology “spinning wheel” electro-mechanical meters that have been in use until now. The new “advanced” units will use Wi-Fi to send updates six times a day of your power usage which eventually (ETA December 2018) will enable users to see their real-time power consumption and perhaps adapt accordingly. It will also help City Light pinpoint power outages faster, bill more accurately, and allow for faster reconnection service. Multiple notices will be sent to each household prior to the switch over at your house, the actual work will only take 5 minutes when the power will be cut off.

You might have noticed the gardening efforts on a traffic circle near you. Seven hundred flower bulbs have been purchased (part of our grant from the city) and are being planted. Next Spring we will have a neighborhood walk to see all the beautiful flowers come up.

Have you seen me?

Two of our Victory Heights yard signs have gone missing. One was on 15th Avenue NE, the other on 23rd Avenue NE.  Please contact us if you have any information regarding their whereabouts.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 21st at 7 PM at the co-op preschool in Victory Heights Park. We hope to see you there!

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.

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.

Easter Egg Hunt in Park on March 27th

Easter Egg HuntAn Easter Egg hunt will be held in Victory Heights Park on Sunday, March 27th at 11 AM, it was announced at last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council.

Read the complete minutes of the March meeting.

Here’s how the hunt will work: If you want to participate, bring some eggs to hide in the park the morning of Easter Sunday, before 11 AM.

Kids will arrive at 11 AM with their basket to hunt for the number of eggs that was brought and hidden by their family earlier (so if you hide 12 eggs in the morning, your child should go home with 12 eggs).  Remember, they won’t have to be the same eggs.

Plans are afoot for some sort of May Day family event in the park. Come to the next meeting of the community council on April 19th to learn more.

What To Do About Drug Use In The Park?

Last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council focused on an increase in drug dealing and using in and around Victory Heights Park.

Read the complete minutes of the September meeting.

Neighbors have discovered used needles near the co-op preschool building in the park, and suspicious characters loitering in the park at night, and parked along 19th Avenue NE. Calls to the police seem to be responded to too late or not at all. And the city isn’t keen on signs, surveillance cameras or more lights in the park. What can concerned residents do? Well for starters, you should always call 911 when you see something suspicious. The city tracks crime statistics and if we start calling attention to this problem, this will get action in the long run even if the police don’t show up every time you call. There will also be an attempt to get the residents across the park along 19th Avenue to get organized and perhaps put up yard signs of their own saying the neighborhood is watching. If every yard had a sign, that would send a clear message. Crime happens when criminals think nobody cares. And finally, once district elections are over for city council, we will have a representative who we can go to (hopefully backed up with statistics–keep calling 911) and get them to grease the wheels of city government to make sure the park does not fall into ruin and neglect. Together we can make a difference!

The next meeting of the community council will be Tuesday, October 20th. Make a date to attend if you’d like to be part of the solution.

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Community Council Going al Fresco Tuesday Night

Park 2015The June meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council on Tuesday, June 16th will be held al fresco on the lawn in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM. Partially this is to take advantage of the beautiful weather we have been having lately, but also because we don’t have access to the pre-school building during the summer. So bring your lawn chairs out. (In the off chance it rains, we have a nearby house to retreat to.)

The speaker this month will be Debbie Goetz from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. She will speak about emergency planning, and how we as a community can best be prepared if the worst should happen. We’ll also get an update on August’s Neighborhood Night Out party that will be held next to the park on August 4th. Hope to see you this Tuesday!

Upcoming Events Including Community Council Meeting

VHsignThis Tuesday, May 19th is the monthly meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council. Meetings are open to the public, please come and participate.

The meeting starts at 7 PM on Tuesday, May 19th at the Co-op Preschool Building in Victory Heights Park.  The chairs are sized for small children, so bring your own for maximum comfort.

Also coming up in our area:

Friday, May 15th: Community Art Workshop: Telling Stories. Sponsored by Silver Kite, these $10 workshops each Friday focus on a different aspect of art. This week is Theater. 4 PM – 6 PM, George Center for Community, 2212 NE 125th Street.

Sunday, May 17th: Celebrate African Cultures. Enjoy stories and crafts from African traditions. 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM at the Lake City Library.

Monday, May 18th: District 5 Candidate Forum. The Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, North District Council, and the Meadowbrook Community Council are sponsoring a candidate forum for the newly formed 5th District City Council seat. Come hear what the prospective representatives have to say. 6:45 PM at the Jane Addams Middle School Auditorium 11051 34th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125 (across from Nathan Hale).  Janine Blaloch is the moderator, and our own Brad Cummings will be timekeeper.

 

Community Council Meeting February 17th

VHsignThe monthly meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council is Tuesday, February 17th, starting at 7 PM at the Co-op Preschool building in Victory Heights Park.  Among the topics for discussion will be the house on NE 105th Street that has recently been the subject of police activity and this story that ran on KIRO TV earlier this week. Everyone in the neighborhood is encouraged to attend. Bring your own chair if you don’t want to sit in the small children’s chairs at the school.

 

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.