February Events Calendar

Here are some events in and around Victory Heights you might be interested in:

Saturday, February 18: Your Voice, Your Choice: Lake City Greenways will be hosting an idea-collection event at the Lake City branch library meeting room between 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. This will be a drop-in, swing by, or stay-as-long-as-you-like affair.

Sunday, February 19th: Idris Mosque Potluck. Every 3rd Sunday a potluck is held at our local mosque. “There’s always plenty of food but feel free to add to the bounty… ” 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, 1420 NE Northgate Way.

Tuesday, February 21: Mayor Ed Murray’s State of the City Address at Idris Mosque. At 9:30 AM, Seattle’s mayor will give his annual speech at the Mosque on the corner of Northgate Way and 15th Avenue NE.  Doors open at 8:30 AM. You need to RSVP in advance.

Tuesday, February 21: Victory Heights Community Council Meeting.  The monthly meeting of the community council is your chance to interact with neighbors and find out what’s going on in little section of town.  7 PM at the co-op preschool building in Victory Heights Park.

Mayor On Sidewalks, Dog Parks, and Roundabouts

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn at the Town Hall on November 27th, 2012

Tuesday night, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn addressed resident’s questions at a Town Hall conducted at the Northgate Community Center. Moderated by friend-of-the-blog Philip Shack of Cedar Park (who was just elected chair of the City Neighborhood Council), McGinn took questions for 90 minutes on a series of issues. Numbers were distributed to those wanting to pose a question which were limited to one minute of speaking time (one person walked out in protest).

Regarding Northgate, he said, “Northgate has been changing and will change more,” particularly with the coming of Light Rail. The work around 5th Avenue NE and Northgate Way is nearly completed (though one person complained the new sidewalks were too steep), and a proposal to extend the hours for youth services at the community center did not pass the city council this year.

He stated the obvious about the redevelopment of the Bill Pierre Properties in Lake City saying, “It has some real opportunities,” and having met with two of the Pierres, was encouraged that a business wanted to do something positive for the neighborhood rather than just make the biggest buck by selling out.

On sidewalks (which as we all know are extremely expensive), he noted that his own neighborhood around NE 87th in Greenwood was also sidewalk-free and that, “It’s way over due” but “We need more resources to focus on it.” Noting, “I really think small projects matter,” he concluded with, “We have to find a better way to finance them than we have now.” (Philip Shack pointed out that Neighborhood Street Fund is currently accepting applications for projects in the $100,000-$750,000 range with a deadline of December 17th, 2012 if neighborhood groups wanted to organize for a desired project.)

There was a surprising constituency for roundabouts in Seattle (note, these are the large European ones beginning to be used on the Olympic Penninsula for some intersections, NOT traffic circles used on residential streets to slow traffic). He said the city had an interest in experimenting with them (“There are advocates in the Department [of Transportation],” but would need appropriate space in order to work as they are larger than the average intersection.

And more than a few people among the two dozen or so attendees wanted more off-leash areas for dogs. Apparently the 98115 zip code has more dogs in it than any other part of Seattle and no off-leash area.  Even the new giant park going in on top of the Roosevelt reservoir does not include one (resistance from the Parks Department was alleged by a member of the Maple Leaf Community Council). Giving a non-committal “I hear you,” the Mayor encouraged the community to keep telling officials that this is a priority for them if they want them.

Finally, on the topic of drones being deployed, McGinn described them merely like “a radio-controlled helicopter that will fly for 10-15 minutes” and would only be used when emergency responders needed an eye in the sky, for example during a siege situation. But he affirmed, “We will not use them until a proposal has passed the city council” to regulate their use.