Neighborhood greenways in Ravenna/Bryant: Safe transportation for everyone

Neighborhood Greenways make it safe and easy for everyone to get around the city
Neighborhood Greenways make it safe and easy for everyone to get around the city

Are you interested in a transportation system that works for all users? With park-like streets in our neighborhood that are safe and enjoyable for walkers and cyclists of all ages?

Community members across Seattle have been coming together in the past year and a half to develop plans for Neighborhood Greenways – designated streets that prioritize pedestrian and bicycle use and connect to parks, schools, and neighborhood businesses.

The first Neighborhood Greenway project in our community will likely be along 39th Ave. NE from the Burke-Gilman to NE 75th St. This first Greenway may be constructed this coming summer!

RBCA’s Spring membership meeting (April 3, 2012 – 7 p.m.
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center) provides a great opportunity to learn more about these greenways, through a presentation by Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who is an avid supporter of this initiative.
After the presentation there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Neighbors are talking about 27th Ave. NE and 45th Ave. NE as possibilities for future Greenways, and about the need to provide a system that provides better connections for pedestrians and bicyclists to the forthcoming Roosevelt light rail station, Green Lake Park, the University District, and other neighborhood hubs.

The Wedgwood Community Council recently published a great overview of local efforts at http://wedgwoodcc.org/greenways-coming-to-a-street-near-wedgwood. Check out the information on Childrens Hospital’s Livable Streets Initiative, and the Portland video that shows how they’ve approached Neighborhood Greenways down there.

A NE Seattle Neighborhood Greenways group has recently formed to help flesh out ideas for local routes. More information is available at http://www.facebook.com/NESeattleGreenways.

What will Neighborhood Greenways mean for Ravenna/Bryant? And how can you get involved and lend your voice to the discussion? Come hear from Councilmember Bagshaw on Tuesday and find out!

~ Guest post by Clint Loper, NE Seattle Greenways

Applications for Seattle Youth Commission are now online

The 2012-2013 Seattle Youth Commission applications are now available at seattle.gov/syc, along with full details for the Youth Town Hall.

Application deadlines are March 30th for early decision (everyone who applies by then will be guaranteed an interview slot) or April 13th for a standard application; two references are also required, and the reference forms are available on the website as well.

The Youth Town Hall will be happening from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at City Hall (601 5th Ave) on Saturday, April 7th. Food will be provided, and the schedule is as follows:

  • 10:30 – 11:00: Tabling/mingling
  • 11:00 – 12:30: Town hall with Mayor McGinn, Council President Clark, and Councilmembers Burgess, Rasmussen, Bagshaw, and Licata
  • 12:30 – 1:00: Tabling/mingling

Anyone who’s interested in being on the commission next year is highly encouraged to come to the Youth Town Hall if possible.

Please forward this post far and wide, and consider making personal asks to any Seattleites in your lives between the ages of 13 and 19 who are interested in working with local government officials to make our city a better place!

The future of 35th Ave NE is unknowable…but not unplannable.

Recently, residents of the Wedgwood, Ravenna-Bryant, and other NE Seattle neighborhoods have begun a community-driven neighborhood planning process for 35th Ave NE.

The Wedgwood Community Council (WCC) Land Use Committee and the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA) Land Use Committee are both critical components of the planning process – and so are you!

Get the latest developments on the new “Future of 35th Ave NE” website.

Need funds to support your neighborhood project?

Come to a Neighborhood Matching Fund workshop to learn about applying to the Large Projects Fund which provides matching awards of up to $100,000 to neighborhood groups for community-building projects. Attendance at one of the workshops is required in order to submit an application in July.

At the workshop attendees will get an overview of the Neighborhood Matching Fund, learn about the new Large Projects Fund application process and requirements, and hear from other city of Seattle departments and Seattle Public Schools.

Interested applicants can choose from one of the following workshops:
Thursday, April 19; 5:45 – 7:45 p.m.
Douglass Truth Library, 2300 E Yesler Way

Tuesday, April 24; 5:45 – 7:45 p.m.
Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave N

Saturday, April 28. 10 a.m. – 12 noon
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW

For information contact Mercedes Tenuta at 206.233.0093 or email Mercedes.tenuta@seattle.gov. To request an interpreter contact her at least one week before preferred workshop. And remember, attendance at a workshop is mandatory if you want to apply to the Large Projects Fund.

To learn more visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/largeproject.htm.

Crime Prevention Notes – March 2012

I. Special Presentation Speaker: Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent Seattle Parks. Superintendent Williams has been with Parks Dept for 20 years. Park land makes up 10% of Seattle’s land mass. There are 438 parks: 25% of residents live within 50 feet of a park, 13,000 homes are adjacent to parks, and 50% of Seattle’s trees are in parks. The department’s budget is $120 million. Volunteers contribute $350 million worth of labor in the parks. Parks continues to acquire property to make new parks, building a legacy for future generations.

Citizen perception of safety in parks is important. Safety principles include: Maintenance – clean and tidy parks are seen as safer; Positive activity – having play areas, things to do; Enforcement of rules – there are 68 rules on parks in RCW, and there is a code of conduct (see seattleparks.gov) that Parks Personnel enforce; Design – good lines of sight, trimmed shrubs, few places to hide

Citizen role in parks safety is to be vigilant: call 9-1-1 or non-emergency police number if you see bad behavior in a park.

II. Precinct Update: Lt. Ron Rasmussen provided an update on the recent spate of occupied residential burglaries. In late February to early March there have been numerous (13 as of March 7th) home invasions/burglaries while the residents, homeowners and children, are at home. All have been in the north end of Seattle; most have been in the middle of the night. Often a vehicle, as well as IPOD’s, IPHONE’s, jewelry, plasma TV’s, purses, wallets, checkbooks, laptops, car keys, etc. have been taken. Significant SPD resources have dedicated to this issue. To date, in ALL 13 cases, there has been no sign of forced entry. Access has been through unlocked doors and windows.

SPD’s advice is to BE WATCHFULL! If you see ANYTHING suspicious do not hesitate to CALL 9-1-1

Crime Prevention Notes – February 2012

Special Presentation Speaker: Detective David Dunn Puget Sound Financial Fraud and Identity Theft (GPS FFIT) Task Force Program. Detective Dunn has been with the Seattle Police Department since 2000 and spent 5 years on Patrol at North Precinct. At present, Detective Dunn is on loan to the Financial Fraud task force under the direction of the Secret Service working with a multi-jurisdictional team to thwart financial crimes. The two most common financial frauds are Check crimes involving theft of your bank account number & printing fake paper checks; and Electronic crimes where personal and business accounts are compromised from debit and credit cards. Credit card ‘skimming’ is done with fake card readers placed on gas pumps and ATM machines (especially “vestibule” bank ATM’s) along with pinhole cameras that capture your pin number. Detective Dunn highly recommends covering the key pad on the ATM machine when doing a transaction and checking your accounts online on a regular basis for fraudulent activity. Drive-through restaurants and other situations involving giving your debit card to someone else also increases your vulnerability to fraudulent access. Dunn suggested using a credit card for those situations and only using a debit card to withdraw cash.  Federal prosecutors are actively investigating organized crime rings from Russia, Ukraine and Romania who have compromised Point of Sales systems and used credit card numbers to extract funds from bank accounts. Small businesses should have insurance and take steps to safeguard point of sale systems from electronic hacking that can result in catastrophic losses to small businesses. Also check whether your business accounts have wire transfers enabled which have also been used in financial crimes.

Precinct Update: Lt. Ron Rasmussen/Sgt. Newsom Lt. Rasmussen reported that January crime rates were low due to inclement weather although auto theft, car prowls and residential burglaries are on the uptick. To secure your homes and cars, don’t hesitate to call 911 to report any suspicious circumstances.

Crime Prevention Notes – January 2012

Special Presentation Speaker: Sgt. Frank Trainor, North Precinct Anti-Crime Team (ACT). Trainor and his team of six have specialized training similar to a SWAT team. Their focus is on narcotics (e.g. drug houses), Vice (e.g. Prostitution), and demonstrations management (e.g. Occupy Seattle). A “Narcotics Activity Report ” taken from 911 calls and from online reports is forwarded to the Anti-Crime team.

Other news: Burglaries have been dropping off since the holidays. there were a string of robberies at Christmas time at the Northgate Mall parking area and near the Lake City Way Starbuck’s. After an arrest in Shoreline, the string of burglaries dropped off.

Making Anonymous Tips to Help Solve Crimes

You can safely report crime tips through Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound without exposing your identity. The system is 100% anonymous – you NEVER have to give your name, whether via phone, internet or text message (texting is currently only available in King, Kitsap, Snohomish & Island Counties).  All major North American cell phone carriers are part of the program.

By Phone:

When you call in a tip no Caller ID is used. To phone in a tip via the SPD Tip Line, call 206.233.5000 or 911.  To phone in a tip via Crime Stoppers call 206.343.2020 or 800.222.TIPS or 800.CRIME.13.  Someone is available to take tips 24-hours a day.

Online:

The Crime Stoppers website is http://216.168.63.197/. 

When you send a tip via the internet no email address or IP address is traced.

Via Text Message:

Send your text message to 274637 (CRIMES).  Begin your message with the keyword Tip486 (not case sensitive) in the body of the message.  

Your initial submission will trigger an auto response from the secure transaction server.  You will receive a unique code number. REMEMBER THIS NUMBER AS IT CANNOT BE RETRIEVED LATER.  You can then engage in a two-way secured and encrypted text dialog with the Crime Stoppers coordinator.

Text STOP to the short code 27637 (CRIMES) at any time to reset the system.  Crime Stoppers will no longer be able to reply to you.  Note that if you want to continue your conversation with Crime Stoppers or if you forgot your code number, you must start the process over.

 Standard text rates may apply.

When you send a text message tip, secure and anonymous technology is utilized so your identity is never revealed.

For more information visit: http://smscrimetips.com/



If you see a crime in progress or need to report an emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Crime Prevention Notes – December 2011

Special Presentation Speaker: Terrie Johnston, Crime Prevention Officer, SPD. Residential block watches, security reviews and neighborhood meetings have attracted a lot of attention. In her personal safety talks she has said: Keep your cell phones charged, in parking lots keep your keys handy, park in lighted areas and ask for assistance from security personnel if you have extra packages. At home, pick up papers and mail, don’t leave packages or catalogues outside, leave lights on and a radio playing when gone. Do not have decorations on the door that block your view through the peep-hole. Be sure you can see your car and house. Answer the door with out opening it. Talk through the door. On Face Book don’t tell the world you are going shopping and the hours you will be gone.

Watch for mail theft and UPS and other deliveries. Some people are following the trucks and wait, if no one answers the door, they take the packages. Have your computer and other electronics hidden from view from outside. Use your blinds and curtains. Cut up the cartons that the new TV set came in, don’t advertise what Santa brought. Parties, watch to see who arrives and that you know them, also have your valuables secured and medicines locked up. Coin collections, money, I Pads, check books, other valuables should be secured. After the party be sure all the windows are locked.

Street safety; put your wallet away at the counter, not as you are distracted by something or someone, have your cell phone handy, don’t text and not pay attention, wear low heeled shoes, not high heels. Travel light, no large handbags that hold more that you need where you can’t find your keys.

Using on-line shopping, look for the padlock icon and be aware of I.D. theft. (see www.ftc.gov)

If separated at the mall have a pre-planned meeting place. Know your friend’s full name, not nick name. Be aware of the people around you. Is the same person in the same shops you are and not buying anything? Use your remote to locate your car in a big lot.

This past year has been the highest in requests for security information in 23 years. Pay attention to barking dogs, lawn furniture close to the house, rocks and concrete blocks that are handy for breaking through doors and windows. Stay alert and be safe.

Crime Prevention Notes – November 2011

Guest Speaker at this month’s meeting was Robert Montague, Manager of the Seattle 9-1-1 Call Center. Mr. Montague made several interesting and helpful points regarding 9-1-1 calls:

1. Most important when calling 9-1-1 is that you know the address you’re reporting from or with regards to – “Location, Location, Location”.

2. Particularly, if using a cell phone to call, you have to be able to explain exactly where you are.  (Only “Phase II” cell phones have GPS chips giving location.)

3. If you want to remain anonymous, you have the option of requesting “Do Not Disclose”. (Most anonymous 9-1-1 calls are related to parking complaints, domestic violence, etc. )

4. Every 9-1-1 call is recorded. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your 9-1-1 call or with the 9-1-1 operator, you can call back and speak with a supervisor.

5. 9-1-1 Operators are trained to handle every call as a potential triage situation and consequently may interrupt you in order to most expeditiously the pertinent information as soon as possible. “Let the Operator GUIDE the Call!”

Terrie Johnston, the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the SPD North Precinct , further suggested that it is always important and appropriate to call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious characters/strangers in your neighborhood and to try to report License Plate numbers whenever possible.

How to make 9-1-1 work better

SPD North Precinct Advisory Council Meeting 2011–11-02

Guest Speaker at this month’s meeting was Robert Montague, Manager of the Seattle 9-1-1 Call Center. Mr. Montague made several interesting and helpful points regarding 9-1-1 calls:

  1. Most important when calling 9-1-1 is that you know the address you’re reporting from or with regards to – “Location, Location, Location”.
  2. Particularly, if using a cell phone to call, you have to be able to explain exactly where you are. (Only “Phase II” cell phones have GPS chips giving location.)
  3. If you want to remain anonymous, you have the option of requesting “Do Not Disclose”. (Most anonymous 9-1-1 calls are related to parking complaints, domestic violence, etc. )
  4. Every 9-1-1 call is recorded. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your 9-1-1 call or with the 9-1-1 operator, you can call back and speak with a supervisor.
  5. 9-1-1 Operators are trained to handle every call as a potential triage situation and consequently may interrupt you in order to most expeditiously the pertinent information as soon as possible. “Let the Operator GUIDE the Call!”

Terrie Johnston, the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the SPD North Precinct, further suggested that it is always important and appropriate to call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious characters/strangers in your neighborhood and to try to report License Plate numbers whenever possible.

RBCA bylaws amended to annex the “donut hole”

Top Pot Donuts on 35th Ave NE has always been a part of the RBCA – but not so the unfortunate souls who (used to) live in the “donut hole” – an unincorporated part of the city that didn’t belong to any neighborhood association.

At the General Membership Meeting this month, the donut hole was unanimously approved to be a part of RBCA. The official boundaries of the RBCA, as outlined in our bylaw, now read:

Article III: Geographic Area

1.    This organization shall serve approximately the area of the City of Seattle within the following boundaries:

  • 15th Ave. NE on the west
  • Southward to NE 62nd St.
  • Southeastward along the northern and eastern edges of Ravenna Park to NE 55th St.
  • Southward along 25th Ave. NE to NE Blakeley St.
  • Eastward along NE Blakeley St. to 37th Ave. NE
  • Northeastward along Sand Point Way NE to 45th Ave NE
  • Northward to NE 65th St.
  • Westward to 35th 40th Ave. NE
  • Northward to NE 75th St.
  • Westward to 25th Ave. NE
  • Northward to NE 85th St.
  • Westward to Lake City Way NE
  • Southward to 15th Ave. NE

Next RBCA board meeting November 1st

Free beer and cookies at the RBCA board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Ravenna Eckstein Community Center!

Okay, I was lying about the free beer. (Sorry!) But, there will definitely be cookies or another sweet treat.

We’ll be planning our next community meeting, working on the newsletter, discuss local crime stats with our RBCA rep to the North Precinct, and we’ll even have a couple of special guests…but you’ve got to be there to meet them. (And get the sweets!)

All RBCA board meetings are open to the public.

Community resilience task force meeting: Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., 3rd Place Pub

From emergency preparedness to crime prevention to blockwide BBQs, “community resilience” is about improving your quality of life by making your neighborhood a stronger, safer and more enjoyable place to live.

The RBCA is inaugurating a Community Resilience Task Force to make plans for building a more resilient neighborhood. Come on down to Third Place Pub from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23rd to find out more and share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

There’s no additional commitment required, though you might get to know a neighbor by lifting a pint or two together — after all, that’s a pretty good way to build community resilience, right?!

Hope to see you there,

~Aaron Keating, Chair, RBCA Community Resilience Task Force

The only thing that can withstand any earthquake is…us

earthquake response montage
Hey neighbor: There are better ways to prepare for an earthquake.

No one knows exactly when the “big one” will hit, but it is definitely on the way. Thankfully, you don’t need to have a fast car/small plane handy for your escape – and you don’t need to “hunker in a bunker”, either.

That’s because you already have the one thing you need to withstand even the largest earthquake: you and your neighbors. With a little preparation on your own, and some advance planning together, you can get through it all: earthquake, winter/wind storm, hazmat spill, you name it.

The newly-formed RBCA Emergency Preparedness Group is now organizing to make sure every household in the RBCA area has the tools to get prepared and get connected with the people on their block, in advance of the neighborhood’s next big emergency.

Here’s how you can protect your family and organize for the inevitable:

1) Get yourself and your family prepared: print your sign, make your plan and create your kit. This is the most important step of all, because you can’t help others if you’re not ready yourself.

Once that’s done, you can:

2) Give the same information to your neighbors on your block so they can get prepared too. Email me (Aaron Keating) at  aaron <dot> p <dot> keating <at> gmail <dot> com. Tell me your address and how many neighbors you’re distributing to – I’ll send you the  information sheets you need. When they arrive, just put one copy of each in a large ziploc bag, and deliver the packets to your neighbors.

And if that goes well, you can:

3) Talk with your neighbors about helping make sure the gas gets shut off and taking other steps to ensure the people around you are safe in the event of an emergency. You can do that informally with the people right around you, or have a larger meeting with more people on your street. The important part is that you make a plan.