News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods

 

Entries from June 2011

North Helpline food bank in need

June 15th, 2011 by Support Staff

We’ve written before about North Helpline, a food bank that serves our area.

This afternoon Amy, the executive director there, emails:

We just learned a major source of our food supply, the letter carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive, collected 23% less food than last year. And yet the demand at our food bank is up 30% over last year. We are very low on sources of protein and could use donations of canned tuna, chicken, corned beef, chili & peanut butter or frozen packages of meat. For the first time I can remember since starting here two years ago, we had to open the food bank (without) any offerings of protein for our clients.

You can donate at the North Helpline, 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., or at barrels at these businesses:

  • Michael Homchick Stoneworks, Inc.
  • Walgreens Drug Store,14352 Lake City Way N.E.

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Wedgwood Windermere to participate in day of service

June 15th, 2011 by hillaryu

This Friday is the 27th annual Windermere’s Community Service Day. Our local Wedgwood associates will be taking the day off from their normal duties to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. They will be working at the Theodora Housing building on 35th Ave NE. Windermere agents will also be doing work with the Magnuson Park YMCA.

Other local projects in other neighborhoods include:

Green Lake – Daniel Bagley Elementary: development of the outdoor classroom including construction of a shed and benches.

Lake Forest Park – Ballinger (Low income) Homes: maintenance and beautification projects as directed.

Fremont – BF Day Elementary: grounds maintenance and the creation of paper “birthday crowns” for the student body.

Northgate – Olympic View Elementary: flower and shrub planting.

Oak Tree – Greenwood Elementary: maintenance and beautification as directed.

Queen Anne – McClure Middle School & Queen Anne Community Center: extensive landscaping and painting projects.

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Seattle Police advice about dealing with solicitors at the door

June 15th, 2011 by Support Staff

As the days get longer and the weather gets better, it seems like more and more door-to-door salesmen and information peddlers ring the doorbell just as you’re sitting down to dinner. Terrie Johnston, Seattle Police Department’s Crime Prevention Coordinator for the North Precinct, has shared some tips on dealing with solicitors and how to know if they’re legitimate.

This is the peak time of year for door-to-door sales, including those using traveling sales crews. There are many legitimate companies in this industry with professionally trained salespeople, selling between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00pm, and a long history of law-abiding customer service. There are, however, less reputable companies in this business willing to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals who trust people knocking at their door. Sometimes residents forget to practice good personal safety.

Seattle Police officers respond to calls from citizens concerned about door-to-door salespeople. The results have ranged from the officers checking identification and sending the seller to the City of Seattle Revenue & Consumer Affairs office for their business license, to arrests of individuals posing as residential sellers, but wanted on warrants. There have also been arrests for aggressive behavior, threats made against the resident, burglaries, and assaults.

Homeowners may consider posting a sign indicating “No agents,” “No peddlers,” or “No Solicitors.” In Seattle, it is unlawful for any residential seller to attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of selling at any residence displaying one of these signs.

With these facts in mind, what should you do when a person knocks at your door?

BEFORE OPENING YOUR DOOR: LOOK FOR PROPER IDENTIFICATION. Acknowledge the knock since ignoring it may lead to an attempted burglary. It is preferable to speak to strangers through your door. In Seattle, all door-to-door sellers must display the residential sales identification which includes the seller’s photograph on their outer clothing. The residential sales agent’s license has the name of the licensee as well as the agent. It shall be endorsed with the type of product or service being sold. The license is only valid for the product or service specified. If you have any questions about whether a company is properly licensed, call the City of Seattle’s Office of Revenue & Consumer Affairs at 206-684-8136.

DISCLOSURE REQUIRED: Each residential seller shall, immediately upon contacting the prospective buyer, disclose their name, company and the product or service represented. If requested to do so, they shall leave the premises immediately. If the individual does not leave, or if an attempt to gain access is made by asking to use the bathroom, the phone or get a drink of water, refuse the request and ask the individual to leave. If you feel intimidated, pressured, or threatened at any time, call 911.

USE GOOD JUDGEMENT: It is safer not to allow the salesperson into your home. You are encouraged to avoid paying immediately. Do not give the salesperson cash or a check, as it may be pocketed and you will never receive the product ordered. Instead, find out from the seller how you can order directly from the company or receive the bill upon receipt of the product/service. If the salesperson is concerned about losing their commission for the sale, offer to provide their name when placing your order.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: In Seattle, if you make a purchase, the salesperson must tell you of your right to cancel the order and the contract must include a statement regarding the right to cancel. For each sale of ten dollars or more, the seller must provide a receipt or contract to the purchaser. Do not leave any blanks on your contract. Be sure the contract or receipt is dated and that it states the terms of the transaction, the amount of payment made and the name and address of the residential seller. It must also include a notice informing the buyer of their right to cancel the order any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of the transaction. A completed Notice of Cancellation (in duplicate) must be provided to the purchaser at the time they purchase from the seller. You do not need to provide a reason for canceling your order.

DO NOT GIVE IN TO HIGH PRESSURE TACTICS: Never be afraid to say “NO!” If a salesperson in your home tries to pressure you into buying their product, terminate your conversation with them. Take the time to contact the company directly if you still have interest in the product or service. Avoid making an immediate purchase in order to receive a “free gift.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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Seattle Public Library seeking volunteer gardeners

June 10th, 2011 by Support Staff

Interested in weeding gardens, raking leaves and picking up litter, all for a good cause and all in your own neighborhood?

The Seattle Public Library is recruiting volunteers to help maintain the garden and grounds at several branch libraries, including the Northeast Branch, 6801 35th Ave. N.E., and the Montlake Branch, 2401 24th Ave. E.

Gardening at the library is an opportunity for friends, family and company teams to volunteer together. High-school students can obtain service-learning hours for graduation requirements. Student volunteers must be at least 15 years old.

The Library’s Maintenance Supervisor will provide an on-site orientation and work with volunteers. The supervisor will provide gardening tools, gloves and eye protection. Volunteers must be able to use basic hand tools and work safely.

Work parties will be scheduled at the branches from June through October.

Other branches included in the program are Ballard, Broadview, Capitol Hill, Columbia, Douglass-Truth, Fremont, Lake City, Magnolia, Rainier Beach and University.

To volunteer, email Anne Vedella, volunteer services coordinator, at  Anne.Vedella@spl.org, or call her at  206-386-4614. Volunteer applications can be downloaded here.

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Community meeting next week on Meadowbrook flooding

June 9th, 2011 by Support Staff

Seattle Public Utilities has called a public meeting next Wednesday, June 15, to talk about the periodic flooding that hits the Nathan Hale High School/Meadowbrook Pond area.

The meeting will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the high school “commons,” 10750 30th Ave. N.E.

Please join Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to learn more about plans to reduce Thornton Creek flooding impacts, improve stream and riparian habitat, and increase the capacity of Meadowbrook Pond.

More information can be found here.

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New North Precinct crime prevention coordinator sad about upcoming end of program

June 9th, 2011 by Support Staff

This post was written by our partner news site PhinneyWood.com

Terrie Johnston became the crime prevention coordinator for the Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct about one month ago, but she already knows when her last day will be: Dec. 31.

That’s because city budget cuts are forcing the elimination of the program, which oversaw the popular National Night Out against crime and provides safety walk-throughs of homes and businesses, coordination of Block Watch captains, and a more personal touch for neighborhoods to contact SPD.

“The bad news is that we have been cut and cut and cut, and we (crime prevention coordinators) are going away on Dec. 31,” Johnston told the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce last Friday.

SPD’s Crime Prevention Coordinator program was created in 1973 and has received international attention. Johnston said Seattle’s CPC program was the best in the nation.

“People from other countries used to come and find out how we did it,” she said. “I’m just sad about it. I have over 1,800 block watch captains that I contact.”

Johnston has been with SPD for 30 years and has worked at every precinct except West Seattle.

All crime prevention coordinators have taken training called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and will work for free with businesses and homes to assess security issues. (For example, CPTED training helps identify bushes and trees that obscure sight lines in parks or around front and back doors where criminals can hide, as well as how lighting can affect safety.)

Johnston tells business owners and homeowners to frequently check windows, doors, locks, cameras and security systems.

“A lot of it is just human error,” she says of burglaries. “They run to the bank and forget to set the alarm, or they could have sworn they locked that back door.”

As a CPC, Johnston wants to make it clear that people should call 911 even if it’s not a life or death emergency. She said that if you see someone suspicious in your neighbor’s back yard, call 911 and report it. She cited a recent example of a neighbor calling 911 to report two suspicious people at her neighbor’s house, leading to the arrest of two prolific burglars.

“That would not have happened had the woman not been suspicious and called 911,” Johnston said.

She says residential burglary is one of the highest priority calls because it could be a crime in progress. “That is a big, big and very scary crime,” she said.

All 911 calls are prioritized, so Johnston said you shouldn’t worry that your call will take away resources from a more serious crime that may be happening. Officers may be sent to check out a suspicious person, but if they then get a call for an assault in progress, they will respond to that call first.

And don’t assume someone else has already called 911 when something major has happened. Having more 911 calls helps SPD know how serious it is, and you may have details others don’t.

The way you report a crime is important, she said. Be brief and to the point. For example, you might say “there are two suspicious men creeping out of my neighbor’s secluded back yard.”

If you have a complaint about police response to a 911 call, Johnston encourages you to call her and she can look up the details. For example she’ll be able to tell you that officers were on their way but then got called to something more serious, or they did stop the suspicious person a few blocks away but verified their story or credentials.

Johnston said she’s pleased about how the North End neighborhoods watch out for each other. She said the annual national Night Out against crime program on the first Tuesday of August (Aug. 2 this year) has far more participants in the north end of the city than anywhere else. She counted up the block parties that registered last year and said 787 blocks in the North Precinct had registered, compared to a combined 400 in the city’s other four precincts.

Johnston encouraged everyone to attend the North Precinct annual picnic, at 10049 College Way N., from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. Hundreds of people attend the picnic to meet police officers (and their department horses and dogs), watch a bomb robot demonstration, tour the precinct and listen to music.

North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston can be reached at 206-684-7711 or terrie.johnston@seattle.gov.

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Update on Pandora’s Adult Caberet – and Chantal’s Gentlemen’s Club?

June 8th, 2011 by Support Staff

A “coming soon” sign has popped up on the website and Facebook page for the strip club proposed for    the old Seven Seas Restaurant site.

“Work Hard, Play Hard. Life is for living,” is given as Pandora’s motto.

Thing is, the sign doesn’t exist. Yet.

The bricks and mortar sign at the site, 8914 Lake City Way N.E., is still the same as it’s been for decades. (The windows have been boarded up, though.)

Meanwhile, the SeattlePI.com has a story that Rick’s strip club, just up the street at 11332 Lake City Way N.E., might reopen as Chantal’s Gentleman’s Club. Seems that the same man who opened Jiggles on Roosevelt Way has bid at the auction for Rick’s.

Read the PI story here.

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Medical marijuana dispensary opens nearby

June 7th, 2011 by Support Staff

By Katie Melton

While the fight over medical marijuana raged nationally and in Olympia, a non-profit marijuana dispensary quietly opened at the corner of Lake City Way Northeast and Northeast 98th Street.

The dispensary is Greenside Medical, 9804 Lake City Way N.E., and is a non-profit organization, run by its two founders and a staff ranging from between two to five employees.

According to its website, Greenside Medical:

Is dedicated to being the premier medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, WA. Here at Greenside Medical, we are committed to providing our patients with a safe and secure environment with the highest quality locally made, natural medicines.

And it has specific requirements for patients: “In order to apply to be a patient of

Greenside Medical you must already have a valid Washington State Medical Marijuana Authorization as defined by Chap 69.1a RCW.”

That means a “green card,” obtained from a physician who prescribes medical marijuana as a legal natural medicine.

Because by law it is illegal to sell marijuana, Greenside stays in business by receiving donations.

“You cannot purchase anything here. It’s all donated,” Seth Simpson, one of the founders and managers, said. “Patients get it for a suggested donation, and we get donations (of marijuana) from patients.”

Opened a month and a half ago, Greenwood is certainly not the first medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle. Our partner blogs My Ballard and Phinneywood recently posted on new dispensaries. From Phinneywood:

In 1998, Washington state passed a law that allows patients suffering from terminal or debilitating physical conditions to use medical marijuana. However, marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. The state law is actually vague on who exactly can grow medical marijuana and how much.

That situation didn’t get much better when the state Legislature last month abandoned attempts to clarify the situation. “Cities around the state will have to choose between tolerating dispensaries or cracking down,” The Seattle Times reported. It also quoted King County Prosecutor Dan Satterburg:

The new law “puts cops and prosecutors back in the business of making the medical-marijuana law work. I don’t think that’s fundamentally the law that cops and prosecutors should be in. It should be a medical issue, not a law-enforcement issue.

“Dan Satterberg knows there’s 30,000 patients in the Seattle area that rely on medical marijuana,” Simpson said. “If they shut us down, those patients will go back to purchasing off the streets. I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”

Here’s how Greenwood Medical hopes to work: “Each patient (with a legally obtained green card) is allowed to grow up to 15 plants,” Simpson said. “Usually what happens is that there’s overage because they can’t go through that much in 60 days. They donate what’s left to us, we look at it to make sure it doesn’t contain any bugs or mold or anything that would negatively affect the patient, then package it here.”

Simpson asked us not to publish his photograph, and – since Wedgwood View doesn’t have a green card – we couldn’t inspect the merchandise. There are photos here, though. [Read more →]

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Plan City Light’s future – and get a free bulb

June 7th, 2011 by Support Staff

Phone are ringing with a recorded message from Seattle City Light: Come to a planning meeting on Thursday and get a free compact fluorescent light bulb.

In addition to the phone calls, City Light has issued a news release:

Help determine City Light’s approach for at least the next six years on issues such as conservation and energy efficiency, rates, power reliability, infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, new technology and more.

The June meeting for north neighborhoods is set for Thursday, June 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Northgate Community Center, 10510 Northgate Ave. N.E

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Summer Extravaganza Book Sale

June 6th, 2011 by hillaryu

Coming up later this month, the Friends of The Seattle Public Library will be hosting a “Summer Extravaganza Book Sale.”

The group will be selling more than 15,000 children’s books as well as paperback and hardback fiction books for grown-ups. All books are $1 and proceeds support The Seattle Public Library.

Event details:
Date: June 25th
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location:Warren G. Magnuson Park, View Ridge Room in the Brig

For more information, please call the Friends of The Seattle Public Library at (206) 523-4053 or click here.

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