The following is a guest post from North East Seattle Together (NEST), a grass-roots community dedicated to ensuring that as we grow older, we can continue to live safely and confidently in our own homes, in the neighborhoods we love. For much more information on NEST, including opportunities to give through donations of time or money, check out their beautiful website!
Thanks to many Wedgwood residents, 2012 has been a breakthrough year for North East Seattle Together (NEST). As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, NEST serves residents living south of N.E. Northgate Way/110th Street, north of the ship canal, east of Interstate 5, and west of Lake Washington. NEST connects neighbors through a network of trusted volunteers and vendors, and many wellness, educational, and social activities. Many of you have supported NEST since 2009 and are now members, volunteers and business sponsors this year.
NEST’s 2012 accomplishments:
- 53 members
- 85 volunteers who provide more than 100 hours of service each month
- 30 trusted vendors who provide prompt services to our members
- 4 local business sponsors (Thank you Pacific Medical Centers, Key Bank, Kattermans Pharmacy, Homestreet Bank!) and growing …
- 2 social work interns and 1 Americorp volunteer make up our dedicated staff
- New logo and website design, www.nestseattle.org
What NEST members and volunteers are saying.
NEST Members perspectives:
Nobody else goes everywhere you need. Nobody else is so accommodating. Personally I regained a lot of my independence. ~ Irene, age 98
NEST helps provide greater possibilities for older people in our Village to be known & supported to live in our homes & that our quality of life is recognized as important. ~Penny
NEST Volunteers say:
It would be difficult to say who is helping who when it comes to being a driver for Nest. Every occasion of providing some needed transportation to a NEST member has afforded me with a delightful experience: meeting interesting new people, stimulating conversation, and definite inspiration. I realize the how limiting it is when one loses the ability to drive, it is truly my pleasure to assist. ~Sharon
It’s funny that I work in computers, and I spend 9 or 10 hours a day on them, and it’s stressful and it feels like work. But then I do 30 minutes of helping someone that needs help at NEST, and it just fills my day, and I am all energized and I feel good about what I do. ~ Wedgwood resident, Pallavi
By this time next year NEST is working toward supporting 100 NEST members and 200 volunteers. Contact NEST at 206.525.6378 or email@example.com to learn more about becoming a member, business sponsor or volunteer. NEST’s monthly newsletter is an easy way to stay up to date. Sign up HERE.
UPDATE 2: Feet First, a phenomenal Seattle-based nonprofit working to improve walkability of neighborhoods across Washington State, endorsed the WCC’s proposed Inverness Ravine Park proposal. If you haven’t already, check out their amazing walking map of NE Seattle. You’ll notice there are very few walkable routes between the Wedgwood and Inverness neighborhoods.
UPDATE 1: On Thursday, September 6th, the Northeast District Council, which represents 16 neighborhood community organizations in NE Seattle, endorsed the WCC’s proposed Inverness Ravine Park proposal.
Creek and dense vegetation within Inverness Ravine.
As part of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund, Seattle Parks will be spending $8 million in 2012/13 on park acquisition and/or development projects that are nominated by community groups. Wedgwood’s adopted Vision Plan calls for development of park space in a natural settings and for creek-side trails, so the WCC is taking this opportunity to propose a trail in Inverness Ravine Park (see our earlier post here). Seattle Parks and Seattle Department of Transportation both own land in the ravine, making it a prime candidate for a trail project. The ravine is on Critical Area lists for steep terrain and landslides, which precludes most kinds of development, but permits trails.
A potential trail alignment has been identified that features four access points and approximately 2,000 feet of trail (see diagram below). Based on this conceptual trail alignment, the WCC submitted a preliminary proposal to Parks in June. We have now been asked to submit a more detailed proposal in September. Parks will take WCC’s detailed proposal, along with others, develop a short-list of candidate projects, and ask those teams to present to a selection committee in early 2013. At that point funds will be awarded to the selected projects and design and construction will commence.
Preliminary trail alignment with 4 access points.
The WCC is competing with over 100 other projects for funding, but are hopeful that our trail project proposes the right combination of opportunities for exercise, education, and restoration to make it a winner. Feedback from our community has been overwhelmingly positive. Some concerns raised though include impacts to habitat, impacts to privacy, and safety. These concerns will need to be addressed should we advance to the design stage of the process. We will be presenting this trail proposal to the Northeast District Council in the coming weeks and are coordinating with the Inverness Community Council as well.
If you have any questions about the proposal, please email » Dave Grant, Chair of the Wedgwood Parks Committee.
UPDATE 1: HERE is the link to the presentation materials used during the District’s 3 community meetings in April 2012 regarding the BEX IV Capital Levy. Of particular note, slides 7 and 8 show a projected increase of over 800 seats in elementary and almost 900 seats in middle school by 2020. The presentation materials also project an increase of $4 – $225 additional cost per year, per home owner depending upon which action alternative the District chooses.
The public elementary and middle schools in NE Seattle and around Wedgwood are packed and enrollment continues to grow. This isn’t news (see HERE, HERE, and HERE). The Seattle Public School District (District) has been working on capacity management planning for some time now with periodic public meetings with each new iteration of their plan. K-5 enrollment projections for the Eckstein Service Area, shown on Page 3 HERE, estimate 570 more students by the 2015-2016 school year (4,029 students in 2011/2012 to 4,599 students in 2015/2016). As a result of this surging enrollment, the District feels as though portables alone cannot solve the demand and a new school is necessary. So, in February 2013, the District is planning on including construction of a new K-8 school on the Thornton Creek Elementary School site as part of the Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy.
This past Saturday, I spoke with Harium Martin-Morris, the School Board Member for District III (Wedgwood’s district). Mr. Martin-Morris emphasized the need for this new school at this particular site. The specific details for the new school are not yet known, but it is proposed to be a K-8 school for 650 to 800 students (per conversation with Mr. Martin-Morris). The new school would be an Attendance Area school while the existing Thornton Creek School would continue as an Alternative School. While we have not seen any site plans for the new K-8 school, Mr. Martin-Morris explained that the school would generally be located where the current ball fields are located.
The District has begun the environmental review for three different action alternatives along with a No Action alternative within its Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Under each action alternative, the new K-8 school is included. The Wedgwood Community Council is still collecting information on this proposal and has decided to refrain from endorsing or opposing this proposal. Instead, the WCC will only attempt to provide accurate information to the community from both sides so parents and neighbors can make their own decisions.
As part of the project’s environmental review, the public comment period ends this Friday, May 25th.
Written comments in regards to the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement can be sent to the following address:
Noel Treat, SEPA Responsible Official
John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence
2445 3rd Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98134
or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will provide more details and updates as we get them. In the mean time, let us know what you think about a new school on the Thornton Creek Elementary site.
On Saturday, May 19th, 50 volunteers from NE Seattle joined forces at Wedgwood’s Emergency Hub, located at Hunter Tree Farm, for an emergency drill. The City of Seattle was testing the emergency communications systems, with a scenario of a terrorist attack that took down normal communications, bridges, mass transit, and caused many people to fall ill. Seattle Police, Fire and Utilities were all involved, with all area hospitals and many other support organizations. Neighborhood hubs throughout the city were activated, including Wedgwood and, for the first time, Maple Leaf.
The morning activity was fun and seemed to be enjoyed by all. Participants took turns as community members seeking or offering help, then many were able to step into roles at the hub. The goals of the day included both testing the radio communications between Wedgwood and other Hubs, as well as training new people in the roles of the hub. We were successful in both.
There will be another Hub drill in September. If you are interested in becoming involved in NE Seattle Emergency Preparations, please click here and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
See pictures here: http://neseattleprepares.shutterfly.com/
Thank you to all who came, as well as to the organizers: Tom Donnelly, Chandra Everest, JoAnn Keenan, Joann Kerr, Peter Shaw and Bill Dock.
On March 15th, over 85 people came out in the rain to learn about emergency plans for NE Seattle and learn one way to organize individual blocks for emergencies. The meeting, hosted by the WCC and Sustainable NE Seattle, included an overview of Seattle’s emergency pyramid. We had 50 people sign up to host their own block party, during which neighbors come together in a simple process to share information, get to know each other, and plan simple steps to take in the event of an emergency.
If you missed the meeting and are interested in organizing your block, please email NESeattlePrepares@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to help.
Thanks to all who came to the meeting, plus Speakers Theresa Edwards and Mark Howard. Also special thanks to Sara Lang, Joanne Kerr, JoAnn Keenan and all the folks who helped organize.
The Seattle Public Schools site had not been updated as of this posting, but parents are receiving the call informing them that all Seattle Public Schools and pre/post programs) are closed on Thursday. Enjoy another day at home with the kids!
Seattle Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday January 18th due to concerns about the impending snow storm. (The SPS site didn’t have an update about this as of this posting, but the automated calls to parents are currently in process). Enjoy the day with your children, leave the car at home, and see you on the sledding hills!