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2017 Tax Preparation Service in Lake City

United Way offers free tax preparation services at 27 locations throughout King County from now until April 20th.  Households making under $64,000 can have their taxes prepared plus they can get connected to other community resources and public benefits.

Locations can be found throughout King County with daytime, evening, and weekend hours available.  No appointments are needed. To find a location near you, languages available, a list of what to bring, and other details, visit United Way’s website at www.freetaxexperts.org or call 2-1-1.

In-person free tax help for individuals who qualify is available at the Lake City Library (upstairs at the City of Seattle’s Customer Service Center) through mid-April on these days and at these times:

~Mondays 5-9 pm

~Tuesdays 5-9 pm

~Thursdays 5-9 pm

~Saturdays 11 am-3 pm

Downstairs, inside the library, is a small number of free printed basic tax forms and instruction booklets that patrons can take.  Librarians can print additional forms for 15 cents per page if needed.

2017 Pinehurst Pocket Park Work Party April 8

Pinehurst Pocket Park Work Party

9:30-11:30 am, Saturday April 8, 2017
Please come on out if you want to help with the annual sprucing up of the PPP! A couple hours of our time makes in big difference in the appearance of our local park. The PPP is at the corner of 19th Ave NE and NE 117th St.
 
We’ll spend some time weeding and then spread some fresh bark mulch. So bring your favorite weeding tool and a bucket. A pitchfork and wheelbarrow could also come in handy.
All are welcome, see you there!
Garth Ferber

Communicating with Your Legislators

Recently someone in Facebook’s Pinehurst/Olympic Heights Buy Nothing group asked for help with how to effectively communicate with our legislators. Another member, a political science adjunct faculty member at North Seattle College and former congressional staffer, offered to help set up a meeting and speak to this issue. It was a well organized meeting with good attendance. The speaker, Jill Lane, was outstanding.

The information presented is a useful guide for how to make your voice heard and your opinion count. A handout from the meeting tells how to write a letter, and gives contact information for all our state and federal legislators. You can read it here.

For minutes from the meeting, look here. These include the relative effectiveness of different communication methods, such as phone calling, letter writing, petition signing, office visiting hours, town hall meeting, fax.

An important thing to remember is that even if you think your legislator has the same opinion on an issue as you, it is still worth letting them know your opinion. It’s our civic responsibility to be engaged, including voting and communicating with our legislators once they’re in office!

February 2017 Pinehurst Crime Map

Here is a partial picture of Pinehurst property crime for the month. Click on the map to enlarge it.

You can see ALL the types of crime at http://web6.seattle.gov/mnm/policereports.aspx. Select the North neighborhood and enter a date range.

Victory Heights Park Renovations

Seattle Parks is starting renovations of the Victory Heights Playground, just south of Northgate Way (1737 NE 106th St) in mid to late April, with projected completion in late August. There will be new kids’ play equipment! Here is the preferred design:

The project includes a renovated accessible playground and features new play areas for ages 2-5 and 5-12 complete with new slides, net climbing elements, swings, musical instruments, a merry-go-round, and a deluxe coupe car climbing element as requested by the public.

The improvements will also include a new accessible ramp, new sand play area, new seating areas with pervious pavers, and new half-court basketball.

Three additive items include a new loop path around the open field, and two additives for field drainage improvements.  Once they get bids, they will know if they will be able to accept these improvements.

If you want to track progress, check here.

Current Scams

Our SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator handed out the AARP Current Scams list and asked us to share it. Read it here.

One that was new to me is the silent call. You say hello but there’s no one on the other end. An automated computer system makes these calls to build a list of humans to target for theft. It’s the first step in opening you up to many of the scams discussed in the list. You can avoid this if you screen your calls with caller ID and don’t pick up if the number is unfamiliar.

The number one reported fraud right now is the phone call by IRS impostors. IRS only communicates via US Postal Service!

North Precinct Crime is Down

Compared to year-to-date 2016, crime is down in 2017:

 

North Precinct Advisory Council Minutes for March 2017

 This month’s speaker was Sgt. Daniel Nelson from Seattle Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). It’s a team of 4 officers who follow up on incidents involving people in crisis, such as suicide attempts, mental health issues, some domestic violence, etc. There are thousands of these 911 calls a year, so the team can’t handle them all, but they do help a great deal with the cases that get to their desks. For example, they may work with the person’s mental health case worker to figure out the best way to approach these individuals on the street. Or they may refer people to social services. Or they may work with other services to decide on the best intervention likely to succeed in getting the individual to stop the behaviors.

In addition to this team, 60% of SPD officers have taken voluntary 40 hour training for crisis intervention certification. And all officers are required to take 8 hours of training each year in crisis intervention.

If you see someone in crisis, you may call 911. If you want to tell SPD about a person you see around who seems to be in constant crisis, call our Community Police Team officer David Gordon, 206-684-0799, or David.Gordon@seattle.gov and he will follow up.

All the minutes from the NPAC meeting are here.

Road Rules – Turning left: Is it OK to wait in the intersection?

It’s the dreaded 5 p.m. commute, and you need to make a left turn onto a busy street. After waiting through a couple of lights, you’re at last poised to make your turn.

Do you …

  1. Creep out into the intersection and wait until oncoming traffic clears so you can turn left;
  2. Enter the intersection only when you see you can make the turn without having to stop;
  3. Skip it altogether, because you realize the traffic light doesn’t have a green turn arrow?

Got your answer? Give yourself 100% if you answered “B.”

Wait … what?

There’s a reason 70% of would-be drivers miss that question on the Washington drivers test. Many of us do it wrong!

To meet the letter of the law, you should not enter the intersection unless you know you can complete your turn. Why? You risk blocking the intersection if the light changes and the lane into which you are turning remains clogged (or becomes ​clogged by people taking right turns) and there’s no room for your car.

However, NOT going into the intersection can trigger road rage by people behind you. But stand firm and do the right thing!

Adapted from Pemco Insurance’s newsletter.

 

Mayor Murray’s Find It, Fix It Walk Coming to the Hood

Get involved in solving some of Pinehurst’s safety and maintenance issues!

Mayor Ed Murray announced the six neighborhoods where he will host his annual Find It, Fix It Community Walks. These walks bring City officials, business owners, and community members together to address each neighborhood’s needs.  During the walks, neighbors, police, and City officials walk together to identify physical elements in the neighborhood that make it feel unsafe or poorly maintained. Examples include overgrown trees, graffiti, street light outages, and litter. Once the elements are identified, the City and community work together to fix the problems.

One of the neighborhoods where Mayor Murray will lead the Find It, Fix It Community Walks this year is Northgate. Since city departments sometimes use different borders for neighborhoods, I called Dept of Neighborhoods to ask for the Northgate boundaries. Sure enough, part of Pinehurst (south of NE 115th St and west of Roosevelt Way), are in its version of Northgate. BUT, the fellow said that they are perfectly willing to expand the boundaries to include all of Pinehurst and/or Victory Heights if there is interest among the community members who join the action team.

Each walk will follow a route determined by community members on Community Walk Action Teams convened by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.  If you are interested in participating in a Community Walk Action Team to help plan the Northgate walk, contact Lemmis Stephens, Find It, Fix It Program Coordinator, at Lemmis.Stephens@seattle.gov or call (206) 386-1907.

Specific dates and locations will be announced at least two weeks prior to each walk. I am on a contact list to get this info, so I’ll post again later. In the meantime, if anyone would like to join the team, by all means call the number above (and let me know). Or if you wish to submit ideas for problem areas in Pinehurst where the Mayor can be directed to on the walk, please let me know at Nancy@PinehurstSeattle.org so I can pass them on to anyone who volunteers. I’m also keeping a log of issues that come up that can be used.