For Every Dark Cloud...

In a recent article in the Seattle Times titled ‘Next-Door Nemeses’, author Diana Wurn went on to explain how no-good neighbors can devalue your property as much as ten percent when you’re trying to sell. And for those who are simply expecting a peaceful environment to call home, living next to a bad neighbor can be a harrowing experience.

However, I feel a positive side to every negative situation is possible, if only you make the extra effort. For me, I’ve discovered this to be true of the neighbors within my immediate area.

The recent snow and ice storms had created a treacherous situation in my neighborhood. The area was without electricity for nearly three days. Getting out and around was difficult while remaining indoors without power to heat our homes was not too comforting either.  The evening of the first day without electricity, the neighbor next-door approached me asking if I would care to borrow her generator. Seems she was headed over to a relative for the night and was concerned that my family and I would be left to deal with the cold. She cautioned us that one of her daughters who had also lost power would be by the following day to pick it up but she encouraged us to use it for the night. Early  the next day a fairly new neighbor on the other side of the street from us who we’ve only met once also went out of his way to walk down our icy drive to our house and ask if we needed anything from the grocery store as his vehicle was well equipped to get it around.

Later that same day another neighbor on the south end of the lake called to inform us that their power had been restored and ask if ours had, too. When we confirmed it hadn't he immediately extended an offer to us for the use of a second generator and he and his brother even delivered it to our home within hours! Additionally we received calls from other neighbors on the west side of the lake offering us use of their spare rooms to stay with them and from the north end we received a call of concern asking us to confirm if anyone had a chance to check in on the safety of the elderly in the area. The behavior I had witnessed of these neighbors and their display of genuine concern during this time of need helped to warm my heart and instill an increased sense of the caring community that I live in.  

Another recent incident concerns a home nearby where the owner has recently become deceased and currently no legal ownership claim is established on the property at this time. This situation has created an opportunity for a few individuals to occupy the property as ‘squatters’ and concern over illegal drug activity has increased. On the surface, this certainly can be identified as a bad situation – but dig a little deeper and what is revealed is an opportunity surfacing for my community to build an even stronger cohesion among us.

The issue was brought to light when a young couple who had just recently purchase a home next-door to the subject property sent an email to the ALSC blog address asking that nearby residents be alerted to nefarious activity occurring at the adjacent vacant property. The letter contained information outlining the concerns, recommending actions residents could take to best help local law enforcement confront the issues, and included details regarding new partnerships forming between the residents and city agencies to identify and address potential code infractions in effort to combat concerns over potential dangerous chemicals being stored on the property.

As the Times had reported, bad neighbors can certainly have a negative impact on your property values and/or quality of life at home. Living in a community like Angle Lake where an active social organization like the Shore Club exists and affords opportunity for neighbors to become better acquainted with other neighbors is something no longer commonplace in today's society. A community where we are no longer strangers living side by side but in many cases where we have actually become good friends.  A community where friends work together to resolve differences whereas strangers would have otherwise failed, where working together as partners problems are more easily resolved than working them alone.  For me, I find the good neighbors in this community to be  priceless.

Planning for Snow Travel

With snow beginning to fall in our area, blanketing yards and thoroughfares and making surface travel a bit more difficult - it’s probably a good time to inform our blog viewers about the City of SeaTac Snow Plowing Schedule and Road Closures. 

Road Maintenance Officials with the City of SeaTac have compiled a list of priority roads that will be plowed during times of heavy snow and/or icing to assist drivers in safe navigation throughout the city. The following links provide access to the Priority List or a Visual Map detailing which roads will be cleared and de-iced.

As a reminder, the following roads within SeaTac will most likely be closed when unsafe conditions (snow and ice) are present:
So. 180th Street east of Military Road So. (aka: Levitz Hill)
So. 200th Street west of 28th Ave So
37th Place So east of Military Road So.

Vehicle operators will need to choose alternate routes during times of road closures.  Additional road closure information can be access through the King County Road Alert website.

Seasonal Serenity and Solitude

Winter time around the lake. Normally a quiet, peaceful time for most folks to relax, recuperate and reinvigorate.  But au contraire for several neighbors who are actively participating on or leading various community committees.   The following presents a brief overview of the community interests being served, a point of contact for each and current information and status about the initiatives.

200th Street Light Rail Station:  
Clyde ‘Fuzz’ Hill

An Ad-Hoc Committee consisting of residents, business and property managers was formed this past Summer.  The team has been meeting regularly since October to review proposed requirements and design features for the new station scheduled to open in 2016. The group had toured existing stations, met with the creative art teams and spent many hours addressing concerns and offering suggestions to Sound Transit Staff for inclusion into the design/build requested proposals. A comprehensive packet of recommendations from the committee is expected to be delivered to the City Council by March.  Please send any comments, questions or concerns you may have regarding this project to the blog to be forwarded to the committee for additional consideration.

Celebrate America: 
Steve Beck

If you attended the Shore Club Christmas Party you may recall the announcement made regarding a grass roots effort formed to create a city wide event to recognize our wounded military service men and women and to celebrate being American.  The team has secured individual stakeholders to manage 10 separate events to be held at various locations throughout North SeaTac and Valley Ridge Parks, near Angle Lake and including the PacWest Ball Fields and Community Center grounds with the plan to converge on Angle Lake Park in the afternoon to honor our military personnel through ceremony and family fun activities via an old fashioned picnic.  The group is working diligently to secure necessary funding to help seed this first year of what is planned to be an annual function.  If you’d like the chance to perform good deeds for your community while paying respect to our returning military service personnel, we urge you to consider volunteering your talents and join this committee.

Vision 2015: 
Jim Todd

While relatively unknown to most but I suspect not for much longer is the somewhat obscure collective body that has been brainstorming future uses for the variety of City owned and currently un- or underdeveloped properties.  The two significant components that are starting to surface in response to the failed town center concept include a proposal for a mixed use International Complex at 154th, something akin to the Pike Place Market concept and an Artist Community near 200th Street with a Sculpture Garden installed on the Hughes Property at South Angle Lake.  Both centers leverage the light rail stations and take advantage of the enhanced bus transportation available in these areas.  Send your contact information to the blog to receive additional detail about the proposed used for these and other city owned properties.

These are just three of several active community focus groups that are underway or being formed.  Please email the blog if you'd like to be involved, informed or have ideas to share.