Category Archives: Neighborhood Security

State Of The Onion Address

July 18, 2015Egyptian walking onion WP_20150713_006

On June 15, after four years of lugging water, we turned on a spigot. Wow! The sound of water rushing into a bucket; it actually took some getting used to! What a wonderful resource, especially with this record hot and dry summer. Our cisterns were installed just after the big February storms so we must rely mostly on City water this summer. The spigot WP_20150713_004cost of both the cistern and City water installations were paid for by a City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Grant.

We had to start watering early this year, May 25th, and it takes about three hours per week to water all of the plants. Thanks to those who help with watering: Jennifer, Justin, Nancy, Joan and 37 youngsters from the Kids Co summer care program at McDonald elementary.

Access to water allows us to test out a few vegetables this summer.nan pepper WP_20150704_001 I picked our first Anaheim pepper July 6 and it was just a little start when it was planted May 25th!

In the next several months, we will construct garden beds and a path. Volunteers are picking up pieces of concrete from construction sites and piling them up to frame garden beds and make an herb spiral. In August, a professional will take up grass to make way for the path. We will recycle that good soil onto the garden beds.

flower close up WP_20150622_002Can you identify this flower? (See photo of flower & leaf.) There is a vote 150704 hibiscus leaf WP_20150704_002for hibiscus and for white swan. Nature brings in some challenging plants to the orchard but this newcomer is lovely.

We need a sign maker. You just need to design a template, have it reviewed, and then order the signs. We will need to post signs relating to safety during path construction so we need a design by August 8. Can you help?

We need help recruiting volunteers for the August 22 & 23 gravel work party. Please Please email us if you can find a volunteer or two.

Tues, Aug 4, 6-9, Night Out
Bring a dish and utensils.
Sat, Aug 22, 10-2, Path Building
Sun, Aug 23, 10-2, Path Building
Sun, Aug 23, 11-12, Qi Gong
No experience necessary

Also, help report illegal dumping at the orchard. The City of Seattle has a new mobile app for reporting illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, potholes, and streetlights that need repair.

You can also use their online service request form. (

Or, call this number: Illegal dumping -206-684-7587

Thank you for all that you do for gardening and community.


Heed the Mayor’s Advice – Call 911

June 14, 2013

The conveniences that make our neighborhood desirable also make it vulnerable: easy freeway access, many buses and the ability to walk to most everything you need.

A package was recently stolen off a neighbor’s porch. We had a similar experience and now have a sign on our door: Do Not Leave Packages on Porch. Please Ring Bell. However, there is a new UPS delivery person in our area. He wears ear buds, drops the packages and practically runs to the next house. He does not ring the bell. I emailed UPS to explain and a representative called back the same day to assure me that packages will not be left outside our house.

We can all do more to reduce petty crimes, but we need to work together. A significant number of people in our area work from home and should be able to keep ‘eyes on the street,’ as Jane Jacobs would say.

Speaking of ‘eyes on the street’, I walked up the steps of Russ’s house today, corner of NE 63rd 061413 Russ DSCN0649 smand 6th Ave N. He was doing what he does best – sitting on his porch, looking around. Just last week he watched a couple who were surveying the neighborhood, one pushing a bike. To Russ, they appeared to be canvassing our area. He said he called the cops, but no one came out.

Bravo Russ! Perfect. “Call 911 when you see something that gives you a bad feeling in your gut, or makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up,” was the suggestion given to me by our Community Policing Officer (CPO) Loren Street.

Mayor McGinn is asking people to call 911 to report any crime or nuisance. It’s part of the Police Department’s new program “Predictive Policing”. Officer Street said not to be shy about dialing 911. The dispatch people know what to do. They will decide whether to send out an officer, but the incident posts to the computer and that’s the important part. Reported crimes push more resources to the appropriate areas. The idea is to prevent the crime in the first place.

Orchard Announcements/Updates
We encourage you to email Gary Hren (SDOT) to thank him for the superb mowing job at the Orchard!

Officer Street came out, at my request, to survey the Orchard area and around the freeway embankment near our house. He walked around, spoke to a few men hanging out at the bus stop, and then came to my door. He is now the CPO for Green Lake, Fremont, Phinney and Wallingford.

He agreed that, since most of our houses are too small to fit a large groups of neighbors, the Orchard might be a good place to host a ‘living room talk’ this summer. Several officers come out, bring food and answer questions. It’s a way for the police to get to know a neighborhood.

If anyone wants to help to organize this event, please leave a comment or email us.

On a related note, the annual neighborhood night out is August 6 and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) has funding available to help you host. You would need to get in touch with them before July 1. Visit or call 206-733- 9916. Night Out is a national Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite communities. To learn more about Night Out, visit


Our First Financial Contribution is Anonymous

May 27, 2013

Friday night, May 17, there was a party at the Orchard. We noticed the evidence the next day: a branch was torn off the Early Fuji, there were strewn beer bottles and cans, and a small fire was started (luckily, in the wet grass). Also at the scene, there was also a tightly rolled up $5.00 bill. We’ll consider it a contribution.

This past Friday, a larger Orcas branch of the 4 x 1 Pear was torn off. That was harder to052513 sm Pear damage DSCN0633 take. The branch was not torn off completely, still hanging on by its lower edge. All of these events took place behind the thicket of rose and the Orchard sign.

Orchard Announcements/Updates
Pam and Justin sent the Design Job Description to three top Landscape Architects.
We have a special weeding party this Sunday 2-4pm and our next regular work party is Sunday June 9, 2-4pm.

I rushed home to call Ingela. Should I graft the limb back on or cut it off? She said it would be better to cut it off, because the fork was a V-shape, rather than a U-shape. A weak V-shape fork has “included bark”, where bark disappears down into the fork. The bond is weak and will get worse over time. Most U-shaped forks, on the other hand, with all bark visible, are dependable. Had it been our choice to cut that limb off, we would have cut it off just after the crown, but the crown was torn off as well as some of the wood on the trunk. The result is a serious setback for the Pear.

Amidst Orchard maintenance and the City Grant activities, we will continue to work on strategies to deal with all external sectors. How do we engage with vandals to minimize damage to the Orchard and increase neighborhood safety?

Let us know if you have ideas.