Jun 17, 2016

Homeless Encampments -- A Discussion

On Wednesday June 15th, 45 of your neighbors turned out for a discussion on the ‘homeless encampments’  that run up the Meyers Way corridor.  The discussion was led by Travis Phelps, a Public Information Office for the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT).  Also invited was a representative of the Seattle Police Department, but he was called back to his precinct for an emergency meeting  just as he was entering our property, as were all other officers, so none were able to attend our meeting. Mr. Wiebke of the West Seattle Precinct was disappointed but had no control.  Councilmember Lisa Herbold was in session and unable to attend.  That being said the meeting still went well and is the beginning of ongoing discussions between all of us, the residents, and these agencies.  We must keep in mind that the problem did not start yesterday and the solution will not come tomorrow.

My finally getting in touch with Officer Wiebke  gave us the path to speak with the other agencies.  Through a series of phone calls and emails I was finally able to speak to Dave McCormick at WSDOT. He arranged to send Mr. Phelps in his place for this first meeting. Mr. McCormick and I have committed to continuing this discussion surrounding what happens in our backyard.  I thank Mr. McCormick for his willingness to help assuage our fears and answer our questions ongoing.

Mr. Phelps began his part by giving us the history of how WSDOT owns property.  It all began with building the highway systems in our state.  They bought many acres and plots of land in anticipation of building the roads, including the entrances and exits that we use. It was a rich history that  most of us knew little about.. 
He then went on to address the issue(s) of homelessness in not just Seattle but throughout the country.  What is happening across Meyers Way sadly takes place everywhere.  We must understand the reasons that people are homeless in order to find ways to work together in the long term to try to resolve the societal issue.  There is no ‘one brush’ paints all when it comes to the reasons a person may be homeless.  For a very small number the choice may be deliberate but for the rest it is a matter of circumstance. A person maybe down on his luck, a family may have a breadwinner who has lost her job and another person may have come from another country and  not been able to find work or shelter.  Without going into great detail, these reasons just scratch the surface.  One way to think about it; there, but for the grace of God go I.  We never know how quickly our circumstance can change and we are suddenly homeless.

In the many conversations I’ve have with the residents, a couple of things are common; the ‘fear’ of a homeless person and that all homeless people are ‘criminals’. Fear is fear, and it is not incorrect. While the homeless often come through our property, in nearly seven years I have never known of anyone being assaulted by them. And it is just not rationale to believe they are all criminals. Some are likely to have criminal records, and the Seattle Police have made a number of arrests recently and taken those individuals into custody.

The ‘crime’ that is being committed across Meyers Way is that of trespassing. It simply means they are on the property without permission.  It is a misdemeanor and has to be weighed by the authorities as to what to do.  That brings us back to the discussion of what is going to happen across Meyers Way and up the hill into Top Hat.

The property itself is like a puzzle that all has to work together to final be solved.  The property that belongs to WSDOT starts at the bottom of the hill and continues to just before the church.  Once you cross the imaginary line the next part of the property that is not occupied, belongs to the City of Seattle.  Just south of the church and continuing around the curve and on up the hill is now the responsibility of the King County Sheriff.  So in just a short span of less than one mile you have three jurisdictions.  You’ve probably noticed a different speed sign in each section!  Adding to this WSDOT must rely on the Washington State Patrol when they must enter the property for cleanup and joining them is often the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff.

The homeless create many problems in our backyard/neighborhood whichever you want to call it and the discussion on Wednesday was a great deal about those problems. The who, what, why, when, where and how are the magic questions.

Who is responsible for the cleanup?  The simple answer is: WSDOT. The more complicated answer is: many others.  Keep in mind that there is a real difference between cleanup and clean out.  Cleanup happens ongoing and clean out is a totally different matter since it is part of the greater problem  in resolving the issue of homelessness.

What means many things though I think it is safe to say here in this moment it means…’what is anyone going to do about the mess across the street’? Again the answer is complicated.  Because it goes far beyond just ‘moving’ them out.  They have no place to go. So, removing them from  (kicking them off) this property without real solutions will do nothing but have them trespassing on another property. The long-term solution means finding housing for them, but that does not solve the immediate problem.  

Why?  The homeless have been with us since the beginning of time. They are in every large city and in every small town.  Yet, no matter where they are there we must always remember they are  deserving of the same things in life that we often taken for granted, clothes on our backs, a roof over our head and food on the table; running water and bathroom facilities.  I am as concerned with why they are homeless as I am with how do we as a society erase this terrible issue. We cannot simply say “not in my back yard”, convince someone to move them out of our line of sight and all will be well. That is not realistic.

When?  Now that is the $64,000 question isn’t it?  There actually is no one answer to this one.  The next scheduled cleanup right now is to be around the 3rd week in August.  There are many homeless encampments in the city of Seattle, several others very nearby. Each of which needs cleaning up, just like ours does. When will the homeless be gone?  There is no real answer to that from WSDOT as the problem is about housing.  As one of the residents stated: in order to begin to solve the problem we must provide what is necessary and that is ‘housing first.

Where and How can be combined and includes all of us. Where this is going to be solved is beyond our living rooms but how is not. We can write our  Mayor and  our City Council members telling them of our concerns and the importance of working toward ‘housing firstas the most important way of helping the homeless get back on a better path.  I doubt that the number of homeless that ‘choose’ that deliberately is as large as many believe.  The more of us that write letters, send emails and pick up the phone to contact those that have the power to impact change the better it will be for all. The contact information is going to be permanently posted on the bulletin boards.  Use it please. Every voice counts and we can be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

There were some great questions in this meeting as well as some wonderful suggestions.  I will have some whistles to pass out at the meeting at the end of the month as well as some red blinking lights for the dog walkers to attach to their dog leashes.  Suggestions were made about having self-defense classes.  As I stated earlier, this is just the beginning of the discussion on this matter.  The next meeting is already scheduled for July 27th so mark your calendars. WSDOT will be back as well as the Seattle Police Department.  In the meantime write a letter, send an e-mail or make a phone call and ask our powers that be to work toward ‘housing first as quickly as possible.
Diane L Radischat, President

May 26, 2016

Are you ready for the next DISASTER?

Information from your Arrowhead gardens disaster committee
What is a disaster? A disaster is an event that can cause unfortunate consequences.  
What are the disasters the AG Disaster Committee will help you with?  AG Disaster Planning Committee has set up a plan for those smaller disasters, such as extended power outages, water outages, and elevator stoppage.   AG Management and Staff is in charge of making arrangements for help with major disasters such as earthquakes and fires when the fire department and Red Cross will need to assist.

What do residents need to do?    Be prepared!
  1. Set up your apartment with supplies you may need to take of yourself for at least 72 hours.  You will need:
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Bottled water
  • Canned food and energy bars that do not need to be cooked
  • Warm blankets
  • Keep your cell phone charged (consider purchasing a solar cell phone battery charger or other portable charger)
  • Battery or crank radio
  1. Prepare a “grab and go” kit.  There are lists that have been prepared by the Red Cross of what you need or you may purchase ready-made kits.  These kits should be placed in a container and kept where they are easy to access.  Items for these kits should include:
  • Enough supplies for at least 72 hours
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Bottled water
  • Extra medications
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Canned food or energy bars that do not need cooking
  • Warm clothing and a space blanket
  • A small bag or suitcase to put items in
  • Some comfort items such as a deck of cards, pen and paper, books etc.
  • Battery or crank radio
  1. If you have special medical needs such as oxygen and medication that needs refrigerated, you should alert your Building Captain.  
What is a Hall Safety Monitor?   Arrowhead Gardens Disaster Planning Committee has organized a group of volunteers from each of our three apartment buildings who will check on residents in the event of a disaster.  Every hall in “A”, “C”, and “D” has a Hall Safety Monitor (HSM).  HSM’s will also be stationed in the lobby and garage areas of each building.  
In the event of extended power outages, water outages, or other simple disasters your HSM will check on you to make sure you are OK and assist you if they can.  They will be your communication link to let you know the latest on when you can expect the electricity to be restored, and water outage repaired or elevator repaired.  If you are in an emergency situation they will help you call for assistance or get 911 to help.  Get to know your HSM.   

May 14, 2016


Arrowhead Gardens Residents Community
Revised April 2016

Name and Address
This organization shall be known as the Arrowhead Gardens Resident Community (AGRC) located at 9200 Second Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98106-3326.

Mission Statement
To provide the Arrowhead Gardens residents with a welcoming environment and opportunities for friendship, recreation, wellness, and education, thus empowering them to continue an active and independent lifestyle within the Community.
Membership and Voting at General and Special Meetings
A.    Membership
Membership shall be open and voluntary to all residents of Arrowhead Gardens whose names appear on a lease.
B.    Quorum
A quorum of 25 members shall be required to be present before any business can be transacted.
C.     Voting
All members present are eligible to cast one vote on any subject when presented for consideration and approval by the membership. No proxy voting shall be allowed. Decisions shall be passed by a simple majority of the quorum. However, members may request a written vote.

Meetings of Members
A.    Frequency
General Meetings of the membership shall be held monthly on the fourth Friday of each month.  Exceptions to the meeting dates shall be as follows: November and December meetings shall be held on the third Friday.  Special meetings may be called by the Executive Board.
B.    Authority
Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used at all meetings of both the membership and the Executive Board.  A
copy of the referenced Robert’s Rules of Order shall be maintained in the AGRC Logbook in Building B.
C.      Notice
A notice of all meetings shall be posted in each building no later than five (5) calendar days in advance of the scheduled meeting.
D.    Special Meetings
Special meetings shall require at least five (5) calendar days’ notice and shall be posted accordingly.  The notice for a Special meeting must include the topic of the meeting. Special meeting business shall be restricted to the topic as posted (e.g., a vacancy on the Board).

Officers and Duties
A.    President
The President presides over Executive Board, General, and Special meetings.  He/she acts as the liaison with the Arrowhead Gardens management in representing the issues and concerns of the AGRC. The President shall report each month to the membership the status, progress, and plans of the Community. He/she shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
B.     Vice-President
The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence.  He/she shall assume the office of President should that office become vacant.
C.     Secretary
The Secretary shall record all minutes of each meeting and submit a written report to the membership and the Executive Board.  The minutes shall reflect an absence by any member of the Executive Board. The Secretary shall maintain all written correspondence as it pertains to the AGRC and shall post a copy of all minutes in the official AGRC Logbook located in Building B. 
D.    Treasurer
The treasurer shall be responsible for establishing a checking account on behalf of AGRC. The President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be signatories on said account.  Two signatures shall be required on all checks. Use of a single Debit Card for the AGRC account shall be the sole responsibility of the Treasurer. There shall be no duplicate debit cards.
All requests for projected expenditures must be submitted in writing to the Executive Board, accompanied by supporting detail and justification. The Board shall review the request and, if appropriate, recommend approval by the members at a General meeting.
The Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all AGRC monies and submit a written report at each General meeting a copy of the report shall be included in the minutes of the General meeting.
An audit of AGRC financial records shall be conducted in May and November of each year by three (3) volunteers selected by the Executive Board at its October meeting the Audit Committee. The audit as completed will be presented in a written report to the Executive Board at its June and December meetings and then to the General meeting in June and N. The Audit Committee shall consist of no fewer than three (3) volunteer members none of which can be members of the Executive Board. 
The Treasurer shall chair the Budget Committee and prepare a budget to present to the AGRC at the January General meeting.
E.      Sergeant-at-Arms
The Sergeant-at-Arms shall maintain order at all meetings as well as ensure that all policies and rules are followed.
F.      Building Representatives
There shall be two Representatives each from Buildings A, C, and D within Arrowhead Gardens.  It shall be their responsibility to greet new residents as soon as practical, provide them with an AGRC New Resident Handbook, and encourage participation in the AGRC.  They shall be a resource for general information within the Community.  They shall give a collective report of their activities to the membership at each General meeting.
Executive Board
Executive Board members are responsible for upholding and enforcing the By-Laws of the AGRC.
A.    Membership
The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant-at-Arms, and six (6) Building Representatives.
B.    Responsibilities
The Executive Board shall be responsible for managing AGRC affairs, conducting its business, planning all meeting agendas, and providing consultation and information to its members.  It shall meet on the second Friday of each month.
All residents are welcome to attend and observe the Executive Board meetings.  An open comment period shall follow at the end of the Executive Board business meeting.  
C.     Term of Office
The term of office shall be one year for each Officer and each Building Representative. The term of office shall begin on the first day of January.    
D.    Resignations
An Executive Board member may resign at any time after delivering written notice to the President. 
E.     Vacancies
When a position of an elected officer, other than the President, becomes vacant, an appointment to fill the vacancy shall be made by the President and confirmed by simple majority vote of the Executive Board. If the position of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall assume the office, title, and duties of the President and shall serve for the remainder of the term.
If both the President and Vice-President positions become vacant, the Secretary shall temporarily assume the duties of the President and initiate a Special Election to fill the vacancies.  The Special Election shall be conducted in accordance with the same rules as those governing the regularly scheduled Annual Election.
If the position of a Building Representative becomes vacant, an appointment to fill the vacancy shall be made by the President and confirmed by simple majority vote of the Executive Board. 
Annual Elections
A.     Election Committee
The President shall appoint an Election Committee, including the Chairperson, at the regularly scheduled Executive Board meeting in the month of August.  Committee membership shall include at least one member from each of the three (3) buildings. The Election Committee shall meet and prepare a plan for conducting the election. 
It shall include, but not be limited to, developing a schedule for posting the required notices in a timely manner, creating suggestions for encouraging nominations,  providing residents with a sample ballot in advance of voting, arranging for the printing, receiving, and counting of the ballots, and announcing the results.
B.    Nominations
Nominations shall take place only during the September General meeting. The agenda for the October meeting shall provide an opportunity for all candidates to present a campaign statement.
C.     Notices
At least ten (10) days prior to the nomination meeting (September General meeting), a notice shall be posted in each building designating the date, time, and place of the election. All notices described in this section of the By-Laws shall include the election procedure and eligibility requirements.
D.    Annual Election Voting
Voting shall take place between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm during the day of the regularly scheduled AGRC General meeting in the month of November.  Secret ballots, one per eligible resident, must be deposited in a monitored ballot box provided in the Community Room; Building B. Election Committee members shall assist voters as requested.
Accommodations shall be made for residents who are (a) unable to personally deliver their ballot to the voting location or (b) who will be absent on Election Day. They shall be allowed to participate via absentee ballot. Write-in votes shall be accepted and counted. The procedure for a secure absentee ballot shall be followed by the Election Committee and posted in the election notice.
No proxy ballots shall be allowed.

Removal of Officers
Any officer can be removed for one of three reasons:
·        Three (3) unexcused absences from the Executive Board or General meetings per term of office
·        Failure to perform in accordance with the duties as stated in Article 6
·        Just cause. Just cause is limited to a felony conviction or malfeasance committed during the Executive Board member’s term of office.
1.     Recall Initiation
A.    Two-thirds of the remaining members of the Executive Board vote to recommend a recall or
B.     Executive Board receives a valid petition signed by a minimum of 25 residents requesting a recall.
The Executive Board recommendation (A) or a valid petition (B) must state the reasons for the proposed removal and must identify the actions that are violations of duties as set forth in these By-Laws. 
2.     Unaffected members of the Executive Board select a Recall Monitor to conduct the proceedings.
3.     The Recall Monitor provides to the officer in question notice of a hearing and an impending vote. The notice shall include the date for a Special meeting of the Executive Board to be held no later than seven (7) days after the receipt of the written notice.  The notice shall also include specific allegations to be addressed at said hearing. 
4.      The Recall Monitor shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing before the Executive Board and the proceedings shall be open to the membership.
5.      Executive Board shall meet in closed session and two-thirds must vote to submit the recall petition to a vote of the residents.  In addition, a notice shall be posted in all buildings with the date, time, and place of the vote.  

6.      The vote shall be held not later seven (7) days after the conclusion of the hearing. If necessary to meet this requirement, a Special meeting shall be held. The decision shall be by a two-thirds vote of a quorum of at least 25 members. Said vote shall be cast by secret ballot.

Standing Committees
The President shall appoint all committees including the Chairperson with the approval of the EC. The President shall be an Ex Officio member on all committees. Any resident may volunteer to serve on a committee by simply notifying the Chair of the committee.  Each Committee Chair make a written account of all meetings and such reports shall be place in the AGRC the public notebook.
These are the Standing Committees of the AGRC:

Social Events and Activities Committee
This committee shall be responsible to develop and present a budget to the Executive Board for review and approval and to help plan, organize and implement the social events for the AGRC as directed by the Executive Board.  This committee shall also prepare a report of its events and activities for presentation to the Executive Board at its regularly scheduled meeting(s) and for inclusion in any newsletter.
Members are encouraged to submit ideas for events and activities not later than the 15th of any month to the AGRC liaison committee (currently the van and bus drivers) for presentation to the Arrowhead Gardens management for inclusion in the monthly calendar of events.

Sunshine Committee

The Treasurer is the Chairperson of the committee by virtue of his/her office.  He/She shall have the duty to send cards to the ill, to notify other residents when possible that one of our own may need some cheering up and to generally help them in any way.

Telephone Committee
This committee maintains and distributes on a regular basis an updated telephone registry.  In order to receive a copy of the Telephone List a resident must agree to have their name, apt # and telephone listed for others.

Budget Committee
This committee prepares the annual budget for presentation to the AGRC at its January General meeting
Audit Committee
The Audit Committee shall consist of no fewer than three (3) volunteer members none of which can be members of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall serve the Audit Committee as an ex-officio non-voting member.
The Audit Committee shall be responsible for an audit of the AGRC financial records twice a year during the months of May and November and report its findings to the AGRC at its June and December General meetings.
Elections Committee
The Elections Committee shall be appointed and perform the duties as required in Article 7 of these By-Laws.
 Wellness Committee
The Wellness Committee shall develop programs and projects to promote a long healthy and meaningful for all AGRC members. In furtherance of these goals the Wellness Committee may enter into alliances with other entities to provide information, services and products as appropriate.
These By-Laws and all amendments shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at a General meeting.  Members must be notified by posted notice 10 days in advance of the vote to approve the proposed amendments.
Proposed amendments shall be read into the record at a regular General meeting and voted on at the next General meeting.
The residents, officers, and any person served by the AGRC shall be regarded entirely on a non-discriminatory basis, with respect to age, gender, race, religion, national origin, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Mar 26, 2016

AGRC Represents at the 2016 Democratic Caucus

The AGRC was well represented during the 2016 Washington State Democratic Caucus today, held at the Hilltop Elementary School.  We were 24 strong in a precinct that had 45 participants, with our voices being heard.  There were many hundreds of neighbors and friends who attended today’s Caucus and it was wonderful to see and be part of this event.
Cheryl Bersch just elected delegate.

We had 8 of our residents who stood and spoke on behalf of their candidate including myself. I also had the privilege of being the voice of a young man who was hearing impaired.  His voice was strong and I was proud to speak his words.

The tally of the our votes to determine proportional delegates took place after the speeches.  There were 45 participants and the vote was 25 for Sanders and 20 for Clinton, giving 3 delegates and 3 alternates to Bernie and 2 delegates as well as 2 alternates to Hilary.

Cheryl Bersch was nominated and elected as a Bernie delegate to the next level, the County Caucus held the 17th of April. I was one of 3 people who volunteered to be an alternate to the next level.  Stephanie Lieberman of Building A was elected  as a Hilary delegate, also going on to the next level. 

We also passed two resolutions onto the next step.  The first being our demand that Washington move away from the caucus process and into a real and timely statewide primary. The second expressed our dislike of the recent bills passed and proposed in the states of North Carolina and Georgia that strip the rights of the LGBTQ communities allowing outright discrimination.  The second resolution asks that no Washington businesses continue or begin doing any business in these two states until this is repealed or vetoed.

I cannot say how proud I am of those that not only showed up for this important caucus, they also stood and voiced their honest opinions.  Democracy in action if ever it was, continued for us today.  My wish is that everyone exercises their privilege and right to vote in all elections.

Diane L Radischat, President

Mar 21, 2016


Rosa Lopez is one of many proud grandparents living here at Arrowhead Gardens.  Today she is announcing to our community that her grandson Alex, a student at Pathfinder Elementary is among one of the players on the Pathfinder Championship Basketball Team.  

The boys’ middle-school basketball team entered the day as the third seed and knocked off second-seed team in the semi-finals. With some rest and determination, the boys went into game two of their double header and took down the umber one seed,Broadview.  Alex and his Pathfinder teammates went on to win the Seattle Public Schools Sound Division championship (all Seattle K-8 schools). 

Big congratulations to the kids and coaches for bringing the trophy back to West Seattle and making Pathfinder school history! 

Jan 14, 2016

Happy New Year

Thank you to Mieke Tazelaar for taking pictures of all of the wonderful doors that were decorated for the holidays.  I hope you find your own and maybe those of your neighbors and friends.  Next year there will be a contest!  Enjoy

Sep 25, 2015