Highland Park Action Committee: Needle cleanup, natural drainage, neighborhood help…

From the Highland Park Action Committee‘s January meeting:

‘I FOUND A NEEDLE, NOW WHAT?’ The Sharps Collection Pilot Program from Seattle Public Utilities gave a presentation. It was basically Needle 101 – where do discarded needles come from? Not just IV drug users – could be people with medical conditions that require injections, even pets that need shots, or allergy sufferers. In Seattle, it’s illegal to just throw needles in the trash, “for the safety of sanitation workers,” said the SPU presenters.

If you find a needle on public property:

-Don’t touch it
-Report via Find It Fix It
-Website: seattle.gov/util/sharps
-Illegal dumping hotline: 206-684-7587

If you report it that way, “The city will come and clean up the needle for you!” the slide deck promised. Within 24 hours, the SPU reps added. But not if it’s on private property – in that case, you have to pick it up, but then you can bring it to a public disposal site. So – how to clean up on private property? That was the next section of the presentation. Be sure you have:

-Puncture-proof container

Never touch the needle with your hands – not even to re-cap it. (It’s not just a matter of getting poked – it’s any contact with a virus that might still be “alive,” for hours or even days.)

Place the puncture-proof container on a flat surface close to the needle; open it to prepare it. Use your tongs to pick it up – by the plunger, not by the needle. Hold it far away from your body and place the sharp end into the container first. Then put the cap back on your puncture-proof container and tape the top shut. Dispose of your gloves – wash your hands – deliver the container to a sharps bin near you. There’s a map on this page or scroll through it below:

As you can see, in our area, Roxhill Park has a large box, and Westcrest Park has a restroom with a smaller box, or you can take the container to the South Transfer Station.

The program is likely to expand a bit this year, the SPU team said, depending on usage and on what they hear in “outreach” events like this. They might “do a little rearranging, a little adding, a little subtracting,” and are open to location suggestions. HPAC co-chair Gunner Scott suggested Riverview Playfield. Other suggestions included the vicinity of 16th/Roxbury.

The SPU reps noted that they have only received three needle reports in this area recently. It was suggested, that might be because people aren’t that aware of the project. You can find out more about it here.

LONGFELLOW NATURAL-DRAINAGE SYSTEMS: A different presenter from Seattle Public Utilities brought an update on this project – they’ve identified potential blocks for installing “natural drainage” (raingardens, etc.) and most are NOT in Highland Park. See the map here. Along with feasibility, residents’ interest is part of how they’re deciding on siting; construction is set for 2019-2020.

HPIC UPDATE: Events ahead at Highland Park Improvement Club, where HPAC meets, include Punk Rock Aerobics, the new class that just started on Thursday nights. … The February first-Friday Corner Bar is coming up February 2nd … then there’s second-Friday Art Lounge on February 9th, and third-Friday Family Movie Night on February 16th … April 29th will be a work party to spruce up HPIC itself, May 19th is the 10th annual Uncorked wine-celebration fundraiser … Highland Park Elementary‘s fundraising auction is coming up February 3rd and a DeLorean car will be at HPIC for photos!

HPAC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE UPDATE: They’re taking nominations for leadership positions – co-chairs Scott and Michele Witzki would like to make way for new leaders. You can nominate yourself or someone else; voting is planned at next month’s meeting. … Some by-law tweaks were discussed (they are summarized and linked here) – a final vote is planned next month … There was discussion about how to get more community involvement, and also how to get more infrastructure for the neighborhood, especially with the roundabout project that has lost out on funding time and time again.

RAPIDRIDE H LINE: This planning-stages project, converting Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line, was brought up by an attendee before meeting’s end. He said central Delridge in particular – the route area closest to Highland Park – is not getting much attention in the current discussions about stops and other aspects. (Here’s our most-recent coverage of what’s being proposed.) Co-chair Witzki urged people to take a look and interpret it “for themselves and how their neighborhoods might be affected.” Co-chair Scott mentioned that this is the type of topic for which committee creation would be optimal, and added that they could ask SDOT to come to HPAC’s February or March meeting.

DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Community-engagement coordinator Laura Jenkins reminded attendees that the Your Voice, Your Choice street/park-project-grant fund is in the idea-collection phase, through February 2nd – you can send in ideas online or on paper via libraries. One of the idea-reviewing meetings will be in east West Seattle, she said, either Highland Park or Puget Ridge. (Later in the meeting, HPAC concerns were voiced including what was happening with the projects that “won” last year (and a promised 11th/Henderson project that wasn’t on the official “winners” list), as well as ensuring that translated materials were available to community members for whom English is not a primary language). … Jenkins also noted that Neighbor Day is coming up February 10th.

APOLOGIES … that we arrived late (from the overlapping Lincoln Park Play Area meeting) and missed the first 20-plus minutes, including the update from Friends of Southwest Indoor Tennis.

The Highland Park Action Committee usually meets fourth Wednesdays – its next meeting is 7 pm February 28th at Highland Park Improvement Club (1116 SW Holden). Watch hpacws.org for updates.

11 Replies to "Highland Park Action Committee: Needle cleanup, natural drainage, neighborhood help..."

  • Joel January 28, 2018 (9:39 am)

    no money for the roundabout at a dangerous intersection but money to pay off the mayor’s lawsuits and money to defend Sawant – there’s 500k plus between the two…would that get the roundabout?

    • AMD January 28, 2018 (11:04 am)

      Not even close.


      Also, I know you are just trying to drag your personal opinions of people you don’t like into an unrelated discussion, but it’s mostly making it look like you don’t know how lawsuits work.

      • Rusty January 28, 2018 (12:28 pm)

        Curious how a roundabout could cost over 1 million… seems like we’re not really getting a good bang for the buck on that. As for the lawsuits against the mayor and councilmember Sawant – didn’t the city decide to cover those costs, even though they didn’t have to? I may be wrong, and if so would welcome the clarification on that, but I don’t think the city had any legal obligation to be a party or pay for their defense.

      • T January 28, 2018 (1:42 pm)

        Truth hurt AMD? Sawant and especially Murray are despicable. No one should like them whether you are a liberal or a conservative. It’s bs we’re (tax dollars) paying for lawsuits or partially if insurance is kicking in. 

        The city has backward priorities in general . I’m glad people are waking up.

      • Joel January 30, 2018 (7:19 am)

        AMD….people I don’t like?  regardless of liking or not it’s about using our tax dollars wisely – the city always crying about not having enough tax dollars and then willingly shell out over $500k for these 2 issues…..the one by Sawant being 100% both her own doing (both her personal lawsuits) and Murray’s treasure chest of boys taking place over 40 years ago.

        as far as a grant from the state – this is a city road – take care of it like they should!  

  • Flimflam January 28, 2018 (9:45 am)

    So the needles are being strewn about by diabetics?

    • WSB January 28, 2018 (10:13 am)

      The point was that needles come from multiple sources.

      • flimflam January 28, 2018 (11:23 am)

        i would be very curious to know the % of needles in public are coming from sources other than IV drug users. i imagine it would be a very small % but perhaps i’m wrong.

        • WSB January 28, 2018 (12:31 pm)

          No way to know that. But it’s an important point. Example: Car crash in which syringe(s) were spotted among items that fell out of car. Cannot assume that meant the driver who crashed was abusing drugs. But if you are a healthy person and have never heard of a reason for someone to have syringes aside from oh say injecting heroin, you might make that assumption.

  • Neighbor January 28, 2018 (5:24 pm)

  • TJ January 28, 2018 (7:36 pm)

    The city has no obligation to pay either Murray’s or Sawant’s legal bills. Just flat out volunteered to pay them, which means the city has a never ending cash machine in the taxpayers here I guess. That is a reason some people like myself hide, shelter, lie, about assets and business registrations to avoid some taxes. If the city had any guts they would make Sawant’s voting district pay her legal fees by withholding funding for a project. As a business owner, I would never pay a employees legal fees in instances like this

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