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:
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:
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:
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.