The Laurelhurst Letter

September/October 2004

New patient-care wing close to completion Library’s budget woes mean higher fines, new fees
Annual event is an opportunity to acknowledge others’ good deeds Tenants to remain in homes
Endowment to provide ongoing source of funding for school’s extracurricular, enrichment activities Police offer tips to help prevent car prowls, theft

New patient-care wing close to completion

The ongoing construction of a new patient-care wing at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center is now nearly complete; an open house featuring tours of the building is tentatively scheduled for mid-January 2004.

The new patient-care wing is one of three clinical components in the hospital’s current 10-year master plan.  Still to be built are a new ambulatory-care wing and a new emergency facility. 

A new 625-stall parking garage was installed in 2002 to serve the needs of the three new clinical components.

The soon-to-be-competed wing increases the hospital’s in-patient capacity from 208 to 250 beds while at the same time providing single-bed rooms for all patients.  Additional beds are provided in some rooms for accompanying family members, and there are private spaces on each floor for parents to meet with doctors or other family members.

With in-patient care tending toward treating sicker children for longer periods of time, the facility also includes more windows and beds placed closer to the windows, as well as designated areas for food, music, social interaction, and educational programs.

The design also provides space and flexibility for future technological and treatment advances.

Construction of the new ambulatory-care wing is scheduled to begin in spring 2004 and take two years to complete.  Located on the south side of the hospital, the building will be set back 90 feet from Northeast 45th Street.  Trees on the site will be moved this fall and winter, and some will be used to thicken and enhance the existing landscaped buffer, which will remain during construction.

The new ambulatory-care wing will bring together some 50 specialty out-patient clinics in one central location.  The clinics are currently spread throughout the hospital building and serve 160,000 patients a year.

Construction of the new emergency facility, to be located on the site of the existing emergency department, is slated to begin in spring 2006 and take one year to complete.  It will give Children’s the ability to handle the continuous growth in emergency-room activity that is seen primarily as the result of poor access to primary care for children living at low-income levels.®

Library’s budget woes mean higher fines, new fees

Beginning Dec. 1, Seattle Public Library overdue book fines will increase from 10 to 15 cents a day for adult materials, with the maximum fine increasing from $4 to $6 per item.  In addition, patrons who accrue a $15 balance (down from a $20 balance) of outstanding fines will have their library privileges suspended.

Children’s materials will continue to be exempted from overdue fines; however, now, for the first time, overdue adult materials charged out on a child’s card will be penalized.

Other new charges (including $1 for a replacement adult library card and $55 for an annual nonresident card) will also be implemented at this time.

The last time overdue fines were increased—from 5 to 10 cents a day—was in 1992.  Previously, they had not changed since 1961, when they went from 2 to 5 cents a day.

The library has lost more than $7 million from its operating budget in recent years.  To cope with the loss, it has had to reduce its hours of operation, scale down the number of new books it buys, and cease operating entirely for two weeks each year.  By increasing fines and imposing new fees, it hopes to generate an additional $50,000 a year in revenue.®

Annual event is an opportunity to acknowledge others’ good deeds

The holiday season is fast approaching, but some people are already getting ready for the new year.  The first big event in the LCC’s annual calendar is Neighbor Appreciation Day, which takes place next year on Saturday, Feb. 7.  It’s not too early to begin thinking about who you might like to nominate for one of the community club’s Good Neighbor Awards.

Is there someone you know whose everyday good deeds, such as caretaking vacant homes, assisting elderly or infirm neighbors, organizing block parties, or watching out for latchkey kids, deserve greater recognition?  If so, please take a moment now to drop a line to LCC Special Events Coordinator Coco Sherman at 4113 55th Ave. N.E. or cocosherman@hotmail.com.  Include your neighbor’s name and address and a brief description of what he or she does that makes him or her special.

As usual, the awards will be presented at a special Saturday morning ceremony in the community center.  Civic officials will be invited, door prizes will be raffled, and refreshments will be served.

Also, if you have school-age children (grades K–12), you might want to encourage them to enter the design competition for the Department of Neighborhood’s annual Neighbor Appreciation Day card.  The cards are distributed free to individuals and organizations who use them to acknowledge caring neighbors.

In addition to having his or her artwork reproduced and distributed widely, the winning artist also receives $100.

To enter the competition, submit your artwork, drawn on 8.5-by-11-inch paper, to the Department of Neighborhoods, 700 3rd Ave., Ste. 400, Seattle, Wa  98104-1848.  Entries should be colorful and reflect the theme of Neighbor Appreciation Day.  The deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15.

More information about the competition is available at www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/appday/default.htm®

Tenants to remain in homes

Disabled tenants at the Provail Burke-Gilman Apartments are happy to report that the long fight to save their homes is over.  The complex has been sold to the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), which has promised to renew the tenants’ leases.®

Endowment to provide ongoing source of funding for school’s extracurricular, enrichment activities

For the past year, alumni, parents, and staff at Roosevelt High School have been working to develop a sustainable extragovernmental revenue source that will help fund the school’s academic, athletic, extracurricular, and enrichment needs.

To that end, they have begun raising money for a permanent endowment fund under the auspices of a newly established nonprofit organization called the Roosevelt High School Foundation.

“While many of us wish that local, state, and federal funding provided for the needs of all public school students, the reality is that public dollars are simply inadequate,” the group says.

Indeed, similar organizations are being formed in communities all across the country, they say.  In Seattle, schools such as Laurelhurst Elementary and Franklin, Ballard, and West Seattle High all have active foundations.

Roosevelt already has a very strong Golden Grad organization, as well as various other fundraising groups.  The aim of the foundation is not to compete with these groups but to create an additional opportunity for alumni to support the school after they graduate and before they reach Golden Grad status.

In October, the foundation held its first fundraising event—a sit-down dinner at the Museum of Flight, hosted by well-known RHS grads Gov. Dan Evans and Phil Smart Sr.  A second event is planned for early next year—on May 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., friends and alumni will have one last chance to roam the halls before the school undergoes two years of demolition and reconstruction.

The remodeled school will reopen in fall 2006, and planning has already begun to celebrate that event.  To find out more about the Roosevelt High School Foundation and its activities, visit www.rooseveltfoundation.org.®

Police offer tips to help prevent car prowls, theft

The Seattle Police Department has warned that car prowls and auto theft are on the rise in Laurelhurst and throughout the city.  Areas with high population density and limited off-street parking are especially vulnerable, police  officers say.

And while many people assume that new or luxury-model cars are most likely to be prowled or stolen, in fact, older or average-model cars are very often targeted because they are easier to break into and are less likely to have alarms.

Though there is no foolproof way to prevent such crimes, vehicle owners can take a few precautions.  The most important is to leave your car completely empty of all possessions.

Items of little or no apparent monetary value, such as soiled gym clothes or office paperwork, can nevertheless invite thieves.  Unfortunately, the cost of repairing the damage done to your vehicle can far exceed the value of the things taken.

If you have a garage, it makes sense to use it for parking rather than for storage.  Have a garage sale to get rid of those unwanted items and make room for your car.

If you don’t have a garage, try to park in your driveway, and leave an outdoor light burning all night (the cost is just pennies a month).  And if you’re obliged to park on the street, try to park under a streetlamp if possible.

If your car is stolen or prowled, please make a police report, even it it’s only for insurance purposes.  The frequency of police patrols in a particular neighborhood is directly proportional to the number of complaints received.

Lastly, stay in touch with your neighbors.  Learn the patterns of activity on your block, and be alert for anything out of the ordinary.®

 


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