…doing what we can, with our neighbors, for our community…

Darcey Peterson, General Manager of Water District 90,will join us for the October 26th meeting to share a bit about KCWD90’s services and activities. Darcey will probably have a short presentation, then we will open it up for questions and conversation.  Because of recent activity in the community regarding emergency planning, we’ve asked Darcey to make sure to address that topic.

Tom Carpenter, through the Four Creeks unincorporated Area Council’s Atlas Project, has prepared a map of Water District 90’s service area: kc_district_wd90

We are hoping that folks interested in emergency preparedness and planning will attend. Darcey will probably have a short presentation, then we will open it up for questions and conversation.

We will get started on Monday October 26th at 6:30pm at the Lord of Life Church on the corner of SE 128th St and 160th Ave SE.

We hope to see you there!

The countdown is nearly over. The PLANT SALE is almost here!

This year we have concentrated more on ornamental offerings. We are putting the final touches on right now, and looking forward to what has become a two-day reunion of sorts. All through the year I generally only get to ‘see’ everybody through email, but Plant Sale Weekend is my favorite! A chance to chat about what’s g(r)o(w)ing on in the community.

12th Annual CARE Plant Sale

April 30 and May 1 from 9am-5pm

Huge selection of flowers, native plants, trees,perennials, herbs, mature rescued plants, shrubs, vegetables & more.

More information: careeastplateau.wordpress.com
206-888-7152 or highlands_neighbors@hotmail.com.

Sale held just west of the corner of 156th Ave SE & SE 136th St
(aka SE 2nd Pl)
6220 SE 2nd Place, Renton, WA

Come on out and chat with our experienced and passionate garden in a lovely garden! All of our volunteers live in this community. They know what works and how to get the best out of all your gardening adventures!

10th Annual Plant Sale

Dear Neighbors!

It’s that time again! PLANT SALE!

I can’t wait to see you all and pick out new green babies for the garden.


6220 SE 2nd Place, Renton, 98059 206-888-7152

MAY 3&4, 2013

Native Plants, Trees, Perennials, Herbs, Mature Rescued Plants,
Shrubs, Vegetables, and much more!
Plant Identification – stump the Green Thumbs!

Get directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/GkucE

This one is 8.5 x 11: flyer_CARE_PlantSale10_2014_legal(1) flyer_CARE_PlantSale10_2014_letter(1)

This one is 8.5 x 14 and has the tear-offs at the bottom: flyer_CARE_PlantSale10_2014_legal(1)

More Safety Resources

The National Crime Prevention Council has so much information, and in several languages, too. But it is a little hard to figure out how to find some of it. Here are a couple of their main resources pages:

Here are some of their other lists of resources that our Core Team found most useful:

And here are some individual items we think and helpful:

What resources to you find helpful? Post in the Comments!




Here is the link to the Atlas Program which has the maps from Monday night, plus so many more:


Once you get there, I recommend that you click on the MAPS tab, choose GALLERY, agree to the terms, and then on the next page choose DISTRICT and scroll down to the CARE/SWAN SERVICE AREA section. That will take to you Monday’s maps. Be sure to browse around. There is an outrageous amount of great information on this site. We are incredibly lucky to partner with the Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council on this fantastic program!

Officer Cyndie Parks, from the Renton Police Department gave a great presentation at our meeting in 1/27/2014. She sent the following outstanding followup email. This is just a great resource and we are very grateful for Officer Parks’ participation and encouragement.

Thank you for the invite, Gwendolyn:

I was very impressed by the attendance at your meeting and the group seemed to be interested in what I had to say which always makes me feel good about being there!  J  I did speak to a couple women on my way out, and they were wondering if they held a Block Watch meeting, if both City and County homeowners could come, and I said absolutely.  I’m not aware whether or not KCSO even has a Block Watch program anymore, and I don’t want to leave people completely in the lurch if they want help.  The meeting would just have to be within the City Limits.
I don’t keep a map of neighborhoods as their Block Watch status can change frequently.  And it’s no longer the era where ‘neighborhoods’ are active – but individual households within that neighborhood.   But I can tell you there’s very little of the “east plateau” who are Block Watch active within the City Limits of Renton.   (That was basically confirmed when I asked for a show of hands who had met me before. . . there were very few who raised their hand and I’ve been here 20 years.)   Active means they’ve been to a Block Watch meeting within the last calendar year.  Folks should be able to recall whether or not they’ve been to a Block Watch meeting within the last 365 days that I’ve presented at.  If they haven’t – they’re not active and are due.  If they’re still not sure, they can send me their name/address and I’ll look on my database as I put a date next to their name when they’ve attended.  If homeowners observe a Block Watch sign in or near their neighborhood, that doesn’t mean the they’re active; I don’t pull up the signs once installed regardless of their status.
For a better understanding of what case reports have been taken from the area, folks can access www.crimereports.com.  It’s my understanding that the KCSO also utilizes this mapping website.  It goes back six months, and will give you an idea of what’s being reported from the area.  The Crime Analysis number for the KCSO is 206.205.8524.  This is where they should be able to get a crime analysis report (or they may get referred to the www.crimereports.com site – not sure on how they’re handing things like that now. . . ) 
As far as cameras go:  The Renton PD doesn’t coordinate with neighborhoods to set these up.  It would be up to each individual homeowner to decide.  BUT – there is a service called a “Security Survey”, where I will come out to a homeowner’s residence (City Limits only), and conduct a review of their home for security recommendations.  Part of that could include a discussion on camera placement if they so desired.  If they are interested in this survey, they don’t have to be an active Block Watch household.  Anybody can call or email me to set up an appointment.  I will assess things like locks, windows, landscaping etc., and write up a user-friendly report on what the homeowner can do to reinforce their home from burglary.  (I normally bring this up during Block Watch meetings, which is why this service didn’t come up last evening.  Plus – I don’t believe it’s something the KCSO offers, and the  crowd last night appeared to be made up of mostly unincorporated King County homeowners. . . )  As far as I know, there is no ‘set criteria’ when it comes to camera placement – other then the obvious: don’t point your camera at your neighbor’s bedroom or bathroom.  There are no restrictions on range.  But I can offer the following by way of advice:
Criminals will come where they are comfortable and where it’s profitable.  Until those two factors can be modified, they will continue to “shop” (aka: burglarize) in neighborhoods, parking lots, businesses, etc.  Thieves prefer darkness and obstructions – be it from a driveway, blocking structure/landscaping, or vehicles that are parked away from view windows.  Or – if there are valuables to be seen from the outside, they will break in no matter where the car is because it only takes seconds and the profit vs. risk ratio almost always plays in their favor.
I believe cameras can be an effective deterrent and valuable tool under the right circumstances.  There are a lot of factors to consider, of course.  The biggest one being (in my opinion) what the expectation level is when it comes to having them.  If folks are under the impression having cameras will stop criminal activity, the expectation level is too high.  If they are under the impression that having suspects on camera committing crimes will solve their case and get their property back (and the suspects arrested)  – again, the expectation level is too high.   Cameras can be a deterrent, but a homeowner should never put all their eggs in that one basket.  As I mentioned at the meeting – protection of your home is cumulative, it has to be layered like an onion.  The more layers – the lower your risk.  There have been instances where still shots from security footage has turned an unsolvable case into a solvable one – but not under all circumstances.  A simple hoodie or baseball hat can still successfully obscure a suspect’s facial features.  For example:  who doesn’t know by now that financial institutions have security cameras?   Or convenience store?  But they still get robbed.   Having security equipment ups the risk level for the suspect and hopefully makes them feel uncomfortable enough that they move on.  That is where the value lies.  And then, of course, you have to weigh the expense of having them and the maintenance of keeping them operating properly.  Homeowners also have to take into account infra-red cameras and what the quality of the equipment would need to be for the hours of darkness.  It would need to be pretty high – which can sometimes equate to $$$$. 
I’ve attached scanned copies of the documents I brought last evening in the event there weren’t enough for those who were there.
I think in an earlier email, something was mentioned about transient camps in the area.  Those can be reported directly to Code Enforcement via 425.430.7373, via email @ codecompliance.com  or through Dispatch’s non-emergency number:  425.235.2121.  (I think Karen B., gave you the station’s main number prior, and that is incorrect.)  Typically, the area will be scouted out by Code Compliance inspectors and Police, and if confirmed, the area will be posted – allowing those living there time to move from the area before we return to disband the camp.  Unfortunately, it is very much about displacement in situations like this.  There are many resources available for the homeless in our City and we have found that those living in these camps are normally aware of what those resources are most of the time.  A couple times a year, the City conducts a “count” of known homeless area/camps and upon contacting homeless subjects, offers them information on resources in the area.  This was just conducted last week, if I recall correctly.   If you would have asked me several years ago if those living in these camps were involved in the property crimes in the area, I would have comfortably said no.  But I’ve seen a shift in the last few years, and there have been numerous instances where area transients have been arrested for petty theft or theft from motor vehicle crimes.  I have not seen a connection to residential burglars in the area.
Let me know if you any questions,
     C. Parks, Crime Prevention Unit
     Station: (425) 430-7521 | FAX:  (425) 430-7508

We send a huge THANK YOU to our Neighbor, Bruce for sharing the notes he took at our meeting. There are many practical things you can do to keep you, your family and your property safe.First speaker was Cyndie Parks, Community Programs Coordinator (cparks@rentonwa.gov) She’s the city representative in charge of setting up neighborhood block watches spoke.
City population was 49,000 in 1994. Now 95,500 population, but at the same rate of residential burglaries.
Cyndie says that the rate is low (though of course victims don’t feel that way).

  • If you see something unusual (e.g. strange car parked for a long time on your cul de sac) you are encouraged to call 911 and let them know. Police will do a drive by and check it out.
  • Make your house look uninviting from the street.
  • Dense landscape makes house more inviting to thieves.
  • Easy access to back of your house is inviting.
  • It’s OK to put ‘beware of dog’ or alarm signs on your house, even if you don’t have those safeguards.
  • Use landscaping, lighting, alarms, dogs, or anything else that discourages thieves.
  • M.O. for burglar: Never come alone; always have a get-away-car; will knock/ring a lot first to make sure no one is home. If you think a burglar is knocking, *do* answer, because its a deterrent.
  • If you’re not home, leave talk radio on to make it sound like there is someone talking inside. Do *not* turn it up super loud, because that sounds contrived/unnatural.
  • Since decline of economy in 2008 we’ve seen exponential growth in burglary (home and car break-ins).
  • Don’t leave registration documents in the car, because a car thief might use them once they steal your car.

Q: What is the most common way to get in?
A: Thieves have no problem with forced entry. Used to be through unlocked doors, but now forced doors and broken windows. Most common is kicking in the door. Big lock going into a strike plate with small screws is not strong. You need 2-3 inch screws. Door from garage into laundry room is another way in that needs to be secured.

  • You can put a laminated sheet over your glass. [Not sure what she was talking about.]
  • They like to break in side windows next to front door, then unlock the front door.
  • They like to break in kitchen windows, sliding glass doors. They don’t care about shards or noise.
  • They look for cars warming up in driveways and steal.
  • Put an adjustable curtain rod across your sliding door midway up. It’s a visible deterrent.
  • Faux cameras with red-blinking lights are great deterrents.

Q: Why is there a known drug house across the street from me, after many years of being known?
A: In City of Renton there’s a nuisance ordinance. This doesn’t apply to your street outside the city limits.

Three block watch capitains spoke:

“Ken” from area near Maywood middle school.

  • He has 80 participanting neighbors, uses Yahoo groups.
  • By sending email around to neighbors about suspicious activity they have actually busted several crooks.
  • Biggest thing is ‘vigilance’. If you see a dirt bag walking through your neighborhood, walk up and say ‘hi’. He will move on. (No need to be aggressive, the point is to demonstrate vigilance/presence.)

Q: Can you mount a camera in a public place?
A: Don’t think so. Though you *can* point a camera from your property into a public place.
Deputy often calls Ken to see if he has footage of crime.
Fry’s has good options for camera surveillance systems.

Q: Why don’t the cop’s catch the crooks?
A (Ken): The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I had several deputies’ numbers in my phone and call often.

New speaker, Justin:
I’ve had multiple property thefts, incl. a stolen motorcycle. What I noticed is that they scoped the place out ahead of time, e.g. I saw unfamiliar footprints on my property. I noticed that nothing was stolen that was illuminated, only property in unlit parts of my 1 acre lot.
It’s a mistake not to take down license plates of unfamiliar cars. You don’t have to call it in, just write it down.
A productive example was when we got 12 home owners to mail a letter with a lot supporting evidence (lic. plates, etc.) to King County Sheriff. In that case they ‘took care of it’.

Pete Eberle (rhymes with Everly) (Pres. of 4 Creeks UAC):
We encourage people to start up block watches.
We do a lot with mapping. We’ve mapped out block watches to see areas that are not covered. If you contact us we can help you with map-based strategizing.
Maple Hills is great. They have 50% participation in their block watch.
Facebook is great. You can take a pic of a suspicious car and everyone can see it right away. Only problem is that some people don’t like Facebook and, of course, some neighbors don’t use computers at all.

Q: How do we start a block watch?
A: First decide what region you want to take care of. Next contact Gwen or me (Pete) and we’ll create a map, help identify the neighbors that you will contact. Gwen says, “Do it today! Set a time to have coffee with your neighbors, then call me and I’ll tell you what you do in that meeting to set up the watch.”

Comment: Once you photo’ the lic of a suspicious car, print the photo and stick it under their windshield wiper. That will let them know people have their eye on them.
Maples Hills put a faux camera right at their neighborhood entrance, so anyone coming in immediately sees a big camera pointing at them.

Big outdoor LEDs are great, very bright.

Pete: Feel free to contact your local council member, Regan Dunn, and tell him you want more police protection in our rural area. Having less police presence that in Renton is an incentive for thieves to be more active out here than in the city. There was a sheriff store front in Briarwood mall that was closed due to budget cuts.

Pete: To see what criminal activity is going on go to: crimereports.com. This is an aggregation of reports from contributing individuals.

Pete: National Night Out is first Tues. in August. Good chance to meet neighbors and first responders like police and fireman.

Gwen: I want to enumerate what we can do:

  • control foliage, plant thorny bushes outside windows
  • reinforce locks
  • driveway sensor
  • cowbells on gates
  • boat horn next to your bed
  • keep car alarm fob next to your night stand
  • faux security cameras are $15 at Fry’s

Q: What can I take a picture of legally?
A: On the street, in public, you can take photo’s. Don’t know about people in their car, will need to check it out.

Ken: Don’t do anything that puts you in harm’s way. Forward info to police.

Justin: I’ve been seeing open mailboxes.

  • Put locking gas cap on your car if parked on the street.
  • If someone comes to your door to sell something, ask for their “peddler’s permit”. If they don’t have one tell them to go away, call 911. (Someone added “take their picture.”)

People in the audience recommended the following security system companies:

  • Home Safety Security
  • Xfinity
  • Belkens

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