Hope all of you had a great Night Out!

We had great weather, great food & a great turn-out (over 100 people) at our neighborhood block party!

We were also lucky to receive visitors from the West Seattle Blog; the Seattle Police Department – including Assistant Police Chief, Dick Reed; and the Office of Emergency Management (who had generously provided so many of the materials for the Night Out packets). A highlight was having CPT officers, Ken Mazzuca and Kevin McDaniel wow the youngsters with tours of the patrol car.

CPT Officer Ken Mazzuca giving patrol car tours

CPT Officer Ken Mazzuca giving patrol car tours at the Hansen View block party

Night Out packets are now available to pick up!

UPDATED, 7/31/11, 4:30 PM:  Apologies to those of you who tried to pick up Night Out packets and discovered that the precinct was closed.  We now have an update from the precinct: the packets for Kids and Adults can be picked up from the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster Street) today/Sunday until 6 PM, or Monday/Tuesday between 11 AM & 7 PM.

The party packets for kids include crayons, coloring books and stickers! Adult packets contain SNAP and West Seattle Be Prepared (emergency preparedness) information, WSBWCN materials including our new “No Soliciting” signs, and SPD pamphlets on crime prevention.

These materials are courtesy of WSBWCN, the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, King County and the SW Precinct! Quantities are limited, so please make sure you only distribute to people in your neighborhood who will find them useful.

Photo of Night Out packet for kids

The FREE Night Out party packets for kids!

Highlights from June 28th WSBWCN meeting (& imminent deadline to note!)

Last night’s meeting was great with lots of participation! Here are a few highlights for those of you who missed it.

Yun Pitre from Dept of Neighborhoods explained to the group about how Small Sparks grants could be obtained & used for Night Out events. However, the deadline is fast-approaching! The application deadline is June 30th (tomorrow!), but she noted that attendees should log on to their website, http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/, to register right away. This is because it may take 1-2 days for the registration login to become active in their system & that needs to be in place in order to create the grant proposal & submit it. Typically, a Small Sparks grant request takes 6 weeks to process; she said that DON has agreed to accept grant requests for Night Out events even though the timeframe is less than that…but they do need to be in by the 30th.

The grant funds can be used for expenses such as food, utensils, music/entertainment, tents, games/prizes & other things that clearly contribute to community building. There are a few restrictions; the funds can’t be used to purchase alcohol & only 20% of the funds can be used for food. The neighborhood will need to contribute “matching funds” to the project with volunteer hours or other items.

Grants of up to $1000 can be requested, but those that are above $599 will need to have a fiscal sponsor. Kelly McKinney from Seattle Neighborhood Group offered that those in need of fiscal sponsorship should contact SNG.

The rest of the meeting was spent in discussion about various ways that neighborhoods can make Night Out events successful. Crime Prevention Coordinator, Mark Solomon, shared some stories about successful events that he’s visited. He also explained some of the basics for those thinking about hosting a Night Out event for the first time. Several people at the meeting said they were planning their first Night Out, although they have had a Blockwatch for years.

Music was discussed, both pros and cons. Be sensitive about volume and time of evening; consider un-plugged music. If possible, locate the band where it won’t bother those who may not be attending.

Most groups seem to have people bring potluck items to share; some groups let people bring whatever they wish, others try to organize it so that people bring specific items & they don’t end up with too many desserts (is that even possible?) or any other item.

Some neighborhoods shared details about games. Several groups use trivia games to break the ice, such as having nametags that also describe interests or something that people may not know about you.  We distributed a “Neighbor Bingo” game that Kelly Kirkand created for her Night Out event & emailed to us to share.

Attractions at Night Out events are popular. Suggestions included Bouncy Houses or face-painting for kids, egg races. One person mentioned after the meeting that they have a water-balloon game; it involves tossing & catching the balloons in beach towels as opposed to hurling them at the attendees.

Inviting Police/Fire is also popular, as is distributing BW maps or other materials. Police/Fire can’t make it to every party, so WSBWCN are working with Officer Jon Kiehn & Mark Solomon to have the packets that the police hand out (for kids) available for pickup at the SW Precinct sometime prior to Night Out. We’re also gathering emergency preparedness materials that can be given to your Night Out attendees. Stay tuned for more details on when all these will be available!

The primary advice: keep it simple, meet new neighbors, have fun and enjoy.

A few other announcements:

No WSBWCN meetings in July & August, but we’ll be at the Precinct Picnic, Summer Fest, & the Alki Art Fair. We’ll be available via phone & email, as well, if you want to reach us.

Code for America is seeking approx 20 BW captains to test their new tool “City Hero” when planning our Night Out events; we’ve posted their details & contact info on our site. See update below.

Thanks to those of you who attended & participated!

Updated, 6/30/11: Adding link to the meeting coverage from the West Seattle Herald.

Updated, 7/1/11: We heard from Anna Bloom from Code for America late yesterday.  The beta test of “City Hero” in conjunction with National Night Out events has been cancelled; the beta testing will be rescheduled in the Fall.

Don’t miss our first AND final summer meeting!

Our June 28th monthly meeting of the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network — coming up on Tuesday — will be our first meeting of the summer & also our last.  We will not have any meetings in July and August.

We’ll resume meeting again on the 4th Tuesday of September (the 27th), which will officially be our first meeting in autumn. (BTW, this proves my theory that Seattle summers are short!)

Here’s an informational flyer with details about our June meeting, which is focused on “All Things Night Out”. Please pass it along to others who may be interested in attending. Everyone is welcome!

WSBWCN June 2011 meeting notice

WSBWCN June 2011 meeting notice

And, the following link is the same flyer in .pdf format; it prints a little better.

WSBWCN June 2011 meeting notice

Upcoming dates of note!

Night Out 2011 will be in the evening on Tuesday, August 2nd! Registration is now open at:  http://www.seattle.gov/police/Nightout/default.htm. Or, visit Night Out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SeattleNightOut.

Crime/Safety-related meetings:

  • A week from now, June 21st, 3rd Tuesday, is the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. Their guests will be Renee Hopkins, Director of the Seattle Police Foundation & Sgt Adrian Diaz from the SPD Explorer Program.
  • June 28th, 4th Tuesday, 6:30 PM, at the SW Police Precinct; West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network meeting. Details TBA, but save the date!  (Updateagenda is now posted.)

Other events we’ll be attending:

  • June 23rd, 5:30 – 8 PM, Mayor’s Southwest Town Hall event at Hiawatha Community Center; we’ll have an informational table there, along with other community groups.
  • June 25th, 10:30 to 6:00, Morgan Community Festival; informational table.
  • Saturday & Sunday, July 9-10, West Seattle Summer Fest (aka WS Street Fair); informational table – times & locations  TBA.
  • Saturday, August 20th, 2011 SW Police Picnic; informational table.

We hope to see you out & about during these summer outreach events! Note that this is not necessarily a complete list & it’s subject to change as the dates approach.