Are there rats in Ravenna, and Roosevelt, too? Who would know unless they seee them or unless they went to the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting last night. About 120 people showed up and it was a busy agenda. First off the acting president was named official president for the coming year. (I showed up without pen and paper, so I have no names to report.)
After her introductory remarks, a nice young lady from Seattle Public Health arrived and shared some information on rats and what to do about them. There are 4 steps to removing rats:
1. Take away their food. (Stop feeding birds for a while if you must)
2.Exterminate by trapping and/or poisoning.
3.Keep rats out of your yard by eliminating places they nest.
4.Keep rats out of your home. Rats can enter through an opening the size of a quarter.
For the very inquisitive, you can view a dot map of where rats have been reported in people's toilets. And the why of that is something I've been harping on for years. Garbage disposers in kitchens are food processers for sewer rats. They love that stuff and will follow the food trail to it's source. Of course it's dark in those pipes and on occasion they make a turn and end up in your bathroom. Save your self a couple hundred bucks and get rid of your disposer. It will never break down again.
Fortunately Seattle has a yard waste and food waste recycling system and all such waste is composted. These items are stored in containers and picked up each week. Wonderful.
Next up we heard from the Department of Transportation. Seattle has two floating bridges and one of them (the north bridge on the rat map) needs replacement. In order to pay for it there are going to be tolls and the tolling begins soon. So the talk concerned electronic tolling and what it might mean to you. Can rats cross the bridge and get into Seattle? Can they use the bridge to get out of Seattle? Will they too be charged a fee? These questions were not asked.
Next on the agenda was the selection of board members and their approval. All went well and even some new folks stepped up to help. It was also approved that board meetings would be open to all. Meetings on the first Tuesday of the month.
Then came the big draw of the evening. The run down houses in Roosevelt. I wrote about them before and even have blog dedicated to the Roosevelt-Ravenna Zonning Issues. On the property in question, are there rats? And the answer is an unequivocal, "YES!" An important part of getting rid of these rats is to make sure they are contained and destroyed, not just driven onto neighbors well kept properties. A second and equally important part of the rat remove issue is taking measures to keep other rats from invading the location with their bad building concepts and inappropriate designs. Overbuilding and building in the wrong location destroys a neighborhood just as surely as the current condition of these properties does. Jim O'Halloran, the Roosevelt Land Use Committee spoke to the large audience of about 125. Two processes are in action at the moment.
1. The Roosevelt Neighborhood Plan is working its way to city approval and needs the support of the Ravenna neighbors. The RNA plan was worked on by a large group of people from the community with the desire to grow the neighborhood since a light rail station will be built there. A great deal of effort went into enhancing the neighborhood while preserving its charm. That support is easy. Everyone should email member of the Seattle City Council and tell them that they support the RNA Plan.
2. The RDG (an out of area development company which wants to build buildings on the rat infested property in excess of 120 feet, where current and recommended zoning is 40 feet) is taking some plans to a design review board. The time to oppose bad design is all of the time and any time. Jim requested that the audience be alert to this meeting and voice opposition when appropriate.We have to do what we need to do to keep the rats out.
The meeting closed with a short piece regarding the Ravenna quest to win a $50,000 prize by being the most efficient recycling neighborhood in Seattle. And we are now leading. Kudos to us. Ravenna rocks!