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Next Council Meeting:
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Meeting Minutes :
Sep. 13, 2011 Meeting Minute
NITNC MEETING MINUTES 9-13-11

Curt Fackler, Chairman, welcomed 76 attendees. He highlighted that our next meeting on 10-13-11 would focus on the upcoming November Election and that Dump Passes would be distributed.

John Dietzman gave an update on the Barnes Road LLC lawsuit. A new Judge was selected who heard our Motion to intervene on 8/12/11. She asked for more briefs to be filed. Then the Barnes Road and City attorney’s revealed that they had been working on a settlement that would include an agreement to drop the lawsuit and the old application and submit a new application under current law. The 3 Neighborhoods linked up and sent a letter to the Mayor expressing our concerns about a possible deal the City might agree to that would somehow change the PUD law or provide a special variance that would allow Barnes to go ahead and build apartments on City portion. The Mayor replied on 9/6/11 and laid those concerns to rest. However, since we don’t know what concessions the City may give, we will send a reply to the Mayor’s letter which objects to some of the possible things we anticipate are being considered.

Jim Bakke provided an update on Community Assembly activities including water rate increases, rise in vandalism in City Parks, call for Traffic Calming Project ideas by 10-24-11, and the appointment of a new Planning Director to be announced soon (Scott Chesney, former Planning Director for El Mirage, Ariz. was selected).

Diana Postlewait reported we have $3264.86 in our treasury before paying a pending bill for legal fees of $539.50.

John Dietzman, Walt Jones, and NOR Officer Paul Taylor gave a Crime Update. We have experienced an unprecedented number of property and vandalism crimes this summer in the North Indian Trail, South Indian Trail, and Balboa Neighborhoods. A meeting was held on 9/1/11, chaired by Karen Kearney, SIT/Balboa Chairman to discuss the crisis. About 100-200 residents attended along with a number of police, the Mayor, City Council Representatives, political candidates, and the press. A number of residents and police spoke about burglary incidents, ideas for residents to protect themselves, and what could be done to help stop this crime wave. This information is summarized in the attachment below.

Curt Fackler led a Business Update and introduced a number of people with businesses in our neighborhood who spoke briefly about the products and services they offered. Ryan Brown, Veterinarian with Indian Trail Animal Clinic, discussed his plans to move to new larger clinic in about two years when his lease runs out on the current location in Sundance Plaza. He would like to build a new facility on the NE corner of Barnes and N Indian Trail (in wooded area known as the Dirt Trails). This property in zoned for single family and two family residential, and will require a zoning change to Office to allow building such a facility. Land Use Consultant, Dwight Hume, discussed plans to submit a Comp Plan Amendment Proposal for a change in zoning prior to the 10/31/11 deadline, but they wanted to give us a heads-up first. The amendment process will take place over many months in 2012 and we will have numerous opportunities to comment of the proposal.

Submitted 9/26/11
John Dietzman, Past Co-Chairman

INDIAN TRAIL CRIME UPDATE
We have experienced an unprecedented number of property and vandalism crimes this summer in the North Indian Trail, South Indian Trail, and Balboa Neighborhoods. A meeting was held on 9/1/11 at Indian Trail Elementary school to discuss the crisis, and 100-200 residents attended along with a number of police, the Mayor, City Council Representatives, political candidates, and the press. A number of residents and police spoke about burglary incidents, ideas for residents to protect themselves, and what could be done and has been done to stop the criminals. News report text and videos of the meeting can be viewed at www.KREM.com and www.KXLY.com by searching for “Crime in Northwest Spokane”.

TACTICS USED BY CRIMINALS:
The burglars are generally young male and female drug users looking for easy scores with no confrontation with their victims. They are often organized in rings that work together to steal cars to use in the burglary, do the walk-in or break-in, and fence the stolen goods. They sometimes use youths to gain entry through dog flaps and to assist in determining if you are at home. For instance, a girl could ring your door bell and if you answer, she would ask if you had seen her lost dog. If you don’t answer, she alerts her partners that your home is unoccupied and ripe for the picking. Other ploys are burglars posing as tree trimmers, lawn services, and salesmen of various types. One way to detect them is if they go door to door to homes that could be unoccupied, but then avoid homes where someone is obviously at home. They also cruise the neighborhoods on foot and in vehicles, both day and night, looking for open garage doors or unlocked garage side doors that offer an opportunity for a quick walk-in burglary, or a crawl-in burglary in one case where they went in under a door that had been left up 10 inches for ventilation. They look for the classic signs of an unoccupied home such as newspapers or packages on the porch, an overflowing mailbox, an unmowed lawn, unblowed snow, and a garbage can put out for pick-up 2 days ahead of time or left on the street for an extended period after pick-up. They watch a house over a period of days to determine normal schedules for the residents so they know when everyone has left for work. Most break-in burglaries take place in the daytime on weekdays, when the residents are at work or on holiday weekends when residents are away for recreation. A boat being loaded for a weekend at the lake is a clue that the home will soon be unoccupied.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: LOCK DOWN, LINK UP, LOOK OUT, LOOK OVER, LET KNOW

LOCK DOWN: Keep your doors and windows locked when you are away or in the back yard. Consider locking up even when you are at home. If you have an alarm system, activate it when away, and consider activating it when you are home. Close your garage doors. A burglar has even crawled underneath a garage door left up 10 inches for ventilation.

LINK UP: Link up with a few of your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on each other’s property while someone is away at work or play or out of town. Facilitate communication by sharing phone numbers and email addresses. Use this relationship to help your absent neighbor to avoid the classic signs that no one is home (newspapers, packages, mail, garbage cans, unmowed lawns, unblowed snow, etc). Then reciprocate when you are away. Consider forming a formal Neighborhood Block Watch (call the C.O.P.S. shop at 625-3336 for assistance).

LOOK OUT: Look out for your neighbors, and look out for suspicious people and vehicles in your neighborhood. Write down descriptions of such people and vehicles (including license plate numbers), time and date, and take photos if possible. Report suspicious activity to the C.O.P.S. shop at 625-3336. If you see what you think is a crime in progress, call 911.

LOOK OVER: If a stranger rings your doorbell, if you can, look them over thoroughly before opening the door. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t open the door, THEN

LET THEM KNOW: Remember, the reason criminals ring your doorbell is to see if you are home, and they may break in if they think you are not. So let them know you are home, and tell them, by voice or hand signals (if you have a glass door or window visible from the door step) that you are not interested in what they are selling. This may seem to be rude behavior toward a potentially innocent person just trying to earn a living, but it is appropriate toward anyone who wants to case your house or is planning a break-in. If you do decide to open the door, demand identification and DON’T LET THEM INSIDE.

PLEASE HELP WITH THE EFFORT TO COLLECT INFORMATION:
The NIT, SIT, and Balboa Neighborhoods are trying to help in the effort to prevent further criminal incidents and catch the perpetrators by collecting and organizing information about past incidents. We will use this data to inform the neighborhoods of the tactics being used and the areas being hit so they can be better prepared to take preventive action. The police may also be able to use this data to help connect the dots and catch the criminals.

If you have been the victim of a property or vandalism crime this summer, please send us copies of your crime reports. If you don’t have a copy, or never filed a report, please write down the important details and send those to us. We need the date, the time of day, the location, the crime, the method of entry, reports to the Police and their response, the value of the loss, and any descriptions of the criminals or their vehicle or other evidence that might be helpful.
Send this information to Curt Fackler (467-7392 fackler@iglide.net ) if you live in NIT Neighborhood. Send this information to Karen Kearney (328-4304 kmkearney@q.com ) if you live in Balboa/SIT.

RECENT CRIMINAL INCIDENTS:
You can download a copy of the NIT Neighborhood’s compilation of recent incidents from the www.nitnc.com web site. Go to the Home page news article on crime and click on “Indian Trail Crime Incidents”. A copy of our initial complication is attached. We have heard rumors of many other incidents, but don’t have enough hard data to include them yet. A copy of our initial complication is attached.
The City maintains statistics about crime in various part of the City. Go to http://www.spokanecity.org/ and scroll down to “Mapping and GIS” about half way down on the right side and click on “CrimeMap”. It has a Crime Density Map for the City and statistics for a radius around any specific location. You can also pan and zoom to bring up the area of interest, with flags showing the various types of crimes in that area over the past month or past year. You can zoom in and even identify the parcel where the crime took place.
 
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