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Fences Placed at NVC Memorial Hall and NVC Foundation Memorial Wall

by Walt Tanimoto
January 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1

Things will look different on your next visit to the NVC Memorial Hall.

The Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) and the NVC Foundation agreed on the need to address increased vandalism on our properties related to a sharp rise in homelessness and drug use in the area, and a decision was made to install protective fencing.  With fewer police officers to patrol the area because of the reduction in the Seattle Police Department budget and a continuing surge in homelessness related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the problem seems unlikely go away or get better any time soon.

After several months of research and thought, a decision was made to install fencing at the following locations:  the front entrance to the NVC Memorial Hall, the area along the NVC Foundation Memorial Wall, the elevator room, and the dumpster area. 

These four areas have been the primary trouble spots where people experiencing homelessness and drug use would camp, rummage through trash, dump out yard waste and recycle bins, cook and inject drugs, leave trash, deposit human waste, discard used needles and drug paraphernalia, and more.  Someone even stole our security camera from the front entrance to the Vets Hall.

Temporary fences were installed at the Vets Hall, and for the past month and a half, the temporary fences have helped reduce such activities, as well as the time we spend cleaning up the mess.  We will look at repairing or replacing the halyards to both flag poles once the fence installation is complete.

For now, we will use locks to keep the fence gates closed and give us time to evaluate if any trespassers will try to break the locks or fence.  If conditions permit, however, we plan to install electric keypads compatible with our current keycard system for entry into the Vets Hall and Memorial Wall areas at a later date.

We want to thank all the volunteers who sat at the Vets Hall during the fence installation to answer questions from the contractor. We also give a big thanks to Kerry Taniguchi and Melvin Inouye for cleaning up the parking lot throughout fence installation. 

Lastly, we thank King County and Metropolitan King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, District 2, for a generous $2,500.00 grant that went toward funding the fence project!  Thank you for helping the Nisei Veterans Committee!