At Youngstown Arts Center tonight, the Southwest District Council and Delridge District Council got together for one of their periodic joint meetings; these groups include representatives of various organizations in the two city-defined “districts” that comprise West Seattle. Highlights ahead:
MAYOR’S REPRESENTATIVE: Pamela Banks, community-relations coordinator for Mayor Nickels, updated programs including the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. She says Southwest Community Center will be a hub for some of what will be offered. She also noted that middle schools will be an emphasis (see our report earlier today about the police officers now assigned to schools including Denny). She says the program will seek in particular to work with not only youths who’ve been arrested but also youths who are at risk, such as truants and violence victims who might retaliate for what’s happened to them. Pete Spalding from the Delridge District Council voiced concern that the program seems to be throwing more money at a problem rather than seeking its causes; Banks says it’s hoped that will be a focus in the longer term. Spalding also asked that the mayor’s office keep close watch on the Delridge-area problem-properties issue (WSB coverage here); Southwest District Council’s Sharonn Meeks also urged that the mayor pay attention to shuttered businesses as well as shuttered houses.
HIGH POINT NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE: 8 months after the groundbreaking (WSB coverage here), Mark Okazaki told the councils tonight that the new Neighborhood House facility (architects’ rendering above) will be open in September. It’ll be the largest solar-collector-powered building in the state, with panels on half its roof. The project’s total price tag, according to Okazaki, remains $13 million, and they have $2.4 million left to raise. It will include not only a 1,000-square-foot family-resource center, but also information kiosks and docents to educate visitors about renewable energy.
ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION: Two reps from this group, Karen Tollenaar Demorest and Solynn McCurdy, were there as part of what they described as a 3-year project to reach out to district councils and neighborhood groups, to improve communication with Seattle Public Schools. (Find out more about the alliance here.)
MORGAN JUNCTION PARK NAME CAMPAIGN: At a previous joint meeting, the councils had endorsed the campaign to name Morgan Junction’s new park after the late WS Herald reporter Tim St. Clair; Pete Spalding said tonight that petition signatures had been turned in to the Parks Department. (At the Morgan Community Association meeting, which we also covered – first report here – Cindi Barker said they’re hoping to find out the naming decision before the park’s formal dedication June 13th.)