Senior services, city surplus and more on this month’s NBHC agenda

It’s almost May, which means it’s almost time for the next North Beacon Hill Council meeting. Tomorrow (Tuesday), May 1, neighbors will gather as they do each month to discuss local issues. All are welcome. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Beacon Hill Library community room.

Here is this month’s agenda:

  • 7:00 Hellos and introductions
  • 7:10 Announcement by a representative of the Advisory Committee on Aging about a pamphlet which will be distributed on Beacon Hill advising of services available to senior citizens.
  • 7:15 Announcement by City Light representatives Dave Barber and Lynn Best re: surplus property located on 14th Avenue South.
  • 7:30 Presentation by representatives of Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith’s office pertaining to work that has been done/is scheduled to be done on the Mountains to Sound Trail, the off-leash area, and other aspects of the greenbelt on North Beacon Hill. Followed by Q&A.
  • 8:00 Community concerns and announcements
    • June 2, Jefferson Park Beacon Hill Festival – volunteers needed to sit at the NBHC table for 1-2 hour shifts
    • June meeting – honoring the work that has been done on the Jefferson Park playground, information on July 14 grand opening Jubilee Celebration at Jefferson Park
    • Other announcements and community concerns
  • 8:25 Elections to be held in June for the NBHC Board of Directors. Please come prepared to fill one of the four vacant slots! Needed: a fund raiser (interested in planning for a neighborhood garage sale?), someone to write grants, a computer guru, and someone interested in public safety to attend the SE Police Precinct Advisory Board as our representative. If you have talents here, please consider becoming a Board member. Requirements: the monthly meeting, plus 1-5 hours more per month, depending on your responsibility.

Have you seen Cleo?

Unfortunately, with spring we always get an increase in lost pet notices. Here’s another. Have you seen Cleo? She’s two years old and spayed. Cleo was last seen on Monday, April 23, in the 3000 block of 22nd Avenue South. She is smallish, somewhat vocal and has a bump on one of her ribs. She is chipped but not collared. If found, please call or text 206-679-6953.

Tai chi, soccer, fundraising, and more on this weekend’s events calendar

Tai chi practitioners in a Wisconsin park. On Saturday, local folks will do tai chi and qigong at Jefferson Park as part of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day. Photo by OnTask via Creative Commons/Flickr.

There are lots of activities on the Hill this weekend to keep you busy, from soccer and tai chi to urban redevelopment and high school fundraising. Here goes:

Today (Friday) from 1-2 p.m. is the unveiling ceremony for the new community tile mosaic mural at Beacon Hill International School. Details are here.

Saturday is a busy day, starting at 9 a.m. at Jefferson Park where neighbors are meeting for a pick-up soccer game. “Bring friends and play some soccer with a great view,” they say. Details are on Facebook.

An hour later at Jefferson Park is a local version of the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day event, from 10-noon and sponsored by Wise Orchid Martial Arts. There will be a free qigong and tai chi class and demonstration, followed by a group lunch. Information is on Facebook.

Also on Saturday from 10-noon, El Centro de la Raza is hosting a community open house to present the finalist design teams for the redevelopment of El Centro’s south lot. The south lot currently contains a parking lot, but is planned to contain a mixed-use transit-oriented project with housing. Details are here.

Then on Saturday night, head over to the South Seattle Community College campus in West Seattle for the Cleveland High School Red and White Night Soaring Eagles Auction from 5:30-9 p.m. and help the high school on the Hill raise $10,000. Information is here.

Police investigating possible misuse of funds at Van Asselt Elementary

According to a story by Brian M. Rosenthal and Jim Brunner of the Seattle Times, Seattle Police are investigating after a Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) investigation discovered a possible misuse of funds at Van Asselt Elementary School by the former principal and by a parent coordinator. (See the investigation report here.) The principal, ElDoris Turner, retired on March 16 after being placed on administrative leave, and the parent coordinator, Ramona Fuentes, was fired on Tuesday.

The SEEC investigation, acquired by the Times via a public records request, found that more than $30,000 in cash was withdrawn from an unauthorized school bank account maintained by Turner and Fuentes, and that “the documentation supporting these withdrawals is woefully inadequate.” Additionally, the SEEC found that Turner received payments for the use of Van Asselt’s gym, and “has not been able to document the amount of the payments or how they were used.” Those payments did not go to the school district, counter to district policy.

The investigation, according to the SEEC report, began when some parents and teachers at the school on South Beacon Hill began the process of creating a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). They asked Turner about funds the school had earned through fundraisers, and where those funds went. Turner replied that Fuentes controlled the money. Parents expressed concerns about the use and storage of cash at Van Asselt. Some said they had seen a bag of money in the office safe and a shoebox of cash in Turner’s office. Staff members stated that funds from a talent show and from a gift basket fundraiser were unaccounted for.

The SEEC report states that “Turner and Fuentes kept terrible records of the money that flowed into and out of the Account. Bank statements provide very limited information on the account activity, since many withdrawals were in cash(emphasis is in the original SEEC document — ed.). Checks on the account did appear to be for legitimate school purposes. But the report concludes “The SEEC cannot rule out the possibility that some of these funds were converted to personal use” and recommends that the school district involve law enforcement for further investigation.

Read more at the Seattle Times article.

Bouncy fun promised at Van Asselt CC Family Fun Night

Kids under 10 and their parents are invited to Van Asselt Community Center for Family Fun Night on Friday, May 4 from 6-8 p.m. Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Van Asselt Advisory Council are sponsoring the event, and promise bounce houses, arts and crafts projects, a movie, and themed activities for Cinco de Mayo weekend.

The event is $3 per child, and snacks and light refreshments will be provided. This is the first of a series of Family Fun Nights this year, which will be held on the fourth Friday of each month through August.

Van Asselt Community Center is located at 2820 S. Myrtle St.

Have you seen Macho?

This is Macho when he was a bit younger... but isn't he cute?
Neighbor Marie writes: “My friend Russ has been missing his cat from the Beacon Hill area for almost two weeks. He is heartbroken over losing his furry buddy.”

The kitty, Macho, is about nine months old and was last seen on Thursday, April 12. He is a gray tuxedo cat with white feet and chest. He is not neutered.

If you have any information about Macho, please call 206-783-9490.

This is a more recent picture of Macho. Have you seen him?

BHIS tile mosaic to be unveiled Friday

Everyone is invited to Beacon Hill International School this Friday, April 27 for the unveiling of the new community tile mosaic mural. The unveiling celebration will take place from 1-2 p.m., starting with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the fifth graders, followed by a school-wide assembly.

The mural was designed by artist-in-residence Julie Maher from concepts created by students, parents, and community members, with the theme “We All Belong, A World of Learners.” (See previous local mural work by Maher here in this slide show.) A full year of work by the community went in to the creation of the mural, supported by a grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Beacon Hill International School is located at 2025 14th Ave. S. For more information about the project, see the website.

This was the basic design outline for the mural. This week, we'll get to see the finished work in full living color.

Neighbors clean up litter for Earth Day

Neighbor Sergey Smirnov wrote this recently on the Beacon Hill mailing list:

This past Sunday, in honor of Earth Day, we organized a litter clean up in North Beacon Hill. Twelve neighbors gathered together to make the neighborhood a cleaner place for all and collected over 60 pounds of trash. We focused our efforts on the area around the Beacon Hill Playground, gathering trash from South 12th, 13th and 14th Avenues from South Massachusetts to South Hill and the adjacent alleys. Plus — we all had a blast! We hope to make this a quarterly clean up — let me know if you would like to join us next time!

Photos of the Earth Day clean up, courtesy of Sergey Smirnov:

Continue reading Neighbors clean up litter for Earth Day

Have you seen Bananas?

This cute dog, Bananas, is lost somewhere on Beacon Hill. Have you seen him? Bananas is male, tri-color (brown, tan, and black), about 9-10 months old, weighs 15 pounds, and is wearing a brown collar. We are told he was last seen at South Othello Street and South Fontanelle Street on Sunday afternoon.

If you have any information, please contact Binh at 425-772-1130.

Have you seen this dog?