Tag Archives: classes

Busy times ahead at El Centro de la Raza

Making tamales. Photo by Noema of Intercultura y Cocina, via Creative Commons.
El Centro de la Raza has a lot going on in upcoming weeks at their building at 2524 16th Avenue South, including cooking and language classes, free tax prep, and electronics recycling.

Graciela Gonzalez, El Centro’s Human Services Director, is teaching a class on making tamales. The class fee is $50, and students will be able to take home a dozen tamales along with the recipe. Each class is limited to six students. The class dates are Saturday, March 20, from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, or Saturday, April 17, also from 10:00 to 12:30. Sign up at Brown Paper Tickets.

El Centro’s conversational Spanish classes will begin on Monday, April 5, and will continue on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm until June 9. Students will be able to learn Spanish with other adults in a relaxed, yet professional setting. The class fee is $300. Here is the registration form.

All proceeds from these classes go to support El Centro’s human service, child and youth, and education and skill-building programs.

As we wrote in January, United Way of King County is providing free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers at El Centro. Tax assistance is provided in English and Spanish by volunteers who are trained and certified by the IRS. The free tax prep services will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm until April 15.

Those eligible for the free service include anyone whose household made less than $50,000 in 2009, and who is filing a basic tax return only (no rental income, business taxes, or sale of property or stock).

Lastly, El Centro has joined up with Cartridges for Kids to collect used electronics. Cartridges for Kids recycles the used goods, and then gives a
small donation to El Centro. You can contribute old iPods, cell
phones, video game consoles, printer cartridges, digital cameras, DVDs, and more.

The Cartridges for Kids box is in room 304, on the top floor of the El Centro building at 2524 16th Avenue South. If you have a large amount of stuff to drop off, or if you are unable to come up to the top floor for medical reasons, please call Elliott Jones at 206-957-4652 to work out the logistics.

Tax prep services and financial literacy classes coming to El Centro

It's that time of year again! Photo by Alan Cleaver.
El Centro de la Raza has some useful finance-related services coming up over the next couple of months.

They are a United Way Free Tax Prep Campaign site, and will be providing free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers, in English and Spanish. The free tax prep services will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, starting January 12 and running until April 15, at El Centro, 2524 16th Avenue South.

Volunteers are also welcome for the tax prep services. To volunteer, please call (206) 957-4602 or email volunteer@elcentrodelaraza.org.

El Centro is also offering a series of financial literacy classes in English and Spanish. In the Credit Smart courses, students will learn about how to make an individual financial plan, why we use banks and their services, how to choose and keep a checking account, what your rights are as a consumer, and other important skills and knowledge.

Wednesday classes are in English, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.  The Saturday class is in Spanish from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The English classes are a series of four classes; the Spanish classes combine the entire series into a single all-day session.

The English-language class series runs weekly, beginning on January 13 and again on February 10 and March 10. The Spanish-language courses this month are on January 16 and 30, and will also be offered on February 6, 20, and 27, and on March 6, 13, and 20.

For additional information or to register for the series, contact Simona Alvarez, Financial Literacy Coordinator, at 206-957-4610 or email homeownership@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Beacon Bits: Affordable housing, volunteerism, and our own dive bar

Customers visit the hot dog cart in front of Beacon Pub, summer 2009. Photo by Jason.
Customers visit the hot dog cart in front of Beacon Pub, summer 2009. Photo by Jason.
It may be a dive, but it’s our dive: The Beacon Pub was featured recently in the Seattle Weekly website’s Dive Bar Advent Calendar.

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Homestead Community Land Trust is a local nonprofit group, intended to create affordable housing by taking the cost of land out of the purchase price of a home by using a community land trust. The HCLT Advantage program provides funds for purchase assistance to help families buy homes in Seattle. Interested? Orientation classes for the HCLT Advantage program are held periodically at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Avenue South. The next two classes are Saturday, January 9, and Thursday, January 26. Further info is here.

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Jefferson Community Center is again offering the $2 Try It program, in which you can try a class or program once for only $2. Class dates are between January 4 and January 30, and classes include Zumba, Yoga, Pottery, Pilates, Pickleball, Badminton, Hapkido, Ballet, Hip Hop Dance, Cartoon Drawing, Instructional Basketball, Little Dribblers, Creative Dance, and Line Dancing. See the Winter class catalog here.

Thanks to Doreen Deaver for the info!

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Craig Thompson writes on the BAN list that many volunteers have been hard at work on Beacon Avenue and at Jose Rizal Park:

“Washington State Department of Corrections supervised a cleanup of street litter [Saturday] along Beacon Avenue and adjacent streets. Next week, WSDOC will continue cleanups of litter and trash in the East Duwamish Greenbelt, on the west side of Beacon Hill.
“At Jose Rizal Park, 20 volunteers, EarthCorps crew members, and community court service workers cut blackberries and moved 300+ potted native plants into the woods; these will be planted on Saturday, January 16, in a large volunteer event (100 people expected) that will kick off the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend of volunteer work in Seattle. On Saturday, January 9, the community court service workers will return for a general cleanup.”

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For those who want to do their civic duty in other ways, there are a couple of upcoming possibilities to help make your neighborhood more livable. The first round of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund is currently open for your nominations of potential park development and acquisition projects. The nomination process begins with the submittal of a proposal letter, due by February 1, 2010. Letters and Opportunity Fund criteria may be found at this link. There will be workshops in early January to help develop proposal letters and explain the process. For more information, visit the Opportunity Fund website.

If pedestrian issues are your interest, you still have a day to apply for the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Board. Three volunteers are wanted for the board, which advises the Mayor and City Council, as well as participating in planning and policy activities relevant to pedestrians. The board meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at City Hall. Board members serve for two years, and must be Seattle residents who are not city employees. Those interested in serving should submit a resume and cover letter by Wednesday December 16 to brian.dougherty@seattle.gov. For more information, email Brian Dougherty, or call him at (206) 684-5124, or e-mail him at the address above.

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The International District Housing Alliance (IDHA) is a non-profit organization that provides housing services and community building to the Chinatown/International District and greater Seattle’s low-income, Asian Pacific Islander, immigrant and refugee communities, including many who live in Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. The IDHA is holding a Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, December 16 from 4:00 to 7:00 p,, and a Holiday Gift Drive until December 18. The dinner, at the Four Seas Restaurant in the International District, will help elderly neighbors celebrate the season with friends and family.  Activities will include live entertainment, a six course Chinese banquet, a raffle, and door prizes. In the gift drive, CID elderly residents, youth and family clients send in gift requests, and Sound Transit and the University of Washington Law School help distribute gift requests and collect presents for participants. Presents will be wrapped and delivered between December 18-23. If you would like to donate to the holiday dinner, or to volunteer to wrap and/or deliver gifts, or you need information, contact Alma Dea Michelena at almadea@apialliance.org, or call 206-623-5132, extension 322.

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An application has been made to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to install T-Mobile antennas on the rooftop of the Amanuel Ethiopian Orthodox Church at 2101 14th Avenue South.

A couple of DPD decisions have been handed down related to Clearwire utilities in our area. At 3114 South Warsaw Street, a decision was made to allow a Clearwire utility (antennas and a microwave dish) to be mounted on a City Light transmission tower. At 3802 South Othello Street, a Determination of Non-Significance with conditions was decided regarding the installation of a Clearwire utility (antennas and an equipment cabinet) on the rooftop of the existing five-story residential building.

The deadline to appeal these decisions is December 28.

Try classes for $2 at Jefferson CC

Pottery is one of the skills you can try for $2 this month at the Jefferson Community Center. Photo by Kenny Corbin.
Pottery is one of the skills you can try for $2 this month at the Jefferson Community Center. Photo by Kenny Corbin.
Until October 2 this year, Seattle’s community centers (including Jefferson Community Center at Jefferson Park) have a “Try it for $2” program. You can attend a class or program session once for $2, then if you like it, register for the rest of the class for a prorated amount. Adult classes eligible for the program are Pottery, Yoga, Mat Pilates, and Zumba Fitness. Youth classes eligible are Hapkido and Creative Movement. JCC’s fall class catalog is online, and you can also register for classes online. If you have questions, contact JCC at 206-684-7481 or email Tiffani.Harris@seattle.gov.

Jefferson Community Center is located at 3801 Beacon Avenue South.

Learn to dance or to save money

Puddletown Squares will bring square dancing to the historic Garden House this fall. Photo by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons.
Puddletown Squares will bring square dancing to the historic Garden House this fall. Photo by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons.
Puddletown Squares, a gay and lesbian square dance club open to everyone, are coming to Beacon Hill with square dance lessons starting tonight at the Garden House (also known as the Turner-Koepf House), 2336 15th Avenue South. Lessons run for 20 weeks on Thursday nights from 7:00 – 9:30 pm. The first three lessons are free, after which you can decide whether to continue and pay for the rest of the series. The Puddletown folks do Modern Western Square Dancing, which they describe as “upbeat and energetic without a single hay-bale in sight… danced to all sorts of music, and especially at a gay club like Puddletown, you will be dancing to Disco, world music, house, Salsa, old show tunes, and top 40 hits.” Everyone is welcome.

Beacon Hill’s own Verity Credit Union is offering free credit and money management seminars. Both members and non-members of Verity are welcome to attend these seminars, at which a financial counselor will discuss credit reports, how credit scores work, and what you can do to raise your score.  He’ll also cover money management techniques designed to help you save more and spend less. The bad news? The seminars aren’t here on the Hill, but at the Northgate branch on September 17, or all the way out in Lynnwood on September 16. Both seminars run from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. If you are interested, RSVP to Joe Lancaster at 206-315-6718 or JosephL@veritycu.com.