Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gary Faigin Lecture at the PNA

Keeping It Real: Representational Artists in Post-Modern America Lecture with Gary Faigin, Gage Artistic Director Monday, April 25, 7-8:30 pm Room 5, PNA Blue Building $8 PNA Member/$10 Public Call 206.783.2244 to register before it sells out! Artist and KUOW critic Gary Faigin shares the work of a group of American artists whose mastery of traditional techniques is harnessed to a contemporary sensibility. The Northwest is home to several of these New Realists whose paintings attempt to bridge the divide between old and new, putting an unexpected spin on such venerable subjects as landscape, portrait, still life and narrative art.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Greenwood Senior Center without Walls!

As a part of the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s effort to create a livable community for all ages, the Greenwood Senior Center has begun to hold a variety of classes and discussion groups outside of the senior center in spaces throughout the Greenwood Phinney community. The goal is to build a neighborhood not only where people can remain in their homes as long as they would like, but also a place where older adults can continue to engage in and with their community in a number of ways. The “senior center without walls” programming is closely tied to the PNA Village, an aging in place model to support people living in their home and communities as they age (www.phinneycenter.org/village).

Check out a few of our new and upcoming Greenwood Senior Center without Walls opportunities! Questions? Contact Emily at the Greenwood Senior Center: (206) 297-0875/emilyb@phinneycenter.org.

Chris Prenovitz MSW, www.heartofrelaxation.com,
Friday, 10:30 am-noon, April 1st and 8th, Phinney Neighborhood Center, Brick Building, Room 35. $45.
Reduce stress, strengthen the relaxation response and enhance health and wellbeing. Learn simple yoga poses, breathing practices, body-centered relaxation meditations and skillful ways that address “stressful patterns of thinking.” Cost includes handouts and CD for home practice. Wear loose, comfortable clothes and bring a yoga/exercise mat. Class is adaptable and can be done in a chair. Call the GSC to register at 206-297-0875.

Thursdays, Mar 24-Apr 14 *Possibly Ongoing, 6:30-8 pm. Green Bean Coffee House, 8533 Greenwood Ave. N. Free. There is still time to join!
New research suggests that happiness lies in social ties, work that brings meaning and a commitment to joie de vivre. Further, Seattle is working to become a Gross National Happiness City. What do these two things mean to Phinney Greenwood neighbors? This ongoing circle will help people work on both personal and community happiness goals in the atmosphere of a supportive community. Cecile Andrews, author of Slow is Beautiful, will lead the group. Call the GSC to register at (206) 297-0875.

Chris Prenovitz, MSW, www.heartofrelaxation.com
Fridays, 10:30-11:30 am, April 15- May, 20, Standing Stone Healing and Arts, 943 N. 89th St. Free/by donation.
Mindfulness is being present to what is happening with wise, non-judgmental attention. Learn practical and useful ways to relax the mind and body and integrate mindful practices into your life. Chris is a dharma leader with Seattle Insight Meditation and a stress management consultant. Call the GSC to register at 206-297-0875.

Wednesdays, Ongoing beginning March 30, 12:30 pm. Meet at the GSC and walk to A Muse. Free.
Walk down with a group from the Greenwood Senior Center to A Muse stamp and paper shop at 71st St. and Greenwood Ave. for a free make-and-take craft every Wednesday. If you are not walking from the GSC, meet up with the rest of the group at A Muse around 1 pm. A great way to get some exercise, meet new people and get crafty! No need to register.

Cassie Sackett
Wed 6-9 pm, April 6, Phinney Neighborhood Center, Blue Building, Room 3. $15 PNA member/ $20 non-member.
Are you ready to get creative? Try this simple yet profound way of drawing using your fingertips. We will integrate meditation, intention setting and creativity as we explore this beneficial way of getting the creative juices flowing. Call the GSC to register at 206-297-0875.

Registration for PNPC Dragon Room Summer Program starts this week!

Mark your calendars -- registration for the PNPC Dragon Room Summer program opens to the general public this week on Friday, April 1. 

The Dragon Room Summer Program is a series of week-long half-day camps for young children sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op and held in the PNPC's Dragon Room at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.  The program is open to PNPC families and community members, and offers rich and diverse classes for preschoolers and elementary-aged children.  Offerings this year include Space Camp, Cooking, Yoga, Dirt camp, Science camp, and more!

NEW this year, there is a wider choice of one, two, and three day camps.  Also, some camps will run longer in the day.

Online registration begins April 1, 2011 at the PNPC Summer Program page.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Basic Plumbing Parts One and Two, March 26, 2011 At The PNA

Looking for a way to save some money and increase your ability to maintain your own home? Having basic plumbing skills can save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars and can give you the skills and confidence to stop a small plumbing problem from turning into a big expense. While many of us might have the confidence to hammer a nail or pull up old carpet, exploring and understanding the pipes snaking through our homes can feel intimidating. This course offers basic, hands-on knowledge to help turn those mysterious pipes into an understandable system.

Thinking this is just for homeowners? Think again! Renters run into basic plumbing problems too. Just think how thankful your landlord will be with your ability to deal with basic plumbing issues on your own, rather than having them call an expensive plumber for a minor repair. Maybe now you’ll be able to paint the kitchen that perfect color you’ve been dreaming about! Also, if the time does come to purchase a home having basic plumbing skills and knowledge could be a huge advantage. When looking at a potential home you’ll know the questions to ask, what to look for, and perhaps even how to better interpret the findings of a home inspection.

Does this sound like something you’re interested in? Well, you’re in luck! This Saturday, March 26, 2011, the PNA is offing the two-part Plumbing Basics series. In part-one participants learn how to avoid, diagnose and repair basic plumbing problems with safety. Part-two will give the do-it-yourselfer plumber more confidence as you learn the legal and technical details for altering or replacing water supply lines, valves and supply tubes. You’ll even have the chance to practice what you learn with the PNA’s torch and solder! Part one will be held from 10:00 am-noon, and part two will be from noon-2:00 pm.

Each course only costs $25 for PNA members and $30 for non-members. If you register for part one and two there is a $10 discount ($40 for PNA members and $50 for non-members). To register, contact the PNA at 206.783.2244. You’ll be glad you did!

Soup Kitchen Needs Your Stuff

Hey neighbors! Have the kids gone off to college, did you inherit your parents' kitchen contents, buy far more silverware than intended that that last garage sale, been holding on to coffee cups vendors give away at trade shows till you can't close the cupboard door? The PNA Soup Kitchen needs your help! We serve hundreds of meals each week and over time our dishes and flatware gradually get chipped, lost, or otherwise rendered unusable. We are running low on some items and need to restock. We can also use some additions to our kitchen supplies. Check your cupboards, pantry, or china hutch for any of the following wish list items:

Flatware (primarily spoons and forks)
Coffee cups (plastic, glass, or ceramic) Soup bowls (plastic, glass, or ceramic) Juice glasses (plastic or glass. Not larger water glasses) Salt and pepper shakers (prefer clear glass for easy refilling) Large mixing bowls (metal or glass) Large colanders (metal or plastic) Kitchen towels, hot pads or mitts, and long kitchen aprons in reasonably usable condition

Deliver these tax-deductible donations to the main PNA office in the Blue Building any time from 9 am - 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am - 2 pm on Saturday.

Thanks for your support!

The PNA Soup Kitchen Brigade

Monday, March 21, 2011

Talk Time: Building Community across and through Language

This October, Talk Time – a program bringing together English language learners and English speaking facilitators – began at the Greenwood Senior Center.

Talk Time was originally started by the Tacoma Community House and continues at libraries and community organizations locally and across the country. It consists of conversation sessions for English language learning participants and volunteer facilitators. The goal of the sessions is to increase confidence among participants in using the English language. Talk Time differs from a traditional English as a Second Language classroom setting in that the facilitator’s role is to create opportunities for conversation and practice, not to teach lessons on structured speech. Communicating becomes more important than the form of the conversation. The terms “participant” and “facilitator” are used (rather than “teacher” and “student”) to emphasize that the relationship is based on sharing conversation, not transmitting information.

The mission of Talk Time at the Greenwood Senior Center is to provide a safe, non-threatening, and relaxed environment in which participants can practice and develop confidence in newly acquired English-speaking and listening skills and connect with community. The program aims to support a diverse group of English language learners of all ability levels and ages so that they communicate more confidently. Also, we particularly hope to provide a space for older adults who are new speakers of English and who live in the neighborhood.

The Greenwood Senior Center has been very lucky to have the support of three wonderful facilitators as well as a steady group of participants – from places such as Brazil, Russia, China, Romania, Japan, and Colombia.

One participant shared that she was shy at first about the idea of coming to the Greenwood Senior Center. Now, she says it is her favorite part of her week.

The program is as meaningful to facilitators as to participants. As one of our facilitators Fae says, “I think I get more out of it than the participants do.” It is about community building for everybody.

We are very grateful to have connections with many community organizations, such as the Seattle Public Library, St. James Cathedral, and the Chinese Information and Service Center. The Library has been tremendously supportive in providing advice, allowing us to learn about and model their program, and sharing materials and other opportunities. St. James Cathedral and the Chinese Information and Service Center have likewise helped tremendously with translations and outreach.

We invite readers to share information about Talk Time with English language learners who might be interested in joining us.

The program is held every Monday morning from 10:30am until 12noon at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St, Seattle, WA, 98103. For more information, please contact Katie Parker at katiep@phinneycenter.org or 206-783-2244 (TTh) or 206-297-0875 (MWF).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gently-Used Kid's Clothing and Gear Sale -- Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op is sponsoring a HUGE kid's clothing and gear sale tomorrow, March 19, from 9:00am to 1:00pm in the PNA Community Hall.  Featuring gently-used clothing, shoes, toys, books, strollers, car seats, costumes, maternity wear, and more!  All clothes are hung by size and gender (Newborn - 10yrs) for easy browsing and shopping.

Line up early for the best selection.  Starting at noon, many items are discounted by 50%! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Movie Screening and Discussion at the PNA - "Starting Again: Stories of Refugee Youth"

Lives of Immigrant and Refugee Youth Explored in film Starting Again: Stories of Refugee Youth
April 3, 3pm at Phinney Neighborhood Association

Cultural Engagement Film Series
Phinney Neighborhood Association

Sunday, April 3, 2011
3:00 to 5:00 pm, film screening 3 – 3:30 pm followed by a facilitated discussion
Community Hall, Brick Building, Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave North, Seattle, 98103

The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) will host a screening of Starting Again: Stories of Refugee Youth on Sunday, April 3, 3 pm – 5 pm, in Community Hall in the Brick Building at the PNA, 6532 Phinney Ave North, Seattle, 98103. 206-783-2244. The 30-minute film will be followed by a facilitated discussion about the movie. There is limited seating for screenings and discussions, therefore, RSVPs are encouraged. Please contact Katie Parker at katiep@phinneycenter.org.

The lives and challenges of immigrants and refugees is the focus of Starting Again: Stories of Refugee Youth, which chronicles the lives of refugee youth in Washington State. Shot and edited by documentary filmmaker Jill Freidberg of Corrugated Films, the film features interviews with four youth from Burma, Nepal/Bhutan, Russia, and Somalia. Each youth shares stories, experiences, struggles and successes about life before and after resettling in the United States. In addition, viewers will learn about the circumstances that brought the youth and their families to the area, their initial resettlement experience, and ongoing challenges they face. This event is timely for several reasons. Immigration is a controversial topic in our society and the Census report shows a dramatic increase in minority and immigrant and refugee population in the region. The goal of the discussion is to spark deeper conversations about how the community can understand and support refugee students and families.

The Cultural Engagement Film Series presents screenings and discussions with a focus on racial and social justice issues. The film series explores society’s social institutions and how systems and behavior perpetuate and reinforce discriminatory practices and inequities. Through screenings and facilitated discussions, the PNA intends to build a comfortable community space for education and thought – provoking conversations about important social topics.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Phinney Neighborhood Center Earns Historic Status

This morning the Governor’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation listed the John B. Allen property (better known to our community as the Phinney Neighborhood Center) on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places. The Council also recommended that the site be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. The John B. Allen property is already a Seattle landmark. Board member Rhoda Lawrence championed these efforts over the last five years and came to Olympia with me to accept the certificate.

Interesting History of the Site
The John B. Allen property is significant its association with the Seattle Public School system and expression of shifting educational philosophy as demonstrated by the differences in plan between the two buildings that remain virtually unchanged since their original construction and thus represent two different architectural periods of school design. The buildings show the shift from the simple, easily constructed wood-frame structure, to a new technique of masonry and concrete “fire-proof construction” adopted only 13 years later as a safer construction type. The two buildings reflect the general change in the choice of architectural style for new school buildings, from the Colonial Revival style of the 1904 building to the simplified interpretation of the Italian Renaissance style of the 1918 building.

The pair of buildings clearly contrasts the first model plan of stacked classrooms surrounding a central core to the later preferred linear model arrangement of classrooms allowing for more efficient use of space, easier circulation, and increased access to natural light and ventilation. The differing plans also demonstrate the shift from the general classroom education philosophy to the incorporation of specialty educational functions and assembly spaces, which could provide multi-use facilities to the wider community.

The Seattle School District purchased the subject property for $1,850 in 1902, when it was an unplotted three-acre site, in order to provide a new school for the growing neighborhood. Prior to that time, several children were being taught in the private living room of house on Green Lake Way. The new school, named Park School for its proximity to Woodland Park, was a grouping of three portable buildings that housed 99 students in grades one through seven. The new permanent building constructed in 1904 was named for John Beard Allen, Washington’s first U.S. Senator. A lawyer, J.B. Allen was from Indiana by way of Walla Walla. He was instrumental in the construction of the Naval Ship yard in Bremerton and the development of Fort Lawton and construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle.

The new school was constructed in a way that was intended to allow for expansion as student enrollment increased. When Phinney Avenue was widened in 1911, it reduced the area of the site to the west and placed physical restrictions on the expansion opportunities for the building, and resulted in the wooden structure appearing substantially lower than street level. This changed the physical approach to the building. In 1917, rather than adding to the existing building as demand for classroom space grew, the District chose to construct the “modern” brick building on the lower eastern portion of the site, along Dayton Avenue North, and to join the two buildings by using the large expanse of site in between as play areas with connecting stairways.

Enrollment peaked in 1932-33 at 758 but by 1944, the 1904 structure was noted as having “outlived its usefulness.” Over time, the school’s emphasis shifted to the 1918 brick building, and the older building was closed to regular elementary classes. In 1972, an alternative school—the Allen Free School—was opened in a portable on the site and offered a variety of learning approaches. In 1977, the Allen Free School became the Allen-Orca Alternative School for grades K through 5, and by 1980 had a waiting list of 70. Unfortunately, due to declining traditional student enrollment, decreasing federal funding, and determination that the building would be unsafe in a seismic event, the School District closed the Allen School in early 1981.

It was subsequently leased as a community facility by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and the Phinney Neighborhood Center was born. PNA was able to purchase the site in 2009 and is currently raising funds to finally make the Blue Building accessible, creating a living enduring space that allows people of all ages and ability to gather and share their lives, ideas and experiences.

Big Bertha
The air-raid siren tower at the northwest corner of the site was one of many installed in Seattle in 1952-53 to warn citizens of incoming Soviet missiles or atomic bombs. During World War II, Seattle installed 63 air raid sirens, most small enough to attach to telephone poles. Placed in storage after the war, all working sirens reappeared in the early 1950s when tensions mounted with the Soviet Union. The City added 21 more, including several enormous sirens mounted on steel towers, after Seattle Mayor William Devin promised “the best air-raid warning system of any city of our size in America.”

Phinney’s “Big Bertha” was installed on April 22, 1953. Chrysler built the five-horsepower, 5,542-pound siren, and the Seattle Department of Engineering put it in place. With her gas-powered engine, Big Bertha could top 130 decibels and be heard over a mile and a half away. Wednesday noon siren tests were conducted until the early 1970s: three minutes of an extremely loud, pulsating, undulating tone, followed by a blast of sound lasting one minute, two minutes of silence, a second one-minute blast, two more minutes of silence, and finally a one-minute blast to mean “all clear.” During the tests, students at the John B. Allen Elementary School were required to curl up under their desks and hold a heavy book over their heads.

Lee Harper, PNA Executive Director

Volunteers needed for a grassroots effort to promote aging in community!

Join the grassroots effort to create the PNA Village, an aging-in-community program.
Our goal is to build a program that allows older adults to continue living in their homes, connected with a social and supportive community of other Village members, a network of helpers, healthy home services, and information and referrals. Our inspired group of program-building seniors and non-seniors are looking for more volunteers to contribute to brainstorming, research, administratitve tasks, and outreach. Join us! Contact judith@phinneycenter.org.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Community Members Explore Racism at the Cultural Engagement Film Series at the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA)

On Sunday February 27, the Phinney Neighborhood Association was packed with over 50 people who had come to view “The House We Live In,” the third episode from the documentary series Race: The Power of an Illusion. In the facilitated discussion following the film, attendees talked about the issues raised in the film and shared personal feelings about how racism and discrimination have affected them on a mental and emotional level. In addition, other topics included how the racism illuminated in the film affects their perception of society today and what can be done to fight against racism in our society.

At the conclusion of the program, attendees were asked to write down and name one thing they wanted to do because of attending the event. Here is a sample of some of the responses:

“I am going to stand with immigrant farm workers in voicing the racism we experience in the U.S.”

“I will make more of an effort to get informed, attend events and participate in discussions.”

“Being more vocal when I hear people around me make racist remarks or jokes by questioning those stereotypes and ways of thinking.”

“Teach what race is (and is not) in Biology class.”

“As President of the African American Student Union, I wish to show this film and have a discussion at my university to expand the students’ way of thinking, then brainstorming ways to correct the system not just through words but actions.”

Sponsored by the PNA’s Cultural Engagement Workgroup, this was the first in a series of movie screenings and discussions focusing on racial and social justice issues. The series explores society’s social institutions and how systems and behavior perpetuate and reinforce discriminatory practices and inequities. Another objective of these events is to provide a comfortable community space for education and thought – provoking conversations about important social topics.

The PNA looks forward to engaging community members through the viewing and discussion of the upcoming films in the series. The films (listed below) and discussions will be held from 3:00 to 5:00pm on the first Sundays of April, May, and June, in Community Hall in the Brick Building at the PNA, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle 98103. Space is limited. RSVPs requested to: katiep@phinneycenter.org

April 3
Starting Again: Stories of Refugee Youth
Chronicles the lives of refugee youth in Washington state

May 1
Ten More Good Years
A documentary about the unique challenges facing Gay and Lesbian Seniors

June 5
Unnatural Causes
Documentary series exploring racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Northwest Collage Society Spring Show - Opening Reception this Friday!

The Northwest Collage Society Spring Show

The opening reception for this show will be held in the Phinney Center Gallery from 7:00-9:00 pm, this Friday, March 11th.

In this juried show, the Northwest Collage Society exhibits the work of its members. The Spring Show is juried by Francine Seders, who has been in the art business since 1962 and owns the Francine Seders Gallery. The Northwest Collage Society works to advance the stature of collage as a major art medium and assist in the education of its members and the public through exhibits, workshops, lectures and publications.

Mini-B Passive House Update

The Mini-B Passive House continues to attract visitors who want to learn about energy efficiency and home performance, and to feel what it’s like inside this small home. We’ve extended the tour schedule to keep up with demand—come check out the house yourself at one of the following times:

3/13: Open House 1-4pm
3/15: Tour 4pm
3/22: Tour 1pm3/27: Open House 1-4pm
3/29: Tour 4pm4/10: Open House 1-4pm
4/12: Tour 1pm5/1: Open House 1-4 pm5/15: Open House 1-4 pm

Open Houses: Visit the house anytime between 1pm-4pm to see the house and talk with a Passive House expert.

Public Tours: Check-in at reception in the Blue Building at the time of the tour.

Additionally, student groups or professional groups can arrange a private tour and presentation. Please contact Jill Eikenhorst, sustainability Coordinator, with inquiries at (206)783-2244, or jille@phinneycenter.org.

Find Out More Online:
Mini-B Passive House
Passive House Institute US
Passive House Northwest
International Passive House Institute
Passive House Projects

Friday, March 4, 2011

Donate baby/kid clothing and gear to the PNPC Kids Sale

Spring cleaning? Want to offload things your family has outgrown?  The PNPC is accepting tax-deductable donations of gently-used baby/kid clothing and gear until March 11. All proceeds help support the preschool co-op, and help you manage some of that unwanted clutter.  Email pnpckidssale@gmail.com for more information.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Will AmeriCorps Make The Cut?

The AmeriCorps program, which places full-time volunteers at the PNA and community organizations across the country, could become a casualty of federal budget cuts. The budget passed by the House of Representatives cuts all funding to the Corporation for National Service, eliminating the AmeriCorps program and other service programs for seniors and youth.

The PNA currently has AmeriCorps members in three positions: an outreach coordinator, a senior center programming coordinator, and a sustainability coordinator. Members in these positions and other positions in the past have done community work worth far more than their cost to the PNA or the AmeriCorps program.

AmeriCorps members at other organizations serve diverse community needs like tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth, emergency response, literacy work, improving health services, protecting and restoring the environment, managing or operating after-school programs, and building organizational capacity.

At a time when cutting funding to many social service programs is inevitable, the AmeriCorps program is a good investment that leverages volunteer time and community funds far beyond its cost. AmeriCorps also provides meaningful and career-building work in a poor economy, particularly for young people who have been hit hard by persistent unemployment.

While the House budget will not be passed as it stands, any of its funding cuts will be up for negotiation. Now is the time to send the message that AmeriCorps is a good investment in our communities, and cutting funding to the program is short-sighted.

Here are some ways you can speak out:

• Sign this petition set up by AmeriCorps alums, telling your Senators not to vote to eliminate the program.

Invite your elected representatives to visit a program that relies on AmeriCorps workers.

• Call you Senators and tell them how you feel. Both of the above websites include some ideas for what to say when you call.

• Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, stressing what AmeriCorps means to the community.