I N S I D E
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city." -Mayor Greg Nickels Got burning questions about your city? Got opinions? You're invited to ask the Mayor online and on TV.
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city."
-Mayor Greg Nickels
Got burning questions about your city? Got opinions? You're invited to ask the Mayor online and on TV.
set of Ask the Mayor
The Seattle Channel broadcasts a live call-in show with Mayor Greg Nickels on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. Yep, it's called Ask the Mayor.
Moderator C.R. Douglas collects email questions for the mayor through 5 p.m. the day of the show at email@example.com. Recent shows have delved into the Alaska Way Viaduct, Seattle City Light, the budget, and holiday shopping, so there's a place for your question, too.
Find the Seattle Channel on channel 21 for AT&T Broadband cable customers and channel 28 for Millennium cable customers. It's also webcast around the clock on the Internet. The same programming carried on the city municipal channel is simultaneously streamed online. To link to the live stream or for the Seattle Channel's weekly program schedule and other information, visit the station's main web site: seattlechannel.org. Programs such as Ask the Mayor are archived and can be viewed at your convenience on the web site.
more legal resources
The Northwest Justice Project offers an easy to understand glossary of legal terms. Nwjustice.org also serves as clearinghouse for legal self-help materials and tools that provide information about non-criminal legal problems affecting low-income people in Washington State.
For a list of organizations across the country providing free legal assistance to financially eligible clients, see
Communications industry complaints? You're not alone. Check out the state Attorney General's list of consumer complaints: www.wa.gov/ago/consumer.
Back issues of Brainstorm are now available in our online archives. Click to revisit the first edition. More later.
Greg Nickels, Mayor
and cable tv
D.H. CASS MAGNUSKI
Seniors Training Seniors Across the Generations Team at Garfield CTC were among volunteers recently honored by the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens. Left to right, Assistant Travis Morrissey, 14; student and helper Mitzi Matsui, and lead instructor Bill Bumpas. -Photo courtesy of instructor Carol Ballard
“They made me feel comfortable and willing to try!” -Anon.
Computer basics peer training among seniors is really taking off. Seniors Training Seniors recruits and places volunteers in senior centers and other CTCs to help usher seniors into the Information Age. It's a Seattle Human Services Department volunteer program, managed through the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens.
If you know of potential volunteers for this program, a phone call to Patti-Lyn Bell will get them involved. Her number is
(206) 684-0639, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Patience, humor and enthusiastic instructors provide a setting that allows students to enjoy learning at a pace they can handle. No note-taking, listening to lectures, or study skills are required.
The volunteer trainers, ages 50 and above, and their assistants are stoked about their work. Many of the more than 20 instructors have been with the program for three years. Each lead instructor brings computer knowledge and a unique style of facilitating. All volunteer instructors receive more than 16 hours of Train the Trainer instruction in an open source curriculum specifically designed for seniors by the City of Seattle's Department of Information Technology (DoIt). The seasoned instructors tweak and improve the curriculum as the need arises. By learning to pursue their own interests online, seniors are gently guided into the Information Age.
Word of mouth, community newspapers and flyers attract seniors to the classes. They register to learn at their choice of Seattle training lab sites. These are usually at senior centers or community centers. The basics class is taught over a four-day period, for two hours a day. Class size is limited to an average of six students, so there is usually a 1:3 ratio. Students get plenty of one-on-one attention in an atmosphere where they feel safe.
Currently, the program is offered at 10 training sites. But the classes are popular, and the program is expanding to include other centers that will open in 2003.
According to program manager Patti-Lyn Bell, "There's room now for more volunteer instructors and assistants. The only requirement is a love for computers. Assistants can be under the age of 50."
Our tech guru, Derrick Hall, recommends a popular freeware application called Lens Magnifying Glass. This graphic tool enlarges areas of the monitor screen. It looks and works just like a magnifying glass that you move over your monitor screen. Choose enlargement from 1x to 64x. Control it by mouse or keyboard. And it has features that allow the user to move the magnifying glass, refresh, view a popup menu, and of course, zoom in and out.
Excellent for people with poor eyesight. We found it on cnet's download page. Freeware Download.
Now you can find out yourself by visiting King County Law Library’s new Legal Research and Training Center (LRTC). The LRTC has easy-to-use research tools for the general public, including six computers connected to legal research databases providing info on bankruptcy, estate law, family law, landlord/tenant law, name change, probate issues, traffic infractions, vacating/expunging conviction records, and more.
"We hope the Center will expand the options available to King County residents," said King County Law Library Board President Judge Terry Lukens. "Our goal is to offer meaningful access to Internet-based justice information for those of low to moderate means." Reservations for computer time can be made by calling the King County Law Library at (206) 696-0940, or by walking in on a first-come, first-served basis. The LRTC is located in the King County Courthouse at 516 Third Avenue, Suite W621, Seattle. Further information can be found by visiting the Law Library online at www.kcll.org.
Seniors in southwest Seattle have a new stop to make. The new Westwood Heights CTC, a Seattle Housing Authority site near White Center, was designed to meet the computing needs of an aging population. Eight computer stations, and a varying schedule of structured training activities, are available to seniors and the general public. Training, too, is limited to eight individuals per session to provide for individual support and attention.
Individuals who fear that physical or educational challenges must prevent them from learning computing skills are learning otherwise. An American-born adult is learning to read via an online tutorial. Individuals with visual issues such as glaucoma and macular degeneration are processing email and cruising the web. Others are learning to type. A resident with severe sight loss uses the magnifier, which allows her to read her mail independently for the first time in years. Specializing in giving training and access to individuals aged 50 and older, special hardware and software accommodates the physical needs of individuals with walkers, wheelchairs, those with limited vision and arthritic hands.
Got skills to offer? Got volunteers? Got students? To get involved, email Jacque Cook at email@example.com.
According to Jacque Cook, Westwood's looking for partner organizations that want to use the center. They're also looking for volunteers. "What is required first is patience, she said. "After that, (volunteers) will need good communication skills. They'll teach basic computer skills, plus email and web techniques."
The Beaumont Foundation of America is offering grants of Toshiba equipment to Washington and other state CTC’s, schools and to individuals with incomes below the poverty line. Submit grant applications online by 5 p.m. CT March 31, 2003, by phone for individuals. Anticipated notification of awards is May 30, 2003. Start date of projects is September 1, 2003. This program is the result of a $2.1 billion court settlement with Toshiba. There is a wide range of equipment available from laptop labs to servers, pda’s, printers, cameras and projectors. Grants must be used to supplement, not supplant current technology efforts.
More info and specific guidelines are available at www.bmtfoundation.com.
Kudos to Rhonda Allison of Rainier Vista and CTTAB, who reports landing an ACC Field Innovation Grant (FIG). The project is a data collection curriculum for CTC coordinators. The specific focus is on ESL and administrative tasking for those with little experience.
Different forms of data will be defined. Methods will be established for developing data sources and packaging that information for funding proposals. A test run with five CTCs is scheduled for March, followed by evaluation and revision.
Americorps VISTA Mary Grybeck is the new lab coordinator at Rainier Vista Job Resource Center. Rhonda will be her supervisor. Mary was placed through the CTCNet/UMASS Boston VISTA project.
Hewlett Packard is offering a new grant opportunity for nonprofit microenterprise development agencies and programs working in underserved communities.
Each grant award will have a total value of $150,000 to $300,000 in equipment, cash, services and support. In addition, recipients will receive a travel grant to participate in a symposium focused on increasing the capacity of the microenterprise development industry.
Visit their website for more information. Proposals must be submitted via the web no later than 5 p.m., January 24.
yesler ctc gets hud grant
Congratulations to Asfaha Lemlem and Yesler Terrace Computer Learning Center on landing an $80,000 HUD grant. The money is earmarked for updating and expanding the existing lab so it can become a neighborhood access center.
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We encourage you to visit the City of Seattle's Community Tech pages, seattle.gov/tech.