I N S I D E
The City Council has been the center of attention as they’ve been working to elect a new Council President and find a replacement for Jim Compton.
Here's the latest news. Jean Godden will chair the new Energy and Technology Committee. Sally Clark has been selected as the new City Councilmember. She was an aide to former Councilmember Tina Podlodowski, who established the Citizens Literacy and Access Fund which created our Community Technology Program. Nick Licata has been named the new council president. Read more about Nick here. Sign up for agendas for committee meetings here.
Dates are often closer than they appear. Mark your calendar and register now for these March events: Internet Safety and Kids (March 7th, 11:30am) will cover risks and how to address them. Also sign up that day for trainers to come present to parents and/or kids at your center. See more on the PSACT calendar. Build skills and see what works for non-profits as Seattle hosts the largest annual non-profit technology conference (March 22-24). Register and see more at the NTEN conference site.
Multilingual? Need to communicate preparedness issues to non-English-speakers? The King County Office of Emergency Management has links to disaster preparedness videos in Spanish, Hmong, Khmer, Lao, Vietnamese and Somali. They also have additional info on their site in Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Find it here.
2006 is proving to be a banner year for the Technology Access Foundation. After accepting Tavis Smiley’s invitation to appear on the panel of the State of the Black Union in February, TAF executive director Trish Millines Dziko received an invitation from Essence Magazine, which reads, in part: "This May, Essence will honor 25 fantastic Black women who represent beauty at its finest: women whose dedication and drive to serve others radiates from the inside out. For your work with the Technology Access Foundation, we would like to honor you as one of Essence's 25 Most Beautiful Women of 2006. All honorees will be featured in a special portfolio in the May 2006 issue.... In addition, Essence will showcase the honorees in a nationally-televised one-hour special, sponsored by the Caress beauty line, that will air in April to coincide with the issue's release."
The well-deserved accolades just keep rolling in.
The latest community story on the Seattle Channel celebrates the time and attention that volunteers at the veterans center on Beacon Hill donate to the men and women who served our country. The Seattle division of the Department of Veteran Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System on Beacon Hill is a special place, not just because it provides world class medical care for America’s veterans, but also because of its large volunteer community. These volunteers, who are often veterans themselves, help out in nearly every aspect of support care for the patients. See it online or on cable. For streaming video or the cable schedule go to Seattlechannel.org and search for Community Stories.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to Brainstorm, please email us, and we'll add you to our email notification list, or subtract you per your request. If you have ideas for future stories, please let us know and we'll try to accommodate them. We encourage you to visit the City of Seattle's Community Tech pages, seattle.gov/tech.
"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
"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
Volunteers working with TMF grantee, Interconnection,
learn to fix computers at the Computer Reuse and Learning Center.
The City of Seattle awards funds once a year to Seattle organizations to support the growth of a technology-healthy community through the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund. The fund uses cable franchise revenues to support projects which increase technology literacy and access, apply technology to increase civic engagement and reach underserved residents.
We are now seeking applications for the 2006 funding round. The deadline is Monday, March 20, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. The application and guidelines are available at seattle.gov/tech/tmf. This year we will award approximately nine to 15 grants of up to $10,000.
For more information about the grant program, attend the TMF Grant Information session on Monday, February 27, at 6:00 p.m. at the Yesler Community Center, 917 E Yesler Way, Seattle, 98122. Click here for directions. Program staff and current grantees will be available to answer questions. If you would like Community Technology Program staff to review your proposal prior to the deadline, please contact Delia at (206) 233-2751 or email email@example.com. The deadline for proposal review is March 10.
The TMF program funded a variety of projects last year, including $7,400 to Interconnection’s Computers for Community Project to promote a program for low-income volunteers to learn hardware skills and earn free refurbished computers. Volunteers working with TMF grantee, Interconnection, learn to fix computers at the Computer Reuse and Learning Center. Other projects included $9,400 to Hate Free Zone to develop a "New American Voters" web page to help register 2,000 new voters, and $3,600 to Lao Community Services to help Lao youth improve their computer skills and knowledge about their cultural heritage through Internet research and training. The full list of past project awards is available here.
Did you catch the story on KOMO News Radio about the successes at High Point? A federal grant is helping the High Point area to redevelop their neighborhood. According to Meredith Blache, teacher and director of the High Point Career & Technology Center at High Point Elementary School, "Last year, the fourth-graders decided they wanted to document the redevelopment of the area. A lot of them are kids that have been in the area all their lives. Their parents grew up here. This year, as fifth-grade students, the kids are continuing their work, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Adobe. Armed with cameras, pens, and paper, the class sets out on a weekly basis to follow the project's progress. According to Blache, "It is Sara Waldron's class that has propelled this project for the last year and it will play an intregal part in this years project. This could not have happened without Sara's hard work." Read more about the project and hear the broadcast online here.
Tax help is available to the public at area computer labs and online. Every year, millions of tax refund dollars that low-income families deserve either go unclaimed or go to commercial tax preparers. Low income families may be entitled to money back through the Earned Income Tax Credit. The United Way is sponsoring free tax help at multiple sites, including Rainier Beach Community Center, Yesler Community Center and at the downtown library. Taxes will be prepared by IRS-trained and certified volunteers, and electronically filed for a rapid refund. Multilingual tax preparers are available at several sites. At the sites, taxpayers will also be able to sign up for certain public benefits and learn about opportunities they have to make the most of their tax returns through opening or expanding savings accounts, repairing their credit and improving financial and budgeting skills. See a schedule and more info here.
South Park/United Way
This month, we introduce our new monthly Internet/computer security tip from David Matthews, City of Seattle’s Acting Chief Information Security Officer.
US-CERT has received reports of a phishing email scam that attempts to convince the user that it is from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by using a spoofed "From" address of "firstname.lastname@example.org."
Upon clicking on the link provided in the email, the user is taken to a fraudulent site that looks like a legitimate U.S. government site. The user is then asked to provide personal information, such as their social security, credit card and bank pin numbers.
Users are encouraged to take the following measures to protect themselves from this type of phishing attack:
For additional information on ways to avoid phishing email attacks, US-CERT recommends that all users review the following site.
Deadline: March 31
Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund
HP Technology for Community
Kongsgaard - Goldman Foundation
Social Justice Fund Northwest Basic Grants
Established in 1988, the CERT Coordination Center (CERT.org) is a major hub for Internet security expertise. It is a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. Among other services, they offer tips on home computer security that would also be helpful for computer labs. Any lab could download and use their computer security checklist and documentation forms here.
PBS has begun a series on African American Lives. The series is airing on Wednesdays on our PBS stations. Their web site features profiles and interviews with famous African Americans (including Seattle's Quincy Jones) and their families' incredible journeys and role in creating our history. The site also has links to many other African American and geneology resources.
Free curriculum created by the Tiger Woods Foundation and published by Target Stores includes character education as well as career exploration section and community service projects as a part of the curriculum.
Protopage.com is an interesting free web service that lets you easily create web pages, with a focus on creating your own personal start page. Have fun moving the stickies!
Have you ever failed at using a wireless access point? Wireless technology works by using radio communication to communicate with your laptop or other wireless device. This means that in some cases the wireless device can transmit to you but you can't transmit to it. This is because, just like any communication, it must be two ways; a transmitter and a receiver that exchange roles. Most public access wireless sites have high power transmitters and antennas. The fact that you can see a wireless site available in your area, does not guarantee that you can access it.
The solution to getting the best connection may be to use an external wireless card. Some internal cards may not have the best antennas. While most PCMCIA cards are good to use, one that allows for an external antenna is preferable. Be aware that if you use a high power access card, it may drain your laptop battery faster. Also, it's important to know where the access point is, so you can setup your computer as close as possible.
Free cable broadband Internet service is available for organizations providing technology training to community members. The free service is offered in the Comcast service delivery area and within the Seattle city limits, based on the City’s cable franchise agreement. For more information and to download a short form to make application, go to our tech web. If you have questions, email Derrick Hall or call (206) 233-5061.