I N S I D E
Npower Advocacy Workshop
CTC Peer Networking
Community Gathering Spaces Workshop
Get involved: join the CTTAB board! New members are sought to advise City officials on issues of community-wide interest relating to telecommunications and technology. Have thoughts on cable television access? Are you passionate about community technology access? CTTAB is the place for you. For more info, go here or contact Jill Novik, (206) 684-8583.
Take the the Seattle Transportation Opinionnaire here.
On Tuesday, January 30, members of the City's Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) conducted a public meeting at the Yesler Community Center to hear from citizens about their level of satisfaction with cable and Internet service provided by Millennium Digital Media (MDM). Subjects covered were customer service, and citizens' expectations of MDM in the future. Twenty five people attended and fourteen spoke. Speakers expressed concern about the high prices charged by MDM and the fact that they do not offer a low-cost basic tier like Comcast. In addition, speakers voiced their displeasure with the lack of meaningful discounts for low income and seniors, and inadequate customer service, technical quality and responsiveness. Several asked the City to do more to bring competition to Seattle and to require MDM to provide a low cost option, meaningful discounts and community assistance in the form of complimentary iInternet service and technical support to community groups in its franchise area.
The findings from this Public Meeting, as well as other information gathered thru surveys and interviews, will be incorporated into a draft needs assessment report which will be published on the City Cable Office website later this month. The draft needs assessment will provide the basis for the City's negotiations to renew MDM's franchise, which expires in March 2008.
be on the lookout
The City of Seattle Office of Information Security endeavors to provide timely information on cyber attacks that affect your work and home computing safety, your finances, and your identity. In order to better carry out this mission, Be-On-The-Lookout (or BOLO) messages are now continuously added to a running list, which is available here.
When there is a new scam, Trojan attachment, or piece of information that you need to know, we will post it on this page and include a posting date so you know if it's current. The list will have the BOLO announcements in reverse chronological order. Please review this information frequently, and use it to protect yourself and your family from criminal attempts to get at your computer, your money, your kids, and you.
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.
Christina Arcidy, Rectech Program Coordinator
The RecTech Coalition of Seattle is pleased to welcome four new staff members to develop and implement the TechNet Program across its network. In mid-December, Steve Demas, Deric Gruen, Louis Hunter, and Mehret Tekle joined Young Pham and Mike Toschi for a week-long training, which focused on program development, recruitment, evaluation and youth developmental assets.
"We're excited to bring the new team on board," says Christina Arcidy, Program Coordinator. Each staff member brings a unique set of skills to help support the youth in the community centers. "They have diverse talents, ranging from teaching in afterschool programs, making their own films, to drawing from their own deep roots in the community."
Lack of staffing has been a barrier for effective programming in the labs. Having a dedicated team to supervise and train youth in the centers is an important step forward. Mazvita Maraire, the Center Coordinator at Garfield, is happy to see his lab up and running. "Merhet's energy and drive is terrific," he said. LaShawn Street, of the Southwest Community Center, is thrilled to have staff support, as well. "Deric is already making a positive impact with the kids," she said. "I see really good things happening."
The TechNet Program is an academic support and technology skill building program for middle and high school youth at seven RecTech sites, located in the following Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers: Delridge, Garfield, Miller, Rainier, Rainier Beach, South Park, and Southwest. Students can come to the center to do their homework, get support from an in-person or online tutor, or take a variety of different classes, such as Hip Hop Production or Digital Photography. The TechNet program is supported by grants from the Stuart Foundation, the City of Seattle and Communities Connect.
John Spady of Dick's Drive-In, volunteer trustee with the Municipal League Foundation
Under the guiding mission of "empowered citizens, and informed choices," the Municipal League Foundation seeks to facilitate civic dialogue on governance and related issues among the public and local government officials.
Funded by a grant from the Technology Matching Fund in 2006, the foundation has launched the Seattle Civic Engagement Project. The project involves collaborating with civic-minded organizations and businesses this year to test web-based methods for facilitating community conversation. Collaborating organizations will provide opportunities for their own members to engage in conversation about various topics. Partners include the Municipal League, the Alliance of Belltown Condominiums, the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement at the University of Washington, CodeBlueNow, Family Support Network International, Hate Free Zone, Real Change News, SCAN-TV Community Media, and the Seattle LGBT Community Center.
Partners are encouraged to expand their current methods of communication by creating opportunities to talk about issues with friends, family, and colleagues, to listen respectfully to their opinions and to contribute their own. Then members are asked to complete a simple web 'Opinionnaire,' designed to determine levels of agreement or disagreement around the issues. This process is not a scientific poll, but is instead an opportunity to connect with others and engage people in the important community functions of civic conversation and dialogue. The results of these surveys will be shared with partners, public officials, and the media.
The project's current dialogue is the Seattle Transportation 'Opinionnaire,' available here. "Everyone's voice is important and we hope that this tool can be used by the widest possible audience." according to Municipal League Foundation Board Vice-Chair, John Spady. "We encourage you to talk with your friends and neighbors, then share your opinions over the web."
This technology-focused project is an important move for the organization. "Our civic engagement project is the logical next step for the Municipal League Foundation," said board chair Angela Avery. "We're using technology to help local organizations reach out to their members, provide information on important issues and promote confident civic involvement."
We were saddened to hear that Randy Hayhurst passed away recently at his home in Holdenville, OK. Randy was a founder of the Special Technology Access Resource Center (STAR Center) at Center Park. Randy was a motivator and role model, both as a blind person and as director of the program providing training and accessible equipment to the disabled community. He often did battle in his passion and compassion for helping others.
Randy lost his vision in 1994 as a result of a traumatic automobile accident. While he was recovering, he began thinking about his future and work. At the time, in his own words, "All I have to my credit is a high school education. I had been a successful, self-motivating, record setting salesman for Frito-Lay. I had no practical computer knowledge, whatsoever. I could not even type!" He decided to get over his fear of technology and learn how to use computers to become more employable. This led him to help develop STAR and to become its first director.
Randy also had a monthly talk show on the Evergreen Radio Reading Service and was a board member of the Seattle Community Network (SCN). Read more about Randy and his dog, Hoss, in the Seattle Times article from 2005.
"I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to work with Randy and his great dog, Hoss," said David Keyes, the City of Seattle’s Community Technology Director. "I learned a lot, had my eyes opened to some possibilities, and will continue to carry that forward to opening the door for others with 'diffabilities.'"
We know Randy would be proud to hear his mantras carried forward: "Don’t give up, anyone can learning to use computers and keep fighting for opportunities for all."
Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund
Microsoft Unlimited Potential
Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation
Sparkplug Foundation Grants
KidsHealth provides doctor-approved health information about children from before birth through adolescence.
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