I N S I D E
New City Web
In Seattle, if you want Internet service through the cable system, you must accept the ISP that Comcast or Millennenium Digital Media provides. Purchasing Internet Service (DSL) from phone companies like Qwest or Verizon is different: you can purchase Internet access from multiple ISPs, each of which uses the telephone lines. Our fear is that the FCC may now rule that telephone companies don't have to allow multiple ISPs on their lines either, which would effectively end open access for broadband both here and nationally. There is also concern that cable operators could now engineer their networks to favor their proprietary content and services and even block applications that could compete with their services.
Greg Nickels, Mayor
director, office of
D.H. CASS MAGNUSKI
A new Seattle.gov home page and expanded language services mean better citizen services. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched Seattle’s new home page and a variety of new foreign language services at an English as a Second Language (ESL) class at the New Holly Learning Center with students from South Seattle Community College and the Atlantic Street Center.
The City of Seattle has a long history of striving to improve customer service. Neighborhood Service Centers serve people close to home, for example, and the Citizen Service Bureau is always ready to help Seattleites get the services they need. Our presence on the Web should be just as helpful. It’s the same address: Seattle.gov, with a whole new look. City services are front and center, with an easy-to-use search function, a list of the most commonly requested services, and the CSB phone number.
“We’re going to use the internet to better serve all of Seattle’s citizens,” Mayor Nickels said. “More people are looking to find city services on the Internet. With the new home page, language portal, and other services, we can help people get the services they need, especially non-English speaking residents.”
The new features include:
“This is just the beginning,” Nickels said. “We’re going to continue to add services and information in a variety of languages, so that all communities have real-time, practical access to city government.” Get the Mayor’s inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter. Free.
The Community Day School Association (CDSA) has been awarded a grant from Safeco to continue work begun under a Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund (TMF) grant from the City of Seattle. CDSA has been working to “bring families and neighbors together in a friendly, community oriented place where learning is fun and not intimidating.” A community needs survey led them initially to seek the city tech grant to hold a series of monthly computer-advocacy workshops focused on topics of interest to community members. These included Our Kids and Neighborhood Arts Programs, Getting to Know Others in our Community, Childcare Subsidies from the City and State, and Leave No Child Behind - Federal Legislation. They have also kept the lab open daily for general use and helped users get free email addresses. For more info about CDSA and their initial project, see Community Day School. Congratulations to CDSA and thanks Safeco!
Seattle’s public wireless (WIFI) system is still being technically tweaked, but are definitely seeing use in the two business districts and four downtown parks in their first month. The four downtown parks are being used an average of 20 times per day, Columbia City is averaging 27 uses per day, and the University District is seeing about 200 users per day. Stay tuned for more information, and check seattle.gov/wifi.
A new ten minute video is available providing a profile of the International District Housing Alliance’s youth and seniors electronic civic engagement project. See it here.
The Seattle Public Library's Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. S.W., is tentatively scheduled to close at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, to prepare for an expansion project that will better serve the community. The date is tentative because the Library is currently advertising for general contractor bids. The closure date will be finalized once the bids are received and reviewed. The 8,213-square-foot branch, which was built in 1961, will grow to 15,000 square feet. The expansion project features a new meeting room, new seats and shelves, an improved interior layout, more computers and study areas, better lighting, a modern mechanical system, and improved seismic safety. The project also includes an updated collection of books and materials.
During the closure, the Library will add staff to nearby branches to help meet the need for library service. Librarians also will continue community outreach to children and young adults and will make school visits in the branch's service area. The closest branches to the Southwest Branch are: the Delridge Branch, 5423 Delridge Way S.W., 733-9125; the High Point Branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St., 684-7454; and the West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. S.W., 684-7444.
The expanded branch is part of the $196.4 million "Libraries for All" bond measure that Seattle voters passed in 1998. The bond money, which can be used only for construction of libraries, is funding new and improved branches, in addition to the new Central Library.
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Provides grants to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest. Funds organizations that seek to strengthen the region's educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways.
Tiger Woods Foundation
Deadline: Quarterly. November 1
Provides opportunities to underserved children in urban American cities in the following areas:
Health and Welfare
Youth Learn Afterschool and Technology Project
Lessons learned on integration of academic content in technology-infused afterschool programs.
Social Entrepreneurship Links:National Center for Social Entrepreneurs
Lock your computer down when using WIFI or using your computer at a public computing site. If you’re using wireless at a coffee shop or park or if you’re connecting your laptop to the network at the library or elsewhere, you mostly have to rely on their security. This is not necessarily safe for you. Wireless signals can be intercepted. See more info on wireless security.
The best thing to do if you’re going to use a laptop on a public network is to have a software type firewall. This will notify you if someone tries to access your computer. Network connections are more secure and are usually set up to protect from outside hackers, but don’t assume you’re safe. If you are using Windows XP, it comes with standard firewall software. The next most common firewall software is Zone Alarm. Get more security information.