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Community members from across the city gathered March 29 to discuss strategies for creating sustainable business districts. Hosted by Sustainable Seattle, the evening was an exchange of presentations, resources and strategies for improving the districts. Sustainable Seattle was a recipient of a 2006 Technology Matching Fund grant for their Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods Initiative with youth serving as field assistants for street surveys in 10 Seattle neighborhoods. The results of community surveys from Lake City, Wallingford, North Beacon Hill and other neighborhoods shared a common theme of seeking to improve the link between residents and businesses. Projects that engage youth with businesses were seen as important contributors to vandalism reduction and teaching the next generation of business owners and employees. A lack of quality business directories was raised as well. Sustainable Seattle will be posting the community survey results here.
Can't tune in to catch new local arts programming on the Seattle Channel from 8:00 p.m. to midnight every Thursday, Friday and Saturday? No need to miss out. Exciting Art Zone programs can be viewed anytime on the web. Watch any of the programs at your convenience. To check out what's available visit the Art Zone video collection.
Make a difference with your old computer! Rectech Coalition, together with InterConnection, will be accepting used computers, monitors, TVs and other electronic materials during a one day Ecycle Event.
Advocacy Workshop Series: Podcasting for Nonprofits
CTC Peer Networking
Members of the Citizens' Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, CTTAB, recently submitted comments on proposed state legislation (SB-6003) that would have taken away local authority to regulate video franchising. The citizens' board pointed out that state control over franchising would reduce responsiveness to local needs. In our case, Seattle has chosen to focus on local programming that serves our citizens' needs for information about the city and its government (Seattle Channel); for a public forum (SCAN); and for arts and cultural programming (Art Zone). Their comments also pointed to the potential loss of our ability to ensure strong consumer protection and provisions which ensure access for all. Learn more about CTTAB.
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.
David Keyes shares info with Penalolen Mayor, Claudio Orrega.
Last month, the City of Seattle signed a technology letter of cooperation with the city of Penalolen near Santiago, Chile. David Keyes, Seattle's Community Technology Program Manager, had an opportunity to visit El Encuentro, a model telecentre (community tech center) there, where he met with representatives from various community media and digital literacy programs.
El Encuentro focuses on training for small entrepreneurs and youth. They offer refurbished computers for about $40 each, and have an open lab where they charge about $.75 per hour. They get referrals from schools to serve dropouts and provide test prep, GED equivalency and technical certification courses. They have also developed a relationship with businesses to get unexpended training funds at the end of the year! The telecentre also operates a community radio station with volunteers from all ages. Their mix of services enables them to attract students.
David also had a chance to present the city's digital divide and broadband strategies to SubTel, the federal telecommunications department and other town and non-profit representatives. Chile's library program was the second country in which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested. Chile now has computers in all the libraries. BiblioRedes has run some very effective programs including one where kids personalized Mother's Day cards and presented their mom's with vouchers for free Internet training at any BiblioRedes location. As a result, 65.2 percent of patrons who received training in 2003 were women. Get more info on their programs on the BiblioRedes site, and some descriptions in English at the Gates Foundation site.
Members gather at the Cambodian Womens Center.
The Cambodian Womens Center has just gone high speed, thanks to the City's free broadband cable Internet program, run in cooperation with Comcast.
Comcast had to install a new line to reach the building, but for staff at the center, it was worth the wait. The new broadband Internet service will allow program participants to learn about online resources (such as city services info in Khmer or health info.
According to Paularita Seng, Executive Director, rather than a long wait for forms to download, the fast connection will allow them to access benefits forms and immigration information with almost immediate results. The center currently has one computer for the community, but allow their volunteers use two other PCs at the agency. Youth who come to the center for the community and language training had been asking for a better Internet connection. They will now be able to do homework research and to share computer skills with the adults, some of whom have feared using the computer because of their lack of English skills. The Cambodian Women's Center is most well known for it role in organizing the annual Cambodian Cultural Heritage Celebration, which will be held this year on August 11 at Seattle Center. For more info on the women's center, call (206) 760-0539.
Note: The Ethnomed offers background on the Cambodian/Khmer community and health here.
Recognizing the need for a comprehensive strategy to better serve Seattle residents with limited English proficiency, the City recently adopted a new policy to expand services for immigrants and refugees. The policy improves the city's translation and interpretation services. It calls for translating vital documents, such as an explanation of City services, consent and complaint forms, notices of rights, and notices of free language assistance into Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Somali, Tagalog and Korean. These are the primary languages spoken by a substantial number of Seattle residents. All translated documents are easily available online on the City's website. The website currently provides service and community information in 26 different languages. Seattle is enriched by the nearly 100,000 foreign-born individuals from a host of different countries who make their homes here. "By bridging language differences," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "We can dismantle many of the barriers to a building a better life for thousands of people." For more information, read the full news release. The press release is also available in Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish and Tagalog.
Recognizing the need for a comprehensive strategy to better serve Seattle residents with limited English proficiency, the City recently adopted a new policy to expand services for immigrants and refugees.
The policy improves the city's translation and interpretation services. It calls for translating vital documents, such as an explanation of City services, consent and complaint forms, notices of rights, and notices of free language assistance into Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Somali, Tagalog and Korean. These are the primary languages spoken by a substantial number of Seattle residents.
All translated documents are easily available online on the City's website. The website currently provides service and community information in 26 different languages.
Seattle is enriched by the nearly 100,000 foreign-born individuals from a host of different countries who make their homes here. "By bridging language differences," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "We can dismantle many of the barriers to a building a better life for thousands of people."
For more information, read the full news release. The press release is also available in Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Somali, Spanish and Tagalog.
Are you looking for technology teaching tools?
Microsoft offers a free curriculum called Unlimited Potential to teach basic to intermediate computer skills in a hands-on manner. Available in English for several years, the curriculum is now available in 21 languages, including Arabic, French, German, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Romanian, Latvian, Indonesian, Hebrew, or Malayalam. To download the curriculum, go here.
Another free teaching tool is the Digital Literacy Curriculum. The goal of this curriculum is to teach basic computer concepts and skills so that people can use computer technology in everyday life to develop new social and econonmic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.
The Digital Literacy program consists of five courses: Computer Basics, The Internet and World Wide Web, Productivity Programs, Computer Security and Privacy, and Digital Lifestyles. Each course has an e-learning module and an assessment. You can also take the Certificate Test, which covers topics from all five courses. If you pass the Certificate Test, you can print out a personalized Digital Literacy Certificate. For more information, go here.
The Seattle Department of Information Technology presented a workshop on how to protect yourself from identity theft. This workshop is available online via the City's Information Security office. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Ivan Orton, Deputy Prosecutor for King County, talked about ways to reduce risks of identity theft and protect personal information.
United Health Foundation
Seattle Green Map is a community mapping project that uses icons for local features and assets. It's part of an international community of green mappers.
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