Monthly archives for September, 2007
The Renton School District has been a leader in partnering with homeschool families to provide a flexible and rich educational envronment for homeschooled students. The District runs the H.O.M.E Program, which offers classes, tutoring, P.E., Music lessons, College Running Start enrollment, and even Renton School district high school diplomas for Homeschooled youth.
The program benefits families and students by providing experiences that can’t be duplicated easily in the home or elsewhere in the community; and the program works well for the district because in addition to helping students, the School District receives the normal state allocated student funding for every H.O.M.E. child that keeps a journal of their studies.
The program is a huge hit with the parents as well. Parents provide both assistance and teachers to the H.O.M.E classes, and can effectively homeschool and traditional school simultaneously if they wish. Many long-time friendships have been developed through this program, and I recommend it to anyone who has explored homeshooling for their children.
We homeschooled our children K-12, and were first-year members of this program a decade ago; My children that have reached college age have marched right on through to their college diplomas with “straight A” averages.
Homeshool families generally try to adhere to the same schedule as the local school district, so that our kids are on vacation the same days as their friends. We even take snow days, to keep everything in harmony. There is a myth that homeschooled kids lack social skills, but that is far from accurate. The social opportunities for students and their parents are immense, as they all get together to plan, study, and take classes, and go on countless field trips together.
Renton is a great city for kids to learn in… whether it’s in one of our beautiful public schools (which have nearly all been rebuilt in recent years), in one of our highly respected private schools, or out in the community as a homeschooler, with all the help a parent could ask for.
Here are a few shots of some H.O.M.E. Program families at our home for a book club/planning meeting/social event, as the year gets kicked off. (Note: That’s GINGER ALE on the table, although most of the parents will drink socially occasionally like everybody else )
Mayor Kathy Keolker’s office sent out a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) for a Renton Jet Center without council approval late last year. When the proposals started coming in, outraged citizens started turning up at council meetings, informing us that they had many, many concerns about this direction for our airport.
The council asked for more time, and for a noise study, before we proceed with a jet center or make any significant long-term leasing decisions.
Here is the latest news from the Seattle Times on this topic. You can get more background by clicking here.
Renton residents worry about airport expansion
By Karen Johnson, 9/30/07
Times Southeast Bureau
More Southeast King County News
As a flight attendant for United Airlines for 40 years, Renton resident Peggi Galster grew accustomed to airport noise and loud planes.
“When I was working, I would cease a conversation when the engines started,” Galster said.
But at her home in the Kennydale neighborhood, Galster says she has to cover her ears when planes fly overhead.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
Nomination for Jesse Tanner
Renton’s Citizen of the Year has historically been awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to making our community a better place to live and work. Mayor Jesse Tanner, during his many years of service on behalf of Renton citizens, made a positive mark on this community that will benefit Renton for generations. For his enduring contributions, we feel Mayor Tanner is a strong candidate for Citizen of the Year.
Born in Sandersville, Georgia on April 11, 1927, Jesse was a war veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, and later earned his Master’s Degree in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkley. He retired from the Federal Aviation Administration as deputy director of the Northwest Region after nearly 34 years of service. Jesse passed away on February 6, 2007.
Jesse cared about Renton and devoted many years working to make it a better place to live, work and raise our families. After serving six years on the Renton City Council, Jesse was elected mayor of Renton in 1996. During his two terms in office, he lead a dedicated city staff to implement significant changes in the way the city conducted business, which resulted in the major redevelopment projects of recent years and literally put Renton on the map as a place to do business. It was under his leadership that many of the public centers and additional city services we enjoy today were built. This includes the new Henry Moses Aquatic Center; the IKEA Performing Arts Center; City Center Parking Garage; the Pavilion Building; Piazza Park; Veterans Memorial Park; a new Highlands Neighborhood Center; Fire Stations 12 and 14; the Renton Transit Center, and Skate Park. In addition, it was during his tenure that Renton City Hall was relocated to its new home and the very popular Neighborhood Program and Renton Farmer’s Market were launched.
As Mayor, Jesse was a tireless supporter and promoter of Renton. He was behind the slogan “Renton, ahead of the curve.” He led a city government that oversaw major investments as part of the jumpstart to a long-awaited redevelopment of downtown. This included bringing IKEA and Fry’s to Renton.
Jesse also devoted time to making sure the city government served the citizens of Renton better. He reorganized city hall to merge long-range planning and economic development departments. This improvement to the way city government operated helped bring Michael Christ’s Southport to Renton; facilitated Paul Allen’s purchase of a large tract of land on Lake Washington that will be the home of the Seattle Seahawks; and enabled Boeing’s development agreement on their surplus property which set The Landing in motion.
As Mayor of Renton and a city councilman, Jesse was a dedicated and tireless public servant. He worked to ensure that city government better served the day-to-day needs of the citizens of Renton. He also worked to ensure that the citizens of Renton have a better tomorrow. Jesse put forth a vision for the future that we now see turning into reality. For his years of work serving his community and his leadership, we ask that you consider Mayor Jesse Tanner as Renton’s Citizen of the Year for 2007.
Donna Youngblood (Jesse’s daughter)
Debbie Hanson (Jesse’s daughter)
DeAnna Schukar (Jesse’s daughter)
It takes a lifetime for us to reunite with our loved ones when they pass. But what takes us an entire lifetime to achieve in order to meet our God, happens in a blink of an eye to them.
It seems that half the people I know under age forty are looking to get tattoos these days. The artists are better than ever, and there are endless creative ideas shared over the internet and in many magazines and journals devoted to this art. While no one in my family currently has a tattoo, I don’t know if it will stay that way. Sometimes I think the fact that the world has reached six billion people is causing everyone to make an additional push for individuality one way or another.
My friends Scott and Jennifer Douwes invited several of us along when they went to Renton’s Diamond Tattoo to get some original and personally meaningful tattoos by Jibo, a steady-handed and congenial artist. The atmosphere in the business was fun to take in…very clean and antiseptic around the tattoo stations, but artsy, colorful, and with a rebellious decorator’s edge in the waiting areas. Also, they have some very retro pieces of furniture and objects on display, such as a mint condition bicycle with high handlebars, a big headlight, and a bananna seat exactly like the one I received on my seventh birthday.
If you know someone getting a tattoo, ask them if they will bring you along for a fun and unusual experience.
My wife and her friends look on, as Jen gets her tattoo
On average, you all have been spending 4.5 minutes on my site each day. I get about 20-40 new vistors each day, and they tend to spend 10-20 minutes.
My readership is growing fast from your word-of-mouth adverstising. Please keep sending your friends to this site, so they can all see city hall from the inside out.
And don’t forget to leave your comments!
Last night’s council meeting was long and interesting, but blessedly lacking in the drama that we saw the week before. There was controversy, but it was between citizens of Stonegate and Langley Ridge Developers, instead of controversy between council members. The Stonegate/Langley issue, which we dedicated most of the meeting to, was actually a consent agenda item that surprised us by bringing thirteen citizen speakers with it.
The Stonegate/Langley Ridge audience comment, and the accompanying council questions and deliberations, consumed ninety minutes or so. The issue boiled down to the Langley project developers needing a twenty foot emergency right-of-way along an existing access easement in Stonegate. City attorney Larry Warren felt the city had rights to the easement that they could extend to Langley. The Langley team agreed, but the Stonegate residents and their attorney disagreed. Langley’s attorney, Mr. Brain, gave us copies of the deeds to Stonegate, but the text was so small it was hard to make out (yes, the fine print). I had to borrow Don Persson’s reading glasses, and then I was able to make it out. My impression was that the Stonegate folks had a better case than Langley, but I could see both sides of the issue. Dan Clawson felt that Langley’s case was slightly better, but could also see both sides of the issue. A relatively civil, normal disagreement. We all agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest for the applicant (Langley) to get together with Stonegate to see if they can work this out before next week.
If they can’t, I will probably take the view that it is the applicant’s burden to prove they have title to all the property and easements they need, not the city’s burden, and that the matter will have to be resolved by the court before I will approve the plat. Others may disagree.
The other thing notable about the evening was the intense tension throughout the Executive floor of Renton City Hall. It is very similar to the month when we endured the lipstick investigation. Like thousands of others, I am so disappointed with Dan Clawson right now….It think his false accuasations are going to waste hundreds of thousands of dallars for the city and cost Dan both his jobs. I’m wondering if we need to take the money out of the mayor’s wayfinding budget, since we have no where else where this much money is sitting and not earmarked, and since the mayor (who is pushing the way-finding) appears to be the impetus for Dan’s phony lawsuit.
The body language is so interesting to see, but also so sad, with various people glaring, avoiding, and downright shunning one another. Some of the staff are showing so much stress, I think we may see some nevous breakdowns. I personally can only keep a positive attitude because I am so confident Denis will move to the Mayor’s office in January. It would be sad for our city to think of more months, or years, of this.