Wallyhood Hand-Off

Back in January, I announced that after 6 years, I would be taking a break from Wallyhood.

My family and I will be leaving on Monday, March 9th to spend several months living in Europe, and, while the Internet can make distances dwindle, I don’t think it would serve the community well for me to carry on remotely (not to mention the effect on my mental reset).

Fortunately, Eric Fisk, past President of the Wallingford Community Council and long-time Wallingford resident, has volunteered to mind the shop in my absence, so Wallyhood will continue, uninterrupted!

I also heard from a number of people who offered to submit articles on a semi-regular basis, which is fantastic both for Eric, but also for Wallyhood: it’s always been my vision that Wallyhood would be a community conversation, populated with a diverse set of voices from around the neighborhood. Hopefully, this trip and change will be the impetus to move it in that direction.

hive-mind-travel-bannerOf course, inveterate blogger that I am, I (along with my wife, Michelle) will be blogging our trip through Europe. We’ll be sharing both the sites and adventures that we have, but also insights and lessons from the road on traveling with children, “worldschooling” and education outside of the classroom, and how to cope with a dizzying constellation of food sensitivities (gluten, amines, salicylates, to name a few) on the road. I invite you to follow along on at Hive Mind Travels.

You’ll see a few ghost posts from me still to come (already written, pre-scheduled), but for now, I’m handing it over to Eric. He’ll be introducing himself shortly.

See you later!

(Back in January, David Perk announced a Legislative Climate Action Forum. He recently sent in this report of what happened, written up by Arvia Morris)

ForumAudienceThe Legislative Climate Action Forum on Saturday January 31st was engaging and well attended at Keystone Church. Approximately 100 voters learned the details of Governor Inslee’s Carbon Pollution Accountability Act (HB1314, SB5283), the Oil Safety Bill (HB1449, SB5087) and the low carbon fuel standard (executive order). Elected officials present included Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, who has also hosted several constituent meetings on the subject, as well as Brady Walkinshaw from the 43rd District. Gerry Pollet from the 46th district also came to support the event.

During the question and answer period audience members wanted to know more about how the carbon pricing bill will generate income over the decades as carbon pollution decreases and why Washington state is the center of so much additional coal and oil rail traffic. Sightline has published briefing documents which are a great source of detailed information on both these points.

The audience also asked about how the carbon pricing bill (HB1314, SB5283), would impact Eastern Washington compared to Western Washington. The panel pointed out that most of the clean energy jobs this bill and the others will create are to be located in Eastern Washington. Thus, though fuel prices will go up modestly, there will be new opportunities too. The bill also includes funds to support people who are disproportionately impacted by carbon pricing.

During ForumPanelthe training session audience members divided into smaller groups to discuss the best way to weigh in on legislation. The first thing to know is who your reps are. This is easily done by going to the web site http://leg.wa.gov. Rep. Walkinshaw let us know that for him a personal email that includes bill numbers and a specific request has the most impact. Form emails are okay, but personalized ones have more weight. We were also reminded that even if we trust that our reps share our values, it is best to write to them on issues we care about so that we communicate our priorities.

As the training concluded, audience members were encouraged to reach out to friends who live in swing districts and ask them to write both their Republican and Democratic reps so both sides of the aisle know what constituents are thinking. A final way to be effective on an issue is to respond to blog comments with links to well vetted sources of information. Providing good information on issues helps everyone make better decisions.

You can also continue to participate in this conversation by supporting the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. The Alliance is Washington State’s coalition of individuals, organizations, and businesses dedicated to reducing global warming and strengthening our economy.  Please support the Alliance by visiting and sharing our website and liking our facebook page. Other organizations who supported this event include, 350Seattle; Cascadia Climate Action; Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle; 43rd District Environmental Caucus; and Climate Solutions.

Bike Drive Results

Hey, remember how Ed Phippen said BikeWorks was collecting bikes for their program that teaches primarily disadvantaged kids through bike repair. Sounds like they did alright:

IMG_1146 IMG_1149

Hey!  We collected over 50 bikes and bike frames. Plus 6 boxes of parts and accessories. Thanks SO MUCH for your help!

Ed (and my dog Loki)

Piano Lessons, Kid to Kid

Carly writes:

Hi Neighbors. My name is Carly. I’m nearly 11 years old and have been taking playing piano for about 5 years. I have a great teacher at UW and have progressed to level Medium Difficulty 3 (MD 3). I love playing piano because it feels good and learning the language of music will last a lifetime.

I’m comfortable teaching kids 6-9 years old who wants to learn from someone who gets that you are a kid, too. I’m new at this so my rate is only $10 for 30 minutes. I teach the very popular Faber Piano Adventures Method but we can mix in some other interesting pieces as well. Lessons are at my home, near the Wallingford Center, using our a beautiful sounding Grand Piano. These are one-on-one private lessons that can be once or twice a week, as desired. Given my other responsibilities I can only take on 2 students. Parents are welcome to stay and observe.

You can hear me play a piece here:

This is a great idea to see if your child likes music. If interested please contact my dad at chris.nabinger@gmail.com.

Thanks for supporting me and Wallyhood.

:-) Carly.

Diverse Dolls and Books

Megan Lehman wrote to let us know there’s a collection drive for “diverse dolls and books”. It wraps up this week, along with Black History Month:

On a given day there are between 1,300 – 1,500 youth in foster care throughout King County and 9,000 statewide. Many of the kids in foster care are disproportionately youth of color who face unique challenges. Treehouse addresses the essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care by helping them succeed in school, fulfilling key material needs, and providing the important childhood experiences every child deserves.

IMG_5395Treehouse serves 7,000 foster youth annually. Of those 7,000 kids, 40% are African-American, 21% are white, 15% are multi-racial, almost 10% are Hispanic or Latino, and 8% are Native American. One of the key services Treehouse provides to foster families is the Wearhouse, a free store where youth and their caregivers can shop for high quality new and like-new clothing, shoes, school supplies, toys, books and other essentials.

The Wearhouse is entirely supported by generous donations from the community. When I visited the Wearhouse recently I was struck by how it felt just like a real store, with thoughtful and attractive displays, except everything in it was free. Thinking of my daughter, I admired the full wall display of new-in-the-box Barbies. But as I walked closer, I noticed that 95% of the Barbies were white-skinned.

Inside the Wearhouse, there is a cozy book nook, with enticing displays organized by age group and category. I saw many of my childhood favorites there, but did you know that only 10% of American children’s books include diverse characters? African American children’s book author and college professor, Rudine Sims Bishop address the importance of diverse books:

“When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.”

How can you help?

  • During February, plan a trip with your family to pick up an African American doll or diverse book to donate to youth in foster care (get one for yourself too!). Books can be new or gently used. Dolls should be new in the box.
  • Bring the younger siblings to a special storytime, hosted by Treehouse at Mockingbird Books, Feb 27th at 11am (free & all ages)

Where can I find African American dolls and diverse books?

  • DOLLS: Some toy stores don’t carry many African American dolls; it’s a good idea to call the store to see what’s in stock before you go. For Barbies, try Target and Toys R Us. For other kinds of dolls, try Top Ten Toys or Snapdoodles (in Redmond & Kenmore).
  • BOOKS: Find the perfect title through the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign: weneeddiversebooks.org. Mockingbird Books (7220 Woodlawn Ave NE) is partnering with this drive and will have kid-directed book displays.

Learn more at weneeddiversebooks.org and www.treehouseforkids.org

Wallingford Co-Op Preschool Open House

wallingford_main_1Allyson tells us the Wallingford Cooperative Preschool (5019 Keystone Place N, in the Keystone Congregational Church) is holding an open house tomorrow, February 24th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm:

Come meet our teachers, Kris Dickenson (new Pre3s and current 4-5s) and Christine Negron (3-4s), and see our wonderful classroom. Teachers Kris and Christine, plus current parents, will be on hand to talk and answer questions about our play-based, three-year, developmentally-focused program.

They’re currently enrolling for Fall 2015 for all classes, including Pre3s (M, W  9:30-11:30am, age 2 by Aug 31; 3-4s T, Th, F     9:15-11:45am, age 3 by Aug 31; and 4-5s M-Th 12:45-3:45pm, age 4 by Aug 31. More info at coops.northseattle.edu.

lgbtqWallingford Community Senior Center is excited to feature members of the Seattle/Bellevue PFLAG Speaker’s Bureau on Weds. Feb. 25th at 2 PM, to give a presentation designed to help grandparents understand issues facing their Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender grandkids.

“What to Do When the Grandkids Come Out” will feature stories from members of the LGBT community as well as their families and friends. Questions are encouraged at this educational event.

Would you like to better understand LGBT issues? Learn to support someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender? Hear the personal stories of LGBT individuals and family members? A panel from PFLAG, an organization of parents, families, and allies united with members of the LGBT community to move equality forward, will share their lived experiences

If you’ve ever wondered how to talk with your LGBT grandchildren or if you are LGBT and need support around coming out to your grandparents, you’re encouraged to come to this presentation and discussion.

Wallingford Community Senior Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.), Wednesday, February 25th, 2-3:30 PM

Free. To register, call 206-461-7825 or email [email protected]

For more information about this and other great programming at Wallingford Community Senior Center, visit us at: www.wallingfordseniors.org

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