Entries from February 2011
February 25th, 2011 by Kate Bergman
Because of budget cuts, Seattle Parks and Recreation will have to cut back the number of wading pools that are open this again summer. So Parks is looking for “partners” to help fund some wading pools.
Seattle Parks currently has 25 wading pools, but 10 will close because of budget problems. (However, three of those are being converted to water spray parks, which don’t require staffing.) That leaves five wading pools that will be open seven days a week, and another 10 open three days a week.
Parks hopes to expand the schedule to increase family recreational opportunities in a way that is economically and geographically equitable. Some communities may be more organized or have different access to funding sources, so Parks would pair wading pools as a way to ensure balanced and equal recreational opportunities across our city. Under this partnership, Parks would keep the wading pool open one additional day each week in the neighborhood from which the funds came, and Parks would select a second site that the contribution would fund as well.
· Sponsoring two wading pools one day per week through the summer at a cost of $8,800
· Sponsoring two wading pools for three days per week during the last two weeks of summer at a cost of $6,600
· Sponsoring a one day wading pool operation for a special event at a cost of $650
· Receiving recognition on the Seattle Parks and Recreation website
· Sponsoring an unfunded wading pool three days per week through the summer
For more information, or for organizations interested in a partnership with Parks and Recreation to provide more access to wading pools this summer, please contact Bill Dougherty, 206-684-7185, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kathy Whitman, 206-684-7099, email@example.com, no later than May 1, 2011.
February 15th, 2011 by Kate Bergman
The SR 520 “Good To Go!” campaign kicked off today at University Village. Starting this spring, tolls will be collected using the Good To Go! electronic tolling system, which allows tolls to be collected without stopping or slowing. There will be no traditional toll booths.
“Tolling is a critical funding source for replacing the vulnerable 520 bridge,” Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said. “Starting tolling this spring helps keep project costs down while improving the safety and reliability of this vital corridor. The funds help us begin pontoon construction in Grays Harbor for a replacement bridge and improvements on the Eastside starting next month.”
At today’s event, WSDOT officials announced that drivers will receive a $10 credit towards SR 520 tolls if they purchase a Good To Go! Pass and activate an account by April 15. Starting this Friday, Friday, February 18, the Standard Sticker pass, costing $5, will be available at 84 participating Safeway stores throughout Puget Sound.
Get more information and purchase your Good To Go! pass here.
February 15th, 2011 by Kate Bergman
Right now parents who have children in full-day kindergarten are charged $207 each month of the school year. With an estimated $35 million budget gap for next year, Seattle Public Schools wants to know what you think about raising that rate to $310.
Although SPS will continue to accept survey responses through Friday, those filled out by Wednesday at 3 p.m. will be reviewed by the School Board during their work session that evening.
The state of Washington funds only half-day kindergarten (there are a few exceptions to this for high poverty schools). For many years our district has added funding for a further half day to ensure there would be one full day kindergarten available in every school. Over the years schools added “pay for K” programs as more and more families wanted full day K for their children. For the 2010-11 school year, we implemented a standard $207 per month Pay for K program across the district. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch receive tuition waivers.
With the severe budget crisis, we are considering various options to balance the budget and one is related to Kindergarten services. We want your feedback about these options. Thank you.