News Gleams: School Board Director Throws Lucky Pitch for Beach, Art Hackers Unite, and City Seeking Volunteers for Renter’s Commission

collected by Antonio Foster

School Board Director Delivers First Pitch, Good Luck to Rainier Beach High Baseball Team

The Rainier Beach High School baseball team hosted Seattle Public School District Board Director Betty Patu on Saturday. The District 7 (South Seattle) representative threw out the first pitch during the team’s game against the Foster High Bulldogs. Apparently, Patu also delivered a good luck charm as the Vikings clobbered Foster 13 to 0, bringing the team’s record to 3 and 6 on the season.

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Betty Patu with members of the  Rainier Beach High School baseball team. [Photo: Susan Fried]
Hillman City Drop-In Center Extends Service

This week the Hillman City Collaboratory began extended days and hours that people can drop in for a free meal, clothing, or a place to commune. Its Drop-In Center, which originally operated for three days out of the week, will now run from 9am to 2pm, Monday through Friday. The Collaboratory is located at 5623 Rainier Avenue South.


Columbia and Hillman Cities Want to Unite “Art Hackers”

Columbia and Hillman Cities are joining forces in attempting to become Seattle’s next Arts and Cultural District. Community members want to create an Arts Walking Tour – an interactive arts & culture themed audio tour and digital experience for residents and newcomers.

To further that goal, they’re hosting a one-day Arts Hackathon, with the purpose of creating a prototype of the Arts Walking Tour in a single day, with as much community input as possible. In addition to the Hackathon, which requires preregistration and a 5-hour commitment from participants, there will also be an Arts Salon for the public to drop in and share stories.

The Arts Hackathon will see up to 25 Hackathon participants break into 5 teams, each with 3 hours to accomplish an assigned task. The teams are: Website/App Development, Audio & Narration, Design, Marketing, and Logistics. After a break with pizza and beer, each team will present their work for feedback.

The day will also feature an Arts Salon open to the public consisting of a photo booth, a giant map for people to write their favorite South Seattle haunts on, and an audio station to record their personal stories.

More information can be obtained by emailing  or  visiting Arts Hackathon FB Event.


Volunteers Sought for Newly Established Renter’s Commission

The City of Seattle is seeking community members to serve on the Seattle Renters’ Commission (SRC). Established by ordinance in March, the SRC will advise the City on policies and issues of interest to renters citywide.

The Commission is composed of 15 members, with six appointed by City Council, six by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and one position filled by a young adult through the Get Engaged program. Two positions are selected by the SRC once established. There is no compensation for serving on the commission.

Officials are hoping to fill the posts with a variety of Seattle renters including students, low-income renters, LGBTQ renters, people with past felony convictions, people in subsidized housing, and those who have experienced homelessness. It’s also expected that members be geographically representative of Seattle.

Those interested in serving on the commission can complete an online application by Monday, May 1 by 5 p.m. Those unable to complete an application online, can contact Seferiana Day at (206) 684-8806 to have a paper one mailed.  Applications can also be picked up at the Seattle City Council main office – Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd floor, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also learn more on the Seattle Renters’ Commission’s website.


Merchants Association Announces New Community Business Manager

The Rainier Beach Merchants Association has announced Phyllis Porter as their new Community Business Manager.

Porter has been a community and open space activist, previously working with Rainier Valley Greenways, and Cascade Bicycle Club.

She has also worked as a Community Partner with Seattle Department of Transportation through Bike Works for the Safe Routes to Schools program.

Porter replaces Maia Segura in the part-time position which supports awareness and patronage of Rainier Beach based businesses. The position is funded by the Seattle Office of Economic Development’s Only in Seattle grant.


Featured image: Susan Fried