Over the past several years, the landscaping at the “Welcome to Kennydale” sign next to the ARCO station became unsightly and in need of sprucing up. Starting in mid-March, KNA members Graham Dougherty, Rajendra Agrawaal, Darius & Vicki Richards and Alison Harter devoted their time over several days to remove weeds, level the ground, and install landscaping fabric in a 1,000 square foot area around the “Welcome” sign.
Coincidentally during this time, the KNA Board became aware that Troops 441, 443 and 444 of the Boy Scouts of America were planning a fundraiser for March 21st, in which they would deliver and spread beauty bark for a nominal cost. KNA immediately ordered 10 cubic yards, and also arranged for a 50-50 split of the cost with Imad Abu Alya, owner of the ARCO station and also the property on which the sign sits.
On the very rainy morning of March 21, the Scouts and their advisers arrived with the beauty bark and, joined by KNA representatives Rajendra Agrawaal and Anthony Ramos, did a first-class job of installing the bark.
Special thanks are due to all who are mentioned above, and also to the Scouts’ representative Laska Whiteaker, who did an excellent job of handling all the business arrangements to make this a successful endeavor for KNA, the residents of Kennydale, and the Scouts!
As those of you who have been directly affected are aware, Kennydale has been experiencing an increase in a variety of crimes over the past several months. Much of this occurred in lower Kennydale, but no area in our neighborhood has been immune from problems. Starting during the recent Christmas season, mail theft was the crime of choice, involving the theft of packages off of front porches and thefts from mail boxes, including the so-called locking ones.
In mid-February, there was a rash of problems at homes along the lakeshore, including the theft of an outboard motor from a boat parked on the street, theft of tires off another boat trailer, theft of an entire boat trailer, also home invasions at three residences, including one where the occupants were severely beaten, a burglary at another home, several vehicle prowls, etc. In another situation, a person showed up at a resident’s door offering “window washing services”. The individual didn’t appear to have any vehicle, tools, business cards or any other evidence that he was actually a bona fide worker. Following these occurrences, several neighbors joined together to study images from several video cameras and one cell phone, and passed this valuable information on to the Renton Police Dept.
Those of you who are regular attendees at the Kennydale Neighborhood Association’s quarterly meetings have heard Cyndie Parks, the Police Dept’s. Crime Prevention Officer, speak on how you can protect yourselves. Here are a few of things we have learned:
1) Install lights by all exterior doors, and the motion detecting type at front and garage doors
2) Trim shrubs back from doors and windows
3) Don’t leave exterior lights on during the daytime; that suggests that you are away from home
4) Always close your garage door, and cover “view” windows so that no one can see inside
5) Always lock your doors and windows, even when you’re at home
6) Do not hide keys outside; leave them with a trusted neighbor
7) Add drop bars, wooden dowels, or pinning devices to windows and sliding glass doors
8) Take outgoing mail directly to the post office or a blue Postal pick-up box
9) Never let strangers into your home. If someone knocks, answer them through a closed, locked door and keep it locked until you verify that they have legitimate business with you.
10) Consider installing a residential alarm system
While on vacation:
11) Place a radio and interior lights on timers; also, put mail and newspapers on hold
12) Ask your trusted neighbor to pick up any packages or fliers from your driveway or porch
13) Sign up with the Renton P.D.’s Vacation House Check Program (425-430-7571 or www.rentonwa.gov
For a complete list of residential burglary prevention tips, contact KNA at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Understand that Renton Police officers cannot provide special emphasis patrols in Kennydale full time – all the time. As Officer Parks notes, “It falls upon those who live in a neighborhood to be vigilant and to remember: Utilizing 911 as a resource tool as opposed to an emergency-only number is incredibly important. Reporting suspicious activity can make a very big difference when it comes to deterring criminal activity – please be a heavy handed 911 caller. All neighborhoods go through fluxes and flows of criminal/suspicious activity; so it’s important to always be prepared”.
Finally, if you have never set up a Block Watch on your street, or if yours has become inactive, please call Cyndie Parks at 425-430-7521 to get one established or reinvigorated!
Each year, the Renton Community Services Dept. and the Parks Dept. conduct a celebration of these two days by hosting an enhancement project at one of Renton’s parks or other public areas. Typically, about 200 citizens from throughout Renton turn out.
This year’s activity will again take place at Kennydale’s Gene Coulon Beach Park, on Saturday, April 25th, at 9:30 am – 1:00 pm (check in at 9:00 am). The Parks Dept. staff will have a variety of projects lined up, including planting of native trees and shrubs, and other easy tasks. At the conclusion of the projects (around noon), a lunch will be served! Volunteers should dress for whatever weather we have that day, and it’s a good idea to bring a suitable pair of work gloves. All tools will be provided by the Parks Dept.
Please call the Renton Community Services Dept. at 425-430-6600 to register (and be sure to mention that you are a Kennydale resident). You can also register at the event, but it helps the event planners if you do it earlier. Minors 17 years and younger must have a “Permission Form” signed by a parent or guardian, and minors 14 and younger must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Permission forms will be available at the sign-in table, or you can contact KNA before the event at email@example.com and we will send you a blank form by email.
We invite you to join with your family, friends or co-workers and participate in this event. You will find it to be a very rewarding experience, and the results of your efforts will be very visible and much appreciated by all who utilize the park….which is most all of us here in Kennydale!
Plan now for the annual garage sale, organized by the Kennydale Neighborhood Association. We encourage all residents to participate: set up a sale at your home, put out signs, and look forward to the substantial crowds that this sale always attracts. In 2014, over 50 families participated; the weather was very nice, and we saw a good amount of traffic throughout the neighborhood. KNA is supporting this event by placing ads in the Little Nickle and on Craigslist. We are also placing flyers at local business, and announcing the event on our website, www.kennydale.org as well as on A-Boards placed at all the entry points into Kennydale. Also, we will deliver a red balloon to each seller,which you can place at the front of your yard for better visibility of your sale.
This is a great opportunity to make a few $$$, set out items that are of no use to you but may be highly desired by others….and clean out your closets, attic, garage and basement. And of course, you will want to go over to your neighbors’ and see what goodies they have for sale! Have fun, and have a great sale!
Rajendra Agrawaal, Garage Sale Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
The Renton Senior Center, located near downtown Renton at 211 Burnett Ave. N., has been in operation since 1974 and provides people 55 and over with a home away from home. It includes a coffee shop, many activities including planned trips, crafts, exercise groups and interesting classes that suit a wide range of people. You can read more about upcoming e vents in the summer edition of Renton’s What’s Happening magazine.
If you plan on retiring soon and wonder about additional ways to use your time and talents, consider volunteering in your community. The Senior Center is always looking for volunteers, so do think about giving the Center a call at 425-430-4469 if you are interested in learning more. As a retired nurse, I wanted to utilize my training in ways that would benefit seniors, so now I take blood pressure readings every week. I also am enjoying the opportunity to work with others and to serve on the Renton Senior Center Advisory Board.
-Vicki Richards, President, Kennydale Neighborhood Association
Tuesday, April 28th, 6:45 pm* At Kennydale Elementary School, 1700 NE 28th Street
Special Guest Speakers
Denis Law – Mayor of Renton Mayor Law will provide overviews on:
· The variety of services that the City provides to its citizens and how priorities are established
· Where we are today in terms of our financial health and our ongoing revenue challenges
· Current development activity that is underway or planned in the near future
· Projects along Lake Washington Blvd. and how the City is addressing traffic and other growth-related impacts
Dr. Merri Rieger – Renton Schools Superintendent Dr. Rieger will share information on the District-wide needs for additional student learning space, including:
· Initial planning for a new elementary school in north Renton
· Work being done by the Building for a Lifetime of Learning Bond/Levy Committee
· An update on construction of the new middle school in Newcastle
Dr. Rieger will also share insights on how the District is preparing students for their futures
All Kennydale residents are invited to attend this Quarterly Meeting, and we encourage your participation in the Q&A Sessions that will follow both presentations!
* Check-in, enjoy some refreshments and socialize with your neighbors at 6:45 pm; meeting starts promptly at 7:00 pm.
I DON’T REMEMBER the first two school buildings here, actually being too young for that. The first classes were held upstairs in Arey’s store, which was across from the present site on what is now North 30th Street. The second was like a boxcar on the present site that served grades 1 through 12. My school was also on the present location, facing north with most of its yard to the west and south. This was a three story building; photos of it can be seen in the fellowship hall at Kennydale United Methodist Church and possibly in the PTA’s archives. The building had a play area and restrooms in the first level, one flight up stairs to a good sized hall leading into four classrooms, each with a “cloakroom”, and another flight up to an auditorium with stage, a kitchen, bookroom and several catch-all areas. The large auditorium had been used for dances in earlier years, but I do remember well the elaborate 8th Grade graduation ceremonies, with flowers and fernery on the stage. We actually wiped out the maidenhair ferns near the trail across the street leading down to May Creek. During my 8th year, another school was being built along Kennewick, which somehow left us with no place to play except the small front yard. It was rather embarrassing to hit balls through the windows, but it happened often.
Lower Kennydale students walked to school, but upper Kennydale had a bus part of the time, privately run, that must have been on contract. The Low-downers also had a post office, while we were on RFD #2 (Rural Free Delivery). Sometimes, our mailman, Mr. Day, actually let us ride on his car’s running board. Of course, we could always walk, and often did.
The only sport we had besides some games like squares, hopscotch and cops & robbers for the younger ones was playing ball. Softball was my league, but I believe the older boys played real baseball, because my brother played with an American Legion sponsored team that won the Pacific Northwest Championship when he was in his teens. Baseball was not a Renton High sport for many years.
We had some excellent teachers. This was way back in the time when we first learned the sound of letters and then put combinations together. A few boys spent another year in the first grade, as learning was considered more important than our egos. Discipline was evident, but not all that strict. Also, if you were in trouble at school, you were also in trouble at home. Our fifth and sixth grade teacher was very demanding, probably unusually so. She had us memorizing lengthy poetry such as “The Barefoot Boy” over one night. Orders were orders, so I thought I had to carry on, but it was not easy. No one who ever had Miss Crane for a teacher would ever forget her legacy. On the other hand, occasionally we got to leave class in order to wash her car.
By our eighth grade, we had a new principal. It was actually a year of fun for the most part. One time he decided that we would stay after school for talking during class, and as a result found that he was spending every day after school in order to be in control. Did we know what we were doing? Oh, yes! My worst memory of grade school was the year the seventh and eighth grades were too large to be in the same room. My fourth grade class was placed with the eighth, and we had to compete with them. You could pick the slowest of them and they beat us by a mile every time. That didn’t do much for our delicate little egos.
Renton had two weekly newspapers, the Renton Chronicle and the Renton News Record. Our nearest neighbor wrote for one of the Renton publications---who visited, who had a party, really important events. We knew practically everyone in our vicinity and often borrowed something needed. No one ever ran to the store. Obviously there was no second car around, and no bus service. Nor was there any traffic!
Editor’s note: This is the third in an on-going series of articles by Pauline Kirkman, who is kindly serving as KNA’s official Historian.
KNA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Kennydale and fostering community spirit.