PNA Village information event set for next week

The team at Sunset Hill Community Association are hosting a free information evening about the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) Village program on Wednesday, May 10, from 7 p.m.

Locals are invited to come learn about the important program that supports elderly neighbors in staying in their homes. Attendees can find out how they can help keep Ballard an active and intergenerational community.

The event will be held at the Sunset Hill Clubhouse (3003 NW 66th St)

Click here to learn more about the PNA Village.

Ballard Historical Society event set for this month

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.14.56 PM

Sunset Hill Community Association (3003 NW 66th St) will host Ballard Historical Society on Wednesday, April 19, for a special event focusing on the role of the Lake Washington Ship Canal over the past century.

Author David B. Williams will inform locals about what drove civic leaders to plan a waterway in a city already surrounded by water.Williams is the author of Waterway, out this year from HistoryLink (other authors include Jennifer Ott and the staff of HistoryLink). Williams is also author of Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography. Learn about this and other titles at his website.

“This is a great event for those who interested in Seattle history and the economic and environmental effects of man-made changes in our region,” says Kris Collins from Ballard Historical Society.

The event will kick of at 7 p.m. and light refreshments will be served. The event is open to the public and donations are welcome to cover the costs of the program.

Mike O’Brien to speak at SHCA general election

City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is set to speak at the annual general election of the Sunset Hill Community Association (SHCA- 3003 NW 66th Street) on Monday, January 25.

Councilmember O’Brien will speak about the plans for the local area before attendees are entertained by a short program from the Ballard Civic Orchestra.

All are welcome to attend to cast their ballots for the SHCA Board.

Light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Neighbors debate future of Sunset Hill Community Association

By Aaron Gordon

Ballard residents want to preserve the Sunset Hill Community Association clubhouse, as shown by the avid support at the yesterday’s membership meeting.

The iconic community building has struggled significantly over the past few years. Membership has decreased and fewer groups have rented out the space.

“We’ve been hovering,” said Robert Drucker, past president of the association. “At this rate we will continue to break even for a few years, but barely.”

The board felt like the future of the SHCA should be placed before the community.

While the outcome of the meeting was in favor of preserving the clubhouse, community members felt like SHCA needed to improve its communication with residents and its rental policy in order to help the association get out of its rut.

Maureen Brink-lund, another former president of SHCA, expressed frustration over how the group sends out emails without any number to contact for follow-up questions. Furthermore, it sometimes excludes nonmembers from responding to the emails. “That is so rude,” said Brink-lund to the board.

Other community members suggested that the organization update its website and Facebook page more regularly.

Kara Main-Hester, a Ballard resident, suggested that SHCA redesign their rental policy and procedure. “It’s a call-in system, so you leave a message and basically play phone tag,” she said. “It’s also quite expensive. These two things combined definitely detract renters.”

One resident recalled wanting to rent out the space for her son’s birthday but not being able to pay the large rental fee. Another attendee suggested that the organization offer a sliding scale for fees.

While the clubhouse has always primarily supported itself through renting, many community members want to see the SHCA programs flourish more.

Babette Saltzman would like to see cooking and canning activities offered at the clubhouse. “Food brings people together,” she said.

Lilian Riley, a Ballard resident for 54 years, said the SHCA clubhouse has been used for everything from weddings, graduation parties and movie nights, to community support groups during times of financial hardship. “It could be used for hard times again, but it just takes energy and organization,” she said.

Lastly, attendees felt like the organization needed to define its mission more clearly. They seemed to agree that while rental fees support the clubhouse financially, the community programs are what give the building a reason to exist.

“Turns out there is a lot of interest in the association and the building after all,” said Lois Spiegel, current president of Sunset Hill Community Association.

To rent out the SHCA clubhouse, click here .

(Contributor Aaron Gordon is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communications News Laboratory.)

Reminder: Sunset Hill Community Association special meeting today

The future of the Sunset Hill Community Association is the topic of a special membership meeting today.

From their website:

The Sunset Hill Community Association Board of Trustees is asking all of our members to help determine the future of SHCA.

Our revenue is decreasing, our expenses are increasing, and we don’t have enough actively involved members to accomplish all the tasks associated with running SHCA.

We need to hear your opinion whether the Association still has a role to play in the community. At this general meeting, we can openly address the state of the Association and what we can do to achieve sustainability.

Our questions to you: Can this organization survive as a viable business? Should we change our model of operation, make hard decisions regarding the future of the facility, and perhaps close or sell the clubhouse?

The meeting is from 3 to 5 p.m. today at the Sunset Hill Community Association clubhouse at 3003 NW 66th Street. Membership is open to anyone, but voting members must reside in the area between NW Market Street and NW 85th Street, from Puget Sound to 24th Avenue NW.

Disaster planning for the family & neighborhood

On Wednesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sunset Hill Community Association (3033 NW 66th St), residents can learn how to be better prepared if a disaster strikes. Debbie Goetz with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management will do a presentation on how to respond to a disaster as a household and neighborhood. She will have handouts, disaster kit information and displays. Raffle tickets will be on sale for $2 to win one of ten Red Cross First Aid and Emergency books.

Help design a new Sunset Hill park tonight

Just behind Picolino’s at 65th & 32nd sits a little plot of land that the Sunset Hill Community Association is hoping will become the area’s newest park.

Back in November, a group of neighbors was awarded a nearly $15,000 grant from the Department of Neighborhoods to study the feasibility of turning the substation land into a public space. “Our idea is that this new park could have a serious array of photovoltaic modules, generating electricity and feeding it into the grid. We’re not talking about a demonstration project; we’re talking about a real, functioning part of the city’s energy infrastructure,” Robert Drucker, the president of the SHCA emailed us, “Below the modules we are proposing a park, and what that park will look like is the subject of Tuesday’s meeting.”

CAST Architecture from Fremont has been hired to help design the area. “They are a young and very creative firm, and they are coming on Tuesday to facilitate the workshop. After introductions and some technical sharing at 6:30pm, we’re going to break into small groups to design a park!” Drucker says.

The meeting will be held at the Sunset Hill Community Club (3003 NW 66th St) tonight from 6:30 to 8:30. “We’re serving refreshments as an added attraction,” Drucker adds. To keep up to date on the project, you can check out the new Sunset Substation blog.