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February 2020 edition of Our Renton

Renton police go high tech in training officers

Click to download the February 2020 edition of Our RentonThe health and safety of every Renton resident is the overriding priority of each of the men and women of the Renton Police Department.

To help our officers continue to provide first class service to our residents, the city has installed a state-of-the art, reality-based training system at city hall. This multi-screen system will provide officers with a fully immersive training environment allowing them to sharpen decision making and de-escalation techniques in a safe, controlled environment.

“Our residents depend on us every day to deploy the best-trained officers possible,” said Mayor Armondo Pavone, whose father served as a Renton police officer for 24 years. “This system helps us keep that promise.”

The simulator can present a variety of scenarios officers may encounter or have encountered in the past. These scenarios can also be tailored to the specific officer. Training officers can also observe in real time and provide immediate feedback.

“Re-creating what our officers might encounter while on patrol is an important part of our training and something that cannot be re-created in the classroom,” explains Police Chief Ed VanValey. “We now have a more realistic approach to our training.”

Renton officers currently receive two hours training monthly, but those trainings are not at city hall. These sessions require five to seven officers to facilitate which significantly impacts patrol and specialty units. The new system requires only one instructor and officers have access to the system 24 hours a day.

“We have seen research that shows officers trained by a simulator will make better decisions and that will result in fewer injuries to both officers and residents,” said VanValey.

The simulator is just one part of a new dedicated officer training area at city hall. The new space is double the previous and also includes a 30-person classroom and a room dedicated to teaching defensive tactics.

City to use census ambassadors

During the 2010 Census, the City of Renton was one of the most undercounted cities in King County. This lack of an accurate count cost the city much needed federal funding to support vital infrastructure and human services programs.

In preparation for the 2020 Census, the city has been working to identify and develop a group of census ambassadors who can go out into their communities and encourage census participation, hold educational sessions and staff the various question assistance centers.

Renton residents will receive their census invitations in the mail in mid-March. The city has several community-based meetings planned to make sure your census questions are answered. All meetings will be listed on the city Facebook page and on the calendar on the city’s website.

For more information, please contact Ginna Hernández, the city’s census program manager, at 425-430-7728 or ghernandez@rentonwa.gov.

Recreation areas get improvements

Construction on Sunset Park phase II is underway. Phase II will add two playground areas for ages 2–5 and 6–12, and a parent plaza with picnic tables, adult fitness area and a picnic gazebo. The park will remain closed until completion, estimated this summer.

The Cedar River trestle bridge will undergo repair work starting this spring and lasting until late summer. Work will repair timber piles, replace the timber facing and remove debris. The project is timed to comply with regulated fish-windows. The work will temporarily close access to the Cedar River Trail from Riverview Park through the Maplewood Roadside Park. During construction, pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be detoured. 

“Tommy the Turtle” is being relocated this month to his new home at Kennydale Beach Park. Tommy first came to Renton in the 1960s outside Newberry’s and Sears downtown. He then located to the Highlands Public Library before moving to his new location.

Black History Month Celebration

In celebration of Black History Month the Renton History Museum presents Black Fashionista! on March 5, from 6 to 7 p.m. Black fashion designers have contributed style-changing ideas to fashion, an industry typically dominated by white male designers. University of Washington Ph.D. candidate Victoria Thomas will share her research on pioneering African American female fashion designers, their fashion sense, and the celebrities they have styled.

The SKY Urban Empowerment and Transformation Center will celebrate the month by presenting “Re-Powering for Justice 2020” on Feb. 27, at 6:30 p.m. The center is located at 301 S. 3rd Ave.

Senior Center Speaker Series

Renton’s Senior Activity Center provides a wide range of fitness, cultural and informational programs to Renton residents 50+.

New this year is a series of presentations addressing issues important to our senior population. Held each Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the presentations will cover a wide range of topics from keeping your mind sharp and health issues, to housing and effective communications. Find out more in the Let’s Go Renton! recreation guide or at rentonwa.gov/rsac.

Downsize your garbage cart & save

The size of your curbside garbage cart determines the rate you pay for recycling, organics and garbage service. To save money and divert waste from the landfill:

  • Choose reusable items over disposable. Purchase products with no packaging or minimal packaging that is recyclable or compostable. 
    Review the new Recycling, Organics & Garbage Guide received in the mail or at republicservicesrenton.com. Always place accepted items in your recycling and organics carts.

  • Many items like clothes, electronics, Styrofoam, plastic bags and latex paint are not accepted in curbside recycling, but may be dropped off for reuse or recycling. See a quick list of drop-off locations at bit.ly/recycleresourcesrenton.

  • Replace your larger garbage cart with a smaller one. To see how much you can save, review the 2020 Solid Waste Rate Brochure at rentonwa.gov/utilityrates

Stormwater Management Program Plan needs your input

The rain that falls on our roofs, driveways and streets picks up everything it touches including motor oil, yard chemicals and pet waste. This contaminated rain water then flows into storm drains and eventually into our creeks, rivers and lakes. 

The city’s Stormwater Management Program Plan details actions and activities to help keep Renton’s waters clean and healthy. The plan meets the requirements of the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit, issued by Washington State Department of Ecology, and contains new requirements that the city must implement over a five-year (2019–2024) term.  

The plan outlines the city’s efforts to:

  • Engage the community in stormwater education and outreach, public participation and pollutant reporting.

  • Inspect public and private development sites and stormwater facilities.

  • Implement new regulatory requirements including a stormwater planning program and a source control program involving the inspection of commercial, institutional and industrial properties with pollutant generating potential.

To read and provide comments on the plan, visit rentonwa.gov/npdes.

Judge Kara Murphy Richards sworn in

Renton Municipal Court gained a second full-time jurist as Judge Kara Murphy Richards was sworn in on Jan. 16. Judge Murphy Richards has worked as judge pro-tem in the court for the past 10 years. The court’s increased caseload necessitated the addition of a full-time judge.

Reduced rates for low-income seniors

The city offers reduced rates for water, wastewater, surface water and garbage, as well as animal licenses for low-income senior citizens (61 and over) and low-income disabled citizens.

The current yearly income limit is $35,000 for one resident with an additional $5,000 per year for each additional resident. Qualified residents can find more information at rentonwa.gov/reducedrate or by calling Utility Billing Customer Service at 425-430-6852.

Kennydale Reservoir on schedule

Construction of the Kennydale reservoir is progressing smoothly toward a June 30 completion date. Once online, it will greatly improve operation of the city’s water system, increase storage for fire protection and provide a reliable water supply to meet the demand in the Kennydale area.

The reservoir will feature a mural designed by Artist Brothers Inc. of Spokane, WA.

Community Calendar

Tax Aid Program
Thru April 9, Thursday only
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
By appointment. Trained volunteers assist seniors with tax returns. Bring last year’s return. E-file only. Appointments: 425-430-6633.

Coffee with a Firefighter
Feb. 18, 9:30–11 a.m.
March 26, 9:30–11 a.m.
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
For residents 50+. Have a burning question to ask a Renton firefighter? Have coffee and conversation.

Homeless Community Resources
Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 
March 18, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
April 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Renton Library, 100 Mill Ave. S.
Free. County resource providers offer access to services for those experiencing homelessness or near-homelessness.

Newcomers Hour
Feb. 21, 10–11 a.m.
MARCH 20, 10–11 a.m.
APRIL 17, 10–11 A.M.
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
Free. Meet center staff and learn about all the exciting programs and activities available. rentonwa.gov/rsac

Mental Health First Aid
Feb. 22, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Renton Technical College
3000 NE Fourth St., Room C111
16 & up, minors with an adult. Learn to give initial aid to a person showing symptoms of mental illness or in a mental health crisis. rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7621)

Black Fashionista!
March 5, 6–7 p.m.
Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S.
Celebrate the history of Black women fashion designers and the celebrities they styled. rentonwa.gov/museum

SubUrban Farm & Garden Expo
March 7, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
North Highlands Neighborhood Center
3000 NE 16th St.
Free. Bring plants and seeds to share at the Plant n’ Seed Swap! Plus, learn about gardening, beekeeping, backyard chickens and more! 425-430-7214. info@rentonfarmersmarket.com

Mom & Son Fortnite Dance
March 13, 6–8 p.m.
Renton Community Center 1715 Maple Valley Hwy.
Ages 6 & up. It’s mom’s turn to have a special night with her little guy! Register by March 1. NR $19 / R $16,rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7930) 

Coffee with the Curator
March 21, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S.
Sparkle! curator Sarah Samson will be sharing objects from the collection that did not make it into the exhibit and offering insights into the exhibit process.

Renton City Concert Band
March 22, 2 p.m.
Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, 400 S. Second St.
Spring concert “Friends Old & New.” $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors 50 & over. rentonwa.gov/rccb

Superhero Brunch
April 4, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Renton Comm. Ctr., 1715 Maple Valley Hwy.
For superheroes 3 & up. Includes lunch and photos. Wear your superhero costume. NR $19 / R $16. rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7931)

Community Police Academy
April 14–June 16, Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m.
Renton City Hall, 1055 S. Grady Way
Ten weeks will cover all aspects of Renton Police Department. Applications due by March 6. rentonwa.gov/cpa

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Apr 23–June 6 Thursdays, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Fire Station #14, 1900 Lind Ave SW
Ages 16+, minors with adult. Learn disaster first aid, fire suppression, personal preparedness, light search & rescue, and more skills in lecture and hands-on training. NR $30 / R $25 rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7819)

Arbor Day/Earth Day
April 25, 9 a.m–12 p.m.
Jones Park, 98 Wells Ave. at Cedar River
Ages 14 & up. Volunteers needed to help plant 10–11 replacement trees. Gloves and tools provided. Register at rentonwa.gov/volunteer

Shred-A-Thon
April 25, 9 a.m–12 p.m.
Boeing S1 Lot, N. 6th St. & Logan Ave. N.
Shred up to five boxes (12–15” wide, 10” deep) of paper. Donations of canned goods will be accepted. rentonwa.gov/shredathon

Notice: The date for the Shred-a-Thon was incorrect in the February edition of Our Renton. The correct date is April 25. Time remains 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. We apologize for the error.

January 2020

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January 2020 edition of Our Renton

Renton native Armondo Pavone takes oath as mayor

Click to open the January 2020 edition of Our Renton“Wishing you all a very happy new year! Once again, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Renton Community for trusting me as your new Mayor. We all want Renton to be safe and healthy and have a welcoming atmosphere where people choose to live. I am committed to leading us in that endeavor. Together we have an amazing opportunity to make Renton evolve from a drive-through city to a “drive-to” city.

I decided to run for City Council in 2013 and then for Mayor in 2019 to continue the great work that has been done over the past decade by former Mayor Denis Law, and to give back to a community that has given so much to me and my family.

I see our future as building a more inclusive, informed city with opportunities for all. Renton is one of the most diverse communities in our region and a trusted, effective and relevant government must rely on partnership with our community to ensure that each voice is heard and respected. 

In order to accomplish our vision of creating a center of opportunity where families and businesses thrive, it will take each one of you, working alongside your city government to tackle the issues we will face in our future. We must create a city where everyone has a safe place to call home. I will be intently focused on public safety, affordable housing and promoting a vibrant economy to accomplish this. We must also boldly and aggressively work to alleviate traffic congestion on city streets that comes with Renton being a hub of vitality in the Puget Sound Region.

I want each of you to know that I am proud of the relationship and partnership that I have built with your City Council. As a former Councilmember, I have both understanding and respect for the role council plays in ensuring you have a responsive and effective government. We, as elected officials, are all committed to delivering excellent service through innovation. Our goal is that you will feel this every time you interact with one of our employees.

It is also my goal to be out and about in the community and connect with you in several ways. It is my pleasure to launch “Our Renton.” Please also subscribe to my weekly digital newsletter and other city social media channels for up-to-date news and event information.”

Armondo Pavone, Mayor

Denis Law and Don Persson retire

Duo served for a total of 69 years

It was the end of an era as both Mayor Denis Law and City

Councilmember Don Persson retired Dec. 31 after a combined 69 years of distinguished service to the City of Renton.

Mayor Law stepped down as the only three-term mayor in the city’s history. The mayor will be remembered for his commitment to public safety, customer service, economic vitality and inclusion. Under his leadership the city rebounded from the economic recession to see a dramatic increase in investment. He also started redevelopment of the downtown and Sunset areas, raised funds for the Family First Community Center and made Renton a home for world-class healthcare.

The city became recognized across the country for implementing programs to make all residents feel welcome and provide opportunities for all. 

Councilmember Persson retired after 53 years of service to the city, the first 33 as a member of Renton Police Department and the last 20 on the city council. He was known to friends and colleagues as a tireless and selfless giver of his time and energy to civic causes. “Don has led the way for the rest of us in terms of dedicating our time and service to the city,” said Mayor Armondo Pavone. Mr. Persson was instrumental in the establishment of Renton River Days, Communities In Schools of Renton, REACH (Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches) and the annual Thanksgiving dinner for seniors.

Tribute videos to both are available at rentonwa.gov/youtube.

Winter preparations

Preparing for winter weather is something the city takes very seriously. Public Works staff spend hours preparing heavy machinery to de-ice, plow and sand streets; emergency management staff monitor and report conditions; and community services and police look out for the most vulnerable in our city. If winter weather hits, city crews will be ready.
For more on city preparations, including pre-treatment techniques, snow routes and weather tips, watch our winter preparations video at rentonwa.gov/inclement.

Visit rentonwa.gov/recycle for more details. For updates during an inclement weather situation, follow the City of Renton on social media or visit republicservices.com/renton.

Tree Recycling

Renton residents may compost natural holiday trees for free. Trees should be in 6-feet or shorter sections and free of lights, decorations and flocking. For those in apartments and condominiums place trees in a central location as designated by the property manager and they will be picked up from Jan. 2 to 15. For more information, contact Republic Services at 206-777-6440 or visit rentonwa.gov/multifamily.

City Council welcomes two new members

2020 committee assignments set

Valerie O’Halloran and Kim-Khánh Văn are the two newest members of the Renton City Council.

Ms. O’Halloran was elected to position 3 and Ms. Văn to position 7 in November. Councilmembers still have to fill the seat vacated by new Mayor Armondo Pavone. Ruth Pérez will serve as Council President in 2020 and Randy Corman will serve as the President Pro-Tem.

Community Services (1st Monday, 5 p.m.) Kim-Khánh Văn, Chair; Ed Prince, Vice Chair; Council Position 2, Member

Transportation (1st & 3rd Mondays, 5:30 p.m.) Ryan McIrvin, Chair; Randy Corman, Vice Chair; Kim-Khánh Văn, Member

Finance (2nd & 4th Mondays, 4 p.m.) Ed Prince, Chair; Kim-Khánh Văn, Vice Chair; Valerie O’Halloran, Member

Planning & Development (2nd & 4th Mondays, 5 p.m.) Randy Corman, Chair; Ryan McIrvin, Vice Chair; Ed Prince, Member

Public Safety (3rd Monday, 4:30 p.m.) Council Position 2, Chair; Valerie O’Halloran, Vice Chair; Randy Corman, Member

Utilities (3rd Monday, 5 p.m.) Valerie O’Halloran, Chair; Council Position 2, Vice Chair; Ryan McIrvin, Member

Information on the City Council can be found at rentonwa.gov/council.

Census 2020

Census data affects projects such as public housing, highway construction, Head Start, Medicaid and Medicare

In March Renton households will receive an invitation to take part in the 2020 Census. Completing the census form is vital to Renton’s future. Census data is used to distribute federal funds for such projects as public housing, highway construction, Head Start, Medicaid and Medicare and an undercount of residents will lessen that funding. 

Estimates show that for every 100 households that are not counted in Washington in 2020, the state will miss out on approximately $5.8 million in federal aid severely affecting support for children, veterans, senior citizens and middle- and low-income families.

Census data is also used to determine representation in Congress (Washington state gained one seat in 2010) and businesses use it when deciding where to invest and create jobs.

Taking the census is easy. It asks only 10 questions about the individuals living in your home as of April 1 and you can respond online, by phone or by mail in the postage-paid envelope. All data collected is confidential.
If you have questions, please visit our 2020 Census page at rentonwa.gov/2020census. Included among the information are videos in English and Hindi explaining the process.

Community Calendar

City Facilities Closed
January 20

Sparkle
thru April 4
Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S.
Explore why Rentonites have worn clothing embellished with sequins, beads, rhinestones and feathers.

Winter Tournament 
Series #4, Medal Play
Jan. 11, 9 A.M. 
Maplewood Golf Course
4050 Maple Valley Hwy.
Shotgun start. Open to all players with verifiable handicap. Call for details or to register. 425-430-6800

Greenhouse Gardening
Jan. 14–July 5
N. First St. and Williams Ave. N.
14 & up. Maintain and water your own plants. 
Plants must be started from seed in greenhouse. Water provided. 4’ x 3’. Limit 2 per household. $34R/$40NR. rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7633)

Homeless Community Resources
Jan. 15, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Renton Library, 100 Mill Ave. S.
Free. County resource providers provide access to services for those experiencing homelessness or near-homelessness.

Newcomers Hour
Jan. 17, 10–11 A.M.
Feb. 21, 10–11 A.M.
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
Free. Meet center staff and learn about all the exciting programs and activities available. rentonwa.gov/rsac

Coffee with a Firefighter
Jan. 22, 9:30–11 A.M.
FEB. 18, 9:30–11 A.M.
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
Have a burning question to ask a Renton firefighter? Have coffee and conversation.

Hoop Shoot
Jan. 26, 2–4:30 P.M.
Renton Community Center
1715 Maple Valley Hwy.
A fun free throw competition! Ages 6–14 compete in separate age and gender divisions. Prizes awarded to the top three in each division. rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7795)

Coffee with a Cop
Jan. 29, 9:30–11 A.M.
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
Connect with officers in a relaxed, informal setting.

Basics of Fermentation
Feb. 4, 6–7:30 P.M.
Renton Technical College, 3000 NE Fourth St.
13 & up, minors must be accompanied by an adult. Learn basics of brining and fermenting vegetables. $5 donation encouraged. rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7620)

Tax Aid Program
Feb. 6–April 9, Thursdays only
Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave. N.
By appointment. Trained volunteers assist seniors with tax returns. Bring last year’s return. E-file only. Appointments: 425-430-6633.

Mental Health First Aid
Feb. 22, 8 a.m.–5 P.M.
Renton Technical College
3000 NE Fourth St., Room C111
16 & up, minors must be accompanied by an adult. Learn to give initial aid to a person showing symptoms of mental illness or in a mental health crisis. rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7621)

SubUrban Farm & Garden Expo
March 7, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
N. Highlands Neighborhood Center
3000 NE 16th St.
Free. Bring plants and seeds to share at the Plant n’ Seed Swap! Plus, learn about gardening, beekeeping, backyard chickens and more! 425-430-7214. info@rentonfarmersmarket.com

Mom & Son Fortnite Dance
March 13, 6–8 P.M.
Renton Community Center
1715 Maple Valley Hwy.
Ages 6 & up. It’s mom’s turn to have a special night with her little guy! Register by March 1. $16R/$19NR, rentonwa.gov/recreation (#7930) 

Coffee with the Curator
March 21, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S.
Sparkle! curator Sarah Samson will be sharing objects from the collection that did not make it into the exhibit and offering insights into the exhibit process.

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