Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Grants & Funding’ Category

New UW study assesses “net benefits” in African malaria fight

by Matt Rosenberg September 21st, 2011

SUMMARY: Working with U.S. and African colleagues, researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute For Health Metrics and Evaluation, in Seattle, integrated data from several dozen qualifiying health surveys in malaria-prone Sub-Saharan Africa and found that the use of Insecticide-Treated Nets helped actually reduce parasitemia and death in young children to a significantly greater degree than previously estimated in clinical trials. Their research, recently published in a peer-reviewed “open access” (online, free) medical journal and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, concludes that the use of the treated nets should be continued and expanded in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of the world’s one million annual deaths from the parasitic disease of malaria occur.

Seattle Police memo: body cameras easier said than done, now

by Matt Rosenberg September 7th, 2011

SUMMARY: In a report to be presented Sept. 8 to a Seattle City Council committee, Seattle Police say they haven’t begun to test four body-mounted cameras on police officers as directed but that the SPD training unit has done preliminary testing of one camera. Police verified that today. The cameras would record images and sound of police interactions with the public. Police say that in the one-camera test to date, serious problems are evident with the usefulness of the video footage if officers are moving. Police also stress in their report advice from city lawyers on the need to change state law to allow audio recording of citizens without their express consent. That’s not allowed currently. Police note community concerns are another issue, reporting that various stakeholders say citizens should be asked for their consent to recordings regardless of what state law says. Field testing is planned for body cameras on motorcycle traffic officers, with prior consent of citizens required before recording. Funding of a wide-scale Seattle Police body camera pilot program also poses major challenges, police say. A sought-after federal grant has failed to materialize due to U.S. budget constraints. Additionally, the police officers labor union would have to approve widespread use of body cameras, in a new contract now being negotiated.

Shoreline native leads nonprofit transforming drug-wracked Guineau-Bissau, one student at a time

by Melissa Steffan August 12th, 2011

Editor’s note: Public Data Ferret’s “mother blog” site Social Capital Review periodically profiles noteworthy nonprofits or community initiatives with ties to our base coverage area of Western Washington.

One Seattle-based nonprofit with a big heart and a Christian mission is making a difference in one of Africa’s smallest countries.

Headed by Shoreline native and former Fresno Bee reporter Chris Collins, West African Vocational Schools reaches out to young people in Guinea Bissau, a poor country rife with political violence and drug cartels.

WAVS student in auto repair class/WAVS

WAVS is founded on the belief that outside aid alone will not overcome the widespread poverty and instability; instead, the organization believes that educated leaders must transform Guinea-Bissau from within, Collins said in a phone interview.

“WAVS … is really encouraging ethical practices, people who are dedicated to investing in their country,” he said. “The people who are graduating are instilled with skills to be successful, but also ideals to make them strong leaders in the country.”

WAVS runs a school in Canchungo, a city that serves as a regional hub for many other villages, where over 100 students learn important employability skills such as sewing, computer basics, English and auto mechanics.

Enumclaw finalizes $900,000 public-private funding package for new multi-use sports field

by Kyle Kim July 18th, 2011

SUMMARY: The city of Enumclaw passed an ordinance last week to accept a $300,000 state grant that completes a public-private funding package for a $900,000 project at the Enumclaw Expo Center complex, where a poorly-draining and deteriorated natural turf football field at Pete’s Pool will be replaced with a multi-purpose artificial turf surface. The Recreation and Conservation Office of Washington State awarded the grant conditioned on a double-match amount being raised from other sources. Your Enumclaw Area Stadium (YEAS), the non-profit group in charge of fundraising for the project, has secured the necessary matching funds for the RCO grant, city public works director Chris Searcy said. Slightly more than half, or $325,000 of the $600,000 match required for the RCO grant came via previous grants from the National Football League and King County. The remaining $275,000 of the double-match funding comes from cash donations ($175,000) and in-kind donations of labor, construction equipment and materials ($100,000) Searcy said. The majority of the project’s construction started July 6 and is expected to be finished by August.

Downtown Seattle design firm wins $15 million Navy contract

by Matt Rosenberg July 11th, 2011

SUMMARY: The downtown Seattle firm Makers Architecture and Urban Design has won a $15 million contract from the San Diego-based Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest to provide “project planning documents, plans, studies, geo-spatial information and service, global positioning system services and other services” at Navy and Marine Corps locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The unit  is one of 10 naval facilities engineering commands which contracts with vendors who deliver housing, piers, airfields, and hospitals at Navy and Marine Corps sites; plus services such as transportation, maintenance, utilities and energy, facilities management and base operations.

GAO: Aid contracts to Afghani vendors require stricter review

by Melissa Steffan June 27th, 2011

SUMMARY: According to a June 2011 United States Government Accountability Office report, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. government aid contracts to non-U.S. organizations in Afghanistan were not evaluated to determine possible criminal affiliations prior to contract approval. Such contracts totaled nearly $11 billion in 2010. The GAO found that the Department of Defense (DOD), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the State Department – the agencies that award aid contracts – have no formal process for vetting potential non-U.S. vendors. As a result of this study, the GAO recommended that all three agencies develop a shared “vetting” process that would examine “available background and intelligence information” to verify a vendor’s likelihood of criminal or terrorist affiliations.

June 10 screening accents video storytelling, healthy communities

by Matt Rosenberg June 1st, 2011

Get an in-person look 6 p.m. June 10th in the Chinatown Community Center at grassroots videos by South Seattle residents on nutrition and health, which are featured in an innovative digital storytelling public health campaign that will utilize online mapping and collaboration with Seattle neighborhood groups. The videos feature stakeholders from The International District, Georgetown, West Seattle, White Center, South Park, and other South Seattle neighborhoods telling their own stories about starting community gardens, finding youth sports programs for low-income families, green space and exercise, smoking and other prevention and health topics. The June 10 screening coincides with an open house at the center, and refreshments will be provided. There will be Q & A with the video producers and organizers welcome suggestions from attendees on how and where to use the videos in their community outreach effort. Some of the videos are already posted to an interim Vimeo channel and in October 2011 will be available via an online map at the Mapping Our Voices for Equality (MOVE) web page. (It currently re-directs to the interim Vimeo channel).

MOVE is a digital media and health initiative staffed by several Seattle-area non-profits with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Public Health Seattle and King County. It’s part of a program in King County and 54 other locales nationwide called Communities Putting Prevention To Work, designed by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control, and aimed at obesity and tobacco use among low-income and minority populations. Following are several of the videos.