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Added a couple historical documents

Don Riecks found a couple documents from the 2006 and 2007 years that I have posted under the Files page. It includes the meeting minutes from 2006 and the club constitution at the time.


Neighbors, take a quick look at this list of stolen items that Normandy Park police have photos of.


Hall Rental Rates Increase

Tonight the membership approved to increase the rental hall rates to:

$75 per day for active club members.
$50 per hour for non members.

These changes go in to effect immediately.  Current reservations on the calendar and groups that are already meeting regularly will have the lower rate until January 1st, 2012.

Community Star Recognition

Our club sunshine chair, Heather Peterson has a great idea.  Lets recognize those that are doing their part to make our community better.  Please send her ( the names of people you are aware of who have recently done something to help a neighbor or improve our neighborhood or local community.  Think about people who do things like meals on wheels, those who volunteer to setup for events, food bank volunteers, and high school students getting involved in worthy causes.

And of course, if you are aware of someone who needs some sunshine (get well, condolence, etc) in their life, let Heather know!

Recent Crime

It has been too long since I posted so here we go again.  This month I counted up the number of crimes, large and small inside the boundaries of North Hill reported on going back to September.  I found this pretty interesting.  March is definitely on the rise :(

Sep 10 *6th through end of month
Oct 14
Nov 7
Dec 20
Jan 15
Feb 11
Mar 13 *So far, through March 15th

It would be great to share your experiences in the comments below for others.

Highline School M&O Levy Renewal Vote

Neighbors, this came to me today and I felt is was very important to pass on.  Please take 5 minutes to get up to date on this issue so you can make an informed decision before Feb 8:

On February 8th, the Highline Public School District will be asking the community to re-authorize a Maintenance and Operation Levy for 2012 through 2015.  The current Levy expires at the end of 2011 and provides for nearly 25% of the district’s operating budget.  These funds support schools in a number of ways providing funds to reduce class sizes with additional teachers and support staff, textbooks, bus transportation, and maintaining our schools.  It’s important to note that this is not a new tax for the people of Des Moines and the Highline area, but a continuation of the current levy.  It should also be noted that this Levy will set a flat collection rate that amounts to $46 million in 2012, $47 million in 2013 and 2014, and $49 million in 2015 with a rate of roughly $3.44 per $1000 of assessed value (meaning that the District does not collect more if property values increase as it is projected they will over this time span).

With the current funding issues in Washington State, the district has already had to make budget cuts amounting to $14.5 million dollars.  Should the M&O Levy fail, it would mean a reduction to the budget of $47 million dollars in addition to the proposed losses this year and more possibly in 2012 requiring massive reductions in the support for students.  It will mean lost jobs, students receiving only the most basic education, larger class sizes, and much more.  About 80% of the Levy pays for teachers and support staff in our district, which is roughly 250 positions.   To ensure the continuing success of our students this Levy is critical.

As this is a mail-only ballot, ballots must be postmarked by the 8th of February to be counted.  I would like to urge you all to send in your ballots and hope that you will join me in supporting this measure and our schools.

Michael Spear
Director, Position #5 – Des Moines
Highline Public Schools

For additional information, please visit:

For frequently asked questions:

Facts about the District’s M&O Levy:

Happy New Year

First of all, happy new year!

I am excited for the new year and have no idea what we will accomplish.  I do know that it will be whatever we make it.  Thank you for taking an interest in what is going on in our community.  Holding monthly activities at the club house is one of my priorities this year, starting with a gaming night.  Please email me with what is important to have with activities that you know you would be willing to show up for.

Thank you to the officers and trustees who are willing to give their time this year, and I look forward to seeing all of you at a future meeting or activity.


North Hill recognizes Milton Koch

At the annual December potluck, Milton Koch, long time club member, officer, and trustee, was recognized for his extensive service to the community.  Most recently he served as both treasurer and maintenance person for the club.  Milton made sure the club house was ready for the next rental event by stopping in daily.  In his work as treasurer, he and rental manager Dennis Peele helped ensure the club was financially stable for the foreseeable future.

In addition to active members, strong communities need people like Milton who go far beyond what is expected.  As the club continues to transition to a younger generation, I am fortunate to have people like Milt to look up to.

Thank you Milton!

CSC at Pacific Middle School

Neighbors, helping kids make good choices and providing opportunities is something that impacts all of us.  I think most of us would agree that when kids are bored and have to find something to do for entertainment, that unfortunately leads to trouble for the neighborhood.  The Community Schools Collaboration program described below not only provides a safe and educational environment, but also helps improve participation in learning and performance.  Here is a letter from Rob Schadt, Site Manager, Pacific Middle School.

Hello Vince,

I now have some materials for you to pass on to your club’s members about volunteering opportunities at Community Schools Collaboration’s (CSC) new after school program at Pacific Middle School, which will be beginning in October.  Attached to this message is a flyer with a description of Community Schools Collaboration as an organization and what we do, along with a description of what we have planned for Pacific Middle School in Des Moines (our first after school program site in Des Moines).  My contact information is located at the end of the flyer; please feel free to distribute this flyer and let people know to give me a call or email if they would like any additional information, whether it be about interest in volunteering or if they simply would like more information on our program.  We are primarily looking for volunteers interested in providing homework help to students at the school (one day per week for 45-60 minutes after school), as well as individuals interested in leading small groups of students in enrichment activities (i.e. knitting, running, etc.)

Additionally, here are some statistics and quotes about our program:

According to a survey recently completed by teachers:

  • 75% of students in CSC after school programs improved their academic performance
  • 71% of students in CSC after school programs improved their classroom participation
  • 62% of students in CSC after school programs improved in coming to school motivated to learn

And, when students in CSC after school programs were asked about the positive impacts of attending CSC after school, they had the following to say:

  • “You get good grades.  I raised all my grades to all A’s and B’s and I had a GPA of 3.5.  The after school program helped me focus on my homework and they would help me when I needed help.”
  • “It gets you away from hanging out with the wrong people sometimes.  It makes you do better, make better choices.”
  • “I would be failing all my classes because I wouldn’t have any work turned in.  In the beginning of the school year I really needed help on my work and I didn’t know where to come so I told my counselor and he recommends coming to the after school program.  I really like it because they help with your grades.”

Please let me know if you have any additional questions; thank you!

Thank You,

Rob Schadt

CSC Pacific brochure.pdf

What can we do?

Des Moines City Councilman Matt Pina visited with us at our community open house June 13th.  Gwen Koch asked him a great question, “What can we do?”  Too often I think we expect our elected leaders can solve our wide ranging list of problems all by themselves.  Leaders like Matt commonly are asked what they are doing for us, and he could not remember ever being asked how someone could help.  This reminds me of the immortal words from JFK’s inaugural speech, “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.  These words inspired millions, many years before I was born.  I believe they still ring true to what strong communities require, active citizens.

Matt did have an idea, to answer this question.  The city has already had to make painful cuts in many areas of city services.  There are areas like the Des Moines Memorial Park (flag pole triangle) and Big Catch Plaza which could possibly be adopted by organizations to keep them cleaned up.  Think Eagle Scout project.  Think win-win public relations / advertising for your special cause group.  Think about keeping our city looking its best as several efforts work to draw more visitors and their tax dollars to our businesses.

This is the kind of mindset we need to be in.  The North Hill Community Club organizes, we know how to get the word out, and we are a networking engine of a stronger community.  This is your call to action.  Volunteering is fast and easy, organizing does not cost anything, and we can all take pride in knowing that we are a part of getting our city through this economic crisis.  The hardest part is that first phone call or email, so I will make it easy for you.  Send me an email and tell me that you are ready to help.