This Week in Renton

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This Week in Renton
Renton, WA 98057
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Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | Vol. VIII | Issue 45

Cover for the December 6, 2023 edition of This Week in Renton

2023 Community Survey results help city planning for the future

The City of Renton aims to meet residents' needs and provide high-quality customer service by listening and responding. Community surveys occur every two to four years, with the last survey conducted in 2017 prior to the pandemic. We are pleased to announce the completion of the 2023 Community Survey.

The survey evaluates city performance, informs the budgeting process, ensures city priorities align with those of the community, and ultimately helps shape the future of Renton.

Renton faces many of the same challenges that most cities in the region, if not the entire country, are also encountering. Concerns around crime and safety, travel and mobility, and providing mental health services and support to those experiencing homelessness are vital areas that residents prioritized and want to see improved. Numerous projects, programs, and other efforts are already in place to address these concerns.

Despite the challenges faced by the city, Renton residents have expressed their genuine happiness and satisfaction with the place they proudly call home. The recent survey has revealed one of the city's most significant achievements: the outstanding rating given to city employees by its residents.

The high ratings received from the survey reflect the dedication and commitment of city employees in going above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of residents.

In addition to customer service, there were a few other highlights:

  • Eight out of 10 residents say the quality of life meets or exceeds their expectations.
  • Sense of community was rated highly amongst all races, ages, and genders, demonstrating that Renton is a welcoming and inclusive community.
  • The community highly values the parks and trails, special events, and the availability and variety of recreation activities.

The city uses findings like this to make adjustments and ensure Renton is a livable community. Here are things the city is working to address:

  • Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety and Infrastructure: The city's Transportation Division and Parks and Recreation Department are addressing the need to improve pedestrian/bicycle safety and infrastructure through two focuses. The first is the Safer Access to Neighborhood Destinations (SAND) Academy. The SAND Academy has Renton teens work with city staff to determine safe routes for walking, biking, and getting around their neighborhood.
  • Communication and Engagement: The city has been piloting a two-way digital engagement platform through city-hosted neighborhood events, public forums, and a robust collection of volunteers serving on Boards and Commissions that include members of the public to provide insight, feedback, and direction on city decisions. Examples include the most recently formed Chief's Community Council and Equity Commission.
  • Emergency Preparedness: The city's Emergency Management Division has several opportunities to prepare and educate residents in disaster preparedness. The first is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT is a seven-week course that teaches personal preparedness skills. Another opportunity is through the Renton Emergency Preparedness Academy (REPA). REPA is a partner-based academy working with various agencies to teach skills to manage different emergencies. Learn how to build an at-home emergency kit and more about CERT or REPA; check out the latest emergency management video led by Emergency Management Coordinator Michelle Theurer.

We thank the over 650 Renton residents that took the time to participate in the survey. Access the city's interactive dashboard that compiles the full survey findings to learn more.


Philip Arnold Park now open

Philip Arnold Park is now open!

Renovations and upgrades are complete, and Philip Arnold Park is now re-opened for the community’s enjoyment. Improvements to the park include an accessible looped walkway and boardwalk, playground replacement, the city’s second Portland Loo restroom, (providing increased public safety), and a parking lot renovation, to name a few.

Philip Arnold Park has been well-loved for over 60 years, with necessary repairs and upgrades completed in order to continue long-term access for park patrons. In addition, upgrade suggestions were fielded from public feedback from the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Areas Plan on residents’ top priorities for the city's parks, including expanded access through ADA improvements.

One park area remains closed until the stair and ramp railings arrive. These railings will arrive in February 2024.

We thank our Renton residents for their patience and support during the completion of this project.

Funding for the Philip Arnold Park improvement was provided by a council approved Park Bond, Park Impact Fees, the Charles L. Custer Renton Park Department Memorial Fund, and King County Park Levy funds.


Shop with a Cop

Shop with a Cop event back in person to provide gifts to 74 participants in Renton

Last weekend, Renton Police Officers and police staff welcomed back the annual Shop with a Cop event in person for the first time since the pandemic.

In partnership with Communities In Schools, Shop with a Cop is an annual event hosted by the Renton Police Department to provide families carefully selected by Communities In Schools with the opportunity to holiday shop for their families. Participants have an allocated spending budget determined by the number of members in their household. Each participant selects something for themselves and then chooses something special for their immediate family members, as indicated on their wish list.

This year, several officers, police staff, and Communities In Schools staff, generously volunteered their time to help 15 young participants shop. The kids were fed breakfast generously provided by Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Top Pot Doughnuts before partnering up with an officer to shop through their lists. Once shopping was complete, the event resulted in 74 recipients receiving gifts this holiday.

Thanks to the Renton Police Department and Communities In Schools for helping spread holiday cheer and connecting with the community, along with a big thanks to Walmart, Fred Meyer, and Go Dentistry for their donations and contributions to this year’s event.


Renton Library Resource Day

Renton Library Resource Days this Friday

For community members needing support, visit the Renton Library on Friday, December 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the library’s Resource Day. Local social support providers will help connect people to resources such as healthcare, addiction recovery, free job training, access to ORCA cards, a free phone, gently used clothes, hygiene kits, and free lunches.

Registration is not required. Resource Days are held monthly at the Renton Library (100 Mill Ave. S).


Feedback due on December 12 on Renton's Arts & Culture Plan

Time is limited; Provide feedback on the Renton Arts & Culture Master Plan by December 12

Final days approach to provide feedback on how best to shape Renton’s art scene for years to come.

The city has actively gathered feedback from residents, businesses, and artists on its new comprehensive 10-year Arts & Culture Master Plan. The plan will guide the arts and culture initiatives of the Community and Economic Development Department, the Renton Municipal Arts Commission, and other city departments and programs to align with the City's mission and values.

Since late summer, staff have provided opportunities for the public to give feedback through social media, newsletters, community events, direct outreach to businesses and arts and culture groups, meetings with the Arts and Parks Commissions, and a Community Open House in November.

The final product will be an archival plan based on clear actions and tasks that reflect long-term goals and action items.

Feedback is needed before December 12. This feedback is an integral part of the future of Arts & Culture in Renton!


Santa Letters at Renton Municipal Airport

A festive Renton tradition is back; Renton Municipal Airport’s Santa mailbox installed through December 25

Last week, the Renton Municipal Airport put up Santa’s mailbox, inviting the children of Renton to send letters to Santa Claus. This year marks the third annual appearance of the airport’s community tradition.

The concept was initiated by staff a few years ago, starting with the purchase of the mailbox. Over time, staff continued to enhance and expand this tradition.

In 2020, DJ Kramer, an Airport Maintenance employee, noticed that many letters were getting wet and illegible due to the weather. He crafted a beautiful cedar cover to protect the letters from water damage. Perched atop this wooden shelter is none other than Snoopy, diligently standing guard over these precious letters.

Send letters to Santa through December 25. The mailbox is outside the Renton Municipal Airport, 616 W Perimeter Road.


Graphic: Events and Activities

Mondays – Free Community Grocery Store, St. Matthews Church (1700 Edmonds Ave NE), Mondays, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Presented by Sustainable Renton. This program will end on December 18.

Free Museum Days – First Wednesday and third Saturday monthly, Renton History Museum (235 Mill Ave. S), 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.    

December 1 - Holiday Lights Opening Night, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park (1201 Lake Wash. Blvd. N), 6-8:30 p.m. Holiday lights will run daily from December 2 through January 1 from 4-9 p.m.

December 2 – Renton Downtown Partnership Santa House, Civic Theatre, 507 S 3rd St., 1-4 p.m.

December 3 – K9 Candy Cane 5K Fun Run and Walk, Renton Community Center, 1715 SE Maple Valley Hwy, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.

December 8 – Battle of the Badges, Renton Community Center, 1715 SE Maple Valley Hwy, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

December 9 – Renton Downtown Partnership Santa House, Civic Theatre, 507 S 3rd St., 1-4 p.m.

December 10 – Renton City Concert Band Winter Concert, IKEA Performing Arts Center, 400 S 2nd St., 2-4 p.m.

December 16 – Renton Downtown Partnership Santa House, Civic Theatre, 507 S 3rd St., 1-4 p.m.

January 1 – Polar Bear Plunge, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park (1201 Lake Wash. Blvd. N), 10 a.m.


Graphic: News

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Arts in Renton 

City Council (agendas, documents and meeting videos)

Neighborhood Program  

Parks Projects

Pet Microchipping (free for Renton residents)

Rainier Avenue S Phase 4  construction project

Recreation Guide (current classes, activities, leagues & events for September to December)

Report issues via Renton Responds

Street Maintenance Winter Preparation

Traffic Construction Projects

Mayor's Newsletter wins National NAGC Award

NAGC national first place award

The Mayor's Newsletter has been awarded a 2018 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award for First Place for External Newsletters by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC).

The committee looked at submissions from all over the country and judged them on purpose, goals, objectives, target audience, and special factors.

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