SWONA,  Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association

Quarterly Membership Meeting

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Held at: Gloria Dei Church

Time: 7:00 pm

Approximately 25-30 people present.




Everyone present was asked to introduce themselves, and respond to the question: What is your favorite Fall activity?


Treasurer’s report

Whitney Rains, SWONA Treasurer, reported the current SWONA bank account balance as: $550




Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County

Sharon Fasnacht and Joe Sanders provided information about the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) and its purpose and benefits. A local, non-profit organization, the DRC is available to supply facilitation in instances of conflict between and among individuals, family members, neighbors, and organizations. A good guide for reaching out to the DRC might be, when conversation is no longer comfortable or possible.


Eco Consulting

Randy Magallan, energy auditor, contracts with Puget Sound Energy for performing home energy assessments. He described what an energy assessment is and what it entails. He emphasized that he while he provides recommendations for changes and updates that can increase a home’s energy efficiency, he does not sell services as a part of the suggestions. He does, on PSE’s behalf, provide up to 20 LED lightbulbs as part of the service.


Emergency Preparedness

Kate Fehsenfeld encouraged those present to begin a basic emergency preparedness kit, which would include three days’ food & water, a flashlight, gloves and hat. She will have a detailed presentation with more information ready for the next quarterly membership meeting.

Charlie Stephens noted that he is looking to receive training in the Map Your Neighborhood program, and may have more to present by the next quarterly meeting.


Community Yard Sale

Maureen Lally is looking into the organization of a community-wide yard sale event. A good time to hold it would be summer or fall of 2017.



West Central Park

Beverly Taylor Hastings noted that the West Central Park (located at the southwest corner of Harrison and Division) is looking for board members and for volunteers to help with maintaining the park.


Walking Parks

Phil Cornell noted that Bethany Weidner is spearheading a Southwest neighborhood pocket park spruce-up project. As part of that effort, Charlie Stephens announced that there will be a work party on Saturday, November 19, at Fern and 9th streets at 1pm. More work parties will be announced via email and the neighborhood NextDoor listserv for all who would like to participate.


Next Quarterly Membership meeting:  March 16, 2017


SWONA,  Southwest Olympia Neighborhood Association

Quarterly Membership Meeting

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Held at: Gloria Dei Church

Time: 7:00pm

Approximately 35 people present.




Everyone present was asked to introduce themselves, and respond to the question: What brought you here tonight?



Bethany Weidner is officially stepping down as SWONA board president. Phil Cornell will be acting president until the annual membership meeting of March 2017, when elections will take place for a new board president and one or two of the other board positions.


Phil Cornell, who led the evening’s meeting, noted that the annual membership meeting will also include a vote on changes in the membership dues structure and amount.


Treasure’s Report

Whitney Raines, SWONA Treasurer, reported that there is currently $499.04 in the SWONA bank account.



The evening’s presentation was made by Steve Venables and Alex Duffield of Venables Pest Management. The topic was rats and other unwelcome pests in the Southwest neighborhood.


The presentation began with a brief history of rats in West Olympia – largely the Norway and Common Roof rats – some of their biological information, and how/where they survive. Places to check in and around the home were suggested, indications to look for, and why a homeowner should care about the incursion of rats. Suggestions were made for simple steps that can be taken for prevention.


Walking Parks

Bethany Weidner provided a brief description of the various walking parks in the Southwest neighborhood, and their location. She emphasized a need for volunteers to help maintain the small parks, and noted that work parties will be organized soon.



Several ideas for neighborhood-building activities were put forward for general consideration.

  • Make 2017 the Summer of the Block Party
  • Encourage street or block-wide roving yard sales.
  • Create a skills resource list for the neighborhood.


Emergency Preparedness

Kate Fehsenfeld and Zoe Torres will have a presentation ready for the next quarterly meeting, which will be in November.


Next Quarterly Membership meeting:  November 17, 2016


Minutes from the June 16, 2016 meeting of SWONA


President Bethany called the meeting to order and introduced officers and members of the board.  Based on a show of hands, about 35 voting members (i.e., current on 2016 dues) were present. Another 5 or so people were present.

Treasurer Whitney reported a balance of $589.26 in the SWONA bank account. Other monies in the bank were part of the Decatur Pathway Project grant. 

Secretary Angela was absent, and Mark Toy kindly took notes, supplemented by Bethany.

SWONA business:  SWONA members are organizing a “Kids Connect” block party on Rodgers between 7th & 8th on June 26. There were updates on the “Walking Park,” where the 9th & Fern site desperately needs work over the summer.  Susan Camp volunteered to work with others on the 9th & Fern parklet.  The Decatur Pathway is in good shape; the Poetry Post is in the artful hands of Eli Sterling being turned into a vine-wrapped post. Crystal Snare will be at Skep & Skein for a “Last Monday” drop-in from 6 – 8 pm for neighbors who want to chat.

A motion was made and passed to authorize the expenditure of up to $300 for the annual SWONA BBQ and Summer Games on August 13.  There was one dissent as to the amount...

Program:  Bethany introduced Vivian Eason, Thurston County Coordinator for Emergency Management, who spoke about the County’s recent emergency mgmt exercise. Some points: ttake care of your pets. FEMA is NOT a first responder.  In disaster/emergencies it is your neighbor (or you) who is there first. Thurston Co Food Bank was part of the exercise. Role of big chain groceries is coordinated at the state level. We should ask the co-op about their role if we want to know.  There can be community points for distribution of food & water, but each family is supposed to prepare and store (under your bed…) food, water & safety equipment. The County has a 1.5 hr “map your neighborhood” workshop that covers more of this.  Zoe Torres and Kate Fehsenfeld volunteered to get together to follow this up.

Phil with his colleague Bruce Montgomery presented info on communication during a disaster. Voice calls (cell & landline) will quickly overload. Texts can go through. Ham radio, walkie talkies, CB radios and MURS radios will work, but range is limited. Phil is a ham radio operator and available to the neighborhood. He is glad to help anyone interested in following up.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 and people stayed for 20 minutes of conversation among themselves.  Lillian Slone was paid $20 for overseeing 3 children during the meeting. 


Minutes typed up by Bethany from Mark’s notes, with some additional details.



SWONA Meeting


Minutes taken by Janis Rich

Meeting called to order by V.P. Phil Cornell at 7pm

Approximately 10 members at meeting

First order of business:  Name the Mascot (An opossum)

Everyone had a chance to provide a name, options were as follows:  Rhodie, ‘Possum Paul, Pete, Phillip, Oliver, Oscar, Bart, Puck, Rover and Possie.

Phil took names also.

Treasurer’s Report from Whitney:  Pathway Fund Project (for poetry post) $442.06 and General Fund $374.26

Prior Meeting Minutes posted on SWONA website.  Minutes approved as written.

Elections:  Treasurer and President

Whitney nominated to be treasurer to replace Ann.  Nomination seconded and voted on. Unanimous vote for her nomination.  Whitney, thank you for agreeing to be treasurer.

Bethany agreed to continue as president if no one else available. She is out of the country so Bethany’s name as continuing president was agreed upon; her nomination was seconded and approved by vote.  Phil will advise her she retains the presidency.

If any elected board member resigns, there are bylaws that allow for a special election. (ARTICLE IV – Officers  “…The board may appoint members to fill vacancies or call for a special election.”


Pathways update:  Per Phil, everything is completed except for the poetry post.  Eli worked with Phil on the redesign.  The City approved the design and it should be completed within 2 months. The City is allowing a maximum of $500 for the post.  The current cost for completion is approximately $380.00.  The foundation of the post cannot be “permanent” per City rules.

On May 1, the Bike Commuter Contest will take place.  Phil would like a “party at the post” with snacks and tables promoting the pathway.  Amy Stoll/OPD or someone from the city will be there registering bikes. 

The design of the post includes a slanted/sloped panel roof that will be “living”, it will include mosses and other plants.

Our neighbor George, at the end of Decatur SW, will let SWONA use his water for taking care of the plantings.  He has well water.  Phil has a hose of approx. 200’ but needs another 200’.

Traffic Circle question from member:  Plants are dying in the circle near his house.  Per the City, Lee Keech, neighbors are responsible for upkeep of the plantings.  The city will not contribute in any way to the upkeep of the traffic calming plantings.  The history is that when they were installed years ago, the neighborhood was charged with maintenance since we wanted them installed.  They would cover them all over in concrete before they will provide any maintenance.
Should SWONA buy replacement plants for the circles at 5th and Foote?  The neighbor advised he will plant them.  Members agreed that SWONA would cover cost of new plantings if reasonable.  If under $35.00, you can turn in the receipt to the treasurer and get direct reimbursement.  Phil advised that his sister-in-law at Tapestry Gardens can give a discount for this purchase. 

Can SWONA organize planting parties for the round-a-bouts and bump outs?  Phil will ask the folks that volunteered on the Pathways project if they could help clean up and replant the beds.  Delores will “map out” the locations in the neighborhood.

Mural Project/Guest Speaker:  Mandy, from NWONA updated us on the Mural project on 4th Ave wall near the large Round-A-Bouts leading downtown.  She provided sketches of her design.  The design included a bright and welcoming, Welcome to the Westside with creature caricatures, including raccoons and herons.  She can donate her time but not cost of supplies.  Joslyn advised her that the other half of the space that has been done cost approximately $1200.  Can we talk to Sherwin Williams to see if they give discounts or in-kind donations for paint and supplies?  The city provided pressure washing on the first half of the project; someone needs to contact them again for this request.  There is a “Neighborhood Grant Program” that we can apply for from the City.  Whiney will check into this grant.  The “anti-graffiti” coating that was applied to the first half of the wall, according to Joslyn was expensive, toxic and did not work.  The coating was not worth the cost.  The new design will allow for easier repainting if the wall gets tagged.  Phil advised that he can do the bleach spraying again.  There was a motion to proceed with the design, motion was seconded and unanimously approved by members in attendance.

The City pays on reimbursement, however, if Sherwin Williams provided an estimate, we give the estimate to the City and they then provide funding directly to the supplier. 

Graffiti:  The city is sending Phil photos of the graffiti.  He let everyone know that if nothing is done to clean up the tagging; the City will enforce code and fine the property owners.   Neighborhood believes this is a hardship for many to clean up/financially and/or physically unable to clean the tags.  There are volunteers in the neighborhood that will help in the clean-up.  However, the homeowner or renter needs to give permission to use their water if power/pressure washing is involved.  There is a “Graffiti Hit Squad”

Member had a general question about crime in the neighborhood.  Moved from eastside and there was a trend in more homeless folks/encampments over there.  This is true for Westside also.  There was a brief discussion about camps at the end of Decatur SW/15th and Caton way area, in the woods and the ravine.  Issues are health and safety for all.

Phil is going to interview for a position on the Bike/Pedestrian Advisory Board.  Good Luck Phil!

Neighbors would like to see a SWONA party again, similar to last year at Decatur Woods Park.  This is a good agenda item for the June 16th Meeting.


Meeting Adjourned at 8:00 pm