Three Ballard High School seniors, Joel Dunkelberg, Claire Lust and Elliot Ransom, have been named National Merit Scholar Finalists.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarships qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT)-a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year-and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.
“It’s largely based on test scores,” said Ransom. “First you have to get PSAT scores. Even if you get a good SAT score afterwards you are not eligible unless you get a good index on the PSAT.”
Ransom is also the alto-sax section leader and has an ear and passion for music. But he's considering going into an aero-space engineering major and is also looking at other engineering options at both the University of Washington and Stanford.
Every week I notice familiar faces from the Norse Home Retirement Community sitting in straight back chairs by the sliding exit doors at Bartell Drugs, their distinctive bus parked nearby. Weather willing, each Wednesday, Molly Holscher, the activities director, helps residents on-board, then drives down into Ballard, eventually parking on 22nd Avenue Northwest, as close to Bartell’s as she can manage.
“Wednesdays in Ballard are sacred,” Molly told me straightaway when I asked if I could ride with them. Residents sign up for one of the 18 seats; shortly after their 3:15 p.m. return she puts out a sign-up sheet for the following week. About 1 p.m. the riders for the week begin to gather in the Norse Home lobby, checking the thermometer by the garden and picking up their copies of the newly delivered Ballard News-Tribune.
Seniors can now lease apartments in the new housing complex Arrowhead Gardens to move in late this summer.
The campus has three residential buildings available to seniors. Bill Fenner, Executive Director of Senior Housing Assistance Group, describes the complex as an urban village.
"We're looking for a neighborhood feel, where people can be as active or inactive as they want," says Fenner.
Fenner is also enthusiastic about Aarowhead's many shared spaces, including a community building with a lounge, library, media center and exercise room. The campus also includes several courtyards, roof decks and "pea patch" planter boxes.
"The landscaping at Aarowhead is going to better than what we've had in a lot of other communities," says Fenner.
Some units offer views of the Cascade Mountains and the Seattle's skyline.
The community also offers transit vans and electric cars for local transportation.
Aarowhead Gardens is located in Highland Park and has convenient access to freeways and major retail centers.
Only a few steps from the Federal Way Transit Center will soon stand the mixed use senior housing project spearheaded by the Korean Women's Association (KWA) known as "Senior City."
"Senior City" will combine housing for over 122 low-income seniors, 3,000 square-feet of commercial space for the KWA social services office to serve tenants and the general public of south King County, and a social hall.
Last Thursday, September 25, marked the groundbreaking ceremony for "Senior City," and community leaders from across the region came to celebrate this historic project.
As the cost of gas and food has skyrocketed in the last six months so has the number of senior citizens visiting the White Center Food Bank.
Part of the frustration that Rick Jump, executive director of the White Center Food Bank, sees with the ever-growing population of senior citizens visiting his food bank is the stress they endure during regular food bank hours when the center is often overcrowded.
"This food bank gets very busy," said Jump. "We use to serve between 1,000 to 1,100 (people) a month but now we're up to 1,500 families a month.