Your Village at the Phinney Farmers Market

Phinney logo
We’ll have an informational table at the Phinney Farmers Market tomorrow (Phinney Center Parking lot – 6532 Phinney Ave N), so please drop by to say hello!

Also, if you would like to help out with our table we have 2 shifts available: 3:30 – 5:30 PM and 5:30 – 7:30 PM. (If you can’t commit to a whole shift, no problem…we’d love to have you there just part of the time.) This is an awesome chance to talk to people who might not know about our wonderful village.

We will be there on the 3rd Friday of every month, so if you’re not available tomorrow but would like to help on another day, please let Rebecca know: call 206.789.1217 or email  rebeccaf@phinneycenter.org.

Hope to see you this Friday!

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A Mother’s Day Vigil

mothers-day-vigil-2017

Ninth Annual Mother’s Day Vigil at the Northwest Detention Center

By Teresa Burciaga & Dick Gillett

Dick and Teresa’s original article was published in the newsletter of Seattle’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the PNA. Please feel free to comment and join the conversation.  

On Saturday, May 13, more than 100 people gathered in Tacoma’s shabby industrial area, alongside the barbed wire-topped chain link fence surrounding a starkly nondescript prison: the Northwest Detention Center. After the crowd had laid down a mound of Mother’s Day bouquets near the fence, a Latino group played music and we prayed and chanted, hoping the prisoners inside would hear us and take heart. “No, No, No Basta Rezar,” the group sang, and we responded (No, it is not enough to pray).

We were gathered at the behest of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, and the Washington Community Action Network. This was the 9th Annual Mother’s Day Vigil at the prison. The Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma is owned by the GEO Group, one of the largest security firms in the world—the same corporation that runs Guantanamo Bay.  It is the nation’s second largest for-profit prison operator, with a capacity for more than 1500 persons at the Tacoma facility.

“They are mothers and fathers who have lived alongside us. They are our neighbors.”

Emboldened by new policies under the current administration, the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency has stepped up raids. These sweeps include men and women who have no criminal record— mothers and fathers who have held jobs for over 20 years; who have American-born children—that are being detained and deported. Civil rights don’t extend to these immigrants being held at the Northwest Detention Center. They can be held there indefinitely.

“They are mothers and fathers who have lived alongside us,” stated Teresa Burciaga. “They are our neighbors. Their children go to school alongside ours. They hold jobs, sometimes as many as three to make a living—and pay Social Security and Medicare tax. They shop at our supermarkets and stores and pay sales tax. They are good, law-abiding people. Now their lives are in jeopardy.”

There were testimonies at the Vigil. One young mother spoke of her hope for a better life for herself and her family. Another mother, a United Methodist lay woman, told us she was there to remember and pray for her son, two years after he was deported to Mexico. Many immigrants come to this country to escape chronic poverty, criminal violence and government corruption. The prayerful community gathered at the Vigil stood in solidarity for love, justice and compassion. As their signs proclaimed, “Love has no borders, ” and “No one is free when other people are oppressed.”

We have an opportunity now to stand up for them and create more sanctuary cities and states. And we’ve recently learned that St. Mark’s Cathedral is proceeding to become a sanctuary church. Meanwhile, we in the faith communities might work to eventually close down this private prison, the Northwest Detention Center.

·     ·     ·

Author (Rev. Canon) Dick Gillett is a Member of PNA Village, a retired Episcopal priest, and a regular contributor to our PNA Village Connections blog. His many previous articles include, “Martín’s Journey to the White House”“”Generation Nice’ at Herkimer Coffee”, and “Johnny Cash & Global Warming.”

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Bella

Bella Abzug

By Marilyn Zuckerman

With her megaphone voice
threatening war
if there is not peace,
shouting a president
into banning above
ground bomb tests,
a Medusa of the vocal cords
a Minerva of pacifism
a postmodern Cassandra
cobbled together from an immigrant stew
and a New York mouth,
she stands before Senator Jake Javits
surrounded by cohorts of Amazons
in her bright red
lacquered straw hat
the light shards reflecting off it
dazzled straight into the eyes
of her antagonist
so he, unable to return the lightning
of hers,
ducks his head to scrape gunk
off his shoes.
Shame, she yells,
Think of all the children you are killing.
Outside a policeman on horseback asks,
Why don’t you women go home
take care of your kids
make dinner for the husband?

Once, lying on a bed at the Chelsea hotel,
I heard her voice over the strident traffic
shrieking, No More War!
loud enough for the pledge
to go echoing down 23rd St
cross the Hudson
and settle into the stones
of the Palisades
on the Jersey side.

·     ·     ·

Bella Abzug (1920/1998) was a leading feminist and anti-war activist who helped organize Women Strike for Peace during the Vietnam War. Abzug became a U.S. Congressperson from New York in 1971. In the poem, when she confronts Senator Javits, I was there and was with her when we were trying to get Senator Robert Kennedy nominated for President of the United States and hoped, as well, to end the Vietnam War and thus bring the veterans home.

From my book, In The Ninth Decade, from Red Dragonfly Press.

http://marilynzuckermanpoet.com

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Whale watching: San Juan Islands

By Marilyn Zuckerman

Moving slowly through the natural world,
trying to remember everything before it goes.
We count pelagic cormorants, auks, murres—
migrant seabirds down from Alaska for the summer,
watch the cormorant nursery, arranged along shelves
of a gently swinging bell buoy,
bald eagles lined up along crags
on the opposite shore.
Young auklets—swimming like amateurs—
divide, as we plow through them
and there are dolphins,
But not the killer whales
we’ve come to see.

From the tour boat,
video cameras scan the shore,
trying to get it all down—
the San Juan Islands,
Mt. Baker, Mt Rainer—
a polluted haze swirls around the summit
of the scalped mountain behind them
like a scarf covering
the hairless head of a cancer patient.
The scientist on board says
he doubts the same cataclysmic event,
creating the same bacterial scum
that become us and our whole world,
will ever happen again.

·       ·       ·

When I first wrote this poem, I had just moved from Boston to the Northwest and fell in love with its natural treasures—eagles barely saved from extinction, Puget Sound, the mountains, its forests, and the wonderful stock of wildlife.

Now as spring approaches after the long monsoon- like weather, leaving us in the rain and the dark, I am beside myself with happiness and sorrow wondering if we can keep this
Shangri-La and for how long?

The last lines of the poem speak of what that loss would mean to our children and grandchildren. Dedicated to Earth Day, everyday.

http://marilynzuckermanpoet.com

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Celebrating 15 Years of the Village Movement with Dr. Atul Gawande

PNA Village is proud to announce that renowned surgeon, public health researcher and writer Dr. Atul Gawande will be the guest speaker at the 15th Celebration of the founding of Beacon Hill Village and the subsequent Village Movement they inspired on Monday, February 13, 2017.

20696006His conversation, entitled “Being Mortal’s Villages: The Value of Community and Choice as we Grow Older,” will be moderated by Robin Young, host of NPR’s Here & Now, and feature a discussion on aging, living life with purpose, and how we can transform the possibilities for the later chapters in everyone’s lives. The live event will begin at 2pm PST and be simulcast from Boston to more than 150 of the 350-plus villages open and in development across the country, including the PNA Village.

All are welcome to join the PNA Village for a viewing party and subsequent conversation facilitated by Cecile Andrews, author of Living Room Revolution: A Handbook for Conversation, Community, and the Common Good.

The Village Movement is a burgeoning, world-wide movement that champions an alternative approach for adults as they grow older. Villages are unique in that they are created by and for older adults, empowering their members to make wise, safe, and vibrant choices about how they wish to live.

WHEN:  Monday, February 13, 2017; 1:30 – 4:00 PM
WHERE:  Phinney Neighborhood Center, Brick Building, Community Hall
6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (parking and elevator)

Phinney Books1 will be at the event with copies of Being Mortal for purchase. Cash or credit cards accepted.

Please bring a snack or dessert to share and RSVP at 206-789-1217 or village@phinneycenter.org

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What YOU Can Do For Our Newsletter

PNA Village Connections newslettersAre you interested in writing, editing, desktop publishing, or even seeing your writing featured on our blog? If so, we’d love to hear from you!

You can help your PNA Village Connections newsletter in any of the following ways:

  • Join us! The newsletter committee meets just four times per year for a planning session. You choose what you’d like to write and/or what tasks you can do. (You’ll need access to a reliable computer and the Internet, as this is the committee’s primary mode of communication.)
  • Suggest ideas or information you’d like to see covered in our newsletter and/or blog.
  • Write! We’re always looking for new topics to cover.
  • Take photos! Take photos of Village events and activities.
  • Help us mail the newsletter. We always can use help folding and preparing the newsletter for mailing.
  • Provide technical help. Two of our prime needs right now are for a person comfortable doing page layout for the printed version of the newsletter (using InDesign, Publisher or Word) as well as a person comfortable preparing the newsletter for email distribution using Vertical Response.

If any of these things sound interesting to you, please contact the Village office at 206-789-1217.

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When Did We See You a Stranger?

fall-2016-houseofhank-me

By Dick Gillett

Angelina (not her real name) has been cleaning our house in Green Lake regularly for almost ten years. Last Tuesday morning—November 15—when I greeted her at the door, she responded with her accustomed cheerful smile and greeting. Although she easily speaks English, we spoke in Spanish, a language I grew up with in my native El Paso.

I asked immediately how she was adjusting to the election results. She put on a brave face, but then teared up. “ We have done a lot of crying,” she admitted. Angelina and her husband are from Mexico, and are undocumented. Their daughters, aged 14 and 11, were born here and thus are U.S. citizens. Her husband is disabled and cannot work.
She said that as the election results became clear, she began to feel ill, and went to bed. Her children started crying and became terrified, but Angelina reassured them: “No nos van a matar,” she said. “They won’t kill us.” Such is the level of fright in our community, especially among children, as a result of the 2016 election vitriol.

“No nos van a matar,” she said. “They won’t kill us.”

Angelina spoke of a neighbor’s anguish after the election. This neighbor’s work ran later than usual that day. Her school-age son, accustomed to letting himself in the house after school, started fearing his Mom had been picked up. Terrified, he went to a neighbor’s house. The neighbors, American citizens, took him in. His mother arrived to find her son gone, and likewise panicked. Finally she located him at the neighbor’s house.

Angelina is an independent contractor whose work must support her whole family.
“I keep good work records, and I am proud to pay taxes,” she told my wife Anne in English. She worked early on to learn English, and her children go to an all-English school, although she speaks Spanish to them at home. It’s clear that a week after the election, Angelina remains deeply shaken.

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” responds Jesus lovingly to the righteous who had seemed to doubt their own faith (Matthew 25:36). In these last days, we in the churches have been given the mission of giving thanks for, and welcoming, all the Angelinas and those like her and her family—immigrants, Muslims, people of color, native Americans, LGBTQ people—who make up the human family.

Can we take it on?

·     ·     ·

Author (Rev. Canon) Dick Gillett is a Member of PNA Village, a retired Episcopal priest, and a regular contributor to our PNA Village Connections blog. His many previous articles include, “Martín’s Journey to the White House”“”Generation Nice’ at Herkimer Coffee”, and “Johnny Cash & Global Warming.”

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84th Birthday, redux

84th Birthday Redux| ©2016 HouseofHank.me

By Marilyn Zuckerman

for those who still love peace and seek it

After all these years
of hoping that things will get better—
so this poem is for every child gunned down,
blown up as they walk down in the streets of their villages,
in Mexico
in Sudan
in the Congo and cities in America—
for every child who goes to bed hungry
for the homeless abroad and in the U.S.A.
for the victims of border wars and those kidnapped by drug
lords or pirates,
renditioned by the state itself
for those sent overseas and those who come back damaged
for the elderly, who now must work until they die
for all the species of birds, animals and plants that will become
extinct in a new, Great Dying
for cities slowly drowned by the rising seas, from glacier melt
and bad levees
for the millions of refugees on the road and in camps that barely
keep alive
for those living in failed states, trying to lead lives of quiet
decency
for the dying of the earth and the terror of nuclear disaster
for those who still love peace and seek it
For those who tell the truth and are murdered for it.

·       ·       ·

This poem was written 8 years ago. Tragically things have not gotten better. Events in Syria and Yemen have deteriorated as in many other places. Many people are worse off than before. The question is: what are we going to do about it?

From my book, In The Ninth Decade, from Red Dragonfly Press. Also published in the anthology, Perfect Dragonfly, from Red Dragonfly Press.

http://marilynzuckermanpoet.com

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A Place to Share and be Heard

PNA Village writing group

By Alyssa McFarland

If you write—stories, memoirs, poems, haiku, what-have-you—and would like an audience to hear you read your writing out loud, there’s a group for that: the PNA Village Writing Group.

Carol Beach started the group in early 2015. She recalls, “After joining the PNA Village I felt a need to reach deeper into myself and pull out some life stories making them into poems, memoirs, and short stories. So I started the Village Writing Group and found that others felt the same way—a place to share and be heard.

“I think that we all need a space that allows us to explore what we think and feel…”

Typically, members go around the table taking turns reading something they’ve written. There’s no requirement that the work be new…some have read work that is decades old! You can ask for feedback if you would like it, but it’s not a critique group: it’s writers supporting other writers.

Wilma Bishop has shared some memoirs with the group, like the story of her first ride in a hot air balloon. She had previously been part of a memoir writing group that dissolved, and is hoping the PNA Village Writing Group will be just as rewarding.

Terry Cook has been sharing a serial story about a teenager in the 1950s working as a cowgirl. She joined the group to motivate herself to write. She finds it to be a “supportive environment to try out different stories.”

“I think that we all need a space that allows us to explore what we think and feel,” says Cook. “Writing is one way to do that, but being able to share that with others in an open forum validates our musings.”

The PNA Village Writing Group meets at Home Street Bank’s community room on the 4th Friday of each month, from 11am to noon. The group welcomes new members.

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Fall Village Potluck on November 5

Aspens | ©2016 HouseofHank.mePlease join us for our rescheduled Village potluck!


Fall Village Potluck
Saturday, November 5
4 – 6 PM
Greenwood Senior Center
525 N 85th Street


This will be a fun and casual event for members and volunteers with lots of fun and socializing…please consider bringing a friend that you might like to introduce to your wonderful Village. And as ever, bring your family, kids, and grand kids!

Please bring dishes to share* according to the first letter of your last name:
A – F: Main Dish
G – O:  Dessert
P – Z:  Side or Salad

*Please bring serving utensils for your dishes.

If you would prefer, you may donate money that will be used to purchase food.  A $10 donation is suggested.

Please contact the Village office and let us know if you plan to attend. We really hope to see you there!  As always, if you wake up on the morning of the potluck and decide you want to join us, please do just come!

PNA Village office: 206-789-1217 or village@phinneycenter.org

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