Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Small Grants Help WA Communities with Big Ideas


Monday, March 7, 2022   

Grant winners from last year are encouraging organizations and communities this year to apply for AARP's Community Challenge grant.

Applications are open for the sixth annual program, which awards small grants for projects that can come together quickly and help make communities more livable for people of all ages.

Mike Rizzitiello is the city administrator for the City of College Place in the Walla Walla Valley. They received a grant for more than $18,000 to install four free wireless internet hotspots around the city.

Rizzitiello said Wi-Fi is spotty in the rural town.

"We needed key community locations where if people needed fast internet," said Rizzitiello, "they could essentially either get out of their cars and hang out at a park, or hang out in their cars in the park, and be able to use the internet."

AARP looks for projects that engage communities by creating more vibrant public spaces, or improving housing or transportation. Applications are being accepted through March 22, and the selected projects must be completed by November 30.

Terry Lippincott is president of the Snohomish Friends of the Library. Her organization wanted to create a "story trail," placing pages of a story book at stations along a walking path to encourage kids to read as they enjoy the outdoors.

Lippincott said they estimated the project would cost about $10,000, and the Community Challenge grant was integral for getting it off the ground fast.

"AARP gave us $2,500," said Lippincott. "Our local Lion's Club gave us $4,000, and we sold small memorial plaques to be placed inside the stations. So, we were able to actually fund the project in a matter of a few months."

Rizzitiello had advice for communities looking to apply for a grant.

"You have to think out of the box for that and something that has a broad base of support," said Rizzitiello, "and that's what I would recommend."

In 2021, AARP distributed $3.2 million to 244 projects nationwide.

Disclosure: AARP Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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