By Jack Mayne

The Kent City Council on Tuesday (Oct. 15) was told by Police Chief Rafael Padilla that shootings are down, heard from the new Kent Municipal Court judge, as well as about the ninth annual Turkey Challenge where the Kent Food Bank distributes between 1,2O0 and 1,500 Thanksgiving baskets to needy families.

Shootings and alcohol testing
Police Chief Padilla showed the Council the department’s current gunshots fired statistics, with numbers down from previous years. “Still way too much crime with use of firearms … but we are glad the numbers are heading in the right direction.”

Padilla said that the time needed to do a test for alcohol can take hours, so his department has purchased the equipment and trained one officer so far with two more to be trained on taking and evaluating blood tests. He said the training is expensive, but would get police back on the streets faster.

New Judge
Mayor Dana Ralph introduced new Municipal Court Judge Anthony Gipe (pictured above), who will take office in January. The current judge, Glenn Phillips, decided to retire after 25 years with the Kent Municipal Court; “it’s time to step down,” he said.

Gipe told councilmembers he is from Wichita, Kan., but says he has lived in the northwest most of his life in the Northwest. He said he spent 10 years as a Naval intelligence officer before moving back to the northwest. He said he has been a lawyer for 20 years. He has been a pro-tem judge and applied when Judge Phillips decided to retire. Gipe said he is married with two grown children.

The Council approved a proclamation for TorkLift Central’s ninth annual Turkey Challenge that notes the Kent Food Bank distributes between 1,2O0 and 1,500 Thanksgiving baskets to Kent families and the needy.

“Through the generosity of Torklift Central employees, Oct. 7, 2019 marks the kick-off of the Ninth Annual Kent Turkey Challenge that will run through Nov. 18, 2O19; and employees of the Torklift Central in Kent, challenge all local businesses to join them in collecting canned goods and frozen turkeys that will be distributed by the Kent Food Bank this holiday season,” says the Kent proclamation.

Residential cleanup and recycling
Anthony Donati, of the Kent Public Works conservation coordinator, told the Council about city cleanup and recycling events. The cleanup event was in October when the city provides gloves and cleanup vests for volunteers, then disposes of the collected trash. Many groups around the city joined in the event while the East Hill and downtown events drew 139 volunteers, said Donati, and collected 175 bags of trash and litter. The next cleanup event will be held in May, 2020.

Donati said a free recycling event will take place this Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hogan Park (2400 Russell Road), when some items not usually collected at such events will be taken. Items such as appliances, styrofoam, electronics waste and household goods will be accepted.

He said the annual fall curbside cleanup event is slated for November 4th through 15th when tires, mattresses, bulk garbage and other items may be disposed of at no cost. Details on the city website. Collection is on regular yard waste collection day.