Power outage east and south of White Center, blamed on tree

February 20th, 2014 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, utilities, White Center news Comments Off

(7:07 am screengrab of City Light map showing where the outage is affecting homes/businesses)
Seattle City Light has more than 7,000 homes/businesses out of power this morning, mostly to the east and south of here, hitting Burien especially hard. It’s blaming a tree for falling on power lines and expects to have power back before the morning’s over.

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Update: Sheriff’s deputies make arrest after searching for gunfire suspect in Boulevard Park

October 4th, 2013 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:58 PM: In case you’re noticing a stepped-up King County Sheriff’s Office presence – there’s a search under way in the Boulevard Park area for a shooting suspect. We don’t yet have details of the shooting, but KCSO is circulating photos:

KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West has mentioned search locations including 22nd S./S. 106th and S. 106th/Des Moines Memorial Drive.

UPDATE: According to seattlepi.com, the man is being sought in a shots-fired case; no one was hurt.

7 PM: Metro alerts say Des Moines Memorial Drive is open again in the area. Don’t know yet if that means the search succeeded or was just suspended.

7:04 PM: And we have the answer from Sgt. West via Twitter – suspect arrested:

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Dog found in Boulevard Park

September 28th, 2013 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Pets, White Center news Comments Off

In the Boulevard Park area? Maybe you know whose dog this is:

Found this evening in the rain in front of Boulevard Park Liquor Store. Healthy and happy neutered male…warm, fed and dry now …very friendly….black and white… Wasn’t happy about meeting our dog so is in our heated garage for now. My name is Stephanie #206-234-7814

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Update: Two men shot in Boulevard Park, one killed

March 20th, 2013 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Crime, White Center news Comments Off

7:09 AM: King County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating a double shooting in the Boulevard Park area. Here’s an update from Sgt. Cindi West:

An early morning shooting left one man dead and another in critical condition after what detectives believe might have been a shootout.

The shooting happened in the 1000 block of S 102nd St (map) just before 1:30 this morning. A woman called 911 and said that she heard numerous gunshots and her house had been hit by gunfire.

Deputies arrived and found a car running in the front yard of the house. The driver and passenger in the vehicle had apparent gunshot wounds. The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver is in critical condition at Harborview. Both victims are men.

Detectives said at least one other house and another car in the neighborhood was also hit by gunfire. One car was seen leaving the scene around the time of the shooting. There is no description of that vehicle at this time.

3:17 PM UPDATE: The latest from Sgt. West:

At this time we have not been able to confirm that there was another vehicle involved. People in the house thought they heard 2 vehicles and a neighbor saw one vehicle in the area but we do not know if this was our victim’s vehicle or another vehicle.

The driver is still at Harborview in critical condition.

We have NO suspect info at this time. All we have is a passenger dead from an apparent gunshot to the head and the driver in Harborview with a gunshot wound.

I know that the driver knew someone in the house but I am not sure who or what their relationship was.

Unknown if gang related.

Detectives told me that the first deputies on the scene did find one weapon in the victim’s vehicle. I have not confirmed if this was the only weapon in the car.

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North Highline annexation: Burien’s informational roadshow starts at Glen Acres

May 14th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, boulevard park, burien, White Center news 4 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The second North Highline annexation-election info campaign has begun, with almost six months to go until the expected November vote.

This wasn’t technically a campaign event, in terms of pushing a particular point of view, but rather, Burien’s first “outreach” event this time around. Glen Acres Country Club played host; the meeting was not widely promoted, as the clubhouse there had only capacity for the with about three dozen people in attendance.

Standing in front of a sweeping wall of glass that ironically had a distant view of downtown Seattle – the city that had dibs on this area but chose not to pursue – Burien city manager Mike Martin (top photo) led the presentation – “You’re the very first public forum that we’ve having,” he told them, promising to offer “high-level remarks” but also focus on questions. Other Burien reps included Police Chief Scott Kimerer and city analyst Nhan Nguyen, who worked for White Center Community Development Association before joining the city last year.

Unveiled tonight was the new official FAQ/fact sheet regarding annexation and what it would be like if it is approved and implemented by the Burien City Council, likely to take effect, city manager Martin said, in spring 2013.

It does not appear to be online as of this writing, but includes these bullet points:
*2,045 acres proposed for annexation
*About 17,400 people (last census; 2010 numbers not crunched yet)
*White Center, Top Hat, Beverly Park, Glendale included, along with parts of Boulevard Park, Riverton Heights, and Shorewood
*Burien would take over North Shorewood, White Center Heights, Lakewood parks, while Steve Cox Memorial Park would stay with the county, as a regional facility

Many things don’t change, he said. So – he acknowledged, one big question – what DOES change?

“A very progressive governance in Burien .. would focus its attention on this area,” is one major thing.

First question:

Would Burien go to the Port of Seattle to have this area designated as a noise-abatement area, given that “planes fly so low through here … my son (a pilot) can pick out my garage door”? asked a woman. (Planes could be heard rumbling overhead now and then throughout the meeting.)

Martin’s answer boiled down to no, although he said some things can be addressed, such as “if they start flying really lousy patterns.”

Burien councilmember Jerry Robison (foreground in photo), who said he hadn’t come intending to speak but did end up answering more than a few questions, chimed in that while the noise situation isn’t under local control, things can be done “to make them be better neighbors.”

Chief Kimerer spoke next. “I hope we’re getting to a point where we have some resolution .. the story hasn’t changed regarding what would change with police services. Regarding what we’ve accomplished with the first annexation, I’ve heard very positive comments. … What we’re hoping, and what our plan is, is providing at least the same level of service provided out here with the Sheriff’s Office. I am going to take most of the people who work out here and they will be in a green uniform one day and a blue uniform the next.”

He said they would look forward to keeping the White Center storefront. But he said “being in a city, as opposed to being in a county,” gives law enforcers “more tools” to deal with problems – such as proposing ordinances. The bigger team he has since the previous annexation, he said, gave Burien PD a “bigger team” for “different strategies,” including a gang unit, undercover enforcement, the “Secret Squirrel stuff” that’s “really cool,” and more. Ultimately, they have a “lot of flexibility” in dealing with emerging trends, he said.

Next question – what about enforcement of “junk cars … in the right of way” and similar nuisances? asked an attendee, wondering if Burien would have more code-enforcement officers. That’s primarily a city staffing issue, the chief noted, while adding that his officers are “very aware” of those issues. Martin added that the city feels it’s “a quality of life issue that we can address.” Councilmember Robison also jumped into the discussion, noting that as a real-estate lawyer, he has been on both sides of such cases. He acknowledged that King County’s code-enforcement officer for this area “also covers Vashon Island, Skyway, and other areas,” while Burien’s officer has a much-smaller area to handle.

Martin then elaborated: “There are two schools of code enforcement … you go out and everything you see, you go after, or, you go after everything that is reported.”

Next question: If annexation is approved, will Burien reassess the property? Robison pointed out that cities don’t control assessments, the county does. “So your tax-assessed value would not change as a result of the annexation.” Martin took the occasion to point out that of your tax dollar, most of the money goes to the school district (currently >Highline Public Schools, which is how it would remain post-annexation), while only a small portion (12 cents) goes to the city. Robison suggested checking your annual property tax bill to see what part of the money goes where.

As noted on the FAQ/fact-sheet, your taxes/fees will go up about $90/year if you have a residence worth $200,000, said Martin. It was clarified in response to another question, that none of the increase results from the school district (one man pointed out that there are no kids at Glen Acres, so “what’s in it (school tax) for me?”) – the area remains in the Highline Public Schools district, annexed or not annexed. Martin took the occasion to counter that there is “something in it” for everyone, parents or not – “human capital.”

One difference: Burien has a business-and-occupation tax, while the county does not. Would the Glen Acres clubhouse pay that? Councilmember Robison pointed out some exceptions, such as, no tax on alcohol sales. Membership fees don’t count either, he said. Martin promised more research on some of the specifics that would apply to Glen Acres.

“Would this change our address from Seattle to Burien?” Martin’s reply: “Yes and no, no and no … you can put Seattle on it and it will still get to you, but your correct city would be Burien.”

Is there an option to stay unincorporated? it was asked. “It is possible …” said Martin. “There is nothing that compels residents to be part of any city … but I’ll tell you something: What you’ve seen in the last couple years is a gradual decline in the amount of money the county is able to put into areas like this … and it’s getting worse and worse. It’s not doom and gloom, it’s just a fact; if the County Executive was standing here with me, he’d agree. … Once that decline starts, it’s very difficult to get on top of. Roads, once they get to a certain lack of maintenance, are (more expensive to fix/restore).”

He said he fears that if it stays unincorporated, “this area right on our border will be neglected … Remaining in unincorporated King County for another five years is not going to be pretty.”

Asked about crime rates, Chief Kimerer said there’s an index which shows 53 per thousand for Burien, 62 per thousand for Seattle – overall, he said, there’s no “vast difference” in crime rates, and overall, Burien crime has been going down; the index used to be 75, he said.

He also was asked about traffic enforcement, and whether the city would ever have a dedicated traffic-enforcement officer. According to the chief, all the officers are trained in radar, and traffic becomes part of many people’s jobs. “Burien PD does write traffic tickets,” affirmed Robison. “Particularly in school zones.” Traffic-calming measures also were mentioned.

Other questions included property values and building codes. Will Burien’s procedures be cheaper/more streamlined? Martin said he believes his city is “head and shoulders over the county” in terms of process.

Counties, he reminded everyone, are not “built” to handle urban services. “I’m not telling you that we’re going to come in and the world is going to change,” he said, but a city is better suited to serve residents’ needs.

How’s the previous annexation going? one attendee then asked.

It’s been more than 2 years now, Martin began his answer – 14,000 residents brought in $550,000 state sales-tax credit. He said Burien didn’t add any more staff, though it did add some police officers. “We went through this whole rancorous process, but when we actually did it, it was like shouting into the Grand Canyon, it was great, and I think people are satisfied and happy,” he said.

Chief Kimerer said for his department, “it was seamless”; they added 13 officers, and the crime rate went down. As he acknowledged, the previous annexation area is residential, no businesses, unlike this one. “It’s been really a deafening silence,” he said. Councilmember Robison said, “I haven’t heard any complaints.”

Martin pointed out that because of a Seattle lobbying effort, this annexation would bring the city 10 times the sales-tax-credit revenue, though he quickly added, “this will be a more complex annexation … we’re going to be adding more staff and planners and code enforcement … it’s going to take about two years for everything to settle down.”

Then came the thorny subject of animal control (as discussed at the last North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting). Martin said he’s proud of his decision to terminate the relationship with King County’s animal control and believes there’s a higher level of service now. He said he doesn’t know the current euthanasia rate; however, he said, animal control “is a discretionary function. He said the newest stats will be available next month in a report, though “if our euthanasia rates are higher than the county, I’m good with that.”

What about coyotes? asked a woman.

Martin said he could relate because, when he lived in Auburn, he lost his dog to a coyote. If there is a problem animal, he said, they get state Fish and Wildlife to come out – “they have people specially trained to trap and shoot them.”

He was asked about urban-renewal projects, and mentioned the Burien plan to move auto dealers over to a particular area north of the third runway, to reclaim commercial land that auto businesses had been using elsewhere, particularly on downtown 1st Avenue.

Robison said that with annexation, Burien would hope to encourage more development beyond the current heart of Burien – Top Hat and White Center, for example – and “build this up so we don’t have vacant tracts and empty buildings sitting around.”

Before rezoning, Martin promised, “we’re going to ask – ‘what’s your vision?’ Then it becomes your obligation to tell people what you want, to participate.”

Resident Bob Price said he considers annexation “a chance to take care of your own destiny.”

“Bob is right,” said Martin. “There’s a choice here.”

And there’s more information – at burienwa.gov/annexation, or answers to questions if you e-mail annexation@burienwa.gov. Watch for word of the next meeting.

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Details: King County Library Board shelves consolidation, till info’s in on annexation

June 29th, 2011 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off

Story and photos by Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for White Center Now

More than 50 community members were in attendance as the King County Library Services Board of Trustees met in Issaquah Tuesday, hoping to have their collective voices heard regarding the North Highline Library Service Recommendation to consolidate the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries.

(From left, Liz Giba of NHUAC, Burien City Councilmember Rose Clark, WCCDA’s Virgil Domaoan, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, NHUAC president Barb Dobkin)
The White Center Library Guild presented its petition (as reported here) to the Board with just shy of 1,800 signatures. Comments to the Board were broad, repeating many of the same issues presented in previous meetings. But the perceived lack of effective outreach to the regular WC and Boulevard Park library users was pointed out by Virgil Domaoan, community builder director of the White Center Community Development Association, who lives in Boulevard Park.

He joined the petition efforts initiated by the White Center Library Guild and discovered during their doorbelling campaign that people had not heard about the potential library closures and were concerned how they would get to another location to use a computer every day. He pointed out these are families who do not have the computers commonly found in other neighborhoods where internet access and computer ownership is common place. Domaoan said only one person refused to sign the petition, a mother who wanted her son to be present when she signed it so he could witness what she was doing as a civic lesson.

Greg Duff, former North Highline Unincorporated Area Council member who is a candidate for Burien City Council, told the Board that his petition drive at the recent Burien Wild Strawberry Festival resulted in two main takeaways from the public he spoke with: It was suggested that Board members themselves visit the Boulevard Park and White Center libraries any day around 4:00 PM to see for themselves the high volume of computer users. The second takeaway was why should they, as voters, ever vote for a library bond again when they were lied to about the 2004 bond?

Astha Tada, speaking to the Board as a former teacher and as a Guild Member, wore an 18-pound backpack as she spoke. That’s the average weight of what kids carry every day back and forth to school, saying she learned that when she “googled” it in her research. In true teacher fashion, she wore it to illustrate the unwieldy weight children would be expected to bear while walking even further to a new library location from school and home because, she said, there will be no transportation options for them when they do not have money for a bus.

Safia Jama told the Board through a Somali interpreter that she is the mother of six children raised in White Center for the last 15 years. “Every day I have taken my children to the library in White Center. My children are in elementary, middle and high school and university. I am not lying. All of them use the library every day.”

Having heard all of these and many other passionate and articulate speakers, the Board spared any debate regarding convening an Executive Session to hear the staff’s proposed sites for a new library, as Director Ptacek suggested the Board do as the agenda outlined. The agenda was changed and a motion was made and immediately approved to delay any decisions on consolidation until further information was available about the potential for the Burien annexation of North Highline.

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Burien City Council discusses White Center (etc.) annexation

June 20th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, boulevard park, burien, Politics, white center, White Center news 2 Comments »

“So here we are,” Burien city manager Mike Martin began as he opened a quick recap of where the issue of North Highline annexation stood, before tonight’s scheduled Burien City Council discussion.

No council action was taken – they voiced opinions, as you will read below.

First, Martin described Seattle’s recent decision to table annexation till February as a “major departure” from where things had stood previously. That wasn’t the only factor sparking a new Burien council discussion of annexation, however, he said, mentioning the King County Library Board’s discussion of potentially consolidating the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries.

Martin also mentioned commissioning a financial study with an organization that he says does this type of study and already has “a tremendous amount of information about the (prospective) annexation area.” He says the financial data should be available in late July/early August.

Councilmember Gordon Shaw followed up Martin’s briefing by voicing skepticism about the financial viability of annexation, given a previous study, but said he would like to see the study showing the effects of a changing economy, and what he said was apparently a lower population: “I think they’ve lost 3,000 people up there.” He also said he would like to know how it would affect the city overall.

Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak asked what kind of educational outreach is planned for citizens. Martin said “Council will be taking comments at every council meeting they have until they make a decision – identical to last time.” She also wondered if information was available about major developments planned in the potential annexation area.

Councilmember Jack Block, Jr. talked about the difference between the perception and the reality of White Center. “if you take a drive through White Center, there are virtually no empty storefronts – I wish we could say that here in Burien.” He described WC’s “vitality and growth” as “homegrown” and expressed a hope that it would be emulated in Burien.

“If we don’t vote for it, we don’t have control over that area, and the density could increase, crime could increase, a bunch of public housing is put in there because historically that’s how Seattle does things,” Block suggested, worrying about a “spillover … Think about protecting our community. Do we want to have a say in that area, or just let whatever happens, happen up there?”

He noted that Burien has a budget surplus, while King County has been dealing with a budget shortfall, and, in his view, has put unincorporated North Highline problems “on a back burner.” He also voiced concern about county housing projects in the works, and whether they might unduly burden Burien.

Councilmember Gerald Robison pointed out that he has been working on the annexation issue “for a long time” and says “there are a lot of perceptions out there that I don’t think is accurate.” He contended that it’s “simply not true” that the area is made up of a large population of people who require government services. “What they need is good government, and that’s what they’ve been lacking up there,” he contended, adding that he believes Burien could provide that “good government.” He echoed Block’s point that White Center has a lot of thriving businesses, “the kind of independent businesspeople who are exactly what we are talking about in our mission statement.”

But “I won’t even vote for annexation if it means raising taxes on the rest of the residents in Burien,” Robison vowed. And he said he believes it’s important for Burien’s “survival” to take a look at annexing the area if it can be done. The area doesn’t need Burien, he acknowledged, but “if their options are going to Seattle or going to Burien, I think for the sake of Burien and the sake of the people in North Highline, if we can manage it, we should do it.”

Councilmember Rose Clark said she agreed wholeheartedly with Block and Robison. She said she also believes that if there’s a continued effort to “concentrate poverty” in the greater Highline area, it will “break” the community – and she says what happens in White Center (etc.) will affect Burien too. “The only way to address that is to take a good hard look at North Highline and what we can do to mitigate” the concentration of poverty to which she referred. “If all of that (financial analysis) pencils out, we have to look at what that area becomes” with King County services dwindling.

Deputy Mayor Brian Bennett discussed his roots going back generations in the North Highline area, and saying that while that area likely would prefer to be left alone the reality of county and state laws and finances are that, they cannot be left alone – “they’re going to be incorporated somewhere … If Seattle does take over Area Y, what their incentives are going to be in how they treat Area Y , and whether the decisionmakers for that area are going to be impacted by what happens there, or are they going to be in the north side (of the city) and not affected.”

Councilmember Krakowiak then said “This is a big issue before us and it behooves us to take our time.” She said she would be a likely “no” vote if they were voting on it right now.

At the start of the meeting, in a public-comment session that lasted more than half an hour, seven people expressed opposition to or concern about annexation – with a common theme, if Seattle says it can’t afford annexation, how can Burien? – while two familiar White Center community advocates, Liz Giba and Rachael Levine, spoke favorably about it. (We will add details of the comments later.)

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Saving the libraries: Petition drive begins; legislators’ letter

June 8th, 2011 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Libraries, White Center news 1 Comment »

Story and photos by Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for White Center Now

Members of the White Center Library Guild have kicked off a signature drive for a petition that will be presented to the King County Library Services Board of Trustees later this month.

Guild President Rachel Levine (far left in top photo) told WCN the Guild will continue gathering signatures from all ages of the libraries’ users through June 16 at various locations, including stations at the libraries.

The White Center Library Guild petition reads:

“We, the undersigned, wish to maintain the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries in their current locations;

Accessible libraries are crucial to the academic improvement of our children who struggle to overcome poverty;

We ask the KCLS Board of Trustees to delay any decision about the future of our libraries until after annexation is resolved.”

Tonight at the 34th District Democrats’ meeting, Liz Giba told that group the petition got about 100 signatures in just a matter of one hour.

At the most recent meeting of the KCLS Board on May 25, a discussion of consolidating the Boulevard and White Center libraries was postponed after appeals from the Guild and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott sought delay of any final decision until the issue of annexation of the unincorporated North Highline area has been discussed by the city of Burien.

The board postponed a decision but asked the staff to provide it with suggested locations of potential new-library sites at the June 28 board meeting at the Issaquah Library Services Center.

Before then, on June 18, the KCLS Board will have its next Planning Meeting at the Burien Library which, according to Levine, in part determines the agenda for the next Board meeting. It will be open to the public to attend, but does not allow for public comment. Two days later, the Burien City Council is scheduled to begin discussions about annexing the remaining North Highline unincorporated area. Elected city leaders have sent a letter to the KCLS Board requesting a delay of any library consolidation decision until the Burien annexation discussion has approached a more definitive conclusion, perhaps by mid-summer.

One more note: Legislators from the 34th and 11th districts have sent a letter both opposing the consolation and exhorting the library trustees to at least wait until there’s an annexation decision. Read it here.

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Reminder: North Highline on the King County Library Board agenda today

May 24th, 2011 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news Comments Off

Will the King County Library Board vote to consolidate the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries? It’s on the agenda today for their 5 pm meeting – at the North Bend Library. Find the agenda linked here. White Center Now will be there and we’ll let you know what happens.

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Fireworks reminder: Where/when they’re legal, where they’re not

July 2nd, 2010 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, burien, Holidays, west seattle, white center, White Center news Comments Off

Just a quick reminder: Though fireworks have been for sale in the unincorporated area since Monday, using them is ONLY legal 9 am-midnight on Sunday. And if you are within the Seattle or Burien city limits, they are NOT legal at all.

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Next Seattle annexation briefing on Friday

February 17th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Annexation, boulevard park, White Center news 4 Comments »

Reminder since Friday is only two days away – Friday is the next public discussion in Seattle city government of the proposal to annex the north section of North Highline. It’s a briefing before the Seattle City Council‘s Regional Development and Sustainability Committee, 2 pm at Seattle City Hall. Here’s the official agenda.

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Follow Up on Editorial: Should We Take Susan Hutchison Seriously

September 28th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in boulevard park, development, Economy, Election, Government, housing, Jail Sites, Jobs, King County, safety, sustainability, Traffic, Transportation, white center 19 Comments »

For those who missed it, KUOW today broadcast an interview with, King County Executive, Susan Hutchison.  You can find the interview at KUOW Weekday.  In a prior post I had made the following observation which sparked a fair amount of discussion:

Ms. Hutchison has never held public office.  She has never had to struggle with the political realities of governing a complex political entity whose ambits include not only roads and sewers but social services, neighborhoods and law enforcement.  It is difficult to see how her experience on the board of the Seattle Symphony prepared her, in the slightest way, for such a weighty role.

If anyone had any doubt about Ms. Hutchison’s lack of specificity on issues, policies or even advisors, it is worth a listen (available on podcast).  Pressed by the moderator to name a single advisor who she consults, or who she would bring to her administration, she flatly resisted naming anyone, except to say bus drivers.  Her conclusion was “trust me” they will be great people.  I have nothing against bus drivers, but maybe she could have named a couple of the guys that she intends to bring to the Hutchison administration that will “bring people together.”  I’m sorry but calling Hutchison a “lightweight” does not begin to describe the chasm that is her lack of qualification to hold such an important post.  Listen for yourself.

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Should We Take Susan Hutchison Seriously: Editorial by Ricardo A. Guarnero

September 23rd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Annexation, boulevard park, Businesses, development, Economy, Election, Greenbridge, housing, Metro, North Highline UAC, Politics, white center 22 Comments »

Given that White Center, Boulevard Park and surrounding areas are governed directly by King County, the choice of King County Executive should be taken very seriously.  The two candidates are Susan Hutchison and Dow Constantine.  Constantine is a fixture of West Seattle and White Center politics, so he is a known commodity.  Not so, Susan Hutchison, who hails from the East Side of the County.  Candidate Hutchison has run a “feel good” campaign, emphasizing her position to “bring people together.”  Her website’s issues page contains four short paragraphs, with the following priorities:

Jobs & the Economy:

Susan will help give small businesses the tools they need to create jobs…

Improve Transportation:

Susan will quickly implement simple changes to encourage transit ridership…

Budget Reform:

Susan will identify waste and restructure the budget to ensure our tax dollars are being spent effectively.

Protect Our Environment.

Susan will forge partnerships between environmental, labor and business groups as we work toward our common goal…

That’s it folks, Susan Hutchison’s platform for managing one of the biggest governmental entities in the country. In her defense, it might be said that she is offering as much detail as the two lightweights who are currently vying to be Seattle’s next mayor.  But then, that’s not much of a complement.

I will forthrightly state that I do not like Ms. Hutchison’s right-wing politics and that on that basis alone, she should be disqualified for the position.  Seattle and King County residents are a tolerant, liberal community.  To have a George Bush conservative speaking for us, just does not sit well.  But what about her competence?

Ms. Hutchison has never held public office.  She has never had to struggle with the political realities of governing a complex political entity whose ambits include not only roads and sewers but social services, neighborhoods and law enforcement.  It is difficult to see how her experience on the board of the Seattle Symphony prepared her, in the slightest way, for such a weighty role.

I often disagreed with former King County Executive, Ron Sims, but I found him thoughtful, intelligent and most importantly, quite knowledgeable on any issue relating to his role as Executive of the very large and expansive King County.  On the issue of affordable housing, we know nothing as to where Hutchison stands?  Does she support the Greenbridge and High Point housing/community developments?  If so, on what basis?  If not, why not?  Where does she stand on the issue of incorporation which raises the hackles of so many of White Center’s residents?

And what of her experience dealing with communities of color or economically distressed areas?  How does her “bringing people together” chirp really address the many challenges that White Center faces?  The fact is, nothing in her background begins to give her a serious understanding of White Center or similar communities.  There is no on-the-job training for such issues.  And Ms. Hutchison has given no indication that she even remotely cares about such issues.  In the end, Hutchison is what she was in her prior role as newscaster, a pretty face with a vacuous resume.

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School is starting; slow down at crosswalks if you don’t want to be cited

September 3rd, 2009 Ricardo Posted in boulevard park, Schools, white center Comments Off

Although Seattle’s schools don’t start until next week, Holy Family on Roxbury Avenue at 20th SW has already started.  There is a crosswalk, right in front of the school, on the very busy Roxbury Avenue.  Problem is, that most days, drivers are whizzing along well above the speed limit, never mind the cross-walk limit.  Be warned that this crosswalk is ALWAYS, and I mean always, manned by police.  And the cross-walk is at the crest of a hill, making it less noticeable.  Our advice, slow down at all crosswalks, since SPD and other law enforcement are going to be vigorously enforcing the speed limit at school crossings.  Besides, kids are using these crosswalks and need I say more.  Be safe and be smart.

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Port candidates’ forum this afternoon in Boulevard Park

August 9th, 2009 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Election, Politics Comments Off

Sorry we didn’t see this sooner, but there’s still time to get there:

Sunday, Aug. 9th
2:00 PM
12424 – 12th Ave S, 98168, Boulevard Park

The Boulevard Park Community,
in Conjunction with the Boulevard Park Chapter of ACORN, is hosting

Port of Seattle Commissioner Candidates Forum

Hear and Meet the Candidates – Experience Grassroots Democracy

Candidates accepting the invitation:

Position No. 1:
John Creighton

Position No. 3:
Rob Holland
Al Yuen

Position No. 4:
Tom Albro
Max Vekich

Also attending, but not formally speaking:
Candidates for King County Executive:
Dow Constantine and Ross Hunter

Various other community candidates and special interest groups are expected to attend, as well.

This is a “down home”, informal event in the backyard of a Boulevard Park neighbor.

There will be grilled hot dogs with pop and chips. We are asking for donations to help with costs.

This is a residential neighborhood and parking is limited. Please carpool and plan on walking a ways. Please do not block driveways.

Seating is also limited. To assure a seat, please bring a lawn chair.

Bring questions!

This is not an endorsement of any candidate, but an informational event to help voters make informed choices on their ballots.

We are looking forward to a very interesting afternoon

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council report #1: Crime update

August 7th, 2009 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Crime, North Highline UAC, top hat, White Center news Comments Off

First of three reports from last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting:

King County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Hancock briefed the group on crime in its coverage area over the preceding six weeks, late June through early August. While what he discussed comprised a somewhat-long list, as he summarized at the end, “A few years ago, this would have been a weekend recap – what in this case happened over (a month and a half).” He also took pains to point out that only one of the violent incidents was truly random. Note: Since the group oversees areas beyond White Center, his overview included those other areas too.

Toplines: 3 rapes, one involving a child (he indicated a suspect had been arrested). One armed robbery – “Five girls asked the victim, at Albertson’s, if they could have a ride. They held him up at knifepoint and took all his electronics and cash.” Six felony assaults, including a stabbing at a “homeless camp” and a “large fight disturbance at the Roxbury/15th bus stop.” Two shootings in which nobody was hit – described as gangs exchanging gunfire – one near the Bernie and Boys Market at 112th/1st (map), and Deputy Hancock says that one resulted in an arrest. The one “random normal person who was a victim,” as Deputy Hancock put it, incident was a mugging at South 96th/8th Ave So (map). The other violent incidents, he repeated, involved “people … in dangerous lifestyles – it’s not like you or I are going to the grocery store and people are shooting at us.”

A few more numbers: 36 4th-degree assaults, “mostly domestic violence,” though one involved an upset bar patron throwing a pot full of coffee. 3 commercial burglaries. 15 residential burglaries, 15 shoplifting cases, 12 shoplifting incidents, 12 vehicle thefts, 19 car prowls. He also recounted a story told at the last White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting – about a frequently arrested homeless man who OD’d at 98th/15th and was brought back to life, recovering well enough that “we arrested him for the 10th time three days later.” 2 more updates from NHUAC, later today.

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Sheriff’s Office seeks help solving Boulevard Park home invasion

March 4th, 2009 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Crime, White Center news Comments Off

From Sgt. John Urquhart at King County Sheriff’s Office:

On March 3, 2009 at about 8.30 PM a home located in the 11000 block of 8th Ave S was invaded and robbed by three armed suspects. The suspects ransacked the house while holding the occupants at gunpoint. The preliminary investigation indicates the suspects were after money and drugs. They left in what was described as a tan newer Cadillac taking with them an undetermined amount of cash, 2 shotguns and other property. The suspects are described as a white male and 2 Hispanic males all in their mid to late twenties. They were wearing black stocking hats, black sweatshirts and dark jeans. The suspects were all armed with handguns.
Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance with any information that might assist them with their investigation.

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