THURSDAY: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council focuses on COVID-19 pandemic

March 2nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council focuses on COVID-19 pandemic

Last weekend marked exactly one year since the first King County cases of COVID-19 were reported. This Thursday, the pandemic is the focus of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s monthly meeting. Here’s the preview just in from NHUAC:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When? Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 7 pm
How? Join Zoom Meeting: kingcounty.zoom.us/j/98750682577

​​​​​​Meeting ID: 987 5068 2577
​​​​​​Passcode (case sensitive): NHUAC2021

Unable to join via Zoom?
Please Call 253.215.8782
​​​​​​Meeting ID: 987 5068 2577 ​
Passcod​e 956569157

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an exhausting and ongoing, yearlong natural disaster unprecedented in its duration, damage and pervasive impact on our lives.” (Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County Public Health Officer, 2.26.21)

North Highline has certainly suffered. According to the county’s COVID-19 Data DashboardDaily Summary, North Highline continues to have one of the highest positivity rates in the county. In recognition of the reality that the battle is not yet won, much of NHUAC’s March 4th meeting will focus on COVID-19, what we can do, what lies ahead, and the role social equity might play in crafting a winning response.

We will be joined by Matias Valenzuela, currently a Director with Seattle-King County Public Health and formerly Director of King County’s Office of Equity and Social Justice; North Highline Fire District Chief Mike Marrs; and Art Hendricks, manager of King County’s Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Group. The Sheriff’s Office was busy in North Highline in February. Major Jeff Flohr and Deputy Bill Kennamer will join us for what is sure to be an informative meeting.

Have you heard? COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics will be held at Evergreen High School (830 SW 116th) in White Center on Wednesday and Thursday, March 3rd and 4th, from 10 am to 4 pm. These Vaccine Clinics are for White Center residents (and nearby neighbors) who fall into Phases 1A and 1B1 of the state’s vaccine prioritization schedule because they are: 65 or older; 50 or older and living in multigenerational households; residents of long-term care facilities; high-risk first responders; healthcare workers; or high-risk workers in health care settings. If a neighbor fits these criteria, please share this link and information with them.

kroger.com/rx/guest/get-vaccinated?vaccineGroup=ehs

In Step 1 (the location field), type 98146 to get to QFC-FM-CHAMBER-EVERGREEN HS(Clinic Event at 830 SW 116th St.) and make an appointment. If there are appointments available, walk-up registration will be done on-site.

​ Learn, share, and help make North Highline a better and healthier place.

March 4, 2021 at 7 pm – Tell a Neighbor!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

VACCINATION: Special clinic for White Center

February 27th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on VACCINATION: Special clinic for White Center

Thanks to Tamsen for forwarding this notice circulated by the White Center Community Development Association:

Currently, a vaccination clinic is being set up in White Center for 3/4 & 3/5 (with the second dose 2 weeks after) to serve 900 of our people as we move into Phase 1B for Washington.

The ask that I have for you is to help distribute this information with intentionality to your network, as we work to sign up our BIPOC White Center community members. In consideration of the pandemic, we want to ensure a focus on our elderly, non-English speaking neighbors, and those that either may not have access to or high proficiency in online capabilities.

These vaccinations will occur at Evergreen High School (830 SW 116th St) in partnership with QFC and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Who this includes:

High-risk healthcare workers in health-care settings
High-risk first responders
Long-term care facility residents
All other workers at risk in health-care settings
All people 65 years or older
All people 50 years or older in multigenerational households (homes where individuals from 2 or more generations reside such as an elder and a grandchild)

Here is the link.

This link to COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics is reserved for residents in White Center and immediately surrounding areas that fall into Washington State’s current Covid-19 vaccine eligibility phases: 1A, 1B1 (healthcare workers, high risk workers in health care settings, high risk first responders, 65+, 50+ in multigenerational households). In location field, type 98146 for Evergreen High School Clinic to make an appointment. Please tell people to enter 98146 as the zip code for this clinic. If there are appointments available, walk-up registration will be done on-site. We will provide interpreters in multiple languages. Appointments will occur from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM both days.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

REOPENING: Southgate Roller Rink’s plan

January 10th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Fun, southgate, White Center news 1 Comment »

Though the new statewide reopening plan still prohibits some things in Phase 1 – like indoor dining – it opens the door starting Monday for some indoor fitness and entertainment. Southgate Roller Rink has a plan under what’s allowed with the latter – here’s what they plan to do:

Reserve your space today! Under the new phase 1 guidelines for Entertainment Establishments, you can rent the rink privately for $78 per hour for up to 6 people beginning January 13th, 2021. Masks are required.

Reservations available 7 days a week from 12 pm-10 pm. Please give us a call at (206) 707-6949 or email us at info@southgaterollerrink.com!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SPEND LOCAL! New county campaign to urge you to keep your money close to home

November 23rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on SPEND LOCAL! New county campaign to urge you to keep your money close to home

Your dollars matter most when they are spent with truly local businesses. King County is reminding everyone about that, with this announcement:

King County Executive Dow Constantine kicked off a new social media campaign to encourage people to discover offerings from arts organizations, gyms, restaurants, and retailers as the region embraces new public health instructions. This effort follows the successful awarding of financial and technical assistance to hundreds of King County businesses.

As King County follows statewide temporary restrictions on public gatherings, Executive Constantine encouraged residents to patronize local businesses.

The “Keep it local King County” social media campaign launched today comes on the heels of $4 million in grants and technical assistance that was awarded to approximately 630 small businesses in unincorporated King County.Keep_It_Local_KC_Logo_FINAL

Businesses included restaurants, bakeries, spas, retailers, contractors, auto repair shops, farms, and others.

The last grants are expected to be awarded by the end of the year.

“The grant definitely helped me,” said Yulonda Rhodes of Texture Salon Studio in White Center. “Prior to COVID, I was in process of doing some remodeling. Then COVID happened, I got laid off from my part-time job, and this business slowed down. The grant allowed to get everything I needed to get done. It definitely helped.”

Many businesses around the region have changed operations to keep their employees and customers safe, and are open for business.

The “Keep it local King County” campaign seeks to highlight available offerings, and stress the importance of spending dollars locally.

“Keep it local King County” will promote different options each day of the week:

Monday: Memberships
The Executive’s Office will emphasize the importance of continuing or purchasing memberships in regional arts and cultural organizations.

Tuesday: Takeout
Restaurants are open and ready to serve. Executive Constantine: “Let the take-out box be a symbol of our resilience.”

Wednesday: Workouts
Even though in-door activities in gyms are currently not allowed, many offer on-line yoga and other services. In these stressful times, it is more important than ever to keep mentally healthy by being physically fit.

Thursday: Give thanks
For those who are able to work from home and maintain a steady income, remember to thank essential workers by leaving a little something extra as a tip, or a thank-you card.

Friday: Fun with family and friends
Even with heightened restrictions, there is plenty to do, such as farmers markets. It is also important to make sure residents know how to use video-communications apps.

Saturday: Shop safe
It is safe to patronize businesses in our neighborhoods and downtown, as long as we follow simple guidelines. Now is the time to show the love to local merchants.

“While I am heartened that so many have done so much to help us respond to this unprecedented crisis, I also appreciate the burden on and anxiety felt by many restaurants, retailers, arts organizations and their employees,” said Executive Constantine.

“I am thankful we were able to get financial help to hundreds of small businesses, but we must do more. I urge everyone to patronize restaurants, coffee shops, and other local favorites. As I have said before: If this pandemic is symbolized by the medical mask, let our resilience be represented by the take-out box. Our ‘Keep it local campaign’ over the next few weeks will highlight all that you can do to help our local economy, and enrich your health and well-being.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Free COVID-19 testing Tuesday in White Center

November 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Greenbridge, Health, White Center news 1 Comment »

From the inbox:

Neighborcare Health, in coordination with King County Housing Authority, Somali Health Board, and Neighborhood House, is providing free COVID-19 testing Tuesday, 11/17 from 12-4 pm at Greenbridge Main Plaza, 9839 Eighth Ave SW:

*Walk-up only. No appointment needed.

*Everyone is eligible for testing.

*Safe, quick, and painless. Test swab only goes part way in nose.

*Each individual will be registered upon arrival so we can process the test and follow-up with test results.

At registration, you will provide your name, date of birth, phone number, and insurance information (if you have it). Testing is FREE for everyone. We will bill your insurance if you have it. If you do not have insurance you will not be charged.

Questions: Call Neighborcare CAT Team at 206-333-2524,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

NEED TESTING? Khmer Health Board event at Evergreen High School next weekend

September 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Evergreen High School, Health, White Center news Comments Off on NEED TESTING? Khmer Health Board event at Evergreen High School next weekend

From the WCN inbox:

The Khmer Health Board is organizing a COVID-19 Test Event on Saturday, September 19th from 9 AM – 3 PM at Evergreen High School, 830 SW 116th St.

In-person Khmer translators will be available to assist and insurance is not required for testing. Event is first come, first served. Giveaway items (health and safety supplies, Khmer groceries, etc.) are available until supplies last.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No September meeting, but set your calendar for October!

August 30th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No September meeting, but set your calendar for October!

Announced by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting
Thursday, September 3rd cancelled –

But mark your calendars for NHUAC’s virtual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 1st 7 pm –

Our NHAC board was hopeful that we would be able to resume in person meetings on Thursday, September 3rd, but COVID had other plans for us. Although statewide hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have not risen for the past three weeks, they have not gone down. With that in mind and the continued directives that we limit the size and the frequency of our social gatherings, we are canceling the September 3rd meeting.

The good news is that we plan on resuming meetings on Thursday, October 1st when we will hold NHUAC’s first-ever virtual meeting. We are excited and look forward to connecting with the community.

As we get closer to the meeting date, we will provide information on how you can join us on your computer or by phone.

So stay tuned as we plan on having some important guest speakers.

Stay Safe – Stay Healthy

Questions- Please contact: bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

NEED MASKS? Grocery-store giveaway

August 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on NEED MASKS? Grocery-store giveaway

Just announced by the King County Executive’s Office:

Customers at King County locations of Safeway will be able to take home free face masks with their groceries starting today with a new partnership between King County, Safeway, and UFCW Local 21. …

King County purchased more than 25 million face masks for county residents, and to date has distributed more than 14 million reusable and disposable masks through direct distribution and partnerships with local chambers of commerce and other community organizations. …

Starting today, customers at any of the 59 Safeway locations in King County can obtain two free reusable masks per person in their household, for up to 12 masks total, while at the checkstand. Disposable masks will also be available for customers who may have forgotten or misplaced their masks at all stores. All told Safeway will help distribute 750,000 face masks provided by King County.

The nearest Safeway stores are at 28th/Roxbury and at 1st Ave. S./SW 128th.

P.S. In case you wondered too – we checked: No purchase required to get your free reusable mask(s).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Highline Public Schools will start 2020-2021 without in-person classes

July 22nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Highline Public Schools will start 2020-2021 without in-person classes

Highline Public Schools has announced that the 2020-2021 school year will start without in-person classes:

Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield announced today that Highline schools would begin the school year with distance learning, where students in all grades will learn from home. The district had been planning for in-person instruction on alternating days to allow for social distancing.

“I have been fiercely hoping to have our students back in our schools this fall,” said Superintendent Enfield. “But after reviewing all the data and feedback, and as the person who ultimately bears responsibility for the health and safety of our students and staff in our schools, I cannot in good conscience open schools for in-person instruction in September,”

In a survey of all employees, over 35 percent of staff reported they are in a high-risk group for COVID infection, and nearly 29 percent of teachers say they live with or care for someone who is at high risk.

This announcement comes on the same day as five other south King County districts announced similar plans.

Countries that have successfully reopened schools in-person have done so with declining infection rates. COVID-19 cases are rising in King County, and over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39 according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

When infection rates decrease, the district plans to move into a hybrid model. Families will have the option to continue distance learning, with students remaining with their teachers and classmates while learning from home, or choose in-person instruction two to four days a week, depending on grade level and special needs.

For more information, visit highlineschools.org/coronavirus.

Neighboring Seattle Public Schools made the same announcement today.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

NEED PET FOOD? Go to Steve Cox Memorial Park next Friday

July 4th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Pets, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news Comments Off on NEED PET FOOD? Go to Steve Cox Memorial Park next Friday

King County’s mobile pet-food bank is coming back to Steve Cox Memorial Park, for those who need pet food but are having trouble affording it. Look for it there (1321 SW 102nd) noon-3 pm on Friday, July 10th.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council update – including free masks and hand sanitizer!

July 1st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Holidays, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council update – including free masks and hand sanitizer!

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

As in our prior years, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) will not be holding July and August meetings. We will resume meetings on Thursday, September 3rd. Wishing everyone a safe, happy, warm, summer –

In the meantime, please see the info below regarding mask and hand sanitizer distribution that the North Highline Fire District in partnership with NHUAC and King County, will be handing out on July 4th.

The North Highline Fire District is Pleased to Announce

We will be distributing face masks (2 per person) and hand sanitizer (1 bottle per household) on July 4th in partnership with the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council and King County.

Your firefighters work hard to ensure the safety of North Highline.

We look forward to seeing you in our community on July 4th and making sure you have the protective gear you need to stay healthy!

If you need a mask or hand sanitizer before the 4th of July, please e-mail your contact information to: office@northhighlinefd.org

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

More outdoor business? King County Council passes bill to pave the way

June 23rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, King County, White Center news Comments Off on More outdoor business? King County Council passes bill to pave the way

Being outside is safer in these COVID-19 times, and that’s the inspiration for a bill passed today by the King County Council. Here’s the announcement:

Legislation passed Tuesday afternoon by the King County Council may lead to increased flexibility for restaurants, retail shops, and providers of certain personal services across unincorporated King County.

Passed unanimously, the measure requests the County Executive allow restaurants, retail services, and providers of certain personal services to use private parking areas, other private property and adjacent sidewalks, alleys or other right-of-ways for new or additional outdoor seating or retail use.

“As our economy begins to open up, it is important that we look for ways to help businesses across the county,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who sponsored the legislation. “Different communities have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways, and the legislation passed today creates more flexibility for businesses to provide outdoor dining, retail shopping, and other services as they try to recover from this pandemic while following public health guidance. I look forward to new opportunities to do business and enjoy expanded services all across the county, including in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley!”

The measure would only apply during the county’s movement through Phases 1-3 of Washington’s Safe Start Plan. It would sunset during Phase 4.

“Let’s seize our opportunity to support innovative business ideas,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, who co-sponsored the legislation. “As King County advances through the state’s Safe Start phases, we as a County should do all we can within these Public Health guidelines to support recovery in our communities. I envision great outdoor possibilities in White Center and on Vashon!”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

PHASE 2: State says King County can move ahead to the next step of reopening

June 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, Health, White Center news Comments Off on PHASE 2: State says King County can move ahead to the next step of reopening

This morning, the state announced King County can move to Phase 2 of the reopening plan. For more on what that means, here’s a detailed list on the King County Public Health website.

12:36 PM: King County’s own announcement just arrived. Before reiterating that same list, it begins:

Following approval by state Secretary of Health John Wiesman, King County has officially entered Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan to allow limited business re-opening. Phase 2 allows for twice the capacity in retail, restaurants, and other businesses previously allowed in King County’s modified Phase 1 and goes into effect immediately.

“Moving to Phase 2 is another step toward economic recovery for our region, but it must go hand-in-hand with even more careful adherence to precautions from our public health experts,” said Executive Constantine. “Wearing face coverings, washing hands, and avoiding crowds and unnecessary contact can help make ours a one-way trip back to prosperity, and prevent the need to go back to stay-at-home orders.”

While there are no additional categories of businesses included in moving from modified Phase 1 to Phase 2, the operating capacity has doubled for those able to reopen. For example, restaurants can now operate with 50% of indoor capacity, and retail with 30% capacity. Businesses with questions on how to safely reopen under the state’s guidance are encouraged to call Public Health’s Business Compliance Line at 206-296-1608.

“We evaluated a number of factors to apply to move to phase two of reopening. Our healthcare system, perhaps the single most important factor, is currently well-prepared to care for COVID-19 cases as well as the other health needs of our community,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Public Health officials recommend that people keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible. Outdoors exposures are less risky than indoors, and improving indoor ventilation is recommended. In addition, people need to wear face coverings in public, wash hands frequently, and get tested at the first sign of symptoms.

“Our cases have declined significantly since the peak of the outbreak in late March, and are now hovering around our target goal,” said Duchin. “Over the past seven days, however, we have seen an uptick in the number of cases compared to the previous week. With re-opening, we anticipated more cases in the community. That is why it is now more important than ever keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible and minimize unnecessary activity, especially people at increased risk for COVID-19.”

“As we move into phase 2 and for the foreseeable future, our risk will be increasing, not decreasing,” said Duchin. “COVID-19 has not gone away and we must take the ongoing risk very seriously. If we are going to be successful continuing to reopen, it’s essential that we do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 spread as we have more contact in social, recreational and work-related settings.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

County’s help for small businesses: Sign up for coaching

June 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, King County, White Center news Comments Off on County’s help for small businesses: Sign up for coaching

The announcement is from the King County Department of Local Services:

Business owners in unincorporated King County can call or sign up online to receive business assistance coaching. This service is provided under the $4 million Small Business Assistance Program, approved by the King County Council in May, to help businesses in the unincorporated areas recover from the impacts of COVID-19-related closures.

King County Local Services is contracting with two U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institutions, Business Impact NW and Ventures, to provide the technical assistance to small businesses in unincorporated King County that have been hurt by COVID-19 and related public health measures.

Over-the-phone coaching will be available to businesses directly, as well as to local chambers of commerce and other community business organizations that serve businesses in these areas.

If needed, language interpreters will work with coaches and business owners during the technical assistance sessions. To access services in a language other than English, businesses should leave a phone message including the name of the language they speak. They will receive a call back from a coach and interpreter within two business days.

If you own a business in unincorporated King County, technical assistance coaches can help you with:

Information about the latest (federal, state, and local) funding and loan resources
Assistance with utility bills
Filling out grant or funding application forms
Coaching to help your business survive the impacts of COVID-19 closures

To access this technical assistance, call 206-331-3275 and leave a message. A coach will call back within two business days.

To learn more about this program, visit www.kingcounty.gov/localbusinesshelp.

The Small Business Assistance Program will also include a grant program to help small businesses in unincorporated King County “keep the lights on.” That program is set to launch later this month.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

BUSINESSES: King County gets ‘modified Phase 1’ reopening OK

June 5th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, White Center news 2 Comments »

Just in – King County’s “modified Phase 1” approval from the state. Here’s the announcement:

With new state health officials’ approval today, restaurants and retailers will be allowed to serve customers in their establishments, in addition to other modified openings for a wide range of businesses and activities. Public Health – Seattle & King County will monitor transmission trends, medical capacity and other key indicators to help inform further reopening decisions.

A plan drafted by King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, and King County Board of Health Chair Joe McDermott and approved today by state Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman immediately allows limited and modified openings for a wide range of businesses, recreation, and personal activities in King County.

Businesses are required to follow the state Department of Health’s specific guidance but must adjust their occupancy to the levels identified below. The State defines an establishment’s capacity as the fire code. The intent is to limit business operations to a level that allows for social distancing. Additionally, businesses in retail, professional services, and real estate must take steps to reduce indoor operations to thirty minutes. This is not meant to be timed to the second – no one is expected to have a stopwatch – but customers should be informed why it is important to limit close interactions.

Here is an overview of what’s happening in key sectors across King County:

Restaurants
• Outdoor dining activities is allowed at 50 percent of capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance, though additional seating will be allowed provided it follows Public Health – Seattle & King County’s best practices. Restaurants will also need to go through the normal process within their city – or King County if the establishment is located within unincorporated King County – to seek approval to expand outdoor seating.
• Indoor dining services may operate at 25 percent of capacity, provided such tables and chairs are more than 6 feet away from each other.

In-store retail
• All non-essential retail activities may operate but an establishment’s occupancy may not be not be higher than 15 percent of capacity.
• Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to less than 30 minutes, with face-to-face interactions limited to 30 minutes.
• Essential retail activities may continue to operate according to the existing state regulations.

Personal services: Cosmetologists, Hairstylists, Barbers, Estheticians, Master Estheticians, Manicurists, Nail Salon Workers, Electrologists, Permanent Makeup Artists, Tattoo Artists, Cosmetology Schools and Esthetics Schools
• All activities may operate but the number of clients served will be limited to no more than 25 percent of capacity or one person if it is a single bed/chair studio.

Professional services: Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax preparers, and other office-based occupations that are typically serving a client base
• All activities allowed but an establishment’s occupancy should not be higher than 25 percent of capacity.
• Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to be less than 30 minutes, with face to face interactions limited to 30 minutes.

Construction
• All construction, including those activities for which social distancing may not be maintained and the start of new construction projects, is authorized to resume.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

FOLLOWUP: Top Hat quarantine site still idle

May 28th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, King County, Top Hat, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Top Hat quarantine site still idle

Almost three months after its abrupt announcement ignited community concern, the Top Hat site set up by King County for possible COVID-19 quarantine/isolation remains idle. On Wednesday’s weekly informational call for White Center ccommunity members, a neighborhood activist again asked about the site’s post-pandemic future, but the county insists it’s too soon to say. Meantime, the county is closing the Shoreline site it had set up for assessment and recovery, as explained by Angie Malpass:

As a result of flattening the curve, the operations at the Shoreline AC/RC site, designed to handle a surge of cases, are on hold now that our health-care system, and isolation and quarantine centers have plenty of capacity. The structures will likely remain standing through the end of June when the agreement between the City of Shoreline and King County expires, as we continue to monitor case counts and demand for isolation, quarantine and assessment/recovery centers.

That leaves four county centers in operation – Kent, North Seattle/Aurora, Issaquah, and Harborview Hall. 33 people in all are staying at those facilities, far below the total 246-person capacity. Along with those, the Top Hat site and one in Eastgate “continue to stand ready to open when needed, if demand grows or we experience a second surge,” Malpass said, but, “King County will bring current operational facilities up to full capacity before opening new sites for isolation, quarantine, or recovery.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

PRIDE: You’re invited to virtual White Center flag-raising ceremony on June 6

May 26th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on PRIDE: You’re invited to virtual White Center flag-raising ceremony on June 6

Last year, the first-ever White Center Pride flag-raising was a joyful celebration. This year, COVID-19 is getting in the way – but a virtual celebration will keep the spirit going. Today’s announcement:

On Saturday June 6th at 6:00 pm, a flag symbolizing both pride and progress will soar over Seattle’s southernmost border. The raising of the Progress Pride Flag commemorates the second year of Pride in White Center, where a strong LGBTQIA+ community has recently emerged.

Although the White Center Pride Committee has rescheduled all in-person events from the traditional month of June to October 2020 (due to impact from COVID-19), this event will be an opportunity for our community to virtually and safely “gather” to celebrate Pride as we raise the flag.

The virtual event will feature a live stream, prerecorded messages from speakers, including King County Council Member Joe McDermott, and performances by local drag queens Cookie Couture and Old Witch. We hope that many will join in celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community alongside the wonderful people who live here.

This is a FREE event. Donations accepted via PayPal @WCPride. Donations are tax deductible because the White Center Pride Committee is a pending non-profit 501c3.

You’ll be able to watch via Zoom.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

RESTAURANTS: Why Biscuit Bitch won’t be reopening in White Center

May 13th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Restaurants, White Center news 4 Comments »

You might have heard by now that Biscuit Bitch has decided it won’t be reopening some of its locations – including the one that opened just last year in downtown White Center. Proprietor Kimmie Spice says it was a tough call but she had no choice but to downsize. Here’s her long letter explaining it all.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

LITTLE FREE PANTRIES: You’re invited to host one!

May 13th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on LITTLE FREE PANTRIES: You’re invited to host one!

That’s a Little Free Pantry. In the spirit of Little Free Libraries, it’s a new nwighborhood-based way to help address hunger – which already existed in all neighborhoods, but is now worsened by the virus-crisis economic crunch. The project started in southeast Seattle and founder Molly Harmon says they are expanding west:

A small movement has taken hold in SE Seattle and we are spreading the energy to West Seattle, White Center and Burien – the building and installing of Little Free Pantries (LFP).

This project began with a micro-grant & six Little Free Pantries, and within a month we’ve raised over $3,000 and distributed nearly 44 Little Free Pantries. Little Free Pantries help neighbors feed neighbors. They aren’t intended to replace food security agencies nor eliminate the need to support them; rather they work alongside each other to draw awareness to food insecurity issues and create community through collective action in a neighborhood. We’ve begun working alongside Northwest Harvest & will work to reach out to area food banks, finding ways to utilize each other’s efforts in addressing food security.

The intention is to inform people on food insecurity and bring an issue, which hides in our society, to the surface. Millions of housed Americans are facing food insecurity on a daily basis and with our unemployment rate soaring due to COVID-19, food banks are struggling to access enough food to support those in need. It is imperative to educate the public on this growing need for food and LFPs bring this issue front and center to our neighborhoods, but in a supportive and caring way. Micro-communities form around this pillar (Little Free Pantry) and in turn, connect neighbors who otherwise would not have met. By neighbors stocking their neighborhood Little Free Pantry with non-perishable foods, it keeps the pantry full and helps those needing a meal. Whether a need for food or a need to give, Little Free Pantries help neighbors feed neighbors, nourishing neighborhoods.

We have hit our recent goal of $1150, which will enable us to build 18 pantries. We will distribute these pantries for free throughout Southwest Seattle. This is a grassroots, crowd-sourced solution to address immediate and local needs as a viable way to build community and support those facing food insecurity.

More information can be found at www.thelittlefreepantries.org. Additionally, if you feel a Little Free Pantry would work well in your neighborhood, please apply through the website.

Food insecurity is prevalent, whether you have seen it firsthand or not. And COVID-19 is intensifying the food insecurity that many of our neighbors are vulnerable to. With schools closed and layoffs rampant, many in our community are potentially going to bed hungry A quote from an owner of anewly installed Little Free Pantry in the Seward Park neighborhood, “Since it went up a little over two weeks ago, our LFP (located on Seward Park Ave, between Willow and Brighton) has been used daily, confirming that hunger is often hiding in plain sight, even in neighborhoods you might not think it would exist in.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Local leaders ‘strongly urging’ you to cover your face in public

May 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Health, White Center news Comments Off on Local leaders ‘strongly urging’ you to cover your face in public

Announced today:

Joined by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor A. Jenny Durkan and supported by local leaders, Public Health – Seattle & King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin today issued a Health Officer Directive for the public to use face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19 illness.

The Directive, effective on May 18, declares that all individuals at indoor or confined outdoor public settings are strongly urged to use face coverings over their nose and mouth.

Wearing a face covering can help prevent the spread of infection to others by blocking infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes and speaks. Individuals can be infected and contagious before or even without developing symptoms. Evidence suggests a significant number of infections may be transmitted in this way.

Because face masks such as N95 respirators continue to be reserved for health care workers, residents should use fabric coverings such as cloth masks, scarves or bandanas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides tips on how to make your own cloth face covering.

The Directive applies to both workers and patrons of groceries, pharmacies, big box stores, and other essential establishments, including pet supplies, auto repairs, and home improvement stores. Restaurants with carry-out and food delivery must comply as well. Face coverings do not need to be worn outside unless appropriate social distancing cannot be practiced, such as at farmers markets.

Exceptions to the Health Directive include children, people with disabilities, deaf individuals who use facial movements as part of communication, and others. Health Officer Directives are based on individual compliance by the public; there is no penalty for not wearing a face covering.

The Directive will be in effect until it is no longer needed and rescinded by Dr. Duchin.

Executive Constantine also announced that operators and riders on King County Metro will be required to wear face coverings. Metro operators will not prevent passengers without face coverings from boarding, but recorded reminders will play on Metro vehicle public address systems informing riders of the face covering policy. Security officers will communicate public health guidance to riders who are not wearing a face covering or not staying apart from other passengers.

King County is distributing 115,000 face coverings and masks through community-based organizations. The City of Seattle is working with community-based organizations to distribute over 45,000 cloth face coverings to vulnerable communities, including people experiencing homelessness, older adults, and staff at food banks. Community partners are identifying eligible people based off their existing client lists.

As of May 10, 7,046 King County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and 498 have died due to COVID-19 illness.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button