One more day to vote in emergency-radio-system levy

April 28th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

We found Fred and Joe at the ballot-dropoff van outside Greenbridge Library on Monday, and you’ll find the van there from 10 am-8 pm today – your last chance to get the ballots in for the levy to raise money to replace the area’s emergency-radio system. In the first of its nine years, the rate will be 7 cents for every thousand dollars of property valuation, so if you have a house valued at $400,000, this will cost you $28. If you’re mailing your ballot, remember you need to provide a stamp, and get it postmarked by tonight; if you use the drop van (or another county dropoff spot), you do NOT need a stamp.

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Highline Public Schools special-election results: Prop 1 passing, Prop 2 with less support (so far) than first time around

February 10th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Election, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Highline Public Schools special-election results: Prop 1 passing, Prop 2 with less support (so far) than first time around

The first votes were counted tonight in the special election for two Highline Public Schools measures. The operations levy Proposition 1, which required only a simple majority, is passing with 57 percent – here’s the full look, from the county website:

Construction/renovation Proposition 2 needs 60 percent to pass, and while it was close in the last election, it’s further back this time, at least so far:

Another round of votes will be counted tomorrow.

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Want to vote on the Highline Public Schools measures? Today’s your last chance to register

February 2nd, 2015 Tracy Posted in Election, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on Want to vote on the Highline Public Schools measures? Today’s your last chance to register

The deadline for voting on the Highline Public Schools proposals is one week from tomorrow – Tuesday, February 10th. If you’re not already registered to vote in this state, today is your last chance for this election – until 4:30 pm, you can register in person at King County Elections offices – KCE HQ at 919 SW Grady Way in Renton, or the county Voter Registration Annex at 500 4th Ave., Room 440, in downtown Seattle. From KCE:

To be eligible to register to vote, you must be:

* 18 years old by election day, Feb. 10
* A United States citizen
* A legal resident of the state of Washington
* Not under the authority of the Department of Corrections

Questions?

If you live in the Highline school district and haven’t yet received a ballot, or if you have questions, call King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683). Ballots must be postmarked by Feb. 10 or returned to a drop-box or Accessible Voting Center by 8 p.m. on Feb. 10.

No White Center drop van this time, but there are dropboxes in Burien and downtown Seattle if you don’t want to mail your ballot in.

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Highline Public Schools bond update: ‘Trending upward’ but not enough

November 8th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on Highline Public Schools bond update: ‘Trending upward’ but not enough

King County Elections announced another round of results this evening, but it didn’t change the fact that the Highline Public Schools bond hasn’t hit the 60 percent approval needed, and isn’t at this point expected to. Here’s where it stands after the Saturday night results release:

On Friday, the district sent this news release:

It appears that the Highline capital improvement bond — now at 58.03 percent approval — will not reach the 60 percent needed for passage. Though yes votes have been trending upward, it is unlikely the ballots yet to be counted will push the final count above the 60 percent threshold.

School Board President Michael Spear acknowledged that a majority of voters did vote to approve the measure. “We are grateful for the support of the many, many citizens in our community who expressed their support for our schools by voting yes,” said Spear.

With failure of the bond, the district has limited options for meeting the challenges of overcrowding and aging, deteriorating schools.

This fall enrollment is up 400 students over last year, causing crowding in elementary schools. Enrollment is expected to grow by over 2,000 in the next eight to ten years.

Bond failure also means replacement and major repairs to the district’s aging and outdated schools will have to wait.

“We will do our best to serve our students, knowing there are physical and financial limitations to what we can do to improve the learning environment in our oldest buildings,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “We will work with our community to determine a plan for moving forward.”

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Election 2014: Ballot-dropoff van at Greenbridge three of the next four days

October 31st, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2014: Ballot-dropoff van at Greenbridge three of the next four days

checkbox.jpgTuesday is Election Day. If you haven’t sent in your ballot yet, three of the next four days bring visits by the King County Elections ballot-dropoff vans. Same White Center spot as recent elections – on the street outside Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW). The van will be there 10 am-5 pm Saturday and Monday, 10 am-8 pm Tuesday. No postage needed if you’re taking your ballot to a van or to the 24-hour dropboxes elsewhere in the county, but you DO need correct postage if you’re mailing yours. If you’ve already sent in/dropped off your ballot, track it online. Two other links of potential interest: Sample ballot here; pamphlet info here.

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Election 2014: North Highline Fire District ‘benefit charge’ passing

August 5th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, North Highline Fire District, White Center news 1 Comment »

It needs 60 percent approval – and so far, after the first ballot count in tonight’s election, the North Highline Fire District benefit charge has almost 70 percent approval. Here’s the full list of election results from around King County; next ballot count will be out tomorrow afternoon.

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Election Day: Get your ballot in by 8 pm

August 5th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on Election Day: Get your ballot in by 8 pm

Today is Election Day and for your vote to count, your ballot needs to either be in the mail by tonight – and postmarked with today’s date, with postage on the envelope – or turned in at a dropbox or dropoff van by 8 pm, which does NOT require postage. There’s a van in White Center, on 8th SW in Greenbridge, all the way up until that last moment at 8. If you still need a reason to vote, there is one big measure to be decided today, the North Highline Fire District benefit charge, which requires a 60 percent “yes” vote to pass. Whatever and whomever you’re voting for, don’t let your ballot go to waste.

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34th District Democrats endorse North Highline Fire District measure

July 10th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, North Highline Fire District, White Center news 5 Comments »

Less than a week until King County Elections sends out the August 5th ballots, which will include the North Highline Fire District benefit-charge ballot measure. Last night, meeting in West Seattle, this area’s biggest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, endorsed the measure. If you’re still getting up to speed on what it’s about, see the video in this WCN story from last month’s NH Unincorporated Area Council meeting.

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Not registered to vote? Monday’s the deadline!

July 4th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news 3 Comments »

The August 5th election is just a month away – and it includes the important North Highline Fire District ballot measure. So don’t miss the chance to vote – here’s the reminder from King County Elections:

Citizens who want to vote in the August 5 primary election have until Monday, July 7 to register to vote or update voter registration information online or by mail. King County Elections will mail primary election ballots to all registered voters on July 16, so it’s important that citizens register to vote and keep their address and other information, including their signature, updated.

Voters can check to make sure their registration information is current by:

* Using My Voter Guide online
* Calling the Voter Hotline at 206-296-VOTE (8683)
* Visiting King County Elections, 919 SW Grady Way, Renton. Weekdays 8:30-4:30
* Visiting the Voter Registration Annex, 500 4th Avenue, Room 440, Seattle. Weekdays from 8:30 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4:30 pm

How to register to vote

* Online
* By mail
* In person

Voters who miss the July 7 deadline to update their registration should still contact the Elections office to update their information for future elections. King County residents not currently registered in Washington can register in person at the Elections office through July 28.

Who can register?

To be eligible to register to vote, you must be:

* 18 years old by election day (August 5)
* A United States citizen
* A legal resident of the state of Washington
* Not under the authority of the Department of Corrections

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North Highline Fire District benefit-charge vote ahead August 5th: Presentation @ NHUAC

June 11th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, North Highline Fire District, White Center news 4 Comments »

Heard about the “benefit charge” for the North Highline Fire District that’ll be on the August primary ballot? If not, here’s your primer, from last Thursday night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting:

Lt. Ray Pettigrew stood in for Chief Mike Marrs, who he said couldn’t make it because of illness. With maps and a PowerPoint, he explained the money proposal, as well as some basics about the NHFD itself:

*Each station has 1 engine staffed with three firefighters at any given time, he said – sometimes a bit more because of volunteers.

*Vast majority of the job is going on aid calls

*278 false alarms – “almost one per day”

*42 hazmat calls

*526 “other” calls – illegal burns, barbecues mistaken for fires

About 12 calls a day between the two stations, so “they’re pretty busy.”

He says it’s a matter of financial need – “we’ve done everything we can to try to cut expenses
… we’ve used reserves … we’ve contracted to have Burien chief also be the North Highline chief,” but they’re about out of reserves if no new funding is found. In addition, he noted, the district has gotten smaller, with the 2010 Burien annexation, for example.

Proposition 1 on the August ballot needs a simple yes/no vote. If passed, it sets up a six-year run for the charge – with potential renewals thereafter. It’s not a tax, Pettigrew stressed, “it’s a fee,” and it’s charged based on factors such as square footage and whether a building has sprinklers or not.

For the average owner of a 2,000 square foot home worth $250,000, their tax/fee bill would go up $6/month, he said. It would only be charged for structures, not for empty land. Other districts with a “benefit charge” include Kent, Auburn, Woodinville, and Eastside Fire.

“It allows us to stabilize our funding so we’re not subject to property values going up and down, more ability to plan long range,” he said.

The NHFD commissioners voted at their April meeting to put it on the August ballot.

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You’ll vote on a Highline Public Schools bond measure this November

June 5th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Education, Election, Highline School District, White Center news 3 Comments »

It’s official – the Highline Public Schools board has voted to put a bond measure on the November ballot. Full details in this announcement from the district:

A school construction bond to repair or replace deteriorating schools and ease overcrowding will go before voters on November 4, 2014. The School Board passed a resolution at its June 4 meeting to place the bond measure on the ballot.
If approved, the bond would:

-Rebuild Highline High School,

-Replace Des Moines Elementary School at the Zenith site (16th Place S. & S. 240th St., Des Moines),

-Build a new middle school at the Manhattan site (440 S. 186th St., Burien),

-Build a new middle school at the Glacier site (2450 S. 142nd Street, SeaTac),

-Make critical renovations at Tyee and Evergreen campuses,

-Provide technology improvements throughout the district,

-Make capital improvements to support arts education throughout the district, and

-Address additional critical needs throughout the district.

The bond is necessary to meet two significant challenges facing Highline schools:

1. Growing Enrollment: Projections show more than 2,000 additional students will enter Highline schools over the next 8 to 10 years. The bond would add classrooms, provide space to lower class sizes in grades K through 3, and meet the growing number of students in Highline schools. Without additional classrooms, class sizes will get larger instead of smaller, and the district would likely have to forfeit up to $2.2 million a year in extra state funding targeted for lowering class size.

2. Deteriorating Buildings: The measure would increase student safety by replacing two buildings that are nearly 100 years old and were not built to current earthquake and fire code. Critical improvements would be made in other aging buildings, especially the Tyee and Evergreen high school campuses.

“As our buildings age, repairs and maintenance are becoming more and more expensive, draining money away from the classroom,” said Chief of Staff and Finance Duggan Harman. “In addition, these older buildings do not have the electrical capacity to support the educational technology our students need to be prepared for the workplace of tomorrow.”

Planning for the bond included community input, a professional analysis of building conditions, updates to enrollment projections, and multiple Board work sessions.

School construction and capital improvements are funded through voter-approved bonds. A bond measure must be approved by a 60 percent margin.

Here is how the cost to homeowners breaks down for the $385 million bond:

Total Bond Measure Cost
$385.1 Million
Rate per thousand of Assessed Value
$1.12
Average Home Value
$201,900.00
Projected Cost Per Year
$226.92
Projected Cost Per Month
$18.91

For more details about the proposed bond, visit the Building for Tomorrow Today section on the district website.

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Voted yet? Don’t forget the ballot van!

April 19th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

Until 5 today, then again 10 am-5 pm Monday and 10 am-8 pm Tuesday, you can use the county’s ballot-dropoff van to turn in your ballot for the Proposition 1 (Metro/roads money) vote. It’s on 8th SW in Greenbridge, just south of Roxbury.

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Election Day 2013! Get your ballot in by 8 pm

November 5th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on Election Day 2013! Get your ballot in by 8 pm

We photographed Tracy and Donnie a short time ago at the King County Elections ballot-dropoff van, which is parked at Greenbridge (9720 8th SW) until 8 tonight. If you take your ballot to the van, or to another dropbox (nearest one is in Burien) or dropoff spot, you don’t have to use a postage stamp, but you do if you choose to send your ballot in via postal mail. Lots at stake in this election, both regionally and statewide; as usual on Election Night, one round of results is expected, around 8:15 pm, so we’ll have key updates here as soon as possible after that.

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Two days left to vote! Remember White Center has a ballot-dropoff van

August 5th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Election, Greenbridge, White Center news Comments Off on Two days left to vote! Remember White Center has a ballot-dropoff van

Just a reminder that the new-this-election ballot-dropoff van is at Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW) today until 5 pm and again tomorrow – Election Day – from 10 am until 8 pm (which is the very last moment you can vote). You also can send your ballot in via postal mail, but if you do that, you need to make sure it has proper postage (dropping it off at the van, or any one of the county’s other dropoff spots, including a van in West Seattle and fixed locations including Burien City Hall, is free).

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White Center gets a ballot ‘drop van’ for next month’s election

July 17th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on White Center gets a ballot ‘drop van’ for next month’s election

Remember when the White Center Library used to have a round-the-clock ballot drop box for elections? So do we. It’s not coming back (so far), but the next best thing has been announced – WC will get a ballot “drop van” for the coming election. Ballots for the August 6th primary go out today.checkbox.jpg. And in the final days before Election Day, you’ll be able to drop your ballot off at Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW). There’s also a van in West Seattle, and 24-hour dropboxes in other areas of the county. Here’s the map showing all drop vans and 24-hour dropboxes. The county says the drop vans will be available on Saturday, August 3rd, and Monday, August 5th, 10 am-5 pm, and on Election Day, Tuesday, August 6th, 10 am-8 pm; the 24-hour dropboxes will be ready to use as of tomorrow. Among the issues in this election: A levy to raise money for King County Parks.

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King County’s second vote count out: No change in annexation vote

November 7th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off on King County’s second vote count out: No change in annexation vote

It appears that about 300 more votes were counted for the Burien-annexation proposal today – King County Elections has just released its updated county vote totals, a few hours later than expected because of some equipment proposal. The margin remains the same:

For annexation 1278 35.74%
Against annexation 2298 64.26%

Here’s a text list with all county results, if you’re interested. Renton’s West Hill Annexation proposal is also still on the road to defeat – 45 percent for, 55 percent against.

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Burien annexation or not? ‘No’ leading in first results on Election Night 2012

November 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Annexation supporter Gill Loring, left, with Burien City Manager 8:23 PM: Mike Martin at pro-annexation party, pre-results)
King County has just released its first round of results – the only round it will release tonight, with the next update due late tomorrow afternoon. For the annexation measure – should most of what’s left of unincorporated North Highline annex to Burien or not – the early results are 63 percent against annexation, 36 percent for. See them on the county site here.

Other notes of interest – Renton has an annexation measure which also is behind; the King County Sheriff’s Race has John Urquhart ahead of appointed incumbent Steve Strachan.

WCN was at the pro-annexation gathering when the first results came in; supporter Barbara Dobkin, and Christine Waldman (also on NHUAC), will say only so far that it’s a “tough election.”

9:25 PM: Here are the exact numbers, which stand till tomorrow’s count:
Against annexation: 2,085
For annexation: 1,195

In the sheriff’s race: Urquhart 254,600 (57 percent), Strachan 187,491 (42 percent).

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Latest from King County Elections, in case you’re wondering

November 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off on Latest from King County Elections, in case you’re wondering

As expected, King County Elections is projecting its first and only count for the evening will be made public around 8:15. Here are a couple other notes just shared in a news release from election HQ:

The first set of general election results are scheduled to be posted to the King County Elections website at about 8:15 p.m. Results will include tabulation of at least 520,000 ballots.

“This is a record-setting election for King County,” said Sherril Huff, Director of Elections. “Not only have we set a new record for number of voters registered this year, we will also have more ballots counted for tonight’s results report than in any previous election, including the 2008 presidential election when we still had polling places.”

There will be only one results report tonight. The Elections Department will update results again tomorrow by 4:30 p.m. and most subsequent weekdays until election certification on Nov. 27. Note that results may not be updated every day if there are not enough ballots to maintain voter privacy.

Voters have up until Nov. 26 to resolve any signature issues before the election is certified.

We’ll post the annexation-measure results from tonight as soon as we get them, in a separate story.

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TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From Kathi Wheeler, against Burien annexation

November 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off on TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From Kathi Wheeler, against Burien annexation

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether you are against or for Burien annexation, you have a few more hours to submit your view – without attacks on the other side. This short note is the sixth we have received since extending that invitation here on Sunday, four from supporters, two from opponents. whitecenternow@gmail.com

By Kathi “George” Wheeler
Special to White Center Now

I guess for anyone who has not sent in their ballot yet and has not decided what to do in this race for to be Burien or not to be Burien…

Please vote against it. I don’t have a lot of time or even energy to go into all the reasons why annexing into Burien scares me so bad or has my stomach in such knots, but it does.

I just told a friend the other day that I think I could stomach Romney for President far better than I could stomach Burien being my city. Enough said. It’s not a good thing for our neighborhood.

Kathi Wheeler
aka. george
Proud and involved community member/resident of Rat City

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TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From Eduardo Brambila, against Burien annexation

November 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 9 Comments »

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday, we extended an invitation for anyone – organization, business, private citizen, etc. – to submit for publication their pitch for why voters should go their way in the vote on whether Burien should annex most of the rest of North Highline. No negativity about the opposition or why the other view is wrong – just, why you believe your view is right. We have received six essays so far, the first four from Burien-annexation supporters, and the following is the first from someone who opposes it. We’re still accepting essays (that follow the rules) through Tuesday afternoon. Please send to whitecenternow@gmail.com – thank you!

By Eduardo Brambila
Special to White Center Now

Dear undecided voters,

This annexation process has been very difficult to understand at times. As a small business owner here in White Center, I was extremely anxious to find out what all this meant. I have spent MONTHS researching, reading up on what annexation in the area means, asking folks from BOTH sides to describe to me how this WOULD AFFECT ME.

From the anti side, I heard a lot about taxes going up. Now, as a just-starting-out business.. of course extra taxes will make it tighter on my budget. I’m working on improving my shop’s appearance and upgrading equipment to provide better and more efficient services. The pro side mentions better representation at City Hall; that very much interests me.

But after some more thinking, I wanted to see how this would affect our community as a whole. And I must say, our community is filled with diversity, cultures, and very large economic gaps. My background is only part in the graphics business, I’ve actually dedicated quite a few years in public health and community organizing. From working with homeless folks to folks in recovery. Aside from me considering the factors in how it would affect my business, I really care about how it would affect those folks we provided services to.

With all (the) research I’ve done, I cannot see how Burien has the capacity to provide the much needed services White Center needs. It’s just not adding up. Many folks want to “kick out the drunks on the street,” which quite frankly doesn’t just happen overnight. PLUS, you have to consider where some of these folks would be going. If that means jail… you’re GOING to pay for that.

I’m for a stronger, more supportive community, and I just don’t believe being incorporated into Burien will provide that. I am NOT advocating for Seattle, let’s be clear. I’m for us staying as we are on the map, and work together as a community to revitalize this area. If Burien down the line can give us a better plan and MORE services, then hey.. maybe then. But right now it just doesn’t seem plausible. And from what I understand, they cannot force us into annexation (nor Burien – nor Seattle).

I love this area, with its quirks and faults… all in all. I’ve been in the area 10+ years and I want to see it improved, and that’s why I am voting AGAINST ANNEXATION and I urge you to do the same. Together we can we do better.

-Eduardo Brambila
Mago Designs

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