More help for Evergreen Community Aquatic Center: $61,000 from King County

August 15th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Evergreen Pool, King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

Eight years after King County closed what was then Evergreen Pool — which was rescued by a community nonprofit months later – the county is pitching in to help with some updates.

County Council chair Joe McDermott, who represents White Center, West Seattle, and vicinity on the council, joined Evergreen Aquatic Center’s Bryan Hastings and Paloma Duarte at the pool this afternoon to officially announce a $61,000 county grant. Here’s what they all had to say:

The money is from the county’s Youth and Amateur Sports Fund. Hastings says the money will help with badly needed mechanical updates to not only the pool’s mechanical infrastructure but also to its shower system – which is also serving homeless people who need access to showers, including guests at the White Center shelter operated by Mary’s Place. Hastings says the system improvements will extend the pool’s life by decades.

Haven’t been to the pool? 606 SW 116th in south White Center. Find schedule and lesson info on its website.

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New county initiative for unincorporated areas

August 11th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

Just in:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced that Senior Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett will take on a major new body of work, leading an initiative to explore new and better ways to serve the people of unincorporated King County.

About a quarter of a million people live in unincorporated King County, nearly as many as in the County’s second- and third-largest cities – Bellevue and Kent – combined. The initiative will study ways to improve how direct and contracted services – including roads, public safety, clean water, and increasing access to opportunity – are delivered in unincorporated areas even as the County’s General Fund revenues fall behind population growth and inflation due to revenue limitations imposed by the state.

“The people of our unincorporated urban and rural communities have unique needs, from maintaining long stretches of country roads to ensuring public safety across a vast territory,” said Executive Constantine. “With his long record of public service, Fred has the experience and strong community connections to lead our efforts to improve how we deliver services across departments and agencies. His expertise in innovation and accountability, and his understanding of our commitment to equity and social justice, will ensure King County government works at the highest level for every resident.”

“Unincorporated areas and cities with whom we contract services have their own priorities and challenges,” said Jarrett. “I look forward to working with our County departments and many community stakeholders to understand how we could make meaningful changes, and I look forward to getting them done.”

Previously a state senator, Jarrett served four terms in the state House of Representatives, after stints as Mercer Island Mayor and as a Mercer Island City Council and school board member. He also had a 35-year career at The Boeing Co.

“I am very excited to see the county take the next very important and vital step in its role as a local government provider for over 200,000 people,” said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “This will allow us to be more precise in how and what services we deliver to our citizens. Then we will have the data to see how we can improve and provide even better quality services. This is a great step forward for county unincorporated areas.”

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#SeaHomeless: Following up on the Mary’s Place White Center shelter after 3 months

June 28th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on #SeaHomeless: Following up on the Mary’s Place White Center shelter after 3 months

(EDITOR’S NOTE: WCN and WSB are participating in the multiple-media-outlet #SeaHomeless day of special coverage. For the occasion, we revisited what is the White Center/West Seattle area’s only fulltime shelter, which opened in late March. This story appears on both websites.)


(Toys on a shelf in the ‘mini-mart’ at the Mary’s Place shelter in White Center)

By Tracy Record
Editor, White Center Now and West Seattle Blog

It’s the shelter that almost wasn’t.

At an acrimonious community meeting last September – when King County revealed it was weeks away from opening a shelter in its former Public Health clinic at 8th SW/SW 108th in White Center – some threatened legal action to stop it.

But that’s not what happened.

Instead, community leaders and other residents formed a task force. They made a counter-proposal. Instead of the low-barrier, adults-only, overnight shelter that the county wanted the Salvation Army to operate, the counter-proposal was for a 24-hour family shelter to be operated by Mary’s Place, which specializes in helping homeless families.

The county agreed. Mary’s Place agreed. The followup community meeting in January had applause instead of shouting. And three months ago, the shelter opened. No lawsuits. No protests.

We toured on March 21st, just before the first families arrived. And that was the last time we visited the shelter – until this week, when we requested to drop in for a followup.

Our tour guide and interviewee was Liz McDaniel, family-shelter developer for Mary’s Place, who has been with the organization for eight years, dating back to when it was just the operator of a “day center” – now, it’s so much more. She understates her role: “I get to open all our new sites.” And in fact, she had opened a new one the night before our conversation, at the opposite end of King County, up in Shoreline.

But we were there to talk about White Center, the only fulltime shelter in the WC/West Seattle area. As of our Tuesday morning interview, 15 families were there, 55 people – 20 adults and 35 children. And there’s still room for more – official capacity is 70 people.

Another statistic: Since opening June 21st, the shelter “has served more than 3,400 bed nights.”

“Guests,” as Mary’s Place refers to the people it’s sheltering, are referred by the county program Coordinated Entry for All, which works with the 211 hotline.

And McDaniel says they are keeping “the promise that we made to the community, that we would prioritize families that are already in this neighborhood.”

Three months in, they are still completing renovations/additions that are needed so that the former clinic can truly serve as a livable space. One that catches our eye immediately upon entry fills a small atrium/courtyard:

The play area is the work of the Seattle University College of Engineering, we’re told. And like so many other things at the shelter, volunteers helped make it happen, including those who cleared the area of its weedy plantings.

Other work that is expected to be done by mid-July is adapting a restroom to make it accessible, and adding two showers in what was a storage area so the building has three – the Evergreen Aquatic Center, a mile away, has in the meantime been making its showers available to shelter families.

Crews also are converting another storage area into a laundry room:

In the meantime, all the laundry has to be sent offsite. And a “small kitchen” is being added as well, so some cooking can be done at the shelter.

So what happens during the course of a day at the shelter?

For the adults- “services that focus on housing and employment.” Throughout the open spaces in the shelter, there are signs, and set-aside areas, devoted to those focuses.

They get help working on applications, determining what are their barriers to housing, getting “tools to move forward.” The shelter has been open almost the exact length of an “average stay across all our locations” – 87 days. But three families already have moved out into housing, despite the challenge of rising rents, “harder and harder for families to afford, particularly if they’re a single-parent household – it’s challenging to find something to afford within Seattle. We spread the branches wide and look all over the place, White Center, Burien, Renton, Kent, places that families can afford.”

Mary’s Place also has launched a new “diversion program to help divert families from shelter directly into housing,” which requires “flexible funding,” so if you’re looking to donate money – that program could use it, she adds.

For employment, guests spend time filling out resumes, looking for openings, getting practice in “mock interviews.”

For the kids, there’s an immediate effort to be sure they are enrolled in school, and to arrange for transportation “within 48 hours of arriving.” This location is on school-bus routes, though at some of the other Mary’s Place sites in the region, they work with Metro, taxicabs, “whatever.” Now that school is out for the summer, the focus is on activities; McDaniel says they have been “working all year” on getting scholarships to day camps around the area, and kids are already out at camps ranging from art to environmental activities.

Health care also is available through the shelter, with a nurse on site part of the time.

Some aspects of shelter life involve clearing up misconceptions. McDaniel says some presume that shelters can be “a scary place – but we work hard to create a safe and welcoming community, where families can sit down and have a meal together, where kids can play appropriate to their age, where people feel welcomed as soon as they walk in the door … A lot of families are afraid they’ll lose their children when people find out they’re homeless. But your kids can’t be taken away simply (because of that).”

While Mary’s Place works on “a 90-day model … some families have more extended barriers” and it takes longer for them to get back onto their feet. Especially refugee families, McDaniel notes. Most of those who Mary’s Place is serving now are from East Africa, particularly Eritrea, though MP also has seen “our first few Syrian families,” as well as some from South Asia and Central America.

Wherever they are from, Mary’s Place emphasizes “the inherent belief that our families are good enough, and have the capability, to take care of their own families – they were housed at one point and they’ll be housed again. They have the tools to meet their own needs. There’s just a one-time gap – 97 percent of families experiencing homelessness will never experience it again. We help them navigate a really hard system at a traumatic time in their lives. We do it better together.”

Those working “together” at this shelter include about 20 staffers as well as the 55 guests, and volunteers. The guests have responsibilities beyond seeking housing and (if not already employed) work: They are assigned chores, for which points are awarded.

Those points can be spent at an on-site “store” with items such as clothing.

The youngest guests are able to earn points, too, and they have what the sign on the door dubs the “mini-mart” (top photo).

We asked McDaniel if the process of getting the shelter up to full speed has brought any surprises. “I think the biggest kind of joy and surprise has been the way the community has surrounded the space … we saw that in the work group and the process to get in. That has not waned. Between the schools and organizations already in the neighborhood” – she mentions White Center-headquartered WestSide Baby in particular – “(people) have stood alongside us and provided tools and resources to be sure this is a sustainable program in the community … White Center is such a strong community. People continued to bring in meals and donations and volunteer, and that excitement hasn’t gone away.”

A far cry from last September’s rancor.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: There’s a “daily need” for volunteers at the shelter – especially to help with the kids, “with outings, and during the school year with homework help,” McDaniel says. No prerequisites except to be “people who like people.” Information on volunteering is on the Mary’s Place website.

For donatable items – blankets and diapers remain their biggest need. Yes, the kids at the shelter right now include babies.

And the biggest need of all is space – this shelter is open, the aforementioned new one in Shoreline is open, but the need for more shelter space around the metro area continues. Despite that, this shelter is not intended to be permanent; the county and nonprofits are working on a long-range plan for a mixed-use project at the site that would include housing as well as headquarters for several nonprofits. That’ll be the topic of a separate followup.

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VIDEO: North Highline concerns, questions, and answers @ King County Community Service Area ‘town hall’

June 8th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: North Highline concerns, questions, and answers @ King County Community Service Area ‘town hall’

1:06 AM: In case you wanted to go to Wednesday night’s “town hall” for North Highline, part of the King County Community Service Area program, but couldn’t – we recorded the presentations and Q/A. It was held at Seola Gardens.

Of the three top-billed county officials mentioned in previews, King County Council Chair Joe McDermott – who represents our area on the council – and Deputy County Executive Rhonda Berry were there; Sheriff John Urquhart was not – his chief of technical services (including 911) Patti Cole-Tindall was there instead. Many other county officials there, including County Assessor John Arthur Wilson, County Transportation Department Director Harold Taniguchi, County Parks Director Kevin Brown, and more – you will see all the introductions at the start of our video, which runs an hour and a half and is unedited. Alan Painter, manager of the Community Service Area program, facilitated.

7:33 AM: One attendee, community advocate Gill Loring, tells WCN that a participating county official talked with him afterward to correct something she had said – Karen Freeman from the county executive’s staff said that local businesses are not required to have garbage pickup, but later acknowledged that’s inaccurate – they are.

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‘Best Starts for Kids’ road-show meeting in White Center on May 10th

April 17th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County Comments Off on ‘Best Starts for Kids’ road-show meeting in White Center on May 10th

So what are you getting for the voter-approved “Best Starts for Kids” property-tax increase? You get the chance to find out during a “road show” meeting coming up in White Center, one of multiple meetings that are happening around the county:

The following meetings are hosted by Best Starts for Kids. Each 1.5 hour meeting will be focused on Best Starts for Kids’ information with numerous BSK staff present. You can expect a short presentation followed by breakout sessions with BSK staff. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the RFP process, data, evaluation and community partnerships.

The White Center meeting is:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 6:30 p.m.
Bethaday Community Learning Center
605 SW 108th

The list of other meetings around the county is here. Find out more about BS4K here.

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PHOTOS: Opening day for Mary’s Place @ White Center Family Shelter

March 21st, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 5 Comments »

There are signs … and smiles. We visited the new White Center Family Shelter at midday today as they were expecting their first guests to arrive … a family of nine, according to executive director Marty Hartman of Mary’s Place, which is operating the shelter and has been working intensively to get it ready, with help from what Hartman declared “an amazing community.”

What was a vintage-1961 public-health clinic is now ready to temporarily house families totaling up to 35 people in phase 1 … and then when more features can be added, such as additional showers, they’ll be able to accept a few dozen more. Hartman showed us around between this morning’s job fair and guest arrival.

Welcoming messages are everywhere inside the converted clinic:

It’s remarkable to think about how far this plan has come with community support. Just six months ago, first word of what was at the time going to be a low-barrier adults-only shelter brought furious opposition. Mary’s Place was not involved at that time; they were brought in after King County backpedaled and worked with a community committee to decide how to best use the ex-clinic, and the decision was to make it a family shelter, operated by Mary’s Place. The building needed some modifications, and more are to come, but for now, not only are there places for people to sleep, there are also rooms for kids and teens activities, with murals painted by volunteers:

And lots of storage, with items awaiting those who need them:

Speaking of items, we asked what if anything was needed, in terms of donations? Here’s the current list:

Volunteer help also will be welcome – you can sign up through the Mary’s Place website.

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FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

March 17th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, People, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

As mentioned earlier this week, there’s another work party at the future White Center family shelter at 8th/108th tomorrow (Saturday). And today, King County confirms that the shelter is set to officially open on Tuesday (March 21st). More to come.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Shelter, equity, crime updates @ March meeting

March 5th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Shelter, equity, crime updates @ March meeting

By Linda Ball
Reporting for White Center Now

“Incredibly close” is how Liz McDaniel from Mary’s Place says the new White Center shelter is to opening.

McDaniel didn’t offer a specific date at Thursday’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, but she said that by the middle of this month they could have families in the former King County Public Health building at 10821 8th Ave. SW.

(WCN photo from March 11th work party @ future shelter site)

She reported robust attendance at the recent work party (see WCN coverage here), where volunteers came and cleaned inside the facility and did yard work outside, leaving the place “shining.” The fire systems have been updated, but currently there is no kitchen. McDaniel said that would come in phase two of the build-out. In the meantime, meals will be brought in and served by volunteer groups, or delivered from the downtown Mary’s Place day center. There are restrooms in the building but only one shower – two more will be added in phase two. To start with, the Evergreen Aquatic Center has offered use of its showers.

Initially the plan is to host families with children totaling 30 people, eventually expanding to families totaling 70 people.

Volunteer opportunities include bringing in meals or supplies, tutoring children, welcoming guests at the front desk, assisting in the kids’ club, working with parents filling out housing or job applications, or hosting birthday parties. If you are interested in volunteering, email volunteer@marysplaceseattle.org. Most of the families will be referred from King County’s Coordinated Entry for All program, but families from the Highline school district will be prioritized, as will law-enforcement referrals.

Right now, the biggest need is for twin bed blankets and sheets, preferably new or very gently used. McDaniel said they shy away from furniture donations because of concerns such as bedbugs.

Also at NHUAC’s March meeting:

(WCN photo: NHUAC president Liz Giba and King County’s Matias Valenzuela)

Matias Valenzuela, director of King County’s Office of Equity and Social Justice, spoke to some of the concerns citizens are feeling about their civil rights. The department aims to use an equity and social justice lens when looking at community issues. That race, income, and neighborhood can dictate whether a person graduates from high school, becomes incarcerated, or is healthy – or not – is troubling, Valenzuela said.

Local action is being taken to protect immigrants, he said. County Ordinance 17886, enacted in 2014, says the county will only honor ICE detainer requests that are accompanied by a criminal warrant. Otherwise, the county will not turn someone over to ICE. Valenzuela said 70 elected officials in King County have signed an inclusive-community pledge.

He said the department is working on assisting people with the naturalization process. When asked if they have an ESL program, he said they didn’t but recommended churches or community colleges as a resource for those courses. Valenzuela said they are also working on setting up a hate-crime hotline.

The final speaker was King County’s White Center Storefront Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer.

Citing incident reports, not arrests, in the area, he said that assaults are up, but burglary is down. He noted an uptick in gang activity as a concern, mostly juveniles. Gang tagging was brought up by residents. Deputy Kennamer asked those in attendance to please report any gang tagging, because it could help them locate gang members. He said some are coming from California because the Puget Sound area doesn’t have as many law-enforcement gang units as California does. There was also concern expressed regarding prostitution in at least one local park.

Kennamer’s advice was to observe the broken window theory, which states that maintaining and monitoring an urban environment and keeping things looking well-kept, deters vandalism and crime. He advised the citizens to “take care of little quality-of-life issues, and it will keep other issues from coming up.”

The all-volunteer North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets on the first Thursdays of most months, 7 pm at NH Fire District HQ. Between meetings, watch for updates at northhighlineuac.org.

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PHOTOS: TLC for future White Center shelter

February 11th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

Inside and out, the future family shelter at the old King County Public Health building in White Center is getting TLC right now from dozens of volunteers.

As you know if you’ve been participating in the process and/or following the coverage here on WCN, the shelter will be operated by Mary’s Place, which has reps there today too:

It’s hoped that the shelter will be ready to open next month, so the volunteer work that’s happening today is helping ensure that can happen:

Mary’s Place said at the recent meeting that it also appreciates ongoing volunteer help – you can sign up via its website, by going here.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER: 2nd community meeting replaces shouts with applause; shelter expected to open in March; site’s future

January 25th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 4 Comments »

(WCN photo: Marty Hartman from Mary’s Place at left, Adrienne Quinn from King County at right)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Mused one person after last night’s meeting about the revised White Center shelter proposal: If only King County had collaborated with the community first, rather than resorting to that only after getting shouted down while presenting a wildly unpopular proposal.

Last night’s meeting featured nary a shout – instead, applause, and words of gratitude, dominated.

Though it was officially the second community meeting about the plan for a shelter at a vacant county-owned building at 8th/108th, much transpired after the first one in September (WCN coverage here), when the plan was for a no-barrier, limited-hours shelter serving only adults. A community task force was quickly created, and oversaw the plan’s shift to one for a family shelter to be operated by the respected nonprofit Mary’s Place.

Last night, before just a few dozen people in a meeting room at Seola Gardens, Department of Community and Human Services director Adrienne Quinn opened with background on what had changed since the September meeting.

“We began a conversation about having a shelter for single adults at the White Center Public Health Clinic…candidly, the county learned a lot about the process, and it will change the way we will approach things in the future. … Many community members felt concerned about having a shelter for single adults,” raising a variety of issues. “On the flip side, people started talking about the number of homeless families in Highline Public Schools. … There certainly is a need.”

Along with proceeding with the plan to open the family shelter, they are working on another location for a shelter for single adults, Quinn noted. (We asked her post-meeting if there was any chance that would be proposed in this area; she said, emphatically, no.)

She also thanked the White Center Community Development Association, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, and other community members who participated in the work group after that first meeting. “As a result of that process, we put together a community agreement” — you can read it online here. It will result in quarterly community meetings, Quinn said, to talk about, for example, how the shelter is working, and she invited people to join.

“We have a high degree of confidence in Mary’s Place,” Quinn said, and the organization will have a 24/7 line. “These children and families are part of the White Center community,” she added, saying there are at least 35 homeless families in the area. Key points right now:

*The permit is under review
*The building needs some upgrades, including fire code, added showers, and HVAC
*They’re hoping to open the shelter in “early spring” – hopefully March

Quinn gave the microphone at that point to Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary’s Place.

She started by showing a video that she had shown at a NHUAC meeting last fall, about family homelessness. “The need continues to grow,” Hartman said afterward – their “turnaway roster” had nine families today.

They have a model of using “underutilized” buildings, that are set for future redevelopment, “and we stay only as long as people want us to stay.” They have 400 beds in six buildings around King County right now, with the goal of bringing families, together, in from encampments, tents, cars. She invited people to come in, tutor the kids, “paint somebody’s nails because she has a job interview tomorrow.” More than a gap in resources, she said, there’s a gap in relationship issues. “We don’t do anything well by ourselves,” she said – they need community members to come in, and dozens of nonprofits with whom they partner.

In the past year, they’ve had 48 newborns in their shelter. “These parents are heroes – they walked in the door and asked for help.” They set goals with those who come to them, including housing, employment, health. They offer classes, legal counseling, and more, “helping people deal with the root causes of their homelessness.” She said they appreciate volunteers.

In 2010 they had 2300 “bed nights” of shelter; in 2016, 100,721 “bed nights,” with their motto to make sure “no child sleeps outside.” (Earlier today, they had announced $4.5 million in new support for their work.)

Hartman said that buildings full of families “scare (criminal activity) away … We know things don’t go perfect, and things will go wrong in our shelter,” and if “something’s bothering you, we don’t know until you tell us, so we can fix it.”

Also speaking, neighbor Owen, who had been part of the work group and identified himself as a counselor with Highline Public Schools. He said that having a shelter here will mean that kids will spend less time in transportation to school, more time doing their schoolwork. He said the work group had brought together a lot of people with different views on responding to homelessness, but they listened and were heard. He expressed hope that as the families are helped, they can deal with “the next ring” of people experiencing homelessness.

Also from the work group, Roslyn Hyde, who said she would be channeling (NHUAC president) Liz Giba (who was home sick and unable to attend but had been deeply involved with the task force). Hyde recently joined the NHUAC board. She talked about what it was like at the first meeting, feeling “cheated … duped … hopeless” and working to be sure the community would be heard. She started a petition. “You made this change happen,” she told the audience. “… You were all heard. … Change happened.” She thanked the county reps for listening. “We learned that the Highline school district has the fourth-highest rate of student homelessness in the state.” She said they were thrilled that Mary’s Place will “be our new neighbors” and spoke of how well-respected the organization is, as well as voicing hope that people will volunteer and donate. The shelter is likely to be there for three years, she said, and the community will need to be vigilant. “Let’s lead by example and welcome Mary’s Place.”

Joseph Benavides, who lives next to the shelter site, spoke about how defensive everyone had been at the first meeting – “but we worked through it.” Originally, he said, “we felt belittled” – but when the small group came together, that changed thing. “It’s going to be a work in progress … but no child belongs outside. I’m going to team up with them” and get involved with the families, he vowed. “I’m from White Center, and I care.” He contrasted it with the Seattle plan for more tents in a Myers Way encampment, and said that wasn’t right for anyone. But he ended with praise for this new plan.

Before community Q/A, Hartman introduced five members of her staff, from maintenance to volunteer coordinator. She said they’ve already hired others to work at the new shelter to get it up to speed.

First question: Hoped-for opening date. Hartman said March 1st is what they are working toward. As for how soon people can start helping, 9 am-1 pm (maybe later) February 11th will be a work party at the site – washing windows, scrubbing fixtures, trimming the shrubbery, planting flowers. (Look for the volunteer contact on the Mary’s Place website to RSVP. All ages welcome.)

Will the baby pantry stay at the building? Yes. Ian Smithgall from White Center Food Bank stood up to elaborate. “Anything we can do – obviously, food donations, we’ll appreciate.”

Is money more important than donated items? someone asked. Hartman said money is always important but they don’t have a budget for supplies so they appreciate it – diapers, formula, more. “We always have a wish list going … we like kids’ snacks, reusable bags … backpacks for kids, gently used stuff goes a long way.” Sheets and blankets too – twin sized, preferably, because that’s the size of beds they have. “And we need Pack ‘n’ Plays for the babies.”

How soon will they be able to store items? King County’s Mark Ellerbrook said they’re working on figuring out how to make that happen even before the building is ready.

Books are something else they can use, Hartman acknowledged.

Next comment was about improving ingress/egress to the site, to lessen traffic concerns, and Quinn said they’ll bring that to the attention of King County Roads. “I think it’s going to be an ongoing thing, to keep them engaged,” and community members will have to let them know what they’re seeing.

Trails around the building could be used for walks, it was suggested.

No other questions emerged. “Thank you for being brave,” Quinn told community members. Hartman ended with words of thanks, too, noting that Mary’s Place has not worked with King County before.

As for the future of the site – several years down the line – it’s been mentioned before that plans were brewing for a development involving housing as well as headquarters for nonprofit. Steve Daschle from Southwest Youth and Family Services got up to speak about that, and about his organization, which has expanded its work in South King County in recent years. Daschle promised to “engage the community” in what the site’s future “center of learning, sharing, and healthy food with homes for working families” vision is. “So many unknowns when it comes to that piece of property,” he said. “At this point we have dreams, and we hope you’ll share in (them)” as they continue to talk about it.

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REMINDER: White Center shelter meeting tonight

January 24th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on REMINDER: White Center shelter meeting tonight

It’s been a few weeks since we first mentioned it, so here’s a reminder – if you’re interested in the shelter planned at 8th/108th in White Center, tonight is the second community meeting. Much has changed since the contentious first meeting in September; the plan now, as reported here, is for a family shelter, to be operated by Mary’s Place. Tonight’s meeting is at 6:30 pm in Seola Gardens Community Center (11215 5th SW).

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Community meeting for revised White Center shelter proposal set for January 24th

January 5th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on Community meeting for revised White Center shelter proposal set for January 24th

Another update late today on the revised shelter proposal for the former King County Public Health building at 8th SW/SW 108th – the long-promised second community meeting is set:

King County Department of Community and Human Services invites the public to attend a community meeting about the proposed temporary family shelter at the former White Center Public Health building.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 on January 24 at the Seola Gardens Community Center (10821 8th Ave. SW.). Mary’s Place, the shelter operator, will be in attendance to discuss the shelter program. See the King County White Center Shelter webpage for updates, including the community agreement crafted by King County, the White Center Community Group, and Mary’s Place.

If you wish to submit comments for the community agreement, contact Valerie Kendall at valerie.kendall@kingcounty.gov or by phone at 206-263-9076.

A shelter update is also on the agenda for tonight’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, 7 pm at NH Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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Congratulations to White Center boxing, soccer programs recognized by King County Council

December 13th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 2 Comments »

The photo and report are from the office of County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents our area on the council:

On Monday, the King County Council recognized two exceptional at-risk youth programs based in White Center. The Councilmembers welcomed members of the Greater King County Police Activities League (GKCPAL) White Center Boxing Club and the White Center Teen Program Aztecs Soccer team to Monday’s council meeting, honoring them with an official County recognition highlighting their athletic successes and contribution to the community.

“Providing young people with safe and engaging alternatives is exceedingly important,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “These two programs in White Center offer opportunities to build self-esteem through athletics, as well as teaching other essential life skills.”

Founded in 2007, The White Center PAL Boxing Club is a part of a larger youth services program designed to appeal to at-risk youth in the White Center and surrounding area. It is run by a local chapter of the century-old Police Activities League, a national volunteer organization that aims to provide activities for at-risk youth and allow them personal interaction with police officers.

The Boxing Club is located in the White Center Community Center on the grounds of Steve Cox Memorial Park. Over the summer the club’s tournament team took second place in the National Junior Golden Gloves Tournament in Nevada.

“The White Center PAL Boxing Club is one of our longest running outreach programs,” said Executive Director of GKCPAL Jared Karstetter. “It has obtained national attention and success, but most importantly it has taken at-risk youth out of harm’s way and placed them on a path to success academically, physically, and mentally.”

The White Center Teen Program (WCTP) is managed by the King County Parks and Recreation Division and has been operating since 1991 at the White Center Community Center. The Aztec soccer team was created out of the WCTP in 2007. A second team (FC United) was added to the soccer club in 2010. The teams practice year round at Steve Cox Memorial Park.

“We are especially proud of the accomplishments made by both the Aztecs and PAL Boxing and honored to be able to provide a home for both programs at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center,” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.

As of 2016, there are thirty players practicing with the WCTP Soccer Club, bringing the running total of Aztec Soccer players to over two hundred. In addition to weekly soccer practices, the team attends ongoing tutoring sessions and leadership activities. The team also volunteers regularly in their community including the White Center Spring Clean, the National Night Out Against Crime, the White Center Youth Summit, and the Annual WC Halloween Carnival.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER: Brief online update from King County

December 7th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER SHELTER: Brief online update from King County

We’ve already reported it here – and it was discussed at last week’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting – but in case you hadn’t heard, the county’s decision to open a family shelter at the 8th/108th building is now officially online, here.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER: County takes task force’s suggestion, changes plan to ‘family shelter’

November 30th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 9 Comments »

(WCN file photo of future shelter site)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Two and a half months after that tumultuous meeting about a proposed shelter at the former King County Public Health building at 8th SW/SW 108th, the proposal has changed.

At the urging of a small community task force that was formed in the wake of that meeting, the county is now planning a “family shelter” for the space instead of a shelter for single adults and couples. The original plan drew sharp criticisms including its proximity to school and park facilities and the proposal for it to be “no-barrier.”

We just talked with the county’s point person, Housing and Community Development manager Mark Ellerbrook, who will be at tomorrow night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting to present a briefing about the new plan.

“The proposal to open it as an (adults-only) shelter is no longer on the table,” Ellerbrook confirmed. They’re also no longer planning to work with the Salvation Army, but instead, they expect the operator will be Mary’s Place, which already runs shelter space for families elsewhere in the region. (Its executive director will join Ellerbrook at the NHUAC meeting.)

Mary’s Place had toured the space “a couple times,” and gave a presentation at last night’s meeting of the task force.

This means a modification in the permit application for changing the building’s use, Ellerbrook said, and that means they’re not likely to be able to open the facility any sooner than January.

The shelter also likely will operate with fewer people than first planned; while they were discussing a capacity of 70 under the original plan, they’re now thinking more like 25 to 30 people, according to Ellerbrook. “Obviously we need more shelter for all populations across the county,” he said. “Countywide, 600 families are in need of shelter.” The prospective client base for the new White Center plan, he said, would be the families of Highline Public Schools student currently experiencing homelessness; as of the most recent county, that includes 36 families with 76 students.

What would the definition of family be in this context? we asked.

As discussed by Mary’s Place, Ellerbrook said, it could be a parent and child – that could include adult children – maybe a single parent, maybe a couple, maybe a multigenerational family. “We need to work through the details.” Mary’s Place has some families in its North Seattle shelter with up to eight members, he said.

While they were touring the site, he added, a family came by “and asked if the shelter was open yet.”

The first step toward this is the permit modification, as they are “trying to figure out” what will be needed, such as, potentially, hygiene facilities. They might open and continue making modifications while they’re already in operation, “so we could get it operating and see what tweaks need to be made.”

What would happen, we asked, to the other people in White Center that the county had planned to serve?

Ellerbrook said the new county budget has $6 million in funding for “two shelters in and around downtown for single adults, 24/7 shelters we were discussing, as the family shelter will now operate … as we do outreach to (people experiencing homelessness) in White Center,” they would hope to be able to point those people toward the future downtown shelters.

How much will the family-shelter plan cost? we asked. Ellerbrook says they don’t yet know what the county’s share of the cost would be and how much Mary’s Place might be able to operate.

Overall, he lauded “a good process (working with) the community at large to really identify the need and the issues in the community” resulting in this change of plans.

But bring your questions to tomorrow’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th). After that, Ellerbrook says, there will be a second community meeting about the new shelter proposal, but the date’s not yet set – “probably early January.”

BACKSTORY: NHUAC’s September meeting brought first public word of the planned shelter, though the county later acknowledged the plan had been in the works for months. The community task force that generated the family-shelter plan was created following the raucous-at-times September 15th community meeting.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER: Updates including why the county is ruling out alternative sites

November 9th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER SHELTER: Updates including why the county is ruling out alternative sites

Six days after our extensive update on the proposed White Center shelter, resulting from county official Adrienne Quinn‘s appearance at the November NHUAC meeting, there’s another update. This one comes via e-mail from the county:

King County continues to explore opening a homeless shelter at the former Public Health Clinic in White Center. Recent work has focused on evaluating alternative sites suggested by the local community. King County is also evaluating the community suggestion of using the site for a family shelter.

The first meeting of the work group was October 18. The work group will meet again the week of November 10 to discuss alternate site locations and the shelter model. King County representatives also recently attended the November 3 meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.

The King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review is continuing to review the permit request.

The update points to the county website about the proposal – and that’s where you’ll find the new information, in response to questions raised, including at the NHUAC meeting:

*What about alternate sites? This document shows four sites that have been proposed and ruled out (and explains why).

*How many homeless people are in White Center? This document shows the 176 tallied during the One Night Count, with lower numbers from other sources.

*Definition of terms related to the shelter (enhanced, etc.).

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‘November 1st is off’: Latest on the proposed White Center shelter

October 19th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news Comments Off on ‘November 1st is off’: Latest on the proposed White Center shelter

Continuing to follow up on King County’s proposal for an emergency shelter in White Center:

Last time we spoke with Sherry Hamilton from the Department of Housing and Community Services, she wasn’t able to say for sure whether the original November 1st goal of opening a shelter was still a possibility.

But today, she told WCN, the November 1st date is definitely OFF – there is no way they will have a space vetted and ready to open by then.

No new goal date at this point, though Hamilton stresses that there remains a sense of urgency as the fall/winter weather intensifies.

The Department of Permitting and Environmental Review is still looking at the county’s application for a “change of use” at the former Public Health building at 8th/108th, which many community members decry as unsuitable because, among other reasons, it’s close to schools and a park.

But Hamilton stresses that they are interested in other possibilities. She confirmed that a community working group met last night for the first time – we are told that the White Center Community Development Association is involved, among others – and that the county was heartened to hear “a desire to help” people experiencing homelessness. The group, she said, was working on a list of “concerns” as well as discussing other possible spaces.

Still no date for a second community meeting, she added, as she had told us last week.

Meantime, she said that the department plans to update its webpage about the shelter proposal – possibly as soon as the end of today.

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER? Where the proposal stands, where your County Councilmember stands, and an ‘open letter’

October 12th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 10 Comments »

(King County photo)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:09 PM:
Two inquiries we’ve had out since the end of last week, both related to the proposed 70-bed shelter in the former Public Health building at 10821 8th SW, have been answered today:

WHERE THE PROPOSAL STANDS: Tomorrow marks four weeks since the only public meeting (WCN coverage here) held on the idea so far. We reported earlier this week that online files show the county applied for a change-of-use permit for the building less than two weeks later, on September 28th. County Housing division spokesperson Sherry Hamilton confirmed that in a phone conversation today, responding to our Friday request for an update: “We are in the process now with the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review, to take a look at the building and see if it’s viable … we don’t know how long it will take. While we’re doing that, we’re also continuing to look at any other possibilities – we told the community we were open to suggestions, and we also asked Facilities to see if there are any (county-owned) buildings we missed.”

Is a November 1st move-in still a possibility? Hamilton said she couldn’t entirely rule it out but “there’s no permit” and the permit process also is what will provide “information on what it would take” to use the building as a shelter.

So when will the promised second community meeting be scheduled? Hamilton replied that “it would be premature” to schedule one before they know what the building needs to be safe for occupancy, so there would be no point in “bringing the community back together now … we don’t know what to tell them yet.”

The county has a webpage about the proposal but as far as we can tell from daily checks, has not added anything new in more than three weeks.

COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER JOE McDERMOTT: We e-mailed our area’s county councilmember Joe McDermott – who is also the chair of the council – to ask where he stands on the proposal, as we had not heard or seen him address it yet. He replied today via e-mail, saying he’s “supportive” of it, with context regarding why. Here’s his response in its entirety:

Eleven months ago, I stood with Executive Constantine and Mayor Murray as we declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness. Homelessness affects youth and adults across the region, and continues to be a growing problem. From 2014 to 2015, the number of unsheltered people increased by 21%. From 2015 to 2016, that figure rose to 4,505, an additional 19% increase. Likewise, the number of people who were homeless (including unsheltered, and people in transitional housing, shelters, and unhoused) increased to 10,688 in 2016. Clearly with over 10,000 people homeless in our community we need to do more.

I am committed to making meaningful progress on homelessness. An important way to achieve progress is to find more places where people can move out of the cold, and to a warm place where they can begin their journey to permanent housing.

I am also committed to ensuring that public resources are put to their best and optimal use. Standing empty, county owned buildings do the exact opposite. A temporary shelter that provides enhanced services – like connections to housing, employment, and health care – will make a difference and address need among people living in the community. Addressing homelessness not only benefits the people who are experiencing homelessness, it makes our communities stronger, healthier, and more connected.

White Center deserves to have resources that strengthen the community and meets the needs of residents – both those who are currently homeless, and those who are housed. I am supportive of efforts to bring services and shelter to people who are experiencing homelessness, who are already living across the county and in every community including White Center.

With the county’s former Public Health Clinic building vacant in White Center, the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) proposes to use the building as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

As DCHS assesses community feedback after its meeting last month and has further conversation with the community, I am certainly hearing from members of the community about their reactions.
The concerns voiced to me include public notice, site location, and the population of people who may receive services. DCHS is actively working now to respond to these issues with a group of residents. I look forward to their successful work, as we must also acknowledge that we have problem today – and that every day that we delay is another that a person is needlessly living unsheltered.

I am particularly aware that this proposal gives some concern about children and their safety. This troubles me, as it seems to promote a stigma that people who are homeless are more likely to in some way harm children. As a gay man, I am a member of a community about whom similar stigmas exist and I find this concern troubling. And it appears to overlook that, sheltered or not, there are people who are homeless in White Center now. That being said, I know that DCHS is looking for ways to relieve some of the community’s concerns. I encourage that work.

People experiencing homelessness come from across the county and in fact are currently living across the county. There are people who are homeless in White Center today. Surely people are more stable, healthier, better able to connect to employment and education, and able to secure housing more successfully when they have some form of shelter, rather than sleeping in our neighborhoods. Providing shelter provides some improved stability for all.

I am supportive of DCHS’s continuing work to use the former Public Health Clinic in White Center as a shelter and look forward to the updated proposal that will address community concerns when it is presented. Let’s see the proposal after further work and continue our dialogue. We all have a responsibility to address this emergency.

ADDED 7:51 PM: We have since received an “open letter” from Adrienne Quinn, who is director of the department responsible for the project:

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WHITE CENTER SHELTER? Permit application under review

October 10th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 5 Comments »

Three and a half weeks after the tumultuous public meeting regarding the proposed “emergency shelter” at 10821 8th SW, the county has yet to announce a date for its promised second community meeting. Our inquiries following the discussion at last Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting have not yet been answered – we have inquiries out both to the department responsible for the project, and also to King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents this area.

But online records confirm that the county has applied for a permit “to make life safety improvements to operate a temporary emergency overnight shelter” at the ex-Public Health building. The county website shows the intake date as September 28th, less than two weeks after the hearing.

Side note: While reviewing King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s proposed county budget, we also noted that in the full 753-page budget document, page 84 mentions a budget transfer to support “custodial services” in 2017 and 2018 “in White Center for 50 beds per night” and also for the same number of beds in the Administration Building downtown.

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Shelter concerns, Highline school bond, 50% stormwater-fee increase @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

October 6th, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news 5 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Topline from tonight’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, which drew about 40 people, more than double the usual turnout, and ran for three hours:

WHITE CENTER SHELTER? Three weeks after the tumultuous meeting (WCN coverage here) about the shelter proposed for the former King County Public Health Center at 8th SW and SW 108th, the topic was in the spotlight again at tonight’s NHUAC meeting.

Burien/Normandy Park FD fire marshal Ray Pettigrew was asked to speak about concerns raised by the county’s proposal to change “what is basically an office building and turn it into a residential structure.” Concerns, he said, would be the plan for “occupancy classification” – it would need fire alarms with automatic detection, for example. “You would have to put a different kind of sprinkler head in there that takes care of the fire quicker, so occupants have a chance to get out,” for example, Pettigrew said. Whatever you think of the proposal, the department must look at the safety of the 70 people the building would house, some of whom might have “some degree of impairment,” and firefighters’ safety would have to be taken into account too.

Exit paths should be no more than 75 feet, but he said plans for the building didn’t seem to have addressed that yet. There would likely be a need for fire suppression in the building’s kitchen, too. Carbon-monoxide detectors are needed as well as smoke detectors. He also mentioned “panic hardware” and the potential draw on resources, “a facility that might add one or two calls a day … you’re looking at impacts to the area, and how are they going to be mitigated?” In response to a question, he said there has been communication with the county Fire Marshal’s Office. “But,” pressed an attendee, “can they occupy it without all (of this mitigation)?” Yes, King County could do that, because they “own the permitting process.” Pettigrew made it clear that he doesn’t have the jurisdiction; Chris Ricketts, King County fire marshal, does.

Then a nearly surprise guest – King County Sheriff John Urquhart. He said he only found out about it a couple weeks ago, and while he probably has no say over the decision, “it’s probably going to add to our call load,” and if they have to add resources, they will. “Sounds to me like this train is coming down the track, but if anybody is going to stop it, it’s going to be this group here.”

What can citizens do if things go really bad? asked an attendee, bringing up the now-notorious Interbay sports-field camping. “You know why that’s happening? Because it’s the city of Seattle,” he said, bringing up pending legislation in the city that would reportedly allow camping on a lot of public property.

“But we don’t operate out here like that. If someone is camping on private property, we will get them out of there. If it’s public property – and they are trespassing – we will get them out.” He said, “I have compassion for the homeless, but they can’t be parking in front of somebody else’s house, for more than 24 hours.” If they want to park longer than that, “send them north of Roxbury,” he said, to laughter.

Attendees brought up safety concerns for kids walking to schools. But Urquhart pointed out that King County has had “tent cities for a long time, and crime didn’t go up” – because, he said, the encampments were self-governing and had rules. “We have devolved so far from there … it is a terrible situation,” Urquhart said.

He had called it a “political decision,” and NHUAC board member Elizabeth Gordon said, “You mean the executive’s office?” “And his people,” Urquhart replied. “…but that’s not a value judgment, that’s just the way it is. Dow and (Seattle Mayor) Ed Murray have said there’s a homeless emergency in this region, and they’re right, there is an emergency. … They have an empty building, and they want to put 70 people into it.”

If it goes through, and you see problems, one attendee said, “call 911 – call police – every time.” Urquhart said he agreed with that solution. “Super-important to call 911,” not just so they have a record of it, but so they can do something about it.

That segued into a reminder that while White Center might have the minimum-level two deputies on duty at any time, if need be, they can get backup from other areas of the King County Sheriff’s Office-served areas nearby.

Also – White Center resident Joseph Benavides (sp?) talked toward the start of the meeting about continuing community opposition to the shelter proposal, mentioning an online petition and crowdfunding for a lawyer.

NHUAC president Liz Giba said she had asked King County leadership to come to White Center for a meeting on the proposal, but had not received a reply.

Later in the meeting, she said they’re hoping to get guests to talk about it at next month’s NHUAC meeting, including elected officials such as King County Councilmember Joe McDermott.

CRIME UPDATE: Storefront deputy Bill Kennamer talked about this afternoon’s robbery – “four dudes with four guns,” but the store operator, Lawless Clothing, won’t cooperate. “We’re doing our best to shut them down,” he said, alleging that the business has an unlawful sideline. He mentioned that while the helicopter was in the area, it picked up a LoJack (stolen vehicle) signal, and while KCSO does not have LoJack in its cars, Seattle Police came over and helped them find the vehicle near the Evergreen campus.

Kennamer said the sheriff has made it clear, no fixed encampments in the unincorporated urban areas – White Center and Skyway – and, he said, they don’t have any. Overall, Kennamer said he would be surprised if this area has more than two dozen “regulars” experiencing homelessness, contrary to the county’s contention that there are at least 100.

He also confirmed that the KCSO storefront has moved to the new location announced earlier this year, the former White Center Chamber of Commerce building at Steve Cox Memorial Park.

For crime stats/trends, he showed the newest month-by-month charts on “case reports taken,” with some modest increases.

Have campers on Myers Way had an effect on crime rates? Kennamer was asked. He said he’s not seeing that.

The deputy also had positive words for the WC Chevron site’s redevelopment for Starbucks and Popeye’s; he said the car wash at 16th and 104th now is part of the trespass program so that should take care of loitering; Drunky’s Two Shoe BBQ should be open by mid-November; across the street, the former Hang Around (among other things) is going to be a beer place. The new Uncle Ike’s marijuana store between 14th and 15th “has had an immediate positive effect on the area … (the proprietor) wants to get soccer moms comfortable enough to come and buy weed (there).”

HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOND: With one month to go until the $233 million bond‘s fate is decided in the November election, former Burien Councilmember Rose Clark – co-chair of a 40-member citizen committee that worked on the proposal – spoke tonight to NHUAC. She said the committee “spent a huge amount of time” working on assessing district challenges, problems, and requirements. “Remember, a bond is only for buildings,” she pointed out – not textbooks, staff, etc.

She talked about the committee’s tour of HPS schools and finding one building “so old, so fragile, I swear if you take the ivy off the back of it, that building is going to fall down.” She admitted she voted against the last bond for reasons including her belief that Highline HS couldn’t be in worse shape than, for example, Evergreen … but seeing it, she said, swayed her. (The bond measure does include money to start designing new campuses for Tyee and Evergreen, she said; spending $10 million on design in this bond cycle will save $23 million in the next one.) Des Moines Elementary also seems in danger of crumbling “on the heads of the kids” at any moment, Clark said. The statewide class-size mandate for K-3 means more room is needed, in addition to existing needs, she said. Newer schools will get security retrofits – from door-locking to security cameras – and the district would get an emergency-operations center, Clark noted.

For a levy overview – see this page, which has a breakout of which schools would get what if the bond passes. And the district has three open house/tour events planned next week, including one at the Evergreen campus – see the dates/times/locations here. Based on current assessed valuation, this bond measure would cost you 79 cents for every thousand dollars of assessed value of your property.

At meeting’s end, NHUAC board members voted 6-1 to endorse a “yes” vote on the bond measure.

STORMWATER SERVICES PROGRAM: King County’s Trisha Davis spoke about the program and a proposed 50 percent fee increase. “Most of the development in the county was built without any stormwater controls,” she explained, unlike new development – such as the new White Center Library, which she said was built “with extensive stormwater controls.” Stormwater takes pollution off roads and sends it into waterways, where it can kill healthy salmon “within hours.” The stormwater-management fee pays for the program, $171.50 per single-family parcel; “commercial properties pay based on the amount of impervious surface they have.” The current fee brings in $24 million/year. But the county wants to address “more challenges” than it can do with that revenue, Davis said, including roadway drainage and retrofitting “areas without stormwater controls.” Roadway infrastructure that’s in danger of failing in the next decade alone would cost up to half a billion dollars to fix. Looking over the next century, the price tag could go up to $830 million. To start bringing in more money, she said, King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing a 50 percent increase in the fee, to $258 per residential parcel. The fee increase would affect about 80,000 property owners in the unincorporated area, according to Davis.

Would there be projects in the White Center area? Davis was asked. While she didn’t have a specific list, she said yes. In response to a question, she said that most property owners don’t know that they are aware for managing their own stormwater.

In Q&A, a variety of drainage/stormwater-related concerns arose, involving sites including the White Center Neighborhood Pond. While there are trash concerns, and some loitering problems, a King County Sheriff’s Office rep acknowledged, “it’s nothing like what it was” before camps in the area were removed.

MISCELLANEOUS ANNOUNCEMENTS: A library celebration is coming up on October 29th …White Center Kiwanis is selling candy bars, Godiva for $3, See’s for $2.50, to support local youth. An increase of community support has made them able to offer more support for local scholarships as well as uniforms for Mount View Elementary School. No specific locations/times for sales – “wherever we are.”

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets most months on the first Thursday, 7 pm. Watch northhighlineuac.org for updates and agendas. As the board points out, they need people to get involved and stay involved.

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