SATURDAY MORNING: White Center 5K 2017

March 24th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Fun, How to Help, White Center news No Comments »

Start your weekend in a big way – at the White Center 5K. It takes off from White Center Heights Park (7th SW/SW 102nd) Saturday morning, with this schedule:

7:30 Doors Opens to the public
8:45 Warm-Up Activity
9:00 Racers Begin
9:10 Walkers Begin
10:00 Entertainment, Race Winners Announced

If you missed out on online registration, here’s what you’ll pay to sign up right before the race:

0-6: Free
7-18: $30
19-59: $40
60+: $30

Your race fees benefit three local nonprofits:

White Center Community Development Association
YES Foundation of White Center
White Center Food Bank

And when it’s all said and done, you’ll find the Saturday race results 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 2 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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TUESDAY: Job fair at White Center Family Shelter before it officially opens

March 20th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Jobs, White Center news No Comments »

One more thing about the White Center Family Shelter‘s official opening tomorrow – it will be preceded by a job fair:

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FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

March 17th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, People, White Center news No Comments »

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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YOU CAN HELP: White Center shelter work party Saturday, as Mary’s Place gets ready to welcome families

March 15th, 2017 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center news 1 Comment »

Next week, Mary’s Place says, they’ll be welcoming families at the new White Center shelter. You’re invited to one more work party there this Saturday (March 18th), 10 am-2 pm, to help get ready:

Last month we had more than 100 volunteers come by to help clean our new family shelter in White Center. Now that it’s spic and span, we’re need volunteers to “Adopt a Room” and help us get beds moved in and assembled, put on sheets and blankets, and be ready to open next week. Bring wrenches and screwdrivers!

If you want to bring something to help, we could use more twin Bed Sheets and Blankets! We also have an Amazon Wish List for all the other items we need to support our new guests!

Questions? 206-621-8474

SIGN UP to help!

(Click Sign In to set up an account and enter join code WCWORKPARTY)

10821 8th Ave SW

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North Shorewood Park work party success!

March 14th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news No Comments »

Thanks to Gill Loring for photos from the recent work party at North Shorewood Park. He reports that the weather that Saturday morning (March 4th).

“We really lucked out weather wise,” he observed. “Rain had stopped, cool, then some sun and a great group of people including neighbors, volunteers from Capitol Hill and Columbia City as well as Seattle University helping out.”

You can watch this King County Parks webpage for future volunteer opportunities – we see there is one April 1st at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park in White Center.

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Update on ‘The Bog’: Trash removed, vegetation trimmed

March 13th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news No Comments »

King County senior engineer Ken Gresset shared this update on a recent cleanup at “The Bog”:

The group “Friends of the Trail” removed 4 truckloads of garbage (down from the last cleanup) from the site, mostly from the cell between the pedestrian bridge and SW 100th Street.

At the same time, some of the vegetation was trimmed to enable easier viewing of anyone who might be hiding in the thicket. At last we have good news to report! The quantity of syringes has dropped almost in half. Many thanks to Deputy Kennamer for his diligent patrolling and enforcement of the no-trespassing areas and to King County Housing Authority for their assistance in helping keep the site trimmed and cleaned up.

Here’s what the area looked like a year and a half ago.

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CONGRATULATIONS! White Center’s Sophorn Sim honored as ‘Sustainability Hero’

March 13th, 2017 Tracy Posted in sustainability, White Center news 2 Comments »

Congratulations to White Center resident Sophorn Sim for winning top honors in Sustainable Seattle’s annual awards. The photo and announcement were shared with us by ECOSS, for whom she works:

Sustainable Seattle announced the winners of their Sustainability Leadership Awards – known as the “Sustainability Oscars” – at their annual dinner March 3rd at the Swedish Cultural Center. The evening’s top prize, the Sustainability Hero Award, went to Sophorn Sim, an environmental educator working with immigrant residents and fishermen in the Duwamish Valley.

Business, organization, and individual award winners in six categories were recognized at the event for their efforts to make the greater Seattle region a more sustainable, resilient and equitable place to live.

“It was such an inspiration to hear everyone’s stories and see the amazing advances our region is making for our future,” said Sustainable Seattle’s Executive Director BJ Cummings. “It was also important to celebrate the people and organizations doing this work, especially now, when we need amplify the voices of our sustainability leaders.”

KNKX environmental reporter Bellamy Pailthorp emceed the event, which was opened by Duwamish Tribal leader Ken Workman, a direct descendant of Chief Si’ahl, and Julie Whitehorn of Sami Searvi, representing the indigenous people of northern Europe.

The awards are competitive. Nominations were solicited from the community and narrowed down to top five finalists in each category. Winners were selected by a panel of 15 independent judges who have significant experience and involvement in sustainable business, agency and local community initiatives.

The 2017 winners are:

SUSTAINABILITY HERO
Sophorn Sim, a former refugee who fled Cambodia in the mid-1970s, for her work in her community and at ECOSS helping build resilient immigrant communities by connecting them to their environment through education and experiences, such as healthy fishing, clean water and access to parks and recreation.

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE AWARD: SMALL BUSINESS
Fremont Brewing Company for incorporating environmental sustainability and social responsibility practices into their business, including diverting waste streams into clean energy, providing low-cost health insurance and a minimum $15/hour wage to all employees before it was required by law, and more.

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE AWARD: LARGE BUSINESS
Ikea Seattle for the sustainable design of their stores, active community involvement, product design innovations and partnering to plant 5,000 trees in the Mt. Adams Post-Fire Restoration Area. IKEA is working towards a goal of 100% renewable energy; their new Renton store has the largest rooftop solar installation in Washington.

RESILIENCE: EFFECTIVE ACTION ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE VULNERABILITY
King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) for spearheading development, technical assistance and outreach that helped lead to the adoption in July 2014 of countywide greenhouse gas reduction targets of 25% reductions by 2020, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2050. K4C is a consortium of King County and 11 cities.

TECHNOLOGY: INNOVATIVE CREATION OR IMPLEMENTATION TO ADVANCE SUSTAINABILITY
APANA for its innovative technology that helps commercial and industrial water users save money and manage their water using real-time, automated information. Users, such as supermarkets, carwashes, food and beverage processing facilities, and commercial buildings, have demonstrated an average 22% savings in water use.

ARTS AND CULTURE: BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY
No Gasoline Day – Coltura for helping change cultural norms about the use of gasoline through mobile and interactive live performance, social media, and powerful imagery and videos challenging the cultural status quo. In 2016, they produced mobile theatrical series performed at art festivals and gasoline stations across Seattle.

The Sustainability Leadership Awards, began in 2001 by local non-profit Sustainable Seattle, recognize the accomplishments of those raising the bar for sustainability in the greater Seattle area. The nominations and awards celebrate and encourage positive change as well as appropriately recognize the time and energy invested in transforming the local economy, community and environment, making Seattle a national sustainability model.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center Chamber of Commerce meets again to talk about graffiti-vandalism fight

March 10th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Graffiti, White Center Chamber of Commerce, White Center news No Comments »

The White Center Chamber of Commerce‘s battle against graffiti/tagging vandalism is still getting off the ground. This past Monday night, about a dozen Chamber members and community advocates gathered again at Northmart to talk about it, two months after the previous meeting (WCN coverage here).

Dr. Kathleen Paulson from Cascade Heights Veterinary Clinic (9832 15th SW) led the meeting. Her clinic has forms that residents and business owners can use to identify graffiti vandalism and take to McLendon Hardware (10210 16th SW) to get the Chamber-arranged discount on paint and other supplies to get rid of it. The Chamber also is working to find a go-to person who can be contacted directly to go paint out vandalism when it’s reported, and to locate a storage area for paint and supplies that person will be able to deploy.

As for current trouble spots, the alley east of the east side of the heart of 16th, between Roxbury and SW 98th, was mentioned by several attendees.

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MYERS WAY ENCAMPMENT: Updates from the city

March 10th, 2017 Tracy Posted in White Center news 6 Comments »

(WSB photo, taken Friday morning)

Last weekend on partner site West Seattle Blog, we published an update on the Myers Way Parcels encampment Camp Second Chance, now officially “sanctioned” by the City of Seattle, and starting to get services as it prepares to expand. Tonight, we’ve just received an update directly from the city, mostly in the form of this letter from the city’s homelessness director George Scarola (including some information that was part of our earlier update):

Dear Community Members:

First, I want to thank those of you who could come out to talk with me at the second community meeting on February 1. A lot has happened since then, and I want to provide a status report on opening of Camp Second Chance and on general issues related to the City’s response to homelessness.

Importantly, I want you to know that Camp Second Chance will be ready to accept campers as soon as next Thursday, March 16. The site will ultimately host up to 70 adults. Patacara Community Services will operate the encampment.

Residents moving to Camp Second Chance are referred there by the City’s Navigation Team, comprised of outreach workers and specially-trained police officers, conducting outreach. This site will have ongoing trash-recycling-compost service, drinkable water, portable toilets, security, and pest control. As the camp comes online, Patacara Community Services will also provide case management to the campers to help them access services and housing.

Here is an update on the commitments we made in response to concerns raised at the February 1 meeting. As always, this is an ongoing conversation:

*Seattle City Light will install street lighting on the east side of Myers Way from Olson Place to the King County border starting Monday, March 13.

*The City engaged an environmental firm to do surface soil testing, and the results show safe levels of contaminants in surface soil.

*The City installed a perimeter fence to delineate the site and protect the wetlands.

*Seattle Police Department (SPD) has cited and towed several RVs parked along Myers Way.

I will be organizing a third community meeting in the coming weeks and inviting King County officials, the King County Sheriff’s office, dispatch officers from 9-1-1, WSDOT officials and SPD officers to discuss better coordination, on-going issues with dispatch calls, and improved response to reports of criminal behavior. For those interested, I have also enclosed the transcript of the February 1 meeting.  

Lastly, Patacara Community Services, with Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, will establish a Community Advisory Committee to provide input on the operations of the Camp Second Chance. This committee will be made up of residents, businesses owners, and other community stakeholders. Meetings will be public, and meeting notes will be posted online. If you would like to serve on this committee, an application is attached. The first meeting will be held in early April; more information to come.

Below are phone numbers that may be helpful for you: 
•         Police-Fire-Medical Emergency: 9-1-1
•         Police Non-emergency: (206) 625-5011
•         Patacara Community Services – Encampment operator: Polly Trout at (206) 465-6342
•         Seattle Public Utilities 24-hour line to report trash, illegal dumping or needles: (206) 684-7587 
 
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or Patacara.

George Scarola

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Village Green Nursery to reopen under new ownership

March 7th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Gardening, White Center news 9 Comments »

(Photos courtesy Village Green Nursery)

Village Green Nursery is reopening under new ownership. One year after its longtime proprietor Vera Johnson closed it and moved, we received this announcement from its new owner, Noah Trutzschler, who plans to open next month:

Announcing the grand re-opening of Village Green Perennial Nursery, White Center’s premier provider of organic herbs, veggies, fruit & plant starts.

HI, I’m Noah, the new owner of the Village Green Nursery. My partner, Sarah, and I are in the process of setting up the nursery to its former beauty, and plan on continuing the tradition of providing the community with healthy and beautiful plants. Both of us love to garden, but have never tried anything as ambitious as starting our own nursery before. We have big shoes to fill, but are looking forward to journey.

We will be specializing in organic herbs, veggies, fruit, plant starts, and small ornamentals. We’re in love with heirloom tomatoes and think you’ll love them too, which is why we have 12 different types of heirloom tomatoes. Want fresh basil for pesto, edible flowers to add a little zest to your plate, or Italian herbs for your latest culinary creation? We’ve got you covered. In fact, we currently we have over 70 different varieties of edible plants to choose from, and will keep our website up to date with the complete list as we continue to add more.

Prefer to start your own plants from seeds? We not only have local organic seeds, but are the only nursery we know of in the area that has Cow Pots. Haven’t heard of Cow Pots? We hadn’t either until we started research for the nursery. These are a biodegradable, natural, and sustainable method for quickly transplanting plants because it’s the biodegradable pot you plant. We’ve tested them in our garden, and are seeing amazing root growth (just as promised).

Our Grand Re-Opening will be April 22nd and April 23rd, 2017 from 10:00-6:00:

– The first 10 customers will get a free gift.
– We want to encourage kids to get outside, dig in the dirt, and eat healthy. So, the first 50 kids 12 and under can pick their very own free organic fruit or veggie start (think rainbow carrots, kids sized cucumbers, or edible flowers).
– For the adults, we’re offering 1 free plant with the purchase of 10 plants.
– We are also featuring the work of 3 Seattle artists:

*Peggy Johnson creates oil paintings of garden scenes, meant to invoke feeling, awaken memories, and nudge the viewer to see things in a new way.

*Dehanna Jones is a native Seattleite who specializes in colorful blown glass floats.

*Jessica Wilkinson’s creative spin on ceramic pots is sure to put a smile on your face.

For a sneak peek at the featured artists’ work, take a look at the Garden Art section of our website. Every month we plan to feature new art, and new artists. If you’re a local artist that would like to be featured, contact us at agentsarahy@yahoo.com and share an example of your work.

Please visit VillageGreenGarden.com for more info, or better yet, come see us in person April 22nd or 23rd!

Noah Trutzschler
Sarah Young

Village Green is at 10223 26th SW.

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FOLLOWUP: Assault charge filed in White Center attack; victim in coma but expected to survive

March 6th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news No Comments »

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has just charged the man arrested for attacking a woman in White Center early last Friday. 21-year-old Robert J. German is charged with first-degree assault with sexual motivation. The charging documents say the 55-year-old victim remains in the hospital in a “medically induced coma” with major head injuries. German “almost killed her,” prosecutors allege, saying he pulled her behind a wall and attacked her, kicking and beating her in the face and head, as she “lay on her back, kicking and fighting to get away,” and that he apparently tried to sexually assault her. The charging papers say he first accosted her near a bus shelter on the east side of the 9600 block of 15th SW. A witness heard what happened and then found the victim unconscious in a pool of blood and called 911. German was found minutes later in the 10200 block of Ambaum and was later booked into jail, where he remains held in lieu of $750,000 bail. The court documents say the victim “lives on the streets” in White Center and that German works at a Burien restaurant but has been homeless for “about a month.” He has no felony criminal history, according to prosecutors, but has a misdemeanor conviction for theft two years ago. The court documents say that after life-saving treatment at Harborview Medical Center, the victim is expected to survive. German is due to answer the charge at a March 20th arraignment hearing.

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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 No Comments »

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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TOMORROW: North Shorewood Park needs you

March 3rd, 2017 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on TOMORROW: North Shorewood Park needs you

Surely you can spare a few hours on Saturday to help one of North Highline’s awesome county parks. From Lina Rose:

Join King County Parks Volunteer Program staff and fellow community members to help make North Shorewood Park a healthier forest!

On Saturday, March 4th, from 10 am-2 pm we will remove weeds from around plantings that volunteers put in the ground over the last two winters. We will also move some wood chip mulch around these plantings to give them a better chance of surviving. We will also tour the forested trails of the park and have some environmental education about the park and the important role our forests and parks play in White Center. Event is free and all are welcome!

Please contact Lina Rose, Volunteer Coordinator, prior to the event for more info and to RSVP – lina.rose@kingcounty.gov or 206.491.5014

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UPDATE: Woman in critical condition, man in jail after attack in White Center

March 2nd, 2017 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Woman in critical condition, man in jail after attack in White Center

FIRST REPORT, 6:47 AM: A woman is at Harborview Medical Center after being found unconscious and “severely beaten” early today, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West. She says someone called 911 at about 2:20 a to report the woman was being beaten and kicked by a man by the Bartell Drugs store at 15th and Roxbury. A “bloody man” was then found several blocks south, at 15th and 102nd, and was “being interviewed by detectives,” Sgt. West says, adding that it’s “unknown at this point if the victim and suspect knew each other.” More information is expected later today.

UPDATE, 4:55 PM: The victim is 55 years old and in critical condition, and Sgt. West says she might have been sexually assaulted. The “bloody man” who was found, she says, “had blood on his shoes, and bloody footprints at the crime scene matched his shoes.” He is 21 years old and from Tukwila and was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault.

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Power outage for parts of White Center, West Seattle, South Park

February 27th, 2017 Tracy Posted in utilities, White Center news Comments Off on Power outage for parts of White Center, West Seattle, South Park

4:55 AM: Power is out for what Seattle City Light‘s outage map says are 2,000+ homes/businesses, including parts of White Center and South Park. No word yet on the cause; restoration is estimated at 11 am but we always remind you, that’s just SCL’s guess, could be earlier, could be later. And please remember if you are driving before the power’s back on – any signalized intersection where the signal’s out or flashing means it’s an all-ways stop.

6:14 AM: The outage is now down to 240 customers, mostly in north Greenbridge. “Equipment failure” is now listed as the cause.

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THURSDAY: The plan for this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

February 26th, 2017 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: The plan for this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, here’s the plan for the March meeting:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When: Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center
(Parking and Entrance are in the back of the Station)

Please join North Highline’s volunteer community council at our March 2, 2017 meeting.

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

Our first guest, Liz McDaniel of Mary’s Place, will bring us up-to-date on the progress toward opening White Center’s new family homeless shelter and resource center. Equity and social justice (ESJ) were important aspects of the discussions that led to King County’s support of Mary’s Place instead of the low-barrier adult shelter, which the County originally proposed.

Our community’s journey toward welcoming Mary’s Place is a good example of how equity and social justice can help define our community and our lives. Matias Valenzuela will discuss the King County’s Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan. He will also explain King County’s response to recent federal actions toward immigrants and refugees. This is a very important issue and affects many in our community.

Deputy Bill Kennamer will be back with an update on what’s been happening in North Highline, from KCSO’s perspective. Ever wonder how you can help make our community a better place? Deputy Bill will also discuss the “broken windows” theory of crime deterrence.

If you have something to share with the North Highline community, Good of the Order will give you the opportunity.

Join Us – Thursday, March 2nd at 7 PM – Bring a Neighbor!

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FOLLOWUP: What’s up with White Center Food Bank changes

February 20th, 2017 Tracy Posted in White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: What’s up with White Center Food Bank changes

After recent news of two top staffers leaving the White Center Food Bank, we asked the followup question: What’s really going on? Spokesperson Ian Smithgall sent the following open letter in reply:

To the community of support for The White Center Food Bank:

As many people may know, The White Center Food Bank has been going through changes over the past few months. Over this time, we have not been very transparent about many of the changes happening and we would like to take this time to be honest and open. We are hoping that this is the start to a more transparent White Center Food Bank, and more direct community engagement with the White Center, West Seattle, Highline and Burien communities.

First, we want to address the recent retirement of our longtime leader, Richard Jump. He retired on his own accord and did so under more short notice than he or the organization would have liked. However, his departure was not a surprise as he had already started conversations about setting a retirement date.

Beyond the personal reasons outlined in our previous press release, Rick felt comfortable leaving when and how he did because The White Center Food Bank team was growing and he was confident in the abilities of the remaining staff to be able to ‘weather the storm’ and grow from his legacy. We, now and forever, wish him the best and he will always be an integral part of who we are as an organization.

At this same time, a portion of our Board of Directors retired from their positions. Each retiring member had personal reasons for leaving the organization, and their departure was done with the best intentions in mind for the future of the White Center Food Bank. This change also allowed the board to look strategically towards the future, engaging in intentional board development that will prepare us for a capital campaign to grow our services and physical space at our current location in the near future.

Finally, upon Audrey Zemke’s recent retirement, The White Center Food Bank had to re-focus on our mission of continuing to keep White Center fed. Audrey was integral in the building and developing of our programs at The White Center Food Bank, and we would not be the organization we are today without the kindness and dignity that she provided to those in crisis on a daily basis. She is an inspiration to our team and will continue to shape the organization, long after her retirement.

Our commitment to keep White Center fed, coupled with the retiring of our longstanding leaders, has led the remaining Board of Directors and Staff to engage with Loveall Price & Associates – a consulting firm who is now providing staff support and development, organizational restructuring, and an acting Interim Executive Director – Carolynn Ferris – who will be guiding us through this transition. Carolynn and the LPA team will then assist us through an Executive Director search to find our new organizational leader within the year.

We have also recently hired a new Volunteer Coordinator, Carmen Smith, who will be engaging in volunteer management, recruitment and engagement within the community!

The staff and Board at The White Center Food Bank would like to let our community know that we are extremely hopeful and excited for the future. We were lucky to have had such wonderful community of support and leadership with Rick and Audrey, and we are looking forward to being able to build upon their legacy. While there will be more changes in the future, we hope that you will continue to support us in our mission to minimize hunger in the neighborhood and to provide the best emergency food services possible. We will always fight to #KeepWhiteCenterFed – come join us!

Sincerely,

The Board, staff, volunteers and clients of the White Center Food Bank.

P.S. We also just updated our logo and website! Check it out! www.whitecenterfoodbank.org

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White Center businesses closed for Day Without Immigrants

February 16th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Businesses, People, restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on White Center businesses closed for Day Without Immigrants

(Also posted to partner site West Seattle Blog)

Thanks to Jen Calleja for the tip – multiple White Center businesses are closed today for the Day Without Immigrants protest against the federal crackdown on immigrants. We stopped by some of the businesses she mentioned – above, the sign at Greenbridge Café; below, the signs at Salvadorean Bakery and Best Roasted Corn:

And Jen sent this collage of other businesses she found closed nearby:

We haven’t seen/heard of any other West closures – if you have, please let us know – texting 206-293-6302 is the fastest way to reach us.

Meantime, there’s news about the court fight over the presidential order on immigration – according to a news release from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, saying a federal appeals court was notified that “the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order” to eliminate constitutional concerns. Ferguson’s reaction: “Let’s be clear: Today’s court filing by the federal government recognizes the obvious — the President’s current Executive Order violates the Constitution.”

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YOU CAN VOTE: White Center Library a finalist for DJC’s ‘Building of the Year’

February 16th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Libraries, White Center Library, White Center news 3 Comments »

(WCN file photo)

Found out today from the Daily Journal of Commerce that the beautiful new White Center Library, which opened last May, is a finalist in their “Building of the Year” competition. And you can vote – go here to find out more about the contest, and to vote before the end of the month. (Scroll down – the library’s at the bottom of the list.)

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