King County proposes banning natural gas in most new unincorporated-area construction

September 22nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Development, Environment, King County, White Center news No Comments »

Announced today by King County Executive Dow Constantine – a proposal to change building codes, including a ban on natural-gas use in most new construction. At the heart of that part of the proposal:

The proposed Ordinance:

• Prohibits fossil fuel combustion for space heating in all commercial buildings and in multifamily buildings four stories tall and taller;
• Prohibits fossil fuel combustion for water heating in multifamily buildings four stories tall and taller, as well as hotel/motel and group residential buildings; and
• Increases efficiency requirements, including for lighting and window insulation levels.

As building codes apply to new construction, building additions, and some mechanical and building feature replacements, the effect of the proposed Ordinance would primarily be to reduce natural gas expansion in all commercial buildings, and multifamily buildings over three stories tall, thus helping to curb future GHG emissions.

The city of Seattle already has passed similar legislation. Read the full announcement, including what else would change, here. The proposal goes to the County Council for consideration (documents are here).

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CORONAVIRUS: Two White Center vaccine pop-ups this week

September 21st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, White Center news No Comments »

Two chances to get vaccinated in White Center this week, if you’re not already:

WEDNESDAY (September 22): 1-6 pm, get vaccinated at the library (1409 SW 107th).

FRIDAY (September 24): The White Center Community Association hosts a pop-up at 605 SW 108th, 10 am-1:30 pm.

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CONTINUING SUNDAY: Punk Rock Flea Market in White Center

September 18th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Fun, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photos)

Happening now in the 9800 block of 17th SW in White Center – the Punk Rock Flea Market! It’s a browser’s dream.

As befits the name, you’ll find music too – both for sale:

And for entertainment – DJ Porta-Party was on duty:

$1 admission, and wear your mask:

The Punk Rock Flea Market is on until 7 tonight, and again noon-5 pm Sunday. (Rain or shine, they vow.)

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CRIME WATCH: Armed robbery at marijuana shop

September 17th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news No Comments »

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a robbery that was just reported at Nimbin Pot Shop on 1st Avenue South in Top Hat. Deputies were told that three robbers – at least two with guns – held up the store. According to emergency-radio exchanges, they are still working on description information and whether they got away on foot or via vehicle.

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North Highline’s future: New way to have a say in how it should look

September 17th, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news No Comments »

From King County:

King County Local Services is working with the North Highline community to create urban design standards for new commercial, multi-family, and mixed-use developments.

To align these new design standards with the community’s values, we’re forming a community advisory group to help develop these standards in a way that reflects the values and assets of the community. If you’re interested in applying to be a member of that group, please use our online application form.

The project team is also gathering input directly from community members through an online survey and upcoming events. Do you have ideas to share? Your voice matters — please take the survey!

Check out this information sheet to learn more about the project, or contact Jesse Reynolds by email ( or at 206-477-4237.

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FOLLOWUP: North Shorewood Park’s special Saturday

September 15th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

A small but mighty group of volunteers worked at North Shorewood Park this past Saturday. The photos are by Crescent from King County Parks and longtime volunteer Gill, who notes, “While there, a dad and his two daughters used the basketball court for trying out skateboards, and then dad went to sit while the kids were on the playground equipment which is why we maintain the Park.”

Moving a big pile of mulch was one of the day’s primary jobs.

Every little bit of help matters.

You can go here to look for upcoming chances to help out in county parks.

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FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

September 13th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news No Comments »

(WCN/WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

As reported in our original coverage of this morning’s three-alarm White Center fire, it’s the second time in five months that flames have torn through the Locker Room at 9633 16th SW – and this time, it’s a total loss. The owners were “on the cusp of starting to rebuild,” according to a crowdfunding page set up for them. It’s been a rough year, the organizer explains: “To be closed for covid multiple times…the first fire…and now just when it was looking up to start rebuilding…another fire.” Here’s where you can donate.

P.S. Neighboring businesses Bizzarro Italian Café and Huong Xua are both boarded up tonight. Bizzarro’s website says they’ll be closed “for a few weeks”; we’ll continue checking tomorrow on Huong Xua. As for the fire’s cause, we checked again with the FD at day’s end – no determination yet.

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UPDATE: Another big fire in downtown White Center – second one this year at Locker Room

September 13th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Fire, White Center news 9 Comments »

Another big fire callout in downtown White Center – and Seattle Fire units are being sent to help. 16th SW is being blocked south of Roxbury. We’re on our way to find out more.

(WCN/WSB photos/video)

5:58 AM: As our first photo shows, the logged address is correct – the old Locker Room Tavern at 9633 16th SW, damaged by fire back in April.

6:10 AM: No word yet if anyone was injured, or if the adjacent businesses are damaged.

This is the third major commercial-building fire in White Center in a little over two months, after the July 5th fire that gutted seven businesses a bit further north on 16th SW and the fire at the old Atlas Electric building on September 1st.

6:18 AM: The fire’s not out yet – still visible flames and smoke inside the building.

6:34 AM: Public-information officers on scene say this is a 3-alarm fire – they’ve called in the extra help because of the proximity of other businesses. (video added, briefing by PIO Pat Pawlak:)

They’re working to try to keep it from spreading to the adjacent businesses (Bizzarro Italian Café to the south, Huong Xua Deli to the north). No injuries reported.

8:07 AM: After a break to return to HQ to upload video, our crew is back at the fire scene. Some of the responding units have been dismissed. We talked to a Bizzarro Italian Café rep, who says they’re closed Mondays anyway so they’ll be evaluating any effects. Same goes for Full Tilt Ice Cream two doors down – owner Justin Cline tells us there’s some water damage but they’re also usually closed Mondays, so they have time to deal with it. 16th, meantime, is likely to stay closed another two hours or so.

9:04 AM: Lot of cleanup to be done inside Huong Xua (above). Meantime, more than three hours after the fire started, firefighters are still on scene:

12:08 PM: 16th SW has reopened.

12:35 PM: We just checked back with Fire District spokesperson Shauna Sheppard: No cause determined yet.

1:31 PM: Another update from Sheppard: Early indications are that the fire was NOT deliberately set, but the investigation continues.

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COVID cases and what else is happening at Camp Second Chance

September 12th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Myers Way, White Center news No Comments »

(First published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

For the first time in the pandemic, Camp Second Chance – the City of Seattle-authorized tiny-house encampment just outside North Highline – has reported COVID cases.

That was one of the updates the CSC Community Advisory Committee heard during its monthly meeting, held online this afternoon.

None of the three were seriously ill, said camp manager Scott Harris; two are a couple. and all three were quarantined at county facilities set aside for that purpose. Camp Second Chance also has another mobile vaccination clinic visiting this week, on Wednesday, with flu and Hepatitis A shots as well as COVID vaccine.

Other updates:

CAMP TOPLINES: Harris said 56 people are currently living at CSC (9701 Myers Way S.). August saw nine arrivals and five exits – three “abandonments” (including a mother and son who were reported to have won a casino jackpot that enabled them to get housing) and one person who transferred to another tiny-house encampment because he wasn’t getting along with people. The camp logged four 911 calls in August, three for medical reasons one call to police for a disruption involving a former resident who had to be trespassed as a result.

CAMP STAFFING: Harris also mentioned LIHI – which holds the city-funded contract to run the camp, and employs him and other paid staffers – is hiring a village organizer, a “security plus” position that is already on board at LIHI’s other tiny-house encampments. Security will be part of the VO’s job, 4-8 pm Wednesday-Sunday, but camp residents will still take turns working security as well.

CAMP MAINTENANCE: Harris is looking for a new 40′ x 60′ tarp for the kitchen structure’s roof. Also, the security shack will be leveled – it sits crookedly on its site, he explained. He’s also hoping to add one or two tiny houses to the site.

NEW CASE MANAGER: A highlight of the meeting was the update from new case manager Marjorie Johnson, the first permanent case manager hired for Camp Second Chance in many months. She said 16 of the residents are working on housing applications; she’s working with three to clear previous eviction debt so they can qualify for apartments. Four are on a list for emergency housing vouchers. One person has joined the Fare Start training program and three more are applying. Two veterans at the camp have “reconnected with the VA.” She has a new relationship with a Burien organization that’s potentially going to help with housing and jobs. In all, she said she has engaged with all but 7 of the campers so far; relationship-building has its challenges, she explained, telling a story of how she managed to bond with one camper because of her dog Diamond – “rapport is one of the #1 things in building trust with people.” All this in just one month on the job. “Marjorie rocks!” enthused Harris.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ CONCERNS: CAC chair Willow Fulton and member Grace Stiller both brought up the continuing issue of pedestrian dangers along Myers Way, where in some places a fence along the west side of the street forces people on foot further into the street. No city staffer was in attendance again this month, though, so they couldn’t raise the concern directly.

NEXT MEETING: A new monthly meeting date hasn’t been worked out yet so at this point they’re continuing with the first Sunday (pushed back a week this month because of Labor Day weekend), 2 pm – that means October 3rd. Connection information is in our ongoing calendar listing.

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Art celebration at New Start High School garden

September 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Arts, Gardening, New Start High School, White Center news 1 Comment »

Nature and art together made for quite a show at New Start High School over the weekend. Gill Loring shares the photos from the celebration of art at the school’s renowned community garden:

The garden has an amazing backstory – including the fresh-grown produce it donates to the White Center Food Bank, more than a ton last year alone!

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YOU CAN HELP: Be at North Shorewood Park next Saturday!

September 4th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for sending word of this. Your help would be welcomed!

Restoration and Stewardship at North Shorewood Park

10044 24th Ave SW

Saturday, September 11, 2021
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Space is limited, register at:

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UPDATE: Fire in Top Hat

September 1st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Fire, Top Hat, White Center news 1 Comment »

3:22 PM: Another notable fire response – this time to 1st SW and SW 108th in Top Hat. It’s logged as a brush fire. Seattle Fire units are being summoned to help North Highline FD.

5:55 PM: This did not turn out to be as big as it sounded. It appeared to have been in a front yard.

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UPDATE: Second 2-alarm fire in 2 years at vacant White Center building

September 1st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Fire, White Center news 4 Comments »

(Added: Video by Rob Jacobs, just before firefighters arrived)

8:45 AM: Thanks for the tips. There’s a big fire in White Center – the fire-response log says it’s a commercial fire near 17th SW and SW 98th [map]. Homes are being evacuated west of there. We’re on our way to find out more; avoid that area.

8:55 AM: We’re on scene. This is the long-vacant commercial building between the Gerber auto shop and dental office.

9:10 AM: No reports of injuries so far.

9:21 AM: We talked to firefighters at the scene, Most of this is “knocked down” but there’s one hot spot in debris inside the building that’s still smoldering, so that’s where their attention is now. They confirm no one is hurt. Meantime, checking property records, the exact address for the building is 9811 17th SW.

9:39 AM: The building’s past incarnations include Atlas Electric and the White Center News newspaper; it was listed for sale last year and sold early this year.

10:05 AM: Thanks to the readers who note this building also caught fire two years ago; we covered that on our partner site White Center Now – the 2019 fire was ruled arson, We’ll be checking back at today’s scene in a bit.

11 AM: Just back from there. Still smoldering; streets still blocked. The Gerber auto shop next door is closed while they assess potential damage, as the north end of their building is adjacent to the one that burned.

ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: We went back late in the day – the building’s now largely just charred debris:

No word on the cause yet; we’ll check again tomorrow.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s summer break extended until October

August 30th, 2021 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s summer break extended until October

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

North Highlline Uninicorporated Area Council – September meeting Cancelled.

In our attempt to extend the summer, we will not be holding a September meeting.

We will resume our regular 1st Thursday of the month meetings on Thursday, October 7, 7 pm.

Thank you for hanging in there with us through what has been a very unusual year.

Stay safe –

Looking forward to seeing you all in October. -in person or if needed via Zoom.

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PHOTOS: Block party in downtown White Center, as fire recovery continues

August 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s part of the scene on 16th SW south of Roxbury, closed for a block party until 5 pm to raise money for the half-dozen-plus businesses affected by last month’s arson, as mentioned on today’s preview list. Eat, drink, shop, wander!

Some info: To get in on the raffle/silent auction, go to the breezeway by The Plant Store, midblock – that’s where we found DJ Bugzy Beatdown.

The entertainment schedule for the rest of the afternoon:

Now until 2:10 – selfdoubt
2:30-3:15: Junior on the Prowl
3:30-4:30 DJ DeVonne
5:00 DJ Bugzy Beatdown returns

That’s all midblock. You can also check out B.O.C. Music (3:30-4:30) and Monty Banks (5 pm) at Drunky Two Shoes and then at Southgate Roller Rink, DJ Dan Steely at 5 pm and Kids on Fire at 6 pm.

Another big attraction besides street-fair-style shopping – food. There’s a seating area in the middle of 16th where Chef Brady Ishiwata Williams, who’s about to open Tomo, is grilling.

You can also dine outside Buho and Bizzarro Italian Café.

At the south end of the block, the Home Skillit is offering street food including Louisiana hot links and Seattle Dogs.

This is all community-organized; we talked to the White Center Pride team about what people can do to support the businesses that are still working to get back on their feet.

Come down today, wander around, find out about the new locations some have found, they said. (Their booth is on the east side of the block – look for the rainbows.) Some of those new locations are already open – La Tipica Oaxaqueña moved to the southwest corner of 16th/Roxbury – and some hope to be open soon, like John’s Hair and Nails, moving to 10261 16th SW. And if you’ve got any tips about the arson, you can give them to King County Sheriff’s Office reps in person at the block party!

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BACK TO SCHOOL: White Center start dates

August 28th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news Comments Off on BACK TO SCHOOL: White Center start dates

Summer’s ending and school’s about to start. Here are five start dates of note for White Center and vicinity:

September 2 – Highline Public Schools (1st-12th grades)
September 7 – Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School
September 8 – Highline Public Schools (kindergarten)
September 8 – West Seattle Montessori
September 9 – Explorer West Middle School

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SATURDAY: Queer & Trans Night Market in White Center

August 25th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, People, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Queer & Trans Night Market in White Center

This Saturday night, White Center Heights Park will be transformed into an outdoor shopping event, with more than 40 vendors signed up for the Queer & Trans Night Market. VietQ is presenting the market, 6-9 pm Saturday (August 28th). VietQ presented a daytime market back in June in Greenbridge. Saturday’s vendors are spotlighted on VietQ’s Instagram page. The park is at 7th/102nd.

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UPDATE: Another vaccine pop-up

August 25th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Another vaccine pop-up

2:23 PM: Ready to get vaccinated? Until 6 tonight, you can do it at the White Center Library (1409 SW 107th). Single-dose and two-dose vaccines available, KCLS says, so people 12+ are welcome.

ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: Miss this one? They’re doing it again September 22nd.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Utility work early Friday on 509, 99

August 25th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Traffic, Utilities, White Center news Comments Off on TRAFFIC ALERT: Utility work early Friday on 509, 99

If you’re planning to travel on 509 and/or 99 early Friday, be aware of this alert from Seattle City Light:

Seattle City Light crews will be replacing overhead fiberoptic cables over State Route (SR) 99 and 509. The reliability work will result in traffic impacts on Aug. 27.

To complete this work safely, Washington State Patrol troopers and construction crews must intermittently conduct rolling slowdowns of traffic in both directions of SR 99 and 509 to ensure safe work operations and passage for motorists. Traffic will be intercepted and escorted at slow speeds up to 15 minutes as crews pull overhead cables across the freeways. Traffic will return to normal speeds once vehicles pass the work area.

Rolling slowdowns will occur from 12:01 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday, August 27. Construction will impact vehicle traffic on SR 99 and 509 in the following areas:

State Route 99

Northbound: South 116th Way/Tukwila International Boulevard to South 96th Street
Southbound: South Kenyon Street to South 100th Street

State Route 509

Northbound: South 96th Street to South 128th Street
Southbound: South Kenyon Street to South 106th Street

Side note: This is the kind of work that went awry in the early morning hours of August 18th, leading to a major power outage and highway closure.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: 15th/Roxbury signal out

August 24th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Traffic, White Center news Comments Off on TRAFFIC ALERT: 15th/Roxbury signal out

2:25 PM: Just got word from Metro spokesperson Al Sanders that the signal at 15th/Roxbury is out because “the crew on the RapidRide H line construction hit a conduit near 15th and Roxbury, taking out power to the signal.” He says SDOT and Seattle City Light are “working to repair the break” and in the meantime they will get an officer to direct traffic (if one’s not there already).

5:17 PM: Just went by to check – still out. Sanders says it might be a few more hours.

8:01 PM: Fixed.

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