UPDATE: Fire callout at Viva Mexico

September 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Fire, Traffic, White Center news No Comments »

11:25 PM: 16th SW is closed at SW 106th because of a fire callout at Viva Mexico restaurant. On our way to find out more.

(WCN photo)

12:10 AM: When we got there, what had been a huge callout – more than 15 units initially – was down to just a few. No sign of smoke or flames, or exterior damage, so not a major fire. We will seek more followup info later today.

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REMINDER: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets next week, not this week

September 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Online, White Center news No Comments »

A reminder from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

2020 has been a year of many challenges and the creation of many new norms. With that said, NHUAC will not be holding a meeting on the first Thursday of October, and instead will be holding the meeting on the second Thursday, October 8th.

With continued Social Distancing recommendations, the meeting will be held via Zoom. You will also have the option of calling in on your phone. We will send out info on how to join the meeting, as well as info on our guest speakers as we get closer to the meeting date.

Please plan on joining us as we will be discussing issues that are very important to the future of our North Highline Community.

So fire up your computers and get ready to Zoom.

Community Matters
Stay Informed, Stay Involved, Be Heard

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Salvadorean Bakery team spotlighted by Seattle’s new hockey team

September 28th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Food, White Center news 1 Comment »

White Center’s own Salvadorean Bakery has turned up in an unexpected place – featured on the website of Seattle’s new professional-hockey team, the Kraken. Sisters Ana Castro and Aminta Elgin tell their story of 25 sweet years baking and cooking in White Center, and, most recently, battling through the rocky economic times brought by the pandemic. If you’ve visited, you’ve seen their beautiful cakes – and in the story, they even show off one with a Kraken logo!

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CRIME: Robbery investigation at 15th/Roxbury

September 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news No Comments »

Deputies are headed right now to the Texaco station/mini-mart at 15th/Roxbury for a reported robbery. The emergency-radio dispatcher has advised deputies that the robber implied he had a gun, though none was seen. He left on a bicycle, westbound. Initial description: “Unknown race male, 30s, 5’5″, thin, hood and mask.” If you have any information, call 911.

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CRIME: What closed White Center Starbucks for the day

September 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news No Comments »

Thanks for the tip. The White Center Starbucks had an unscheduled closure today. A reader told us the store was burglarized and that resulted in a broken window. We just talked with the company and they confirm the staff found a broken window upon arrival this morning, and decided to close for the day, but will reopen tomorrow.The broken window was on the drive-thru side. No other details on the crime so far.

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Short-lived White Center power outage

September 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news No Comments »

In case you slept right through it, White Center did lose power for a few minutes early today, possibly related to a West Seattle outage that was already partly over by then. Here’s a screengrab of the Seattle City Light outage map during the short-lived outage:

No word on the cause so far, but it’s been a blustery night.

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FYI: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council changes October meeting date

September 22nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Online, White Center news No Comments »

Set your calendar for October 8th instead of 1st – the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has moved its meeting date back a week. Connection/teleconferencing details to come – watch nhuac.org.

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County budget preview includes White Center proposals

September 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

King County Executive Dow Constantine presents his next proposed budget on Tuesday, and his office released a preview today. This preview was focused on criminal-legal system reform as well as anti-racism work; it includes two mentions of White Center:

• Invest $750,000 to co-create and implement alternative to policing in urban unincorporated King County

The Executive Office will partner with the King County Sheriff’s Office and community members to co-create and implement a new community-driven safety model in urban unincorporated areas such as White Center, Skyway and East Renton. This may involve hiring behavioral health professionals to partner with Sheriff’s Office Deputies and divert cases from criminal courts and jails. The goal is to design the program in 2021 and implement no later than 2022.

• Invest in community engagement

The 2021-2022 Proposed Budget makes investments to change the County’s approach to working with community to support co-creation and the long-term success of community-based organizations. This includes creating a participatory budgeting effort to determine how to invest $10 million in new capital projects in the urban unincorporated areas of Skyway, White Center, Fairwood, East Federal Way, and East Renton.

While not singling out WC by name, here’s a mention of unincorporated areas:

• Divest $4.6 million of marijuana tax revenue

Executive Constantine’s proposed budget shifts $4.6 million of marijuana excise tax revenue from law enforcement to community-based programs. This represents all the money received by King County from retail marijuana sales. $2.8 million would be devoted to a program to help individuals vacate convictions of marijuana-related offenses that are no longer illegal, and settle unpaid court fines, fees, and restitution that could lead to incarceration. Black communities have historically been disproportionately harmed by our nation’s “war on drugs,” and this begins to undo some of that harm. $1.35 million would be shifted to the Department of Local Services for programs co-created with residents in the unincorporated area, including youth marijuana prevention and employment programs. The remaining $450,000 would be used to create and support a community-centered advisory body that would determine how to spend marijuana taxes in future years.

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FLOWERS! Fundraiser to help farmers

September 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in How to Help, White Center news No Comments »

(Also posted on our partner site West Seattle Blog)

Beautiful flowers like those don’t just appear at local markets. They are grown on small farms. And like so many, the farmers have been hard-hit in these times. So they’re having a flower fundraiser, with online orders through tomorrow, and a Saturday pickup spot in White Center. Explains Cynthia Yongvang of the Hmong Association of Washington, who emailed to let us know abut this: “Our fundraiser would benefit both the Hmong flower farmers who are struggling financially during this pandemic and also our 4 very small communities (Mien, Hmong, Khmu, and Lao) in the Puget Sound area by providing rental-assistance relief to families in need so that they won’t be displaced during this time.” The order form is here, and it explains, “This weekend, based on the farmers’ selection of flowers, the mix bouquets will include sunflowers, dahlias, lilies, phlox, statice , snapdragons, gladiolus and greenery for $25, with $10 of every bouquet going to our rental assistance program.” Orders will be accepted until 3 pm tomorrow (Thursday, September 17th), with pickup options (also listed on the order form) including 9 am-noon Saturday in White Center.

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VIDEO: Highline Public Schools’ historic start

September 12th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Schools, White Center news No Comments »

Regardless of how it ends, the 2020-2021 school year’s start for Highline Public Schools made history, with thousands of students and teachers connecting online. The district made this video featuring dozens of scenes from Day 1.

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

September 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Evergreen High School, Health, White Center news No Comments »

From the WCN inbox:

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

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

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TRAFFIC & TRANSIT ALERT: Roundabout work ahead

September 9th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Metro, Traffic, White Center news No Comments »

From King County Roads:

Starting at 7 a.m. Friday, September 11 until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 12, street parking will be temporarily prohibited in the following White Center locations:

• North side of SW 100th Street between 4th Avenue SW and 8th Avenue SW

• North and south sides of SW 106th Street for 100-feet east of 8th Avenue SW and first 100 feet east of 4th Avenue SW

The parking restriction is needed to allow King County Metro to reroute buses during roundabout painting work at the intersection of 8th Avenue SW and SW 102nd Street.

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BURN BAN: Stage 2 for King County

September 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, Weather, White Center news Comments Off on BURN BAN: Stage 2 for King County

With all that wildfire smoke polluting the air, and hot, dry weather continuing, here’s something else to heed:

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for King County, which prohibits all outdoor recreational fires. Outdoor cooking and heating appliances are limited to approved manufactured gas and charcoal units only.

The Stage 2 burn ban goes into effect immediately for King County, which was already in a Stage 1 burn ban. Today’s announcement comes after the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag fire danger warning for Northwest Washington that will last through Wednesday of this week.

Abnormally high temperatures and gusty winds, along with low humidity, have prompted both warnings. Large fires in Eastern Washington and Oregon have also contributed to reduced air quality in the Puget Sound region.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, any outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire using chopped firewood or charcoal is prohibited. Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue such burning when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with, up to and including, a misdemeanor.

Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuel devices – including charcoal, natural gas or propane gas – are also allowed.

Ricketts says if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. The county asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember this is a demanding time for first responders.

“The conditions – high temperatures, wind, low humidity – mean everyone should be on high alert about fire safety,” Ricketts said. “Things can become dangerous – and tragic – extremely fast with these conditions. Everyone should be careful.”

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Power outage along Myers Way

September 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks for the tip! 55 Seattle City Light customers have been without power since just after 4:30 pm. The utility has not yet said what caused it but says workers have been dispatched.

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More scooters on the way to White Center and vicinity

September 4th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on More scooters on the way to White Center and vicinity

(WCN photo, last month)

Three weeks into the North Highline e-scooter pilot, an expansion has just been announced by King County:

Momentum to bring shared electric scooters across King County is building, as a second major company has announced their e-scooters will be hitting the streets of North Highline, including White Center, on Labor Day.

Spin, a San Francisco-based industry leader, says they will roll out some of their fleet to the North Highline area just south of Seattle this Monday. Spin will join Lime as the two companies participating in a one-year pilot program created through legislation led by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott.

“This program is part of an effort to give residents a micro-mobility option that’s safe and socially distant, as well as a first-mile/last-mile option to connect with transit,” said McDermott. “Spin joining this effort will play a major role in further connecting the White Center community.”

Spin will deploy up to 50 scooters to popular transit stops across White Center on Monday (click here for a map of the service area), with pricing set at $1 to unlock and $0.25 a minute to ride. Users with limited incomes may be able to access scooters at discounted rates by applying for the Spin Access program. The program also grants access to those without smartphones, mobile location services, or credit cards.

The scooters are available from 8 am to 8 pm daily and riders can find the nearest available scooter on the Spin app and then activate it with the QR code on the scooter’s handlebar with the app. Riders are required to wear a helmet and should wear a mask anytime they might come within six feet of others. The scooters will be sanitized and maintained by Spin employees.

“We’re thrilled to partner with King County as a scooter provider for the next year. Spin is committed to working with county staff and local community stakeholders to ensure that Spin scooters increase transportation options, while reducing congestion and pollution,” said Kyle Rowe, Global Head of Government Partnerships at Spin.

The company says factors including the closure of the West Seattle Bridge have impacted the commutes of many White Center residents, making public transit an important option for some. As an incentive to commuters, Spin is offering users who park near specific bus stops when they end their ride $1 off their next ride – check Spin’s app for these select locations.

The White Center scooter pilot program runs through August 2021 and could be extended or made permanent at that time. Visit kingcounty.gov/scooters for more information about the program.

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

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

Announced by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Safe – Stay Healthy

Questions- Please contact: bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

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NEED MASKS? Grocery-store giveaway

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

Just announced by the King County Executive’s Office:

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

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

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

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

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

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King County gives more small businesses a chance to apply for grants

August 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, White Center news Comments Off on King County gives more small businesses a chance to apply for grants

If your small business wasn’t eligible for a county grant before, maybe it is now. Here’s the update:

Small businesses will get another opportunity to apply for a King County Small Business Assistance Grant starting (today). Businesses will have two weeks to apply. These grants are for businesses that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and are located in unincorporated parts of King County (outside of cities). The updated requirements mean more businesses are potentially eligible for grant money than during the first round.

The new deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 4. Visit kingcounty.gov/LocalBusinessHelp for more information.

The King County Council approved $4 million in supplemental funding for grants, technical support, and translation and interpretation assistance to help small businesses in unincorporated King County recover from the impacts of COVID-19 closures. During the first round of grant applications in July, King County Local Services—which is managing the program—received more than 400 applications from small businesses in unincorporated King County.

Local Services is working to award funds to successful applicants from the first round, but there are still grant funds remaining. To help as many businesses in need as possible, the agency is opening a second two-week application window on Friday with revised eligibility requirements. Local Services will work closely with the King County Council to get the approvals necessary for grant awards in early September for Round 2.

To be eligible for a grant in Round 2, businesses must meet the following criteria:

Thirty or fewer employees (up from 15 in Round 1)
Annual gross revenue of up to $3 million (up from $1.5 million)
Must have been in business since August 1, 2019 (down from 3 years)
Must have specific costs related to COVID-19 that have not been covered or reimbursed through any other grant funding or program (Round 1 prohibited applicants that had received any federal assistance)

To view the complete list of eligibility requirements, apply for assistance, or learn more, visit https://kingcounty.gov/LocalBusinessHelp.

Businesses that applied for a grant in Round 1 and did not qualify, but who would be eligible under the Round 2 criteria, do not need to reapply. Their applications have been automatically submitted for consideration in Round 2.

Business coaching and technical assistance are still available

Businesses in unincorporated King County can also get business coaching and technical assistance from a U.S. Treasury-certified community development financial institution under this program. Technical assistance coaches can help with…

Information about the latest (federal, state, and local) funding and loan resources
Utility bill assistance
Filling out grant or funding application forms
Coaching to help the business survive the impacts of COVID-19 closures
Other advice and assistance

To use these services, call 206-331-3275 (Relay 711) and leave a voice mail with your contact information and question, or fill out the Technical Assistance/Coaching Request Form at https://kingcounty.gov/LocalBusinessHelp. A technical services coach will call you back within two business days. If you need an interpreter, please also name the language you prefer when you leave your message. The technical assistance coach will have an interpreter on the line when they call you back.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center’s first scooters have arrived

August 17th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center’s first scooters have arrived

That’s Marcos from Lime, delivering White Center’s first scooters about an hour ago in the heart of the White Center business district. As we first reported Friday night, this marks the start of the long-in-the-works “pilot program” for North Highline.

Lime tells WCN they’re delivering “up to 50” of these dockless e-scooters today. Cost: $1 to unlock and $0.36 a minute, and there’s a lower price available for people already enrolled in low-income programs. For more info about how the scooter-share pilot program works, go here.

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Another White Center power outage

August 16th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Utilities, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks for the tip! 203 customers are without power as of 4:39 pm. There was a smaller outage, short-lived, in White Center early this morning too.

UPDATE: The outage lasted just a few hours. This truck reportedly was the culprit:

(Reader photo)

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