Help for 10-year-old storm victim’s family

September 1st, 2015 Tracy Posted in burien, How to Help, White Center news No Comments »

While the weekend windstorm inconvenienced many, cutting the power for hours, one nearby family suffered an unimaginably heartbreaking permanent loss: A falling branch killed a 10-year-old girl, a student at Burien’s Cedarhurst Elementary, while she was at a friend’s house in Federal Way. A reader asked if we would share the link to an online fund set up to help Samara‘s family cope with their loss – here’s the link.

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New storefront deputy for White Center: Meet Deputy Bill Kennamer at September 3rd North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

August 30th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news No Comments »

Big agenda as the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council resumes its monthly-meeting schedule this week. NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin has just shared the agenda for the September meeting this coming Thursday – and it includes news of a new storefront deputy for White Center:

Mark your calendars and plan on joining the discussion at the next North Highline Unincorporated Council meeting on Thursday, Sept 3rd at 7 pm at the North Highline Fire Station: 1243 SW 112th Street.

Cass Turnbull, founder of Plant Amnesty, will be providing information on her efforts to preserve 32 acres of city of Seattle surplus land on Myers Way South (located between White Center and Highland Park – adjacent and south of the Joint Fire Training Facility, and Arrowhead Gardens senior housing). Seattle’s intention is to sell the land for commercial development. The area is steep, with wooded slopes, wetlands and a meadow that could very well be “Discovery Park South”.

We will also be addressing the issues that seem to continually arise at the White Center Bog/Pond. John Taylor and Ken Gresset from the King County Water and Land Resources Division would like to hear from the community on how this area can be best utilized for community enjoyment.

We have been fortunate to have wonderful, dedicated storefront deputies over the years. Our current storefront deputy, Julian Chivington, is no exception. The good news is Deputy Chivington has accepted a promotion, and the other good news is that Deputy Bill Kennamer will be taking Deputy Chivington’s place. Deputy Kennamer is very familiar with the White Center community, having served as a Metro Transit Deputy for a number of years. Both Deputy Chivington and Kennamer will be at the meeting to provide crime stats as well as information and answer questions regarding general community safety concerns.

See the agenda at: northhighlineuac.org

Questions – contact bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

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REMINDER: School starts for most Highline students on September 3rd

August 26th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Schools, White Center news No Comments »

A reminder today from Highline Public Schools: Students in grades 1-12 start classes one week from tomorrow, on Thursday, September 3rd. Kindergarteners start almost a week later, on Wednesday, September 9th (which is also the first day of school for neighbors to the north in Seattle Public Schools).

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White Center restaurateurs hit by auto theft: Crawfish House truck stolen

August 26th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Crime, restaurants, White Center news No Comments »

Thanks to everybody who flagged us to this post from the Crawfish House‘s page on Facebook:

Last night at 11:45 pm…someone came into the back alley of Crawfish House and stole our truck. It’s a 2005 TOYOTA TUNDRA ACCESS CAB SR5. The license plate is B90959S. It’s a dark blue but a little lighter than navy blue truck. It’s our only transportation for the restaurant.

If you see it – call 911. While it’s a King County Sheriff’s Office case, anywhere it turns up, including north of the city line, they should have a record of the theft and be able to arrange to recover it.

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King County Sheriff’s Office deputy retires, after giving gifts to others

August 26th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news No Comments »

If you’re retiring, you typically would be the recipient of any gifts involved in the celebration. Not so in the case of King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dan Shaw. KCSO sent the media this announcement of what Deputy Shaw just did in honor of his retirement from a career focused on patroling the White Center area:

Dan Shaw, who worked as a KCSO deputy in White Center for the last 27 years, completed his final service to the community by feeding homeless people.

The Sheriff’s Office hired Shaw in 1988 after he left the US Air Force. Shaw happily worked the vast majority of his career serving the citizens of White Center. On August 23rd, his last day as a deputy, Shaw bought eight buckets of chicken and all of the sides to feed homeless people in the community where he loved to work.

In a letter to some of his coworkers upon his retirement, Shaw said, “Thanks for the many wonderful memories ….. especially to all of my cop friends …… and to the wonderful dispatchers and call receivers that have their hands and (foot), literally on the heartbeat of patrol …… thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could just ramble on about the people that have helped me throughout my career. It is a team and a family that I will miss. If you have any kind thoughts about me in any way, shape, or form, it is because of your partnership with me.“

Deputy Dan Shaw’s call sign was 1-King-12 with the King County Sheriff’s Office, truly a class act until the end. The Sheriff’s Office wishes Citizen Dan Shaw the absolute best in his retirement.

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White Center food & drink: Sign’s up for Noble Barton

August 23rd, 2015 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Food, White Center news No Comments »

Thanks to Stefanie at Proletariat Pizza for the photo and tip – the sign went up this weekend at Noble Barton, taking over the former Papa’s Pub (and briefly Meander’s) space at 9635 16th SW. It’s long been in the works – we saw the name on a liquor-license application many months ago. An early-stage website declares it to be a place for “comfort food, comfort mood.”

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UPDATE: Power back on after more than 3,500 lose electricity in east White Center, Top Hat, parts of Burien

August 23rd, 2015 Tracy Posted in burien, utilities, White Center news 5 Comments »

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(Above, the White Center/Top Hat section of the outage)

2:08 AM: Thanks to Alisha for the tip: The Seattle City Light map confirms a big power outage – in two distinct areas, primarily east White Center, Top Hat, and north/northwest Burien. More than 3,500 customers (homes and businesses) are affected. No word yet what caused it; it started around 1:45 am. We’ll update when we find out more.

2:46 AM: Most of the Burien customers have their power back, according to SCL. Still no word on the cause.

4:36 AM: The cause is now listed on SCL’s site as “tree.” No elaboration. And the number of customers out of power is down to just under 700.

UPDATE: Here’s the final word from City Light (with whom we’ll follow up on Monday to find out about WHERE the tree went into the lines):


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TONIGHT: Movie Under the Stars, en Español, at Steve Cox Memorial Park

August 22nd, 2015 Tracy Posted in Fun, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news No Comments »

Tonight’s the night!

King County’s full announcement with details:

Grab your blanket, low-backed chairs, and your friends and family and take in “Película Bajo las Estrellas” or “Movie Under the Stars,” at King County’s Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 22. The event will open at 6 p.m., with the movie starting about 8:30 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your own seating.

King County, with support from White Center Community Development Association will screen the popular comedy “El Padrecito.” Similar to the popular outdoor movie series King County Parks hosts at Marymoor Park, this fun, family-friendly outdoor movie event will also include live entertainment and food trucks.

“Our outdoor movie nights at Marymoor are extremely popular, so we decided to broaden the opportunity for this fun experience to more of our community,’” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.

While there is no cost to attend, a food donation to the White Center Food Bank is suggested.

The movie will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles, and offers a chance for King County and community partners to share information with Spanish speaking residents about the programs and services available to them.

Steve Cox Memorial Park is at 1321 SW 102nd St in White Center.

Entertainment is provided by Los Relucientes del Norte and Seattle’s Mexican Folk Dance Group the Joyas Mestizas. Food trucks include: The Mayas Restaurant and Fiesta Time Catering Mobile Mayan food truck.

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FOLLOWUP: Driver in deadly crash charged with vehicular homicide, felony hit-and-run

August 20th, 2015 Tracy Posted in burien, Crime, White Center news No Comments »

Two felony charges are now filed against the driver found hiding after crashing his car on Ambaum just south of White Center early last Friday, killing his passenger. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged 24-year-old Thuan A. Phan of Kent with vehicular homicide and hit-and-run. Charging documents say Phan was driving the “recently purchased” 2013 BMW southbound on Ambaum at high speed when he lost control at the “S” curves around 119th and slammed into the jersey barrier. 26-year-old Benjamin J. Smith was wearing his seat belt in the front passenger seat but suffered deadly head injuries because of how the car hit the concrete barrier. Nearby residents told deputies that they saw a man climb out of the car after the crash and run away screaming; the Guardian One helicopter spotted him hiding under a pickup truck at a home a few blocks away, his only injuries described as scratches on his legs and neck abrasions. He claimed he had been in the passenger seat and also said he remembered leaving a club; a deputy noticed he smelled like “intoxicants.” Prosecutors asked that Phan’s bail remain at a quarter-million dollars because he had left the crash scene and was reportedly trying to get friends and family to come pick him up.

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Return of Rat City Recon: One-night music festival back, on August 29th

August 19th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Music, White Center news No Comments »

In case you haven’t heard – Rat City Recon is back for 2015, a dozen bands on four White Center stages the night of Saturday, August 29th. From the Facebook event page for RCR:

In addition to the venues we’ve used in previous years (Mac’s Triangle Pub, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Company Bar), we are excited to announce the addition of an outdoor main stage behind Company Bar to the event. All venues are free admission, but we are requiring a wristband to enter the outdoor area. Wristbands are $5 and are available for purchase at each venue and as part of our VIP preorder package. …

Here is the schedule:

Full Tilt Ice Cream (all ages):

Perfect Bombs (7:15)
Manson’s Girls (8:00)
CFA (8:45)

Mac’s Triangle Pub:

Swampy Draws (7:30)
Post/Boredom (8:15)
Nasalrod (9:00)

Company Main Stage (outdoor):

Lb! (7:45)
Dryland (8:30)
Blood Drugs (9:15)

Company Bar (after party):

Old Iron (10:30)
Glose (11:30)
Mirror Gloss (12:30)
POSTS

More on Facebook here.

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FOLLOWUP: Kent man accused of driving ‘three times speed limit’ before deadly crash south of White Center

August 17th, 2015 Tracy Posted in burien, Crime, White Center news 2 Comments »

Bail has been set at $250,000 for the 24-year-old Kent man arrested in connection with the deadly crash at SW 119th and Ambaum early last Friday. Probable-cause documents say he was driving “at three times the posted speed” and “admitted (he had been) drinking.” The passenger in his car, 26-year-old Benjamin J. Smith, was dead at the scene from what the documents describe as a severe head injury. The suspect, who could be charged with vehicular homicide, ran from the scene and was found – with the help of Guardian One, as shown in our Friday coverage – hiding under a vehicle in a nearby driveway. He’s scheduled to return to court tomorrow afternoon, unless prosecutors file charges by then, in which case his next appearance would be for arraignment.

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New name for Lakewood Park: County Councilmember Joe McDermott sponsoring ordinance to rename it in honor of longtime advocate Dick Thurnau

August 17th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County, Lakewood Park, People, White Center news 4 Comments »

(WCN photo of Dick Thurnau from 2008)
More than a year after the death of longtime community advocate Dick Thurnau, the King County Council will soon consider an ordinance renaming Lakewood Park in his honor. Councilmember Joe McDermott just sent a copy of the ordinance that he put together “with a number of White Center community groups … They see this as an opportunity to create a legacy for someone who worked so hard to improve a struggling aspect of the community into something that could be widely enjoyed by many.” Mr. Thurnau lived steps from the park and worked tirelessly to both tend it personally and advocate for it and its little lake, plagued by water-quality problems that have been lessened via remedies for which he fought. Councilmember McDermott says the park-name proposal “will likely go before the King County Council not long after our summer recess, which concluded this week.” We’ll keep an eye on the council calendar to watch for a meeting date and comment opportunities. Meantime, read the proposed ordinance here, or below:

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White Center restaurants: Meander’s Kitchen update

August 16th, 2015 Tracy Posted in restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on White Center restaurants: Meander’s Kitchen update

ORIGINAL SUNDAY REPORT: Another update on Meander’s Kitchen, the White Center restaurant that’s had its ups and downs lately: Founder Miranda Krone contacted us to say she is back in town to try to right the ship, and will be in the kitchen today (Sunday, August 16th), with the restaurant scheduled to be open 9 am-3 pm. She says she is still trying to sort out the financial situation, and is “working to put together the details of what’s happened in my absence. Very regrettably, I’ve had to file a report with the sheriff’s department. I hope that their investigation will clear a few things up.” Overall, she says, “I’ll do what I do. I’ll cook until I get it covered. I certainly understand those who are squeamish about coming ’round under the circumstances. For those who’ve remembered kindnesses or at least held judgment while I wasn’t available to participate in the discussion, I thank you.”

MONDAY UPDATE: According to the Meander’s Kitchen page on Facebook, Krone is training new staff and will next open the restaurant Saturday-Sunday, August 22-23.

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UPDATE: Deadly crash on Ambaum, just south of White Center

August 14th, 2015 Tracy Posted in burien, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

(KCSO photo)

3:29 AM: The King County Sheriff’s Office says Ambaum is closed from 116th to 120th because of a crash at 119th that killed a man. According to KCSO, the man was a passenger in a car that investigators believe “failed to negotiate a turn” before crashing into a jersey barrier, possibly at high speed. The driver fled the scene but was caught with the help of the Guardian 1 helicopter. No word yet how long the road will be closed.

4:25 AM: Here’s the video released by KCSO Air Support, showing how the search ended:

No update on Ambaum’s status; please comment if you find it reopened, as we won’t be able to check for a few hours.

10 AM: Ambaum reopened about an hour ago, KCSO says.

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‘Best Starts for Kids’ levy campaign launched in White Center

August 9th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Election, Health, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Photo courtesy Best Starts for Kids campaign)

Though the August ballots are still being counted, the November campaigns are on, including a countywide levy that will be on your ballot: Best Starts for Kids, aka King County Proposition 1. The campaign for your “yes” vote began with a Thursday media event in White Center – here’s the news release shared by the campaign afterward:

The proposed six-year levy would invest in prevention and early intervention strategies to increase the number of children in King County who reach adulthood healthy and ready to contribute to the region’s prosperity

King County Executive Dow Constantine and other elected officials and community leaders from throughout King County urged voters to approve the Best Starts for Kids initiative that will appear on the November 3rd General Election ballot.

Best Starts for Kids is an initiative to improve the health and well-being of King County by investing in prevention and early intervention strategies based on the latest brain science that identifies key developmental milestones.

“Best Starts for Kids is our opportunity to transform the way we invest in our children’s future by focusing on what works,” said Executive Constantine. “This is how we will transition to effective upstream solutions that can prevent negative outcomes, including mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and incarceration – and put every child in King County on a path toward lifelong success.”

Executive Constantine was joined by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, campaign co-chairs Matt Griffin and Michelle Sarju, and many more. The event was hosted at Educare School of Greater Seattle, an innovative Head Start program in the White Center neighborhood of unincorporated King County.

“Investing in children early in their lives provides the best opportunity to help them make the right choices and achieve their full potential,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. “The earlier the investment, the greater the return. Healthy kids are more likely to become productive adults, avoiding issues that can put them into the criminal justice system.”

Best Starts of Kids is informed by research by James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who found that investing early in a person’s development – starting with prenatal services – delivers the greatest return.

Heckman, Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago, has devoted his professional life to understanding the origins of major social and economic problems related to inequality, social mobility, discrimination, skill formation and regulation, and to devising and evaluating alternative strategies for addressing those problems.

“The aim is to make the latest research and tools available to every parent and caregiver, and ultimately to produce talented, creative and successful adults who will help us remain a prosperous region,” said campaign co-chair Michelle Sarju.

The Metropolitan King County Council voted overwhelmingly across party lines to support Best Starts for Kids and place the issue before the voters this November. Approval of the initiative would make King County one of the first metropolitan areas in the nation to adopt a unified, comprehensive plan, based on science, to ensure all children can develop the cognitive, emotional, and social skills necessary to succeed in life.

“This is a great investment opportunity not only in kids but in our community,” Councilmember McDermott said. “Increasing the percentage of healthy children who become successful adults can help reduce spending on criminal justice, reduce homelessness and enable us to target mental-health and drug-treatment options to those who need them.”

Best Starts for Kids will complement Seattle’s preschool program and similar efforts by increasing the number of children who arrive at school each day healthy and ready to learn.

Half the proceeds from the levy will be invested in early childhood development, from birth through age 5 when 92 percent of brain growth occurs. That includes early intervention services that can prevent developmental delays from becoming lifelong disabilities and nurse home visitations that help at-risk mothers deliver healthier babies.

Current community-based programs in King County that increase the likelihood a baby is born at a healthy weight and that help prevent developmental delays from becoming lifelong disabilities are limited in part because the vast majority of the County’s General Fund budget must pay for the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts and jails.

The six-year levy, at 14 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, would cost the average King County property owner an estimated $56 per year, or about $1 a week. The levy would be overseen by a citizen’s oversight board and generate an estimated $58.3 million in 2016 for the following allocations:

• 50 percent to early childhood development, from birth through age 5, when research shows that 92 percent of brain growth occurs.

• 35 percent to sustain the gain by providing early intervention services to address problems such as depression and developmental disabilities as the brain continues to develop through age 24.

• 10 percent to reinforce a child’s progress by improving the health, social, and economic outcomes in the communities where they live.

• 5 percent to pay for evaluation, data collection and program improvement.

The levy would immediately fund a program designed to help survivors of domestic violence from becoming homeless. It will be based on a successful pilot project created by the Gates Foundation.

“We all want to live in a place where every child has the chance to succeed,” said campaign co-chair Matt Griffin. “This is a chance to move our community forward and ensure that our children have the fair start to life that they deserve. It’s just the right thing to do.”

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Night Out in White Center: Great night for a block party

August 5th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on Night Out in White Center: Great night for a block party

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White Center was among the thousands of communities around the nation with Night Out block parties on Tuesday night, meant to strengthen neighborhoods, to enhance safety and preparedness, while neighbors young and old mingled.

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Thanks to Barbara for the photos – note the visiting firefighters!

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Night Out is usually held on the first Tuesday in August.

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White Center restaurants: New management for Meander’s Kitchen says it’s NOT closing

August 2nd, 2015 Tracy Posted in Food, restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on White Center restaurants: New management for Meander’s Kitchen says it’s NOT closing

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Popular White Center diner Meander’s Kitchen closed early today, about two hours short of its usual 3 pm closing.

That wouldn’t be noteworthy, except for the circumstances: A management change, made with King County Sheriff’s Office deputies standing by, following 12-plus hours of unofficial claims, attributed to employees, that today would be Meander’s last day of operations.

First word of this came with postings in various spots on Facebook late Saturday night/early Sunday morning – including the “posts by others” section of our business FB page for West Seattle Blog – saying that Sunday would be the restaurant’s last day open and urging customers to come show support. We also received a text message to that effect, saying the staff was opening the restaurant in hopes of making enough money to cover payroll and vendors. By morning, this sign was up at the restaurant (several people texted us the image):

Patrons told us employees were also telling them personally that it was closing. Contacted via Facebook, restaurant founder Miranda Krone – working out of town as a maritime chef – told us that was definitely not true, and that a new general manager/partner, Afton Larsen, who had been part of Meander’s operations in its early West Seattle days, would arrive at the restaurant later in the day to sort things out.

Larsen also contacted us directly to say she would be at the restaurant “this afternoon to talk with staff in person and keep our doors open.” And a post on the restaurant’s official FB page echoed, “We are NOT closing”:

We had planned to check in by mid-afternoon – and then came a text from a patron about the arrival of deputies, around 1:15 pm, with diners being told that service was ended for the day (regular daily closing time has been 3 pm). That accelerated our plan to go check on the situation. Co-publisher Patrick Sand was told on arrival that the deputies were there to ensure an orderly transition, but that there was no trouble and no one had been arrested.

Some employees say their paychecks had bounced, but so far, no one has reported filing a complaint with state Labor and Industries. Larsen (photo below) told us she was just starting to go through the books so didn’t know the status of the restaurant’s accounting yet.

She said some of the current staff has agreed to stay on; she said she hopes Meander’s will be open tomorrow, usual hours, but if circumstances make that infeasible, they would expect to reopen by midweek, potentially with limited service until things are straightened out.

Meander’s first opened in West Seattle in January 2011 in the tiny ex-Jade West Café. Its popularity led Krone to seek a new, larger space, and Meander’s moved to its first White Center space in fall 2012. The former Papa’s Pub turned out to be a bit too big, she said, moving the restaurant to its current space at 9809 16th SW (which had previously been a short-lived chicken restaurant) in late summer 2013.

6:57 PM: Larsen says via e-mail that Meander’s will be open tomorrow (Monday), 10-3, with a limited menu and “skeleton crew.”

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VOTE! Ballot van is at Greenbridge until 5 pm today

August 1st, 2015 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on VOTE! Ballot van is at Greenbridge until 5 pm today

Quick reminder – if you haven’t voted yet, do it! And get your ballot over to David and Jeffrey with the King County Elections ballot-dropoff van, which is at Greenbridge today until 5 pm (again Monday 10-5 and Tuesday 10-8), on 8th SW south of Roxbury.

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White Center biznote: New downtown spot for traditional barber shop with half-century-plus history

July 28th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 4 Comments »

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)
Another new business in downtown White Center: “Big Barber Bobby” just moved his Sky’s Barber Shop north to 9650 16th SW from an interim spot in Burien, but it was in Top Hat for half a century before then, a spot lost when the building was sold. He says it’s a “traditional barbershop,” and the decor underscores that

Bobby says, “We are technically the only barber shop left in White Center, and being on the strip is a dream come true.”

The chairs date back to the 1940s; the newest item he has on display, he told us, is a shaving set from the ’60s. He’s open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 am-7 pm.

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Spoke & Food bicycle-to-dinner benefit next Tuesday, with one White Center stop

July 22nd, 2015 Tracy Posted in How to Help, restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on Spoke & Food bicycle-to-dinner benefit next Tuesday, with one White Center stop

Next Tuesday night (July 28th), ride to dinner at Proletariat Pizza in downtown White Center 5-9 pm and 20 percent of your tab will go to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. It’s the annual Spoke & Food bicycle-to-dinner benefit, and Proletariat Pizza is the lone White Center stop this year. If you’re a bit further north, or thinking of riding out of the neighborhood, The Westy Sports and Spirits in West Seattle is participating too. (Note that The Westy is 21+, while Proletariat is all-ages.)

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