King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht tells North Highline Unincorporated Area Council about her ‘intense’ start

September 10th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht tells North Highline Unincorporated Area Council about her ‘intense’ start

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

It wasn’t Mitzi Johanknecht‘s first guest appearance before the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, but last Thursday was her first appearance as King County Sheriff.

She said the start of her term has moved fast and been “intense.” It began with training that hadn’t happened in a few years. Eighty “less-lethal shotguns” – “beanbag rounds” – were distributed in the first quarter. And they’ve bought more, “with the goal of having almost everyone who’s in a patrol car … to have that tool on board with them.” She put through a supplemental budget request at mid-year and got funding for a full-time recruiter, which she said the department hasn’t had in years.

A few weeks ago, she sent King County Executive Dow Constantine her proposed budget. He asked for millions in cuts; “I said no,” the sheriff declared. “We respect that (he wants us to) cut our budget, but we see some real needs in our communities.” They’ve asked for a Regional Gang Task Force, starting with a sergeant and two detectives from KCSO, “so we can get our arms around the gang problem … (which) extends across all the borders.” In the next week or so, she said, we’ll see the executive’s budget, and she expects to see that included.

Another accomplishment: A fulltime community liaison, who will be working fulltime on drafting a community engagement plan. “This is a person who isn’t a badge or gun toter …somebody who actually has experience” in community engagement. The job will be posted soon, she said.

They’re also proposing combining some KCSO units to create a Youth and Family Section. And they’ll be working to fight fraud and scams – protecting seniors, for example. Also, they’re asking for a new Training Detective – looking ahead to the potential passage of Initiative 940 (De-escalate Washington) – and Mental Illness and Drug Dependency funds to coordinate someone that will work on services such as crisis intervention.

What about marijuana-related money – is it helping? asked NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin. The sheriff replied that in order to get some added resources, she suggested putting that money toward helping people with addiction issues, among other things.

Will the area get more officers, given the increased density? The sheriff said she asked for 18 more officers – 6 more at each of the unincorporated-area precincts. She also noted that a staffing study is under way.

As for those on staff already – NHUAC board members told the sheriff that they get great service from the people currently assigned – Kennamer, Peter Truong, etc.

NHUAC president Liz Giba asked about notification when new marijuana businesses are proposed, like recently opened Mr. Buds. Major Howard said they aren’t asked for their opinion at the start, only at renewals.

In an ensuing random discussion, the sheriff noted that she has trouble getting to all her e-mail.

P.S. 9:30-11 am October 3rd at Brass Knuckle Bistro, several KCSO reps will be available for Q&A at “Coffee with a Cop.”

Before the sheriff’s arrival, two members of her local team presented their update:

CRIME UPDATE: Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer (above left) said that KCSO has changed its data-storage methods, so he didn’t have as much data as usual. But they had a lot more “Part 1” crimes than usual. Precinct 4 commander Major Bryan Howard joined Kennamer at the front of the room and explained that every department in the U.S. is converting to a better way to parse data – but comparing new stats with old ones under the old system is apples to oranges. He said crime is going to look higher because “the way we are counting it” has changed. The shift, Howard said, happened back on July 16th. They are writing reports in a new system, too. Everything is compliant with NIBRS (explained here). He does believe auto theft is trending slightly higher. Kennamer said some repeat offenders are back on the street. Major Howard noted that juvenile offenders are now booked only for the most serious things.

The precinct currently has 31 officers but at full staffing should have 42, Howard said. They’re recruiting but it’s tough. Full staffing would mean 3 officers at a time in White Center rather than 2, and would mean more proactive policing, “the kind of policing we want to do, the kind of policing our new sheriff wants us to do.”

Howard also talked about the Myers Way encampment zone and said that about six weeks ago, they looked into concerns that campers had spilled into the unincorporated area. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded, he said; a grand total of one person was found camping outside city limits.

Giba asked for a status update on the Burien murders. Major Howard said there were no updates that he could discuss.

Also at Thursday night’s NHUAC meeting:

PLANT AMNESTY: Former NHUAC board member Dominic Barrera is now the executive director of this organization founded by the late Cass Turnbull.

Since taking over Plant Amnesty, Barrera said, he’s worked to broaden the organization’s audience beyond its North Seattle-heavy focus. Toward that end, PA will be offering classes in White Center starting this fall – first one, 7 pm Wednesday, September 19th, at North Highline Fire District HQ. October 24th and November 14th will be the two following classes – the topics include pruning. Barrera said he’s been learning too – “my rose bushes are better than ever, my Japanese maple is better than ever …”

He also discussed the Seattle tree-ordinance controversy. He said one big concern is the removal of “exceptional trees” from the protections in the new proposal. He also noted that the ordinance has now been placed on a slower track and won’t likely be voted on until early next year. He said one thing advocates will do in the meantime is case studies. NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin noted that in this area, “it’s a free for all” and “legacy trees” are being cut down with impunity. Barrera said an attempt to craft a countywide tree ordinance failed years ago.

REDEVELOPMENT: In downtown White Center, the former Club Evolucion and former Fantasy Shop are owned by the same investor and both will be split into multiple business spaces, Deputy Kennamer said he had learned. He also noted the work that’s under way on the new Greenbridge development on the east end of the area, off 4th SW.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Upcoming events include the White Center Food Bank gala at the Brockey Center on October 20th and the Southwest Youth and Family Services gala on October 27th. .. The White Center Eagles are having a First Responders Appreciation Dinner, 3-6 pm September 16th, free for any first responder …the White Center Art Walk is coming up, too.

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The October meeting will be a candidate forum with 34th District State Senate candidates Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen. In November, the King County Land Conservation Initiative is a planned topic, and they’re hoping for a state Liquor and Cannabis Board followup. In December, NHUAC is looking toward a legislative focus with State Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon and Eileen Cody, plus the State Senate seat winner. … NHUAC meets on first Thursdays most months, 7 pm at NHFD HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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Quick updates as Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meets

September 9th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Myers Way, White Center news 4 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

More tiny houses and a permanent camp manager were among the updates at a brief meeting of the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee this afternoon.

Community Advisory Council members present were chair Willow Fulton, a nearby resident; Judi Carr, a resident of Arrowhead Gardens (where the committee meets); Aaron Garcia of the White Center Community Development Association; Cinda Stenger of the Westside Interfaith Network and Alki UCC; and Grace Stiller of Weed Warriors.

Present from camp operator LIHI were Josh Castle. C2C manager Eric Davis announced he will soon be in that role as a LIHI employee, after about a year. (That drew a round of applause at meeting’s end.) Davis is a camp founder and managed C2C in a paid position under the original camp operator Patacara, but the camp changed operators during a time of controversy and Davis’s position did not become a job again until now.

He presented the monthly update on the city-sanctioned encampment: 45 residents (34 men and 11 women), four of them new, six moved out for jobs/housing/family reunification; one moved out for treatment; no one was barred during the month.

No City of Seattle rep this time – Tom Van Bronkhorst, the usual rep, was absent. Fulton had hoped for a city rep to be present as usual because on the city side of Myers Way – not related to C2C, she made clear – there are new problems including vehicles in various states of disrepair/demolition.

She feels that such dumping/activity is a magnet for more trouble – “people see it as a dumping ground because it looks like a dumping ground” – so she feels the city should patrol the area regularly rather than wait for complaints. Davis said that vehicles like this are being stripped at 2, 3 am and yes, he said, they have called police. “They just need someone to drive up and down there for six months to get it under control, midnight to six am.”

Fulton says it would be great to have a camera of some sort in the area.

Liz Giba of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council suggested working with King County Sheriff’s Office White Center storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer. Fulton noted that the problems seem to be on the Seattle side and the two sides pass them back and forth “like a hot potato.”

Stenger said Alki UCC has completed eight more tiny houses for the camp and has money to build five more. On September 22nd, the camp will host a celebration and blessing of the eight new houses, starting at noon, with music and food. (All welcome!) She also said she’s working on “the shower issue” and “might have a solution for that.” The camp now has 31 tiny houses and 22 tents.

Castle noted that the County Council has taken its vote on whether to give tax money to the Mariners or to affordable housing, and says more was shifted to the latter than originally proposed. (Added: The final vote is on September 17th; what a committee approved on September 5th was to allocate $165 million more lodging-tax dollars to affordable housing than originally proposed.)

Absent any community concerns, or formal agenda items, the meeting adjourned after half an hour. Next one will be 2 pm October 7th, also at Arrowhead Gardens.

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Now on display at Dubsea Coffee: ‘Synthesis’

September 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Arts, Beverages, Greenbridge, White Center news 2 Comments »

Been to Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th SW) lately? We just received this announcement about the art you’ll see there this month, by Brooke Fotheringham:

Synthesis – A photographic daydream at the intersection of genetic engineering and materials science

A visual exploration of the potential of genetic engineering to create innovations both aesthetic and practical to deal with surviving on a rapidly changing planet; a collection of new life and materials imagined by manipulating and rearranging botanical and synthesized forms. What if we could grow windows, lamp shades, or fiber optic cables the way diatoms grow their ethereal glass houses instead of manufacturing them in a more traditional sense?

“Synthesis” is on display through the end of the month, 6 am-7 pm daily.

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Classes start Wednesday in Highline Public Schools

September 4th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on Classes start Wednesday in Highline Public Schools

Just a reminder: Wednesday is the first day of school for Highline Public Schools, for students in grades 1 through 12. Kindergarteners start on Monday, September 10th. Good luck this year to students, teachers, and staffers!

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King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

September 3rd, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht to visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

Labor Day’s here and it’s time to look ahead to a full fall for everything from schools to community groups. On the latter front, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council would love to see you Thursday – here’s the preview:

(See the notice here in full-size PDF.)

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White Center ‘End of Summer’ flea market – want to be a seller?

September 2nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center Chamber of Commerce, White Center news Comments Off on White Center ‘End of Summer’ flea market – want to be a seller?

One week from today – on Sunday, September 9th – the White Center Chamber of Commerce is presenting another multi-seller Flea Market, this time 11 am-2 pm in the US Bank parking lot (9800 15th SW). If you want to sell at the market, you can reserve a spot via PayPal – just go here, and be sure to include two things – a note that it’s for the Flea Market, and your name/contact info. $20 gets you a 10 x 10 space; non-refundable, rain or shine. Bring your own table, chairs, pop-up canopy if needed …questions? E-mail Sheryl at If you’re not selling but just want to shop – just show up!

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White Center Co-Op Preschool has room for more students this year!

August 31st, 2018 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Co-Op Preschool has room for more students this year!

Looking for a preschool? White Center Co-op Preschool is looking for you. The announcement:

Looking for the best way to prepare your preschooler for Kindergarten? We have a few openings in the White Center Co-op Preschool (formerly Arbor Heights Co-op).

Come check out our cheery new site just a few blocks from the new library — full of sunshine and dedicated, experienced teachers and parents who know it is important (and fun!) to be involved in their child’s learning. But most importantly, it is a place for fun, hands-on learning. We focus on social-emotional skills needed for school and life—problem solving, patience, curiosity, kindness, assertiveness, friendships. And we sneak in pre-academic skills without pressure or drills.

School starts Sept 10 and we enroll until we fill those few openings. For more information, contact Jen Schill,, 206-773-8066, or check out our still-Arbor-Heights website here.

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Camp Second Chance advisory committee meeting set for September 9th

August 30th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Myers Way, White Center news 1 Comment »

The Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee has decided what to do about September, given that its usual first-Sunday meeting would fall during Labor Day weekend. They’ve announced the meeting will be Sunday, September 9th, instead, 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW). The public is welcome at these meetings – bring your questions/concerns/comments about the Seattle-sanctioned encampment.

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Holiday freebie: Li’l Woody’s offering you a free burger Labor Day afternoon

August 29th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Food, Holidays, White Center news Comments Off on Holiday freebie: Li’l Woody’s offering you a free burger Labor Day afternoon

Li’l Woody’s in White Center says you deserve a treat on Labor Day, so it’s offering you a free burger 2-5 pm Monday. The caveats:

– No other sandwiches
– Extras cost extra
– Limit 1 burger per customer

As you probably know, Li’l Woody’s is adjacent to Beer Star, at 16th/98th.

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2 new White Center businesses: Good Day Donuts, Mr. Buds

August 28th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Food, White Center news 11 Comments »

Next to each other at 9823 15th SW, you’ll find:

GOOD DAY DONUTS: Husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Erik Jackson and Alison Odowski have opened Good Day Donuts in the former Golden House Bakery and Deli. They’re making and selling donuts, ice cream, and lunch:

Hours are Mondays-Fridays 7 am-3 pm, Saturdays 8 am-2 pm, Sundays 9 am-1 pm.

MR. BUDS: While checking out Good Day Donuts, we discovered another marijuana store has opened in White Center.

Yes, Mr. Buds is in the same strip mall as the new donut shop.

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Got licensing to do? Hurry!

August 27th, 2018 Tracy Posted in White Center news Comments Off on Got licensing to do? Hurry!

Heads up- this is about to start:

Starting (this) week, the state Department of Licensing (DOL) plans to upgrade its licensing system known as DRIVES. This work, which will continue through the Labor Day holiday weekend, will affect King County Vehicle Licensing and its subagent offices.

Online vehicle and vessel licensing services through DOL will be down from August 29 through September 4. However, customers who renew their registration online prior to August 29 may still be able to pick up their tabs and/or decals in person at a licensing office during this downtime.

The main King County Vehicle Licensing office in downtown Seattle will be open on August 31; however, no vehicle or vessel licensing services will be available. Staff will still be able to certify customer signatures on DOL documents that day.

All King County licensing subagencies will be closed from August 31 until September 4. If a customer has chosen a subagency office to pick up their tabs or decals, they will need to do so before close of business August 30 or wait until September 4.

Other King County licensing services, including taxi/for-hire/TNC licensing, pet licensing, and marriage licensing, will not be affected by this work. All King County vehicle and vessel licensing offices are expected to return to normal business on September 4.

For more information, visit or DOL’s DRIVES webpage.

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Shooting in Boulevard Park

August 19th, 2018 Tracy Posted in boulevard park, Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

Big King County Sheriff’s Office response right now to South 120th and Military Road in Boulevard Park (map), where – according to dispatchers and officers’ radio communication – a man was found in the street with gunshot wounds. Streets are being closed in the vicinity, so you will want to avoid the area for a while. The victim is being taken to Harborview. There’s a report a red four-door car was seen heading southbound, possibly associated with the incident.

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White Center food and drink: Anju Bar & Eatery sets grand opening for next Friday

August 18th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Beverages, restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photos, added Sunday)

Almost three months ago, we mentioned new food/drink places on the way to White Center, including Anju (9641 15th SW). Just got a note from Sam Jo announcing that Anju Bar & Eatery has set its grand opening for next Friday (August 24th), explaining the venue as “a new bar in White Center with Korean based bar food. In Korean, ‘Anju’ means food eaten with alcohol.” They’re in soft-open mode now and will even have their patio set up within a few days; their menu’s only about at half-speed while they “get things dialed in.”

But starting next Friday, Anju will be open 3 pm-midnight, with a 3 pm-6 pm happy hour.

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SATURDAY: Duwamish River Festival 2018

August 17th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Environment, south park, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Duwamish River Festival 2018

Just down the hill in South Park, noon-5 pm Saturday (August 18th), and you’re invited – stop by Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.).

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House fire on 28th SW in North Highline

August 12th, 2018 Tracy Posted in fire, White Center news 1 Comment »

North Highline and other fire departments fought a house fire in the 10200 block of 28th SW this afternoon. (Thanks to everyone who texted us about this – 206-293-6302 text or voice is our 24-hour hotline.) The incident commander told us at the scene that no one was hurt and they don’t believe anyone was in the house when the fire started; they were investigating the cause.

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UPDATE: Power outage in White Center/North Burien

August 10th, 2018 Tracy Posted in utilities, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Power outage in White Center/North Burien

7:04 AM: As shown on the map, 4,000-plus customers in White Center/North Burien are without power this morning. No word yet on the cause. While Seattle City Light has an estimate of 1 pm for restoration, remember those are really guesstimates – could be a lot sooner, could be a lot later. If you encounter an intersection with a dark or flashing signal, remember it’s a four-way stop.

8:34 AM UPDATE: The outage is over. City Light says this outage was caused by a tree branch falling into a power line.

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ELECTION 2018: 34th District State Senate update

August 9th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION 2018: 34th District State Senate update

In case you haven’t already caught the updates on our partner site West Seattle Blog, or elsewhere, the third primary-election count is out, and here’s how the full 11-candidate field for the open 34th District State Senate seat stands:

Joe Nguyen 10,505 29.82%
Shannon Braddock 9,014 25.59%
Lois Schipper 3,408 9.68%
Sofia Aragon 3,109 8.83%
Darla Green 2,866 8.14%
Courtney Lyle 2,184 6.2%
Lisa Ryan Devereau 1,152 3.27%
Debi Wagner 1,128 3.2%
Annabel Quintero 911 2.59%
Hillary Shaw 585 1.66%
Lemuel W. Charleston 361 1.02%

Full updated results from King County are here. The election will be certified August 21st, and ballot-counting will continue until then, usually with daily updates.

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RAT CITY RECON 2018: Get ready to rock September 15th

August 9th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Music, White Center news 2 Comments »

Just announced!

Rat City Recon, Monumental Undertaking, and Match + Gasoline present
Saturday, September 15, 2018 – 4 pm-1:30 am
Southgate Roller Rink* | Drunky Two Shoes BBQ* | Full Tilt Ice Cream** | Mac’s Triangle Pub*

— $20 advance tickets come with a Recon souvenir and $5 off a Recon t-shirt at the event
— *21+, valid I.D. required; **all-ages


The 6th iteration of Rat City Recon is upping the ante! Epic Seattle rockers Zeke and the stoner-sludge of Sandrider will headline a horde of outstanding Northwest/West Coast bands rotating between four venues and six stages on the main drag in White Center. Additionally, the late afternoon shows at Drunky Two Shoes BBQ, Full Tilt Ice Cream, and Mac’s Triangle Pub will be free. Tickets will be required for entry to Southgate Roller Rink.

White Center is ready to rock for Recon 2018 – in addition to the Recon stages, the neighborhood is full of a wide variety of bars and restaurants for all types of food and fun.

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NIGHT OUT 2018: Scenes from White Center

August 8th, 2018 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing photos from a White Center Night Out party on Tuesday night, hosted by Ron Johnson, below right with King County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bryan Howard:

Gill reports that Maj. Howard shared a “great message – your neighbors help protect the ‘hood.” Also there from KCSO, Community Service Officer Peter Truong:

The visiting patrol cars particularly impressed a young partygoer:

But the main attractions were mingling and munching:

If Night Out put you in the mood to talk more about community safety, you’ll want to be at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s September meeting – we’re told the Sheriff herself, Mitzi Johanknecht, is the expected guest.

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VOTE! Primary-election ballots due Tuesday

August 6th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on VOTE! Primary-election ballots due Tuesday

Tuesday is your last chance to get your ballot into either a dropbox or a mailbox. It’s not a long ballot (here’s what it looks like) but you have three major decisions:

34th District State Senate: 11 people are running in this district that includes White Center and vicinity as well as West Seattle, Vashon and Maury Islands, and part of Burien. Which two will advance to November? Here’s the order in which they’re listed on the ballot, with party preference – the names link to their infopages on the state website:

Joe Nguyen (Prefers Democratic Party)
Lois Schipper (Prefers Democratic Party)
Sofia Aragon (Prefers Democratic Party)
Courtney Lyle (Prefers Republican Party)
Hillary Shaw (States No Party Preference)
Annabel Quintero (Prefers Democratic Party)
Lemuel W. Charleston (Prefers Democrat Party)
Shannon Braddock (Prefers Democratic Party)
Darla Green (Prefers Republican Party)
Debi Wagner (Prefers Independent Party)
Lisa Ryan Devereau (Prefers Democratic Party)

For WCN and/or our partner site West Seattle Blog, we have covered four forums in this race, all with video: White Center Chamber of Commerce‘s forum, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s forum, West Seattle Democratic Women‘s forum, 34th District Democrats‘ forum.

Also of note on your ballot:

U.S. Senate: Incumbent Maria Cantwell has 28 challengers. Which two of the 29 candidates (all listed here) will make it to the general election?

King County Prop 1: Replacement levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System Services

TO VOTE: This is the first election with prepaid postage, so if you send your ballot via US Postal Service mail, you do NOT need a stamp. (Be sure it’ll be postmarked by Tuesday night.) You can also use a county dropbox up until 8 pm Tuesday – there’s one at the White Center Library (1409 SW 107th). The full countywide list is here.

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