Mixed-use project under consideration for county-owned site at 8th/108th

April 24th, 2016 Tracy Posted in housing, King County, White Center news Comments Off on Mixed-use project under consideration for county-owned site at 8th/108th

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Discussions are under way about a possible development at the county-owned site at 8th SW/SW 108th that includes the White Center Food Bank and a former health clinic, according to the head of one of the agencies involved in those discussions.

Steve Daschle, executive director of West Seattle-based Southwest Youth and Family Services, mentioned this while speaking Wednesday night to the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, a monthly meeting we routinely cover for our partner site WSB. He said, “It’s still very conceptual right now, and we’ll be coming back for community support. … We’re hopeful we can pull together the resources to build some housing at that site.” He acknowledged there might be community concerns too, “but I think we’re going to have to try to overcome their concerns by suggesting that housing is never a bad thing.”

If you’ve only seen the 1961-built offices on the site, you might wonder if it’s big enough for a mixed-use project, but county records show it includes open space that Daschle describe as “trees behind (the building).” Before mentioning the project, he had been telling DNDC members – from community councils and other organizations in eastern West Seattle – that SWYFS has found itself providing services further and further south in King County, as the people it serves move that way.

We’ll be following up this week to see if we can find out more.

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FOLLOWUP: C & T Asian Market expected to open tomorrow

April 22nd, 2016 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: C & T Asian Market expected to open tomorrow

Thanks to Gill for the photo and tip: He checked in on the new C & T Asian Market, on the 16th/17th/100th triangle site that formerly held Phnom Khiev Market, and tells WCN they’re expecting to open tomorrow (Saturday, April 23rd).

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Ballot dropbox site proposed for White Center

April 18th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Politics, White Center Library, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

dropboxes

Tonight we know the locations where King County Elections is proposing to add more than three dozen fixed ballot dropboxes, including White Center, West Seattle, and South Park this year; Boulevard Park might get one next year. Read the full news release here.

Toplines for our area:

In White Center, the dropbox would be at the White Center Library (the address listed in the county report is for the current one on 16th, though the new one on SW 107th is scheduled to open soon, so we’ll be doublechecking on that tomorrow). West Seattle’s location would be the High Point Library. The South Park Library is proposed for a dropbox by the November general election. And the Boulevard Park Library could get one next year.

A 132-page report including how and why these locations (and the others around the county) were chosen – and why some other locations were not chosen – can be seen here.

The county says it will spend $239,695 to have the boxes made, wrapped, and installed. Assuming approval is received from the King County Council and all property owners, this would put 91.5% of the county’s population within three miles of a dropbox, the county says. A public hearing is planned before the County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee at 9:30 am Tuesday, April 26th, in the council chambers downtown.

The current WC Library used to have a dropbox, but since its removal, the county has only sent a temporary van to Greenbridge for a few of the final days before each election.

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Superstar librarian Nancy Pearl draws a crowd as Full Tilt Ice Cream ‘guest scooper’

April 16th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center news Comments Off on Superstar librarian Nancy Pearl draws a crowd as Full Tilt Ice Cream ‘guest scooper’

From books to scoops! Seattle’s legendary librarian Nancy Pearl is scooping a special flavor at Full Tilt Ice Cream until at least 3:30 pm, as the first chapter in Full Tilt’s series of special one-week-only scoop-shop flavors honoring local icons, to “pay homage to the people, places and events that have made Seattle the amazing place that it is.” Hers is peanut butter with a fudge swirl, and she’s opening the series in part because it’s National Library Week! We were there around 2:30 and the shop was wall-to-wall with fans.

Part of the proceeds, FT says, are going to the White Center Library Guild, which will soon be supporting this brand-new branch:

FT says future icons will include “Mudhoney, the Space Needle, Richard Hugo, Sub Pop, Frances Farmer, Easy Street Records, and August Wilson.” Stay tuned for dates, and flavors!

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King County leaders launch ‘One Million Trees’ with White Center Heights Park planting

April 14th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news 2 Comments »

(King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks photos)

White Center Heights Park was the scene of a big event at midday today – King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council chair Joe McDermott, students from WCH Elementary, and other community members gathered to plant a little tree symbolizing something big. Here’s the county announcement:

A small Douglas fir planted in White Center Heights Park signaled the start of a multi-year partnership led by King County Executive Dow Constantine to plant one million trees countywide by 2020 – an initiative to confront carbon pollution while improving the health of natural habitats and neighborhoods across the county.

“By mobilizing the community to plant one million trees across King County, we will reduce carbon pollution and produce healthier forests, streams and neighborhoods,” said Executive Constantine. “It’s an ambitious project – one that will help ensure our region remains a national leader in the effort to confront climate change.”

Executive Constantine was joined at the kickoff of the One Million Trees campaign by leaders from Forterra, The Nature Conservancy, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, The Nature Consortium, and The Boeing Co. – each of whom have committed to planting trees and expanding the partnership.

The event served as an invitation for community groups, schools, nonprofits, tribes, local businesses, donors, volunteers, residents, cities and other public agencies across King County to participate in the initiative.

Planting one million trees by 2020 is a target action in King County’s 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan, a road map for how King County will reduce carbon pollution, increase transit, protect open spaces, and prepare communities for the impacts of a changing climate.

The positive impact that trees can have on air and water quality is particularly noticeable in this region. A recent U.S. Forest Service study on the role of forests in combatting climate change revealed that, acre for acre, native Pacific Northwest temperate forests store more carbon than forestland found nearly anywhere else in the world.

Earlier this year, Earth Day Network launched a global campaign to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide, one for every person on the planet, by April 22, 2020 – the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

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TONIGHT: Congressional campaign event @ Salvadorean Bakery

April 14th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Politics, White Center news Comments Off on TONIGHT: Congressional campaign event @ Salvadorean Bakery

From the 7th District U.S. House campaign of State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, which says it’s NOT a fundraiser (we don’t promote political fundraisers), just a meet-and-greet:

What: Latinxs Organizing Party with Pramila Jayapal

When: Thursday, April 14th at 6-8 pm

Where: Salvadorean Bakery & Restaurant, 1719 SW Roxbury

Join us as we organize for Pramila for Congress. Good food, music, and good company while we learn how to get involved. Everyone is welcome!

Sen. Jayapal is one of the candidates running to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle), who announced he would not run for re-election.

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TODAY: Vietnamese Community Tea Time

April 13th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, White Center news Comments Off on TODAY: Vietnamese Community Tea Time

Happening today!

You’re invited to West Seattle/White Center Vietnamese Community Tea Time meeting at Greenbridge Community Center, on the second and last Wednesday of the month from 1:00 pm–3:00 pm. Please come to meet with friends, exchange information, storytelling, entertainment, singing, and planning for the future meetings.

We can help with language support (translation/interpreter) or settle the bills such as electricity, water, cable TV, internet.

Hosted by Tram Chung, a family support worker serving Vietnamese elders and caregivers in West Seattle, White Center, Burien, and South King County.

The center is at 9800 8th SW.

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For your calendar: April Pool’s Day at Evergreen Aquatic Center

April 12th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Evergreen Pool, safety, White Center news Comments Off on For your calendar: April Pool’s Day at Evergreen Aquatic Center

Just announced:

One week from Saturday – see you there!

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UPDATE: Suspects arrested in gas-station mini-mart shooting; alleged shooter charged

April 6th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Suspects arrested in gas-station mini-mart shooting; alleged shooter charged

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(WCN photo, March 31st)

3:25 PM: New information today in the 15th/Roxbury gas-station mini-mart shooting we covered last Thursday night:

King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says both suspects are now in custody, arrested last weekend in Federal Way, a 26-year-old woman and 24-year-old man, both from Seattle. We don’t know how the victim – shot in the leg – is doing, but his wound was not considered life-threatening. Investigators say the man had gone to the mini-mart to buy beer and that he was shot after a man and woman tried to take it from him.

10:29 PM: Going through jail records, we’ve found one suspect’s name, and subsequent research reveals she is already charged in the case. Prosecutors allege that 26-year-old Marcy Goodnow is the one who approached the victim as he left the mini-mart last Thursday night, demanding he give her the $18 he was holding as well as the beer he had just bought. She pulled out a gun, court documents say, and the victim “swatted it away.” That’s when her male accomplice – not named in the court documents we’ve found – walked up and said something about “his woman”; she subsequently told the victim she was not kidding, and demanded the money again. He said “no,” she counted to three and shot him in the leg at close range. She and her unnamed male accomplice ran away, court documents say; she was arrested last Saturday in Federal Way for alleged robbery and assault, and two days later, a detective questioned her in connection with what’s only described as “a series of Seattle robberies and shootings.” She is in jail in lieu of half a million dollars bail and may face more charges. Prosecutors say her criminal history includes five assault convictions, two drug convictions, plus convictions on charges including auto theft, car prowl, and theft.

ADDED FRIDAY: The Seattle Times identifies the male suspect as Shane Atolio and says the two were arrested “after a 9-day crime spree.”

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Septic systems, education equity on the agenda @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

April 4th, 2016 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

This Thursday night (April 7th) at 7 pm, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council invites you to be part of its monthly meeting at NH Fire District HQ in White Center. Here’s the announcement:

Plan on joining us for this important and informative community meeting when we will be hosting:

Robin Hill, On-Site Septic System Program Manager with Seattle and King County Public Health.

Ms. Hill will provide information regarding issues related to septic systems in our community and beyond – as well as changes and charges that will impact all homeowners who are septic systems throughout King County in both the cities and unincorporated areas.

We are also pleased to be hosting Sarah Dahl – concerned mother, Highline School District taxpayer, advocate for students and a member of One Evergreen – who will be presenting information regarding the grassroots efforts to insure that the young people of North Highline are treated equitably and receive the educational opportunities they deserve (more information can be found at evergreensuccess.org/small-schools/#segregation).

Our White Center Storefront Deputy, Bill Kennamer, will be on hand to provide updates on crime stats and general community safety concerns.

Please see our website for the agenda: www.northhighlineuac.org

The fire station is at 1243 SW 112th.

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White Center restaurants: Bok a Bok headed for ex-Charlie’s Buns space

April 3rd, 2016 Tracy Posted in Food, restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

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We noticed recently that the Charlie’s Buns eatery space next to Pho Tai at 16th/98th was up for sale already, just months after opening – and as of last week, it’s closed. Today, we know who’s moving in: Bok a Bok, promising “Korean fried chicken and biscuits.” We contacted its proprietor, Chef Brian O’Connor, after seeing food writer Allecia Vermillion‘s report on his plans for two restaurants in White Center. At the time of her story, he had just signed a lease for Bok a Bok but wasn’t disclosing the location yet; we contacted him to follow up, and he confirmed to WCN today that it’s the ex-Charlie’s space.

Chef O’Connor has a background with a variety of well-regarded Seattle restaurant enterprises, including Skillet, and along with Bok A Bok is planning to open – somewhere in WC – Same Same Noodle Bar. But he tells us today that “for now we are going to focus on getting Bok a Bok open and operating while we continue to work toward securing a lease for Same Same Noodle Bar.”

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UPDATE: Two people sought for shooting 1 man in White Center

March 31st, 2016 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Two people sought for shooting 1 man in White Center

wider
11:38 PM: Deputies are looking for a man and woman in connection with a shooting at 15th and Roxbury. One person was shot – reportedly wounded in the leg – according to what we’ve heard so far. The two people being sought may have made their getaway by hailing a cab.
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12:10 AM: The investigation is centered at the gas station on the southwest corner of 15th and Roxbury. Meantime, deputies found the cab they were looking for, at Westwood Village; it apparently had transported only one of the suspects, to an address outside West Seattle.
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12:50 AM: Adding photos.

5:13 PM: Followup information just received from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West: “The victim, a 52 year old Seattle man, went into a convenience store to buy a beer. When he exited the store he was approached by a man and woman who asked for his beer. He refused to give it to them. The female suspect asked the victim for his money and when he refused she shot him in the leg. Both suspects fled on foot. The only descriptions we have right now are a Hispanic male and Hispanic female. The victim was taken to Harborview.”

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UPDATE: What the Guardian One helicopter was just doing

March 31st, 2016 Tracy Posted in Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: What the Guardian One helicopter was just doing

1:07 AM: Thanks to everybody who called/texted (206-293-6302) about the helicopter activity. Not enough discussion audible via scanner to figure out what they were doing while they were still in the are, but as usually is the case, the crew tweeted just after the incident ended (we did hear “They got the guy” on the local KCSO frequency): “Assisted White Center patrol on person with a gun call in 18 Ave SW. Led patrol in to person in front yard of house. Subject is detained.” We’ll follow up with KCSO later this morning.

ADDED 5:13 PM: Finally have those added details. From KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West: “Around midnight, we responded to the area of the 10400 block of 18 Ave SW for a report of a suicidal man who possibly had a gun. We contacted the man in the area and did not locate a gun. The man was transported to a hospital for a mental-health evaluation. The man is a 66 year old living in the vicinity.”

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YOU CAN HELP! Volunteer @ North Shorewood Park this Saturday

March 30th, 2016 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 2 Comments »

North Shorewood Park could use your help this Saturday, 10 am-2 pm – give a little time to do a lot of good. As neighbor Gill, who provided the photos, says, “It looks this good due to a great deal hard work on the part of King County Parks as well as volunteers from the neighborhood and local organizations. It really is a great little Park.”

The warm, dry weather is expected to continue into Saturday, so you have no excuse.

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VIDEO: Seattle Channel looks at the annexation debate

March 28th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Annexation, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: Seattle Channel looks at the annexation debate

In our coverage of the March 17th annexation conversation at Dubsea Coffee, we mentioned a Seattle Channel crew was present. Here’s the result of their work: An episode of “City Inside/Out devoted to the annexation debate, hosted by Brian Callanan. The SC website lists the guests:

Bobby Beeman, President, White Center Chamber
Justin Cline, Owner, Full Tilt Ice Cream
Barbara Dobkin, President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council
Joe Fitzgibbon, State Rep. (D-34th)
Sibelle Nguyen, Owner, Dubsea Coffee
Kenny Pittman, City of Seattle
Virginia San Pedro, White Center Better Life Nutrition
Sili Savusa, Executive Director, White Center Community Development Association
Kathy Snyder, White Center Resident

Its next cable airing, if you have the Seattle Channel, is 10 pm tonight.

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VIDEO: If you heard Guardian One late last night …

March 26th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: If you heard Guardian One late last night …

The King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support division has published that video showing part of what it was doing late last night – we got texts asking why the helicopter was circling in the White Center area; what you see is the arrest of a suspect found in a stolen car along Myers Way, by the city/county border. After the car was pulled over by Seattle Police, the suspect fled, but was picked up by Guardian One’s FLIR tracking. We don’t know where the car was stolen from – still trying to match this to a specific case.

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Celebration at Evergreen Campus features Jack Thompson

March 25th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Sports, White Center news Comments Off on Celebration at Evergreen Campus features Jack Thompson

Happening now at the Evergreen campus, a celebration featuring former NFL and Washington State University football star Jack Thompson. We couldn’t be there but these photo tweets from Highline Public Schools tell the story:







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White Center businesses: Closed market to be replaced by new market

March 23rd, 2016 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for the tip and photo: Less than two months after Phnom Khiev Market closed at 16th SW and SW 100th in downtown White Center, a new market is on the way. The big sign for C & T Asian Market is up, and small signs posted in the windows say it’s remodeling the space and will be open “soon.” State records say the company was launched in January, not long before Phnom Khiev closed, and list local ownership.

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Surplus Metro vanpool vehicles on the way to area nonprofits including TAF

March 21st, 2016 Tracy Posted in King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

Nonprofits including White Center-headquartered Technology Access Foundation are getting surplus Metro vanpool vehicles like that one; the photo accompanied this news release:

Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott will be delivering retired Metro Transit Vanpool vans in Council District 8 to provide transportation assistance to for low-income, elderly or young people or people with disabilities.

The programs that will be receiving vans are:

South Park Senior Citizens
Navos
Technology Access Foundation
Neighborhood House

The vanpool program provides mobility for a diverse array of King County residents, supports the positive work of various local organizations, and relieves traffic congestion by reducing the need for single-occupancy vehicles. Interested organizations can contact the Councilmember representing their district for more information on applying for a vehicle.

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Annexation ‘conversation’ begins with standing-room-only event @ Dubsea Coffee

March 17th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Annexation, White Center news 9 Comments »

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

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Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
White Center Now/West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Just because White Center (and vicinity) voters said no to Burien doesn’t mean they’re ready to say yes to Seattle.

That was abundantly clear during tonight’s standing-room-only annexation “conversation” at Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, barely a block south of the city-county line.

Some in attendance loudly voiced skepticism and outright distrust of the city’s motives and even suitability.

Others asked simple questions about what changes annexation would bring.

The city’s longtime point person on annexation, Kenny Pittman, led the discussion, saying he wanted to offer “basic information” and answer questions, and promising more meetings and “outreach.”

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He’s been working on the annexation issue for 12 1/2 years, he told the crowd of 50+, which included White Center community advocates and entrepreneurs.

He recapped why it’s on the front burner now – as first reported on our partner site White Center Now, Governor Inslee has signed a Legislature-passed bill that will divert millions of sales-tax dollars to Seattle to cover the costs of taking on the added residents and acreage.

Early on, he said annexation isn’t going to happen overnight:

If the city seeks and gets Boundary Review Board permission and the county sends it to voters in what remains of unincorporated North Highline, the earliest vote would be November 2017, and a “yes” vote then would lead to annexation taking effect in early 2019. Or, the timeline could be a year behind that, Pittman said.

Arriving late due to a transportation snarl, Karen Freeman from King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s staff underscored what the county’s message has long been – that the area must be annexed, because the county is not equipped, nor intended to, provide urban services.

Some wondered why White Center couldn’t become its own city. That was studied, said Freeman, but there just wasn’t a big-enough population/tax base for that to work.

That answer did not go over well with everyone.

But the informal presentation, and Q/A, ran to the basics, too. Such as – who would provide services, if county residents became city residents? The North Highline Fire District currently serves the area; its fire station on SW 112th would become a Seattle Fire Department station, said Pittman, and services would be provided as needed from north of Roxbury as well (West Seattle has five fire stations; South Park has one).

The Seattle Police Department would add officers, Pittman said, mentioning the number 40, at one point. Several outspoken attendees clearly believed they would be needed, repeatedly mentioning concern over Seattle’s crime rate, and the fact that some Seattleites are augmenting police with private security. Safety isn’t just a matter of police, Pittman countered, saying watchful neighbors are vital too, even where he lives (which, he volunteered, is in the Thurston County city of Lacey).

For schools, the area would remain with Highline Public Schools, until and unless HPS and Seattle Public Schools sought and reached some sort of agreement, which would then require approval by the Puget Sound Educational Service District. That sort of agreement is not currently being sought, it was stressed: “At this time, we are not looking at that at all.”

Pittman suggested that North Highline would get extra educational services as a result of annexation anyway, because of what the city has added on, including the Families and Education Levy, and the new Seattle Preschool Program.

He also declared that property tax would be lower after annexation, and acknowledged that would sound impossible, given the current complaint that people in Seattle are passing tax levies nonstop. The reduction, Pittman suggested, would be because residents would no longer be paying special levies for basic services such as roads, fire, and libraries.

That last point is one of contention, because King County Library System’s brand-new White Center Library is opening soon, a library for which WC community advocates and library supporters fought long and hard, built years behind schedule. The city and county are talking now about its fate, but at the very least, KCLS might continue managing it for a while after annexation.

Other questions – What would the transition for businesses be like? The question came from Proletariat Pizza proprietor Mike Albaeck:

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The city has a business tax, Pittman acknowledged, though it’s not charged to those making below $100,000 a year. A business license is required. And while some might be concerned about Seattle’s so-called $15/hour minimum wage, it’s not up to that level for anyone yet, and small businesses currently are paying $12/hour, said Pittman.

He added that it’s not just a matter of paying and getting nothing in return, the city offers economic development. And that’s when a skeptical attendee spoke up passionately, saying White Center isn’t just “the unincorporated area,” it’s a small town, one of the last “blue-collar neighborhoods,” with a lot of pride. “I don’t want to see a Starbucks on every corner,” she declared, accusing the city of “ignoring us … forever.”

She was countered by longtime White Center resident and former Chamber of Commerce leader Mark Ufkes, who said he’s been talking with Pittman for the dozen or so years that Seattle annexation has been an on-and-off possibility.

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But, he warned, if Pittman was going to be the only Seattle rep evangelizing annexation, “(it) will be voted down.”

More skepticism followed. The first questioner declared she considered the Seattle City Council to be “weird.” (The council would have to sign off on sending annexation to North Highline voters.)

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Questions about zoning veered into concerns that developers would “run amok” as they are perceived to have done in Seattle, and would densify the area. What would happen to zoning? Pittman was asked. Freeman suggested that was a bright spot, as Seattle has a community-planning department, which the county does not have, though it did just hire a planner to work on Vashon Island issues.

Pittman added that the planning would involve adjacent neighborhoods as well, such as Highland Park and Roxhill, as had been requested by the nearest West Seattle community council, Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC (here’s our coverage of the recent meeting at which that was discussed; Pittman had spoken there about the annexation process’s status).

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Members of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, the potential annexation area’s lone community council, were there tonight, and asked pointed questions too.

(corrected) Another attendee wondered if Seattle would increase the amount of low-income housing in White Center. Pittman said the area is not and would not be a “dumping ground.”

How would annexation affect transit? an attendee asked. The county is responsible for it, but the city has been paying extra to buy additional service, Pittman mentioned, funded by the Seattle Transportation Benefit District‘s sales tax and car-tab tax.

What about parks and the birds they draw? Pittman replied that they would be transferred to the city.

Seattle would not take over all utilities, though – the areas served by sewer and water districts would keep that service (some of the potential annexation area has water service from Seattle Public Utilities, and that would continue).

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A mix of information and consternation continued until the meeting closed at 6:30 pm as promised; Pittman thanked everyone for taking time “on a beautiful day” to show up and speak up.

WHAT’S NEXT: No schedule yet for the promised additional meetings. Pittman said the city will have a website and other ways of obtaining information. You can also watch the Boundary Review Board’s site for meeting agendas – proposed Seattle annexation would have to show up there, and go through board hearings and decisions, long before getting to voters.

P.S. A Seattle Channel crew recorded the meeting; we’re checking with SC to find out about plans for broadcast/webcast.

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