Flyer says it all – be there Thursday night!
Flyer says it all – be there Thursday night!
Less than two weeks until the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council presents a forum you won’t want to miss. The announcement shared by president Barbara Dobkin:
The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council invites you to a Community Forum:
BUILDING EQUITY & OPPORTUNITY
What does it mean for North Highline and White Center? What is King County doing about it?
Please plan on joining us for this informative and important conversation with our guest speakers:
Coordinator of King County’s Equity and Social Justice Initiative
Director of King County’s Community and Human Services Department
King County Council District 8 Representative
White Center Storefront Deputy BJ Myers will also be on hand to discuss issues related to crime updates and trends in the community.
When: Thursday, April 3 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 112th Street SW)
COMMUNITY MATTERS: BE INFORMED, BE INVOLVED, BE HEARD
The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has two hot topics on the March agenda, this Thursday, March 6th, 7 pm at the North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 12th:
Wondering where your property tax dollars go – have questions about why your home value may have decreased, but taxes increased – curious about pending levies and how they may impact your tax bill – then plan on joining us and have your questions answered by King County Tax Assessor, Lloyd Hara.
We are also pleased to have Kari Boiter, who is active in the largest national medical marijuana advocacy group, “Americans for Safe Access”. Ms. Boiter is working with lawmakers to help them understand the concerns of medical marijuana patients, and how the new bills before the Washington State legislators may impact access for patients.
COMMUNITY MATTERS * BE INFORMED * BE INVOLVED * BE HEARD
And here’s the agenda:
7:00 pm Call to Order – Flag Salute – Roll Call –
Approval of Agenda – Approval of Minutes
7:05 pm Public Announcements
7:10 pm Public Comment
3 minutes for Individuals
5 minutes for Groups
7:20 pm Deputy B.J. Myers – White Center Storefront
7:30 pm Lloyd Hara, King County Tax Assessor
7:50 pm Kari Boiter, Americans for Safe Access
8:10 pm Committee Reports
8:15 pm New/Old Business
• April Forum
• May Mtg
• June Mtg
In case you couldn’t make it, we recorded video of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting last Thursday. Here’s what you’ll see:
*Discussion of litter problems by Marcia Wollam and Dick Thurnau
*(14 minutes in) King County Sheriff’s Deputy BJ Myers‘ briefing. Highlights:
*He says that auto theft has continued to be “high”; he said it’s vital to report the theft as soon as possible but that won’t help if you don’t know your license-plate number – that information not only helps them watch for the plate, but also tells them something very specific about the car, from the state-licensing system. If you don’t think you can remember it, take a cameraphone picture and save it so you can refer to it if you have to.
*He also mentioned a warrant and arrest related to mail theft that led to the recovery of “bags and bags and bags of stolen property.” He said it sent the message “mail theft is something we will kick in a door for.”
*He also mentioned multiple incidents while people were filling up their cars at Roxbury Safeway and called it “alarming” – anywhere you’re filling up, keep an eye on your car, because brazen criminals might come right up to it.
*Sustainable Seattle‘s Hannah Kett spoke about the “Greening the Grounds” project at Holy Family Parish and School, with raingardens and a food garden in the works. They’re seeking “Greening Committee” members, email@example.com
*Weed Warriors – Grace Stiller from this nonprofit spoke about the noxious weeds that everyone should watch out for – for example, pretty as scotch-broom flowers are, their seeds are viable for 45 years!
*Board discussion of Seattle’s annexation intent for two areas of South Park, and the city’s stated intent to “discuss” the possibility of a North Highline annexation vote in the future
Coming up at future meetings: King County Assessor Lloyd Hara in March, when NHUAC also will (UPDATED – see comments) hear the latest on marijuana laws.
This Thursday, it’s time for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s next meeting. President Barbara Dobkin shares the preview:
North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When: 7 pm Thursday, February 6
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 SW 112th)
We are pleased to be hosting Grace Stiller, President of the non-profit group “Weed Warriors.” Weed Warriors work with cities and communities to reduce the negative impact of invasive, noxious weeds in public places, like parks, trails, and open spaces. The program offers education about invasive weeds, methods for control or eradication, and provides opportunities where volunteers participate in “hands-on” restoration projects; thus improving the environmental health, and aesthetic and recreational qualities of our public places.
We are also pleased to have a presentation from Hannah Kett, Neighborhood Program Manager for Sustainable Seattle. Ms. Kett will be providing information on plans for the introduction of rain gardens and urban gardens at Holy Family School in White Center. She is also interested in ideas for where these types of projects could be located in the greater North Highline community.
White Center Storefront Deputy BJ Myers will be on hand to provide updates on crime trends.
Please plan on joining us for this informative community discussion – All are welcome –
Community Matters – Be Involved – Be Informed – Be Heard
By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
White Center Now co-publishers
With no money solution in sight yet, the first round of Metro service cuts is rolling forward, and it was the centerpiece topic at Thursday night’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.
These are the changes that would take effect in June, when the county runs out of money from the state meant to mitigate effects of Highway 99 construction – even though that construction is far from over, and county leaders suggest that transportation in this area will be affected through at least 2019, between the tunnel, the Viaduct demolition, surface Alaskan Way construction, seawall work, and more.
The King County Council’s Transportation Committee will look at the proposed cuts Thursday afternoon at 1:30 pm, and will also be briefed on proposed creation of a “transportation benefit district” to raise money locally to make up for some of what is expiring.
The June service-change proposal (eliminated and reduced routes) for this area, still pending council approval, includes total elimination of Route 113, whose service area includes White Center:
As noted by Metro’s Doug Johnson and DeAnna Martin at the meeting, other effects in this area would include service reductions for routes 60, 120, 121, 122, 123, 131, and 132.
Also at the meeting, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who said the “transportation benefit district” – authorizing a car-tab fee and sales-tax increase – could go to voters as soon as April, and isn’t just for Metro money, but would also raise $50 million for roads. There’s been no good news from Olympia regarding a transportation deal, and that’s why this all is moving forward.
In addition to the County Council committee meeting this week, there’s also a big event with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition which, as WSTC board member Amanda Kay Helmick told NHUAC on Thursday night, considers North Highline to be an integral part of the area too. At 6:30 pm Tuesday at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), representatives from city, county, and state government will comprise a panel with Q/A about local transportation issues, and as WSTC has been noting, a big turnout will underscore local concerns.
Also during Thursday’s NHUAC meeting, the monthly crime/safety briefing with King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy BJ Myers. He mentioned an uptick in car thefts/prowls and auto-parts thefts around the Top Hat area in the past month, and said KCSO is targeting that with a special emphasis. But the heart of White Center itself does not have anything out of the ordinary going on, and December 2013 stats, Deputy Myers said, look a lot like December 2012. Several attendees asked him to check on graffiti-vandalism concerns.
For more information about NHUAC, check out its website at northhighlineuac.org.
Still no solution to the Metro money mess – with some White Center/West Seattle cuts looming even sooner than the rest of the region – so the centerpiece item on next month’s NHUAC agenda is all the more important. From president Barbara Dobkin:
Just a reminder – The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) will be holding their January meeting on Thursday, January 9. We are pleased to be hosting representatives from King County Metro, who will provide information on potential service cuts. A total of 600,000 annual service hours, or 17% of the current Metro system could be eliminated. The impact from these cuts will be devastating to both drivers and Metro riders. It is important to let your voice be heard – so please join us for this important discussion.
Metro Representatives will be on hand starting at 6:30 – our regular meeting will begin at 7.
Stay tuned for more details.
When: Thursday, January 9, 6:30 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 SW 112th)
Toplines from Thursday night’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: NHUAC heard from two of this area’s three state legislators – Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island), recently elected Senate Democratic leader, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who succeeded her in the state House. Two key topics in their briefing: Transportation and annexation.
Sen. Nelson began by noting that for the first time in five years, the Legislature doesn’t have to focus on making budget cuts – while the state isn’t getting rich or amassing a major surplus, its economic health is stabilizing.
Rep. Fitzgibbon did most of the talking regarding whether progress is being made toward a transportation-funding package. Work is under way but nothing’s settled yet. Though Metro bus service faces “devastating” cuts in the North Highline area among others – with Route 113 facing elimination in the first round – it’s not all about transit; he reminded attendees about the dire straits of King County Roads, from unfunded maintenance to inability to get snowplows out if needed.
Even before anyone could ask about the state tax credit for annexation – a perk that will expire before too long – Sen. Nelson said that while the issue’s not dead, it would be difficult and contentious if brought back up in the near future.
In Q/A with attendees, Rep. Fitzgibbon said the building that is home to DSHS in White Center apparently has a buyer (we had reported the real-estate listing here last week). He didn’t identify the new owner but said they’ll be expected to take better care of the property and address issues such as its use by transients sleeping in the doorway and stairwell.
Speaking of which …
GREENBRIDGE CAMPERS: King County Sheriff’s Deputy B.J. Myers said he had just gone on a walkthrough at the Greenbridge-area greenbelt with King County Parks, and a general cleanup of the area is expected to start next week. He said campers had been provided with information about the impending cleanup and where they can go once it starts.
He also recapped the news conference on Wednesday with the family of the victim in the recent murder. (Our report now includes KCTV video of the entire event.)
EVERGREEN POOL MONEY WOES: NHUAC heard from a rep of Evergreen Pool, which is trying to raise $25,000 by mid-January (look for a separate story on that here this weekend). Most of it would go to Puget Sound Energy for overdue gas bills, which could lead to a shutoff by then, and a resulting shutdown of the pool, if the money’s not raised.
REMEMBERING STEVE COX: As the meeting began, president Barbara Dobkin led a moment of silence in memory of Deputy Steve Cox, killed seven years ago this week.
Watch for information on NHUAC’s next meeting on the council’s website at northhighlineuac.org.
7:00 pm Call to Order – Flag Salute – Roll Call –
Approval of Agenda – Approval of Minutes
7:05 pm Public Announcements
7:10 pm Public Comment
3minutes for Individuals
5 minutes for Groups
7:15 pm Richard Wells, Sustainable Works
7:35 pm Mark Cross, Director – Evergreen Athletic Dept.
7:45 pm Senator Sharon Nelson
Representative, Joe Fitzgibbon
8:10 pm Deputy BJ Myers (White Center Storefront)
8:30 pm Committee Reports
8:35 pm Old/New Business
• December 10 Board Meeting
• January meeting
• CSA Grant application
By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor
For the second time this fall, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has welcomed a new member.
That’s part of what happened at Thursday night’s meeting. Meet Doreen Bomar:
Bomar explained that she is a financial consultant and mom, among other things and has wanted to get involved in the community since moving here. Why become a NHUAC board member? Her reply: “It would allow me to contribute some energy toward helping the community and maybe getting more people involved and finding more ways to reach out …”
The previous board joiner, Elizabeth Gordon, asked her about the hot topics facing the community – economy, local governance, etc. – and wondered what she’s interested in. She listed public safety and libraries, as well as working with the business community and encouraging more businesses to open here. Her financial-consulting business is currently home-based but she’s looking at area office space and future hires, she said.
She was elected unanimously and immediately moved up to a seat with the rest of the board at the front of the room, next to NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin, who smiled, “Welcome,” before moving on to the rest of the agenda.
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUVENILE DIVERSION: Shirley Noble from the KCSC came to speak about the Juvenile Diversion Program:
“Every week we’re doing this in your community.” It’s a program offered to first-time juvenile offenders – who commit certain types of misdemeanor offenses – if they choose to go through the alternative process, she explained. If they go through this process, they will not have a record, but if they go to court, they will, so “most of the families will choose to go through diversion – we’re dealing with mostly teenagers here, it’s vital for their future that they don’t have a criminal record that counts against them, hinders them from moving up in life.”
Since the brain isn’t developed until mid-20s, some of these offenses are “a mistake,” she contended, saying most of the juveniles will not go on to reoffend. She says there’s a board of volunteers in West Seattle and one in Highline; their function is that, when diversion is chosen, the youth gets their case heard in the community where they live. They might hear two or three cases a week, in the evenings, “because we want parent participation.” A court adviser is always present, too. The volunteers talk to the youth about what they did and about their school and family life, and to the family. “We want to really be able to paint a picture of the youth – what’s going on in (her/his) life.” They look at “how can we help this kid so they don’t come back through this system again.” They sign an agreement to handle “whatever sanction is imposed that evening” by a certain date – she stressed “they are held accountable.”
The recidivism rate is less than 10 percent, she said. The program’s been around since 1959 and yet most people don’t know it exists.
Volunteer Rick came with her and offered some thoughts: “They get the message pretty clearly right up front that this is their best shot,” since the program is “kind of below the radar.” Once you’re in the criminal system, “you’re in it for your entire life.” With diversion, “it’s not about guilt or innocence, it’s about where they go from here.” He said the volunteerism is key to making the program work, as is talking with parents, who might be in denial, or “delusional,” or just don’t know what to do, “so we can ask, how can we help you?” He serves one night a month, “sometimes a little more.” Rather than just griping about problems -”did you see the graffiti, etc.” – he says, “it’s a chance to intervene and help that child get back into the community … sometimes joyous, sometimes painful, but so worth it.” His voice broke a bit about seeing kids with dreams have a lightbulb go on. They need more help – “we have lots of cases, unfortunately.”
Rick spoke of one such case, a teenage girl “who was beginning to show signs of some serious stuff … at one point, I said, ‘who all’s affected,’ and they don’t always get that I’m affected, I’m sitting here tonight because of something you’ve done. I said ‘I care,’ and she looked at me and said, ‘Why would YOU care?’” That bowled him over.
Volunteers have to have background checks, by the way, so if you have a history with a violent offense or an offense against a child, you wouldn’t be able to participate.
The program reduces court congestion, it was noted, so judges have more time to deal with more-serious cases.”Our typical case is shoplifting,” Noble said.
COALITION FOR DRUG-FREE YOUTH: Coordinator Rudy Garza spoke to the council about its work in White Center and Burien trying to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and drug use by youth. It’s a federally founded program administered by the state and county.
Higher percentages of 8th graders in this area, than the rest of the county, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use marijuana, and/or abuse prescription drugs. 24 percent of the 8th graders in this area reported considering suicide in the past month, compared to 17 percent statewide. Right now, the agency is going into a strategic-planning process to figure out how to tackle this, and expects to finalize a plan next March, with implementation the following June, depending on what kind of funding they get.
The focus is “positive, healthy adulthood” as a result of the work.
The group so far has worked with Cascade and Evergreen schools, and the coalition will meet at Cascade next week. In Q/A with the board, Garza talked about the importance of reaching out to the area’s ethnic/immigrant communities regarding availing themselves of the resources that exist, something that might not be part of their culture otherwise.
4 CULTURE: Leader Jim Kelly talked to NHUAC about his organization, which funds art programs as a “county entity” but is not a “county department” but rather a “public development authority.” He talked about arts programs helping youth fill their lives – tying in with two of the previous presenters in spirit, if not officially. He ran through ways that the community can help arts programs for youth, such as getting instruments to students who need them. And his agency has a lot of resources available, but the community doesn’t always know about them, so he was hoping to fix that. He says they now have a program with no “annual application deadline,” to remove a barrier to some participation, and they are hopeful that more people in this area will participate in the programs – the ones that do have annual deadlines will soon have 2014 dates. In Q/A, he revealed that for example, because of how they are funded, they can’t pay for programs IN schools, but can pay for afterschool projects, through groups such as Arts Corps. “If you don’t give kids a creative outlet, they’re going to lapse into destructive,” he observed. Find out more about 4 Culture by going here.
AGENDA POSTPONEMENTS: Storefront deputy BJ Myers couldn’t be on hand because of a ridealong; Meagan Eliot was a no-show regarding the strategic plan.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Councilmembers Liz Giba, Pat Price, and president Dobkin rptestified at the recent budget hearing at County Council Chambers downtown; Dobkin said they were the “only actual community members – from ANY community” to testify, but so many others were there from organizations, it ran three hours before they spoke, focusing on supporting passage of funding for the White Center storefront sheriff’s deputy and for more King County Sheriff’s Office resources – “we are very understaffed in this area,” she noted, with about half the staffing per capita in the unincorporated area as the “contract cities” in the county have. She quoted Sheriff John Urquhart as saying there are more fatalities in the unincorporated area – often, KCSO can’t get there fast enough. They submitted petition signatures and a letter in support of the resources, and, Dobkin noted, there’s still time for people to contact the Council to voice their support. You can send budget comments to the County Council by going here.
BUS CUTS: Dobkin said that NHUAC is working with the county on a community forum about the possible bus cuts announced earlier in the day (here’s the Metro website with details).
NEW LIBRARY: Price reminded everyone that (as published here on WCN) the next meeting for the new White Center Library project is at 6:30 November 19th at Mount View Elementary. Strong turnout is important, she said, to make sure King County Library System knows that people are interested and “watching.” Gordon recalled a NHUAC-meeting visit from KCLS head Bill Ptacek, who she noted seemed to have set ideas about the project and was even surprised at community questions/concerns, particularly regarding possible transient loitering in the facility, which is expecting heavy use by students from the nearby school.
LIBRARY BAZAAR: Price mentioned that this is coming up weekend after next. Here’s the flyer:
Community advocate Gill Loring stressed that proceeds benefit youth programs.
UNIFORM FUNDRAISING: The Wolverines girls basketball team at Evergreen needs new uniforms – a community member say they’re working on fundraisers; they start practicing later this month. (More details if we get them!)
FUNDRAISING DINNER: White Center Kiwanis says their baked-potato-dinner fundraiser supporting the New Start High School Key Club is coming up – 6:30-8:30 pm Wednesday, December 4, at New Start, 614 SW 120th. $10 gets you a baked-potato bar, salad, rols, dessert, beverages, and entertainment by the student members of the club.
GRANT APPLICATION: NHUAC is talking about applying for the county’s semi-new grants available to groups in the unincorporated areas; next deadline is January 10th.
Keep track of NHUAC events and issues via its website at northhighlineuac.org.
Update on the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting this Thursday:
North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) meeting:
When: Thursday, November 7 – 7pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 112th Street, SW)
Please plan on joining us for our next monthly meeting – NHUAC meetings are a great way to connect and network with other community members – and stay up to date on information about our community – We look forward to seeing you there!
Join us and learn how you can provide input for the King County Strategic Plan with our guest Meagan Eliot from the King County Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget.
We are also pleased to have Shirley Noble, Program Manager – King County Superior Court – who will discuss her work and volunteer opportunities with Partnership for Youth Justice.
Rudy Garza – Coalition Coordinator for the Coalition for Drug Free Youth – will discuss issues related to drug use and prevention among youth in the greater North Highline area.
Jim Kelly, Executive Director of 4Culture, will share information about their programs and available grant opportunities.
Our White Center Storefront Deputy BJ Myers will be on hand to provide information and answer questions regarding community safety.
We are also pleased to announce that we will be interviewing Doreen Bomar to fill an open seat on the council.
Announced by NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin:
At the November 7 North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, the board will be interviewing Doreen Bomar to fill an open board position. The interview will be followed by our regular monthly meeting. All are welcome! Stay tuned for more information about the meeting – Thursday, November 7, 7 pm, North Highline Fire Station, 1243 112th Street SW.
By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor
Another information-packed public-safety forum was presented by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council last Thursday night at the NH Fire District HQ:
AREA CRIME UPDATE: Deputies BJ Myers and Mary Syson led the briefing. She works 2-10 pm and is usually one of two deputies in the area on swing shift, she said – “Write to your King County Councilmembers, we need more officers!” How many officers would be optimal? At least three at any given time, she said. There are always two on, though, any shift, around the clock. When she comes on shift, there are usually calls holding.
(Staffing concerns arose again when a transit deputy spoke saying that at times only six officers from that department are staffing the entire area served by Metro.)
Deputy Myers spoke of recent arrests involving burglary suspects on both sides of the city/county line – many charges filed, many more – detectives are bringing in victims to identify property and get it back to them. “It’s been great, we don’t always get to see the property returned to the people,” he said.
He then went on to show the September crime map. Nothing too much out of the ordinary, he said; crimes are coming down from a July peak, “pretty typical this time of the year as the weather gets cold, kids go back to school, fewer people out and about.”
Motor-vehicle thefts had something of a spike in July and August.
Theft trend that might surprise you: If you have an outdoor outlet in a publicly accessible place – you might consider finding a way to not have it accessible, because more and more such outlets are being used – to charge phones among other things – amounting to power theft that suddenly turns up on the victims’ bills.
“Have you seen a change (in crime, etc.) since Nickelsville moved out (of Highland Park)?” Deputy Myers was asked. His answer: “No.”
On the prevention front, advice from Deputy Syson: Home security is vital. Outdoor lighting, in particular – “criminals don’t like to be lit up.” Also, she echoed “follow your intuition – call us. Get a plate. Vehicle license plates are great – we can maybe figure out where they live. If you guys don’t call us, we don’t know there’s an issue going on in your neighborhood.”
SEX OFFENDERS: Detective Michael Luchau from the King County Sheriff’s Office Registered Sex Offender Unit – a subset of the Special Assault Unit – gave the featured presentation, which he said was basically what he presents to neighborhoods after Level 3 offenders move in – or used to; because of low attendance, they don’t always have meetings – they might just circulate the notice.
14 people are in the unit, including 9 detectives, and he’s one of them. He also went back to the offender-registration law’s roots – the 1988 Diane Ballasiotes case and the case of Helen Harlow‘s son, leading to the Community Protection Act. The national requirement dates back to 1996, following the kidnapping and killing of Megan Kanka in New Jersey two years earlier.
He also went through background of how long offenders are required to be registered – anywhere from 10 years to lifetime (the latter is mandatory for a Class A felony, which includes first- or second-degree rape and/or first-degree child molesting). Level one offenders are not required to register – unless they are “noncompliant” and that level usually means “no violent history, usually know their victims.” They are rated with various “tools” including police reports, court files, criminal history, pre-sentencing psychological reports.
What happens while they are in jail/prison can affect their classification too – Det. Luchau gave an example of someone “continuing to act out their deviancy.”
Notification about a homeless offender generally “depends on the risk level.”
*Almost 4000 sex offenders in King County right now, he said, and almost half are level 1 – the lowest risk level, while 323 are classified level 3, the highest.
There are 333 in this precinct, which also includes Burien, Vashon, and Skyway. 53 of them are in North Highline, 32 level 1, ten level 3.
20,315 sex offenders are in the state in all, and of them, the detective said, about 708 are in violation of the registration laws, and nobody knows where they are. But if they have registered and are following the rules, there are no other rules/guidelines they have to follow, at least one attendee was surprised to hear. But Det. Luchau stressed – you don’t need to be afraid of (most of) them, just be aware.
Being aware is vital – children are sexually assaulted in much higher numbers than you might expect, such as, one of every three girls has been assaulted by age 16. He also talked briefly about trusting instincts – don’t hesitate to report a suspicious person, maybe someone who seems to be at the park watching kids; be clear about your concerns so that police can at least check on them. Also – be sure you know a lot about anyone who would be caring for your child without supervision, and know a lot about the situation at a house your child is going to visit. “If you don’t feel comfortable with the situation, don’t send them (there)!” said the detective.
Are there halfway houses? asked NHUAC council member Liz Giba, noting that notifications seemed to include the same addresses for multiple offenders. “There are some group homes,” acknowledged the detective. And, he said, there are some group homes that try to pretend they’re not – sometimes by claiming to be “clean and sober” houses.
To find out more about sex offenders in your area, kingcounty.gov/sheriff has the listings of level 2 and level 3 everywhere in the county – look for the link on the left sidebar. The lookup tool also enables you to sign up for e-mail alerts if a “published offender registers in your area.” It’ll give you more information on the offender’s background.
For the entire state, you can go to ml.waspc.org – all registered sex offenders in the state, level two and three.
There’s also the National Sex Offender Public Website.
Don’t ever assume you know how a sex offender looks – they come in all sizes, shapes, etc., he said.
“Why aren’t these people locked up for good?” Some are locked up tfn.
But he also warned that people should use the knowledge responsibly – the notification act could be canceled if it leads to many incidences of harassment, vigilantism, etc. – and authorities do not want to lose it as a tool.
So what happens when an offender gets out of prison/jail? Nobody’s holding that offender’s hand, as Luchau put it. And, as an audience question pointed out, failure to register may just be a misdemeanor. But in other cases, it could be a Class B felony, sending the offender back to prison for longer than their original sentence.
What if you look someone up – is there any chance they might still be on the map even if they are no longer in that neighborhood? Maybe, said the detective, so you’ll want to try alternate lookups to check on that person’s status, as many public records as you can find.
WHAT’S NEXT: According to NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin, the next public-safety forum probably won’t be until March, but they will continue monthly NHUAC meetings on first Thursdays.
Two community announcements:
WHITE CENTER KIWANIS: They’re selling See’s Candy bars for $2/bar, with more than $1 funding their service projects.
COALITION FOR DRUG FREE YOUTH: NHUAC councilmember Elizabeth Gordon says the coalition is circulating a survey on alcohol/drug use, and provided copies; they’re accepting filled-out surveys at her family business, Uncle Mike’s Superlicious Barbecue. The survey will be linked on the NHUAC website.
One week from tonight – the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council hopes to see you at its next public-safety forum:
Save the Date
Thursday, Oct 3
North Highline Fire Station
1243 112th Street, SW
(entrance in the back)
The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is pleased to be hosting a Public Safety Forum
Want to know more about the King County Sex Offender Registry and Community Notification Program? Then plan on joining us for an informative presentation and discussion with Detective Michael Luchau of the King County Sheriff’s Department Sex Offender Unit.
Share your concerns regarding community safety with White Center Storefront Deputy, BJ Myers and Deputy William Kennamer of Metro Transit Police.
All are welcome!
OUR COMMUNITY MATTERS
SEE YOU THERE!!
By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor
NEW MEMBER: The council has a new member! Since it is no longer county-sanctioned, its past process of community at-large elections no longer applies. For the first time since that change, a proposed new member appeared: Dr. Elizabeth Gordon from Uncle Mike’s Superlicious BBQ in White Center asked to join, and was approved by unanimous vote. She talked about her business’s concerns with the community’s well-being and said she perceived that NHUAC was a place to voice concerns and get things done. She believes it’s “important to be part of the council that carries …concerns” to county government, since North Highline has no direct government representation. Gordon took a seat with the council at the start of the meeting, participating immediately after she was voted in. Before the meeting ended, president Barbara Dobkin reiterated that they’re interested in adding other community members to the council – if you’re interested, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEALTH-INSURANCE CHANGES: Erika Nuerenberg from the Seattle-King County Public Health Department came to talk about the coming changes in health insurance – that department is leading enrollment efforts in the area. There aren’t specific rates for the unincorporated area but they estimate somewhere between 20 and 30 percent are uninsured – area rates for cities range from 15 percent in Seattle to 30 percent in Seatac. They are hoping to get the uninsured percentage down to four percent countywide, but are worried about people who will choose not to enroll even though the costs will be low, such as people under 30. There are two ways to become insured under the new system that starts open enrollment next month: One is Medicaid, which will be expanding eligibility. The other is through the “exchange” system, which will include subsidies for people whose income is up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (currently around $11,000/person).
Right now, they’re working on education; next, “targeted enrollment,” which will focus on people with barriers such as culture or income that might keep them from getting enrolled. You can read all about the upcoming changes by going to this special county webpage.
COMMUNITY HEALTH INFO: Zachary Howard from the Puget Sound Regional Council talked about another aspect of health – trying to support healthier lifestyles through information that will be provided in an online toolkit meant to be especially useful for planners. A $120,000 grant is being used for this; it’s part of a bigger Community Transformation Grant program. The “grant intervention area” includes North Highline as well as South Park, Georgetown, Beacon Hill, and Southeast Seattle inside Seattle city limits, plus Auburn, Burien, Des Moines, Kent, Renton, Seatac, and Tukwila. New member Gordon suggested that the toolkit include information specifically helpful to community volunteers, as well as elements that will ensure the information is presented in a lively manner, and reflects the community.
CRIME TRENDS: “Crime continues to be high as we often see in the summer,” began Deputy BJ Myers. Burglaries and car prowls have been running high all summer long, he noted. “We have more than usual going on in the Top Hat area, particularly,” so if you live there, you will want to make extra sure there’s nothing in your car, and you might also want to be sure that there are no overgrown bushes or ladders that would provide access to your house. “We think we know some of the suspects,” he added, and they are checking them out, “and we’re also trying some other more proactive methods to catch these burglars in the act or before they commit these crimes.” He believes numbers will start dropping soon since summer’s over, among other factors. Taking questions from the council and attendees, Deputy Myers was presented an item that he explained was a security cap from a liquor bottle.”There’s been a high dollar value of liquor theft since it’s been in the grocery stores,” he noted. When you find one, contact the store – which will usually be mentioned on the device – and law enforcement. There was also a discussion of evidence of drug use and camping at some local parks. Deputy Myers said KCSO detectives are looking closely at increased heroin use in the area.
SW ROXBURY SAFETY: Chris Stripinis visited from the Westwood-Roxbury-Arbor Heights Community Council and talked about their request to the Seattle Department of Transportation for a study. They’re still awaiting a response from SDOT and expect it sometime this month. Their original announcement of the request can be seen on the WWRHAH website. Council members and attendees asked about the 16th/Delridge/Roxbury intersection in particular, and noted the crash two years ago in which a woman was hit by a bus.
NORTH SHOREWOOD PARK GRAND OPENING: The new play equipment will have an official ribboncutting on September 17th. NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin joked that it’s so busy now, she can’t play on the equipment any more!
FIELDHOUSE’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY: As reported earlier this month on WCN, a big event is coming up on September 14th to mark the 75th anniversary of the Fieldhouse at Steve Cox Memorial Park.
HICKLIN LAKE: Dick Thurnau from Friends of Hicklin Lake was asked for an update now that the first “floating islands” have been installed. He says another grant is being sought, and the deadline is September 15th, but otherwise, it’ll take a while before they know for sure what the newly installed floating islands are doing to help the water-quality help.
NEXT MEETING – PUBLIC-SAFETY FORUM: That’s the next NHUAC-presented community meeting, set for Thursday, October 3rd, 7 pm, at the North Highline FD HQ. Sex offenders will be one topic, because residents have voiced concerns about how many offenders are living in this community, and how they are monitored. KCSO’s new Major for the area as well as a local Metro Transit deputy are expected, as well as Community Service Officer Peter Truong.
More details on a big event this Thursday:
Please join the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council on Thursday, Sept 5, 7 pm (North Highline Fire Station, 1243 112th SW), for two very important presentations.
As previously noted, we will be hosting representatives from Public Health who will provide information about eligibility for Medicaid and the Health Benefit Exchange. This is a great opportunity to get information about the new health-care laws that go into effect January 1, 2014, with enrollment starting October 1, 2013.
We are also pleased to be hosting Zachary Howard, Assistant Planner for the Puget Sound Health, Equity, and Sustainability Toolkit Program. Mr. Howard will present information regarding housing affordability, economic opportunity, land use and environmental justice as it relates to the Puget Sound Region and specifically to the unincorporated North Highline community (White Center, Boulevard Park, Top Hat, Glendale, Beverly Park). There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion.
Chris Stripinis, Infrastructure Committee Chair for the Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council, will discuss the joint community proposal the council has been working on related to traffic-calming issues on Roxbury.
As always, BJ Myers, White Center Storefront Deputy, will be on hand to answer questions regarding community safety issues.
There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion. All are welcome.
And here’s the full agenda:
Announced today by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – a big topic at the next NHUAC meeting, in two weeks:
The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is pleased to be hosting representatives from Public Health at the Thursday, September 5 meeting. Information will be presented regarding the outreach and enrollment campaign, “Coverage is Here King County”. This is a county wide effort to enroll 180,000 newly eligible King County residents in Medicaid and the Health Benefit Exchange (WashingtonHealthPlanFinder) once enrollment starts on October 1, 2013. Coverage begins January 1, 2013.
All are welcome to this important presentation.
When: Thursday, Sept 5, 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 112th Street, SW)
Next Thursday, two big topics are on the agenda for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s meeting. From NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin:
North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – Monthly meeting
Thursday, June 6, 7 pm – North Highline Fire Station, 1243 SW 112th
Please join us on Thursday, June 6 when we will be hosting Bill Ptacek, Director of the King County Library System (KCLS), who will provide updates and answer questions regarding the status of the White Center and Boulevard Park Libraries.
In 2004 the voters of North Highline, along with all voters in King County served by the King County Library System, passed a Capital Bond Levy to rebuild, expand, and improve aging libraries. We have been paying on this bond levy since its passage and work has been completed on most of the libraries throughout the county, but the promises made to the voters of North Highline and North Burien, which included a new 10,000 square foot White Center Library at its current location, and capital improvements to the Boulevard Park Library, have yet to be fulfilled. There are many questions surrounding the most recent decisions by the KCLS Board regarding moving and building a new White Center Library on 107th. We also have not heard any plans for the promised improvements to the Boulevard Park Library. This is a good time to find out how and when our precious tax dollars will be used and invested in OUR community.
We are also pleased to have DeAnna Martin, King County Dept of Transportation, Community Relations Planner who will provide information about proposed drastic cuts to Metro Service, many of which will impact North Highline.
“Without additional revenue, Metro will have to reduce up to 17 percent of bus service. A reduction of this magnitude would be felt by all riders, employers, and drivers in the region. An estimated seven out of 10 riders would lose some or all service and might have to go farther to get to the bus, take a longer trip, or transfer more. Riders throughout the system might have to crowd onto packed buses or wait at the curb while full buses pass by. A reduction of this size would add 23,000 trips every day to our freeways and arterials – or the equivalent of one lane of traffic on the I-90 Bridge during an average weekday.”
Please join us for this important community discussion – See you there! NHUAC will not be holding July and August meetings – Meetings will resume September 5.
Want to help convince county leaders to keep the White Center Storefront Deputy position in the King County Sheriff’s Office budget? At the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s recent public-safety forum (WCN coverage here), Sheriff John Urquhart warned that, while he supports continuing to fund the position, budget pressure could mean trouble – so he urged citizens to voice their support to leaders including County Executive Dow Constantine and County Councilmember Joe McDermott. And they in fact are the leaders to whom NHUAC’s petition on change.org is directed. You can sign it here.
That’s our video of last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council public-safety forum, featuring King County Sheriff John Urquhart and North Highline’s Fire Chief Mike Marrs. One of the hottest topics: Whether the KCSO White Center Storefront Deputy position will continue to be funded. Sheriff Urquhart said he was committed to keeping it – but budget pressure could trump his intentions, so everyone who wants it to be kept should contact their representatives, particularly King County Executive Dow Constantine and County Councilmember Joe McDermott. (Their e-mail addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org … we’ll keep you updated on the county-budget process and potential touchstones along the way for this issue.)
The storefront deputy himself, Deputy BJ Myers, briefed attendees on current area crime trends – biggest news was an arrest of three alleged serial burglars.
White Center’s continuing-to-grow marijuana industry also was brought up, particularly the reported plan for the former Club Evo site to go into that line of business. It was noted that the injunction covering the site remains in force, so no one can open any kind of nightlife business there.