Three days till sheriff candidates and more @ NHUAC Public Safety Forum

September 10th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, safety, White Center news Comments Off

We’ve mentioned this Thursday’s event before – but now it’s just three days away. Here are the full details from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

NORTH HIGHLINE UNINCORPORATED AREA COUNCIL

Invites you to a

PUBLIC SAFETY FORUM

Thursday – September 13, 2012 – 7pm
North Highline Fire Station
1243 112th Street, SW
White Center

Meet the King County Sheriff Candidates:

Steve Strachan – was a police chief, city-council member and state
legislator in Minnesota before he became chief in Kent for more than
four years. Sheriff Sue Rahr named him chief deputy in January 2011.

John Urquhart – a resident of King County for 54 years, served as a
commissioned police officer for over 36 years, the last 24 full-time with
the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Police Reports/Neighborhood Concerns:

BJ Myers, King County Sheriff Deputy, White Center Storefront,
will give an update on crime trends in the North Highline area. Deputy
Myers will also take questions regarding neighborhood concerns.

Community Emergency Response Team – CERT:

Mechee Burnett, King County Community Service Officer, will give
a presentation on the CERT program, Emergency Preparedness for
your community and sign up for fall classes.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Additional information is available on the NHUAC website:
www.northhighlineuac.org

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets Thursday, will hear from county assessor

September 3rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

Labor Day’s here, summer’s over, and meetings resume for local community councils and other organizations. In this area, that starts with Thursday’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – and the agenda’s up on its website:

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

7:15 pm Mike Martin, Burien City Manager

7:20pm Deputy BJ Myers

7:30 pm Lloyd Hara, King County Tax Assessor

8:00 pm Treasurer’s Report

8:15 pm Committee Reports
1. Governance
2. Arts and Parks
3. Public Safety
4. Housing and Human Services
5. Public Outreach
6. Transportation

8:20 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
· Flower Bed Planting (100 ST & 16th Ave, SW)

8:30 pm New Business
· NHUAC Annexation Information Forum

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Working through the summer, and through uncertainty

August 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 3 Comments »

(NHUAC’s booth at Jubilee Days two weekends ago)
By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Summertime often brings a much-needed break for volunteer community councils. Their meeting calendar skips a month or two; council leaders might take a vacation without a neighborhood crisis summoning them back to action.

No rest for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – despite the fact they’re working in a sort of limbo.

Two weekends ago, you might have seen NHUAC members volunteering at their White Center Jubilee Days booth. Its table was full of information about myriad community issues. That included crime prevention, an issue of special focus for the council – which has sponsored two public-safety forums (in February and in May) and has another one scheduled for September 13th, with not only crime updates, but also a forum featuring the King County Sheriff candidates, appointed incumbent Sheriff Steve Strachan, and recently retired longtime sergeant John Urquhart.

The council also has long worked on issues of community blight and beautification. At 16th and 100th, they worked for months to arrange for a planting area, but the actual planting wasn’t the end of the work – it was in ways only the start. The area is not irrigated, so it has to be wandered by hand – and that requires a major “bucket brigade” sort of effort:

The big barrels are filled at NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin‘s home every few days, loaded onto a pickup truck, and carried over to the site.

One recent evening, we stopped by as Dobkin, with help from NHUAC’s Christine Waldman (not pictured), watered and weeded the site.

They also patrol nearby areas for litter (which recently, Dobkin mentioned, included roadkill – a dead raccoon, left for somebody unspecified to handle). No grant money or donations for this – NHUAC members are doing it out of their own pockets, and on their own time, as community volunteers. NHUAC used to have a modest operational budget from the county, but that ended last year, as the county decided it would stop supporting the unincorporated-area councils, and move into a different sort of system, focusing on “community service areas.”

Though county material touting the “community service area” approach uses the language of “expand(ing) opportunities to seek input, listen, and respond to residents,” the new plan will offer only annual meetings for each “service area,” while councils such as NHUAC – one of six councils that the county had recognized – meet monthly. (We’ve covered NHUAC most months since WCN’s launch four years ago, as we have done with community councils/associations in West Seattle since launching our site there five-plus years ago; our WCN reports on NHUAC meetings and other activities are archived here, newest to oldest.)

North Highline will now be, in the county’s view, simply part of the “West King County Areas,” a collection of non-contiguous chunks of unincorporated land – see them on a county map here – pending approval of the boundaries proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine.

While that system was supposed to be implemented about the same time as the end of funding and support, there’s been a lag which has left NHUAC in more of a limbo than ever. This has all been trickling out for almost a year; last October, a county rep came to NHUAC’s meeting to discuss the concept, and as we reported, that didn’t go very well.

Since then, there have been related announcements here and there – in April, for example, the county announced a “point person” for the new Service Area program. A grant program (for some of the types of work NHUAC is currently doing, unfunded) is described online, with a deadline in September.

Then last month, the boundary proposal, which also seeks to further remove NHUAC and the remaining UACs from any sort of official advisory involvement in county matters. From the news release:

A companion ordinance also proposed today would amend several sections of the King County Code to change or remove references to the participation of unincorporated area councils on various County advisory bodies – to help ensure representation by unincorporated area residents without limiting it to specific organizations, and to expand the pool of residents who can engage in County volunteer opportunities.

The CSA program will enable the County to engage with community-based organizations and provide regular opportunities for those organizations – and all residents outside of those organizations – to meet with King County elected officials and senior management.

The point made at NHUAC’s discussion last October of the county “Service Area” change – with those making it including a Burien City Council member – is that until the area is annexed, which, pending this November’s election outcome, could be sometime next year – another interim change in the community-engagement process was confusing at best.

But this council isn’t stopping, county support or no county support. At the Jubilee Days booth, for example, they were discussing a new petition to get something done about what just might be the biggest eyesore in White Center, the overgrown, graffiti-vandalism-coated former restaurant on 16th north of 112th:

It’s been years since that property’s last incarnation as a Peruvian restaurant, preceded by a fried-chicken restaurant and a fast-food joint. The graffiti – long a NHUAC-tackled issue – and weeds have continued to grow. Will its owners, or the county, do anything about it? Nobody else has shown up to take it on, NHUAC members say, so they’re circulating a petition.

As for their own future, they’re just doing what they’ve been doing – volunteer community advocacy. Keep an eye on northhighlineuac.org for information on upcoming meetings and ongoing issues. We’ll also be tracking the county service-areas proposal; the County Council is just now starting a two-week summer break, so nothing’s listed regarding any upcoming meetings at which it’ll be discussed.

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Reminder: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s NOT meeting

July 3rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

A reminder from North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin – NHUAC is *not* meeting this month, so if you show up at the fire station on Thursday night, you won’t find anybody but, well, the Fire Department crew. You will, however, find NHUAC at the Jubilee Days street fair!

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Video surveillance for White Center, and other updates at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

June 8th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Looking north through 98th/16th intersection, after last night’s meeting)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Will surveillance cameras enhance safety in White Center – and residents/visitors’ perception of it? Two are on the way, and that was the biggest news from Thursday night’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

SHERIFF’S OFFICE ANNOUNCES VIDEO SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS FOR DOWNTOWN WC: Deputy BJ Myers announced that the King County Sheriff’s Office has purchased two video cameras for installment in White Center, a first for KCSO. But they aren’t meant to be secret; Deputy Myers described them as “overt” cameras with “signage indicating this area is being taped, to let people know this is an area we are watching.” He said it’s an “investigative tool” – both to look back at recorded video if needed, and to potentially deter crime. They’ll be installed “on county light poles, high enough that they hopefully won’t be vandalized,” and can be moved if necessary. The initial locations will be 98th/16th and Roxbury/15th (the latter is where Sweetheart Failautusi was murdered last August, and near the scene of a deadly May 2010 shooting). The recordings “will be kept for a reasonable amount of time, to look back and see if there’s anything worth investigating,” he said.

After the meeting, we asked a few followup questions: He says they not only will transmit live as well as record, they are remote-controllable – he will even be able to access them by computer. The timetable for installation is “sometime this summer,” possibly as soon as a few weeks, as the procurement process is well under way. The cameras will record only video, not audio (recording audio without consent is against state law).

OTHER SHERIFF’S OFFICE UPDATES: Deputy Myers started his briefing by mentioning how KCSO is looking into concerns regarding the Northwest Cannabis Market in downtown White Center; he said he had worked with Code Enforcement to see what they might look at, as well as noise complaints (for which they are pursuing equipment that’s required). “We’re working on it .. so I hope that within weeks and months we’ll be able to enforce some of those noise ordinances we have for the commercial district.” … NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin brought up a problem she had while calling 911 to report something recently, and getting a dispatcher who insisted she was in the Seattle city limits, though she had given a specific address; KCSO’s new area Capt. Pat Butschli – who now runs this zone – apologized. … More than half a dozen businesses are giving “great cooperation” to the voluntary initiative not to sell single-serving alcohol products between 6 am and 1 pm, Deputy Myers replied when asked by council vice president Pat Price, but … “It’s been a little challenging over the last week to keep those businesses on board” since other businesses aren’t participating and are still selling those products during that time frame. “We’re trying to encourage them and encourage the distributors to keep asking for more participation.” He says the fact those larger stores – which are the ones still selling, generally – are now selling liquor (like Super Saver Foods), and that has added to the pressure. Council member Ron Johnson requested a list of those that are participating, so they can be supported. … Capt. Butschli discussed KCSO’s recent reorganization in the unincorporated areas; there are no longer “precincts,” he said. “Because of annexations and budget cuts,” he said, they can no longer operate like four separate police departments, so now staff is “being shared between all four zones” when personnel challenges require it. (North Highline is now in Zone 4.) “The police buck in this region stops with me,” said Capt. Butschli. He elaborated on the marijuana-sales concerns, saying the current state of the law, or lack of same, has put law enforcement in an difficult position, waiting “for some clear direction … about how we’re supposed to go about enforcing this.”

HICKLIN LAKE: Dick Thurnau and Marcia Wollam from Friends of Hicklin Lake took the podium for an update on the “floating islands” system his group has been recommending to handle the lake’s water-quality problem. Wollam said that in April, they took questions to Floating Island International, and then in May, had a meeting including Burien city government rep Nhan Nguyen. A county water engineer pointed them to yet another company, said Marcia, and they met with a rep last night . They’re getting cost estimates, she said, adding that they also have contacted a state Ecology Department person who suggested a research project involving both “floating islands” and a system based on aquatic plants, to see which one would clean the water better. Wollam said they’re hoping to move quickly, because if they don’t do something by fall, “we’ll be out another year.” The “floating islands” are made out of recycled bottle plastic, according to Wollam. They passed around a sample of the material:

(That’s president Dobkin examining the sample, with council member Ron Johnson at right.)

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: State House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon mentioned that redistricting next year will lead to him representing “more of North Highline.” He joked, “So, you’re stuck with me.” On a more serious note, he said it seems the state budget crisis is “under control,” which allowed legislators to avoid slashing the annexation tax credit, as had been proposed by Governor Gregoire at one time. “We were able to keep it … with help from our friends in other cities that have annexation issues, Renton, Kirkland,” he said – a big deal since Burien had said that the loss of the tax credit would end its bid to annex the rest of North Highline. He says he “doubt(s)” that will be revisited in future sessions. “If it survived these last couple years, it’s hard to imagine the situation in which it comes back on the table.” In particular, he said, if annexation is passed by voters, it would be politically even more difficult for legislators to take it away. … Rep. Fitzgibbon said Capt. Butschli’s comments about the marijuana law, or the lack of it, were right on the mark; the legislature had hoped to “set up a regulatory framework” but, because of the legalization measure that’s on the ballot, “the feeling in the Legislature was that it wasn’t an opportune to take another crack at the issue …” – they will instead wait to see what happens with the legalization measure, and then potentially try to resolve the problem in January. It’s not just a North Highline problem, he said; other jurisdictions are grappling with it too. … He says they’re hopeful that next year’s legislative session will NOT start with “what are we going to hack away at this year?” … In Q/A, Rep. Fitzgibbon was asked about cuts in higher education; he said unfortunately, it’s one of the few educational areas where legislators CAN cut if needed, since there are constitutional protections on K-12 funding.

TRASH TROUBLE? Q/A WITH KING COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH: Yolanda Pon from the county talked about solid-waste rules, requirements, and complaint processes, as well as how the complaints are investigated. There’s a new number for reporting problems – 206-296-SITE (provided you have collected all the necessary information, including complete addresses – all the way to whether it’s a S. or a SW – and the type of property, whether owner-occupied, renter-occupied, etc. – also, she notes, you cannot file an anonymous complaint). The process starts with a letter, then moves on to a notice of violation, and fines. Pon noted that “everyone seems to call Public Health first” and they “triage” it from there, to figure out whether they or some other agency is accountable for handling a complaint/problem. According to Pon, weekly trash service is required, so if curbside service has not been contracted by, for example, a business, they need to haul it themselves to the transfer station. (P.S. They do NOT handle rat complaints.)

BURIEN CITY MANAGER’S UPDATE: Mike Martin joked that they’re worried about the Wild Strawberry Festival because of the cool, gray weather – though he also noted it’s “30 degrees colder” in Eastern Washington, where his wife is currently visiting. … There’s new play equipment up in Puget Sound Park, he noted, and “the park looks great,” with other new components of a $125,000 renovation project including new benches and tables. “It looks better than low-income housing, than a fire station, than a library,” Martin said, alluding to past discussions about the site’s future … Regarding annexation, he said “I don’t have a lot to add week by week or month by month,” but he did mention the upcoming 6 pm June 21st forum at 3.14 Bakery in downtown White Center. He said the forum will start with some remarks from him, from Burien’s police chief, and then move on to public questions. “Please encourage people to come and get facts – they seem to be in short supply these days.” Back within the current Burien boundaries, he said they are embarking on “aggressive redevelopment” of the Burien Town Square property, and believes it “signals the next phase” for downtown Burien. Might it include a theater complex? asked council member Doug Harrell. Martin mentioned “they had been approached.”

PUBLIC COMMENT/ANNOUNCEMENTS: Mikel Davila from the White Center Community Development Association talked about the 470-plus people who participated in WC Spring Clean on May 19th (WCN coverage here, and photo above from the post-cleanup celebration) – his first with WCCDA. He’s hoping to hear directly from people about addressing ongoing litter/trash issues in WC, since so much – more than 100 bags – was picked up during the event, and is welcoming ideas. He introduced WCCDA’s new community builder Marquise Roberson … Community member Gill Loring talked about the 40-plus REI volunteers who came to North Shorewood Park recently (WCN coverage here) to do maintenance, cleanup, and planting work; he said, among other effects, the trails feel safer now, and suggested community members go take a look for themselves: “It’s a little pocket park for this area but it’s a really nice place.” … Alan Homestead, a 30-year White Center businessperson (the Vision Source eye clinic) and 60-year resident, spoke to the group.

He said he was at first glad to hear about the new White Center website at visitwhitecenter.com, but expressed concern that it includes the longtime nickname “Rat City” and a stylized image of a rat. “I was ready to support it as a business owner but I have difficulty being associated with rats,” he said, suggesting it might be the “biggest PR blunder” he has seen, and that rats have a “filthy connotation” that a website cannot change. “Is this our finest effort?” He worries that newcomers will not choose to do business in an area using a rat as a mascot, and urges anyone else concerned to contact the White Center CDA and White Center Chamber of Commerce to voice their opinion. He also suggests that those concerned attend the next WC Chamber lunch (June 12th, noon, Salvadorean Bakery on Roxbury). President Dobkin noted, “It’s unfortunate that this council is not included on that website and has not been invited to participate.”

COUNCIL’S SCHEDULE THIS SUMMER: At meeting’s end, council member Richard Miller suggested the August Public Safety Forum be postponed in favor of a later meeting when, for example, they’d be able to get the King County Sheriff candidates to come, and his fellow council members agreed … NHUAC will again be at Jubilee Days, and is putting together informational material to have available … Their next regular meeting will be the first Thursday in September, but they will call a special meeting in the meantime if something has to be addressed.

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Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon to speak at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s June meeting

June 2nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin, the announcement of next Thursday’s meeting, and its agenda:

We are pleased to have Rep Joe Fitzgibbon join us for the June 7 meeting, when he will provide information on the 2012 Legislative Session. Bill Lasby and Yolanda Pon from the Environmental Health Services Division of King County Public Health will be on hand to answer questions regarding yard waste, trash, and other general environmental concerns facing the North Highline Community. As always, all are welcome.

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 Deputy BJ Myers

7:20 pm Dick Thurnau – Hicklin Lake Update

7:25 pm Joe Fitzgibbon

7:40 pm Bill Lasby & Yolanda Pon
King County Public Health, Environmental Health Services

8:00 pm Treasurer’s Report
8:05 pm Committee Reports
1. Governance
2. Arts and Parks
3. Public Safety
4. Housing and Human Services
5. Public Outreach
6. Transportation

8:10 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
• Flower Bed Planting (100 ST & 16th Ave, SW)
• Jubilee Days

8:20 pm New Business
• August 2 Public Safety Forum

The meeting’s at the usual time and place = 7 pm Thursday (June 7), North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th.

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NHUAC: Public-safety forum tomorrow; video/toplines from May meeting

May 9th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

Tomorrow night is the next quarterly public-safety forum presented by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – 7 pm, NH Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th), with guests including the Metro Transit Police Chief, Lisa Mulligan. The full meeting announcement is in the calendar listing, here.

And today, we’re belatedly publishing video and toplines from NHUAC’s regular meeting last week, covered by co-publisher Patrick Sand for WCN. County Councilmember Joe McDermott was a special guest, both speaking to the council and answering Q/A, such as whether the “temporary” moratorium on venues such as White Center’s ex-Club Evo will stay in place:

NHUAC also heard from Burien City Manager Mike Martin, who usually presents a briefing; he said that the city is about to begin outreach for this November’s annexation vote. And there was an extensive discussion about animal-control services, with discussion of how to handle problems, as well as how-to advice on dealing with missing pets and animal-abuse issues. We recorded that section of the meeting on video too:

Toward meeting’s end, there also was a discussion of the rundown condition of the former Wendy’s/Ezell’s/El Chalan property on Ambaum – it’s fenced off, but the weeds and tagging keep worsening. No specific action was discussed but NHUAC members agreed to discuss it again later. Their regular meetings are on the first Thursday of each month, 7 pm, at the NHFD HQ.

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White Center beautification: New plants, courtesy of NHUAC & community volunteers

May 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Gardening, North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s the “after” photo from the south side of the heart of downtown White Center! The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council shares the photos and the before/after explanation:

Concerned with the two large neglected planter beds on 16th and 100th, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council obtained a permit from King County to dig up the beds and put in new plants.

With good weather this morning, council members Steve Porter, and Barbara Dobkin, as well as community members, Eric, Gill, and Alex, the bed on the west side of 16th was dug up and new soil added as well as drought resistant perennials (picked out specially for us by Vera at Village Green Perennial Nursery).

Next up for NHUAC – their next quarterly public-safety forum, this Thursday, May 10, 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th).

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Next North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Safety Forum on May 10th

May 2nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, North Highline UAC, safety, White Center news Comments Off

The first one was a hit – dozens of attendees – and the second edition is days away. From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, here’s the agenda for the May 10th Public Safety Forum:

Thursday – MAY 10, 2012 – 7pm
North Highline Fire Station
1243 112th Street, SW
White Center

Police Reports/Neighborhood Concerns:
BJ Myers, King County Sheriff Deputy, White Center Storefront, will give an update on crime trends in the North Highline area. Deputy Myers will also take questions regarding neighborhood concerns.

Guest Speakers:
Major Lisa Mulligan, Metro Transit Police Chief, will discuss safety aboard Metro Transit and at North Highline area bus stops.

Doug Reynold, King County Sheriff Deputy, Community Crime Prevention Officer for the City of Seatac. Deputy Reynolds will discuss crime prevention techniques to reduce the opportunity for crime in your neighborhood. Deputy Reynolds is the past president of the Washington Crime Prevention Association and is recognized as an International Crime Prevention Specialist(ICPS) by the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners.

Block Watch Program: Join or renew the program in your neighborhood.
Discussion of the National Night Out Against Crime-August 7, 2012.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Additional information is available on the NHUAC website: www.northhighlineuac.org

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Next Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

April 27th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin:

Please join us for the May 3rd meeting, when our King County Council Representative, Joe McDermott, will be on hand to provide updates regarding county issues, and take questions from the community. We are also pleased that Officer Tim Anderson of King County Animal Control, will be in attendance to answer any questions regarding King County Animal Control Services. As always, all are welcome.

Here’s the full 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
3minutes for Individuals
5 minutes for Groups

7:15 pm Mike Martin, Burien City Manager

7:20pm Joe McDermott, King County Council

7:30 pm Ellie Weiss – DubSea Bikes

7:40 pm Aaron Garcia, Student Services Specialist
South Seattle Community College

7:50 pm Tim Anderson, King County Animal Control Officer

8:10 pm Treasurer’s Report

8:15 pm Committee Reports
1. Governance
2. Arts and Parks
3. Public Safety
4. Housing and Human Services
5. Public Outreach
6. Transportation

8:20 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
• Flower Bed Planting (100 ST & 16th Ave, SW)
• Bylaws
• Jubilee Days

8:30 pm New Business
• June Agenda

The May 3rd meeting is at 7 pm at North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 112th SW.

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New point person announced for county’s ‘Community Service Areas’

April 4th, 2012 Tracy Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

There’s new information today about the outreach program that the county announced when it cut money for Unincorporated Area Councils (North Highline UAC, for example, is operating wholly under its own power now, without county support). Here’s the news release we received:

King County Executive Dow Constantine has named one of his top advisors to lead the opening of new channels of communication with residents of the county’s unincorporated areas through creation of Community Service Areas.

“This reform will harness the work of County employees who already have good connections with residents in the unincorporated areas, so that residents can have a single staff link to specific projects in parks, roads, land use, public health and public safety,” said Executive Constantine.

The Executive has named Alan Painter as Manager of the Community Service Areas (CSA) program for unincorporated King County, consolidating three staff from other agencies to improve public engagement in the unincorporated areas.

“Already we’ve brought together staff who have been working with residents in the same area of the county but had never met,” said Painter.

Painter said the interdepartmental teams will hold public meetings at least once a year in each CSA, in close collaboration with the King County Councilmember for that district and with other countywide elected officials.

The CSA program was approved last fall by the County Council to reach out to residents in the areas where they live, and better reflect the diversity of the county.
The Executive will send a proposed ordinance to the County Council later this month to formally define boundaries for the CSAs that encompass all of unincorporated King County, including areas without previous representation by an Unincorporated Area Council.

The new program provides a conduit for greater participation by all residents in an annual work program for each CSA, and enables County staff to work closely with an expanded group of community councils and civic organizations.

Under the new program, community organizations in each CSA can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to promote the engagement of local residents in community or civic activities.

As Manager of the Community Service Area program, Painter and his group will:

· Develop a schedule for annual public meetings in each CSA,

· Develop CSA work programs that are linked to the annual budget cycle, and

· Establish the new community grant program.

“I look forward to listening to residents, solving problems, and help them to play an active role in shaping the future of their communities,” said Painter, who reports to the Executive’s office.

Painter previously advised the Executive on human services, health, and housing policy, and is a former director of the Department of Human Services for the city of Seattle.

The first open house for the new program is set for the Vashon-Maury Island CSA on Tuesday, April 10, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the McMurray Middle School Multi-Purpose Room, 9323 Cemetery Road, Vashon Island. At the open house, residents can offer feedback on the draft Vashon-Maury CSA Work Plan and the new CSA program, discuss community priorities, speak with program staff, and obtain information about County programs and services in general.

Open houses for other CSAs will be announced throughout the year.

For more information please contact Alan Painter, manager for the Community Service Areas program, at 206-296-8734 or alan.painter@kingcounty.gov.

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Get a Technology Access Foundation update at Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

April 2nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Lakewood Park, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin, looking ahead to NHUAC’s Thursday night meeting (7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 112th SW):

NHUAC is pleased to have Sherry Williams, Deputy Director of TAF (Technology Access Foundation), provide updates on the soon to be operational Community Learning Center at Lakewood Park. Please join us to hear the exciting news and updates of this new addition to White Center.

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
3minutes for Individuals
5 minutes for Groups

7:15 pm Mike Martin, Burien City Manager
7:20 pm Deputy BJ Myers

7:30 pm Sherry Williams, Deputy Director
Technology Access Foundation

7:50 pm Treasurer’s Report
8:00 pm Committee Reports
1. Governance
2. Arts and Parks
3. Public Safety
4. Housing and Human Services
5. Public Outreach
6. Transportation

8:05 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
• Flower Bed Planting (100 ST & 16th Ave, SW)
• Flag Pole and Flag at SCMP
• Bylaws
• Jubilee Days

8:10 pm New Business
• May Agenda
• May 10 Public Safety Forum

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council invites you to a special meeting Thursday

March 24th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin:

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, March 29, at 7 pm at the North Highline Fire Station, 1243 112th Street SW, to discuss how the changes to the King County Citizen Participation Initiative and the new framework for public engagement will affect the council and community. As always, we welcome community participation.

(Have a meeting or event announcement? E-mail whitecenternow@gmail.com any time!)

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North Highline UAC announces special meeting for next Tuesday

March 2nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

Received this afternoon:

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council will conduct a special meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 7 pm to ratify changes to the Bylaws. The meeting will be held at the North Highline Fire Department meeting room, 1242 SW 112th St. The public is welcome.

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This Thursday: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council tackles traffic

February 28th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

What’s up with the 16th SW divider in downtown White Center, and other road-related questions, are at the heart of the agenda for this Thursday night’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council. You’ll also hear about local crime/public safety concerns and trends from Storeront Deputy BJ Myers, and Burien City Manager Mike Martin is scheduled to deliver his latest briefing – which usually includes an update on the annexation process’s status. If you have something to say, there’s a public-comment period too. To see the full agenda, check it out on NHUAC’s website; the meeting starts at 7 pm, North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 112th SW.

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Tonight’s the night: NHUAC’s public-safety forum in White Center

February 9th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, North Highline UAC, safety, White Center news Comments Off

What’s the truth about gangs – more active? Less active? And what are the trends for other types of crimes? What can you do to protect your home/business? Tonight’s the night that North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has organized the first in a series of public-safety forums, and you can come get some answers. Guests include King County Sheriff’s Office/Burien Police Detective Joe Gagliardi with the gang-activity overview, and updates from other law-enforcement leadership including: Captain Joseph Hodgson – and Deputy BJ Myers from KCSO, plus Metro Transit Police Chief Maj. Lisa Mulligan. Hear from them all, and bring your concerns, to North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th.

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Agenda announced for NHUAC’s Public Safety Forum this Thursday

February 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, North Highline UAC, safety, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin, the agenda for this Thursday’s public-safety forum:

7:00 pm Flag Salute

7:05 pm Greeting and Introductions

7:10 pm Police Reports and Updates:
• Captain Joseph Hodgson – King County Sheriff’s Office
• Deputy B.J. Myers – White Center Store Front Deputy
• Major Lisa Mulligan – Metro Transit Police Chief

7:30pm PROGRAM:
Detective Joe Gagliardi from King County Sheriff’s Office and Burien Police Department will offer an update and current state of gang activity in North Highline and surrounding communities

8:15pm DISCUSSION:
• Community Concerns
• Block Watch Update (how to get involved)

As with regular NHUAC meetings, this forum will be held at North Highline Fire District hQ, 1243 SW 112th.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Metro changes, crime updates, more

February 2nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

From tonight’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

METRO ISSUES INCLUDING RESTRUCTURING: One day after Metro went public with its revised plans for restructuring some routes concurrent with September’s debut of the RapidRide C Line service between downtown and West Seattle (see them route-by-route here), Metro reps DeAnna Martin and Doug Johnson were present; Martin led the briefing. She started by mentioning the zone concern that NHUAC has been pursuing, with the zone changing at Roxbury. “There’s a chance that Metro may be looking at fares overall in 2013″ and maybe even looking at the possibility “of having no zones throughout the county,” she said.

To the restructuring, she talked about what the stations and stops will look like for RapidRide Line C starting this fall. President Barbara Dobkin asked why the RapidRide won’t be stopping in White Center, considering that the route it’s replacing, 54, currently does. Martin handed the baton to Johnson at that point, since he is a Metro service planner. He said the 120 would make the connection to WC from Westwood Village, where RapidRide will end, and their timing indicates it will only add a few minutes to a White Center rider’s travels. He said they’re also in the middle of a capital-improvement project to speed up the 120, and “perhaps we can make up for those 3 minutes.” The question came up again later from council member Richard Miller, who said people on Roxbury will be getting shortchanged in service to downtown. Johnson reiterated that they had had many requests for more service to come from various areas to Westwood, that’s why the line is ending there. Dobkin added that she is a 54 rider now and doesn’t see many people getting off at Westwood. Martin also pointed out that the C Line is being funded with federal money “specific to rapid transit,” which she said places certain parameters on its service.

Other changes: The 131 and 132 are going to be shortened to end in Burien, he said, “but at the same time we’re going to improve the frequency on those routes so they run every 30 minutes for most of the day.” The 131 currently comes up to WC and goes down to South Park, but its route will change to follow the 23 coming out of Highland Park, Johnson said. Route 60, which currently ends at 98th and 15th in WC, will extend to Westwood Village as another way of trying to compensate for the fact that the C Line won’t run to WC. Route 128, he noted, will be largely left alone, except to extend to the North Admiral District of West Seattle and to extend weekend hours earlier and later.

One question: No route that’ll get riders from White Center to light rail? Not directly. Another question: An Arbor Heights resident who says both he and his wife use Route 21, and says the new revisions are not only keeping them more than 7/10ths of a mile from the nearest stop, but are also “cutting (them) off” from the 21 Express. He asked if it would be possible to get DART-type service to fill the gaps. Johnson brought up the new 22 proposal, but that wouldn’t help, the Arbor Heights resident said.

Martin also promised to have someone look into dangerous sidewalk conditions that Dobkin mentioned. She also recapped how the process goes from here – public comment is being taken through the end of this month (including an online survey and other public events, listed here); the next proposal goes to the County Executive, then to the County Council (which “will do a public process as well,” according to Martin), which should make a decision in May.

KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE UPDATE: Storefront Deputy B.J. Myers presented the briefing, bringing along maps with crime trends, summarized in general as “it’s felt like a quieter month.” He says there have been arrests made in the recent robbery at the downtown WC liquor store, with the help of surveillance video; “one of our deputies recognized somebody from one of those videos walking around White Center one day” and that suspect apparently subsequently confessed. He also mentioned the Pawn Pros armed robbery on January 24th and the subsequently released video (seen here among other places); he said, “My understanding is that leads were developed … there are good leads in this case” and he is hopeful the robbers will be in custody. On a non-crime note, he said they’d received complaints about a homeless encampment between Unity Village and Greenbridge, and an effort is under way to “clean up” the site, with help from Greenbridge’s Storefront Deputy Eric White – no one is living there any more, Deputy Myers said, but there’s a “whole bunch of garbage left behind,” and they’re going to take steps to make sure that it’s not turned into another campsite any time soon.

Another hot topic: Papa’s Pub (one of the targets of the “Center of Attention” operation), and recent “criminal incidents” that led Deputy Myers to talk with the Liquor Control Board, who, he says, told him the review period for the violations is ending, and a penalty may “kick in” soon. “There’s definitely an awareness at the Liquor Control Board that it’s not satisfactory,” he said. Another topic: “You may hear that the Sheriff’s Office is changing our staffing model.” That’s about patrolling, he explained – they’re looking at “new models for how to move deputies from one area to another” at times when there might be a staffing inequality, a shortage in one area but an overabundance in another. NHUAC president Dobkin asked about the “medical-marijuana market” in WC and its status, saying people are smoking outside; Deputy Myers said, if that happens, someone needs to call us, as we don’t have any reports of that – he said to call 911 so a deputy can be dispatched. “What about if they’re smoking inside?” she asked on followup. Deputy Myers said that they might be able to go inside if that can be verified. A question from the audience: “Stolen mail – do you want to know about that?” He said yes, but also encouraged victims to check out the Postal Service’s own reporting system (you can file a complaint online here). Council member Liz Giba asked Deputy Myers about cameras she’d noticed on utility poles around the area; some might be theirs, the deputy allowed, or perhaps other law-enforcement organizations’ cameras. “There’s a lot of attention on the neighborhood, and I wouldn’t be surprised who’s got cameras out these days.”

CITY OF BURIEN UPDATE: Nhan Nguyen filled in for City Manager Mike Martin (who, he said, is out of the office, taking care of an ailing parent). Nguyen started with an annexation update, recapping the Boundary Review Board’s recent action resulting in “preliminary approval,” with a final vote due February 16th. (That meeting is at 7 pm at DDES headquarters in Renton, president Dobkin noted.) Meantime, “everybody is holding their breath right now on the state sales-tax credit,” since if the Legislature kills that credit, the annexation would be abandoned, Martin has said. In another hot topic, he brought up the library-consolidation issue involving the King County Library System. A task force has been meeting, and Nguyen says this will come up before the Burien City Council on February 27th. And he showed the cards for a new prescription-drug discount card that “pretty much anybody” can get, for use at pharmacies in the city of Burien. Almost all the city’s pharmacies are participating, he said. The card is available at City Hall.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Dobkin said they’re still in the process of getting a flag to fly at Steve Cox Memorial Park – one that will fly over the Capitol in Deputy Cox’s honor, before being sent to NHUAC for use at the park. … She noted that the council is not subject to the Open Meetings law now that it’s not an official county-sponsored/funded body, and the status change might also affect plans for future elections (that process is currently suspended, pending the results of the annexation process). Dobkin said she would like to see the council become an all-at-large body. “Talking about elections is negative!” said council member Ron Johnson. “It would mean we didn’t get annexed!” Councilmember Giba pointed out that even if there’s an annexation vote this fall and the vote is pro-annexation, there will still be some time before the annexation becomes final.

COUNCIL ANNOUNCEMENTS: There’s a poetry workshop at the White Center Library this Saturday, 2 pm, led by Mike Hickey, who has served as Seattle’s Poet Populist … The rescheduled Key Club dinner for New Start is February 16th (see this entry on the White Center Now Events Calendar) … The King County Housing Authority Task Force meets at 5:30 pm February 21st … the North Highline Fire District Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 pm February 23rd at NHFD HQ … and a reminder, the first in a series of quarterly public-safety forums will be one week from tonight, February 9th at 7 pm, also at NHFD, with the Metro Transit Police Chief, a King County Sheriff’s Office gang expert, and Deputy Myers, discussing “safety in the community,” as Dobkin described it (more info on the NHUAC website) …

MARCH MEETING: WestSide Baby’s Nancy Woodland, who was originally scheduled to speak tonight, has been rescheduled to the March meeting; King County Transportation will have a representative there too. The date: March 1st, the time 7 pm as usual, at the North Highline FD HQ as always.

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Metro changes, WestSide Baby on the agenda for North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this Thursday

January 29th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Metro, North Highline UAC, WestSide Baby, White Center news Comments Off

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin, the agenda for, and a preview of, this Thursday night’s meeting:

Deanna Martin from King County Metro Transit will be providing updates on the scheduled transit service changes to White Center and beyond. Additionally, questions regarding safety at bus stops along 15th Avenue, as well as the 2-zone fare issue, will be discussed.

We also welcome Nancy Woodland, Executive Director, WestSide Baby, who will update the community on what is happening at WestSide Baby, as well as the “homeless summits” that she has been heading in White Center.

Metro’s revised proposal for fall “restructuring” is due out no later than this Wednesday, so that will be a particularly timely discussion. Click ahead to see the agenda in full: Read the rest of this entry »

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Health center’s move, ad-hoc library group, election delay @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

January 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Nine members and about a dozen onlookers were present for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s first meeting of 2012, at North Highline Fire District headquarters. Here’s what they discussed, heard, and did:

PUBLIC HEALTH CENTER MOVING: White Center’s county public-health center is moving from 8th Avenue to Greenbridge, and David Reyes came to tell NHUAC more about that. The new location will continue to provide some but not all of the services will move with the location – such as public-health-nurse home-visiting services (the Nurse/Family Partnership), he said – there’s no room in the new facility for that team, but the team will continue to serve the area. 34 or 35 staffers will move, about two-thirds of its current staff, Reyes said. The new location is in two storefronts south of Dubsea Coffee on 8th SW; the street number likely wll be 9930, he said. The new design is being finalized, according to Reyes, and “if all goes well … we’re hoping to be able to relocate sometime in June.” He says the space will be environmentally and ergonomically appropriate, and will be able to capture “as much light as possible” – “very different from what we have now” on the current site next to the White Center Food Bank. “It’s going to be like walking into a new doctors’ facility almost anywhere.” The facility’s service area is beyond White Center, by the way – as far south as Des Moines, as well as points east to South Park. Asked by NHUAC member Ron Johnson about the financial arrangements for the new location, Reyes said he didn’t have all the information; Johnson had noted that the space in question was supposed to be for businesses and said he’s particularly concerned if tax revenues – such as those that a business would have provided – were going to be lost. Reyes said he does know that they’re going in as tenants, “not necessarily (tax) exempt.”

WHAT ABOUT THE HEALTH CENTER’S CURRENT SITE? It will formally revert to being a King County Parks property, according to Katy Terry from that department. The WC Food Bank is five years into a 15-year lease on its part of the site, she noted. Nothing specific is finalized yet but she says they are interested in having “someone” there, not just having it be some kind of “Parks-specific” space. Maybe a combination of medical – she mentioned a tentative inquiry from Harborview, for example – and nonprofit, she said. They haven’t done outreach yet, she said, while waiting to find out about Public Health’s timetable for moving out, which just now, she said, is starting to become clearer. The Food Bank might even be interested in the added space, she said – if any group is interested in the space, it should contact KC Parks. Answering council questions, she acknowledged this is “new territory for us,” as Parks has not previously had facilities it owned but leased out. Community member Gill Loring asked Terry if they have been officially in contact with Burien, considering the site could be within that city’s boundaries; her answer basically was “no,” though Parks, she says, has been monitoring the annexation situation.

CRIME (ETC.) UPDATE: Storefront Deputy BJ Myers said there was one bit of particularly good news – a lower level of crime in the downtown area last month. He noted that Metro Transit Police have “had a good presence” in White Center, checking out bus stops and making rounds on biccyles. He also said that ex-Storefront Deputy Jeff Hancock “is now a regular presence on patrol on second shift … and has been a great resource to have back.” Myers brought up the Seattle Roll Bakery murder and said the suspect was even arrested and jailed before he came to work that day. “Talking to people around the community, I think there’s an understanding that it’s the kind of crime that could happen anywhere,” he observed. “It just happened to go down in our neighborhood.” Dobkin said she had previously not been aware that the bakery had been open all night; Myers said that wasn’t common knowledge before and that the description in some venues of a “24-hour sandwich shop” wasn’t actually the case – that the bakery had employees on hand at that hour because they were baking for clients, not doing retail business. Would the witnesses who made up the robbery story be prosecuted? he was asked. He said that’s not clear, pointing out that they were in a “difficult position,” but at least, he said, the truth became clear fairly quickly and didn’t set the investigation back too far. What’s up at the DK Café? he was asked (following last fall’s raids). It’s still open, Myers noted, while saying that there’s followup to come. The task force also is still interested in tips, he clarified, but if there’s some “new” or “persistent” crime, KCSO would like to get tips on that kind of thing. Asked about recent crimes, he said that detectives are developing leads on last month’s liquor-store robbery (WCN coverage here). As for this morning’s hit-and-run, he says they’re now confirming it was believed to be a “dark sedan,” though originally there was “no vehicle description at all.” He also fielded questions about various other concerns, including whether people are back living in the apartments over the former Club Evo; they seem to be, he said.

QUARTERLY CRIME DISCUSSION? NHUAC member Richard Miller, who also happens to chair the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, said he had been talking to the brass at KCSO about a possible quarterly meeting to discuss crime issues/concerns, separate from NHUAC meetings, which tackle a variety of topics. A date of 7 pm February 9th was tentatively set for a pilot version of this meeting.

BURIEN UPDATE – INCLUDING ANNEXATION AND LIBRARY CONSOLIDATION: Burien city manager Mike Martin said he’ll be at next Monday’s Boundary Review Board meeting on the annexation proposal (7 pm January 9th at Cascade Middle School), missing a Burien City Council meeting – the first one, he says, he’s ever missed – in order to be present. He says no surprises are expected. … He gave a shoutout to new staffer Nhan Nguyen (left), who (as mentioned at a previous meeting) is now a management analyst for Burien … Then he talked about the library controversy. “You probably don’t know we’ve put together a little ad-hoc group,” Martin said, including NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin, to focus on the issue; it met most recently, he said, last night. “We really tried to dissemble the whole thing and see ‘what makes sense’,” Martin explained. Rather than just oppose the consolidation plan, Martin said, they want to be able to tell the county library system what they think SHOULD happen. He said “a couple themes have emerged” – that the Boulevard Park Library “is a unique facility and serves a function greater than being a library – it’s a gathering spot, it’s iconic, it’s the sole representative of government there …” So, he says, there’s probably “no compromise” that the Boulevard Park Library must stay open in some form, at its location. So, he said, the group is now focusing on the White Center Library, with a lot of discussion focusing on it also having importance beyond just being a library – being “community-centric.” The location, though, may not be so important, so they’re talking about whether other sites might make sense. And, he says, they are taking into account such things as “what if Seattle annexed that area in 10 years?” even though that seems unlikely, at the very least. Factors they are evaluating include social justice and economy of scale, and whether the building of a White Center Library could serve some other function. Bottom line, though, he said, the group has reached “no conclusions,” in its “free-ranging, candid” discussions thus far. Martin reiterated that he doesn’t want to just “stop the (consolidation) project,” but rather put forward an alternative proposal. NHUAC member Ron Johnson brought up the matter of proximity to schools; Martin said there are even better places a library could be than its current site, if that is a key issue. (If you’ve missed previous coverage of the issue, the library board decided to table the consolidation discussion until after the Boundary Review Board makes its decision on furthering the annexation proposal, after next week’s hearing. The board’s next meeting is January 24th; no agenda is posted yet.) Dobkin noted that a location closer to downtown White Center might be optimal; while that has in the past stirred concern that it was too close to Seattle, Martin pointed out the possibilities of economic spinoff – he consulted Nguyen for a bit of data, that 35,000 people from Seattle use county libraries in this area, and what if they all also came to patronize the White Center business district while doing that – “seeing those business rising” during their visits?

COUNCIL ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Barbara Dobkin reminded everyone about the Boundary Review Board meeting, noting that the board will be ready to hear public comment; on behalf of the council, Dobkin plans to speak in favor of the annexation proposal … NHUAC member Pat Price reminded everyone of the White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition’s emergency-preparedness series launching next week …

PUBLIC COMMENT: 7 pm January 24 is the next North Highline Fire District commissioners’ meeting … Aileen Sison thanked everyone who contributed to last month’s Tree LIghting Ceremony at the Delridge Triangle, noting that about 100 people were in attendance (WCN coverage, with video, is here); she mentioned the tree-topper designed by the local blacksmith who also has created the bike racks now appearing in downtown White Center.

DOWNTOWN FLOWER BEDS, AND STEVE COX MEMORIAL PARK FLAG: Dobkin says their adviser on the project, Village Green Perennial Nursery’s Vera Johnson, says they could plant now, so she’ll be organizing a work party. Council member Rebecca Lopes talked about the flagpole at Steve Cox Memorial Park, which also will need a flag. Johnson suggested obtaining a flag that has flown over the State Capitol. Other ideas for flag sources were discussed. Whatever the ultimate result, Dobkin said, she thinks it would be appropriate for NHUAC to have something to do with providing the flag, given the group’s history with renaming the park in honor of Deputy Cox and his long NHUAC involvement.

COUNCIL BYLAWS – INCLUDING, WILL THERE BE AN ELECTION? These are more important than you might think, given that the group’s no longer funded and convened by the county, but has decided to go ahead TFN. That raised the question of whether they should proceed with May elections as usual. Member Price suggested that elections be tabled while they wait to see what happens with annexation, provided the current members are amenable to continue their roles at least through 2012. Dobkin pointed out that elections require a lot of effort, and haven’t drawn major turnout. If annexation falls through, then they’ll have to decide what to do, as Johnson observed, but for now, the council voted unanimously to put elections on hold, at least until there’s word on whether Burien will take the annexation proposal to voters.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets the first Thursday of the month, 7 pm, at North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th SW.

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