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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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!)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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 »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

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.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Public Health move on the agenda for North Highline UAC’s 1st 2012 meeting

January 1st, 2012 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

Next Thursday at 7 pm, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets for the first time this year. Here are agenda toplines from NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin, followed by the full agenda:

Public Health is moving from their present location at 10821 8th Avenue SW. David Reyes, Area Manager for Public Health Center, will provide information about why and where they are re-locating and answer any questions or concerns from the community. Additionally, Katy Terry, Assistant Director for the Department of Parks and Natural Resources, will be available to discuss future uses for the building on 8th Avenue, after the move by Public Health. 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 Mike Martin, Burien City Manager
7:20 pm Deputy BJ Myers

7:30 pm David Reyes, Area Manager for Public Health Center
7:40 pm Katy Terry, Assistant Division Director for Dept of Parks and Natural Resources (Owners of building where public health
currently located)

8:00pm Treasurer’s Report
8:10 pm Corresponding Secretary 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)
• Flag Pole and Flag at SCMP
• NHUAC Brochures
• Bylaws
• Elections

8:30 pm New Business
• Crime Prevention/ Public Safety Group for North Highline (Richard Miller)
• February/March Agenda

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s December 1st agenda

November 27th, 2011 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 2 Comments »

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin, we have word of what’s on the agenda for Thursday’s NHUAC meeting. The Comprehensive Plan item is big: “Karen Wolf from the Department of Development and Environmental Services will be providing information in regard to the King County 2012 Comprehensive Plan, some of which affects the North Highline area. The public comment period for the comprehensive plan review draft will end on December 23. If you cannot make the meeting you can review the plan at: http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/permits/codes/growth/CompPlan/2012_PublicReviewDraft.aspx
All public comment can be sent directly to Paul Reitenbach at: paul.reitenbach@kingcounty.gov or by mail at:
King County Comprehensive plan 2012 Update, Department of Development and Environmental Services, 900 Oaksdale Avenue, SW. Renton, WA 98057-5212, attention: Paul Reintenback.” Now, the entire 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 Rose Clark

7:40 pm Karen Wolf, Sr. Policy Analyst, King County Office of Performance
Strategy and Budget
Report and update on King County Comprehensive Plan

8:00pm Major Graddon

8:10pm Treasurer’s Report
8:15 pm Corresponding Secretary Report
8:20 pm Committee Reports
1. Governance
2. Arts and Parks
3. Public Safety
4. Housing and Human Services
5. Public Outreach
6. Transportation

8:30 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
• Flower Bed Planting (100 ST & 16th Ave, SW)
• Video editing
• Business Cards/Flyers
• Bylaws
• NHUAC Supplies
8:40 pm New Business
• January/February Agenda Items

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Post-’Center of Attention’ updates; annexation status; new deputy…

November 4th, 2011 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Information and frustration both emerged from lengthy Operation Center of Attention updates at Thursday night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, particularly regarding the fact that one of the establishments considered a focal point of the law-enforcement operation, Papa’s Pub, apparently could still get its liquor license renewed despite everything that’s happened (including citations for alleged liquor-law violations).

The meeting included a number of high-ranking guests from the law-and-justice sector. Here’s how it played out:

OPERATION CENTER OF ATTENTION – KING COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: “This is a place worth fighting for,” Dan Satterberg began, noting that his dad Dick Satterberg practiced law in the area for many years, which meant he spent a lot of time here in childhood. “It was a place that put food on our table, as a family.” He offered some background on his office/staff, including the fact that 230 of the 480 employees are lawyers, before launching into some words about “Operation Center of Attention,” and its origins a few months back as part of a national program targeting “hot spots.” … “For 90 days we had some outstanding undercover police officers and agents working the streets, and the epicenter was south of Roxbury on 16th … they came to town and started making friends … and very soon were led up the ladder to make” major drug deals. He says many of the 53 suspects are in custody and charged, and some are still being pursued. “Most are serious crimes … particularly being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm.” However, he said, a one-time operation isn’t going to fix things forever, so he’s glad there’s a new storefront deputy, for example. He said it’s the epitome of the old “Weed and Seed” – “we’re gonna weed some of the bad elements, at least 53 of them, out of the community, and plant Deputy (BJ) Myers here to do some of the work” that needs to be done.

Were the guns and drugs from here? asked NHUAC member Patrick Mosley. Crime respects no borders, Satterberg said – mentioning some other areas like Delridge and Seatac. Where did they live? asked president Barbara Dobkin. “All over,” said Satterberg, but “the emphasis was in that area around Papa’s Pub.” The owners of that and other targeted businesses were not arrested, he confirmed, but mentioned a letter is going to landlords to make sure they are “aware illegal activities are going on .. and they have to take steps to stop it before some kind of abatement action can occur.” Now it’s time for the community to “replace some of the blights that allowed this to happen,” he noted. Dobkin pointed out that this kind of illegal activity had been discussed and reported for a long time, “so going forward, what do we need to do?” Satterberg replied, “That’s a great question – and I don’t have an answer for you.” He said high police visibility will be important, future undercover operations, and overall for law enforcement, “We have that resolve to be there.”

Asked if the murder of Sweetheart Failautusi had any connection to the activities targeted by Operation Center of Attention, Satterberg said no. He was also asked if anyone who’s been arrested and charged is out on bail, but didn’t have any specifics on that. Sheriff’s deputies said they’ve seen some of the suspects back in the area. “If they’re out and they continue to be committing crimes, we’d love to be able to” make a new case against them, he said.

On a separate topic, Dobkin asked Satterberg about medical-marijuana businesses’ proliferation in White Center. He recounted the ongoing state of flux in state/local law, and the fact that marijuana continues to be against federal law. Dobkin explained that the local businesses weren’t just “dispensaries,” but include a lounge where “you can go in and listen to jazz and smoke pot,” as well as a “farmers’ market.” Satterberg noted it’s not legal to smoke marijuana in public even if you have a medical certificate. NHUAC member Christine Waldman wondered why the crackdown in Eastern Washington, involving the U.S. Attorney on that side of the mountains, couldn’t be replicated here. “It could,” Satterberg noted, but said it’s also a matter of “police priorities,” which marijuana has not been in King County. Bottom line, he had no answer for the concern, and Dobkin said with some frustration that they feel as if they’ve been “left to fend for (themselves).” But he invited the Sheriff’s Office to talk with his office about “what you see on your tours.” He promised to return and “continue this conversation.”

OPERATION CENTER OF ATTENTION – U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE: As he had been at the briefing after the busts, as he had been at a community meeting days later, and then again at the White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition days later, Thomas Bates from the U.S. Attorney’s Office was at tonight’s NHUAC meeting. He took on some of the questions that had been asked previously: “The task force that did this operation remains … (even though) the 90-day period has ended,” he said, urging people to continue to report what they see. That includes his office; he said “odds and ends are still coming up,” and in fact, just this week another suspect was arrested in connection with a “7-gun buy” and had made a court appearance. “Things continue,” he stressed, adding that landlords are indeed on notice about what’s going on in their buildings, and that other actions are being taken to make sure “the business core is flying right.” Where it stands now:

–”The cases have been split” – 27 of them are federal, such as “some of the bigger” drug and gun cases, with tougher penalties from the feds. “A lot of those people have already been indicted,” and trial dates are set, some as soon as next month, according to Bates.

–”I’m only aware of one federal defendant that is not currently in custody,” he said, saying the rest are in the federal jail in Seatac
–Information from last week’s Community Safety Coalition meeting is being passed along to detectives and the task force – reports “are not falling on deaf ears,” he promised
–What’s next: Fighting crime like this is a “three-legged stool” – enforcement, prevention, and “what we are all engaged in together, where do we go from here, what do we do to make sure the infrastructure of the community” can “collectively do to be sure we are moving forward, to make sure this is not ‘one and done’.” Bates says, “That’s the part I’m most focused on.”

–The #1 issue, he says, is how vital “law enforcement visibility” is. “No one wants to let things go back to how they were.”

–Another issue, legislative priorities, like working on a nuisance law similar to what Seattle has, enabling action to be taken if a property is continuously the site of nuisance activities.

–Another one – focusing on the business core. “We’re hearing about … other businesses engaged in activity that is not viewed as beneficial to the community,” he noted. In response to a later question, he declined to name them, saying ongoing investigations were in the hands of the Sheriff’s Office.

–And the “resources bucket” is important, he acknowledged – what else can they draw on? Additional drug counseling, for example, though some of that might not be available under terms of the latest state budget proposal, he said (while being clear that he was not offering any opinion about legislation, which is outside the purview of his role). But his office’s role is limited, he clarified – 70 lawyers, and “we’re not the boss of a lot of people” with whom they have to deal, or on whom their efforts might be contingent. “Continue to think of me as someone you can come to with ideas, and needs,” and he will do his best to “be very honest” in terms of whether there are connections to be made or help to be offered – or not.

OPERATION CENTER OF ATTENTION – LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD: The question kept coming up – so what can be done about the businesses involved, especially considering they had been the site of law-enforcement “service requests” over and over again (43 in 5 months in one case, said Bates). Captain Susan Blaker from the WALCB was on hand along with Lt. Woodrow Perkins, who has been a fixture at public-safety-related meetings in the White Center area (though, as he mentioned, the area he supervises is much bigger). He said they had been working several cases on 16th SW even before being asked to be part of Operation Center of Attention. He mentioned that Papa’s was cited for two more violations recently, one just last Friday, for providing liquor to intoxicated persons. “Right now we are in the process of reviewing reports,” but he’s not sure if other violations will be found. Burien, Tukwila, and East Marginal Way establishments were examined as well as White Center businesses, he said.

Regarding license revocation, Capt. Blaker stepped in. She says the “request for non-renewal” has been forwarded back to local investigators who are sending a report for possible action, and that there was something of a timing problem, since Papa’s had recently renewed its license. The issue of what kind of review and notification ensue when a license is up for renewal generated some additional discussion. Karen Freeman from King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s office – which has a role in reviewing license renewal requests – said they don’t know “which licenses to flag … to start to renew” unless they hear from community members “that this place is a problem.” That brought a heated response from community member Gill Loring, who says that meeting participants have asked over and over for that kind of information, “we’ve been out there and been asking you and telling you … but we’re not getting information, so we can’t react to it. This thing about Papa’s was out of the blue … it was mentioned at the last Community Safety Coalition meeting that the license was up for renewal but we thought we had a month or so, and next thing we know, we hear it’s renewed.” The executive’s rep said that a “very long list” is circulated and they have to be able to appeal “at just the right moment,” which is difficult to determine, and observed that the laws are very specific and difficult to work with. She also said that her office even encountered some confusion in what their role in the liquor-license-renewal-review process is – “was it zoning, or …” She said they are “learning a lot” about how it all works.

NHUAC member Liz Giba expressed frustration at that point regarding responsiveness of the County Executive’s Office in general, saying she had left a message after the August murder – and only got a call back this week, from Freeman. “We need a better contact in the King County Executive’s Office,” Giba declared. “Fair enough,” said Freeman.

Captain Blaker offered the fact that her officers carry massive caseloads, each responsible for 452 licensed premises.

Waldman then asked – what about DK’s, also mentioned in “Operation Center of Attention”; is its license up for renewal any time soon? Reply: That’s being doublechecked.

(Here’s how the renewal process works – from a licensee’s standpoint, anyway.)

“If the owner/licensee has knowledge (of crimes) or participated in it,” the license could be in jeopardy, Lt. Perkins said.

But, asked Waldman, the LCB was involved in the 90-day Center of Attention operation, so certainly they knew about Papa’s being under investigation? That wasn’t enough for the liquor license not to be renewed, Capt. Blaker said, since no violations had been found. She said public-safety violations have to be adjudicated – and in this case, they weren’t. (That was a key point – even though arrests have been made and items have been seized, nothing has been proven yet, no one has been convicted, so that means what’s happened doesn’t exist for the purposes of deciding a license renewal.)

For the future, KCSO insisted, “I think we have something that’s going to work.”

How are complaints filed? Through law enforcement or a hotline to the LCB.

As for what happens once there’s a violation – “It’s administrative, it’s due process, hearings have to be held if the licensee requests them” – and in the case of Papa’s, there are five public-safety violations on record, with hearings requested in all of them. Even though a suspension date might be set when a violation calls for it, Perkins says, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen on that date. If a business has requested a hearing, they can continue to operate while awaiting it, “just like being out on bail,” Perkins said. Even once there’s a hearing, the judge has a month to issue a ruling. And even if a liquor license is suspended, he noted, an establishment could still continue operating as a restaurant – just without selling alcohol.

WELCOMING STOREFRONT DEPUTY B.J. MYERS: “We’re quite proud of him,” said Capt. Joe Hodgson, recounting his background including two military deployments, service with KCSO since 2007, “well-respected, high-performing deputy who’s earned the respect of his supervisors and his peers … The thing that probably impressed us the most about him is his wide perspective on White Center … (He) recognized that while there’s a time and a place for heavy law enforcement, you have to get to root causes .. that’s the one strength we latched onto.” He promptly introduced Myers, who discussed what he had learned so far. “I hope I am bringing a perspective to this job that makes sense for White Center,” he began. “I’m encouraged by how many people are invested in this community as evidenced by this council and many other committees that I’ve bene invited to,” even people he says have “stopped their cars in the middle of the street” to say hi and welcome him. “That’s a big reason I’m excited to be here … I’m not alone in trying to combat some of the challenges in White Center. Working with other people is going to be the key to my success in this job. I hope that WC is a safe place to raise kids, that has a robust business environment …” He says he’ll focus on “using traditional law enforcement as well as working with other agencies, maybe doing creative problemsolving on specific issues around here …” He says he’s “excited … it’s a little bit of a different hat than the traditional law enforcement I’ve been doing in Burien.” He wants to know more about recurring issues. He was asked about “shoes thrown over wires,” and whether that meant anything. “I’ve never gotten a good answer about exactly what that means,” Myers said, but Capt. Hodgson said he is only familiar with “lore” that says that might mean a drug house and “couldn’t answer with any specificity” about what it might signify these days.

What’s the best way to get information to him, if someone sees or hears something? he was asked. “Right now I love as much information as I can get because it’s all new to me right now … if there’s something happening on your block that seems unusual … if you see evidence of drug crimes in a certain area … I love to have that information because it lets me know where to focus some of my attention to.” He promised he’ll follow up on those types of reports, to see what he sees at the locations he’s told about. In the business district, “whatever it is … you’re feeling,” shoplifting or whatever else, he wants to hear about it. Right now, bottom line, any and all information is good, “I appreciate all the information I can get.” His e-mail is benjamin.myers@kingcounty.gov. NHUAC had a cake for him, by the way.

ANNEXATION, AND OTHER BURIEN UPDATES: Myers’ assignment is good news, Burien City Manager Mike Martin told NHUAC, mentioning a role that Myers played in the review of whether Burien should go solo in police services provision. “That’s a real score for you guys,” he said, while acknowledging Burien was sorry to see him go. It’s budget time for Burien – “no layoffs anticipated, no reductions in services, probably going to hire a couple more guys for our (road maintenance and drainage) services,” he said, expecting “no major plans changed” in the budget, and saying that he’s not recommending Cost-Of-Living Adjustments for city staffers. He says Burien is hiring Nhan Nguyen, who had been working with the WC Community Development Association as “the person I will be throwing all kinds of things over the transom too, including the work I expect to be doing up here” regarding annexation outreach. “He knows the area well and will be the go-to person I bring with me” when Martin speaks to groups about annexation. “I’m really pleased to have brought him on staff.”

Martin also has hired an economic development manager, Dan Trimble, from Issaquah. “I expect those two to be working closely together on economic-development issues,” including some in White Center. And he’s hired Maya Andrews as the new Burien public-works director. He says a decision is close on a proposed auto mall where the Lora Lake Apartments were, and he’s “cautiously optimistic.” It would “consolidate all (Burien’s) auto dealers in one area, would take them off 1st Avenue … means we would be reclaiming 30 or 40 acres on 1st Avenue for other retail development.” He’s working with the Port of Seattle on that. Another project: How could the city improve pre-K through 3rd grade? Martin says he’s been working with the principals of elementaries in Burien as well as White Center Heights Elementary, and feels it’s vital to the city’s future prospects. “There’s a feeling that some of the issues we confront, crime and poverty, have their roots in this level of education.” He has a group meeting with the principals set for the middle of this month.

Regarding annexation, he urged people not to be too worried about Governor Gregoire proposing to eliminate the sales-tax credit, and said that he has conferred with other cities that have been involved. “This involves changing the law … there’s a whole legislative process that must be surmounted to do this,” he said, “It’s by no means a slam-dunk.” He says 120 cities signed a letter to the governor saying they were disappointed in that proposal and “others that were in her budget.” … “In Burien we handle things without a lot of drama and we’re going to handle this the same way,” he declared. Burien cannot go forward with annexation without the sales-tax credit, however, he reiterated. Asked about a timeline for a decision on the governor’s possible proposal, Martin foresaw it happening during the regular legislative session. the governor has fulfilled her duty in submitting a balanced budget, he said, and now, he is meeting with legislators. He foresees a “torturous and tortuous process.”

He says that in the meantime, though, the annexation process is proceeding – they have filed their “notice of intent” with the Boundary Review Board. He urged the NHUAC to “let cool heads prevail … we don’t want to say or do anything that would reduce our options in the future.” Asked about the Boundary Review timeline, he said “it’s conceivable we could have a public hearing before Christmas” but isn’t sure the board will move that quickly, saying January is more likely. He thinks summer or fall are the most likely annexation election dates. “I myself would like to see a huge turnout.” He believes “Seattle is going to sit this one out” so that potential complication does not exist.

(Later, county executive’s office rep Freeman said that they had registered their concern with the governor’s office, since the county has three major annexations in the pipeline right now, including this one for North Highline. She said that the annexation proposal is “her project” – and right now what she’s doing is preparing the proscribed “response to Burien’s filing”; she added that her intention is to “write a brief that supports Burien’s proposal” – provided it meets all the criteria it needs to meet. She also warned that these types of things frequently include some sort of issue, however small.)

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 11/15 is the next King County Housing meeting at Greenbridge, according to NHUAC’s Pat Price … the Community Safety Coalition will meet on November 17th (a week earlier than usual because of the holiday) at the Boys and Girls’ Club at Greenbridge …the White Center Library Guild’s holiday bazaar is expected on December 3rd … president Dobkin says the county Comprehensive Plan is out and available for review …

OTHER BUSINESS: Steve Cox Memorial Park tennis-court renovations could be done this month, Waldman announced, and the courts are expected to be open to the public shortly, even if there are a few final touches remaining to be done in spring. … Council member Ron Johnson brought up the issue of the “tiered” plan for how roads will be handled – reviewed at a previous NHUAC meeting – and noted he had met a county employee who’s losing their job. He asked Freeman, on behalf of the county executive’s office, about problems that will be inevitable; she said it’s “regrettable” that budgetary matters have come to this, but that they’re working with the County Council on the budget right now, and once that’s finalized, they hope to be able to talk with groups like NHUAC about how things will really work in the future. … President Dobkin noted that the permit has finally been procured for flower-bed planting on 16th. She put out an early pitch for volunteers – “I’m going to need people; I can’t do it by myself!” NHUAC member Pat Price suggested student volunteers might be in order. … Toward meeting’s end, there was a lengthy discussion about whether to offer a nominal stipend of $200 to a photographer who has been rolling video on NHUAC meetings and other community events, potentially to create some kind of video about the organization. There wasn’t a quorum left by the time they might have voted, so that’ll come up again in the future.

NHUAC usually meets the first Thursday of the month, 7 pm, at North Highline FIre District headquarters.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s Thursday agenda: County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, Storefront Deputy BJ Myers, more

October 29th, 2011 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

Next Thursday at 7 pm, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets at North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th. It’s always an info-packed meeting, but in light of Operation Center of Attention,” it’ll be particularly momentous. NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin issues the invitation and sent the agenda:

The conversation continues regarding the recent arrests in the White Center Business District. The new White Center Storefront Deputy, BJ Myers, as well officers from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, and King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterburg, and Thomas Bates from the U.S Attorney’s Office will be on hand. Please attend and let your voices be heard on how to best address public safety issues in our community. 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
3 minutes for Individuals
5 minutes for Groups

7:15 pm Mike Martin, Burien City Manager
7:20 pm KCSO – Major Graddon/Captain Hodgson

Welcome Deputy BJ Myers

7:30 pm Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecutor
7:40 pm Thomas Bates

Executive Assistant US Attorney’s Office
7:50 pm Woodrow Perkins/John Wilson
WA State Liquor Control Board

8:10 pm Treasurer’s Report
8:20 pm Corresponding Secretary Report
8:25 pm Committee Reports

1. Governance
2. Arts and Parks
3. Public Safety
4. Housing and Human Services
5. Public Outreach
6. Transportation

8:30 pm Unfinished Business/Old Business
• Flower Bed Planting (100 ST & 16th Ave, SW)
• Business Cards/Flyers
• Insurance
• Bylaws
• NHUAC Supplies
8:40 pm New Business
• December/January Agenda Items

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
NHUAC MEMBERS: Pat Price – District 1: Stephen Porter- District 2: Jessica Stoneback, Liz Giba – District 3: Ron Johnson, Christine Waldman – District 4: Douglas Harrell, Barbara Dobkin, Rebecca Lopes, Patrick Mosley, Richard Miller – At large.
COUNCIL OFFICERS: President – Barbara Dobkin: Vice President – Pat Price: Treasurer – Ron Johnson: Corresponding Secretary – Stephen Porter

AddThis Social Bookmark Button