First White Center Community Pop-Up Market celebrates what’s, and who’s, local

November 23rd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Arts, People, White Center news 1 Comment »

Learn while you shop the first-ever White Center Community Pop-Up Market (9630 16th SW until 5 pm). “Resisting Displacement” is the theme of the event organized by the WC Community Development Association. You can meet local makers like Dylan and Marigold:

You can also learn about longtime local businesses:

Among those participating – Ana Castro of Salvadorean Bakery:

The market features a variety of items – some edible, some wearable:

As the original announcement noted, “White Center has always been an innovative, creative, and culturally rich community and this pop up market intends to celebrate that richness in our community in order to resist the displacement that is happening.”

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VIDEO: Raising the flag for first-ever White Center Pride celebration

June 5th, 2019 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 1 Comment »

With a countdown and a cheer, the rainbow flag was raised tonight for the first-ever White Center Pride celebration. The little park just outside Mac’s Triangle Pub amassed a big crowd for the occasion:

They saw more than a celebration – they saw a show! Including drag performances, by La Saveona Hunt:

And by Old Witch:

And there was ballet, presented by White Center’s own Miss Sheryl:

Speakers too – two gay elected officials, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht and County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

Tony Vo from the White Center Community Development Association talked about coming out to his family a few years ago, and added that he welcomes WC’s status as the “new gay mecca”:

Community members of all ages were there:


White Center Pride continues through the weekend – find the event schedule here.

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TONIGHT: White Center Pride begins

June 5th, 2019 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off on TONIGHT: White Center Pride begins

Tonight’s also the first night of the first-ever White Center Pride celebration. The full schedule is here – before Pride Skate at Southgate, be outside Mac’s Triangle Pub (Roxbury/Delridge/16th) for the Pride flag-raising at 7 pm.

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Celebration in White Center for Sen.-elect Joe Nguyen

December 2nd, 2018 Tracy Posted in People, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Celebration in White Center for Sen.-elect Joe Nguyen

Happening today (Sunday) in White Center:

Friends of Joe Nguyễn and Mỹ Linh Thái would like to invite our fellow community members to join us in celebrating the historic wins of Mỹ Linh Thái, 41st LD State Representative and Joe Nguyễn, 34th LD State Senator, as the first Vietnamese-American Legislators elected in Washington State history!

Please join us for live entertainment, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and a no-host cash bar.

Sunday, 12/2/2018
2:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Diamond Hall & Events
9835 16th Avenue SW

RSVP via Eventbrite

•Vietnamese Cultural Dance
•Guest speakers on issues impacting Vietnamese-Americans in Washington State
•Guests of Honors: Joe Nguyễn and Mỹ Linh Thái
•Live Band Entertainment

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END OF THE LINE: White Center father and son on epic road trip

June 13th, 2017 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off on END OF THE LINE: White Center father and son on epic road trip

The photo and report arrived tonight:

Today, White Center residents Mark Ufkes and his oldest son Patrick have finally reached the furthest point east on the North American continent that a person can drive to, Cape Spear in Newfoundland, Canada. The drive is over 5,000 miles from Seattle. The Seattle Heart Canada sign is a big hit here. People honking and waving all the time. Next stop, Ice Berg Alley, and then a drive across Labrador in search of Polar Bears to photograph before heading home.

We don’t know what route they took but if you put Seattle and Cape Spear into Google Maps – here’s what you get.

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FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

March 17th, 2017 Tracy Posted in King County, People, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

As mentioned earlier this week, there’s another work party at the future White Center family shelter at 8th/108th tomorrow (Saturday). And today, King County confirms that the shelter is set to officially open on Tuesday (March 21st). More to come.

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White Center businesses closed for Day Without Immigrants

February 16th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Businesses, People, Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on White Center businesses closed for Day Without Immigrants

(Also posted to partner site West Seattle Blog)

Thanks to Jen Calleja for the tip – multiple White Center businesses are closed today for the Day Without Immigrants protest against the federal crackdown on immigrants. We stopped by some of the businesses she mentioned – above, the sign at Greenbridge Café; below, the signs at Salvadorean Bakery and Best Roasted Corn:

And Jen sent this collage of other businesses she found closed nearby:

We haven’t seen/heard of any other West closures – if you have, please let us know – texting 206-293-6302 is the fastest way to reach us.

Meantime, there’s news about the court fight over the presidential order on immigration – according to a news release from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, saying a federal appeals court was notified that “the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order” to eliminate constitutional concerns. Ferguson’s reaction: “Let’s be clear: Today’s court filing by the federal government recognizes the obvious — the President’s current Executive Order violates the Constitution.”

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First class of new citizens sworn in at new White Center Library

October 18th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Libraries, People, White Center Library, White Center news 4 Comments »

(WCN photos)

With the new White Center Library in its first year, it’s seeing a lot of firsts – and this afternoon brought another. It was swearing-in day for the latest quarterly citizenship class held at King County Library System facilities. 17 people were in the class, and 14 were at this afternoon’s ceremony.

Officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services presided, as did executives from KCLS, including, above, system director Gary Wasdin. He pointed out that libraries are a resource for finding out what’s happening in their communities, and that staffers will be able to help the new citizens find out how to register to vote.

Thanks to Gill for the tip about today’s ceremony. We unfortunately didn’t get there in time for the national anthem being sung by 4th graders from nearby Mount View Elementary. Also featured: A video with President Obama, also featuring Aretha Franklin singing “America the Beautiful.”

ADDED WEDNESDAY: We just got the list of countries represented by the new citizens:

South Korea
United Kingdom

Congratulations to all!

ADDED: Two more photos, courtesy of Gill – the first one includes the aforementioned students who sang:

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PHOTOS: Honoring Dick Thurnau’s memory @ newly renamed park

November 15th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Lakewood Park, People, White Center news Comments Off on PHOTOS: Honoring Dick Thurnau’s memory @ newly renamed park

Lakewood Park in White Center is now officially Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. Thanks to Gill Loring for photos from the recent celebration in the Bethaday Community Space that TAF maintains at the park.

Those who attended got to see and hear local student musicians perform:

Mr. Thurnau died in May of last year; you can read about his life in this remembrance we published. Last month, the County Council passed the ordinance renaming the park in his honor; it was sponsored by local Councilmember Joe McDermott.

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New name for Lakewood Park: County Councilmember Joe McDermott sponsoring ordinance to rename it in honor of longtime advocate Dick Thurnau

August 17th, 2015 Tracy Posted in King County, Lakewood Park, People, White Center news 4 Comments »

(WCN photo of Dick Thurnau from 2008)
More than a year after the death of longtime community advocate Dick Thurnau, the King County Council will soon consider an ordinance renaming Lakewood Park in his honor. Councilmember Joe McDermott just sent a copy of the ordinance that he put together “with a number of White Center community groups … They see this as an opportunity to create a legacy for someone who worked so hard to improve a struggling aspect of the community into something that could be widely enjoyed by many.” Mr. Thurnau lived steps from the park and worked tirelessly to both tend it personally and advocate for it and its little lake, plagued by water-quality problems that have been lessened via remedies for which he fought. Councilmember McDermott says the park-name proposal “will likely go before the King County Council not long after our summer recess, which concluded this week.” We’ll keep an eye on the council calendar to watch for a meeting date and comment opportunities. Meantime, read the proposed ordinance here, or below:

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Missing woman, last seen on Metro Route 120 bus

November 14th, 2014 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off on Missing woman, last seen on Metro Route 120 bus

Have you seen Sarah? She was last seen on Route 120, and since that passes through White Center, we’re sharing the flyer. Added info from friends: “Sarah Calflooking has been missing since November 6th – her husband, children, and extended family are desperate for information about her whereabouts and safety. Please, if you see Sarah Calflooking or have any information, contact Seattle Police Department #5876 Detective Boggs at (206) 386-1850 regarding Missing Person Incident # 14.378377 and her husband Hiram Calflooking Jr. at (206) 851-1840. Sarah was last seen heading to downtown Seattle on the 120 bus, wearing a green Old Navy hoodie, black stretch pants, green shoes, and a red/black backpack.”

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Happening tonight: Storytelling at Seola Gardens with Gloria Sims

August 15th, 2014 Tracy Posted in People Comments Off on Happening tonight: Storytelling at Seola Gardens with Gloria Sims

Sorry for the late notice – but just in case you’re looking for something to do tonight:

The Trusted Advocates community group cordially invites everyone to this Friday’s Storyhour. Get to know your neighbors! Youth especially welcomed!

*6:30 pm*, August 15th
*Seola Gardens Community Room,* White Center
11215 5th Ave. SW

This month’s speaker is *Gloria Sims*, a young Chicana from El Paso, Los Angeles and Washington. She’ll share her story and how we can help our youth avoid or get out of gangs and substance abuse.

FREE! Refreshments included.

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Memorial this Friday for Dick Thurnau, 1925-2014

May 6th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Obituaries, People, White Center news 3 Comments »

Memorial plans are now finalized for Dick Thurnau, the longtime White Center resident and community activist who died earlier this week. His family shares that news and this remembrance:

Dick Thurnau, 89, a strong advocate for the White Center community, passed away peacefully on May 4, 2014.

He was born February 17, 1925 in Pingree Grove, IL, the 6th son of Alice & John Thurnau. He graduated from Edison Technical Institute in Seattle and served in the Army in the South Pacific in WWII from 1943 to the end of the war in 1946. Upon his return home, he married Helen Grisham of Illinois, on April 25, 1946. On their honeymoon they traveled by train to Seattle where they made their home. Dick worked for Mack Trucks starting as a mechanic and working his way up to Manager of Service Engineering for the Mack Western Division in Hayward, California. He retired in 1980 with 30 years of service, moving back to Seattle & the home he bought in 1948. He loved woodworking and made many beautiful things for family and friends. He worked tirelessly for his group called Friends of Hicklin Lake to clean up the lake water and the surrounding park & neighborhoods. He was also an ardent supporter of TAF (Technology Access Foundation, a school which teaches young people about technology), which is now located at the edge of the Lakewood Park Property. He will truly be missed by many.

Dick had four children, Terry Thurnau, deceased (Wendy Schufreider), Kathleen Dombrowski (Joseph), Marvin Thurnau (Sue) & Cheri Buettner (Gordon), 8 grandchildren, Robert, Jennifer, Todd, Jennifer, Cynthia, Mandy, Samuel, Suzanne, 12 great grandchildren Tim, Kevin, Hayden, Jacob, Sawyer, Trevor, Tyler, Meranda, Crystal, MacArthur, Marshall, Lucas, Abigail and 1 great, great grandchild, Adrian.

He is also survived by Marcia Wollam, a significant partner with Dick and who has assisted him with his community efforts, especially with the Floating Islands that are now part of Hicklin Lake.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm, Friday, May 9th, at the Technology Access Foundation Building, 605 SW 108th, Seattle, WA 98146. To honor Dick and in lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be sent to TAF at the same address.

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2 days after county honors, Dick Thurnau passes away

May 5th, 2014 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news, White Center obituaries 1 Comment »

Just last Friday, we reported here on King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s proclamation of “Dick Thurnau Day” in honor of the longtime community advocate, recently diagnosed with cancer. Sunday morning, Mr. Thurnau passed away, according to North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin. No memorial information just yet but we expect to hear from Mr. Thurnau’s family soon. He was 89 years old.

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‘Dick Thurnau Day’ in King County today, honoring tireless community advocate

May 2nd, 2014 Tracy Posted in Lakewood Park, People, White Center news 2 Comments »

(WCN photo of Dick Thurnau from 2008)
A special honor today for a man who’s worked hard, well into what should have been his sit-back-and-rest years, to improve his neighborhood: Today is “Dick Thurnau Day” in King County, by special proclamation, it was announced at last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting. NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin shared the image of the official proclamation document:

As the proclamation acknowledges, Dick, now 89, has lived near Lakewood Park for decades and has been particularly devoted to protecting, improving, and advocating for its small lake, now known as Hicklin Lake. Just last year (WCN coverage here), “floating islands” were put in place to help improve its water quality, after a long campaign by his group Friends of Hicklin Lake to get something done. He also tended to the land side of Lakewood Park, organizing volunteer cleanups, community barbecues, and much more.

We’re told Dick is in a new fight now, having recently been diagnosed with cancer. If you would like to send well-wishes, his address is 1031 SW 112th, zip code 98146.

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Funeral Mass at Holy Family this Wednesday for Deacon Ted Wiese

September 22nd, 2013 Tracy Posted in Holy Family, Obituaries, People, White Center news Comments Off on Funeral Mass at Holy Family this Wednesday for Deacon Ted Wiese

A funeral Mass is planned at Holy Family this Wednesday morning for 84-year-old Theodore (Ted) John Wiese:

Ted went home to the Lord 9-19-13 at the age of 84. Born in Woodburn, Oregon, in 1929, he married Doris Marie Prinslow on October 2, 1954, after being honorably discharged as a corporal from the Marine Corps and attending OSU. He retired from The Boeing Company after 26 years and was ordained to the Diaconate, serving the Archdiocese of Seattle for the past 24 years at Holy Family Parish in White Center.

He is survived by his wife Doris, sister Jeanette Moore, his children Connie (Richard) Sanders, Larry Wiese, Greg Wiese, Julie (Bruce) Hanson, Lisa (Karl) Hansen, Tom (Wendy) Wiese, Margaret (Jeff Haack) Wiese, and Paul Wiese, 10 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Mass of the Christian Burial will be at Holy Family Church at 11:00 am September 25. To leave an online condolence, please visit In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ted’s memory to Catholic Community Services or Holy Family Parish.

(WCN publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

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Remembering longtime florist Laurie Rosenthal, 1946-2013

May 4th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Obituaries, People, White Center news 1 Comment »

Family and friends are remembering longtime florist Laurie Rosenthal, 66, this weekend. (You might remember her from the now-closed White Center shop South End Florist.) Here’s the remembrance her family shared:

Laurie Jean Rosenthal, was born to Louis and Leona Hostak on December 31, 1946 and passed away after a short battle with cancer on May 1, 2013.

Laurie was a faithful, loving and passionate daughter, mother, aunt, grandmother and friend. She stayed in the Seattle area all of her life, and was a popular florist at Fran’s Flowers and South End Florist for many years. She will be remembered for her great sense of humor, practical jokes, love of animals, and most of all, her love of family. She adored the love of her life Lonnie, her son Joe and daughter-in-law Debbie, and her son Tony and daughter-in-law Tina. She also loved teasing her brothers and their wives Jim and Mary and Don and Myrna. She was preceded in death by her brother Bob.

She especially loved her grandchildren Anthony, Joshua and Katie. Anytime Josh and Anthony had a baseball game, you would find her in the stands cheering as loud as she could. She never missed a game! She also enjoyed camping and ice cream with Katie. Her numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins were near and dear to her heart. Lana and Bev were her dearest friends and she loved them and their families with all of her heart. She loved all of her many friends and cherished each friendship. All who knew her, loved her and will greatly miss her.

An open house to celebrate Laurie’s life will be held on Saturday, May 4 at 1pm in Enumclaw. Contact Tony at for details.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to your favorite animal charity.

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Remembering Ryan Lien-Shepard: Celebration of life on April 6

March 29th, 2013 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news, White Center obituaries Comments Off on Remembering Ryan Lien-Shepard: Celebration of life on April 6

One week from tomorrow, family and friends will celebrate the life of Ryan Lien-Shepard. Today, they share this remembrance:

On Monday, March 25th, we lost Ryan Lien-Shepard at the young age of 35. He was taken from this world far too early. He was a son, a brother, a uncle, a grandson, a nephew, and a friend that was loved by many. He leaves behind Marla, his mom, his siblings Ciaira, Shanna, Aaron, Jocelyn, his niece, and his son Luke. ;-) Ryan’s unexpected passing has left his loving family and friends mourning and heartbroken.

Ryan was born and raised in White Center. He went to Evergreen High School where he graduated in 1995. Ryan not only was a family friend of Burien Bark but also an employee for the past 4 years.

At this time we are asking for help in any way possible. Please consider making a donation in any amount, great or small. Donations can be anonymous or not (your choice) and 100% will go directly to Marla’s bank account. For those of you that wish to donate directly to the family and help during this tragic time, we have set up a memorial fund in Ryan’s name.

You can also go into Sterling Bank in Burien or Burien Bark to make a donation in person.

Ryan’s celebration of life will be held on Saturday April 6th from 2 pm-6 pm at the White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW

Please keep this precious family in your thoughts and prayers as they process such a tremendous loss. Thank you so much for your love and support.

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White Center newlyweds: Congratulations, Gill and Alex!

December 10th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 1 Comment »

We know at least one White Center couple has been part of the history-making events in our state these past few days since same-sex marriage became legal: Gill and Alex. If it’s happening in White Center, they’re usually part of it – community meetings, neighborhood cleanups, graffiti patrols, block watch, you name it. They’ve been together going on two decades, and now they are married. Here’s how Gill tells it:

We met in 1995, purchased our house in White Center in 1998 and have lived here ever since. We “discovered” White Center and many of our neighbors while walking Mac (mixed beagle/basset) over the early years.

Of course, we wanted to get married as soon as Washington would permit it. Therefore, we braved the very friendly and enthusiastic crowds Thursday morning to get our marriage license. Yesterday we married in a civil ceremony presided over by King County Judge Judith Ramseyer. She and her friends helping her couldn’t have been happier to see us married. It was a truly remarkable event to be remembered and cherished for the rest of our lives.

Since 12:01 am Thursday, King County has issued 710 marriage licenses.

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Tribute to murder victim Margaret Ryan dedicated in downtown White Center

December 1st, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, People, White Center news Comments Off on Tribute to murder victim Margaret Ryan dedicated in downtown White Center

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Margaret Ryan was remembered tonight in downtown White Center as a community champion and good friend. Two and a half weeks after Ms. Ryan was murdered, a plaque in her honor was dedicated in the planting area on the southeast corner of 16th and Roxbury, during a candlelight ceremony.

Aileen Sison and Vera Johnson had organized the tribute. They both shared memories, as did others including White Center Chamber of Commerce president Mark Ufkes, and Ms. Ryan’s youngest son Patrick Lamb, who said his mom was working to help make connections in the community, and everyone coming together in this way was a sign that she had make connections happen.

Ms. Ryan’s 42-year-old son Brodie Lamb is charged with first-degree murder in her death; he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this past Thursday.

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