Reminder: U.S. Rep. McDermott in White Center on Saturday

May 17th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Reminder: U.S. Rep. McDermott in White Center on Saturday

White Center Spring Clean may be the biggest thing in WC on Saturday, but as first reported here last month, there’s another big event that morning – Congressmember Jim McDermott will host a “Coffee with Your Congressman” chat at Dubsea Coffee for about an hour at 10 am.

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‘Coffee with Your Congressman’ at Dubsea Coffee rescheduled for 5/19

April 27th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on ‘Coffee with Your Congressman’ at Dubsea Coffee rescheduled for 5/19

Since we had mentioned it here on the home page when Dubsea Coffee first announced it, just wanted to make sure you knew that U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott’s appearance for “Coffee with Your Congressman” has been rescheduled – 10 am May 19th, instead of tomorrow. He IS scheduled to be in White Center tomorrow – speaking at the 34th Legislative District Caucus at the Evergreen Campus around noon.

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Democratic precinct caucuses today, 1 pm

April 15th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Democratic precinct caucuses today, 1 pm

Though the presidential candidate is not in question, the 34th District Democrats say local D’s have plenty of reasons to join in the official precinct caucuses today. 1 pm is the start time; here’s how to find your meeting spot, though from clicking around a locator map on that same site, it appears the Evergreen High School campus at 830 SW 116th is the main caucusing spot in the White Center area.

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Video: 34th District Democrats, from caucus preview to candidate forums

April 13th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Video: 34th District Democrats, from caucus preview to candidate forums

(Crossposted from partner site West Seattle Blog, since White Center’s part of the 34th District too)

“If someone [still] doesn’t know the caucuses are happening, we can’t help them at this point,” said 34th District Democrats chair Tim Nuse at Wednesday night’s monthly meeting, mentioning an awareness-raising campaign that he said has included 7,000 door-knocks, thousands of phone calls (including 10,000 robocalls Wednesday with a message from King County Executive Dow Constantine), and paid ads (including one here on WSB).

That would be the Democratic precinct caucuses – happening this Sunday at 1 pm at locations all around the district (if you’re a Democrat, find your location here). Even though the presidential candidate is not up for debate, the 34th DDs say there is much to talk about and many reasons to attend yours. But after that pep talk, Wednesday night’s meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle moved on to many ways of looking ahead to August and November, including a surprise speech by our area’s Congressmmember, and three mini-campaign-forums – we have them all on video, ahead: Read the rest of this entry »

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From Congress to Greenbridge: U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott to visit White Center’s Dubsea Coffee

April 7th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on From Congress to Greenbridge: U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott to visit White Center’s Dubsea Coffee

Just announced by Dubsea Coffee via Facebook – U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott will be there at 11 am April 28th – three weeks from today – for his next “Coffee with Your Congressman.” If you want to see what one of these events is like, here’s our West Seattle Blog coverage – with video – from his visit to C & P Coffee a year ago. (Dubsea Coffee is at 9910 8th SW in Greenbridge.)

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Seen at downtown White Center’s 3.14 Bakery on Pi(e) Day …

March 14th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Food, Politics, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on Seen at downtown White Center’s 3.14 Bakery on Pi(e) Day …

On our way back from a story to the east, we stopped at 3.14 Bakery in downtown White Center to see how Pi(e) Day (3.14!) was going – and found a table full of distinguished gatherers who had chosen 3.14 for a meeting. From left, if you don’t recognize them all, that’s Mikel Davila from White Center Community Development Association, King County Sheriff’s Office Storefront Deputy BJ Myers, Michelle Allison from King County Councilmember Joe McDermott‘s team, and CM McDermott himself (who pointed out they had already purchased boxed pie to take back to the office downtown). As for us – decided not to go with the pie, but the triple-chocolate cake ball is to die for.

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Election 2012: Republicans caucus at Evergreen Campus in White Center; statewide results now coming in

March 3rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2012: Republicans caucus at Evergreen Campus in White Center; statewide results now coming in

Before the night’s out, we should know how our state’s Republicans voted in today’s presidential “straw poll.” That was one of two main tasks they faced as they gathered this morning for precinct caucuses all around our state, including White Center, south West Seattle, north Burien and vicinity gathering at the Evergreen Campus. We stopped by about midway through, to get a look at the turnout; 34th District Republicans chair Jim Clingan led the event, and told us about 200 people turned out:

(This photo and next one, courtesy Dick Hurley)
Campaign signs were low key .. we saw a few Ron Paul signs on a table outside, and someone carrying others out of the main room – but there were some cheery touches:

As we write this, the results are starting to come in – you can follow them on the Washington State Republican Party’s Tumblr site.

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Election 2012: Precinct caucuses coming up

February 26th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2012: Precinct caucuses coming up

Next Saturday, Republicans in our state hold precinct caucuses – with White Center a central gathering point, 10 am-noon at the Evergreen Campus – and since the presidential nomination isn’t locked up by any candidate yet, the attention is likely to be intense. Democrats have caucuses in April. Info on both can be found in this story from our partner site, West Seattle Blog.

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Election 2011: Winners include McDermott, Giba, Curry, and, in Burien, annexation opponent Edgar

November 9th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, burien, Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2011: Winners include McDermott, Giba, Curry, and, in Burien, annexation opponent Edgar

In tonight’s election, though the results won’t be final for weeks, some things are clear after just the first round of ballot-counting. White Center’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott has won election to his first full four-year term, leading Diana Toledo, 67%-32%. … In the North Highline Fire District contest, Liz Giba leads Mark Ufkes, 52%-47% … In the only contest for Highline School Board, incumbent president Sili Savusa is losing to Tyrone Curry, who has gained some fame for his lottery win and subsequent donation, 55% for Curry to 44% for Savusa … Burien had three council races on the ballot, and one of the city’s most outspoken opponents of annexing White Center (and vicinity) has defeated an incumbent: Bob Edgar has 60% of the vote, to 40% for Gordon Shaw. In the other two races, incumbent Lucy Krakowiak one of two “no” votes on last month’s annexation resolution – leads former North Highline Unincorporated Area Council chair Greg Duff, 64%-36%, while pro-annexation incumbent Jerry Robison leads Debi Wagner, 54%-46%. Next ballot count is due around 4:30 tomorrow afternoon.

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Governor’s proposed budget cut could throw a curveball at annexation process

October 27th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Politics, White Center news 1 Comment »

As North Highline annexation proceeded these past few years – first with Burien completing annexation of the southern area, now with Burien pursuing annexation of the northern area – one refrain has been repeated: Money from the state tax credit for annexations is vital to their success. But suddenly – there’s a huge question mark over that money’s future availability. Governor Gregoire went public today with a list of potential cuts to balance the state budget, and one of them would kill that credit as of next May. Right now, the governor’s budget doc says, the credit “benefits seven cities” in metro Puget Sound, but killing it would save the state almost $18 million. The governor’s list has an alternative – cut it by half – but there’s a big star right next to the “eliminate it” option – and that means she has “tentatively chosen to include it” in the supplemental budget proposal she’ll send to the Legislature next month.

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Election 2011: Democratic organizations’ endorsements

June 23rd, 2011 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2011: Democratic organizations’ endorsements

checkbox.jpgThe August 16 primary is less than two months away, and local groups are making their endorsements. Both of the legislative-district Democrats’ groups in this area have now made their endorsements. King County Council Position 8 will be on the August ballot since there are three candidates (the top two advance to November). The 11th District Democrats have just posted their endorsement list (read it here) – they have endorsed both Joe McDermott and Diana Toledo in that race. The 34th District Democrats held their endorsement meeting earlier this month and endorsed McDermott (here’s the list on their site; here’s our coverage on partner site West Seattle Blog). Not sure whose district you’re in? Here’s the map for the 11th District; here’s the map for the 34th District. (Any Republican groups have endorsement meetings just past or

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Burien City Council discusses White Center (etc.) annexation

June 20th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, boulevard park, burien, Politics, white center, White Center news 2 Comments »

“So here we are,” Burien city manager Mike Martin began as he opened a quick recap of where the issue of North Highline annexation stood, before tonight’s scheduled Burien City Council discussion.

No council action was taken – they voiced opinions, as you will read below.

First, Martin described Seattle’s recent decision to table annexation till February as a “major departure” from where things had stood previously. That wasn’t the only factor sparking a new Burien council discussion of annexation, however, he said, mentioning the King County Library Board’s discussion of potentially consolidating the White Center and Boulevard Park libraries.

Martin also mentioned commissioning a financial study with an organization that he says does this type of study and already has “a tremendous amount of information about the (prospective) annexation area.” He says the financial data should be available in late July/early August.

Councilmember Gordon Shaw followed up Martin’s briefing by voicing skepticism about the financial viability of annexation, given a previous study, but said he would like to see the study showing the effects of a changing economy, and what he said was apparently a lower population: “I think they’ve lost 3,000 people up there.” He also said he would like to know how it would affect the city overall.

Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak asked what kind of educational outreach is planned for citizens. Martin said “Council will be taking comments at every council meeting they have until they make a decision – identical to last time.” She also wondered if information was available about major developments planned in the potential annexation area.

Councilmember Jack Block, Jr. talked about the difference between the perception and the reality of White Center. “if you take a drive through White Center, there are virtually no empty storefronts – I wish we could say that here in Burien.” He described WC’s “vitality and growth” as “homegrown” and expressed a hope that it would be emulated in Burien.

“If we don’t vote for it, we don’t have control over that area, and the density could increase, crime could increase, a bunch of public housing is put in there because historically that’s how Seattle does things,” Block suggested, worrying about a “spillover … Think about protecting our community. Do we want to have a say in that area, or just let whatever happens, happen up there?”

He noted that Burien has a budget surplus, while King County has been dealing with a budget shortfall, and, in his view, has put unincorporated North Highline problems “on a back burner.” He also voiced concern about county housing projects in the works, and whether they might unduly burden Burien.

Councilmember Gerald Robison pointed out that he has been working on the annexation issue “for a long time” and says “there are a lot of perceptions out there that I don’t think is accurate.” He contended that it’s “simply not true” that the area is made up of a large population of people who require government services. “What they need is good government, and that’s what they’ve been lacking up there,” he contended, adding that he believes Burien could provide that “good government.” He echoed Block’s point that White Center has a lot of thriving businesses, “the kind of independent businesspeople who are exactly what we are talking about in our mission statement.”

But “I won’t even vote for annexation if it means raising taxes on the rest of the residents in Burien,” Robison vowed. And he said he believes it’s important for Burien’s “survival” to take a look at annexing the area if it can be done. The area doesn’t need Burien, he acknowledged, but “if their options are going to Seattle or going to Burien, I think for the sake of Burien and the sake of the people in North Highline, if we can manage it, we should do it.”

Councilmember Rose Clark said she agreed wholeheartedly with Block and Robison. She said she also believes that if there’s a continued effort to “concentrate poverty” in the greater Highline area, it will “break” the community – and she says what happens in White Center (etc.) will affect Burien too. “The only way to address that is to take a good hard look at North Highline and what we can do to mitigate” the concentration of poverty to which she referred. “If all of that (financial analysis) pencils out, we have to look at what that area becomes” with King County services dwindling.

Deputy Mayor Brian Bennett discussed his roots going back generations in the North Highline area, and saying that while that area likely would prefer to be left alone the reality of county and state laws and finances are that, they cannot be left alone – “they’re going to be incorporated somewhere … If Seattle does take over Area Y, what their incentives are going to be in how they treat Area Y , and whether the decisionmakers for that area are going to be impacted by what happens there, or are they going to be in the north side (of the city) and not affected.”

Councilmember Krakowiak then said “This is a big issue before us and it behooves us to take our time.” She said she would be a likely “no” vote if they were voting on it right now.

At the start of the meeting, in a public-comment session that lasted more than half an hour, seven people expressed opposition to or concern about annexation – with a common theme, if Seattle says it can’t afford annexation, how can Burien? – while two familiar White Center community advocates, Liz Giba and Rachael Levine, spoke favorably about it. (We will add details of the comments later.)

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Election 2011: Joe McDermott’s County Council kickoff

May 27th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2011: Joe McDermott’s County Council kickoff

(Crossposted from partner site West Seattle Blog)

He’s only been on the job six months, but King County Councilmember Joe McDermott is already running again. Last fall, he was elected for the year remaining in what was now-County Executive Dow Constantine’s term, after Jan Drago served a year as an appointee; this time, a full four-year term is at stake. Thursday night, in bowling shoes, McDermott presided over his official campaign-kickoff party at Roxbury Lanes. Among those in attendance were County Council colleagues Julia Patterson, Larry Phillips, Larry Gossett, and Bob Ferguson, State House Rep. Eileen Cody, elected city officials from Burien and Tukwila, members of the North Highline Unincorporated Council, and community advocates from neighborhoods in the 8th District including White Center, South Park, and Vashon. And from McDermott’s home neighborhood, West Seattle – his parents Terri McDermott and Jim McDermott:

Though all at the party were exhorted to have fun and get some bowling in, there was of course the opportunity for the candidate to offer a short speech first:

McDermott spent almost a decade in the State Legislature before moving to the County Council. The other candidate in this race so far is another West Seattleite, Diana Toledo, whom he also faced in last year’s general election. We covered her kickoff party at the Admiral Theater last week.

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Election 2011: Former North Highline UAC chair enters Burien City Council race

May 25th, 2011 Tracy Posted in burien, Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Election 2011: Former North Highline UAC chair enters Burien City Council race

Greg Duff had to leave the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council when annexation put his home inside Burien boundaries, but he continued public service by joining the Burien Planning Commission. And now, according to a news release we received this morning, he is running for Burien City Council Position 2. Read on for the announcement in its entirety: Read the rest of this entry »

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Election 2011: King County Council District 8 – Diana Toledo kickoff

May 19th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Politics, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Crossposted from partner site West Seattle Blog)

With three months till the primary, and candidate forums and campaign kickoffs starting to intensify, we’re stepping up coverage of the 2011 election. Last night at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater, Diana Toledo launched her second campaign for King County Council District 8 (which includes West Seattle and White Center), with an all-ages party, friends and family chatting in the theater’s loft, while little ones brought by partygoers romped down on the main floor. Toledo says she chose the venue to support a local business that could use more patrons.

Among those at the party was Tim Fahey, one of the three other candidates that ran for the office last year. You’ll see him in our clip from the short speech Toledo gave last night:

Toledo is a former King County employee who says her experience inside county government will help her reform it (here’s her online bio). The candidate to whom Toledo lost in last year’s general election, now-King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, is the only other declared candidate so far; he has a kickoff party scheduled next week. The official filing period opens this Friday for candidates filing by mail. (Wondering why there’s another election so soon after the last one? That was for the remainder of the term that had been won by Dow Constantine before he moved up to King County Executive two years ago, so this time a full 4-year council term is up for grabs.)

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Medical-marijuana businesses: What now?

May 4th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Health, Politics, White Center news 7 Comments »

The proliferation of medical-marijuana enterprises is on the agenda at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council tomorrow (Thursday) night. King County Councilmember Joe McDermott will discuss it while speaking to the council, according to NHUAC councilmember Barbara Dobkin.

This comes while new medical-marijuana businesses continue to open in the unincorporated area, even as the push toward state regulation is mired in political disagreement. Just a few days ago, WCN contributor Deanie Schwarz found another one that has just opened:

She reports: Cannabis Oasis, located at 11109 1st Ave. So., opened for business more than two weeks ago in the Top Hat area as a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. This is the third known medical cannabis related operation that has just opened or will soon open in the area, along with Herban Legends and Green Piece, both located on 16th Ave. in the central White Center business district. (In neighboring West Seattle, at least two medical-marijuana enterprises are currently in operation and actively marketing themselves, while there are reportedly others that are keeping a low profile; a third that plans to operate openly is coming to 35th/Roxbury.)

State legislators are hoping to get a new bill approved during their current special session, to make up for what was lost when Governor Gregoire vetoed parts of the bill both houses had approved during the regular session. A key player in this is our area’s senior State Rep. Eileen Cody, since she chairs the health committee in the State House. We caught up with her in West Seattle last weekend to ask about the issue:

As for local authorities, we had spoken with them extensively while the now-gutted bill was still going through the State Legislature. They all had hoped for a consistent state law – but barring that, local control might be needed and that’s exactly what King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has told Seattle Weekly – particularly considering one side effect of the governor’s action is apparently that one rule regarding providing marijuana to patients is about to get a lot tougher, and wasn’t originally intended to work out that way. That, according to our partners at the Seattle Times, leaves the current operators in fear of raids once the new law takes effect in July – unless changes are made before the Legislature’s special session runs out. Again, this is on the agenda for NHUAC tomorrow night – 7 pm, North Highline Fire District</strong> HQ (full agenda here).

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Seattle annexation? City Council president questioned at 34th District Democrats

March 10th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Politics, White Center news 23 Comments »

(9:39 AM UPDATE: Added link to full text of “lose-lose” handout mentioned below)

We routinely cover the 34th District Democrats‘ meetings, since they are this area’s largest political group and you never know what news might break when that many local leaders and activists gather. Wednesday night, news broke out again; outside The Hall at Fauntleroy, the group’s usual meeting spot, a cluster of people holding NO SEATTLE ANNEXATION signs stood greeting people as they arrived. It was dark and rainy and our photo didn’t turn out well, but the main point of their presence was to make themselves known to Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, who heads the committee that will decide soon whether to send Seattle annexation to the North Highline ballot. Conlin was at the meeting to talk about the council’s priorities, but was questioned about annexation by both Ivan Weiss of Vashon and Liz Giba of White Center. In the video above, Weiss is concluding his question off-camera – he had begun by listing the range of potential costs of annexation to the Seattle budget – and Giba is seen asking hers, about the future of the White Center and Boulevard Park county library branches, on-camera. Conlin repeatedly said he thinks North Highline should have the right to choose, which seemed to signal he will advocate strongly for going ahead with an election this fall, and also offered that he believes White Center is part of the Seattle community, so should be able to vote on whether to actually become part of Seattle. Meantime, the Seattle-annexation opponents were handing out a flyer headed “Seattle Annexation of North Highline: A Lose-Lose Resolution,” with one side devoted to why they believe it’s a bad idea for Seattle and the other to why they believe it would have negative effects on North Highline – they’ve promised to get us an electronic copy so we can share it with you here.

ADDED 9:39 AM: Here’s the complete flyer.

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Reminder: North Highline annexation on Seattle Council committee agenda tomorrow

February 28th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on Reminder: North Highline annexation on Seattle Council committee agenda tomorrow

2 pm tomorrow is when the Seattle City Council Regional Development and Sustainability Committee takes up the North Highline annexation issue, potentially moving Seattle annexation of White Center (and environs) toward a vote this fall. Here’s the agenda; if you don’t have Seattle Channel on your cable (21), you can watch online from anywhere at seattlechannel.org. (Or go to Seattle City Hall – committee meetings begin with a chance for public comment.)

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Video: Two 34th District state legislators sworn in

December 2nd, 2010 Tracy Posted in Politics, Video, White Center news Comments Off on Video: Two 34th District state legislators sworn in

That’s video from the King County Courthouse this afternoon, as two 34th District state legislators were sworn in by King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu — State Sen. Sharon Nelson and State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who was elected to the position left vacant by Nelson when she ran (unopposed) for the Senate. They will join longtime State Representative Eileen Cody in Olympia, representing the area that includes White Center as well as West Seattle, Vashon and Maury Islands, and part of Burien (among a few other areas). Here’s what they had to say after the ceremony:

The ceremony drew dozens in the County Council chambers – among them, newly elected County Councilmember Joe McDermott (whose departure from the State Senate cleared the way for Sen. Nelson to move up) and County Executive Dow Constantine.

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White Center’s new County Councilmember takes office

November 24th, 2010 Tracy Posted in King County, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on White Center’s new County Councilmember takes office

As of this afternoon, Joe McDermott is the newest member of the King County Council, representing District 8, which includes White Center, West Seattle (and a few other swaths of the city), and Vashon/Maury Islands. In the county-provided photo above, he was sworn in by Clerk of the Council Anne Noris, hours after the November 2nd election results were certified. The official news release announcing his swearing-in quotes Councilmember McDermott as saying, ““I am honored the voters of the 8th Council District chose me to serve them in a position that has a long legacy of strong, effective leadership … We must work together to provide meaningful and efficient government services with an eye to the future. We cannot let today’s economic crisis keep us from meeting our commitments in regional planning, environmental stewardship and public safety.” McDermott spent the past decade in the State Legislature, in the State Senate since 2007, following seven years in the State House. On the nine-member County Council, he succeeds Jan Drago, appointed early this year after the November 2009 election moved Dow Constantine up to County Executive; this election was for the remaining year of Constantine’s unexpired term, so the position will be back on the ballot in November 2011. Final certified results of this election are here; McDermott had 68 percent of the vote, Diana Toledo 32 percent. They were the top two finishers from a field of four in the August primary.

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