Trailblazing Councilmember Gossett to keynote WCCDA gala

September 13th, 2012 Tracy Posted in white center community safety coalition, White Center news 4 Comments »

One week from tomorrow, the White Center Community Development Association celebrates its 10th annual dinner/auction at South Seattle Community College, with keynote speaker King County Councilmember Larry Gossett. WCCDA shares this update:

Born and raised in Seattle, Larry Gossett has been a dedicated servant of the people for more than 40 years. He is currently serving his seventh term on the Metropolitan King County Council and serves on several committees including Law, Justice, Health and Human Services; Government Accountability, Oversight and Financial Performance; and Growth Management Planning Council.

In 1993 he was elected to the King County Council, representing District Ten (currently District Two), which encompasses most inner-city neighborhoods in Seattle and unincorporated King County in the Skyway neighborhood. He was overwhelmingly reelected in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007. In 2007 Gossett became just the second African American elected to be chair of the King County Council.

In 1999, 13 years after the 1986 change of the County’s name to honor the slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Councilmember Gossett spearheaded the campaign to change the King County logo from an imperial crown to an image of Dr. King. In 2007, the King County Council unanimously adopted the change, becoming the only governmental entity in the nation to have as its logo the likeness of Dr. King.

Councilmember Gossett is a highly respected community leader who has advocated for the underrepresented and underprivileged in King County for his entire career. He has long been an advocate for programs that help inner-city youth and reduce racial and class disparities in our local criminal-justice system. He has also led efforts to eliminate black-on-black violence and other manifestations of self-hatred by poor and disenfranchised populations. White Center CDA Executive Director Sili Savusa is excited to welcome Gossett, saying, “We feel it is fitting that Councilmember Gossett is our keynote speaker with our theme of ’10 Years of Action'; his actions over his career are what we as an organization aspire to!”

The mission of the White Center Community Development Association is to promote a vibrant neighborhood and high quality of life for White Center residents and stakeholders through the development of authentic leadership opportunities and community-led, neighborhood initiatives. This is accomplished through three lines of business: neighborhood revitalization, family development, and community building.

Tickets for this event are still available for the price of $65. To learn more, please visit at wccda.org/tickets.

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White Center Community Safety Coalition to meet this Thursday

March 19th, 2012 Tracy Posted in white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

You’re invited:

The next Community Safety Meeting will be held this Thursday, March 21st from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Joe Wiley Room in Greenbridge, located at 9800 8th Ave SW. We want to continue looking at ways to build our group and strengthen our community and we would love to get your input and/or suggestions.

A light meal and other refreshments will be provided.

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White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meets tonight

February 23rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Concerned about safety in your community, your neighborhood? Tonight the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition invites you to be part of its next meeting:

The next Community Safety Meeting will be held this Thursday, February 23rd from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Joe Wiley Room in Greenbridge, located at 9800 8th Ave SW. We want to continue looking at ways to build our group and strengthen our community and we would love to get your input and/or suggestions.

A light meal and other refreshments will be provided.

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Two more chances for free emergency-preparedness classes at Salvation Army

January 11th, 2012 Tracy Posted in white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Tonight and tomorrow are two more chances to learn about emergency preapredness – being ready to take care of yourself, your family, your business, no matter what – for free: 5-7 pm at the Salvation Army, with participants including the White Center Community Safety Coalition and West Seattle Be Prepared. There’ll be a mixer 3:30-5 pm there on Friday.

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Reminder: White Center Community Safety Coalition tonight

November 17th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

The White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition usually meets later in the month, but since the fourth Thursday this month is Thanksgiving, the meeting is tonight – 6 pm at the Wiley Center in Greenbridge (here’s where to find it), which is a different location than usual. Coalition chair Sean Healy says, “During this meeting we will discussing a possible action plan for our neighborhood to address safety concerns and more.”

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White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meets tonight

October 27th, 2011 Tracy Posted in white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

One more reminder – here’s another chance to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem (and apathy is a problem, too). Join the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition‘s meeting tonight, 6 pm at St. James Annex, 9421 18th SW. You can follow the group on Facebook, too – go here.

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After the arrests, the gathering: Community discussion on White Center safety, but ‘no magic wand’

October 25th, 2011 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, white center community safety coalition, White Center news 6 Comments »

(Photos by Deanie Schwarz unless otherwise credited)
By Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for White Center Now

A gathering in Greenbridge last night was an offshoot of the dramatic events last week, when the U.S. Attorney’s Office promised to follow up with the community leaders and residents of White Center about Thursday’s multi-agency sweep netting dozens of arrests and seizing dozens of guns, while also confiscating drugs. The room was filled beyond capacity last night, with at least 70 people from citizen and nonprofit groups as well as business owners and local residents

This type of meeting was a first for the federal prosecutor’s office, convened to organize and forge alliances in White Center – an area near to where panel members were raised or their family ran a business. The meeting was also unique because the common concerns brought together nonprofit and citizen groups, businesses and residents – many who had never been in the same meeting room before.

The objectives were to answer questions about the investigations and ongoing concerns (here’s our most recent report), and then to strategically determine what the consequences of that multi-agency task force will be for the community. Durkan noted that that is ultimately up to the community members themselves and will require “follow-through,” but that the officials present – elected and law-enforcement – remain committed to working with the community leaders toward enlarging engagement and finding solutions.

Thomas Bates, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, will be the point person from that office and will be communicating with those attendees who signed in at this meeting (his contact information is below for those who could not attend). Bates told WCN that the results of the meeting will be discussed and processed at their office. As Durkan suggested, an as-yet-to-be-determined advisory group of community members will execute “to do” lists with specific tasks to move forward with initiatives and objectives.

Elected officials from the county and state had not been informed in advance of the joint operation dubbed “Center of Attention,” nor had any of the community groups that interact regularly with local law enforcement. The confidentiality of the mission was essential in the pursuit of its undercover strategies to “dig deep” into the area, according to Durkan. Both Sheriff Sue Rahr and Major Jim Graddon of King County Sheriff’s Office spoke to the challenges of their obligation to keep the information confidential for the better part of six months.

King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, 34th District State Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon, and Gail Stone, a policy adviser representing King County Executive Dow Constantine were present and listening with County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg as Durkan told the gathering that there is “no magic wand” that can be wielded by the group of commited officials on the panel, but that everything is already present within White Center to become a successful community. Panelists spoke to the impressive amount of concerned attendees and though it wasn’t mentioned by anyone present that October happens to be the National Crime Prevention Council’s official Crime Prevention Month, the discussion was how to do just that – reduce crime in the unincorporated area of North Highline and the business district of White Center and completely take back the streets.

Sheriff Rahr acknowledged a daunting challenge: How to overcome the lack of financial resources available for law enforcement in unincorporated North Highline and how that fact affects when and whether deputies can respond to heavily prioritized calls. Durkan pointed out that as federal prosecutor, she is not bound quite the same way, but also said that regardless, citizens need to call 911 and report the crimes and suspicious behavior they are observing even if they do not receive the response they desire from the operator or from the deputies. The total number of calls are relevant and are used in the allocation of resources, according to Durkan. If nobody calls, then the call numbers are lower and fewer resources are allocated.

One of the first speakers suggested that another meeting be called immediately by the prosecutors strictly to “correct the media.” “White Center gets credit for every crime west of I-5!” he lamented. Another asked how to support the families of any elementary-school children who might have a parent incarcerated as a result of the investigation; another implored the officials to make sure that all levels of school administrators are contacted to ensure older children are assisted too.

The owner of Full Tilt Ice Cream in central White Center wondered how the deleterious presence of street people openly consuming alcohol can be addressed. It appeared to him to be one of the biggest deterrents to potential customers entering the business district. Also related to alcohol consumption, a member of the South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition wondered if there could be a cap on the number of alcohol-related establishments, saying “Do we really need more than 14 alcohol-related businesses?” It was suggested by the prosecutor that there might be other alternatives to research beyond AIA’s (Alcohol Impact Areas) and they will be doing that. And the feasibility to establishing a Business Improvement Area (BIA) through the county will be researched, she added. A BIA could potentially offer tax incentives to make White Center attractive to the type of businesses the community wants to see move in.

(Photo by Dina Lydia Johnson)
Prosecuting Attorney Satterberg advised that public drunkenness is not itself illegal, but that the open-container issue may not be a high-priority item for the deputies who are prioritizing 911 responses on a tight budget. But the presence of the new Storefront Deputy BJ Myers, interjected Sheriff Rahr, can address these types of problems. Deputy Myers has only been on the beat a week and is still making the rounds to businesses to introduce himself and determine what his priorities will be based on those conversations. Beyond the Storefront Deputy, Major Graddon emphasized that future solutions, he thought, must be “holistic,” something more than simply putting chronic drunks into jail.

Another alcohol-related concern: How can one of the investigated businesses stay open after federal investigators searched the premises? Durkan said that the Liquor Control Board is still doing its separate investigation, which will soon be complete. It is her expectation that that business will not be conducting business in the same manner and that the community should be aware that law enforcement agencies can always weigh in on any future licenses.

(From left, Rep. Fitzgibbon, NHUAC member Liz Giba, KCPA Satterberg)

Finally, the organizers of two citizen groups implored those at this meeting to attend their meetings. North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin suggested that it was a great venue to address issues while the White Center Community Safety Coalition‘s co-leader said that their meeting typically only have seven attendees.

For further information:
thomas.bates@usdoj.gov for future followup meeting notices. (Here’s the DOJ summary of the meeting.)
North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: Next meeting November 3, 7 pm (info here)
White Center Community Safety Coalition: Next meeting this Thursday, 6 pm (info here)

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White Center Community Safety Coalition: Restore-the-deputy petition update; closer look at nearby schools; more

August 26th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
Editor/co-publisher, White Center Now and West Seattle Blog

After two months of gathering petition signatures urging the King County Sheriff’s Office to restore a White Center-dedicated deputy, leaders of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council plan to present them to Sheriff Sue Rahr next week.

That’s what NHUAC members Pat Price and Christine Waldman told those in attendance Thursday night at the White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting, back at its longtime location at St. James (9421 18th SW) – one of several major topics at the meeting.

When we talked recently with this area’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott about the push to restore the deputy position, he pointed out that the ultimate decisionmaker is the sheriff herself – while McDermott and his council colleagues, as well as King County Executive Dow Constantine, craft and finalize the budget, the direct staffing and spending decisions for KCSO are made by Sheriff Rahr.

So Waldman and NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin plan to meet with her next Thursday to present the petitions, as well as lobbying the council and executive “to make sure to give her the money so she can fill that position” to get a dedicated sheriff’s deputy back to “community policing” on local streets.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet, there are copies in several White Center businesses, Waldman says, and you can sign the version posted online – just go here. As Waldman put it, the deputy in this position – like Deputies Jeff Hancock and the late Steve Cox, before – would “know what’s what, who’s the good guys, who’s the bad guys” and be “extra eyes” on the street. “We really need that in White Center.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meets tonight

August 25th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

A lot to talk about as the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meets tonight (6 pm, the former St. James Church at 9421 18th SW). It’s been nine days since the murder of 23-year-old Sweetheart Failautusi at 15th/Roxbury, with one of three suspects in custody and charged so far. In addition, permit applications have been filed for the reopening of the ex-Club Evo as Club Reventón. Previously announced for the agenda, a guest appearance by the new interim principal of Chief Sealth International High School in West Seattle, Chris Kinsey (our partner site West Seattle Blog was first to interview him after the appointment was announced earlier this month). All are welcome to coalition meetings.

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Concerned about crime? White Center Community Safety Coalition tonight

July 28th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news 1 Comment »

The monthly meeting of the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition is set for tonight, 6 pm, White Center DSHS building (upstairs) – your chance to hear about the latest trends, voice your current concerns, and join with other community members to make a difference.

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White Center-South Delridge Community Safety meeting tonight

May 26th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Received a notice indicating the monthly meeting is on tonight as usual – 6 pm, White Center DSHS building between 14th and 15th SW just south of Roxbury, second floor. No agenda mentioned so far (we’re checking).

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Meeting announcements: Safety Coalition tonight, Business Owners’ Happy Hour next Thursday

March 24th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Two meeting announcements:

WHITE CENTER COMMUNITY SAFETY COALITION meets tonight – fourth Thursday as always – 6-8 pm, White Center DSHS office.

WHITE CENTER BUSINESS OWNERS’ HAPPY HOUR: Aileen Sison sends word of this, and asked that we would invite the community: It’s a first-ever happy hour for business owners, one week from tonight, Thursday, March 31st, 4-7 pm at Company Bar in downtown WC. Aileen adds that it’ll happen every last Thursday of the month.

Speaking of Company – our friends at Seattle Weekly are showcasing them right now – check out the story here.

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White Center Community Safety Coalition meeting coming up this Thursday

February 22nd, 2011 Tracy Posted in white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Just received, a preview for this Thursday’s White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting:

The White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition Meeting will be this Thursday, February 24th, from 6-8 pm. We will be meeting at the DSHS building located at 9650 15th Ave SW in the lobby on the second floor.

This month, a representative from the King County Council is scheduled to speak.

Everyone is welcome to bring up concerns at the meeting, and please be sure to share this information with your neighbors. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

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White Center Community Safety Coalition delves into drugs this Thursday

January 22nd, 2011 Tracy Posted in Health, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Fourth Thursday means the White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meets – here’s the announcement:

More than 17,000 calls to the Washington Poison Center were about children poisoned by medicines. Washington State needs a statewide take-back program to protect its children.

Teens use medicines to get high second only to marijuana, and they start as early as 12 years old. Washington needs a statewide take-back program so families can keep unwanted medicines out of the hands of our teens.

White Center – South Delridge Community Safety Coalition

Invites you to hear the

Seattle & King County Public Health Health & Environmental Investigator

Will Perry

at our Meeting on Thursday, January 27th 6 pm

White Center DSHS Building, 2nd Floor

9650 15th Ave SW

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White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition: From drugs to coffee to Facebook

December 10th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news 15 Comments »

Story and photo by Karen Berge
Reporting for White Center Now

The White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition held their final meeting for the year last night in the White Center DSHS building. This gathering was a mixture of fun as well as business, as the group organizers wanted to celebrate “a year well-spent” with a potluck. Attendees included 15 adults and a handful of well-behaved young children.

Co-chair Sean Healy opened the business portion of meeting shortly after 6 p.m. with a round of introductions and a few remarks. He noted that there were no representatives from the King County Sheriff’s Office and Seattle Police Department at the meeting as there have been in the past. It’s not clear if members of KCSO will be able to attend future meetings because of budget cuts; he said they do expect and hope to have representatives from SPD on hand at upcoming meetings.

Next, Pat Price, from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council briefed the group on a “Teens Against Drug Abuse” event she attended in High Point last month. She participated in a roundtable discussion about prescription drug use, a problem with growing prevalence and impact; their conclusion is that “Take Back Our Meds” programs are a huge step toward reducing the problem and could be implemented here. A one-day take-back collection effort recently resulted in more than 1300 pounds of drugs being collected. Price proposed inviting one of the speakers from the King County Hazardous Waste Division to present at a future meeting of this group; there was unanimous interest in having her pursue that. The group also touched briefly on whether they could establish a permanent take-back drop-off location in one of the local stores.

Moving on to other potential meeting topics, the WCSDCSC has received e-mail from the Technical Access Foundation . They want to present their plans to the group for a new 3-story facility near Hicks Lake. They have a well-established after-school program and have been fundraising and planning for a new building for several years; they plan groundbreaking sometime in the spring. One attendee asked how this fit in to WCSDCSC; Sean Healy replied, “Promotion and advocacy is how we tie in.”

Other Announcements

· Healy also mentioned to the group that he is helping establish a Block Watch group on 12th Ave SW near Mount View. He added, “They feel like they’re being held captive,” so he wants to see them get started.

· Healy announced that the White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition is now on Facebook; he urged those at the meeting to send a friend request.

· Dick Thurnau, with Friends of Hicks Lake, updated the group on his plan to approach the King County Council to take action on contamination levels in the lake. He noted that this is an ongoing issue, a danger to the community. Thurnau plans to meet with new County Councilmember Joe McDermott. He asked the group if they would attend the presentation to the Council (a date has not yet been set). By show of hands, the group agreed.

· One member asked about “a strategy to build the populace of this coalition”; in the discussion that followed, Sean Healy mentioned that he had talked with a Girl Scout troop leader about conducting a community assessment of the youth; “What do they see?” and “What do they want to see?” Someone followed with the suggestion of trying to obtain a grant that could focus on generating more participation from youth.

Following up on topics from earlier meetings:

· Liquor license renewals – the announcement that Center Market chose not to renew their license received a round of applause at the meeting. However, there are still issues with chronic inebriates hanging out at the Chevron station next door…

· Liquor signage regulations – they discussed supporting and thanking the businesses that do follow the regulations and bringing pressure to bear on businesses that don’t.

· Enforcement of drinking in parks – Dick Thurnau reiterated some of the problems in Lakewood Park; “YouTube them” was one suggestion in reply. Someone else added a word about budget cuts.

· Club Evo – Pat Price said that the Sheriff has run some quick stats and noted a 40% drop in police calls since it’s been closed.

New business: Co-chair Angela Rambo had two items of note:

· A focus group recently surveyed White Center families what they needed; they plan to send Rambo the final results, but the preliminary report is that these “are doable needs, very small things”.

· Angela Rambo has e-mailed both Starbucks and Tully’s to suggest that they consider opening a new location on the northwest corner of 16th and Roxbury. To date, Starbucks has acknowledged her email, but Tully’s has not. Rambo hopes that others will echo that request to show these companies that there is strong community support.

The business portion of the meeting wrapped up around 7 p.m. with an invitation to stay afterward, socialize and have a bite to eat.

The White Center Community Safety Coalition generally meets on the 4th Thursday of each month, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the DSHS building at 9650 15th Ave SW in the second floor lobby. This meeting wrapped up their first year in this venue; they plan to reconvene there on January 27th.

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White Center Community Safety Coalition meets Thursday

December 8th, 2010 Tracy Posted in white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

The official announcement:

The White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition Meeting will be this Thursday, December 9th, from 6-8 pm. We will be meeting at the DSHS building located at 9650 15th Ave SW in the lobby on the second floor.

This will be our last gathering of the year, and we’d like to end it with a potluck. So everyone is encouraged to bring a dish and come celebrate a year well spent.

The Executive Committee would like to take this opportunity to say Thank you to the residents of the White Center / South Delridge area for the commitment, dedication and hard work you all have shown over the past year. And while there is still work to be done, the impact you have had on this community is evident.

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Today: White Center Community Summit, WC Library Guild Bazaar, Festivus

December 4th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Fun, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Three big events today in White Center: The WC Community Summit is happening at WC Heights Elementary all day, 9:30 pm-4 pm, including food, workshops, and a chance to learn about resources you can draw on for a better life and more cohesive community … WC Jubilee Days will benefit from the “Festivus” dinner/auction/dance tonight at the White Center Eagles, starting at 5 pm … And 11-3 pm at White Center Library, the Library Guild’s presenting a holiday bazaar (more here).

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White Center Community Safety Coalition: Oct. meeting

October 30th, 2010 JasonG Posted in Crime, safety, white center, white center community safety coalition, White Center news Comments Off

Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for White Center Now

We stopped by the White Center DSHS offices for Thursday night’s White Center/South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting, where about 20 attendees gathered to discuss neighborhood safety issues, liquor and crime enforcement, and policies for reporting “problem properties” in the WC community.

The meeting was led by WCSDCSC chair Sean Healy and was called to order shortly after 6 pm.

Three upcoming events, mentioned by attendees:

First on the agenda for the evening was Lt. Woodrow Perkins from the Liquor Control Board, who reported on two active cases his team is working on:

  • Center Market: Perkins reported that the store’s current liquor license expires Oct. 31st (this weekend), and that he hasn’t heard from the owner if they definitely plan to renew. The store had been selling liquor under two temporary permits recently, and had been subject to a suspension.
  • Evo (aka Club Evolution): With complaints about Evo dating back to 2002, Perkins reported that his team had made a visit to the club and found they were serving alcohol, which they “confiscated and destroyed in large quantities.” Perkins’ team is doing additional follow-up now (and on a similar club in another location), and is planning to file a report with the King County Prosecutor’s Office with the recommendation that 2 individuals involved would be criminally cited.

This segued into a discussion about alcohol and tobacco advertising in the area, with comments from Perkins as well as Mike Graham-Squire (pictured below, with a poster showing his group’s efforts) from High Point Neighborhood House. Squire led a project this past summer to visit businesses in the 98126 and 98106 area codes to evaluate their compliance with the Liquor Control Board’s new alcohol advertising restrictions adopted statewide earlier this year.

A summary of what the rules entail:

  • Limiting to four the number of signs advertising alcohol, brand names and manufacturers that are visible from the outside of a retail licensed premises such as stores, bars and restaurants;
  • Restricting the size of alcohol signs visible from the outside of a retail licensed premises to 1,600 square inches; and
  • Applying the rules to signs at civic events where alcohol is served, such as beer gardens.

Graham-Squire told meeting attendees that his group found a “high concentration of violations around White Center,” which prompted nods around the room and comments like “that’s not surprising.” He added that his group is planning to do a similar effort again, including giving awards to businesses that go above-and-beyond to limit alcohol advertising. He also said he’s involved with the state’s new Let’s Draw The Line campaign against underage drinking, and encouraged anyone interested in helping to contact him.

Perkins said citizens who notice violations to the advertising rules are encouraged to report them to the project hotline – 888-838-3956 – and “we’ll go visit them.” He did note that his enforcement team is “spread pretty thin” with 4 officers working 8 areas, each covering 500-600 locations, but tries to respond as best they can.  His team uses a “progressive discipline” approach for enforcement, moving from verbal/on-site warnings up to legal action.

Perkins also talked about the city’s Good Neighbor policy, targeting individual businesses selling alcoholic beverages, and listened to concerns from attendees about the rising consumption of energy drinks with high alcoholic content. Local residents reported seeing a huge increase in discarded containers of these “crazy beverages,” which Graham-Squire said  “are the equivalent of 6 beers and 5 cups of coffee in a single 24-ounce can, for $3.”  Perkins acknowledged the issues with the drinks, but said the LCB isn’t in a position to really target them — banning them would require state or federal legislative action.

Next on the agenda was the evening’s guest speaker, Kay Godefroy, executive director of the Seattle Neighborhood Group, who offered tips and strategies for dealing with “problem properties” and “nuisance issues” in the area’s residential neighborhoods. Godefroy encouraged neighbors to gather documentation like photographs and detailed log books (but be safe collecting the information) about any problems you see.

“It’s all about gathering good documentation, getting good detail, and having lots of neighbors do it,” she said. “If we can all help create safe livable residential communities, with no drug dealers or problem neighbors, it makes us all safe.”

Godefroy said the small-claims court system (or rather, the mere threat of small-claims) is an effective way to put pressure on problem neighbors, but “it clearly works best when there are many neighbors co-signing a strongly-worded letter about the problem, not just one signer.” In most cases, she said, the issue never even has to go to court, and the neighbor voluntarily moves toward compliance if 10-15 neighbors manage to co-sign and file a complaint. “You have to be ‘noisy’ and stand up for yourselves,” she said.

Godefroy also emphasized education of property owners, using her group’s Landlord Training Workshops as an example of how they’re trying to keep people informed. The hardest situations, Godefroy said, are single-family properties that are owner-occupied, particularly by someone who may be “2nd or 3rd generation of a family, they inherited the property and just don’t value it.”

When asked by an attendee if renters have the same rights, Godefroy said yes — you can file complaints with the landlord on behalf of multiple residents. In all cases, the idea is to get a letter together — that way, if the issue does go to court, the recipient “can’t say they didn’t know about the problem, they can only say they chose not to address it.”

When asked about how this extends to businesses that may not be cracking down on troublesome activity on their property, Godefroy clarified the difference between criminal activity and “nuisance activity.” If you see a crime happening, report it to 911 and the local authorities immediately. She said it’s good to also document such reports, for the future.

“It’s amazing what a business can do, to help the problem,” she said, saying there are businesses in White Center that had “people outside doing bad things, and got them to stop or to move somewhere else.”

Next meeting: Because of holidays in November and December, the group will hold a single meeting to cover the rest of 2010: It will be on Thursday December 9th, at the DSHS offices at 6 pm.

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White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting Thursday night

October 27th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news 2 Comments »

From the official announcement:

The White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition Meeting will be this Thursday, October 28th, from 6-8 pm. We will be meeting at the DSHS building located at 9650 15th Ave SW in the lobby on the second floor.

This month, our guest speaker will be Kay Godefroy from the Seattle Neighborhood Group. She will be sharing information on ways to address concerns about problem or nusiance houses in your neighborhood. With daylight savings quickly approaching and the change in weather, the resources and information from this meeting are sure to be an asset.

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Be there! White Center Community Safety Coalition tonight

August 26th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Crime, safety, white center community safety coalition, White Center news 1 Comment »

With a home-invasion robbery in Highland Park, and new developments reported in the Evo situation, there’s bound to be lots to discuss at tonight’s White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition meeting, 6-8 pm at the DSHS building, 9650 15th Ave SW (map), lobby on the second floor. King County Sheriff’s Office and Seattle Police Department reps are usually both on hand, as well as the Liquor Control Board, so there are many authorities with whom you can take up concerns directly.

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