White Center-West Seattle Health Center now open

January 13th, 2015 at 5:39 pm Posted in Health, White Center news | Comments Off

(WCN photo from September 2014)
Four months after King County Executive Dow Constantine announced at Greenbridge that the public-health clinic there would be saved thanks to a partnership with Planned Parenthood, PP has officially merged its clinic into that location. Here’s their announcement:

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) (has moved) its West Seattle Health Center to a new location at 9942 8th Avenue, just over one mile from the current location. The facility, previously the Public Health Center at Greenbridge operated by Public Health—Seattle & King County, will open as the new White Center-West Seattle Health Center.

In 2014, the Public Health Center at Greenbridge was proposed for closure due to a severe budget shortfall at Public Health—Seattle & King County. However, through partnerships with PPGNW and the City of Seattle the health center will be operated by PPGNW for the next two years, as local leaders pursue longer-term funding.

“We are thrilled to be opening our new facility in West Seattle,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNW. “Our important partnership with King County and Seattle Public Health will bring continued support and service to the local community by providing high-quality, affordable reproductive health care for the women, men, and teens who need it most in West Seattle and the surrounding area.”

The new White Center-West Seattle Health Center will be open five days a week and offer a full range of high-quality reproductive health care, including affordable access to birth control, well-woman visits, breast and cervical cancer screening, emergency contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, abortion services, and comprehensive sexual health education and information. Planned Parenthood educators will offer comprehensive sexual health education, youth development programming and parent education for schools and community agencies.

In addition, patients can schedule appointments, or receive mail-order contraceptives and test kits for sexually transmitted infections via webcam. This online tool serves as an opportunity to reach individuals living in remote communities across the region.

For more than 30 years, PPGNW has partnered with King County Public Health to provide comprehensive family planning services. PPGNW will continue its partnership and collaboration with the city and county to ensure a smooth transition of patient care.

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White Center traffic alert: Crash at 16th/112th

January 13th, 2015 at 5:31 pm Posted in safety, White Center news | Comments Off

Thanks to the tipster who texted us this photo of a crash scene about half an hour ago at 16th SW and SW 112th. No info yet on circumstances or injuries, but take note in case you’re headed that way sometime soon.

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Followup: Crews making cleanup progress at ‘The Bog’

January 11th, 2015 at 11:56 pm Posted in King County, safety | 3 Comments »

(White Center Now photographs by Patrick Sand)
King County crews are continuing to clear overgrowth, and more, by “the bog,” a site that has been something of a dangerous hiding place in recent years. This information is from Ken Gresset, who briefed the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council in November:

Much progress has been made at “The Bog.” The patrol road is in and leads 200 feet to a spot where the rest of the site can be inspected by spotlight. We will be back on the site on Monday and Tuesday to clear out remaining brush.

The site is well protected against erosion with 130 bales of straw spread on the disturbed earth and logs staked at the base of the slope to intercept any silt that would wash down from the hillside.

We stopped by at midday Friday for our photos – county crews were only allowing visitors on the site during their lunch break, so they wouldn’t run the risk of winding up in the path of heavy equipment. One crew member told us they had continued to find syringes and needles from drug users known to frequent the area. (See what they’ve encountered before, in these photos we published days after the November briefing.)

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White Center restaurants: The Rose Petals now at 16th/98th

January 7th, 2015 at 8:32 am Posted in Food, White Center news | 2 Comments »

(Photo courtesy Gill)
After a rocky past and a false start or two for the long-vacant building at 9801 16th SW, it is now home to a new restaurant. After getting reports about The Rose Petals moving in, but finding nothing online, we tried a couple times to find out more in person, but apparently chose the wrong days. Finally, we have information courtesy of the Seattle Weekly, which has the story here. SW reports that it’s operated by a much-respected soul-food chef, Helen Coleman, who has had restaurants at two other spots in the city. Though the banner says The Rose Petals is open for lunch and dinner, the story says they’re open for dinner now, adding lunch in a few weeks.

SIDE NOTE: In case you can’t quite place the building, its past incarnations included bars The Wall and The Hang Around, and a medical-marijuana lounge. An unrelated dispensary has been occupying the lower, west-facing level.

UPDATE, JANUARY 12: Seattle Weekly now reports it’s been contacted directly by Helen Coleman, who tells SW she is NOT associated with this new restaurant. Read their update here.

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Burn ban’s over as of Saturday afternoon

January 3rd, 2015 at 4:29 pm Posted in Environment, Health, White Center news | Comments Off

Update from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, as announced earlier today – you can use your fireplace/woodstove again:

Effective immediately, all burn bans are being lifted in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, as well as Darrington. With the help of rain and wind, air pollution levels everywhere dropped to GOOD or lower Moderate last night.

While agency forecasters do expect only light winds during the day today and into tonight, an approaching weather system should increase winds and rain late tonight and into Sunday. This will again help disperse our air pollution and keep levels low for the next 2-3 days.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency would like to thank everyone who switched to alternative sources of heat instead of burning wood during these bans. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory health problems especially appreciate your efforts.

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Update: Demolition day for ex-restaurant at 11060 16th SW

January 2nd, 2015 at 12:43 pm Posted in development, White Center news | 4 Comments »

(UPDATE: Photos added from end of demolition work)

12:43 PM: Thanks to reader Sally for noticing a new banner on the fencing around 11060 16th SW, the long-vacant, often-vandalized former restaurant (El Chalan, Ezell’s, Wendy’s). The banner touts a bank as “proudly fund(ing)” a project there. The project was news to us, so we looked it up. From the King County Assessor’s Office site, a quick line:


After checking out the banner and starting this story last night, we went back today and discovered that the longtime eyesore is being demolished.

1:17 PM: Adding photos and backstory. It’s been eight years since El Chalan, last tenant of the building, shut down, according to random mentions we’ve found. The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council long campaigned to get the property owners to keep the graffiti vandalism and overgrowth in check; we reported here on a major cleanup almost two years ago. Since then, we’ve seen periodic paintouts.

Meantime, as to its future – according to county permit records, the apartment proposal has been in the system for some time, but just got going in earnest this past September.

ADDED: A few more photos, from the very end of the demolition:

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Missing dog: Have you seen Missy?

January 2nd, 2015 at 1:17 am Posted in Pets, White Center news | Comments Off

Another missing dog – have you seen her?

HI EVERYONE! I have a missing dog. Her name is Missy. She is a minpin/chihuahua. She is a little over a feet long. She is black and has brown on her face (as you can see on the pictures) she goes by the name Missy and she doesn’t bite so if you do see her, please call her over. She is 3 years old. She doesn’t have a tag or anything. She went missing this morning around Mt. View Elementary area. I love her and miss her very much so please spread the word!!! Please message me or my boyfriend here or text me, thanks! 5187792247

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Update: Missing dog found

January 1st, 2015 at 6:54 pm Posted in Pets, White Center news | Comments Off

UPDATE – This dog’s been found!

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‘Rising air pollution’ brings Stage 1 burn ban, countywide

January 1st, 2015 at 1:11 pm Posted in Environment, Weather, White Center news | Comments Off

A Stage 1 burn ban is now in effect for all of King County, as announced by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, because of “stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution.” It’s expected to continue at least until tomorrow. Here’s what a Stage 1 burn ban means you can’t (and can) do:

* No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled.

* The only exception is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency

* No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.

* Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

* It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

Whenever the burn ban is lifted, we’ll publish an update here on WCN.

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Get rolling! Special sessions at Southgate for winter break

December 30th, 2014 at 9:24 am Posted in Fun, southgate, White Center news | Comments Off

School’s still out and boredom could be rising. Southgate Roller Rink has been offering special afternoon skating sessions to try to combat that – and there’s another one today, 1-4:30 pm ($6.50 charge). The rink will be closed on New Year’s Eve and Day, so you’re running out of time to say you skated there in 2014; there’s one more afternoon session planned, on Friday, January 2nd.

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White Center Food Bank needs your help on New Year’s Eve!

December 26th, 2014 at 11:45 am Posted in How to Help, White Center Food Bank, White Center news | Comments Off

Can you answer the call?

Volunteers able to lift between 20 and 50 pounds are needed at 9:00 am Wednesday, December 31 to help the White Center Food Bank do inventory. The inventory will take place at 10829 8th Ave SW. Volunteers should dress for a warehouse and wear closed-toe shoes. Available? Contact Audrey Zemke at audrey@whitecenterfoodbank.org or 206-762-2848.

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Taqueria La Fondita #2’s gift to you: Free food on Christmas Eve

December 23rd, 2014 at 4:10 pm Posted in Food, Holidays, White Center news | Comments Off

A holiday reminder from Oscar Brambila of Taqueria La Fondita #2 – tomorrow, Christmas Eve, is their annual gift to you – free food between 11 am and 4 pm! Tacos, burritos, and free drinks, according to the announcement he sent, something they’ve done for more than a decade. They’re at 9811 15th SW, and expecting Santa Claus at noon.

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White Center Crime Watch: Zippy’s Giant Burgers break-in

December 22nd, 2014 at 8:07 am Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | Comments Off

This day started a lot earlier than it should have had to for Zippy’s Giant Burgers. And it’s including jobs it shouldn’t have had to include – cleaning up broken glass and buying a new cash register. Zippy’s proprietor Blaine Cook was planning one last full day of business before an early closure Tuesday for the staff party, followed by a holiday break. Instead, he got an early call about one or more burglar(s) breaking a side door to get in, discovered by a family member arriving around 4 am to clean.

The cash register and safe were taken, Cook writes on Facebook). The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating; deputies were just leaving as we arrived. Zippy’s is at 9614 14th SW; you’ll recall the Greenbridge area, several blocks east, had a series of business burglaries last month.

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Next Highline Public Schools bond measure: Superintendent’s open letter

December 19th, 2014 at 11:20 am Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news | Comments Off

Received from Highline Public Schools, on behalf of Superintendent Susan Enfield:

As the Superintendent of Highline Public Schools and a resident of the Highline community, I feel compelled to write this open letter. I am grateful to those of you who supported our bond measure last month, which fell just short of the 60% supermajority needed for passage. For those of you who opposed the bond, I also appreciate that you took the time and effort to engage in the democratic process and express your views.

On December 17, the School Board approved placing another bond proposal on the February 10, 2015 ballot. We are taking this step because in order to best educate our children, we must replace aging buildings and relieve the crowding in our schools. The proposal includes some savings gained from, among other things, eliminating the need for middle school interim sites, thus ensuring that our middle school students will not have two transitions during their middle school years.

As we move forward we will engage in a community-wide conversation about this bond proposal, including multiple opportunities at schools and in the community to hear your concerns and answer your questions. During the last election there were significant inaccuracies and misstatements shared by those in opposition to the bond, and I welcome the opportunity to correct those errors.

I extend an invitation to all community members to engage in a conversation with me, Highline Public Schools Board members, and staff about how we will provide safe, up-to-date schools for our students and staff. We will be inviting those who opposed the bond in November to participate in these meetings so that we can have an open, public dialogue on these issues. Our first meeting will be in early January and we will post all the information on our website at Highlineschools.org.

I especially want to invite those who opposed the bond to participate in these public conversations so that we may hear and respond to your concerns. I strongly believe that we as adults must model for our children and young people what it means to be informed, engaged citizens and how to participate in the democratic process responsibly and respectfully.

Together we will build a better, stronger, Highline Public Schools—and deliver on our promise of knowing every student by name, strength and need.

Susan Enfield

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White Center Crime Watch: Stolen car pulled over in Greenbridge, suspects bolt

December 16th, 2014 at 9:04 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | 1 Comment »

If you, like the tipster who shared that photo, wondered what was going on around 2:30 am in the heart of Greenbridge – King County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Houck has replied to our inquiry. He says it involved a stolen car: “At around 2 am or so a Deputy turned around to stop a vehicle that had been driving toward him, for an equipment violation. As he was doing this, 4 unknown race/ sex / age people jumped out and ran in all directions.” The ensuing search, including a K-9 team, didn’t find any of the suspects.

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Video: Seattle Council approves ‘placeholder’ resolution regarding White Center (and vicinity) annexation

December 15th, 2014 at 2:04 pm Posted in Annexation, White Center news | Comments Off

(ADDED: Full Seattle Channel video of this afternoon’s meeting)

2:04 PM: Just before its morning meeting wrapped up today, Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess described the annexation resolution to be discussed this afternoon as a “placeholder” – to keep the state’s tax-credit support from expiring – not necessarily a declaration that they intend to carry it through. The afternoon meeting has just begun; it is starting with council discussion of other matters and then public comment – you can watch live online here.

2:13 PM: First up in the public-comment period is Amanda Kay Helmick from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (who also is running for Seattle City Council, though she is speaking in her role as WWRHAH chair rather than as a candidate). She is talking about her work on an updated neighborhood plan for the area and why annexation would make sense so that the planning does not address, for example, one side of Roxbury and not the other. The speaker after her, who said he lives in Burien, opposed annexation, saying Seattle can’t be trusted.

2:31 PM: Lost our connection to the stream but the last speaker was Barbara Dobkin, president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, which has historically supported annexation by Burien – you’ll recall that Seattle stepped aside to allow Burien to have an annexation election in 2012, but a majority of those who voted rejected the proposal, and after some leadership changes, Burien has so far declined to resume pursuing it. (We’ll be adding video of the hearing as soon as Seattle Channel turns it around.)

2:39 PM: The resolution is up now. Councilmember Burgess again describes it as a “placeholder” and talks about many issues that would have to be resolved before Seattle would wholeheartedly approve it – including financial help via a better state tax credit. He also notes that it’s not clear there’s majority support in the potential annexation area for joining Seattle. “There are multiple offramps on this road going forward,” he elaborates. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the only West Seattle resident on the council, says he supports “keeping the option open.” Councilmember Kshama Sawant says she thinks it’s reasonable for the city and county to ask the state to cover the extra cost of services if the area was annexed, but she says, ultimately the area consists of “human beings” with needs they deserve to have filled.

2:45 PM: Burgess clarifies that the annexation proposal would not change the school-district boundaries – this area, if Seattle annexed it, would remain part of Highline Public Schools. And shortly after that, the annexation resolution passed 8-0. Its text says that even if pursued avidly, an election wouldn’t be possible until 2016. We’ll keep close watch on the process as – if – it goes.

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Followup: Seattle Council considers annexation proposal Monday afternoon

December 13th, 2014 at 3:10 am Posted in Annexation, White Center news | 6 Comments »

As first reported here a week ago, a proposal to annex White Center and vicinity has suddenly surfaced before the Seattle City Council. This Monday (December 15), they’ll vote on whether to take the first step toward calling for residents of the potential annexation area to vote on the idea. One big caveat, though: As pointed out in the council memo, the main reason this has jumped to the forefront is that Seattle leaders want to make sure the annexation tax credit doesn’t expire – since they plan to ask for even more incentive, because of how much it’ll cost the city to provide services to the area, among other costs. So the resolution that’ll be considered Monday says this is NOT a commitment that they’ll pursue the process to the end:

… the City and King County intend to request additional financial assistance from the state to bridge the financial gap between revenues and the spending needed to serve the North Highline Annexation Area. Although this resolution initiates an annexation election, the City will continue to evaluate the advisability of such annexation pending the state’s decision regarding increased financial assistance.

The council meeting starts at 2 pm in Seattle City Council chambers at City Hall downtown, and traditionally begins with a public-comment period.

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Video: This month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

December 11th, 2014 at 9:20 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Lakewood Park, White Center news | 1 Comment »

One week ago tonight, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council heard from King County Sheriff John Urquhart. Above, you can watch our video of his almost-40-minute appearance. His topics included staffing – hopes of increasing it in unincorporated North Highline, for example – and working on diversity. “I have a white male police department right now,” he declared. “I cannot have a successful police department unless I mirror the community … but it’s difficult, it’s difficult recruitment.” Among other things, he talked about changing county policies so that candidates who speak a second language, for example, get more civil-service points.

He talked about the beat cop being the ultimate model of law enforcement, and joined NHUAC in paying tribute to the late Deputy Steve Cox, who was killed eight years ago. Deputy Cox had exemplified the ideal model of law enforcement, the “beat cop,” noted Sheriff Urquhart.

Two members of his force who focus on specific beats spoke next – Joe Winters, who is lead deputy on park patrol, and new White Center storefront Deputy Julian Chivington, who talked about crime stats, including an increase in residential burglary:

One more note – NHUAC members are working on getting a memorial in Lakewood Park in honor of Dick Thurnau, who lived nearby and devoted so many years to advocating for the park’s beleaguered Hicklin Lake. They are even talking to local legislators to see if there’s a chance the park could be renamed in his honor.

Watch the NHUAC website for word of the council’s next meeting and other information between meetings.

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After unsuccessful bond vote, Highline Public Schools wants your thoughts on what to do next

December 8th, 2014 at 10:44 pm Posted in Highline School District, White Center news | 1 Comment »

The bond vote failed. So now what? Highline Public Schools wants to hear from you. Its announcement includes a few options – see the links within (note the deadline TOMORROW AFTERNOON to sign up for the “telephone town hall”):

Highline Public Schools is asking all families, staff, and community members to participate in an online survey and a live Telephone Town Hall meeting about the recent bond proposal, which garnered 59.3 percent of the vote but failed to reach the supermajority needed to pass.

Highline is gathering community input as district leaders determine when to run another bond measure and what, if any, changes should be made to the bond package.
Highline faces critical challenges after last month’s bond measure fell just short of the 60 percent approval required for passage. The need to replace aging schools and to address overcrowding and growing enrollment is still urgent.

“In our state, school construction and repairs are funded by local bonds, so the only way to solve these two challenges is to pass a bond measure,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “We need to hear from the community and come to a solution that is in the best interest of all of our students.”

All are invited to register for a live Telephone Town Hall meeting that will be held on Tuesday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. Superintendent Enfield and School Board member Bernie Dorsey will ask for input and answer questions participants have about the urgent need to replace aging schools and build new schools to address overcrowding and growing enrollment.

Participants can register online. The deadline to register for the event is 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9.

Community members are also invited to take a brief online survey. The online survey is easy to access and is a convenient way to share input and ideas. Families and community members who have provided the district with their email addresses will receive email invitations to participate.

The survey is also accessible for all via the YourVoice section of Highline’s website. The survey is confidential and secure. Survey results will not be tied to individual participants. Once the survey has closed on January 1, Highline will share results with the community.

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Update: Power outage over in parts of White Center and beyond

December 6th, 2014 at 11:16 am Posted in utilities, White Center news | Comments Off

11:16 AM: Major parts of North Highline are caught up in another widespread power outage – more than 9,000 homes and businesses in all, according to Seattle City Light, which is currently projecting restoration around mid-afternoon. See the latest map of the outage locations here. (Screen grab above was taken from that same page just before 11 am.)

11:58 AM: Per City Light, everyone’s back on. (If you’re not, please let them know!)

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