Highline Public Schools to close May 21st because of teacher walkout

May 13th, 2015 at 7:20 pm Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news | Comments Off on Highline Public Schools to close May 21st because of teacher walkout

All over the region, teachers are staging one-day walkouts to protest the state of education funding, among other things. Today, Highline Public Schools announced that its teachers plan to walk out one week from tomorrow – Thursday, May 21st – so it’s closing schools that day:

All schools in Highline Public Schools will be closed on May 21 due to a teacher walkout.

The Highline Education Association (HEA) — the teachers’ union — has voted to participate in a one-day walkout on May 21. Highline does not have enough substitute teachers to cover all classes that day, so school is cancelled on May 21.

Highline will make up the school day on May 26, the district’s scheduled snow make-up day.

HEA wrote in communication with its members, “The target of HEA’s May 21 Day of Action Walkout is the WA State Legislature, not the Highline School District.”

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Update: Bike To Work Day on Friday

May 13th, 2015 at 6:24 pm Posted in Transportation, White Center news | Comments Off on Update: Bike To Work Day on Friday

ORIGINAL 6:24 PM REPORT: According to the Cascade Bike Club‘s map for Bike To Work Day events on Friday, local businesses are presenting a “commute station” in downtown White Center again, 6-9 am.

10:26 PM UPDATE: Apparently not – Caffe Delia indicates the map info is inaccurate. We HAVE direct confirmation of the West Seattle Bridge station, at least, if you’re headed that way.

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White Center scene: A little roadside cleanup

May 11th, 2015 at 11:15 am Posted in White Center news | Comments Off on White Center scene: A little roadside cleanup

Thanks to @smokeycretin9 for the tip via Twitter … county crews were out doing some roadside mowing this morning; we caught up with them along eastbound Roxbury, just east of downtown White Center. So if you travel Roxbury later today – you might notice the south side looks neater!

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License approved for White Center’s first recreational-marijuana retail store

May 8th, 2015 at 10:04 pm Posted in White Center news | Comments Off on License approved for White Center’s first recreational-marijuana retail store

The latest list of license approvals published by the state Liquor Control Board shows one for what would be White Center’s first recreational-marijuana store. As has been discussed often by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – again just last night – the area has had a relatively sizable number of medical-marijuana outlets for some time, but no recreational-marijuana outlet yet. The LCB’s list says the license is approved for a business to be called Bud Nation, at 9640 16th SW, Suite A. (9640 16th SW is where the Northwest Cannabis Market medical-marijuana enterprise first opened.) We wrote almost exactly a year ago about an applicant at Suite D being among the more highly placed applicants in the state’s lottery. No further details on the newly approved licensee yet, but we’re working to find out more.

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Like garage sales? 340+ of them to the north on Saturday during West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day

May 8th, 2015 at 5:16 pm Posted in west seattle, White Center news | Comments Off on Like garage sales? 340+ of them to the north on Saturday during West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day

If you need a few things … and/or just like to shop garage sales, rummage sales, yard sales, whatever you want to call them … head north and shop West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day tomorrow (9 am-3 pm, Saturday, May 9th)! Our partner site West Seattle Blog presents/coordinates WSCGSD, which this year has a record 340+ sales. The online map is here, and that page includes a link to a printable version (21 pages of sale descriptions and map sections).

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s May meeting: Crime stats, community planning, property values…

May 7th, 2015 at 9:04 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | 3 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Hot topics from crime to planning filled tonight’s meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

WHITE CENTER CRIME STATS: Storefront Deputy Julian Chivington was at the meeting to present a briefing. He primarily focused on sector K-1, though K-11 and K-7 are also part of the area. He showed hot spots for car thefts and car prowls; Part 1 crimes (homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft, arson) are going down, 83 incidents in April, down from 88 in the same month last year and a peak at 106 last July. He said new hires are beefing up the staffing – more incidences of 3 deputies in White Center or even 4, compared to it often being 2 until now. Part II crimes – almost everything else – are down even more significantly 85 in the past month, from a peak of 135 during one month over the winter. Violent crime has dropped dramatically, according to a 3 1/2-year chart he showed. Burglaries and attempts are down from 14 in March to 11 in April.

Deputy Chivington said he talked to the burglary/larceny detective today who “had a whole bunch of success stories” – 5 in custody in the last three weeks for vehicle theft, for example, including “a prolific vehicle thief/car prowler that hit both Seattle and us … he’s looking at some pretty good jail time.” He took a residential-burglary report and collected fingerprints – they’re waiting on the results – and “the neighbors had cameras pointed at the house … detectives went to (the suspect’s) house” and the suspect confessed, Deputy Chivington said. Looking through the reports, he said mail thefts are down; a lot of previous victims “have put up locked boxes for mail” or pitched in for locking mailbox clusters, and that seems to have helped.

The bus stop fight at 102nd on April 26th involved a stabbing, Deputy Chivington said, but the victim was not being cooperative with investigators.

Miscellaneous cases – One that involved the SWAT team recently happened because a stolen vehicle had been stripped and turned up at the “Gypsy Joker clubhouse” at 5th/116th, Deputy Chivington said … the deputy says he’s working on various “problem houses” in connection with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

ASSESSOR’S OFFICE UPDATE: Phillip Sit from the office of King County Assessor Lloyd Hara presented an update, starting with a reminder of the different tech tools you can use online to find out more about your property’s value, taxes, etc. One called LocalScape – recently launched – will show a variety of numbers you might be interested in – appraised values, number of properties, changes in appraised values by residential area, local sales – you can click on a pin to find out more about a specific property, when it was sold, for how much, etc. It also offers demographic data (including areas you can select, not just premapped areas).

“We visit your property every six years, so if something changes, we might not be aware of it,” he reminded everyone.

King County is the “second-fastest-growing urban county in the country right now,” said Sit. That includes 1,500 people moving here from California every month right now, he said. The county’s values has increased 13.9% since last year. 85 of 86 residential areas increased in value for their 2014 valuation, but only 20 of those areas, all on the eastside, “have increased beyond their 2008 valuation.”

The valuation card you get from their audience will show up starting later this May, and the number is set on January 1st. They survey a variety of things in the area – including teardowns and sales – to calculate the value. In an area with many teardowns, most of your assessed value might be on the land, not the house.

The big question: “Does higher assessed value necessarily mean higher property taxes?” Answer: “It depends – factors include assessed value of your property, total taxable property value in your community, budgets adopted by your local governments, voter-approved measures. In Seattle, for example, the amount of property tax per $1,000 of assessed value went down a dollar because of new construction.

P.S. Watch for an Assessor’s Office town hall in the North Highline area this summer.

OFFICE OF PERFORMANCE, STRATEGY AND BUDGET: Karen Wolf from this office, which is part of the County Executive’s department, came to talk about the Comprehensive Plan update – a process that’s starting now, to culminate with finalization next year. She says County Councilmember Joe McDermott has asked for a “sub-area plan” in this area to see if major changes to be made. That’s a “neighborhood plan, a deeper look at a community,” Wolf elaborated when asked by NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin what exactly that meant.

She was asked whether the county is looking at zoning that would require housing for multiple income levels – like Greenbridge and Seola Gardens, for example. Talk to your councilmember, she suggested.

Overall, they’re hoping to plan for a more walkable community, saying the past zoning was “a barrier to having retail businesses come in and create sidewalks so you could walk there.”

What about tax breaks to encourage more businesses, especially tech firms with many jobs, to locate perhaps on underutilized sites like Top Hat’s former Bernie and Boys market site? wondered NHUAC’s Elizabeth Gordon. She also asked what good it does to address economic/social inequity if you can’t really have any effect on what kind of development winds up going where? Wolf acknowledged that’s a conundrum, and went on to mention a New York Times story about commute times being a predictor of getting out of poverty. “So what can we do as planners to help improve that situation? That’s something we’re going to look at.” She said they’re looking not just at the “bad things present in a community” but also “the good things that are lacking. … We’re going to be learning a lot of this with you, as the process goes along.”

She learned a lot just hearing from NHUAC board members and meeting attendees, including the fact that White Center has only one grocery store. It was observed that Wolf shouldn’t have been surprised by what she’s hearing – as she clearly was – and it was pointed out by an attendee that NHUAC “has been de-funded,” which means the county isn’t getting as well-rounded of a view. “How many different groups do you listen to?” she was asked.

NHUAC’s Liz Giba suggested that “too many groups in North Highline don’t have open meetings” (which NHUAC does). Wolf said the next step is to “work with the community to come up with a vision,” and then to “work with professionals to (pursue it).”

Concerns were also voiced that North Highline needs more “economic diversity.”

Wolf tried to reassure concerns that, as NHUAC’s Elizabeth Gordon put it, “the plan (itself) is a silo,” by saying planners would be meeting with people involved in a wide range of components that go into the plan, including housing, safety, and transportation.

Timeline? Right now, Wolf’s department is “developing the scope of work,” which will be followed by developing a draft plan by next winter, and the County Council adopting the updated Comprehensive Plan about a year from now.

BOARD MEMBERS’ ANNOUNCEMENTS included a May 31st health fair “open to the community” announced by Elizabeth Gordon, at Breath of Life Church on 26th SW, 1 pm-5 pm; she also announced a June 26th fun-run fundraiser for the Evergreen campus. … Liz Giba mentioned TAF‘s summer camps – register ASAP! – info here … Barbara Dobkin mentioned a “potential marijuana grow operation” at 1109 1st Avenue S., right across from an I-502 recreational marijuana store, and that a comment period for a conditional-use permit is coming up; she has information about it, for anyone who wants to comment, for/against/otherwise – you can contact her to find out more.

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS: White Center Kiwanis is announcing its pancake breakfast coming up in July during Jubilee Days – “if you buy tickets early, you save $2 at the door” … White Center Library Guild is having plant sales on Fridays and Saturdays, noon-2 pm at the library, throughout the month of May, both vegetable and flower plants.

NHUAC meets on first Thursdays, 7 pm, at the North Highline Fire District‘s HQ. A Liquor Control Board rep is expected at June’s meeting, to talk about cannabis.

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Speaking of giving … How West Seattle Academy students helped save animals

May 7th, 2015 at 5:20 am Posted in Schools, White Center news | Comments Off on Speaking of giving … How West Seattle Academy students helped save animals

BIG LIFE SCONE SALE

Students at West Seattle Academy (11215 15th SW) know the power of something simple. Heather Aquino shared the photo and explains:

Last week West Seattle Academy was up to something AWESOME. They sold scones during morning arrivals to support Big Life Foundation. Big Life is a anti-poaching group in East Africa. Scones were sold for $1 each and these kids raised $750!

Big Life was the first organization in East Africa with coordinated cross-border anti-poaching operations.

As of July 2013, Big Life’s rangers had made 1,030 arrests and confiscated 3,012 weapons/poaching tools since November 2010. Recognizing that sustainable conservation can only be achieved through a community-based collaborative approach, Big Life uses innovative conservation strategies to address the greatest threats, reduce the loss of wildlife to poaching, defeat the ivory trade, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, protect the great predators, and manage scarce and fragile natural resources.

Big Life’s vision is to take the successful holistic conservation model in the
Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem and replicate it across the African continent.

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White Center, West Seattle, South Park nonprofits you can support during today’s GiveBIG donation drive, including ‘Dine Out For Hunger’ for WC Food Bank

May 5th, 2015 at 8:44 am Posted in How to Help, White Center news | Comments Off on White Center, West Seattle, South Park nonprofits you can support during today’s GiveBIG donation drive, including ‘Dine Out For Hunger’ for WC Food Bank

Again this year, dozens of area nonprofits are participating in today’s GiveBIG one-day donate-a-thon coordinated by the Seattle Foundation. The money you give TODAY ONLY to any or all of the participating nonprofits goes beyond face value – it boosts their eligibility for a “stretch pool” of partial matching funds, to be distributed proportionately depending on how much each participating organization raises during GiveBIG, by 11:59 pm tonight.

VERY IMPORTANT: You **must** donate through the special pages all participants have on the GiveBIG website, NOT via the organizations’ own websites. So here’s our list of those special pages for participating White Center, West Seattle, and South Park-based or -founded/-connected nonprofits. The special links take you to pages on the Seattle Foundation website with background information, as well as the donation links to use for this one-day event. Please also note that some organizations require an extra step – the “go here” link takes you to their “fiscal sponsor” or parent organization and then you MUST write the local org’s name in the “comments” area. (P.S. Please let us know if we missed a WC, WS, or SP-based organization – post a comment or e-mail us ASAP at whitecenternow@gmail.com so we can check it out – thanks!)

ART FOR ANIMALS’ SAKEgo here

ARTS CORPSgo here

ARTSWESTgo here

CITIZENS FOR OFF-LEASH AREASgo here

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATIONgo here

DENNY-SEALTH PERFORMING ARTSgo here

DISABILITY RIGHTS WASHINGTONgo here

DUWAMISH RIVER CLEANUP COALITION/TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUPgo here

DUWAMISH ROWING CLUBgo here

DUWAMISH TRIBAL SERVICESgo here

EARTH MINISTRY go here

EMPOWER MENTORING PROGRAMgo here

ENVIRONMENTAL COALITION OF SOUTH SEATTLEgo here

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CENTERgo here

EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOLgo here

FAUNTLEROY CHILDREN’S CENTERgo here

FEESTgo here

FREE2LUVgo here

FRIENDS OF SEALTH – IB SCHOLARSHIP FUNDgo here

FURRY FACES FOUNDATIONgo here

HIGHLINE SCHOOLS FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCEgo here

HOLY ROSARY PARISH SCHOOL go here

INVEST IN YOUTHgo here

K-5 STEM PTAgo here

KILLER WHALE TALESgo here

KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM FOUNDATIONgo here

KOL HANESHAMAHgo here

LEGAL COUNSEL FOR YOUTH AND CHILDRENgo here

MARRA FARM COALITIONgo here

MULTI-COMMUNITIES (M.I.C.) go here

NATURE CONSORTIUMgo here

NAVOSgo here

NEIGHBORHOOD FARMERS MARKETSgo here

NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSEgo here

NONFICTION MEDIAgo here

NORTHWEST CENTERgo here

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE SCHOOLgo here

PLUMBERS WITHOUT BORDERSgo here

PONGO PUBLISHINGgo here

PROVIDENCE MOUNT ST. VINCENT FOUNDATIONgo here

PUGET SOUNDKEEPER ALLIANCEgo here

REEL GRRLSgo here

ROOTS OF EMPATHY USA go here

SAFE FUTURES YOUTH CENTERgo here

SCHOOL OF ACROBATICS AND NEW CIRCUS ARTSgo here

SEAL SITTERS go here and in the comments area, write that you’re donating for Seal Sitters

SEA MAR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERSgo here

SEATTLE CHINESE GARDEN SOCIETYgo here

SEATTLE GLEE CLUBSgo here

SEATTLE PARKS FOUNDATIONgo here

SEATTLE POLICE FOUNDATIONgo here

SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATIONgo here

SEATTLE SINGLE PARENT ADVOCACY COUNSELING ENRICHMENTgo here

SEATTLE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRASgo here

SENIOR CENTER OF WEST SEATTLEgo here and write “Senior Center of West Seattle” in the “comments” area

SOUTH PARK AREA REDEVELOPMENT COMMITTEEgo here

SOUTH PARK INFORMATION AND RESOURCE CENTERgo here

SOUTH PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONgo here

SOUTH PARK SENIOR CITIZENSgo here

SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE FOUNDATIONgo here

SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETYgo here

SOUTHWEST YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICESgo here

SPORTS IN SCHOOLSgo here

TECHNOLOGY ACCESS FOUNDATIONgo here

TECHNOLOGY SERVICES CORPSgo here

THE CABIRIgo here

THE ILLUMINATIO PROJECTgo here and specify in the comments area that it’s for The Illuminatio Project

THE MISSION TO SEAFARERSgo here

THE SALVATION ARMY – KING COUNTYgo here

THE SERVICE BOARDgo here

THE VILLAGE OF HOPEgo here

THE WHALE TRAILgo here

THEATER SIMPLEgo here

TOTEM STARgo here

TRANSITIONAL RESOURCESgo here (TR’s board is matching the first $2,500 donated)

TWELFTH NIGHT PRODUCTIONSgo here

VIVACE CHAMBER PLAYERSgo here

WEST SEATTLE BE PREPAREDgo here and write the organization’s name in “comments”

WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORKgo here and write the organization’s name in “comments”

WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANKgo here

WEST SEATTLE HELPLINEgo here

WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION ASSOCIATIONgo here

WESTSIDE BABYgo here

WESTSIDE SCHOOLgo here

WESTSIDE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATIONgo here

WHITE CENTER COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATIONgo here

WHITE CENTER FOOD BANKgo here – and again this year, WCFB has an added event on GiveBIG day, Dine Out For Hunger:

Dine out on May 5, 2015, and these restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to the White Center Food Bank!

Company Bar
Full Tilt Ice Cream (White Center location)
Mac’s Triangle Pub
Meander’s
Proletariat Pizza
Zippy’s Giant Burgers (White Center AND Georgetown locations)

These wonderful restaurants will donate to us through giveBIG, so their donations will be stretched and matched, too!

WHIT PRESSgo here

YES FOUNDATION OF WHITE CENTERgo here

WEST SEATTLE/FAUNTLEROY YMCAgo to the YMCA of Greater Seattle donation page and write in the comments that it’s for the West Seattle YMCA

YOUTH FOR SOCIAL JUSTICEgo here

YOUTH MEDIA INSTITUTEgo here

YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION NETWORKgo here

YWCA OF SEATTLE-KING COUNTYgo here

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Dine Out For Hunger and help White Center Food Bank on GiveBIG day Tuesday

May 4th, 2015 at 11:02 am Posted in Food, How to Help, White Center news | Comments Off on Dine Out For Hunger and help White Center Food Bank on GiveBIG day Tuesday

Tomorrow’s the annual GiveBIG donate-a-thon, and you can help the White Center Food Bank via “Dine Out For Hunger,” as announced by WCFB:

Dine out on May 5, 2015, and these restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to the White Center Food Bank!

Company Bar
Full Tilt Ice Cream (White Center location)
Mac’s Triangle Pub
Meander’s
Proletariat Pizza
Zippy’s Giant Burgers (White Center AND Georgetown locations)

These wonderful restaurants will donate to us through giveBIG, so their donations will be stretched and matched, too!

When GiveBIG starts just after midnight tonight, we’ll also have a list of participating local nonprofits, as usual.

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What you’ll find out about at next Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

May 3rd, 2015 at 8:34 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | Comments Off on What you’ll find out about at next Thursday’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Barbara Dobkin:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting:

When: Thursday, May 7, at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station (1243 SW 112th Street)

Plan on joining us to hear how you can have an impact on the King County Comprehensive Plan update – which will be adopted by the King County Council in late 2016. The Comp Plan sets the groundwork for the continued growth and development of our community (North Highline/White Center). Karen Wolf, Sr. Policy Analyst of the office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget, will provide details on the current plan – and how we can assist in formulating the updated plan.

We are also pleased to host Phillip Sit from the King County Dept of Assessments – housing prices are on the increase in King County – Phillip will be providing information on how housing prices in our community compare with the rest of the county. He will also be showing off the new internet tools that are available on the Dept of Assessments website.

Our White Center Storefront Deputy, Julian Chivington, will be also be on hand to provide updates on crime trends and general safety concerns.

Please see our website for more details and agenda: northhighlineuac.org

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VIDEO: King County Sheriff’s Office, North Highline Fire District, AMR ambulance, other safety specialists visit White Center Heights Elementary

April 29th, 2015 at 4:57 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, Schools, White Center news | 1 Comment »

(UPDATED EARLY THURSDAY with more video, photos)

The youngest students at White Center Heights Elementary School got a lesson today that will last their whole lives: Finding out firsthand about public-safety personnel and what they do, during the school’s second annual Emergency Services Day. In our video, above, the star of the show was the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Guardian One, which landed right on the school’s playfield after circling a few times. Once it had come to a full stop, the students got to go over for a close-up look:

But the helicopter was not the only visitor. Public-safety vehicles including a North Highline Fire District engine and crew rolled onto the WC Heights playground for show and tell:

Ever wonder how a fire engine works and what equipment’s on board? Listen to the explanation and Q/A for this group of students:

An AMR ambulance was there too, with an EMT who has a special connection to the school – David Sonsteng is WC Heights Elementary’s PTSA president:

And a KCSO Gang Unit detective showed the students a patrol car as well as explaining his gear, from weapons to radio:

The students included WC Heights kindergarteners who had been working on their “community helpers” module, and preschool and Head Start students who were finishing up a “transportation” module. Introducing young children to emergency personnel in a non-emergency situation is helpful in case of a future emergency – firefighters, police and others might look scary with their uniforms and equipment unless a child recalls having learned about who they are and what they do. So all these little ones went home today with stories to tell:

(Here’s our coverage of the first WCH Emergency Services Day last year.)
————————-
————————-
EARLIER: Below, the short version of our story, originally published Wednesday afternoon:


During a burst of sunshine between showers, White Center Heights Elementary students greeted special visitors for the school’s 2nd annual Emergency Services DayKing County Sheriff’s Office (including the Guardian One helicopter and a Gang Unit detective), North Highline Fire District, AMR (ambulance), and more. Above, a quick bit of video from right after Guardian One’s landing on the school playfield – we have much more to add later this evening.

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One more day to vote in emergency-radio-system levy

April 28th, 2015 at 9:33 am Posted in Election, White Center news | 1 Comment »

We found Fred and Joe at the ballot-dropoff van outside Greenbridge Library on Monday, and you’ll find the van there from 10 am-8 pm today – your last chance to get the ballots in for the levy to raise money to replace the area’s emergency-radio system. In the first of its nine years, the rate will be 7 cents for every thousand dollars of property valuation, so if you have a house valued at $400,000, this will cost you $28. If you’re mailing your ballot, remember you need to provide a stamp, and get it postmarked by tonight; if you use the drop van (or another county dropoff spot), you do NOT need a stamp.

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One man to hospital after fight that started at White Center bus stop

April 26th, 2015 at 9:08 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | Comments Off on One man to hospital after fight that started at White Center bus stop

Thanks to those who texted and called (206-293-6302) about an incident on 16th near 102nd earlier this evening. At the scene, we talked to a King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who said it started with a fight/argument between two men at a bus stop, and this is where it ended. One was injured and had to be taken to Harborview Medical Center. Deputies were investigating whether a weapon was involved; witnesses and those involved were reported to be telling conflicting stories.

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Happening on Saturday: Cambodian New Year Street Festival in White Center

April 24th, 2015 at 10:56 pm Posted in Fun, White Center news | Comments Off on Happening on Saturday: Cambodian New Year Street Festival in White Center

It’s been an annual tradition for 13 years – the Cambodian New Year Street Festival, closing a block of SW 98th between 15th and 16th, and tomorrow’s the day (Saturday, April 25th). 10:30 am-5 pm, you’re invited to enjoy music, dance, contests, games, and more, free.

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Talk with your County Councilmember, Sheriff, more at tonight’s CSA Open House

April 23rd, 2015 at 10:41 am Posted in King County, White Center news | Comments Off on Talk with your County Councilmember, Sheriff, more at tonight’s CSA Open House

Tonight’s the night – bring your concerns and questions to this year’s Community Service Area open house for White Center/North Highline, 7 pm tonight at Seola Gardens:

As the flyer says, those expected to be there to talk with you include County Councilmember Joe McDermott and County Sheriff John Urquhart. Read more about the CSA program here.

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WestSide Baby making an emergency move – still in White Center – so it can keep helping kids and families

April 19th, 2015 at 8:37 pm Posted in How to Help, WestSide Baby, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Earlier this month, on partner site West Seattle Blog, we reported on a small fire with a big effect on WestSide Baby‘s operations – shutting down the WS Baby volunteer/donation center in White Center, from which the nonprofit serves thousands of families around the area. The resulting power outage isn’t fixed yet. So WS Baby’s executive director Nancy Woodland has announced they’re making an emergency move – not far, but it leaves them in urgenet need of multiple types of help:

On April 9, WestSide Baby’s main facility in White Center experienced a small electrical fire that eliminated power for our donation and volunteer center. This means we’ve been unable to fill orders for 350 children per week as the building is completely dark, cold and unsafe. Because this is not the first time this building has had major maintenance issues, we have decided to take a brave step and move our entire operation within the next week because leaving children in the lurch is unacceptable to us.

To get up and running as soon as possible, over the next 10 days we are moving our main donation and volunteer operations across the street into a warehouse where we have been storing diapers! We plan to open our doors at 10002 14th Ave SW by April 27.

This is a plan we have been working on for some time and had actually hoped to execute this summer. Because of the fire and resulting urgency, we have now divided it into Phases and we’ll start a little earlier than we expected by moving one component of our organization now. We’re excited to share updates on Phase 2 and 3 soon. It’s going to be great and we hope you will be excited to participate in our growth!

We have a list of opportunities for you to support this effort with your time or treasure. Both are critical at this point in order for us to be able to get back up and running and filling orders as soon as possible.

You can donate now at WestSideBaby.org to help us with the following things to get set up quickly:

Critical for Phase 1:

Shelving – $5000 Total ($300/each)
Signage – $2000
Pallet Stacker – Rent or Purchase
Canvas Bins – $1000 Total ($250 each)
Moving and Storage Expenses – $10,000

Things we’ll need for Phase 2 -3:

Moving Expenses – $15k
Industrial Carpet/Flooring
Painting help
Lumber

We will also have Volunteer Opportunities:

Tuesday, April 21 6-7 pm Car Seat moving
Friday, April 24 3-6 pm Shelf Assembly
Saturday, April 25 10 – 5 Moving!!
Sunday, April 26 9 – 5 Deconstruction of old facilty and clean up
Soon after – a small masonry and curb installation project needs a skilled professional

Contact Volunteer Manager, Shana Allen (shana@westsidebaby.org), if you are interested! We have some flexibility with this schedule and we anticipate more things unfolding this week. These are all physical projects.

To help us with backlog – we anticipate announcing additional Sorting Frenzies and Order Filling Opportunities the week of April 27. Let Shana know if you want to be on the lists to receive those updates!!

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Highline Public Schools plans to ‘paddle’ school-bus-stop violators with bus-borne cameras, hefty fines

April 13th, 2015 at 11:56 pm Posted in Highline School District, safety, White Center news | Comments Off on Highline Public Schools plans to ‘paddle’ school-bus-stop violators with bus-borne cameras, hefty fines

(Highline Public Schools photo)
If you ignore the “paddle” that warns you to stop when a school bus is loading/unloading – your chances of getting caught and fined have just increased dramatically. Highline Public Schools‘ news release explains why:

Highline Public Schools announced today that in its ongoing efforts to protect the safety of its students, it is the first school district in King County to implement a school bus stop paddle camera enforcement program.

The cameras, which have been installed on five buses initially, are designed to capture motorists who are putting children at risk by ignoring flashing school bus stop arms as buses load and unload school kids. The enforcement program will launch at the beginning of May, and motorists caught on camera ignoring the stop arms will face a $394 fine starting in early June – before then motorists who are caught on camera ignoring the stop arms will receive a warning.

Highline Chief Operations Officer Scott Logan was joined this morning by King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove and Highline school bus driver Loren Young at a press conference at North Hill Elementary School in Des Moines to announce the new public safety program.

“At Highline Public Schools, we take our duty to ensure the safety of our schoolchildren very seriously. Every day in our district, careless or irresponsible motorists ignore school bus stop arms, putting children boarding or exiting our school buses at risk,” Logan said. “That is why we are so happy to announce the start of our school bus stop arm camera enforcement program, the first of its kind in King County. By catching motorists who are ignoring the requirement to stop when the stop paddles are blinking, we believe we can reduce the number of these incidents and better protect the children in our care.”

King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, the prime sponsor of legislation at the King County Council to enable Highline to move forward, also praised the effort.

“Every year, children getting on or off school buses are killed by careless and irresponsible drivers who ignore school bus stop signs,” Upthegrove said. “That’s why when I was in the legislature I supported the bill to allow enforcement cameras on school buses and it is why I sponsored legislation at the King County Council to establish this program. We need to stop these drivers who are putting our kids at risk.”

Highline school bus drivers, who routinely see motorists ignoring their school bus stop arms and putting the kids in their care at risk, also expressed their support for the newly launched effort.

“I have been a school bus driver in the Highline School District for 30 years. Every week on my route, I see drivers who fail to stop as kids get on or off my bus. In those situations, my first priority is to keep my kids from being hurt, so I rarely am able to get the license plates of these irresponsible drivers. But with the stop paddles cameras in place on my bus, I know we will finally be able to catch the bad actors who are ignoring my school bus stop paddle,” said Highline school bus driver Loren Young.

While the announcement happened in Des Moines, the buses to use the cameras will be on routes in other communities, including White Center, the district tells us.

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PHOTOS: Friends of North Shorewood Park do some cleaning up

April 12th, 2015 at 2:32 am Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for sharing photos of Saturday’s volunteer cleanup at North Shorewood Park. Half a dozen dedicated volunteers made progress:

They’re hoping for even more help when they do it again in July – watch for official announcements!

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FOLLOWUP: White Center crash victim has died, family says

April 10th, 2015 at 11:24 am Posted in Crime, White Center news | 3 Comments »

(WCN photo from last Thursday)
We’ve learned from the family of the woman hit by a suspected drunk driver last week that she has died. 55-year-old Rebecca Delgado, a White Center resident, was hit while crossing 16th SW last Thursday and was taken to Harborview with injuries that included skull fractures, according to the police report. She died at the hospital, her son, who lives out of state, told us via e-mail early today.

As reported here earlier this week, bail was set at $30,000 for the driver, a 50-year-old Burien woman; she posted bond and got out on Easter Sunday. She had not been charged as of our last check; we’ll be checking again today with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council hears about marijuana rules in a ‘fluid’ atmosphere

April 10th, 2015 at 1:40 am Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | 2 Comments »

Toplines from this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, featuring a discussion of the marijuana business and where it stands:

MARIJUANA REGULATIONS/PERMITTING/LAND USE: Ty Peterson from King County said “there’s a lot of misinformation out there” but “the atmosphere is very fluid,” with regulations diverging between cities, county, state, and several bills pending in the state Legislature. White Center has been “mostly retail oriented,” he said. They don’t know how many recreational-marijuana outlets could be allowed in the Highline area, except “no more than 11″ since that’s how many were allotted to King County “at large,” covering the unincorporated area and about half a dozen small cities such as Black Diamond and Maple Valley, get to “split these 11″ – and 4 are in operation now.

He said the interest has been in White Center and Skyway because of the zoning classifications. The county has been trying to do mapping based on the rules but is not having much success yet. “We know there’s right now 11 licenses – the state Liquor Control Board is likely in the future to increase the number of licenses” but 7 remain. Kenmore, Covington, Enumclaw, and Skyway have licenses granted right now. No retail license has been granted in this area yet.

Peterson talked about the 1,000-foot “as the crow flies” distance that the state was enforcing between marijuana businesses and youth-oriented facilities. The county has no such rule, because the state said it would enforce that. There are some limitations – such as 2,000 square feet for a basic permit – and that’s still undergoing interpretation.

“The intent was not to create a marijuana mall,” said Peterson, in terms of figuring out what “2,000 feet per parcel” means and whether that could lead to a 10,000-square foot building hosting five 2,000-foot shops.

Where are the pending applications here? A production facility on 1st Avenue is one of them, he said, adding that it’s being reviewed very carefully because the building already has a medical-marijuana dispensary.

NHUAC’s Elizabeth Gordon asked for clarification if this is just still in a wait-and-see period, as the county comes up with some rules and waits to see if the state will override. Peterson said the county is exercising ‘some basic zoning parameters” but is aware “it’s a moving target” regarding what the rules are and to whom they apply and all. Right now, any further county rule changes are on hold pending what the state decides to do during this session – Peterson said they expect the medical/recreational marijuana oversight to be merged in some way or another. It was noted that House Bill 1552 is the bill considered to be most likely to pass.

He agreed that the medical side of the marijuana business was responsible for most of the problems they’re hearing about because it’s not being “regulated by anybody.” There is no limit on how many dispensaries/access points there can be. Dobkin pointed out that there are 8 in a very small area. “A community like ours is … hit hard” by the concentration.

The whole thing is up in the air right now, seemed to be the bottom line, with questions swirling around permitting, enforcement, and the industry’s future. What about money for helping a community like White Center deal with the impact? asked NHUAC’s Liz Giba. Peterson said that wasn’t necessarily on the table right now.

Gordon brought up a related point – with marijuana concerns converging here because of an abundance of low-rent commercial space, what about economic incentives to help bring in a broader range of tenant choices for landlords?

It was suggested that the county’s comprehensive plan update could help with that, because it includes an economic-development section. Or, a sub-area (community) plan for the area could help, too. King County’s Alan Painter added that the idea had possibilities. Dobkin added that a county rep will be at next month’s meeting to talk about the comprehensive plan.

Peterson said there’s a marijuana-information page on the county’s permitting website, including an e-mail address you can use to send related questions.

LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD: A rep who handles marijuana businesses once they’re approved says there is an application listed in the 9600 block of 16th SW. Olympia reviews and licenses applicants – that’s when he takes over. He says there are security requirements – sensors on doors, video surveillance that has to be recorded for up to 45 days (and has to be high-resolution), multiple cameras in a room, sample jars, security at the doors, etc. One place had a $12,000 safe, he noted.

GRAFFITI VANDALISM: NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin noted a major amount of new graffiti/tagging along 15th SW on a building near Bartell Drugs that has a “for rent” sign up. She also noticed vandalism at Mount View Elementary.

SERVICE OPEN HOUSE: Alan Painter from King County announced that this year’s unincorporated service area open house will be held in North Highline, 7 pm April 23rd at Seola Gardens. (Before we published this report, the flyer came in:)

A new “work plan” will be available in time for the meeting, he said, in response to a question from NHUAC’s Giba.

JUBILEE DAYS FUNDRAISER: Giba announced that the White Center Eagles are hosting one on April 25th, with a dance-a-thon starting at 3 pm and a prime-rib dinner/auction starting at 7 pm. There are also prize-drawing tickets being sold as a fundraiser.

Watch the NHUAC website for meeting schedules and hot topics – northhighlineuac.org.

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