Have breakfast Sunday with White Center Kiwanis

July 22nd, 2017 at 10:11 pm Posted in How to Help, White Center Kiwanis Club, White Center news | Comments Off on Have breakfast Sunday with White Center Kiwanis

More cool stuff Sunday – day two of the Jubilee Days Street Fair and more. Like … the White Center Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, a great way to fuel up for another day of fun:

The club has good reasons for wanting you to be part of it:

The White Center Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast on July 23 at Holy Family School is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the club whose mission is to make the world better one child at a time. Pictured above are students from New Start High School receiving their Student of the Month awards from club president Nancy Tracy. White Center Kiwanis works with New Start and Evergreen High Schools to provide service leadership opportunities through Key Club. We also work with the Coalition for Drug Free Youth at Cascade Middle School. We volunteer at the White Center Food Bank and provide help to the elementary schools.

The Pancake Breakfast runs from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm at Holy Family School (9615 20th Ave SW). Tickets to the breakfast are $8.00. Youth under 5 are free with a paying adult. We will be accepting diapers for WestSide Baby. Come see the great raffle prizes. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or 6 for $5.

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JUBILEE DAYS 2017: What you need to know about where this weekend’s street fair and parade are happening

July 20th, 2017 at 9:19 pm Posted in White Center Jubilee Days, White Center news | 8 Comments »

The weekend’s getting closer – and here’s what you need to know about the different layout (and street closures) for the Jubilee Days street fair and other events on Saturday and Sunday:

Note that 16th and 17th SW will both be closed between Roxbury and 100th, as will 98th between 15th and 18th, 6 am Saturday morning through about 11 pm Sunday night.

*Street fair and main stage (music lineup here) on 16th
*Food on 98th
*Car show/kids’ area on 17th

On Sunday, the parade closure will be 9 am-1 pm on 16th SW between SW 100th and SW 116th. The parade starts at SW 112th at 11 am and runs north from there – more info here.

And check out the Jubilee Days site for tons more info! Organizers point out that local businesses in particular have stepped up in a BIG way this year, more than ever, so be sure to hang out with them throughout the weekend – we’ll have another event-specific preview on Friday.

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Jubilee Days 2017, night 1: Scenes from Steve Cox Memorial Park

July 20th, 2017 at 12:41 am Posted in White Center Jubilee Days, White Center news | 2 Comments »

The first night of the White Center Jubilee Days 2017 carnival was clear … and bright, both at midway level and high above. Partly because of the rides:

And also because of the fireworks!

The show was a full 20 minutes. And then, back to the carnival:

The games and rides continue today/tonight, 3 pm-11 pm.

And this weekend’s the big street fair. Schedules and more are at jubileedays.org.

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WHITE CENTER JUBILEE DAYS 2017: Carnival, fireworks tomorrow

July 18th, 2017 at 11:09 pm Posted in White Center Jubilee Days, White Center news | Comments Off on WHITE CENTER JUBILEE DAYS 2017: Carnival, fireworks tomorrow

The Jubilee Days festival is almost here! First sign – the Davis Shows Northwest carnival has arrived at Steve Cox Memorial Park. We stopped by for photos just before dusk.

The carnival is scheduled to open at 3 pm Wednesday and run until about 11; those will be the hours through Friday, and then 11 am-11 pm Saturday and Sunday, according to the Jubilee Days program. You can get discounted wristbands – here’s how.

Steve Cox Park is also where you can see the big fireworks show on Wednesday night, around 10 pm.

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: SW 104th closure starts next week

July 18th, 2017 at 1:28 pm Posted in Transportation, White Center news | Comments Off on ROAD-WORK ALERT: SW 104th closure starts next week

Just announced by King County Road Services, a closure of one block of SW 104th, from 15th to 16th, starting next Monday, July 24th. “Crews will be replacing a deep, deteriorated underground drainage system,” says the alert. The work is expected to be done by August 11th.

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FOLLOWUP: Li’l Woody’s will open Wednesday

July 17th, 2017 at 12:42 pm Posted in Food, restaurants, White Center news | 3 Comments »

12:42 PM: It’s official … the next White Center restaurant opening is this Wednesday (July 19th), just in time for Jubilee Days. Li’l Woody’s announced the opening date today for its 9807 16th Ave SW location, same building as Beer Star (and the future CTO). The local mini-chain also has locations in Capitol Hill, Ballard, and South Lake Union.

ADDED 1:12 PM: More info from the official Li’l Woody’s news release:

… Li’l Woody’s White Center will be open Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-9 pm, and Friday and Saturday, 11 am-11 pm. The telephone number is 206-403-1294.

Li’l Woody’s will be one of two restaurants sharing the building with Beer Star, the expansive, 40-tap beer hall. Li’l Woody’s 1,400 sq. ft space will be cooking-up their beloved grass-fed burgers, shakes using local ice cream from Full Tilt, and hand-cut fries using potatoes grown in Pasco, Washington from Harvest Fresh Produce. …

The White Center space was once home to the Epicure restaurant, a major gathering spot in the 1950s – known to be where “the elite meet to eat.” The “EP,” as it was called, was owned and operated by Joe Boothby, who cooked roast beef on a spit near the front window. The meat became a favorite offering of the restaurant, along with the annual pancake breakfast fundraisers held downstairs. Li’l Woody’s pays homage to the building’s history with the Epicure sandwich: Slow-braised top round, provolone, caramelized onions, and peppercorn horseradish aioli. An extra kick can be added with the addition of Mama Lil’s peppers for $1.

The Epicure joins the club of a special burger found at each Li’l Woody’s location- Capitol Hill has the Chicken Burger, Ballard has the Salmon Burger and South Lake Union has the Turkey Burger.

“We can’t wait to be a part of the White Center community,” says Li’l Woody’s owner Marcus Lalario. “I’m glad that we can celebrate the history of the building and have a part in this new neighborhood development.“

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WHITE CENTER FAST FOOD: Popeyes is open; Li’l Woody’s is getting closer

July 12th, 2017 at 10:59 am Posted in Food, restaurants, White Center news | Comments Off on WHITE CENTER FAST FOOD: Popeyes is open; Li’l Woody’s is getting closer

Within minutes of the official 10 am opening, the new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in White Center (15th/16th/100th) was busy. We dropped by for a couple quick photos, including the festive decor:

We also checked on the hours: They’re posted as opening at 10 am 7 days a week; the lobby closes at 9, drive-thru at 10.

Meantime, not far away, the new Li’l Woody’s burger shop just south of Beer Star is taking shape:

They’re hoping to be ready to open next week.

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SATURDAY: Duwamish Rowing Club invites you to Dieter Hotz Cup regatta

July 11th, 2017 at 9:43 pm Posted in south park, Sports, White Center news | Comments Off on SATURDAY: Duwamish Rowing Club invites you to Dieter Hotz Cup regatta

The only rowing club in our area invites you to its second annual Dieter Hotz Cup Regatta on Saturday:

The Duwamish Rowing Club invites you to a fun free event this Saturday, July 15th, in Duwamish Waterway Park (S Elmgrove St. and 10th Ave S). Duwamish Rowing Club is hosting a regatta with races between local rowing clubs between 8 am and 12 pm. There will also be a free community breakfast. This event is a great opportunity to learn more about rowing and recreational activities on the Duwamish River.

The regatta will also be a kickoff for the free Learn-to-Row classes hosted by Duwamish Rowing Club on Saturdays in August and September. There is more information available on our website at www.duwamishrowingclub.org or contact us at duwamishrowingclub@gmail.com. Se habla Español. These programs are funded by the Seattle Parks District Recreation for All Initiative.

The Duwamish Rowing Club is a nonprofit organization with the mission of brining the sport of rowing to the residents of South Park, Georgetown, White Center, and surrounding neighborhoods, and to offer recreational access to the Duwamish River that is affordable for everyone.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center marijuana-store holdups

July 11th, 2017 at 9:18 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center marijuana-store holdups

As promised, we followed up with King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West today for details of the two recent marijuana-store holdups in White Center.

The first one, at Uncle Ike’s in the 9800 block of 15th SW, actually happened the night of July 2nd, she says: “4 masked men entered the store armed with handguns and robbed the store of marijuana. During the crime, an employee was pistol-whipped once in the face by one of the suspects. We have not apprehended any of them yet.”

Then last night at Bud Nation in the 9600 block of 16th SW, she says, the store was robbed around 11 pm by “a single suspect (who) entered the store and was armed with a handgun. He was not apprehended.”

Any link between the two robberies? She says they don’t know.

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Homicide investigation after man found dead in North Highline

July 11th, 2017 at 2:27 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 1 Comment »

From the King County Sheriff’s Office:

A man was found dead early this morning in a ravine near 17 Pl S. and Des Moines Memorial Drive [map]. King County Sheriff’s detectives are calling the death a homicide but are not releasing how the man died. A citizen walking in the area discovered the body just before 6 am and called police.

The King County Medical Examiner will determine cause and nature of death as well as the identity of the man. More information will be released as soon as it becomes available.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Another marijuana-store holdup

July 10th, 2017 at 11:41 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Another marijuana-store holdup

For the second time in a week, someone has held up a White Center marijuana store. One week ago tonight, Uncle Ike’s was robbed; we had a reader report but could not follow up the next day because of the holiday, and it fell off our radar until just now, when police radio broadcast a report that Bud Nation was held up a short time ago by a robber with a gun. We’ll follow up on both Tuesday.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center Popeyes opens Wednesday

July 10th, 2017 at 3:45 pm Posted in Food, restaurants, White Center news | 1 Comment »

We have been asked many times in the past few weeks, when is the White Center Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen opening? Today, we have the answer – Wednesday (July 12th). Thanks to Gill for the tip; after hearing from him, we went by a short time ago and a sign in the window confirms it – “Opening Wednesday, 10 am.” (Still hiring, too.) It’s been 13 months since we broke the news that Popeyes and Starbucks were coming to what was then the site of White Center Chevron. Everything previously on the site was subsequently demolished, and the two chains’ new stores have been built by scratch. As reported here last month, Starbucks says it expects to open next month. Both businesses are drive-thrus.

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Seen in White Center: ‘Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea’

July 8th, 2017 at 1:52 pm Posted in Environment, White Center news | Comments Off on Seen in White Center: ‘Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea’

You might have seen these advocacy walkers passing through White Center earlier today – thanks to “Kailua Boy” for the photos. It’s the second day of the Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea, which started on the downtown Seattle waterfront Friday afternoon, stopped for the night at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse in West Seattle, and is headed south toward Des Moines today.

Tomorrow, the walkers head for Tacoma, where they plan to rally against a liquefied-natural-gas plant project.

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U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell coming to White Center for ‘town hall’ next weekend

July 4th, 2017 at 6:15 pm Posted in Politics, White Center news | 2 Comments »

One of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell‘s three upcoming “town hall” meetings is in White Center, at TEC High School (830 SW 116th SW). It’s at 11 am next Saturday, July 8th. You’re asked to RSVP if you’re interested in attending – go here.

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Evergreen Aquatic Center gets $5,000 grant to help with showers and swim lessons for people in need

June 30th, 2017 at 1:44 pm Posted in Evergreen Pool, White Center news | 9 Comments »

(White Center Now photo by Patrick Sand)

That was the happy scene at Evergreen Community Aquatic Center on Thursday afternoon, as Amerigroup Washington reps formalized a $5,000 donation. The money will help pay for families experiencing homelessness to continue using the showers there, and to use the pool for swimming lessons and open- and family-swim sessions. Earlier this week, we mentioned the shower usage as part of our followup on the Mary’s Place-operated shelter in White Center, and that organization is a partner in this project, along with Neighborhood House. The announcement explains:

… This effort began when all four organizations gathered to explore the possibility of using the pool showers as a temporary showering facility for residents at each homeless shelter. Many of these families do not have showering facilities and the new Mary’s Place Family Center shelter in White Center only has one shower available, while two others are being added. Upon further discussions, the opportunity to increase access to swimming and water safety lessons also came about as part of this partnership. …

This money will support the support staff, issuing of towels and a voucher system to allow these residents to come to the pool with a user pass during regular operating hours to use the facilities. This sponsorship can also will support over 150 full session swimming lessons (8 classes per session) and /or full use of the family swim and open swim times at the pool.

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: Roxbury sidewalk project now set to start July 10th

June 30th, 2017 at 1:24 pm Posted in Transportation, White Center news | Comments Off on ROAD-WORK ALERT: Roxbury sidewalk project now set to start July 10th

A new start date for the Roxbury sidewalk-building project between 28th and 30th SW – July 10th. That’s the latest from King County Roads. The work will close a lane on the south side of SW Roxbury – eastbound – on weekdays, as there will be concrete replacement work on the road as well as sidewalk construction in the area where the walkway is now just painted. The work is expected to take less than two months.

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#SeaHomeless: Following up on the Mary’s Place White Center shelter after 3 months

June 28th, 2017 at 9:16 am Posted in King County, White Center news | Comments Off on #SeaHomeless: Following up on the Mary’s Place White Center shelter after 3 months

(EDITOR’S NOTE: WCN and WSB are participating in the multiple-media-outlet #SeaHomeless day of special coverage. For the occasion, we revisited what is the White Center/West Seattle area’s only fulltime shelter, which opened in late March. This story appears on both websites.)

(Toys on a shelf in the ‘mini-mart’ at the Mary’s Place shelter in White Center)

By Tracy Record
Editor, White Center Now and West Seattle Blog

It’s the shelter that almost wasn’t.

At an acrimonious community meeting last September – when King County revealed it was weeks away from opening a shelter in its former Public Health clinic at 8th SW/SW 108th in White Center – some threatened legal action to stop it.

But that’s not what happened.

Instead, community leaders and other residents formed a task force. They made a counter-proposal. Instead of the low-barrier, adults-only, overnight shelter that the county wanted the Salvation Army to operate, the counter-proposal was for a 24-hour family shelter to be operated by Mary’s Place, which specializes in helping homeless families.

The county agreed. Mary’s Place agreed. The followup community meeting in January had applause instead of shouting. And three months ago, the shelter opened. No lawsuits. No protests.

We toured on March 21st, just before the first families arrived. And that was the last time we visited the shelter – until this week, when we requested to drop in for a followup.

Our tour guide and interviewee was Liz McDaniel, family-shelter developer for Mary’s Place, who has been with the organization for eight years, dating back to when it was just the operator of a “day center” – now, it’s so much more. She understates her role: “I get to open all our new sites.” And in fact, she had opened a new one the night before our conversation, at the opposite end of King County, up in Shoreline.

But we were there to talk about White Center, the only fulltime shelter in the WC/West Seattle area. As of our Tuesday morning interview, 15 families were there, 55 people – 20 adults and 35 children. And there’s still room for more – official capacity is 70 people.

Another statistic: Since opening June 21st, the shelter “has served more than 3,400 bed nights.”

“Guests,” as Mary’s Place refers to the people it’s sheltering, are referred by the county program Coordinated Entry for All, which works with the 211 hotline.

And McDaniel says they are keeping “the promise that we made to the community, that we would prioritize families that are already in this neighborhood.”

Three months in, they are still completing renovations/additions that are needed so that the former clinic can truly serve as a livable space. One that catches our eye immediately upon entry fills a small atrium/courtyard:

The play area is the work of the Seattle University College of Engineering, we’re told. And like so many other things at the shelter, volunteers helped make it happen, including those who cleared the area of its weedy plantings.

Other work that is expected to be done by mid-July is adapting a restroom to make it accessible, and adding two showers in what was a storage area so the building has three – the Evergreen Aquatic Center, a mile away, has in the meantime been making its showers available to shelter families.

Crews also are converting another storage area into a laundry room:

In the meantime, all the laundry has to be sent offsite. And a “small kitchen” is being added as well, so some cooking can be done at the shelter.

So what happens during the course of a day at the shelter?

For the adults- “services that focus on housing and employment.” Throughout the open spaces in the shelter, there are signs, and set-aside areas, devoted to those focuses.

They get help working on applications, determining what are their barriers to housing, getting “tools to move forward.” The shelter has been open almost the exact length of an “average stay across all our locations” – 87 days. But three families already have moved out into housing, despite the challenge of rising rents, “harder and harder for families to afford, particularly if they’re a single-parent household – it’s challenging to find something to afford within Seattle. We spread the branches wide and look all over the place, White Center, Burien, Renton, Kent, places that families can afford.”

Mary’s Place also has launched a new “diversion program to help divert families from shelter directly into housing,” which requires “flexible funding,” so if you’re looking to donate money – that program could use it, she adds.

For employment, guests spend time filling out resumes, looking for openings, getting practice in “mock interviews.”

For the kids, there’s an immediate effort to be sure they are enrolled in school, and to arrange for transportation “within 48 hours of arriving.” This location is on school-bus routes, though at some of the other Mary’s Place sites in the region, they work with Metro, taxicabs, “whatever.” Now that school is out for the summer, the focus is on activities; McDaniel says they have been “working all year” on getting scholarships to day camps around the area, and kids are already out at camps ranging from art to environmental activities.

Health care also is available through the shelter, with a nurse on site part of the time.

Some aspects of shelter life involve clearing up misconceptions. McDaniel says some presume that shelters can be “a scary place – but we work hard to create a safe and welcoming community, where families can sit down and have a meal together, where kids can play appropriate to their age, where people feel welcomed as soon as they walk in the door … A lot of families are afraid they’ll lose their children when people find out they’re homeless. But your kids can’t be taken away simply (because of that).”

While Mary’s Place works on “a 90-day model … some families have more extended barriers” and it takes longer for them to get back onto their feet. Especially refugee families, McDaniel notes. Most of those who Mary’s Place is serving now are from East Africa, particularly Eritrea, though MP also has seen “our first few Syrian families,” as well as some from South Asia and Central America.

Wherever they are from, Mary’s Place emphasizes “the inherent belief that our families are good enough, and have the capability, to take care of their own families – they were housed at one point and they’ll be housed again. They have the tools to meet their own needs. There’s just a one-time gap – 97 percent of families experiencing homelessness will never experience it again. We help them navigate a really hard system at a traumatic time in their lives. We do it better together.”

Those working “together” at this shelter include about 20 staffers as well as the 55 guests, and volunteers. The guests have responsibilities beyond seeking housing and (if not already employed) work: They are assigned chores, for which points are awarded.

Those points can be spent at an on-site “store” with items such as clothing.

The youngest guests are able to earn points, too, and they have what the sign on the door dubs the “mini-mart” (top photo).

We asked McDaniel if the process of getting the shelter up to full speed has brought any surprises. “I think the biggest kind of joy and surprise has been the way the community has surrounded the space … we saw that in the work group and the process to get in. That has not waned. Between the schools and organizations already in the neighborhood” – she mentions White Center-headquartered WestSide Baby in particular – “(people) have stood alongside us and provided tools and resources to be sure this is a sustainable program in the community … White Center is such a strong community. People continued to bring in meals and donations and volunteer, and that excitement hasn’t gone away.”

A far cry from last September’s rancor.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: There’s a “daily need” for volunteers at the shelter – especially to help with the kids, “with outings, and during the school year with homework help,” McDaniel says. No prerequisites except to be “people who like people.” Information on volunteering is on the Mary’s Place website.

For donatable items – blankets and diapers remain their biggest need. Yes, the kids at the shelter right now include babies.

And the biggest need of all is space – this shelter is open, the aforementioned new one in Shoreline is open, but the need for more shelter space around the metro area continues. Despite that, this shelter is not intended to be permanent; the county and nonprofits are working on a long-range plan for a mixed-use project at the site that would include housing as well as headquarters for several nonprofits. That’ll be the topic of a separate followup.

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Fireworks go on sale today, but don’t use them until July 4th

June 28th, 2017 at 2:01 am Posted in Holidays, safety, White Center news | Comments Off on Fireworks go on sale today, but don’t use them until July 4th

Noon today brings the official start of fireworks sales in unincorporated King County. But you can’t legally use them until next Tuesday – July 4th – 9 am to midnight on that day only. Here are the rules.

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More traffic enforcement for unincorporated areas

June 26th, 2017 at 7:38 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, safety, White Center news | Comments Off on More traffic enforcement for unincorporated areas

Announced today by the King County Council:

Communities in unincorporated King County will see increased traffic safety patrols after today’s unanimous approval by the Metropolitan King County Council of funds for emphasis patrols. Sponsored by Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, the legislation allocates funds for an additional 1,100 hours of increased traffic enforcement by the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“I heard concerns about traffic enforcement from residents of unincorporated King County over and over again at my annual town hall meetings,” said Dunn. “Increased visibility by the Sheriff’s office in unincorporated King County will help keep our children and our community’s safe by reminding drivers to obey traffic laws.”

“The number one complaint I hear from residents is speeding in neighborhoods,” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. “These funds will help to address that concern, as well as help to keep our streets safe from drunk drivers.”

Today’s legislation appropriated $100,000 to the Sheriff’s Office and restricts the funds for use in increasing patrols for traffic safety enforcement in Unincorporated King County. Enforcement will focus around schools, patrols for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and speeding drivers.

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FOLLOWUP: Popeyes, Starbucks taking shape in White Center

June 20th, 2017 at 6:00 pm Posted in restaurants, White Center news | 10 Comments »

Passing 16th SW/SW 100th on Monday, we spotted the signs, one year after we brought you first word that Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Starbucks would be opening new stores where White Center Chevron used to be.

While the Starbucks building signage wasn’t up yet, the sign answers a question we hadn’t been able to get the company to answer – yes, it’ll be a drive-thru, as will Popeyes. We did reach Starbucks today for comment on the opening timeframe; they tell us they expect the store to open in August. (As you might recall, the location will also feature a job-training program.) We are still trying to get opening info from Popeyes, via either their local franchisees or national HQ; no luck yet.

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