Standing room only as annexation takes center stage at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

We arrived at the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting late after covering the West Seattle crash involving a police officer – and walked right into that standing-room-only crowd. First one we’ve seen in the year-plus we’ve been regularly covering NHUAC.

No surprise, of course, given that the prospect of Seattle annexing northern North Highline annexation figured prominently on the agenda. 20 people spoke in the public-comment section – and by one tally announced at the meeting, 14 were pro-Seattle, 6 were pro-Burien.

Among the pro-Seattle speakers was Mark Ufkes, who brought literature to answer critics’ questions about the White Center Homeowners Association that he leads – as well as fellow Seattle supporters filling most of the seats.

King County (and former Seattle City) Councilmember Jan Drago was on the agenda too, speaking about the South Park Bridge (more on that later) as well as about annexation – on which, she said, she’d been misquoted; she contends she told Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin she would not oppose annexation, not that she supported it.

But the guest who drew the most interest was Kenny Pittman, the point person in the Seattle mayor’s office regarding potential northern North Highline annexation. He had briefly canceled his appearance earlier in the week; NHUAC president Greg Duff says he convinced Pittman to come after all. He showed up at 8:50 pm – luckily the meeting was running past the projected agenda times, which had him on at 8:25 (the meeting didn’t end until 9:45). But he had answers for most of the questions lobbed at him.

One question: What about Evergreen Pool, which has now been closed for almost half a year? If Seattle annexes northern North Highline, Pittman says, the budget would be drawn up to include full operation of Evergreen just like any city of Seattle pool. (The nearest one is Southwest Pool, in West Seattle’s Westwood neighborhood.)

Speaking of budgets, though – that seems to be the sticking point that has the prospect of an annexation vote looking a little hazier than it did when we broke the story January 27th that Mayor Mike McGinn was moving forward.

The next Seattle City Council discussion of prospective annexation won’t happen until a financial analysis is done, Pittman said – and he didn’t offer a firm deadline for when that financial analysis is to be complete. It’s definitely meant the process is not moving along at the clip previously discussed, which at one point was going to have the council take it up next Monday – March 8th – for a vote indicating potential interest in, well, a (northern North Highline voters) vote. Instead, the issue is still in the jurisdiction of the Regional Sustainability and Development Committee that Conlin chairs, and its next meeting isn’t until March 16th. (You can watch for its agendas here.)

Meantime, Pittman promised there would be information-laden community meetings and other outreach before a vote, and that northern North Highline residents will know, for example, the potential differences in tax rates that they’d be deciding between.

As for other possible effects, here are toplines from what else Pittman said:
*The North Highline fire station would not close – at least in the first decade or so; he didn’t rule out a longterm strategy change if the city someday decided a different station in a different location would make more sense.
*Highline Public Schools would continue to run the northern North Highline schools they run now.
*King County Housing Authority would continue to manage Greenbridge – it would NOT become part of the Seattle Housing Authority.
*Sewer districts in the area would be “franchised”; Water District 20 would be contracted with, the other water district would be folded into Seattle Public Utilities, which would then employ its three staffers.

But, it seemed clear, this discussion would all be moot if the forthcoming financial analysis suggested it wouldn’t make sense for Seattle to pursue annexation. And – “I don’t know what the breaking point is,” Pittman acknowledged.

“Could we just not be annexed by anyone, ever?” one attendee asked at one point during the night.

No one had a set-in-stone answer for that, either.

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29 Responses to “Standing room only as annexation takes center stage at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council”

  1. It was a very interesting meeting tonight. I will ask this to all NHUAC council members. Are you willing, without biased, to hear what Seattle and Burien can offer? If you can’t answer yes, you should step down as a NHUAC council member and proceed with your interest simply as a North Highline resident.

    God Bless

  2. Of course the financial analysis will come back showing that the area will be too much of a drain–for both Seattle and Burien.

    I get the sense that Seattle is definitely puting on the brakes a bit.

    Interesting issue with the fire station on SW 112th St. Why would Seattle even consider closing it? During the mediation between Seattle, Burien and King County, that very station was a “must have” for Seattle, and that’s why the north/south boundary was drawn the way it is. Seattle had to have the fire station and the library.

    The fire station was specifically sited as a means to solve Seattle’s issues with emergency services coverage in the far edges of W. Seattle.

    Why is there even the discussion/thought about keeping it open/closing it in the future.

    Good to see so many people at this meeting.

  3. Did you ask this at the meeting tonight or are you just now asking this here on the blog? Were you there?

  4. I am curious – where were George and AJ last night – did not see anyone by those names –

  5. Dick Thurnau Says:

    Why can not the North Section of Northhigline area stay unincorporated was asked at last nights NHUAC meeting that recived no answer. As Burien does not seem to have the financial funding and Seattle seems very luke warm to annex.Is thier a law stating we have to be annexed. Next item with the enormous salaries and retirement packages given to the two former Fire Chiefs and now they will not allow the NHUAC to use thier copy machine to print out the agenda. Is thier something wrong with this picture.

  6. Just got back from our daily walk in our wonderful neighborhood! Sun is shining and it is one beautiful day. Gave me time to collect my thoughts on annexation of North Highline.

    We began purchasing a home south of Holy Family Catholic Church back in early 1998. Immediately, we began shopping and eating out (when it fit into the budget) in our community. On the way home from work one evening I stopped by the local Safeway (housed in the building that has become the state’s DSHS office) and was surprised and delighted to identify at least seven ethnic groups. We began walking the neighborhood on an almost daily basis. Over time we became active in the community helping to form Friends of North Shorewood Park and picking up trash along the streets on our walks.

    Slowly we became more aware of our community by talking to the neighbors, forming a still active block watch, working with our store front deputies in a neighborhood watch, reporting and removing graffiti, working with the KC Dept. of Transportation and with KC Parks cleaning up and opening up North Shorewood Park to make it safer for all residents.

    In the process of doing the above we started attending meetings of the White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition from its inception, worked with the White Center Community Development Association during early cleanup of North Shorewood (Ask us sometime about the kids from the Midwest who helped us in 90 degree weather!) and during community development meetings they have sponsored, have attended meetings of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council for many years working with them on public safety issues including graffiti removal and just generally kept a watch on the neighborhood and the community. For many years I proudly extolled the many reasons we live in White Center/North Highline to my coworkers.

    We have attended meetings to numerous to count concerning potential annexation over many years. These informative meetings have been sponsored by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, King County, Burien and the White Center Community Development Association. More recently I have attended several North Highline Fire Commissioner meetings to learn how potential annexation might affect our fire and medical response. In addition, I was an active participant in a survey several years ago sponsored by the NHUAC and paid for by King County to sort out the possibility of incorporation. At that time my partner and I preferred this option. However, the study showed that we simply did not have enough income from our area to support a separate government. Therefore, since no other cities other than Burien or Seattle have shown any interest in annexation we have these two to choose from in making this lifelong decision for our community.

    We came to the conclusion that working with Burien to benefit our highly diverse community-just look at the Highline schools-was and is the best option. We have been to meetings before the vote by the southern portion of North Highline to annex to Burien as well as to a number of Burien City Council meetings and Burien listens to residents input before making decisions.

    Let me conclude by saying that North Highline includes a bunch of independent and feisty people. We like to get involved in our wonderful community and sort out problems and fix them. So far one of the main arguments we have read and heard about Seattle is they will provide more community services. Says who? Do we need them? We need solid information before any vote by our community on annexation. If Seattle can “do more” then Seattle needs to step up to the plate and provide numbers and an ironclad guarantee that they will follow through on any promises they make.

  7. Thanks for the balanced coverage of the meeting. Good for the White Center Now Blog.

    It is great that people here are not attacking people any longer who have different points of view. What a change from the other blog. This whole, “lets ridicule a person for having a different view”, and then hide our hurtful statements by not using our full name. Its so shameful and childish. Some of these folks embaress me at being a member of this community.

    Seattle has so much to offer in resources, in better fire services, more police, higher property values, lower taxes. With Burien, we get the same underinvestment that has plagued us for years.

    It is important for folks to get the facts. And I do respectfully disagree with the statement above that Burien is ready to deal with our diverse community. One Burien City Council member stated at the community summit last December, that almost no people of color particiapated in the Burien open houses prior to their August vote. That doesn’t look like they are ready. And since they offer almost no services, that does not sound ready either.

    Last night at the UAC meeting, one anti-Seattle person had the gaul to claim that it was Seattle’s fault that the South Park bridge would be closed. What nonsense. It is a county bridge, and Jan Drago clarified this person’s ignorance. Oh didn’t you hear, Seattle is also responsible for global warming and the earthquake in Haiti.

    And one UAC member read from a Seattle Times article claiming she was listing all the budget shortfalls in Seattle. As she read the article, she quoted Kurt Tripplet, the former King COunty executive, and we all realized that the article was actually about King County budget problems.

    These wild accusations and false statements, and attempts to inflame are disrespectful and childish. And it is interesting, some of the same folks who spent so much time on the possibility of Seattle having a budget short fall in 2011, failed to get the point that even with a reduction in services, we will still get better services than we have now. It is also funny that these same issues apply to Burien, but of course these questions were never brought up during the Burien annexation discussions.

    Get the facts, let us have a vote on Seattle, and we will know what the people want. If we vote yes, we are in Seattle. If we vote no, then Burien can have a dance. That was the agreement that Seattle, Burien and the fire districts signed. Lets keep our word; like adults.

    Mark Ufkes

  8. Mark I watched some of your Pro Seattle people last night and I am sorry but I was embarrassed at some of the things that went on. You were constantly laughing and making rude sounds when anybody disagreed with your point of view. A few of the speakers called you on it. When your group was leaving and talking so loud, the NHUAC was still trying to carry on a meeting. When Mr. Duff asked your group to please hold it down, all he got was a smart remark from some of your group. When you bring a group and they act out like that (including Stephnie Dotson) you turn people against your cause. I think you are smart enough to know that you did not score many points last night. I came to the meeting neutral and left saying “if they support Seattle then I want to go to Burien” Thank you for making up my mind!!!

  9. Mark I certainly have to agree with Gene. NHUAC invited a Pro Seattle speaker to their meeting. They allowed 16 Pro Seattle people to speak. Mr. Duff called on every hand that went up whether it was Pro Seattle or Pro Burien and yet your group acted like a bunch of juvenile delinquents. What was Stephanie Dotson thinking when she was challenging the King County Gang Unit? No one knew what she was talking about. Her actions were rude and I feel Mr. Duff should have removed her from the meeting.
    One of the figures bantered around last night was that King County only has 9 gang unit members and Seattle has 3 times that many. To me that says that King County has 9 gang unit members covering the approx 40,000 people in Burien and Seattle has 27 gang unit members covering 600,000 people in Seattle. I think I will take the Burien odds any day.
    I think you owe the members of NHUAC an apology for the way your group acted. I am glad I am not part of your group. By the way, when are you going to invite NHUAC to attend your meetings? I didn’t thing so.

  10. Thanks for all who attended the meeting. I was unable to attend. Did Seattle present the people in attendance numbers in regards to services or financial committment to North Highline residents? What I got from the blog post, there was allot of unanswered questions. I am eagerly waiting to see Seattles presentation on the financial committment they will pledge to our community, it’ll be nice to have that to compare to Burien’s recently annexed portion.

    On another note, I was surprised that nothing was mentioned on our King County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit. They so rock! I have been to training seminars held by our KCSO Gang Unit and I learned so much from them, from actual gangs in our community, to where they come from, how to identify them, what sets claim what territory here in our neighbor hoods, and how to tell the difference from gang graffiti and taggers. KCSO Gang Unit has a wealth of information for us and educates us on protecting our community. The experience and training they have is remarkable.

    A few years ago, I heard that there were a few meth labs around the 102nd block SW and 4th Ave SW, glad you were there to take them down and there weren’t any explosions, as those streets are filled with families and children playing on them.

    We are very fortunate to have a devoted Sheriff’s Office that cares about our community and the people that live in it.

  11. Heidi, someone else asked me about that in e-mail. I wasn’t there for the Gang Unit presentation because, as I wrote at the start of the story, I was an hour late – speaking of law enforcement and their heroic efforts, that was the problem – we had an officer-involved crash in West Seattle that shut down a long stretch of Delridge. I wasn’t able to leave and go to the NHUAC meeting until we learned the officer, thankfully, had only minor injuries, and our coverage was complete enough for me to move on.

    For the year and a half since we have been covering this area as well as West Seattle, we have often been the only news organization represented at NHUAC meetings, and WCN/WSB has the strongest commitment to community meetings of any neighborhood news organization in the metro region (in West Seattle, for example, we cover about a dozen community councils regularly, again usually as the only journalists at the meetings), so it was painful to have to miss part of the meeting, but it’s bound to happen once in a while. (When we know of conflicts AHEAD of time, we hire freelance reporters to make sure we have everything covered, but they’re difficult to dispatch on literally a moment’s notice if breaking news happens).

    From the part of the meeting I *was* there for, there is still information that’ll be in a forthcoming story later this weekend – particularly the South Park Bridge update. – Tracy

  12. What I think is so funny about this situation is how much Mr. Ufkes really bothers the pro-Burien folks. They are outraged that he is unapologetically pro-Seattle, and dares to call his organization the white center homeowners association.
    Meanwhile the local neighborhood council, pretending to be the local government (NHUAC), are totally pro-BURIEN.
    You have two groups who each want a different city. Only one is pretending that they are NOT biased and can give a non partisan recommendation or somehow help the citizens decide whats right for them (NHUAC).
    Why doesn’t NHUAC just change their name to White Center Citizens for Small Government Backdoor Dealing and Annexation to Burien. Then we could rely on each camp to give us information on the city they want.
    I just don’t think you can fault Mr. Ufkes for having an opinion or an organization. I think NHUAC should apologize for being so blatantly committed to one city.

    I think this said it all.

    Mark I certainly have to agree with Gene. NHUAC invited a Pro Seattle speaker to their meeting. They allowed 16 Pro Seattle people to speak.- Grover

    They ALLOWED? I thought this was an open area council? I think we all know it’s not. And thanks Heidi, for making my case for me every time you post.


  13. I left the meeting Thursday appalled at comments said and whispered while the KC Gang Unit were introduced to us. In the wake of the last few months involving officers,that anyone would make such comments about the men and women who put their lives on the line for us everyday. I wouldn’t even began to know how to thank them.

    The Pro-Seattle people that showed and made comments seem to be self serving and not really concerned about the community. In all the community activities I have been to I have not seen any of those people before. There is a reason people live in North Highline and not Seattle. I grew up in Seattle and moved to WC 22 years ago. The one thing I loved was the open feel of the area and not the density of the city. I was close to everything, but not smothered.

    I am open to discussion about where we go, be it Seattle or Burien but not by people who would make me feel ignorant because I think different or claim without proof what I will receive in benefits from either city.

  14. “Get the facts, let us have a vote on Seattle, and we will know what the people want. If we vote yes, we are in Seattle. If we vote no, then Burien can have a dance. That was the agreement that Seattle, Burien and the fire districts signed. Lets keep our word; like adults.
    Mark Ufkes”

    Just got online after being down in North Shorewood Park checking it out including the “Scout Trail” that one of Mark’s Eagle Scouts put in several years ago. Picked up trash along the way. Routinely we report what is happening in the Park to the KC Parks Dept. and/or Sheriff’s office. Just the usual users today.

    Then saw Mark’s comments in quoted above. I am hoping that Mark can provide the date and time “the agreement that Seattle, Burien and the fire districts” were “signed”.
    Back outside. Way to beautiful a day here in the little ole White Center portion of North Highline to stay in! Now my partner and I are looking forward to some Vietnamese food in downtown.

  15. You are very welcome AJ, like wise!

  16. Barbara, if I was there or not is certainly no concern of yours.


  17. I would like to furnish some information for the voters and AJ. The NHUAC has been dealing with the annexation problem for over 11 years. A few years ago King County funded and hired a firm to conduct a study for possible Incorporation of the North Highline area. A long and detailed study was conducted and the results presented to the NHUAC and King County. When it showed the area could not afford to Incorporate into a new city of its own, the Annexation options to either Seattle or Burien were researched. The study produced many facts for both cities with some favorable to Seattle and some for Burien. After much consideration by the NHUAC, they determined that there where more favorable things for the homeowners in Burien than in Seattle, so they recommended Burien to the homeowners. This, AJ, is where we get our facts. Where do you get yours? Are you suggesting that King County and their independent research group are lying? AJ, you should review the report and get your facts straight. A large portion of the area is being annexed by Burien at this time. With the facts now being presented there appears to be no change in the most favorable bulk for homeowners to go to Burien. I have been to many recent presentations on annexing by representatives from Seattle and have noticed they seem to change from time to time on what they present and plan to do. Mr Ufkes says that the NHUAC and Burien has been sneaky and secret in their meetings and plans. This is BS, all have been out in the open and everyone is always welcome. Mr Ufkes says he is president of the White Center Homeowners Association. This is misleading, as he clearly states off the record that he represents the White Center Homeowners for Seattle Association. He should at least sail under the proper colors. He says he has 25 or 30 members of his association. Under the heading of his association he should allow all White Center Homeowners the opportunity to attend his meetings and participate. Talk about sneaky. That is a very small number of the home owners in White Center? Seattle has only lately made any attempt to present plans or facts and as of now their presentation is very loose and without any written proposal. At the NHUAC meeting the other night, it was stated that the building codes for Seattle and Burien are different. Seattle has 48 units per acre and Burien has 24 per acre. Burien’s code would appear to be more favorable to better living. Based on some business the pro Seattle people are engaged in, would make one wonder if there is not some personal gain involved above being a homeowner? All the people of the remaining area must get informed of all the facts and not just rumors, so that they can vote the best for their needs.I would like to remind everyone that White Center is just a small part of the area remaining and the best for the entire area must be considered.

  18. NHUAC seems to be the talk of the town according to George and Aj.

    How about we all check out the White Center Chamber Of Commerence. It’s a cool organization that is currently being revitalized. They have gained numerous new members and as a member myself I would encourage more community residents to support it.

    So moving right along, the WCCC has a website and delivers electronic e-news along with importnat updates regarding our community, similiar to NHUAC. The meetings are held in the afternoon when most members are at work, but I heard they will give us minutes of what took place. It would be nice if the meetings were eventually held in the evening though.

    That will yet to be determined by the majority I guess. Hopefully it succeeds.

    Hey Bob, your right – Top Hat, Boulevard Park, Beverly Park, Hill Top, Parts of South Park, Salmon Creek,and Parts of Riverton Heights are still within the Northern half of North Highline as well as White Center that have not been annexed! Thanks for making your point clear, and hey – don’t forget the Southern Heights of what some all ready thought was Southern Seattle!

  19. P.S., If you click on the Mark Ufkes name in his posts here on this blog – it will immediatley take you to the white center chamber of commerence I was speaking about above. Mark Ufkes is the current President of the WCCC.

  20. Bob-

    Are you referring to the study from 05? A lot has changed in 5 years. I get my facts from researching and asking questions, and I get answers that are current. Not from 5 years ago.
    I don’t know anything about sneaky dealings between the NHUAC and Burien. All I know is that you have a CURRENT possibility of annexation and NHUAC seems to be sticking to their position, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Seattle-more services, less taxes.
    The area is going to be a financial drain on any city, why shouldn’t the city with a large tax base take it?
    If all you were concerned about is educating the citizens, you would present the things Seattle has to offer,.. as well as Burien. Thus giving citizens a CURRENT picture of their choices. Then perhaps you wouldn’t have to worry about Mr. Ufkes so much.
    I’m concerned because you seem more interested in defending your choice of a city than in being open minded. By being locked into a choice of cities, (which by the way you didn’t really explain why Burien was chosen), your not doing the the citizens any favors.

    Bob-With the facts now being presented there appears to be no change in the most favorable bulk for homeowners to go to Burien.

    By the way, if what you wrote is true, who’s advocating for the non-homeowners?


  21. AJ.
    You say I/we should give the voters the facts on Seattle, if we had an open mind. Well, first it is Seattle’s job to present the facts so that some comparison can be made. In the past 3 years all Seattle has done is make speeches and has not made any solid offer or commitment in writing. I asked Mr. Pittman about the Fire Station the other night as he stated they would use it. Yet in the North Highline Fire Commissioners’ meeting several weeks before, the Assistant Fire Chief of Seattle said they would close that station and any firemen that wished to go to Burien could. There were numbers of us at the meeting and we all heard him say it. The remaining firemen would be put on a hiring list for Seattle. Perhaps you should speak to some of the North Highline Firemen, and find out the concerns they have about their jobs. That’s one reason no one can make much of a pitch for Seattle as they will not put anything in writing nor make a firm plan or offer. As you say the report is 5 years old and there has been some changes, but we have not seen anything in writing that makes Seattle any better choice than before. We would all welcome some hard, printed information from Seattle so that we could make a comparison with Burien’s facts.
    here is your link to check out Burien’s facts & figures pertaining to Annexation:

  22. I would love some CURRENT facts from Burien regarding a northern annexation of the area Bob.

    I believe Seattle would need all North Highline Firemen as they have much higher staffing. Maybe you could look that up.

    I think Seattle is still in the process of determining feasibility. Maybe in the meantime you could do some research on the level of services Seattle citizens enjoy?

    So who advocates for non-homeowners?



    More Services
    Less Taxes

  23. Paste this into your web browser. I am sure it will be updated to reflect Burien’s newest plans soon per their meeting this past Monday.

    It states at the bottom of the page:
    If you have further questions, please call the Burien Annexation Info Line at (206) 436-5555 and a staff member will respond as soon as possible to address any questions you may have.

    On Seattle web-site there is no info on annexation or info that a commiitee is devoted to it. AJ can you please send me a link if you know of one that dicusses Seattle annexation info? I’ve been researching the City of Seattle web-site and it pops up old info back in 2006 through 2007.

  24. I’m just glad your doing some research.

    You could always call Kenny Pittman, but I think we both know they are probably still running numbers.

    The fact remains we would still have the same core services as the rest of both cities. I don’t see how Burien can compete. Fewer firefighters and police officers? When you factor in taxes it becomes a no-brainer. You still haven’t addressed why you would want citizens to accept that.

    I just don’t get it.

    Oh well, the citizens will vote if we get the opportunity. I think you’ll find the average citizen wants better services and lower taxes, and doesn’t want to go to multiple commissioner meetings to stay on top of their services.

    Just keep an open mind, I think you have to. I know I will.


  25. Heidi, I’ve withheld from repeating all the research I’ve done in relation to a Seattle annexation of North Highline. It’s very apparent that you would not be satisfied even if the same numbers were to come from the mayor himself.

    For those of you that haven’t read this post. If Seattle were to annex North Highline it would mean more firefighters, more police, cheaper utilities, access to a professional government and most importantly a reduction in property taxes.

    Hey Heidi, enough with your rhetoric, lets see some research out of you. You’re very uninformed and it’s more than evident in your posts. If you want to criticize my research you better have some facts of your own. Hopefully, you haven’t actually convinced yourself that you speak for North Highline while sitting on the NHUAC council, although I’m resigned to the fact that you already have.

  26. The fact is, it does not matter what AJ says, what George says, or what Mark says about annexation – We need to get the facts directly from Seattle. At this time they seem to only have offered us lip service – it is apparent that George and AJ (these mysterious folks) feel compelled to have the last word – so my suggestion is to let them have the last word on this blog – and that we press Seattle City Council, the mayor and Kenny Pittman for the facts – and not take the word of these bloggers – if anyone wants to know what Burien has to offer they have a web site devoted to this – or you can call the number that Heidi posted above.

  27. No one has critized your research George. Thank you AJ for letting me know they are still running numbers – I figured that much and that’s why it’s not posted yet on their web-site. It will be good to know that info.

    On the other hand George, my posts have nothing to do with NHUAC which is an entity that you obviously are completely biased against.

    All the research in the world can tell us how many firefighters, police officers, services, and ect. they have in each individual neighborhoods in Seattle – NOTE: they are all not the same in every neighborhood. Fact, research does show that. However, no research available to date can conclude the services, firefighters, or polices officers that we will have in our community if we voted to annex to Seattle. That factual information will come from Seattle City it’s self when they are done with their plan that they will present it to our community. Upon Seattle’s delivery of their numbers and financial committment will I only be able to make an informed vote on wether to vote yes for Seattle or no. It’s real simple George.

    Further more if your right on with your research, why are you so worried about what I have to say? I’ve given you 2 different links to each city, I’m sure you can find out info on either web-site about annexation issues.

    Dig a little further into numbers being thrown out here with comparisons to individual neighborhoods verses the overall city.

  28. There are two examples of why I don’t want White Center to join Seattle. First of all look at how Seattle treats Seattle Center, Even with a supposedly populist Mayor rich developers are having their way in one of Seattle’s best assets, getting rid of the family friendly fun forest and replacing it with a glass museum. If that is how they treat their own back yard then how will they treat us? Second of all Seattle is in such bad shape that the 4th of July fireworks display is being canceled. Plus in Seattle private fireworks are banned. So no fireworks on 4th of July. I personally like the back yard fireworks in White Center. It was one of the pleasant surprised I had when I moved here 3 years ago. It brought me back to my childhood and I really enjoy lighting them off and watching the neighbors do the same. I guess that is one of the reasons White Center is a real community. I would like to keep that.

  29. Burien bans fireworks too!