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

Story and photo by Karen Berge
Reporting for White Center Now

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

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

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

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

Other Announcements

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

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

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

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

Following up on topics from earlier meetings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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15 Responses to “White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition: From drugs to coffee to Facebook”

  1. Why would we want a chain coffee shop in that location when there are at least two wonderful, locally owned coffee shops within HALF A BLOCK from there? Plus another down the road? And numerous other business that serve espresso? Big chain stores don’t help a community, they displace the local businesses and raise rents. Now that downtown White Center is filling with family friendly businesses, you want to drive them out? Absolutely not, horrible idea.

  2. We don’t need a big chain to have good coffee or to build our community.I am the owner of 3.14 Bakery. We just opened in August and we pride oursleves in being a family-owned and family-friendly business. Since our opening, we have been a active part of our community. My business is right across the street from the proposed location for a chain coffee shop. I don’t think I even need to say what would happen to my business if a Tullys or a Starbucks moved in. Instead of bringing in a chain, how about encouraging people to support local business?

  3. I support the local business already on 16th avenue. As a local resident I don’t want another chain in this area, in my opinion I think there are already too many Starbucks locations in this area. Not too far from the proposed location there are already 4 chain shops within a few blocks of eachother.

  4. business owner Says:

    I agree with teach. My family has had a business in the White Center area for many years. It is exciting to see the new places on 16th. The empty storefronts are filling up with places that parents and children can feel comfortable in. More families walking down the street going from storefront to storefront add to the safety, not a chain store. Money spent in the locally owned business stays in the area and many of the employees walk or ride bikes to work because they live nearby. The effort should be spent helping the local business thrive. The Halloween trick or treating was a great success. We need home grown storefronts, not chains. If you want Starbucks, go to Safeway or Westwood Village. The chain stores killed the department stores, bike shop, restaurants, hardware stores, and autoparts stores that we used to have in White Center. The area is starting to come alive again. Keep supporting the local business.

  5. Teadra Parker Says:

    Starbucks or Tully’s in White Center? Why would we want that? There are several local businesses that serve coffee and espresso. Cafe Rozella, 3.14 Bakery, Dubsea Coffee just to name a few.I can’t imagine why anyone would want to displace these great homegrown businesses with a chain. Why not instead encourage people to support our local White Center Economy? Keep our hard earned money in our own community- not give it to some corporation.

  6. Mike @ Proletariat Says:

    Please, let’s support our local shops, not invite corporate shops in to our neighborhood. There are some fantastic local shops that are independently/family owned, some of which are serving locally roasted coffee that is far superior to these corporate shops. I have been to a couple of these meetings and unfortunately missed this most recent one. Please comment here or go to the White Center-South Delridge Community Safety Coalition Facebook page and let them know that this is not what we want in our neighborhood. Even better yet, let’s al go to the next meeting and let them know in person that this is not what we want.

  7. Support local businesses and our local economy by shopping at the coffee shops that are already established here.
    No chain coffee shops in White Center, please. Help the local business grow!
    ~ David

  8. White Center is one of the few places with some character left in this county of ours. NO WAY do I support another corporation settin foot on its soil.

  9. Why would someone want to close three great local businesses? Starbucks or Tullys would do just that to the coffee houses that we have. The rebirth of White Center is way to young to support the influx of developers that those two companies would bring.

    Maybe instead of sitting in a meeting complaining how bad your neighborhood is, take just a moment to go explore what your neighbors have been working hard to achieve.

  10. While I would not be excited by a Starbucks opening in White Center I sure wouldn’t criticize or demonize them too much after all the money they put into re-developing the White Center Heights park.

  11. Clearly Ms. Rambo has not spent enough time in the White Center area recently to be making suggestions about what belongs here. Introducing a huge corporate entity like Tully’s or Starbucks is the worst possible thing that can happen for a small, growing and independently thriving community. In fact, there should be a moratorium against such activities in the business community. Does she own stock in these places or what? Her money would be much better spent within her community and not serving the corporate bastardazation of coffee!

  12. My first thought was why invite a chain coffee shop into the neighborhood when we already have Cafe Rozella, 3.14 Bakery and the El Salvadoran Bakery? Maybe take a walk around, brainstorm, and come up with some other ideas. Nothing against the chains, but there are already 2 Starbucks in Westwood Village. What about a niche toy store, like Top Ten Toys in Greenwood? Something that draws people from out of the community to come and visit our community and give us a little economic boost to boot?

  13. I agree with Mike. If everyone has such a problem with the idea why not just tell them at their meeting instead of viciously tearing them apart on facebook? I know I will be at the next meeting.

  14. also resident Says:

    We would love to tell them at their meeting, but if expressing our opinion is seen as viciously tearing them apart, I’m afraid they won’t listen to what we have to say in person either.
    The worst comments I saw on the facebook page came from members of the coalition.(People who don’t come to meetings are insincere?) I hope they are not as defensive and self important in person.

  15. Does anyone know their facebook url?