FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

September 13th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

(WCN/WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

As reported in our original coverage of this morning’s three-alarm White Center fire, it’s the second time in five months that flames have torn through the Locker Room at 9633 16th SW – and this time, it’s a total loss. The owners were “on the cusp of starting to rebuild,” according to a crowdfunding page set up for them. It’s been a rough year, the organizer explains: “To be closed for covid multiple times…the first fire…and now just when it was looking up to start rebuilding…another fire.” Here’s where you can donate.

P.S. Neighboring businesses Bizzarro Italian Café and Huong Xua are both boarded up tonight. Bizzarro’s website says they’ll be closed “for a few weeks”; we’ll continue checking tomorrow on Huong Xua. As for the fire’s cause, we checked again with the FD at day’s end – no determination yet.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

PHOTOS: Block party in downtown White Center, as fire recovery continues

August 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s part of the scene on 16th SW south of Roxbury, closed for a block party until 5 pm to raise money for the half-dozen-plus businesses affected by last month’s arson, as mentioned on today’s preview list. Eat, drink, shop, wander!

Some info: To get in on the raffle/silent auction, go to the breezeway by The Plant Store, midblock – that’s where we found DJ Bugzy Beatdown.

The entertainment schedule for the rest of the afternoon:

Now until 2:10 – selfdoubt
2:30-3:15: Junior on the Prowl
3:30-4:30 DJ DeVonne
5:00 DJ Bugzy Beatdown returns

That’s all midblock. You can also check out B.O.C. Music (3:30-4:30) and Monty Banks (5 pm) at Drunky Two Shoes and then at Southgate Roller Rink, DJ Dan Steely at 5 pm and Kids on Fire at 6 pm.

Another big attraction besides street-fair-style shopping – food. There’s a seating area in the middle of 16th where Chef Brady Ishiwata Williams, who’s about to open Tomo, is grilling.

You can also dine outside Buho and Bizzarro Italian Café.

At the south end of the block, the Home Skillit is offering street food including Louisiana hot links and Seattle Dogs.

This is all community-organized; we talked to the White Center Pride team about what people can do to support the businesses that are still working to get back on their feet.

Come down today, wander around, find out about the new locations some have found, they said. (Their booth is on the east side of the block – look for the rainbows.) Some of those new locations are already open – La Tipica Oaxaqueña moved to the southwest corner of 16th/Roxbury – and some hope to be open soon, like John’s Hair and Nails, moving to 10261 16th SW. And if you’ve got any tips about the arson, you can give them to King County Sheriff’s Office reps in person at the block party!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

FOLLOWUP: Taradise Café will not reopen, founder’s family announces

August 23rd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Taradise Café will not reopen, founder’s family announces

(Memorial gathering July 17th – photo courtesy Gill Loring)

More than a month after the death of Taradise Café proprietor Tara Eckman Scott at just 51, her family has announced the restaurant/bar won’t reopen. Here’s what they posted on social media:

On behalf of Tara’s entire family, we would like to sincerely thank you for the outpour of love, words of healing, and support you have sent us during these painful times. As we reflect on Tara’s memorial and the 500+ people who were present, the countless individuals who have sent kind messages, dropped off flowers, meals, and donated time and money, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every one of you.

After time to process and determine what is in the best interest of Tara’s sons, we have decided as a family not to reopen Taradise. This was a very difficult decision, as Taradise has been a community Tara worked so hard to build and a place where many loved ones found a safe space to share a warm meal and a drink. However, with so many factors at play and such uncertainty during this pandemic, it is the best decision to keep Taradise closed. Our hearts cannot bear the stress at this time. We have no doubt that the community and legacy Tara built will continue to live on through her boys and all of those she loved. We thank you for your care and understanding as we navigate these dark times, where tough decisions must be made.

For those of you who donated to the Taradise fund, please rest assured that all proceeds will be split equally amongst Tara’s three sons—DeAndre’, Baby Gee, and Zion—who are in different stages of their youth and early adulthood and are doing everything they can to move through life without their mom’s earthly guidance. Whether you donated money, time, food, flowers, or your heartfelt words, we will never forget how you have been there for us during this time.

We love you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for walking alongside us during this grief journey with so much grace. We appreciate you beyond words.

They’ve also announced a “closing sale” at the site (9808 16th SW) this Sunday (August 29th) – same day as the big White Center block party – 1-5 pm.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

FIRE AFTERMATH: White Center Block Party benefit set for August 29th

August 2nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on FIRE AFTERMATH: White Center Block Party benefit set for August 29th

Set your calendar:

Almost a month have passed since the arson that tore through part of the heart of downtown White Center. Businesses are still working to get back open, some in new locations. Today (graphic via @WhiteCenterPride) there’s word of a big party in four weeks to help – be there!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

FOLLOWUP: Fire that destroyed 7 White Center businesses now reclassified as arson

July 9th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Fire that destroyed 7 White Center businesses now reclassified as arson

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

(WCN/WSB photo, Monday)

Thanks for the tips. We’ve confirmed with the King County Sheriff’s Office that the fire which gutted the LumberYard Bar and seven other businesses in downtown White Center early Monday is now being investigated as arson. Though the original tentative determination was that it was likely accidental, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer tells WCN that they received “new evidence” that led investigators to “reclassify it as arson.” Though the LumberYard has posted on social media that “This most likely is also a hate crime,” Sgt. Meyer would not speculate on a potential motive. Anyone with any information should contact KCSO.

We just went over to the fire scene to see if we could find out more; no one’s around, but we did photograph the signs asking for tips – 800-55-ARSON. That’s reiterated in this statement just sent by the White Center Pride Committee:

The White Center Pride Committee is deeply disturbed and saddened to learn that the fire at The Lumberyard Bar on July 5th has reportedly been reclassified from an electrical fire to arson. The possibility of this being a hate crime targeted at an LGBTQI+ gathering space is also being investigated. Not only was The Lumberyard Bar destroyed, but also 7 other businesses, many of which were minority owned.

We will continue to stand with all of the businesses and individuals that were impacted by this horrible act. Our community is strong and will never back down in the face of adversity. We implore anyone with information to reach out to the King County Sheriff’s Office with any information at 206-263-2070 or 1-800-55-ARSON.

The fire broke out after 1 am on Monday. No injuries were reported. But along with the LumberYard, it devastated neighboring businesses The Boxing Gym, La Tipica Oaxaqueña, John’s Hair and Nails, Rat City Tattoo, Nuggi (which was soon to open), and Dottie’s Doublewide (which was getting ready to reopen)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

County offers help for unincorporated-area small businesses affected by pandemic

July 8th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, White Center news Comments Off on County offers help for unincorporated-area small businesses affected by pandemic

Applications are open for a King County program to help small-business owners in unincorporated areas including North Highline. From the announcement:

As part of King County’s initiative to help our region recover from the pandemic, the King County Council has dedicated $4.5 million to help small business owners in unincorporated areas.

The application period opened Wednesday, July 7 and closes Wednesday, Aug. 4. Small business owners can apply online at kingcounty.gov/localbusinesshelp or by calling 206-477-3800 beginning today.

King County Local Services will administer this new grant program, which is open to businesses with 30 or fewer employees and $3 million or less in annual gross income.

Owners who receive grants will be reimbursed for business-related expenses incurred since March 3, 2021. Reimbursable expenses include rent, payroll, business utilities, goods and services, and COVID-19 accommodation costs.

This program is specifically intended to help small businesses, as was the county’s first round of grants offered last year. Through that earlier program, more than 571 businesses received or are in the process of receiving up to $5,000 each from King County Local Services, for a total of nearly $3 million.

In 9 languages:

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

UPDATE: Fire in downtown White Center guts LumberYard Bar; major damage to neighboring businesses too

July 5th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news 6 Comments »

2:19 AM: County and city firefighters are working to fight a building fire at 16th and Roxbury. It was originally dispatched as a city callout so we’ve been covering it on our partner site West Seattle Blog here.

>(White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photos by Patrick Sand)

2:48 AM: We’ve confirmed the fire is centered in the building holding the Lumberyard Bar and Rat City Tattoo. Firefighters are still working to extinguish it.

4:15 AM: The fire’s not out yet. City and county crews are still there, fighting it from both sides of the building.

No injuries reported; we’ll have more followup information later this morning.

ADDED 10:43 AM: We went back this morning – in the view above, you are looking into the building from the alley side. Fire crews are still there:

We talked to Chief Mike Marrs of Fire District 2, which includes White Center and the rest of North Highline. The investigator finally got into the building a few hours ago to try to determine the cause.

Other businesses to the north were damaged – including broken glass. Firefighters were expected to be on scene, with 16th remaining closed in that block, until noonish. We will check back again.

NOON: A crowdfunding page is set up to accept donations for the LumberYard.

12:54 PM: More photos of the aftermath, inside adjacent businesses too:

We’ll add any other crowdfunding links we find out about. (Added: Here’s one for the Boxing Gym. Here’s one for staff of the affected businesses. Here’s one for Nuggi, a boba-tea shop that was opening soon.)

1:47 PM: Fire District 2 public-information Shauna Sheppard says they do NOT believe this was caused by fireworks. So far they’ve traced the origin to the LumberYard’s basement, and they believe it was accidental, though the specific cause remains under investigation.

ADDED TUESDAY: More crowdfunding – this time for La Tipica Oaxaqueña, and for Dottie’s Doublewide (that page notes it had new owners who were preparing to reopen).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

UPDATE: Taradise Café ‘closed until further notice,’ blames basement flooding

June 27th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Restaurants, White Center news 14 Comments »

ORIGINAL SUNDAY REPORT: Another White Center establishment that’s closed temporarily – Taradise Café. Not because of the heat wave, though. And not, its ownership says, because of the recent shootings outside the establishment that left two people dead. The sign above is what we found on the east front door this morning, checking out reader tips; below is what the café posted on social media Friday afternoon:

Taradise is temporarily closed due to an unexpected flood in the basement. Although this is an unforeseen disruption, the sheriffs came into our establishment looking for any reason to get us shut down. They have been trying to place blame on us for the unfortunate shootings that happened recently although we had nothing to do with it and it was not Taradise customers or affiliates. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and will be back up & running as soon as possible. We appreciate all the love and support from our customers, especially those that are regulars. Stay safe & we will see you soon. Nothin’ but love!

ADDED MONDAY: We checked today with King County Local Services. One week ago, they opened an investigation based on this complaint from someone, alleging a code violation: “Demolition of covered parking area and remodel of Cafe’ including addition of covered exterior seating area and possible other fire and building code violations.” However, the case is still open and a Local Services spokesperson says even if a violation is eventually found, this type of violation would not be a cause for closure.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: We also had inquired Monday with Public Health, which finally provided this information today:

During a routine site visit to the restaurant, a basement sewage backup became apparent, which presented an imminent health hazard. The operator closed the facility, as required, and may not resume operating until Public Health can verify the required steps have been taken to resolve the hazard.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Grocery Plus crash-and-grab burglary

February 21st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Crime, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Grocery Plus crash-and-grab burglary

That security video shows a burglar inside Grocery Plus at 16th/98th on Saturday night around 10:30 pm – a burglar who got in by crashing a car into the doors:

A member of the store owners’ family provided the video and photos, saying the burglar(s) “drove a mid-sized car/suv in a dark forest green color that police found was stolen into the front doors of the shop. Witnesses across the street have live footage they shared with the police, and the store also has a few surveillance videos that show the suspect rummaging through cigarettes and scratch tickets.” One of those clips is above; here’s a screengrab:

A plate from the car was left behind, and deputies told the victims it was stolen. This happened about two hours after closing time. If you have any information, report it to KCSO, and refer to case # C21005703.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

WHITE CENTER FOOD & DRINK: Boombox, Bizzarro, Good Day Donuts

January 31st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Food, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER FOOD & DRINK: Boombox, Bizzarro, Good Day Donuts

Three White Center food and drink notes:

BOOMBOX BAR: For the first time since Boombox opened at 9608 16th SW, it’s opening indoor seating on Monday, as King County goes into Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan. 25 percent capacity. Boombox enthused online, “It has been SUCH a long wait for us but we know it is worth it because truly we have the best community and friends in the best neighborhood ever.”

GOOD DAY DONUTS: The mega-popular donut shop at 9823 15th SW is opening seven days a week starting tomorrow, Monday-Saturday 8 am-2 pm and Sunday 9 am-1 pm. The shop adds, “Pre-order available all 7 days, yay!”

BIZZARRO ITALIAN CAFE: The new White Center restaurant at 9635 16th SW just got its liquor-license approval and is offering wine specials. 206-453-4441 is the number to call with questions/orders.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SPEND LOCAL! New county campaign to urge you to keep your money close to home

November 23rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, White Center news Comments Off on SPEND LOCAL! New county campaign to urge you to keep your money close to home

Your dollars matter most when they are spent with truly local businesses. King County is reminding everyone about that, with this announcement:

King County Executive Dow Constantine kicked off a new social media campaign to encourage people to discover offerings from arts organizations, gyms, restaurants, and retailers as the region embraces new public health instructions. This effort follows the successful awarding of financial and technical assistance to hundreds of King County businesses.

As King County follows statewide temporary restrictions on public gatherings, Executive Constantine encouraged residents to patronize local businesses.

The “Keep it local King County” social media campaign launched today comes on the heels of $4 million in grants and technical assistance that was awarded to approximately 630 small businesses in unincorporated King County.Keep_It_Local_KC_Logo_FINAL

Businesses included restaurants, bakeries, spas, retailers, contractors, auto repair shops, farms, and others.

The last grants are expected to be awarded by the end of the year.

“The grant definitely helped me,” said Yulonda Rhodes of Texture Salon Studio in White Center. “Prior to COVID, I was in process of doing some remodeling. Then COVID happened, I got laid off from my part-time job, and this business slowed down. The grant allowed to get everything I needed to get done. It definitely helped.”

Many businesses around the region have changed operations to keep their employees and customers safe, and are open for business.

The “Keep it local King County” campaign seeks to highlight available offerings, and stress the importance of spending dollars locally.

“Keep it local King County” will promote different options each day of the week:

Monday: Memberships
The Executive’s Office will emphasize the importance of continuing or purchasing memberships in regional arts and cultural organizations.

Tuesday: Takeout
Restaurants are open and ready to serve. Executive Constantine: “Let the take-out box be a symbol of our resilience.”

Wednesday: Workouts
Even though in-door activities in gyms are currently not allowed, many offer on-line yoga and other services. In these stressful times, it is more important than ever to keep mentally healthy by being physically fit.

Thursday: Give thanks
For those who are able to work from home and maintain a steady income, remember to thank essential workers by leaving a little something extra as a tip, or a thank-you card.

Friday: Fun with family and friends
Even with heightened restrictions, there is plenty to do, such as farmers markets. It is also important to make sure residents know how to use video-communications apps.

Saturday: Shop safe
It is safe to patronize businesses in our neighborhoods and downtown, as long as we follow simple guidelines. Now is the time to show the love to local merchants.

“While I am heartened that so many have done so much to help us respond to this unprecedented crisis, I also appreciate the burden on and anxiety felt by many restaurants, retailers, arts organizations and their employees,” said Executive Constantine.

“I am thankful we were able to get financial help to hundreds of small businesses, but we must do more. I urge everyone to patronize restaurants, coffee shops, and other local favorites. As I have said before: If this pandemic is symbolized by the medical mask, let our resilience be represented by the take-out box. Our ‘Keep it local campaign’ over the next few weeks will highlight all that you can do to help our local economy, and enrich your health and well-being.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Leftover uncarved pumpkin(s)? Here’s what to do

November 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on Leftover uncarved pumpkin(s)? Here’s what to do

From Good Day Donuts at 9823 15th SW:

We are happily collecting whole, uncarved pumpkins at Good Day Donuts from now until Sunday, Nov. 15th.

Help us gather lots of pumpkins for the pigs at Heartwood Haven Farm Sanctuary. Did you know pigs love to nosh on pumpkin??

Drop yours off at GDD 9 am-1 pm Thursdays-Sundays.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

FOOD/DRINK: Anju closing temporarily after Sunday

October 10th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Food, White Center news Comments Off on FOOD/DRINK: Anju closing temporarily after Sunday

Tomorrow’s your last chance for a while to enjoy what White Center’s bar/eatery Anju offers:

Anju is at 9641 15th SW.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Salvadorean Bakery team spotlighted by Seattle’s new hockey team

September 28th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Food, White Center news 1 Comment »

White Center’s own Salvadorean Bakery has turned up in an unexpected place – featured on the website of Seattle’s new professional-hockey team, the Kraken. Sisters Ana Castro and Aminta Elgin tell their story of 25 sweet years baking and cooking in White Center, and, most recently, battling through the rocky economic times brought by the pandemic. If you’ve visited, you’ve seen their beautiful cakes – and in the story, they even show off one with a Kraken logo!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

King County gives more small businesses a chance to apply for grants

August 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, White Center news Comments Off on King County gives more small businesses a chance to apply for grants

If your small business wasn’t eligible for a county grant before, maybe it is now. Here’s the update:

Small businesses will get another opportunity to apply for a King County Small Business Assistance Grant starting (today). Businesses will have two weeks to apply. These grants are for businesses that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and are located in unincorporated parts of King County (outside of cities). The updated requirements mean more businesses are potentially eligible for grant money than during the first round.

The new deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 4. Visit kingcounty.gov/LocalBusinessHelp for more information.

The King County Council approved $4 million in supplemental funding for grants, technical support, and translation and interpretation assistance to help small businesses in unincorporated King County recover from the impacts of COVID-19 closures. During the first round of grant applications in July, King County Local Services—which is managing the program—received more than 400 applications from small businesses in unincorporated King County.

Local Services is working to award funds to successful applicants from the first round, but there are still grant funds remaining. To help as many businesses in need as possible, the agency is opening a second two-week application window on Friday with revised eligibility requirements. Local Services will work closely with the King County Council to get the approvals necessary for grant awards in early September for Round 2.

To be eligible for a grant in Round 2, businesses must meet the following criteria:

Thirty or fewer employees (up from 15 in Round 1)
Annual gross revenue of up to $3 million (up from $1.5 million)
Must have been in business since August 1, 2019 (down from 3 years)
Must have specific costs related to COVID-19 that have not been covered or reimbursed through any other grant funding or program (Round 1 prohibited applicants that had received any federal assistance)

To view the complete list of eligibility requirements, apply for assistance, or learn more, visit https://kingcounty.gov/LocalBusinessHelp.

Businesses that applied for a grant in Round 1 and did not qualify, but who would be eligible under the Round 2 criteria, do not need to reapply. Their applications have been automatically submitted for consideration in Round 2.

Business coaching and technical assistance are still available

Businesses in unincorporated King County can also get business coaching and technical assistance from a U.S. Treasury-certified community development financial institution under this program. Technical assistance coaches can help with…

Information about the latest (federal, state, and local) funding and loan resources
Utility bill assistance
Filling out grant or funding application forms
Coaching to help the business survive the impacts of COVID-19 closures
Other advice and assistance

To use these services, call 206-331-3275 (Relay 711) and leave a voice mail with your contact information and question, or fill out the Technical Assistance/Coaching Request Form at https://kingcounty.gov/LocalBusinessHelp. A technical services coach will call you back within two business days. If you need an interpreter, please also name the language you prefer when you leave your message. The technical assistance coach will have an interpreter on the line when they call you back.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

BIZNOTES; Unicorn White Center crowdfunding; new tenant for ex-studio

August 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, How to Help, White Center news 9 Comments »

Two White Center business notes:

UNICORN BAR: The Capitol Hill entrepreneur hoping to open a south outpost of his one-of-a-kind club – at 9832 17th SW – is crowdfunding to save his dream. From the GoFundMe page:

Three years ago my wife & I made one of our dreams come true. We purchased a 24k sq ft building in White Center. Our goal was to create a magnificent space like no other in the world and have a space that we owned & would be safe from the ridiculously high rents of Seattle where we could have a sustainable business; we also wanted to give small business & first time entrepreneurs the same chance that I was given once when I started Unicorn (Capitol Hill ) so we spent the time & money earthquake retrofitting the entire building as well as replacing a 24k sq ft roof . We rented out the five storefronts on 16th sw to five awesome unique,first time business owners (three of them are open, the other two coming soon).

Money has been tight from the beginning as real estate in the NW is always ridiculous, but somehow, by some miracle we were able to get this building and were chosen over a developer that told us ” I was going to put bars & restaurants in it & then “scrape it” in ten years “…. I cried for twenty minutes straight after finding out that we had been approved for the purchase. I started off bartending at a “dive bar” in Seattle and saved my money to start Unicorn. Unicorn Capitol Hill has been wildly successful over the past decade and I used my share of the profits to purchase this space as our own- away from the cruddy business partners & exorbitant rents of Capitol Hill. We want this space to live on forever… and then the Covid came our way. We haven’t had any income whatsoever in the past 4 months from Unicorn Capitol Hill & instead have had to pay 100k + in rent & now we are just racking up an insane “rent tab” for our Capitol Hill space and who knows when we will be able to open again …. if ever.

Read the rest – and donate – by going here.

NEW TENANT: In downtown White Center, a liquor-license filing lists a new tenant for the former Miss Sheryl’s Ballet space at 9613 16th SW, La Tipica Oaxaqueña, described as a “grocery store.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

PHASE 2: State says King County can move ahead to the next step of reopening

June 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, Health, White Center news Comments Off on PHASE 2: State says King County can move ahead to the next step of reopening

This morning, the state announced King County can move to Phase 2 of the reopening plan. For more on what that means, here’s a detailed list on the King County Public Health website.

12:36 PM: King County’s own announcement just arrived. Before reiterating that same list, it begins:

Following approval by state Secretary of Health John Wiesman, King County has officially entered Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan to allow limited business re-opening. Phase 2 allows for twice the capacity in retail, restaurants, and other businesses previously allowed in King County’s modified Phase 1 and goes into effect immediately.

“Moving to Phase 2 is another step toward economic recovery for our region, but it must go hand-in-hand with even more careful adherence to precautions from our public health experts,” said Executive Constantine. “Wearing face coverings, washing hands, and avoiding crowds and unnecessary contact can help make ours a one-way trip back to prosperity, and prevent the need to go back to stay-at-home orders.”

While there are no additional categories of businesses included in moving from modified Phase 1 to Phase 2, the operating capacity has doubled for those able to reopen. For example, restaurants can now operate with 50% of indoor capacity, and retail with 30% capacity. Businesses with questions on how to safely reopen under the state’s guidance are encouraged to call Public Health’s Business Compliance Line at 206-296-1608.

“We evaluated a number of factors to apply to move to phase two of reopening. Our healthcare system, perhaps the single most important factor, is currently well-prepared to care for COVID-19 cases as well as the other health needs of our community,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Public Health officials recommend that people keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible. Outdoors exposures are less risky than indoors, and improving indoor ventilation is recommended. In addition, people need to wear face coverings in public, wash hands frequently, and get tested at the first sign of symptoms.

“Our cases have declined significantly since the peak of the outbreak in late March, and are now hovering around our target goal,” said Duchin. “Over the past seven days, however, we have seen an uptick in the number of cases compared to the previous week. With re-opening, we anticipated more cases in the community. That is why it is now more important than ever keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible and minimize unnecessary activity, especially people at increased risk for COVID-19.”

“As we move into phase 2 and for the foreseeable future, our risk will be increasing, not decreasing,” said Duchin. “COVID-19 has not gone away and we must take the ongoing risk very seriously. If we are going to be successful continuing to reopen, it’s essential that we do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 spread as we have more contact in social, recreational and work-related settings.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

County’s help for small businesses: Sign up for coaching

June 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, King County, White Center news Comments Off on County’s help for small businesses: Sign up for coaching

The announcement is from the King County Department of Local Services:

Business owners in unincorporated King County can call or sign up online to receive business assistance coaching. This service is provided under the $4 million Small Business Assistance Program, approved by the King County Council in May, to help businesses in the unincorporated areas recover from the impacts of COVID-19-related closures.

King County Local Services is contracting with two U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institutions, Business Impact NW and Ventures, to provide the technical assistance to small businesses in unincorporated King County that have been hurt by COVID-19 and related public health measures.

Over-the-phone coaching will be available to businesses directly, as well as to local chambers of commerce and other community business organizations that serve businesses in these areas.

If needed, language interpreters will work with coaches and business owners during the technical assistance sessions. To access services in a language other than English, businesses should leave a phone message including the name of the language they speak. They will receive a call back from a coach and interpreter within two business days.

If you own a business in unincorporated King County, technical assistance coaches can help you with:

Information about the latest (federal, state, and local) funding and loan resources
Assistance with utility bills
Filling out grant or funding application forms
Coaching to help your business survive the impacts of COVID-19 closures

To access this technical assistance, call 206-331-3275 and leave a message. A coach will call back within two business days.

To learn more about this program, visit www.kingcounty.gov/localbusinesshelp.

The Small Business Assistance Program will also include a grant program to help small businesses in unincorporated King County “keep the lights on.” That program is set to launch later this month.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

BUSINESSES: King County gets ‘modified Phase 1’ reopening OK

June 5th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, White Center news 2 Comments »

Just in – King County’s “modified Phase 1” approval from the state. Here’s the announcement:

With new state health officials’ approval today, restaurants and retailers will be allowed to serve customers in their establishments, in addition to other modified openings for a wide range of businesses and activities. Public Health – Seattle & King County will monitor transmission trends, medical capacity and other key indicators to help inform further reopening decisions.

A plan drafted by King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, and King County Board of Health Chair Joe McDermott and approved today by state Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman immediately allows limited and modified openings for a wide range of businesses, recreation, and personal activities in King County.

Businesses are required to follow the state Department of Health’s specific guidance but must adjust their occupancy to the levels identified below. The State defines an establishment’s capacity as the fire code. The intent is to limit business operations to a level that allows for social distancing. Additionally, businesses in retail, professional services, and real estate must take steps to reduce indoor operations to thirty minutes. This is not meant to be timed to the second – no one is expected to have a stopwatch – but customers should be informed why it is important to limit close interactions.

Here is an overview of what’s happening in key sectors across King County:

Restaurants
• Outdoor dining activities is allowed at 50 percent of capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance, though additional seating will be allowed provided it follows Public Health – Seattle & King County’s best practices. Restaurants will also need to go through the normal process within their city – or King County if the establishment is located within unincorporated King County – to seek approval to expand outdoor seating.
• Indoor dining services may operate at 25 percent of capacity, provided such tables and chairs are more than 6 feet away from each other.

In-store retail
• All non-essential retail activities may operate but an establishment’s occupancy may not be not be higher than 15 percent of capacity.
• Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to less than 30 minutes, with face-to-face interactions limited to 30 minutes.
• Essential retail activities may continue to operate according to the existing state regulations.

Personal services: Cosmetologists, Hairstylists, Barbers, Estheticians, Master Estheticians, Manicurists, Nail Salon Workers, Electrologists, Permanent Makeup Artists, Tattoo Artists, Cosmetology Schools and Esthetics Schools
• All activities may operate but the number of clients served will be limited to no more than 25 percent of capacity or one person if it is a single bed/chair studio.

Professional services: Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax preparers, and other office-based occupations that are typically serving a client base
• All activities allowed but an establishment’s occupancy should not be higher than 25 percent of capacity.
• Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to be less than 30 minutes, with face to face interactions limited to 30 minutes.

Construction
• All construction, including those activities for which social distancing may not be maintained and the start of new construction projects, is authorized to resume.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

WHITE CENTER ART: 2nd panel of new mural

April 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Arts, Businesses, Coronavirus, White Center news 3 Comments »

We’ve been checking back at 16th/98th since Sarah Robbins‘ first panel of mural art outside the Beer Star (etc.) building – and today, we finally caught the second panel. Note the small message at right – “call your mom”!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button